8 secret gems in Portland

1. 1856 1856 is a super-cool bottle shop and taproom with only eight stools and a well-curated beer list. Bring a growler to fill, an es...

Christine Ryan

The shelves of 1856, a bottle shop in Northeast Portland, are full of treasures. Photographs by John Clark.

1. 1856

1856 is a super-cool bottle shop and taproom with only eight stools and a well-curated beer list. Bring a growler to fill, an esoteric beer request, or just a powerful thirst–1856 can hook you up.

(The name is a reference to a big year in the life of chemist and yeast enthusiast Louis Pasteur.) The same owners have also opened a spin-off called Prospect Bottleshop and Bar on Northeast Killingsworth Street. 1465 N.E. Prescott St.; beerwinecider.tumblr.com

Tacos at Una Mas, in the Ocean complex.

2. The Ocean

Welcome to the Ocean, with four micro-restaurants in one building, and a bakery and charcuterie next door. Each restaurant has its own single-concept menu: There’s an emporium for saucy Italian meatballs, a taco shop with adventurous fillings like tripe and tongue, an outpost for vegetarian food bowls, and a burger joint from the team behind Slow Bar. It’s all that’s good about food carts, with the bonus of shiny new kitchens, indoor seating, proper restrooms, and beer or wine with your meal. 2329 N.E. Glisan St.; guerrilladev.co/completed-projects/the-ocean/

The walnut ink at Monograph Bookwerks is made in house.

3. Monograph Bookwerks

Hands down, one of the best little stores in the city–it feels like an art history professor’s studio. The owners will buy an estate and bring in rare books, decorative ceramics, and assorted ephemera. Plus they sell their own walnut ink. 5005 N.E. 27th Ave.; monographbookwerks.com

4. Podnah’s Pit Barbecue

Grass-fed lamb ribs on Thursday evenings is just one sign that Podnah’s is not your ordinary BBQ joint. Owner (and Texas native) Rodney Muirhead lights the oak and mesquite fire at 5 a.m. daily. Texas transplants swear it’s all the real deal, right down to the white bread and sliced onions. You’ve got try the brisket plate with a couple of ribs, pinto beans, potato salad, Mexican Coke, and pecan pie “with cold whoop.” 1625 N.E. Killingsworth St.; podnahspit.com

5. Tower of Cosmic Reflections

Pick up a stash of local loose-leaf teas at this serene spot within the Lan Su Chinese Garden. The staff can tell you everything about picking seasons and modes of steeping. Need the right teapot? They have a gorgeous selection. And if you’re hungry, there’s steamed dumplings and noodle bowls. 239 N.W. Everett St.; taooftea.com

6. Oaks Amusement Park

Roller skating is alive and well at Oaks Amusement Park, where all ages skate to ’80s rock and occasionally to a live Wurlitzer organ. 7805 S.E. Oaks Park Way; oakspark.com

7. Löyly

Nothing could be called “fancy” at Scandinavian-inspired Löyly, in Southeast Portland. The decor is modern but spare (wood, concrete, and stainless steel), lounge chairs aren’t abundant, and while treatments are available, you can also buy DIY salt scrubs and masks at the front desk to use while you’re there. But the locals find the cedar sauna, aromatic steam room, and cold pool a perfect place on a dank winter day. There’s now a second Löyly, at 3525 N.E. MLK Blvd., a couple blocks south of the restaurant Ned Ludd. 2713 S.E. 21st Ave.; loyly.net

8. Skidmore Bluffs

Up in North Portland overlooking the river, this park (whose official name is Mocks Crest Park) serves as a hipster picnic spot. On a nice day you throw down your blanket, and there’s going to be four or five people playing guitar, drinking wine. 2206 N. Skidmore St., portlandoregon.gov/parks/