Naturally, national brands have made a home in Portland’s thriving shopping neighborhood. The upscale department store Nordstrom has three floors of designer clothes and accessories, plus a café, espresso bar and dressing room lounges. (Discounted pieces make their way to Nordstrom Rack for discerning bargain-lovers to find.) Just a few blocks away, Pioneer Place is home to in-demand brands such as Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., Apple, Tory Burch, Zara and H&M.
Luxury-minded shoppers browse Prada at Mario’s, while athletes and adventurers veer toward Nike and Columbia Sportswear. Want to join the near-cult following of Japanese lifestyle brand Muji? You can fill your basket with their minimalist t-shirts, dishware and, of course, famous gel pens at their second-largest outpost in the U.S. And, for everything from on-trend outfits to affordable dish detergent, the CityTarget still sells just about everything under one roof.
Ladies, looking to up-level your closet? Mercantile features impeccably edited clothing collections and statement jewelry, and Jarbo offers outfits that are both extremely comfortable and extremely put-together. For wow footwear, walk over to Zelda’s Shoe Bar — you can’t easily find many of these European brands elsewhere.
Frances May, founded by a grandmother-granddaughter duo, stocks hard-to-find looks by independent designers. And Wildfang’s feminist fashion blends fun and utilitarian elements (while giving portions of proceeds to causes supporting women).
Gents with an eye for design can set their sights on the many men’s apparel shops in Downtown Portland. Bridge & Burn draws inspiration from the Pacific Northwest (think sturdy work shirts and beanies) while Danner Boots sells practically indestructible, USA-made gear for the mountain and work site.
It’s nearly impossible to miss the iconic patterns of Pendleton apparel, and Compound’s sneakers and streetwear attract a fiercely loyal tribe of customers. In case you want to chat up a real-live wardrobe consultant, head to Michael Allen’s Clothier, which offers both ready-to-wear and custom tailored suits.
Need to upgrade your boxers or briefs? UnderU4Men, the largest men’s underwear store in North America, carries undies made from bamboo, eucalyptus and beechwood (as well as regular ol’ cotton), plus gym gear and swimming suits.
Home, Design and Gifts
If you’re downtown shopping for gifts, you’ve come to the right neighborhood. Portland landmark Powell’s Books is literally impossible to miss (since it takes up an entire city block) — its three floors are filled with books, paper goods and original gifts for every bookworm.
Boys Fort sells original art, ceramic flasks and leather accessories — basically a guarantee you can find something for even the hardest-to-shop-for fella. Crafty Wonderland grew from a twice-yearly craft fair and now offers handmade goods from local artists year-round. The record label-slash-handicrafts store Tender Loving Empire showcases independent musicians and makers, and we dare you not to “squee!” out loud when browsing North of West’s beyond-adorable kids clothes.
Whether you’re buying for your new apartment or a friend’s housewarming, Downtown Portland’s home goods stores will make any place feel more like home. Take, for example, Woonwinkel’s playful bedding, tableware and furniture, which will cheer up any address. And the home goods at Canoe are so beautiful they could double as art.
Old Town Chinatown Favorites
On the edge of Downtown Portland, the Old Town Chinatown neighborhood is a destination in its own right.
For shopping in Old Town Chinatown, check out Kiriko Made’s clothes and accessories crafted with antique Japanese textiles. Then stop by Orox Leather for belts, bags, wallets, shoes and hats created by fourth generation leather craftsmen. And Portland Produce is a lifestyle brand and social hub for entrepreneurial artists, giving visitors a taste for the local creative scene.
Need to fuel up? Deadstock Coffee takes great pride in its java and signature drinks without taking itself too seriously. And Mi Mero Mole dishes up street food inspired by Mexico, including from-scratch tacos with more than a dozen choices for fillings.
Finally, the Portland Chinatown Museum celebrates the history of Chinese immigrants in Oregon and showcases contemporary artists of Chinese descent.