Laura Begley Bloom
Apr 14, 2023
For the past three years, with borders closed around the globe, U.S. travel has provided Americans with much-needed solace—a tonic during a time of uncertainty and fear. We rediscovered national parks, we explored this country’s hidden shores and we found new appreciation for America’s wide open spaces.
Where to Go: Portland, Oregon
Chosen By: Kay Kingsman, travel writer and blogger at The Awkward Traveller.
Why: “Like a phoenix from the ashes, Portland, Oregon is reemerging in 2023 with unprecedented growth in the food and beverage scene, both in quality and variety,” says Kay Kingsman.
Awarded “best foodie city of 2022” by WalletHub, Portland is leading the industry in innovative menus representing cuisines from every corner of the globe. “One especially exciting trait of Portland’s new trajectory is how many of the new and rising businesses are owned and operated by BIPOC and LGBTQA+ trailblazers, reinforcing that a visit to Portland can suit every traveler,” says Kingsman.
With so many great food options, it might be a little overwhelming for first-time visitors. Kingsman’s top recommendations: Matutitna or Masala Lab for breakfast, followed by Nong’s Khao Man Gai or Heavy Plays for lunch. “End the night with a bang at República or Kann, both James Beard-nominated restaurants,” says Kingsman. Or grab a bite at the establishments that made Portland a household name in the culinary world: food carts. “There are literally hundreds of food carts, and for the most part you can’t go wrong, but a few of my personal favorites are Balong, Erica’s Soul Food, Kim Jong Grillin and Speed-o Cappuccino,” says Kingsman.
How to fill your time between meals? “Get active at a few of the new inclusive fitness studios like Flow in the City or join in for a community run hosted by Deadstock Coffee Roasters,” says Kingsman. “You can also go at your own pace with a stroll through the Portland Japanese Garden, which added a new tea cafe, or explore the city on an urban hike and pop into a few locally owned small businesses for a little souvenir shopping—sales tax free.”