It’s finally fall. The time when pumpkins, nostalgia, and slightly spooky vibes permeate the air. For those of us on the Californian coast, however, Autumn consists of….dust. The leaves don’t change color and getting into the Halloween spirit leaves (sorry) much to be desired.
While it would be great to hop over to New England for some sunsetcolored, pumpkin flavored joy, the West Coast offers a more affordable and convenient location: Portland, Oregon.
Here, I present my humble guide to an October weekend in Portland full of delicious food (with donuts of course) and misty vibes.
If you know anything about Portland, you probably guessed this would be on the list. You were correct. This multi-story book paradise has every genre imaginable, so head straight for the mystery/horror section (the yellow one) and pick out one of the corners to sit and read for a while. Or attempt to navigate the many floors looking for the rare books section.
To really get in the mood, pick up a copy of Fight Club, written by Oregon native Chuck Palahniuk.
If you are feeling a bit peckish, don’t worry, I’ll detail lunch in just a bit, but there is also a little cafe in the book shop for reading and eating.
The Hazel Room:
Told you lunch was coming. This place screams FALL! The interior looks like a happily painted older house, perfect for cozy and delicious eats, but take a closer look at the wall art and appreciate its nod to the supernatural.
Bonus: I’ve found that Portland is one of the most accommodating cities when it comes to dietary restrictions and this place is no different 🙂
Order: Almond Tea Cake Cocktail (seasonal menu, items change)
For a detailed menu.
After lunch, take an Uber or Lyft over to the Rose Garden. Be prepared for some stunning views of the entire city. Walk through the rows of damp, fragrant flowers. Sit on dark, stone benches (flowy skirts encouraged, when paired with good walking boots.). Try to find the moss-covered women’s room and be on the lookout for friendly fae-folk 😉
As you circle back to the entrance, take a peak inside the gift shop… If you want to take some of those glorious Rose Garden smells home with you, pick up a bag of rose tea, specially brewed for this location.
Raven and Rose:
The name itself should give some inkling as to the Autumnal vibe offered here. Located in an old Tudor-like building adjacent to several high-rises, this restaurant immediately looks like an enchanted house that magically appears only to those who know where it is. Lucky for you… I know where it is, and so does Google Maps.
This is definitely a splurge, so be ready to spend, but also be ready to revel in cheese plates and entrees that might be prettier than you. (Though I’m sure you’re lovely.)
Order: Cheese Plate, Under a London Fog Salad, a Harvest Moon Cocktail, and Pumpkin Panna Cotta (Menu seasonal and subject to change)
Okay, so in recovery of Saturday’s indulgent dinner, Sunday’s eats are a little more wallet-friendly, but just as tasty.
Again, perhaps you knew this was coming. BUT, I have a trick or I suppose more of a treat, for skipping the majority of this infamous line. Don’t go to the main location in the middle of town. Instead, get identical, delectable donuts, stickers, and memorabilia at a lesser-known and quieter location with *gasp* parking. Technically called Voodoo Doughnuts Too.
Order: Some Voodoos, but try some of the others too, ranging from hibiscus to fruity pebbles.
1501 ND Davis St.
Portland, OR 97232
I’m not saying this place is an actual haunted mansion… I’m just saying it lends itself to that assumption. It’s another place for beautiful Portland views, surrounded by colorful leaves.
There are free tours given often and by friendly docents. Definitely worth it to learn about the fascinating family that lived here. Just don’t jump and scream… in front of multiple people like I did… at the poorly placed doll in the kid’s room.
Walk outside after the tour and take in the scenic vistas.
Look at all of that not-brown!
Now after all of that walking and driving and getting the crap scared out of you by an inanimate object (Just me? Okay.), you are probably hungry again.
I recommend Sizzle Pie. They have White Walker Pizza….for all of your punk rock pizza needs and GOT references. Their pizza is relatively cheap for a massive slice and tastes delicious. And what better way to round out your spooky Portland visit than with a bunch of rock-n-roll skeleton stickers?
Order: A slice of White Walker, of course: Olive Oil Base, Spinach, Roasted Garlic, Feta, and a light dusting of Herbs and Spices (courtesy of their website)
Just wander around honestly, after all of these spooky locations. Take some time to meander through the wet leaves and listen for some folk singers in the square. Trust me, the feeling of the city will keep you in the autumnal spirit for a long while.
Words and photos by Morgan Holcomb of @Culture.Conoisseurs
Edited by @HollyGlasser
MITH in no way associates with or encourages real occult activity. These photos and descriptions are merely for holiday fantasy and fun.