Music Venues

Contributor: Devin Busby is the Archives and Records Specialist for the City of Portland Archives and Records Center.

The Portland music scene offers a little something for everyone. Below is a list of local venues that offer a variety of shows taking place the week of the SAA conference.


Mississippi Studios

7/25 The Marcus King Band

7/26 Long Hallways with Three for Silver and Yeah Great Fine

7/28 XDS with Donald Beaman

This is one of my favorite venues. The music is always good and Bar Bar has great food!


Aladdin Theater

7/23 The Decemberists with Olivia Chaney are OFFA REX

7/29 Led Zepagain

The Aladdin get some of the best band that come through town!



7/23 Jeff Rosenstock and Laura Stevenson

When there is not a show, there is usually some other interesting event happening at Holocene.


The Know

7/25 Eye Candy

7/26 Thirsty City

7/27 Andy Cigarettes with Abronia, Alto!, and The Social Stomach

7/29 Nerve Beats with Way Worse and Sad Horse

The Know just relocated to its new location on NE Sandy. The music is great, and you can enjoy a game of pinball between sets.


Doug Fir

7/24 The Life and Times with Shelter Red and Last Giant

7/25 Tobin Sprout with Elf Power

7/26 Rooney with Run River North

7/27 Six60

7/28 Jacob Miller & the Bridge City Crooners

7/29 10,000 Maniacs

The Doug Fir is another venue that gets some really great bands that come through. 10,000 Maniacs on the 29th!


Wonder Ballroom

7/24 The Sword

7/25 Blonde Redhead

7/26 Waxahatchee


Revolution Hall

7/22 The Psychedelic Furs

This venue is an old school that was turned into a venue. There is a café and bar within the venue as well.  


Moda Center

7/22 John Mayer

7/23 Bruno Mars: 24K Magic World Tour

7/28 Neil Diamond 50th Anniversary Tour

7/30 Ed Sheeran

Neil Diamond and Bruno Mars in the same week? How lucky! It just so happens that the Moda Center is the neighbor of the Convention Center.


Star Theater

7/29 Blackalicious with Zion-I


White Eagle Saloon

7/28 Janiva Magness

This is a beautiful venue, and it is rumored to be haunted!


The Old Church Concert Hall

7/25 Julie Byrne and Johanna Warren


This remaining venues listed below do not have anything on their calendars at this point. However, they all have music pretty much nightly. I highly recommend checking a couple out if you have the time.

Landmark Saloon

Great if you love country music.


The Liquor Store


Al’s Den

Often host residencies for musical artist.



Another great country venue.


The Waypost


Bunk Bar

That sandwiches at this place are insane, and the bands that come through are even better.



Get into the Spirit!

Contributor: Diana Banning is the City Archivist for the City of Portland and is a member of the host committee. 

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Portland may be well-known for its love of beer craft, but you’d be missing out if your quaffing stopped there.  According to the American Distilling Institute, Portland ranks #2 in the Craft Spirits Tourism category for large metro areas (, proving once again that Portland loves the DIY sensibility.

Craft distilleries offer the opportunity to go to the source to sample the spirits, much like visiting a winery’s tasting room. There are many tasting rooms throughout the city, but as luck would have it, Distillery Row is within close reach of the Oregon Convention Center!

Distillery Row is a grouping of eight distilleries within the SE Industrial district of Portland and are within close proximity to each other.  Each distillery has tasting room hours, and many of them offer tours of the distilleries in addition to sampling their spirits.  To find out more about the individual distilleries, visit the Distillery Row website (

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To get there, hop the streetcar A Loop or S Line headed south on NE MLK and you are just a few stops and a few blocks from some of the best distilleries in Oregon.  If you want to tour the Row in style, PDX Pedicab offers a Portland Distillery Tour (

If you are short on time and can’t visit all of the tasting rooms, here are some that I’d recommend:

New Deal Distillery

900 SE Salmon Street (at SE 9th)

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If I had to choose one local distiller to visit, New Deal would be it.  They have vodka, gin, rum, and whiskey.  Oh, and did I mention their Ginger Liqueur?  If you really want an excellent combination of local spirits, visit the McMenamins’s Kennedy School and buy a bottle of their Monkey Puzzle whiskey to combine with the New Deal Ginger Liqueur. Nectar of the Gods.

Wild Roots Spirits

135 NE 6th Ave


If I was stranded on a desert island, Wild Roots would be my must-have Portland spirit.  I mean, who wouldn’t want to surround themselves with infused vodka?  Every bottle of the vodka contains one pound of locally sourced berries.  Clean, crisp flavors that are strong and delectable enough to stand alone.  Also delightful in a cocktail.


House Spirits Distillery

65 SE Washington Street

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One word:  Aquavit.  They have other tasty offerings as well.  You can visit their tasting room in SE or you can stop by their kiosk at the Portland airport for a chance to sip and buy a last-minute gift to take home.

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Portland: The Jazz Revival

Contributor: Brian Brown, in between shifts at the Archives & Records Division of the Auditor’s Office for the City of Portland as the Digital Records Repository administrator, makes time for crate digging, and improving his jump shot.


Portland Jazz seems to be in the midst of a revival.  Despite the closing earlier this year of Jimmy Mak’s, Portland’s most famous jazz venue since the 1990s, several venues are now offering jazz music on a regular if not nightly basis.

The 1905

830 North Shaver St

Portland, OR 97227

Amongst the best newer venues with a full schedule of Jazz is The 1905. Nestled just off of Mississippi Ave in North Portland, at The 1905 you can enjoy a custom pizza, or just drinks, to the sounds of Portland’s best musical improvisers.  Head out to the patio between sets, or you can visit the portrait studio just past the band space and capture the smile on your happy face. There’s no cover, but there is a tip line on your bill for the musicians—please be generous.



Solae’s Lounge

1801 NE Alberta St

Portland, OR 97211

Solae’s Lounge on Alberta Ave in North Portland offers music-seekers that experience of the friendly neighborhood music spot. Solae’s tends to get going late on the weekends, but going it does get.  There’s a good chance you might strike up a conversation with a local jazz hero when ordering at the bar. For desert, I recommend the bowl-served peach cobbler.



The Blue Diamond

2016 NE Sandy Blvd

Portland, OR 97232

Just a holler southwest from where the storied Chicken Coop (aka Sid’s Nest, d. 1958) used to be sits the Blue Diamond.  The LP covers above the bar signal well to this venue’s old-school warmth and relaxed charm. The Blue Diamond features jazz and blues, but there’s something good playing every night.  You can dance, too.



Wilf’s Restaurant & Piano Bar

800 NW 6th Ave

Portland, OR 97209

A Portland institution since 1975, Wilf’s, next to Union Station, makes the argument that jazz music is best presented in the context of a fine dining experience.  With Jazz on the schedule most nights, you can lively up your palette at the same time as your ears. Why not order the Steak Diane Flambé while you’re there?



To find out about jazz happenings in the Portland area do check out:

Radio: KMHD, 89.1 (24/7 Jazz station)
Jazz Society of Oregon Calendar:


Vegan and Vegetarian Eating

Contributed by:

Jenny Mundy is the Records Officer and Electronic Records Management Analyst for Multnomah County, in addition to being an avid gardener, vegan powerlifter, and cat fancier. Ask her for a long explanation of why americanos are way better than drip coffee.

Near the Convention Center

Cafe Yumm!

1010 NE 7th Ave

  • Basic bowls with healthy toppings. The sauce is what will keep you coming back. One of the places in town for accommodating a wide variety of dietary preferences.


Garden Bar

1061 NE 9th Ave

  • Because sometimes you just really need a giant salad.


Little Big Burger

787 NE Holladay St

  • Veggie burgers, can be made vegan if done as a lettuce wrap. Pair your burger with some truffle fries and enjoy!


Sizzle Pie East

624 E Burnside

  • Vegan, veggie, and omni options, with slices always available in all three categories, and delivery until long after you should be asleep to get to next morning’s sessions. If you have even a fleeting interest in metal, you’ll get a kick out of the pizza names and might walk away with one of their tshirts. If you venture out to Powell’s Books, they have a Westside location across the street.


Marukin Ramen

609 SE Ankeny, Ste A

  • Ramen with vegan options. Portland is the first place this Tokyo ramen chain has expanded to, with much excitement from local ramen fan. If Tokyo can have a Portland-themed bar, we’re happy to have a Tokyo style ramen house in exchange!


Near the Hilton / Downtown


Veggie Grill

508 SW Taylor St

  • Chain offering fast food style eats, but all plant based. Order to go and enjoy eating in the sunshine at Pioneer Square.


Departure Restaurant + Lounge

525 SW Morrison St (top of Meier and Frank Building)

  • Great options groups of folks with mixed dietary restrictions. Asian cuisine with one of the best views in town. Aim for early evening for a sit down meal, or come later in the evening when the crowd gets lively.


Luc Lac Vietnamese Kitchen

835 SW 2nd Ave

  • Another good spot for mixed dietary restrictions. Lots of vegan/veggie options, good drinks, and a fun atmosphere. There can be a bit of a line, so give yourself enough time to wait for a table if you come during peak hours.


DC Vegetarian

SW Washington & 3rd Food Cart Pod

  • All vegan and vegetarian food cart with some of the best sandwiches in town. They’re known best for their Cheese “Steak” (also available as a “Cheese” “Steak” for the vegans).


Farther Afield but Worth the Trip


Blossoming Lotus

1713 NE 15th Ave

  • Long time vegan restaurant with gluten free and raw options and a focus on seasonal vegetables. Their Bibimbap Bowl and Thai Salad are stand out dishes. Wonderful cocktails and mocktails.



1011 NE Alberta St

  • Portland’s first vegan bar. Southern inspired eats with plenty of outdoor seating. Tasty bowls and sandwiches to fill your belly while you explore the Alberta District. The Bye&Bye namesake drink in a mason jar paired with a BBQ Brussel Bowl is a Portland vegan standard.



930 SE Sandy Blvd

  • A sports bar with lots of outdoor seating and a great mix of vegan and omni options. One section has stadium style seating with ceiling mounted screens to watch the game. Lots of sports-free space if you really just want to sit on the upper patio, eat a Cruchwrap, and watch the sun go down.


Farm Spirit

1414 SE Morrison St

  • This is about as fancy as it gets. All vegan, with gluten free options. If you’ve found yourself with some extra money to spare and want to spoil yourself, make a reservation for their eight course Cascadian Tasting Menu.


Homegrown Smoker

4237 N Mississippi Ave Food Cart Pod

  • Vegan BBQ – yep, you read that right. Everything from smoked tempeh ribs to their famous macnocheeto burrito. The cart pod is attached to Prost German bier bar, which encourages you to grab something tasty and pair it with a summery German bier.


Hungry Tiger

213 SE 12th Ave

  • Your best best to get vegan/veggie eats in a dive bar atmosphere. Grab some totchos (that’s nachos made with tater tots, for the uninitiated) and an IPA for the maximum Portland bar experience.


No Bones Beach Club

3928 N Mississippi Ave

  • All vegan tiki bar and restaurant. Big, filling meals, and part of the profits from every meal go to a local non-profit animal rescue. Feel good about stuffing your face.


The Sudra

2333 NE Glisan St

  • A fun take on Indian street food. Delicious thali plates done with fresh local vegetables.



1205 SE Stark Ave

  • All vegan bakery with filling sandwiches and gluten free options, located at the vegan mini mall. Known for their croissants. If you’re feeling particularly inspired after lunch, stop on in nextdoor at Herbivore for a sassy tshirt or vegan cookbook, grab some snacks at Food Fight, or maybe even get a tattoo at Scapegoat. When in Rome…


Sweet Hereafter

3326 SE Belmont St

  • Portland’s second vegan bar, from the creators of Bye&Bye. Great eats, and an amazing tap selection, including ciders and Belgian style beers.


Ramona Quimby and the Real Portland

Contributed by: Rachel Thomas, archivist for George Fox University and the Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends.  Rachel enjoys exploring her native Oregon and using what her family calls her “museum-dar” to find little known historical sites and museums to explore. 

File:Beverly Cleary 1971.jpg

Beverly Cleary, 1971 from the State Library Photograph Collection, 1851-1990, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives,

Ramona, Beezus, Henry and their friends were childhood companions to thousands of young readers.  Their lives on Klickitat Street bring fond memories or early school days and long summers.  Beverly Cleary, author of the Ramona Quimby and Henry Huggins books is an Oregon native.  She was born in McMinneville about an hour south of Portland, raised nearby in the small town of Yamhill, and later moved to Portland, the setting for her novels.  Brush up on your Ramona knowledge by rereading some of the books before you come!

Fans can enjoy walking tours of “Ramona’s World.”  A self guided walking tour developed and published by The Library Foundation will take you to sights such as Klickitat Street and the Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden.  Children (and adults) can enjoy playing at parks along the route.  Make sure to bring your tin can stilts!

For die-hard fans, a day trip to Yamhill through the scenic Willamette Valley (the heart of Oregon’s wine country) is in order. The Yamhill County Historical Society is happy to answer questions (they also have a fantastic museum!).  Driving through Yamhill, visitors will view many sites from Beverly Cleary’s childhood.

Beverly Cleary recently celebrated her 101st birthday, and is celebrated by the people of Oregon.


Coffee Shops near the Convention Center

Contributor: Jenny Mundy is the Records Officer and Electronic Records Management Analyst for Multnomah County, in addition to being an avid gardener, vegan powerlifter, and cat fancier. Ask her for a long explanation of why americanos are way better than drip coffee.

Photo by mononymous.

Cup & Bar

118 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd

  • Featuring Trailhead Coffee Roasters and Ranger Chocolate Company, combining the two for notable drinks. I’ve heard many praises of their pastries.



1205 SE Stark Ave

  • Serving Water Avenue coffee. All vegan bakery with filling sandwiches and gluten free options.


Rimsky-Korsakoffee House

707 SE 12th Ave

  • One of the oldest coffeehouses in Portland. Notable for delicious desserts and a fun atmosphere. Heads up: they’re cash only.  


Mudd Works Roastery’s Half Pint Cafe

537 SE Ash St Suite 108

  • This tiny shop is built on a converted 1902 freight elevator. Accurately captures the innovative, industrial aesthetic popular in Portland coffee shops.  


Ristretto Roasters

555 NE Couch Street

  • Outstanding coffee, just a short walk from the Convention Center. Buy a bag of beans to take home with you.


Pine State

125 NE Schuyler St.

  • Serves the iconic brunch coffee, Stumptown Roasters, alongside their Southern-inspired biscuit sandwiches. Their location on NE Schuyler is a short bus ride from the Convention Center and will keep your stomach from grumbling through sessions!


Farther Afield but Worth the Trip

Photo by adactio.

Tov Coffee

SE 32nd and Hawthorne Blvd

  • Egyptian coffee served in a double decker bus.



1300 SE Grand Ave


The Tao of Tea

3430 SE Belmont

  • Prefer tea over coffee? Take a ride down to their original location on Belmont to explore their expansive collection of fancy teas. They have a second location at the Lan Su Chinese Gardens, which is an experience all of its own.


Townshend Tea House

2223 NE Alberta

3917 NE Mississippi

  • Another well known tea shop in Portland with great variety of teas and comfortable seating for reading and chatting. Their kombucha is available all around town and is highly recommended.


Third Wave Coffee Tours


Coming in early or sticking around after the conference? Coffee lovers might be interested in joining in on a more comprehensive tour.

Photo by Bex Walton.

On the east side of the Willamette River, nestled among converted warehouses and quirky neighborhoods, you’ll find the pioneering micro-roasters that sparked the third wave coffee revolution. This three-hour walking tour introduces you to award-winning baristas crafting some of the world’s finest coffee drinks. Taste top-notch espresso, cold brew variations and as an added bonus, one of the country’s finest and most innovative teamakers. We’ll stroll 1.5 miles on foot around one of Portland’s hippest emerging quadrants.

Fridays @ 10:00 AM, $40
Meet at Portland Roasting, 340 SE 7th Ave
Plan on about 3.0 hours


A rich variety of renowned cafes and pioneering micro-roasters can be found in each of Portland’s diverse neighborhoods, but there’s no better way to explore the delicious coffee scene than by jumping on the streetcar. On this three-hour walking tour, you’ll sip your way through Portland’s coffee scene in Downtown, the Pearl District and the Central Eastside. You’ll visit five micro-roasters and cafes, experiencing a brew methods demonstration, tasting the city’s finest espresso and finishing with a cupping, the industry standard for coffee tasting. There’s no better way to experience the diversity of Portland’s café culture.

Sundays @ 10:00 AM, $40
Meet at Cup & Bar, 118 NE MLK Jr Blvd
Plan on about 3.0 hours
Note: The tour’s ending point is approximately 1.25 miles from start – use of Streetcar, Taxi or Uber is encouraged.

Portland Japanese Garden and Lan Su Chinese Garden

Contributor: Amber D’Ambrosio is Processing Archivist & Records Manager at Willamette University, a small, urban liberal arts college in Salem, Oregon, where she manages the collections and wrangles ArchivesSpace and Archivematica. In her spare time she writes, reads about early modern London, hikes, travels, and obsessively visits the Oregon Coast.

Portland Japanese Garden


The Portland Japanese Garden combines a variety of traditional Japanese garden styles into a beautiful haven on top of a hill overlooking downtown Portland. The hill is known for Washington Park, which has many other family-friendly attractions that make the Japanese Garden’s distance from the conference location well worth the trip. After a recent expansion, the gardens now include a Japanese cultural center with constantly rotating exhibitions of Japanese material culture, a gift shop, and a cafe.


The garden itself is lush, extensive, and includes a wide variety of flowering plants, waterfalls, and Zen gardens known for their simpler aesthetic of carefully raked sand or gravel. There are traditional Japanese buildings, including a traditional tea room, and a hall with veranda that provides a great view over downtown Portland. On a clear day you can see Mount Hood in the distance. Guided tours are available at specified times for those who would like additional insight into the gardens and their history. This is one of my favorite places in Portland, and it’s worth a visit any season of the year.


The Portland Japanese Garden is open until 7 pm every day during the summer months. Admission is $14.95 for an adult with discounted rates for other age ranges available.


The garden and surrounding Washington Park are accessible via the Blue and Red MAX light rail lines to Beaverton and Hillsboro. Get off at Washington Park stop (inside the tunnel). There is a free Washington Park shuttle that will take you from the MAX station to the garden, or you can enjoy a 1.5 mile walk through the arboretum in Washington Park (the trail is well marked with signs for the Japanese and Rose Gardens, but it winds through wooded areas with uneven terrain).


There is parking available at the garden but also available at the Oregon Zoo and elsewhere in Washington Park if you’d like to walk to the garden. Additional travel information is available at the link provided.


Other attractions of interest in Washington Park include the Oregon Zoo, the Portland Children’s Museum, the World Forestry Center, the Hoyt Arboretum, miles of walking/hiking trails, and the International Rose Test Garden (celebrating its 100th anniversary).


Lan Su Chinese Garden


For those who would love to experience a garden a little closer to the conference action, Lan Su Chinese Garden comprises a full city block walled off from the noise of downtown Portland in the historic Old Town Chinatown district. It’s within walking distance (less than 1 mile) of the downtown conference hotel and the convention center. It’s also accessible via bus or the Blue or Red MAX light rail lines (with a short walk).


The garden is partitioned into various areas with stonework that allows views into the alcoves through elaborately carved windows. You can take advantage of a free guided tour at certain hours of the day or wander with the aid of printed guides. Shallow, reflective water, lush plant life, and traditional Chinese structures are the main features of the garden. Within the buildings are examples of traditional Chinese material culture and a Chinese Teahouse with light dining options (vegetarian and possibly vegan options are available). The Lan Su Chinese Garden is the perfect place to escape from the hustle and concrete of downtown Portland and enjoy a moment of tranquility among beautiful surroundings. They have regular cultural events, so it’s worth checking their schedule to see what you might find during your visit.


Admission to the garden is $10 for an adult with discounts available to other age ranges. A family pass is available for $28. The garden is open until 7 pm every day during the summer months.


Handmade Portland: Knit Shops

Contributed by: Anne Prahl, Curator of Collections, Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education

 If you think of all things hip and innovative, challenging and quirky when you think of Portland, the knitting scene in our fair city does not disappoint. If you are connected, you have already checked out the Portland Metro Area Ravelers forum on Or you might have checked to see if there is a gathering during the SAA conference. There are regular meetings of crafters, including knitters, all over the city. You only need to plug in.

Perhaps you are hoping to browse some local yarn shops (I know my best souvenirs are the ones I made myself from materials purchased wherever I have traveled). There are dozens of shops in the metro area. I have compiled the few that are easiest to get to either on foot or by public transportation. Each has its own, unique atmosphere. Some feature a group of regulars whom you will find cozily drinking tea and knitting together. But I’ve never been turned away from one of those klatches. Just pull up a chair and whip out your knitting bag and you are one of the in-crowd.


Pearl District and Downtown

Pearl Fiber Arts

428 NW 11th Aveknitting 1
Portland, OR 97209

(503) 227-7746

Just a few blocks from Powell’s Books (which you are certainly not going to want to miss). Really nice selection including some exotic fibers (yak!) and helpful staff.


Dublin Bay Knitting Company

1227 NW 11th Ave
Portland, OR 97209knitting 2

(503) 223-3229

Small and sparsely stocked, it is still a calm and friendly place to drop in. Great yarns from the British Isles as well as organics and Fair Trade and more standard fare as well.


Knit Purl

knitting 31101 SW Alder St
Portland, OR 97205

(503) 227-2999

Not my go-to shop. They tend toward the exotic, locally sourced, and hip. And the staff is kind of hipster, too. But if that’s your scene, definitely check them out.


Northeast Portland

Close Knit

2140 NE Alberta St
Portland, OR 97211

knitting 4

(503) 288-4568

You were going to go up to the Alberta Arts district anyway, right? Lots of galleries and DIY shops, bakeries, tacos, and a Salt ‘n Straw ice cream shop. And while you are there, drop in on Close Knit where there is always someone shopping, someone knitting, and someone to offer great advice.


knitting 52310 NE Broadway
Portland, OR 97232

(503) 922-1150

My personal favorite shop. Can’t say enough about the awesome staff (who remember names!) and are always earnest and thoughtful, even with the most insipid questions. They also sell tea and welcome knitters to their comfy couches and work tables. Especially fabulous selection of sock yarns.

Southeast Portland

Happy Knits

1620 SE Hawthorne Blvdknitting 6
Portland, OR 97214

(503) 238-2106

Super-friendly and customer-oriented. Smaller selection but they make up for it in great classes and … did I mention the nice people?




North Portland

The Naked Sheep

knitting 7

2142 N Killingsworth St
Portland, OR 97217

(503) 283-2004

A little off the beaten path (unless your path takes you to North Portland.) I haven’t found the owner particularly welcoming, but if you read the Yelp reviews, there are plenty of happy people who disagree.