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Portland, San Francisco

Where to sleep between SF and Portland? & Favorite restaurant in Portland?

On our road trip we decided that it was too much of a long drive from SF to Portland, so we want to spend the night somewhere in between, any suggestions? 

Also, I heard the food in Portland is amazing, what's the best restaurant in your opinion? 

9 Answers

top answer by
Hannah from Portland

OX Restaurant is by far my favorite restaurant in Portland. It's an Argentinian style steak house that is to die for. Be sure to get the Malbec made just for them, it's not to be missed. They don't take reservations for under 6 people so be prepared to wait in the cozy Whey Bar adjacent to them. They have a variety of oysters and cocktails. 

For brunch try Interurban. It has a small menu but you won't have to wait and they have the best bloody mary in town. 

My favorite late night spot is Luc Lac Vietnamese Kitchen. Tasty, inexpensive, and cool. They slang delicious cocktails below a ceiling of parasols. 

Finally, you must try the carts. A very Portland choice is The Whole Bowl. It's a bowl filled with rice, beans, salsa, cheese, sour cream, olives, cilantro, and their amazing garlicky tali sauce. Somehow it comes together to be a really unexpected delight. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. OX Restaurant (restaurant)
  2. Whey Bar (restaurant)
  3. Interurban (restaurant)
  4. Luc Lac Vietnamese Kitchen (attraction)
  5. The Whole Bowl (restaurant)
5 thanks

answered first by
Alex from Boston

Definitely Ashland, OR - if you are doing it during the drive in late Spring through early Fall, (and if you time your drive correctly), you can catch a show at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival which is the main/only industry in the town.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Ashland (attraction)
  2. Oregon Shakespeare Festival (attraction)
4 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Adam from Buena Park

My wife and I drove this way at Christmas time last year. The leg from San Francisco to Portland was a little on the long side, but definitely doable in one day. We set out early in the morning (around 7am) and were at our hotel for a late dinner. Along the way we stopped in Redding and it seemed like a nice place to stop. We also stopped in Weed for some souvenirs. Both of those areas are roughly half way through the trip.

As for places to eat. The best meal (and probably most expensive) I've had in Portland is at Andina Restaurant. If you like craft beer another good spot is Deschutes Brewery Portland Public House. For a good breakfast spot in a nice quiet neighborhood check out Pine State Biscuits

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. San Francisco (city)
  2. Portland (city)
  3. Redding (city)
  4. Weed (city)
  5. Andina Restaurant (restaurant)
  6. Deschutes Brewery Portland Public House (restaurant)
  7. Pine State Biscuits (restaurant)
2 thanks

answered by
Jeffrey from San Francisco

Yep, stay in Ashland. It's a good halfway point and a nice little town, especially in autumn. Book ahead. 

For Portland food, check out:

Ned Ludd - great brunch

Kevin Gibson's new place Davenport (tell them Kathleen Bauer recommended it)

The food trucks and Asian restaurant in Sellwood Neighborhood are excellent too

For all things food in Portland check out GoodStuffNW:

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Ashland (attraction)
  2. Ned Ludd (restaurant)
  3. Davenport (restaurant)
  4. Sellwood Neighborhood (neighborhood)
2 thanks

answered by
Tanya from Ottawa

Beat restaurant...we visited Portland in the summer of 2012 and had a most amazing dining experience at Pazzo in the Kimpton Hotel. To this day we haven't had a better meal and we still reminisce about it. Service and ambience were also exceptional in a comfortable atmosphere. Not pretentious.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Pazzo (restaurant)
2 thanks

answered by
Brian from Portland

Tasty N Sons is a great spot for brunch & happy hour. It's is delicious and won't break the bank. Portland is pretty well known for southeast asian food, so you won't go wrong by hitting up Pok Pok Restaurant or Luc Lac Vietnamese Kitchen. Everyone also will tell you to go to Voodoo Doughnuts and wait in that ridiculous line. But if you actually want a good donut and not a hyper colored donut that might give you a heart attack, you should try Blue Star Donuts. The creme brulee donut is absolutely delicious but I think there's only a limited supply everyday. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Tasty N Sons (restaurant)
  2. Pok Pok Restaurant (restaurant)
  3. Luc Lac Vietnamese Kitchen (attraction)
  4. Voodoo Doughnuts (restaurant)
  5. Blue Star Donuts (attraction)

answered by
Tiffany from Corvallis

If you're taking I5 south, then I absolutely agree that Ashland is probably the coolest place to stop. It's fun, quirky, and has great food, parks, and theater.

If you enjoy driving and don't mind lengthening your trip slightly for the sake of some stunning scenery, cut over just south Portland to Lincoln City or cut over a little farther south at Corvallis to get to Waldport and take the coastal route down on hwy 101. It's absolutely gorgeous - especially the southern Oregon coast. If you take this route, stop for the night somewhere between Coos Bay, Oregon or Crescent City, CA. I've stayed in Brookings - not a lot there, but it's a good half-way point. The best views are along the Oregon coast as the highway hugs the ocean more, so you can even cut back over to I5 at Fortuna to save yourself some time and get back to SF.

As for food, Portland is a mecca for restaurants... but in your quest for great food, don't forget the humble food trucks. Portland does them so well. Walk around the block at SW10th and SW Alder - the entire block is surrounded by food trucks of all kinds and flavors. This could be a huge meal. Powell's City of Books (just a cool place to stop) is nearby and the popular Voodoo Doughnuts is a quick walk from there.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Ashland (attraction)
  2. Lincoln City (city)
  3. Corvallis (city)
  4. Waldport (city)
  5. Coos Bay (city)
  6. Crescent City (city)
  7. Brookings (city)
  8. Fortuna (city)
  9. Powell's City of Books (attraction)
  10. Voodoo Doughnuts (restaurant)

answered by
Michael from Tacoma

Medford OR is just over halfway between S.F. and Portland. Medford is north of the highest mountain passes in the Siskyous. It's not fancy, but I've had no problems during my several stops at Motel 6 Medford South, I-5 at Barnett Road, Exit #27 950 Alba Drive. It's close to the freeway, inexpensive, clean, but not noisy. Free (slow) Wi-fi and late check out is available to AARP members. Between Grants Pass and Roseburg you'll cross three mountain passes between 1700' and 2000'. From around Roseburg to Portland the highway is mostly level and straight. In Portland, I'd recommend Kells Irish Pub, 112 SW 2nd Ave, or the nearby Dan & Louis Oyster Bar, 208 SW Ankeny St. At Kells, I'd probably order the lamb stew and Irish soda bread. At Dan & Louis' I usually order the oyster stew or pan-fried Yaquina Bay oysters. Voodoo Doughnuts, 22 SW 3rd Avenue, is located nearby and open 24/7. If you've ever wanted to try a bacon maple bar, this is the place. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Motel 6 Medford South (hotel)
  2. Dan & Louis Oyster Bar (restaurant)
  3. Voodoo Doughnuts (restaurant)
comments (1)

answered by
Laura from Walla Walla

One of my favorite places to eat in Portland is Nicholas Restaurant. Fabulous pita bread, hummus and other Greek food!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Nicholas Restaurant (restaurant)

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