Get to Know: Richmond
Ah, Richmond… the stock-photo concept of Portland. When friends come to visit from out of town and want the quintessential Portland experience, you take them to Richmond! The neighborhood borders SE Hawthorne Blvd and SE Powell blvd, with SE Division street running through the middle. These three main streets are dense with restaurants, breweries, cafes, quirky shops, and nightlife, while the blocks between are heavily residential.
A little history — in 1840, Hawthorne Blvd was the southernmost border of Portland. When a huge forest fire ignited in 1846, it cleared a large portion of the forest to the south of Hawthorne Blvd. The newly fertile soil was used for farming and thus, Richmond was founded! The neighborhood became a destination for nightlife when the Bagdad Theatre was built in 1927. Now, there is seemingly no end to Richmond’s eccentricities.
Join us on a tour of the whimsical neighborhood of Richmond!
Our Richmond Favorites
Where do we start?! There is so much to cover in Richmond. So, crack open an Ancestry IPA, Postmates some PDX Sliders, and get ready to tour our favorite spots in Richmond!
Snacks and Sips
Let’s kick it off with a Portland staple — Waffle Window. Literally a hole-in-the-wall restaurant. You can order savory and sweet waffles at a walk-up window, off 36th Ave and Hawthorne Blvd. The kitchen makes Belgian liege waffles with unique toppings. Our choice as veggie-lovers is the savory Farm Fusion with balsamic mushrooms, onions, roasted red peppers, tomatoes, and chevre. You’ll never look at a waffle the same way again!
Haven’t indulged enough? PDX Sliders serves (wouldn’t you know) Portland’s best sliders! They may be small, but they are packed with flavor and local ingredients. The slider featured below is the Broadway: braised pork, peppers, arugula, and spicy aioli on ciabatta bread. Check out their full menu.
Sandwiches are always a winner, but how about a Portlander-run restaurant whipping up pure comfort food? If you are ever having a hard day, head to Sckavone’s and order the meatloaf — it tastes like grandma made it herself. The menu is packed with American classic comfort foods from fried chicken sandwiches, baked mac & cheese, fish n chips, and reubens.
We’ve covered a lot of heavy food. As a lighter option, Harlow’s menu is completely gluten free, vegetarian, and partially vegan (a few dishes include locally raised, farm fresh eggs). The restaurant’s motto is “clean and healthy food made with love”. If you need a hearty, healthy meal, all of their grain bowls are fantastic!
Fun fact: the owner of Hawlow, Karen Pride, was a successful pastry chef before embracing a raw food diet and opening a clean-eating restaurant. She explains that she wanted to feed the people of Portland “healthy, nourishing food that would make them feel good for the rest of the day”.
The legendary Señora de la Tortilla of Neustra Cocina prepares over 30 pounds of masa before every dinner rush. That means tortillas at Neusta Cocina are always fresh, authentic, and undeniably delish.
Beyond their menu, Neustra Cocina’s Chef Benjamin hosts cooking classes at the restaurant monthly! Participants will cook (and eat) a three-course meal, instructed by Chef Benjamin!
For a casual night out or to catch a drink with friends, we handpicked a few of our favorite bars. First on the list is Ancestry Brewing — choose between 23 different “family crafted” beers and ciders. The Hawthone location has a large outdoor patio and indoor bar seating. Plus, they don’t skimp on their food menu. Their nori brussel sprouts and buffalo chicken sandwich are killer.
The Richmond Bar is cozy and romantic inside. The perfect place for long conversations with friends and first dates. A few years ago, the bar added a heated, enclosed patio area for patrons who want to sit outside regardless of the winter weather.
Shops and Activities
There is so much more to do besides stuff your face in Richmond — catch a movie at the Bagdad Theatre, shop Hawthorne’s thrift stores, browse Powell’s books, shop home decor, or maybe… get a tattoo?
Let’s start off at one of the neighborhood's oldest buildings, the Bagdad Theatre. When the theatre opened in 1927 they played silent films with a live orchestra. Now, the theatre is owned by McMenamins and rotates through new releases. If you are brave, visit the basement bathroom, where guests feel a strong presence lurking in the corner. Spooooky.
Across the street from the theatre is Portland’s second Powell's Books location. Lose yourself in rows of books, trinkets, and artwork. Browse the shelves with a friend, or get comfy in one of the store's lounge chairs with a book and stay for a while.
While on Hawthorne Blvd, save our Map of Hawthorne Thrift Shops. There are so many shops, save yourself the time and use our pre-curated guide!
Whether you are covered in art or looking for a high-quality first tattoo, check out Adorn’s incredible artists. Adorn has earned the reputation as one of Portland’s top tattoo and piercing studios over the years. Be sure to book an appointment ahead of time — their schedules fill up quickly!
Before you head home, swing by Birds and Bees Nursery and Roosevelt’s Terrariums to liven your home. Birds and Bees has unique houseplants, outdoor plants, succulents, and wonderful staff to help you choose the right species for your home environment. Roosevelt’s Terrariums has DIY kits to design and personalize your own terrarium. If you are stuck, Roosevelt’s also offers in-person classes!
Compared to the Portland communities we have recently featured, Richmond embodies true urban living. No matter where you live in the neighborhood, you are never further than four blocks from Hawthorne Blvd, Division St, or Powell Blvd.
The neighborhood is highly rated for “young professionals” who enjoy a lively everyday environment. This neighborhood is ideal for those who prefer to travel by foot or bike, versus by car. Richmond is dense with amenities, making travel around the neighborhood incredibly convenient. In fact, Richmond has a walkscore of 90 and a bike score of 97.
No matter where you are in Portland, there is no lack of unique homes, both new and historic!
Portland Monthly recently featured a “Modern Masterpiece” designed by Fieldwork Architects in their Property Watch column. The curb appeal itself is breathtaking, with slatted black screening and grand windows. The home features a spa, 529 sq. ft. of outdoor gardens, multiple private patios, and sleek design throughout. The home was recently sold for a whopping $2.25 million. Take a look!
Traveling back 129 years, the Joseph Kendall House is one of Portland’s oldest homes, built in 1892. The Victorian-style home and the accompanying guest house sit on .35 acres of land. Appliances, plumbing, and electrical have all been recently updated, but many original design elements remain (including all 5 original fireplaces)! It was registered as a historical landmark in 1979.
Popo & Archer Take Richmond
Today was a great day! Know why? We got to hang out with our dads, run around off-leash, say hi to other dogs, and take a solid nap to wrap it all up. We started the day at Sewallcrest Park and zoomed around their off-leash area, sniffing and playing with other dogs. After we got out a good amount of energy, we took a short walk on the park’s paved paths. We must have wiped our dads out... because after a while we drove to Cha Cha Cha where they had margaritas and tacos. The nice waitress brought us each our own bowl of water (we aren’t very good at sharing). Overall, a great day!
Richmond… for those who live for bustling city life and a sprinkle of the absurd. If you are looking for a Portland neighborhood with incredible proximity to restaurants, bars, shops, activities, and nightlife, Richmond might be the ideal place for you. But, to be sure, go ahead and reach out to us here. Let’s chat!
Skip to the Bottom…
Find links below to everything we covered in this blog (plus a few extras)
Food & Drinks:
- Waffle Window
- Tarboush Bistro
- PDX Sliders
- Ancestry Brewing
- The Richmond Bar
- Ava Gene’s
- Neustra Cocina
- Pok Pok
- Spaceroom Lounge
Shops & Activities:
- Bagdad Theatre + Pub
- Map of Hawthorne Thrift Shops
- Powells books
- Birds and Bees Nursery
- Roosevelt’s Terrariums
- QuarterWorld Arcade
Popo and Archer’s Favorites!
Eager to continue exploring Portland? Thinking about moving to our beautiful city? Check out all of our featured community blogs and find the perfect Portland neighborhood for you!