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On the Road with Rare Device

On the Road with Rare Device

Oregon Edition!

with Giselle Gyalzen

A few weeks ago, I spent a collective week in Portland and the Oregon Coast. I’ve been to Portland a number of times in the past few years and have really enjoyed each visit. So far, my favorite time of year has been April. All of the flowers were blooming and the temperature was so mild. I walked everywhere and really enjoyed the city’s beauty.  During this last visit in August, we also took the time to explore the coast. None of us has ever been and we were excited to poke around. We stayed in Manzanita, which was a little less than 2 hours drive away. 

I have family that recently relocated to the area and I plan to see them often, so I’m collecting a list of all the amazing food and shopping that the area has to offer. I’m sharing it here with you so that you can hopefully enjoy it too! If you have any stories about any of the places mentioned, or if you want to add something to the list, please leave a comment! It’ll be fun to collectively share.


Mantel storefront in Portland

MANTEL - I first heard about Mantel through Instagram and when I visited Portland back in 2018 I made it a point to come here. During my visit, I met the owner, Karen. Her store is amazing. We talked shop and shared stories, she was so nice! Karen is a ceramicist herself and has such a good eye for design, the product curation is just so great. To this day, we still message each other for shop advice and stories. Mantel is definitely a must visit and is the first store I recommend to people when they ask me. It’s a sight for sore eyes!

SOLABEE - It may come as no surprise but I am a sucker for plants and flowers, they bring me so much joy. Walking into Solabee instantly relaxes me - there’s the way the store looks for sure, but also there’s something about the way it smells. They sell both indoor houseplants and fresh cut flowers. The store is not big but it is packed with the most amazing things. I also loved their tiled floor at the N. Killingworth store! 

Pistils NurseryPISTILS - Another lovely plant store! The N Mississippi store has a greenhouse/patio in the back that’s filled with pots and plants. I love perusing here. There’s an outdoor area too! They also have a robust online store and ship plants so it’s a good option even if you’re not in Portland. 

Kiriko in PortandKIRIKO - I walked by this store and had to stop in my tracks to take a peak. Am I glad I did. This shop is full of Japanese treasures. It almost feels like I’m in a store in Tokyo. There’s a lot of ceramics and textiles like denim, shibori, shirts, button-ups, haori jackets, and so much more. 

Cargo store in PortlandCARGO - Cargo is a true variety store. I can spend hours here looking at everything in this 2 storey store. They have everything from teeny tiny keepsakes all the way to furniture. I can’t find words to describe it, you just have to visit at least once and be prepared to take it all in. They also host pop-ups that they call the Emporium, they are basically small stores within the store. In the multiple times I’ve visited I’ve seen a jewelry maker, stationery, candles, etc. There’s also a Japanese grocery kiosk that  stocks hard to find treats! 

LISA CONGDON - RD friend (and former RD owner) Lisa Congdon has a little shop in Portland, in front of her studio. The shop stocks Lisa’s wide range of products like prints and blankets and also products that she licenses with other companies. Their hours are very limited so make sure you check before you head over. 

PAXTON GATE - This is the Portland outpost of a beloved San Francisco curiosity store. The staff here are super friendly. During one visit, 2 sales associates were opening up owl pellets and my kids and I were immediately enthralled. They were picking out little bones from it and we just watched and chatted as they did. This is on the same street as Pistils! 

POWELL’S BOOKS - I can’t do a Portland Shopping list without mentioning Powell’s. You can spend 30 minutes or an entire day here. Your call. 

Other places to see:


TENDER LOVING EMPIRE - Multiple locations

WOONWINKEL - A few blocks away from Powell’s






There’s so much good food to eat in Portland, from food trucks, to kiosks and restaurants alike. Below is a drop in the bucket.


EEM when I asked people where to eat in Portland in preparation for our most recent trip, every single one of them named Eem. It’s the hot new Thai place in town! I have to say though that I never actually got to taste the food here. One night, we tried to order for delivery around 7 but they closed ordering because it was too busy. Then on our final evening, we tried to go around 5:45 on a Saturday and the wait was 2 hours. So, fair warning to either plan ahead or get there early on a weekday if you don’t want the long wait! My friend who likes it recommends the White Curry with burnt ends!

FRIED EGG I’M IN LOVE If you like breakfast sandwiches all day, this is a good place to go to! They have a brick and mortar in Hawthrone and a food truck downtown!

Tusk in Portland

TUSK The space that Tusk is in is lovely, it’s light and airy and so relaxing. The food is even better. It’s been a few years since I’ve last eaten here but I remember the meal fondly. Tusk serves Middle Eastern and Mediterranean inspired food, and they have delicious veggie options. The Mezze Platter is a must!

GÜERO This is another one of those places that lots of Portlanders tell you to try. The menu is simple - they have Tortas (sandwiches) and a yummy salad bowl. Everything is fresh and delicious and they have nice outdoor seating. 

MONTELUPO Montelupo is an Italian market and a restaurant. They serve fresh pastas and that just makes all the difference. Lots of outdoor seating also! 

FIFTY LICKS Yummy ice cream with unique flavors like Cornbread Honey Butter and Blondie vs Brownie

MAMA DUT I have not yet been but this Vegan restaurant was featured on Netflix’s Street Food USA and they got me. The dishes look beautiful and I’m sure they also taste delicious. I also love her hair! 

WAILUA SHAVE ICE I’ve not met anyone who doesn't love Shaved Ice. Maybe you have? This is also close to Powell’s.

We only spent a few days here and most of our time was spent on the beach so we didn’t get to explore too much but here are some notable places! 


We only spent a few days here and most of our time was spent on the beach so we didn’t get to explore too much but here are some notable places! 



BAYBAY - This is a vintage furniture and home goods store. There are so many treasures to be found. When I was there, they had this beautiful green wool couch that I wish I had the space for. There’s artwork, ceramics, kitchen things, chairs, tables, and so much more.

Doju Moon 

Wild Coast GoodsWild Coast Goods 

Cannon Beach

Basalt Studio - Owned by artist Michelle Valigura. This small but mighty shop features Michelle’s work as well as  wonderful products by All Roads, Lisa Congdon, Debbie Bean, and more.



Yolk - There’s usually a long wait for a table on weekends so be prepared for that, but I can assure you that it’s worth it. The staff are warm and friendly, the food is fresh and delicious and you can tell that they have regulars that come back here again and again. Once we ordered, our food came in a flash. I overheard the table next to us comment about how fast that service was and the server said, well, the kitchen is run by women, so …. 


Riverside Fish & Chips - eat fresh fish and chips by the bay! 

Wanda’s Cafe & Bakery - I only got coffee here but the pastries and entrees looked delicious

You can also shop PNW makers and artists at our store! Check out our Portland Pals. 

Share your favorites in the comments. Happy exploring!

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