Alberta Arts District: 9 Things to Know

Several of Portland’s best restaurants may be found in the Alberta Arts District, which has a laid-back, alternative attitude.

In Portland’s eccentric northeast, the Alberta Arts District is located 15 minutes from the city center.

From 11th to 24th Avenue along NE Alberta Arts District, there are thirteen blocks of the primary dining and shopping district.

1. A Brief about Alberta Arts District

NE Alberta’s tree-lined streets are lined with bright murals, old-fashioned wood-framed storefronts, and an unmistakably independent attitude.

There are many things available in the Alberta arts district like vintage clothes, delicious food at tin shed garden café, inventive ice cream, Portland staples, outdoor patios, drinks, etc.

Modern, low-rise housing complexes have snuck in and started to show signs of gentrification.

The cuisine culture in this formerly working-class district rivals that of any major city, and it has maintained its own identity (minus the pretentiousness).

Inconspicuous pubs selling comfort cuisine prepared in a gourmet style together with beers and beverages may be found in the welcoming and laid-back restaurant scene.

2. Location of Alberta Arts District

Up until you pass Northeast 14th Avenue and enter the Alberta Arts District, northeast Alberta Arts District is typically a residential neighborhood.

Normally, the district is not regarded as a neighborhood. Yet, its vibrant and distinctive atmosphere draws tourists from all across the city.

Vernon, Concordia, & King neighborhoods surround the district.

The majority of the bars, restaurants, and clothing stores in Alberta Arts District also double as galleries, with a variety of artists’ work displayed on every wall. They exhibit the neighborhood’s passion for the arts.

3. Food and Beverage Options 

  • The trendy local roaster, Case Study Coffee provides seasonal java in a welcoming café with warm wood beams, green potted plants, and lots of natural light. Start your day with a cup of full-trade coffee there.
  • One of Portland’s most well-liked (and dog-friendly) brunch spots, Tin Shed Garden Cafe, and Case Study Coffee share a terrace. Get a full breakfast bowl or the “Everything Good,” a sampler platter stuffed with potato cakes, French toast, & scrambled eggs.
  • At The Bye and Bye, a vegan eatery and hangout where locals eat bowls of brown rice, and BBQ tofu, and unwind with a mason jar of alcoholic peach lemonade during lunchtime.

At Urdaneta, savor sophisticated tapas from Spain. Bold flavors are served on visually stunning platters in a relaxed setting. The house artisan cocktails, Spanish wines, and sherries pair well with each dish. Do not be misled by the Bollywood Theater’s moniker; there is no entrance fee.

See a Bollywood film while indulging in Indian street food small plates like lamb samosas, pig vindaloo, or sweet and sour cauliflower. Learn about saké at Zilla Saké which serves more than 70 different kinds of beverages and is located in Forest Grove, west of Portland. Allow the knowledgeable staff to serve you a flight; experts can also suggest the best sushi matches.

4. Murals and Street Art 

Together with specifically designated gallery spaces such as Alberta Street Gallery, is lined with murals and galleries of all sizes. Although Monograph Bookwerks specializes in art books, it also features a chic gallery with prints and paintings.

You can view local printmakers’ artwork or take part in a workshop at Flight 64.

Explore a variety of art forms at the several galleries on the street, including Alberta Arts District Gallery, Nucleus, and Antler, which both feature modern art and handmade crafts.

Recently, Black artists & storytellers from Alberta Main Street worked together to educate visitors about the neighborhood’s history

5. Live Events 

Alberta’s famous monthly street market, Last Thursday, returns in the summer. First Thursday in the historically more artistic district is counter to First Thursday in the more affluent Pearl District.

There is never a bad time to visit the Alberta Rose Theatre, which anchors the neighborhood’s east end and hosts live performances, comedy shows, art house movies, and other events all year long.


Nearly every day of the week, Alberta Arts District Pub features live music, with many artists performing throughout the day on weekends. The enormous terrace outside is fantastic.

More than 150 local exhibitors, live music on several stages, kid-friendly activities, a beer garden, and more can be found at the Alberta Arts District Fair, which takes place in August.

6. Shopping 

Alberta Arts District is ideal for leisurely shopping strolls because of all the boutiques, galleries, and independent stores there.

Visit Tumbleweed next door for a variety of dresses & accessories created by independent designers for casual but gorgeous locally-made clothing.

Designers, artisans, & small production facilities in the United States produce vintage-inspired clothing and jewelry at the Amelia store.

Frock sells a unique assortment of accessories and clothing that is both vintage and made locally.

Alberta Arts District
Photo by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash.

Portland women laud The Pencil Test, a welcoming store with a tiny selection that is almost guaranteed.

You may get non-toxic toys and organic children’s apparel at Grasshopper.

Green Bean Books are ideal for families.

7. Get Creative

Do you feel inspired? To satisfy your desire for creativity, visit Collage. You may find all the supplies you need at the well-stocked art supply shop to create artwork, jewelry, cards, mixed media, or drawings.

Online classes are available for novice & intermediate sweater makers through Close-Knit, which also provides yarn and knitting, and crocheting tools. Before you visit, browse their vast collection of yards online or get advice from their helpful team.

Desiring to stitch yourself some new clothes or aspiring to join Portland’s countless successful Project Runway contestants? For sewing lessons and open sewing times on their collection of Bernina machines, stop by Modern Housekeeping.

At Bolt Fabric Boutique, a variety of materials are available. Close-Knit, the yarn store next to Bolt, attracts admirers with its creative sample projects, fantastic yarn variety, and kind employees.

8. Soaking Some Self-Care 

Ivy Chuang, the business’s owner, creates all-natural cosmetics, bath products, and herbal cures at Blendily using local, organic, fresh ingredients.

Visit the neighboring McMenamins Kennedy School’s outdoor soaking pool for more tranquility.

9. Must Places to Visit in the Alberta Arts District

Instead of driving, it is better to use a bicycle or go on foot to fully explore the area. Also, visiting on an empty stomach can help you appreciate the variety and quality of the culinary alternatives you find along the journey.

The neighborhood has a very friendly vibe, and each business owner patronizes and recommends the others’ establishments.

9.1. Dine at Urdaneta

No matter if you are a vegetarian or a meat eater, Alberta Arts District restaurants and pubs always have something to offer.

The cuisine of Urdaneta combines traditional Spanish flavors with a variety of contemporary adaptations.

Visitors can bring back the entire world’s supply of libations and tapas thanks to the restaurant’s laid-back atmosphere. Essentially, it blends strong and substantial Spanish flavors

Also, the open kitchen and bar at Urdaneta give a sense of communal and cozy dining, giving customers a front-row view of everything as it happens.

9.2. Enjoy Drinks at Expatriate

Owner of the renowned Beast Restaurant Naomi Pomeroy’s newest endeavor is this. The cuisine of Expatriate is varied and cross-cultural, with Burmese influences.

Vintage movies and vinyl music will establish the mood for you as you sip cocktails and dine on Chinese sausage corn dogs.

9.3. Taste Indian Food at Bollywood Theater

No. It makes no mention of the Indian cinema industry. Instead, you can sample some of India’s famous street food in its original form.

The flatbread kati rolls, which are typically stuffed with meat or cheese, pickled onion, an egg, and green chutney, are among the authentic Indian foods you may sample at Bollywood Theater.

9.4. Salt & Straw for All Ice Cream Lovers

Nothing beats a tasty scoop of creatively created and handcrafted ice cream at Straw & Salt while strolling through the Alberta Arts District’s lanes.

The renowned Straw & Salt is one of many ice cream shops in the neighborhood.

9.5. Explore the Gallery of Alberta Arts

Every street contains art, always. The district gallery aims to highlight this through its talented and active cooperative artists.

The gallery exhibits top-notch works in a range of media.

Moreover, there are sculptures, pottery, photographs, jewelry, glass, metalwork, and fiber pieces in the collection.

9.6. Visit Antler Museum

Neil Perry and Susannah Kelly share ownership of Antler Gallery. It frequently features pieces by artists the two adore.

You’ll notice that the gallery places a strong emphasis on nature as you look around.

Moreover, a charity exhibition is held in January in conjunction with the Portland Audubon Society. It is a fundraiser for endangered species protection and awareness.

9.7. Explore Studio Redbird

Everything in Studio Redbird is handmade, including original art prints, baby products, accessories, stationery, etc.

These crafts were created and made by the owners themselves. You can stop here if you want to shop for some creative and homemade presents. 

9.8. Shop at Last Thursday of Alberta Arts District

Portland’s Last Thursday continues to be one of the district’s most recognizable monthly events more than 20 years after it first began.

It brings together individuals representing various works of art, cultures, and communities. Each month’s final Thursday also sees participation from charities and small companies.

Nobody allegedly owns, manages, or produces Last Thursdays. Everyone is invited to promote and take part in this grassroots event.

By late spring through September, the district’s  Last Thursday transforms the outdoors into a bustling scene with craft sellers, local artists, musicians, performers, festivals, and more. Typically, it begins at 4 PM and ends at 9 PM.

9.9. Mural Spotting

It can be difficult to miss the vibrant and vivid murals in this neighborhood. Furthermore, without the stunning murals, the district would not be called such.

While you stroll across the area, take some pictures in front of these enormous artworks.

Final Note

The dining experience at Alberta Arts District is supposed to be memorable. Eating dinner & dessert at these restaurants is more social because of the open kitchen & dining rooms.

While the menu is constantly changing, there are always lots of vegetarian & gluten-free alternatives among seafood and meat meals.

So, explore the beautiful Alberta district of Portland and share your experience in the comment section. 

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Pooja Thakur

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