Three Portland Hotspots

Just another day standing in line in Portland.  Photo: Portland Mercury

Just another day standing in line in Portland.
Photo: Portland Mercury

Maybe it’s my East Coast upbringing, but God I hate standing in line.

No one actually likes standing in line. No one sees a giant freaking line and goes “Oh shit yea! A line, I can’t wait to stand in it!”

Unfortunately, vacation can be all about lines. Especially if you are trying to take in all the best, hottest, newest, coolest, Martha and Oprah recommended spots in a city.

The line always starts at the airport…thanks TSA!

Let me get (slightly) off topic and rant for a minute here.

Here’s a pro-tip, when you are getting ready in the morning before heading to the airport save the rest of us time and don’t have any of these on your person:

A belt

You ALWAYS, ALWAYS will be required to take off a belt, put it in your freaking carry-on if you simply cannot navigate the airport without one.

Shoes that take an incredible amount of time to get on or off

You have to take your shoes off in US airports, it’s required, so don’t huff and puff for 10 minutes uniting your hiking boots because you can be sure I will be huffing and puffing in line behind you.


No one needs change, I don’t even carry cash. You are’t going to be buying anything in the airport for $0.57, and when you have to stop the line to run back through the metal detector because you forgot the $0.57 everyone hates you.

A large bottle of lotion

I love to be fully moisturized too, but come on, everyone on the planet knows you can only carry your crap in those stupid useless tiny bottles. Stop packing Costco sized bottles of Jergens in your bag and arguing for 15 minutes with the TSA guy when he throws it away.

Other places that are horrific for lines:

Anyplace named Disney or Six Flags

I shudder even thinking about it. One of my earliest vacation memories was at 8 years old in Disney and standing in line. I can’t even remember the ride, just being incredibly disappointed that it was no way worth the wait. Plus it was hot as hell. Horrible.


I love Europe, I honestly do. But, Europeans have zero concept of personal space when standing in line. The only time in my life I’ve ever understood the concept of a panic attack is while standing in line for anything in Europe. In a cruel twist of irony one of my worst European line experiences was standing in the TSA line in Boston for a Luftansa flight, full of Europeans.



Now, let’s get to Portland

While I’m no stranger to ranting and complaining, what got me thinking about lines today was when I was on a bus to get my ZipCar in Portland today.

I passed three, yup three, places where just shitons of people were standing in line. Are the lines worth it? Can’t tell you, chances are I’ll never stand in them. But, if you’re in Portland and want to spend some of your vacation standing in line to get something that may or may not be awesome, check out these places.

Staccato Gelato

I wandered past this spot today on the way to the neighborhood Whole Foods to grab a bite for dinner. Even at 9pm, there was a line of at least 15 people going out the door and on to the street.

Rumor has it gelato is the thing in Portland, whereas home on the East Coast self serve FroYo seems to be all the trend. According to Yelp, Staccato has good very good reviews and sells donuts!

Voodoo Doughnuts

This is my third trip to Portland and every single time I’ve been here I’ve never seen no less than 1,459 people standing in line outside Voodoo Doughnuts. Because of that I’ve never even seen one of these things, never mind actually had a bite.

Greatest food on Earth?  Photo: Mike Harrington - Career Deviant

Greatest food on Earth?
Photo: Mike Harrington – Career Deviant

The line at this Portland institution is just too much for me to bear, but my foundations are shaking once I saw the most recent photos of the newest Bacon Maple Bar. I might cave. We’ll see.

Salt and Straw

According to many in the Portland area, Salt and Straw is THE place to go for amazing ice cream. Noticing a pattern with the places people are willing to stand in line here??

What makes this place hip enough for Portland (and Oprah apparently) is that it offers “farm to cone” flavors that include mixing smoked ham with black raspberries, strawberry with cracked pepper and blue cheese with pear.

I’m all about traveling the way you want, so if you are down to stand in line all over the world, go for it. But think about if what you’re standing in line for is really worth it, or just something you’re “supposed” to see.

No one has banned me from Portland because I haven’t had a Voodoo doughnut or a pickle and boysenberry ice cream cone, yet.

If you do end up hitting some of these spots, grab something for me. For research, of course.