The Indie Spots Where Portlanders Shop, According to Lyft Data

Charley Locke - Feb 13, 2024
Illustration by María Jesús Contreras

Lyft riders know: It’s easy to stay home, but it’s more fun to experience the world with friends and family. This guide uses aggregated rideshare data to find the restaurants, bars, and other destinations that Lyft customers love — and inspire your next trip out.

Portlanders take pride in the quirkiness of their local small businesses. (Where else can you buy a Bigfoot air freshener, stress corn, and kaleidoscope glasses all in one shop?) But, according to Lyft data, Stumptowners particularly love the indie shops on this list — offering everything from thrifted clothes and furniture to used books to cannabis. Read on to shop like a Portland local.

Popular Portland destinations, ranked by number of Lyft rides

Hometown Behemoths: Powell’s City of Books and the Nike Company Store

If you’re a reader headed to Portland, you have to make a pilgrimage to Powell’s City of Books. The literary gem of the Pacific Northwest takes up a full city block on the edge of downtown, claims to be the largest independent bookstore in the world, and offers about a million books. Make sure to check the calendar for upcoming literary readings — you never know who you’ll come across at Powell’s.

Another beloved Portland company you may have heard of: Nike. Headquartered near the suburb of Beaverton, the brand has two visit-worthy options: the Nike flagship store downtown and the Nike Company Store in Beaverton, which offers steep discounts to those who can snag a guest pass. (You’ll need to cozy up to a Nike employee or affiliate to get on the list.)

Thrifting Galore: House of Vintage and Memory Den Antique Mall

Portland is full of secondhand shops, but if you happen to walk by racks of flannels on bustling Hawthorne Street, you’ve arrived at one of the most popular. House of Vintage offers 13,000 square feet of secondhand clothes from 60 dealers. 

Lovers of secondhand furniture and knick-knacks head to the Memory Den Vintage Mall. Located in a 1930s warehouse on the industrial Central Eastside, the vintage mall has over 140 vendors, offering home décor and furniture for all tastes. Don’t miss the impressive wall of vintage radios.

Ready to Play: Guardian Games and Jackpot Records

A city as rainy as Portland requires ample home entertainment. Guardian Games in Buckman has thousands of board games and the knowledgeable staff to steer you toward a new favorite. (Feel free to ask a member of the staff to recommend a local BYO-game bar.) They also host plenty of game nights for tabletop RPG players.

Turntable fans may already be familiar with Jackpot Records; the beloved Portland LP emporium in Richmond releases records on its own label, largely reissues of out-of-print or hard-to-find albums. Peruse the racks to find an old favorite — or a new release that catches you by surprise.

420-Friendly: House of Pipes (NE Broadway), Dispensary on 52nd, Floyd’s Fine Cannabis

Recreational marijuana has been legal in Oregon for nearly a decade, long enough for a budding industry to take root. There’s a well-trafficked dispensary in nearly every neighborhood, including Floyd’s Fine Cannabis outposts in Irvington, Reed, and Rose City Park, and The Dispensary on 52nd just outside Creston-Kenilworth. For smoking accessories, look no further than the House of Pipes.

Hunting for Gems: Portland Night Market and Portland Saturday Market

Why limit yourself to one shop when you can peruse hundreds of vendors at a festive market? Operating since 1974, the Portland Saturday Market in Old Town brings together local crafts of all kinds — wooden rocks, tarot card readings, Nepalese food, Star Wars parody art. Go on Saturday mornings from March to December (rain or shine) to explore the open-air marketplace. 

The Portland Night Market, which takes place on select Friday and Saturday evenings from November to April, is equally worth a visit, showcasing over 175 beloved and up-and-coming food carts and artisans. The markets are often themed, so each iteration is different: The first Legendary Makers Market, featuring Asian American–owned businesses, drew 13,000 guests; Snack Fest hosted a Fried Chicken Throwdown and a ball pit in an enormous caviar tin.

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