When I travel, the main focus is almost always the food. But it’s not just because I love to eat and try new things. I truly believe that the best way to experience a city is through its cuisine. You can learn so much about the history and culture of a city by trying out the best restaurants, bars, and food trucks it has to offer. So when I booked a trip to Portland, Oregon recently, I was extra excited because in 2022 the city was named the best food city in America. I had my eating and exploring cut out for me.
I decided to stay at The Woodlark, a stylish 150-room boutique hotel located in the heart of the city, since I figured this would be the perfect base for my foodie adventure. The hotel is actually two historic buildings that have been joined together to form a stunning, elegantly appointed space. When I came in from the bustling street where the hotel is located, I was immediately struck by the peaceful (and chic!) lobby.
As I settled in, I was impressed by the cozy, luxurious interiors and the amenities, including high speed Wifi, bluetooth speakers, bathroom products from Sangre de Fruta, and the fun Bedside Botanical Menu, which lets you borrow a companion plant for your room! Health fanatics will love the pristine fitness center, which offers Peloton bikes and MIRROR fitness classes. They also offer complimentary coffee delivery to your room upon request and, as a dog owner, I loved that they can accommodate “dogs of all sizes on a complimentary basis.” Dog parents know that’s huge.
And then there was the food and beverage situation. I had come to Portland prepared. I had a long list of places I wanted to try on my trip. But I had somehow overlooked the options awaiting me in the hotel!
First I noticed the Good Coffee bar located in the spacious, light-filled lobby. The menu offered unique drinks like the Smoked Fig Latte and Hojicha Vanilla Tea Latte, which I obviously had to try. When paired with a fresh pastry, it was the perfect way to start the day.
Then there was The Woodlark’s main restaurant, Bullard Tavern, which was described as “a place where Texas hospitality and Oregon's bountiful food landscape meet.” The stunning interior was the perfect backdrop to enjoy the local, seasonal fare served at lunch and dinner. My favorite dishes were the Summer Squash Fritters, Wood Grilled Sweet Corn, and the Lan-Roc Pork Chop. Flavorful, beautifully plated, and cooked to perfection.
And last but not least was Abigail Hall. Located in the original Ladies Reception Hall of the former Cornelius Hotel, it was once the stomping ground for suffrage leader Abigail Scott Duniway, known as “the pioneer Woman Suffragist of the great Northwest.” Now this intimate, sumptuously designed space serves up a European-inspired buffet for breakfast, high tea during the day, and craft cocktails at night. (Don’t worry, I tried all the offerings.) It was so fun to enjoy a drink (or three) knowing all the history that occurred in that very room! Plus, the interior is so, so fun.
So did I actually leave the hotel to try out the restaurants on my list? Yes, I did. But I easily could have enjoyed multiple meals at each of The Woodlark’s dining options. I really couldn’t have been happier with my stay. The hotel itself was beautiful, and I loved learning about the history of the building as I enjoyed the amazing food on offer. It was the perfect base from which to explore Portland’s vibrant culinary scene. If you’re a foodie looking to visit Portland, stay at The Woodlark. Just remind yourself to leave the hotel at least a few times.