arial view of Portland Oregon

We're Headed to PLA and Can't Wait to Explore

Who says you can’t intermix work and play? With PLA just around the corner, we did some research and found some awesome hotspots that are must-sees in Portland. From restaurants to coffee shops (or tea, if that’s your preference), from board game bars to donuts to cat cafes, we’ve compiled a list of OUR top ten hot spots to hit while we are in Portland for PLA 2022, and we can’t wait for you to check them out. 

Library Taphouse and Kitchen

#1. Library Taphouse and Kitchen

What: Brewery, restaurant, and study space (with a twist!)

Where: 615 SW Harrison St. Suite B Portland, OR 97201

Why you should visit:

Located in downtown Portland, the Library Taphouse and Kitchen was established based off of Portland’s adoration for good books and brews. They understand, no more than ever, that people need a safe community space to gather, encourage conversation, and tell stories over a handcrafted meal. They specialize in handcrafted cocktails, quality American craft beer, and a stellar food menu with a twist. Inside the space, their bookshelves are stacked high with over 100 of the best local and regional craft bears and infamous library cocktails. This incredible establishment ties together the best west coast brews with well crafted stories on their origin, bringing storytelling to an entirely different level. Their goal? To celebrate community and increase person-to-person connectivity. Whether you’re wanting to tuck away with a good book at their bar or share stories with friends over a few beers, the Taphouse is the place to go.

Central Library Portland

#2. Central Library

What: Library in Multnomah’s library system

Where: 801 SW 10th Ave, Portland, OR 97205

Why you should visit:

Libraries have been a part of Portland’s history for as long as it has been a city. The Library Association of Portland was established in 1864, and in 1890, a different group of Portland natives decided to construct the Free Reading Room and Library Association (which was eventually renamed the Portland Public Library), and eventually merged with the Library Association a decade later.

It wasn’t until 1900 that the Library Association received a life-changing request from John Wilson, a Portland businessman. He had left the Association with more than 8,000 volumes of his personal collection and $2,500 worth in gold coin.  He was adamant that the books be made available to the public, free of charge. The Association hired Head Librarian and first professionally trained woman to hold the position, Mary Frances Isom, to manage the Portland Public Library, which opened to the public on March 10, 1902.

In 1911, Isom and the board purchased the Portland block bordered by 10th and 11th Avenues and Yamhill and Taylor Streets to design a brand new building. Initially open in September of 1913, the building stood strong for eight decades before eventually closing for another two years of construction due to structural and technological issues.

Today, many of the original Georgian Revival architecture, contemporary art, the grand staircase, and massive light fixtures can still be seen and admired throughout the library. Central Library is home to 725,000 books and is a must-see for all librarians and book lovers.

Powells book store

#3. Powell's City of Books

What: Infamous book store

Where: 1005 w. Burnside st. Portland, OR 97209

Why you should visit:

Powell’s City of Books is famous within the library community. Powell’s is an independent bookseller that has been serving Portland since 1971 to advocate for their love of books and celebrate their passion with the community. Powell’s roots are originally located in Chicago, where Michael Powell opened his very first bookstore in 1970. His father, Walter Powell, enjoyed his experience working with his son at the bookstore so much that, upon his return to Portland, he opened his own used bookstore (Powell’s City of Books). Today, Powell’s is a cornerstone of the Portland community, providing used, new, hardcover, and paperback books on the same shelves, operating 365 days per year. Stop by and chat with knowledgeable and dedicated booklovers who will guarantee you a phenomenal experience!

Dragonfly Coffee House

#4. Dragonfly Coffee House

What: Coffee Shop

Where: 2387 NW Thurman St, Portland, OR 97210

Why You Should Visit:

A cozy community coffee house is exactly the type of vibe that Portland is known for. Independently owned and operated, the Dragonfly earns its reputation for treating all customers like “regulars,” and combining their exceptional espresso with unique and delicious homemade pastries. They aim to please, so stop by and stay awhile. 

Tea Bar

#5. Tea Bar

What: Boba Tea Shop

WhereTea Bar Division 4330 SE Division Portland, OR 97206, Tea Bar Pearl 1055 NW Northrup Portland, OR 97209 

Why you should visit:

Tea Bar’s mission is simple: to make high quality tea approachable. With their curated menu, every drink they offer is made fresh to order, with no powders, artificial flavorings, or dyes. CEO and Founder, Erica, opened Tea Bar at the age of twenty-three after living in China for two years. Their boba is made daily using grade A tapioca pearls and their tea selections are solely sourced from certified organic family farms from all over the world. Frequent Tea Bar goers rave about their multiple dairy alternatives and use quality sourced local ingredients. A bonus? More than HALF of Tea Bar’s beverages are consumed in reusable mason jars, which helps the planet.

Lan Su Chinese Garden

#6. Lan Su Chinese Garden

What: Tourist hot spot

Where: 239 NW Everett Street Portland, OR  97209

Why you should visit:

Authentically built in 2000 and absolutely beautiful, the Lan Su Chinese Garden offers an incredible experience inspired by a 2,000-year-old Chinese tradition that intermixes art, architecture, design, and nature harmoniously. No matter the season, Portlanders and visitors from all over come to the garden to partake in the depth and abundance of experiences it offers. The garden is owned by the City of Portland and contracts with non-profit Lan Su Chinese Garden to maintain the garden and keep it running. We know your schedule is jammed packed with PLA items, which is why the garden is so great! They offer multiple tours on a daily basis, and there is no registration required.

Purringtons Cat Lounge and Cafe

#7. Purringtons Cat Lounge and Cafe

What: Cat Lounge and Cafe

Where: 3529 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Portland, OR 97212

Why you should visit:

If you’re a cat person, this hotspot is a no brainer. Serving the citizens of Portland since 2015, Purringtons Cat Lounge is the only and best cat cafe in the city. Enjoy a coffee, tea, glass of wine, beer, or delectable food items in the communicable cafe portion of the establishment, or head over to the Lounge, where adorable and adoptable cats are waiting for all of the pets. Purringtons works side-by-side with the Cat Adoption Team to support their mission of finding loving, permanent homes for cats. Whether you’re looking for a furry family addition or hot cup of Joe, Purringtons won’t disappoint.

Blue Star Donuts

#8. Blue Star Donuts

What: Donut Shop

Where: Blue Star HQ 1701 SW Jefferson St. Portland, OR 97201, Southeast Division 3325 SE Division St. Suite 1 Portland, OR 97202, North Mississippi 3753 N Mississippi Ave. Portland, OR 97227, South Waterfront 668 S Gaines St. Portland, OR 97239, Portland Airport Concourse E 7000 NE Airport Way Portland, OR 97218

Why you should visit:

With a plethora of locations, Blue Star Donuts are the talk of the town and are arguably the best place to snag a decadent dough ball of deliciousness. In 2012, Blue Star developed their mission to “create gourmet donuts with fresh herbs, spices, fruits, and liquors in unique combinations, unlike anything a donut had ever experienced. Our Executive Pastry Chef, Stephanie Thornton, invents each flavor with an adventurous spirit and quality collaborations that celebrate the creativity and diversity in our communities. We strive to create delicious and unforgettable mouth moments – for grownups and not-so-grownups alike!”

Blue Star patrons and newbies can enjoy anything and everything; from their signature 18-hour brioche dough to their vegan cake donuts, from buttermilk old fashioneds to classic donut bites, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Not only do they have their ingredients and recipes down to a science, but they nailed their sole purpose on the head. Blue Star is a firm believer that donuts bring people together, and when we are unified, we are better. No hate, no drama, only donuts. Right on, Blue Star!

Game Knight Lounge

#9. Game Knight Lounge

What: Board Game Bar

Where: 3037 N Williams Ave Portland, OR 97227

Why you should visit:

Game Knight Lounge is a Portland favorite that is a solid addition to the city’s unique, fun, and innovative scene. An Oregon first, Game Knight is dedicated to creating a fantastic board game experience for all of the Pacific Northwest, and they definitely live up to expectations. With over 700 board games, customers can play, laugh, wine, and dine on rustic American style food that has an Asian flare for only a five dollar cover. Game Kight Lounge believes in the motto of “the more People, the more Games, the more Fun!” We couldn’t agree more.

Alberta Arts District

#10. Alberta Arts District

What: Neighborhood in Portland

Where: Alberta District

Why you should visit:

If you like art of any kind, then Portland’s Alberta Arts District is for you. Murals and galleries line the streets, and local art is always for sale at businesses such as Ampersand and Tin Shed. Workshops are also popular in this part of town, where you can get hands-on experience from local artists and affiliates.

Recently, Alberta Main Street collaborated with local Black artists and storytellers to teach visitors like you about the neighborhood’s history. Between 11th Avenue and 24th Avenue, Black Heritage Markers can be observed on the sidewalks to commemorate Black history.

In addition to increible art, street shopping is all the rage in the art district. Stop at Collage to get art supplies, or hit up Close Knit to browse the yarn, knitting, and crochet supplies. Want to blend in like a local? Check out Tumbleweed, a retailer that sells indie-inspired dresses and accessories. No matter where you end up in Alberta’s Art District, you won’t be disappointed.

Have Questions About PLA? Don't Worry. We've Got You Covered.

Attending PLA? Check out their website for more information. If you’re interested in the Virtual Conference, the schedule has been expanded and improved. 

Want to know more about our booth? Here’s the rundown:

    • Where: Booth #1257
    • When: March 23-25
    • What: We are going to be showcasing all of our newest features and improved services. Stop by our booth to meet the team, check out all our amazing services, features, and ways that LocalHop can benefit you, your library, and the communities you serve.
    • Why: This year, we are giving our awesome attendees some incentive. For a chance to win some super cool prizes such as a library themed gift basket, socks, notebooks, tote bags, money, and more, all you have to do is stop by LocalHop’s booth to be scanned or take a quick survey. It’s that easy!
    • Bonus: Just because we’ll be away from our hometown doesn’t mean we can’t have a bit of midwestern fun. In true Michigander fashion, we’re bringing our favorite game of corn hole (and our competitive spirit), to play with attendees. Be sure to bring your A-game!

Additional Resources

Want to learn more about LocalHop’s services? Send us a message at, give us a call at (248) 952 9800 or request a demo.