Take a Quick Tour of Portland’s Nob Hill Neighborhood
Located in iconic Northwest Portland, Nob Hill is known as an upscale neighborhood where out-of-towners and bougie locals go for shopping and people-watching. While the neighborhood’s popularity peaked for many Portlanders at the tail-end of the twentieth century — no doubt due to the rise of other more affordable neighborhoods in the east side — Nob Hill remains a charming piece of Portland’s history.
If you admire Portland’s fine dining scene, its old Victorian mansions, and its accessible public transportation, Nob Hill could be the perfect neighborhood for you. Curious? Read on to learn more about Portland’s historic Nob Hill.
Nob Hill’s Neighborhood History
If you’re struggling to get your bearings on where exactly Nob Hill is in Portland, you might recognize a few of its other names, such as the Alphabet District or Northwest Portland. Generally, the neighborhood boundaries are defined by NW 17th Avenue on the east, NW 24th Avenue on the west, West Burnside on the south, and NW Lovejoy Street on the north.
Most of the neighborhood is recognized by the National Landmarks Commission as The Historic Alphabet District, due to the area’s density of early twentieth century multi-family structures designed by the city’s premier architects and developers.
The neighborhood is also historically significant as it contains six original additions to the city of Portland, including land owned by Captain John Heard Couch. It was during Couch’s tenure as the neighborhood’s landowner that the Alphabet District moniker originated, as an 1866 city ordinance allowed the naming of “A Street,” “B Street,” and so forth, per Couch’s suggestion.
Today, Nob Hill has two central spines filled with top-notch shops and eateries: NW 23rd and NW 21st Streets. Surrounding these rows, you’ll find a wealth of craftsman and Victorian homes.
Transportation in Portland’s Nob Hill Neighborhood
While it’s exceedingly difficult to travel Portland’s Nob Hill neighborhood by car (good parking is scarce), its walkability and public transportation options make up the difference. With crosswalks and pedestrian paths at every turn, most people travel through Nob Hill by foot. Walking along 21st and 23rd is also a great way to take advantage of the neighborhood’s great supply of trendy shops and eateries.
If you live in Nob Hill and need to travel Downtown for work, the Portland Streetcar makes commuting easy. The Portland Streetcar North/South loop ushers commuters Downtown, to the South Waterfront, and to all major Max lines to help you get wherever you need to be for work in Portland.
Trimet’s line 15 also carries commuters to and from downtown, with easy accessibility to the east side. And if you prefer to go by bike, you’ll find ample bike parking and BikeTown stations, as well as bike-friendly streets like NW 17th and NW Johnson.
Where to Eat and Drink in Nob Hill, PDX
While the transportation options and historic charm of Nob Hill are appealing, the neighborhood’s main draw stems from the concentration of great food and drink options. For fine dining, Restaurant St. Jack serves some of the finest French cuisine in the city. Papa Haydn, Can Font, and Ataula are other equally delicious fine dining spots in Portland’s Nob Hill neighborhood. For a more casual bite, try Escape From New York Pizza, Boxer Ramen, or Grassa.
For drinks, make sure to take advantage of Nob Hill’s seemingly endless supply of happy hour deals. The best happy hour food and drink options can be found at M Bar, Pope House Bourbon Lounge, and the Solo Club.
Ready to start discovering what it’s like to live with some of Portland’s best dining options at your doorstep? Check out our Nob Hill neighborhood listings today!
[image via: Flickr]