What Starbucks is to Seattle, Stumptown Coffee Roasters is to Portland. Yet, despite being a Portland native, I’ve never been to Stumptown. I prefer their beans served at Barista, a cafe with four locations in the “City of Roses.”
In addition to rain, the Pacific Northwest is known for its coffee. So, if you want a true like-a-local experience beyond a sugary Starbucks drink (that’s also served on practically every other corner in America), don’t leave Portland without savoring the contents of one of Barista’s white ceramic cups.
I first discovered the rich, frothy drinks with my mom. Founded in 2009 by “Rock Star Barista” Billy Wilson, Barista has locations in central parts of the artsy city: Pearl District, Alberta District, Downtown Portland and Nob Hill (Northwest Portland).
At the Alberta location, grab an open booth and peer out the window at the nearby street art or take in Barista’s own vintage-looking decor that features beige Victorian quatrefoil wallpaper and shelves of knickknacks such as clocks, a stuffed pheasant and giant animal horns.
City lovers will enjoy the chic brick exterior of the Pearl District location, just blocks from the fountain tide pools at Jamison Square and the famous Powell’s City of Books. And if it’s raining, which it most likely will be, cozy up with a real mocha from Barista in Nob Hill after shopping for clothes and stationary on 23rd Avenue.
Clients who visit Portland will probably want to experience the hip local culture, complete with evergreens, flannels and coffee. Don’t let them settle for Starbucks when they can sip decorative latte foam at a genuine Oregonian cafe.