Moving to a new city is always challenging. And a large part of that challenge is looking for a place to live. There are so many things to consider-house styles, neighborhood safety, quality of schools, the convenience of location-it all can be quite overwhelming.
That’s why we’ve done the research for you, so you don’t have to. You’ve no doubt seen our Portland City Guide, which includes a short section on a few of Portland’s most popular neighborhoods.
This list is an in-depth neighborhood guide meant to examine what it’s like living in each of these highlighted areas, with links to popular destinations, as well as available houses for sale and apartments for rent (and by the way of introduction, we’re Bellhops—Portland movers and movers throughout the country).
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This once-misfit city of self-proclaimed weirdos is the current hot-spot in the mainstream spotlight. With amazing restaurants, breweries, distilleries, coffee shops, events, music venues, art, and outdoor destinations, Portland is one of the best cities to live in, and each year its drawing thousands of new residents.
Portland is split into four quadrants, divided by I-5, Hwy-26, and I-84. The Westside of Portland holds most of the suburban or residential neighborhoods with more newly constructed homes and condos. Eastside has some of the cities older neighborhoods and emits that quirky and delightful Portland feel with neighborhood shops, eclectic restaurants, and walkable streets.
So, whether you’re looking for a quiet residential space or a nightlife that buzzes until morning, we’ve found the Portland neighborhoods that are growing most rapidly. Look below for our list of 7 up and coming neighborhoods in this trending city.
This family-friendly neighborhood has some of the best schools in Portland. Its easy public transportation, cute homes, and local attractions make the historic Sellwood-Moreland the home to many happy Portland families. With beautiful residential streets plus plenty of city amenities, Sellwood-Moreland feels like a mix of urban and suburban.
Sellwood-Moreland is packed with activities for all ages. It’s home to movie theaters and amusement parks as well as scenic riverfront woodlands. Shop through the antique malls and indie stores like Stars and Fuchsia. Or sample some of the neighborhood’s best local restaurants, like Reverend’s BBQ, A Cena, Papa Haydn’s, or Jade Bistro & Patisserie.
Schools in this neighborhood include Sellwood Middle School, Creative Minds Learning Center, and St. Agatha Catholic School among others.
Housing in this area is less expensive than neighboring regions, making it a great spot for younger families or Portlandians on a budget.
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One of the tiptop places to live in Portland is the downtown Pearl District, chock-full of chic boutiques, galleries, and dining destinations. It’s best known for its diverse mix of regional and local breweries and is close to Powell’s City of Books and the Art Institute of Portland. And locals hit the pavement during Pearl District’s monthly art walk.
Pearl District is one of Portland’s most walkable areas. And its streets are clad with cobblestone and riverside docks. Previously an industrial area, Pearl District is now packed with community events, breweries, restaurants, and local shops.
Check out Bullseye Projects and Annie Meyer’s contemporary painting gallery. Visit the neighborhoods many craft breweries like Deschutes, Rogue, and 10 Barrel. Sample the eclectic cuisine at Mediterranean Exploration Company, Irving Street Kitchen, Piattino, and Zaatar. Or grab some tapas with a group of friends at Andina.
Schools in this neighborhood include Lincoln High School and Da Vinci Middle School among others.
Pearl District offers a variety of housing options – from historic homes to contemporary apartments.
Nob Hill is one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods and stands out as authentically Portland. It’s packed with boutiques and locally owned restaurants and sits close to Forest Park’s 70 miles of nature-dense hiking trails. Residents commonly walk or bike to their destinations – like Pizza Schmizza or City Market NW or to the neighborhood’s plethora of salons, cafes, boutiques, and bars.
This district isn’t as expensive as Pearl District yet, but there’s just as much to do. Visit the picturesque rose and Japanese gardens. Check out Besaw’s, or grab a beer at Breakside. For sweets, visit Papa Haydn and sample some late-night cake. On rainy days, grab a hot cup at the Tea Chai Te lounge, and head over to one of Portland’s best-known indie-theaters, Cinema 21.
Schools in this neighborhood include Lincoln High School, Chapman Elementary School, Metropolitan Learning Center among others.
Nob Hill has a number of Victorian style homes, restored Craftsman, and newer condos, apartments, and lofts.
Goose Hollow offers some of the best varieties of activities in Portland with a pleasant mix of shops, restaurants, and residential streets. The area’s great location (a walk or bike ride away from downtown), easy public transportation, and affordable homes have piqued the interest of many young professionals and families in the area.
Though it’s only blocks away from the bright and new renovations of the city, Goose Hollow offers its own vibe, which tilts more toward historical and residential. It’s close to some of the best schools in the area, and its homes are tucked away on the western edge of the neighborhood boundary, making its streets feel quiet and private.
Goose Hollow is close to Washington Park, the Oregon Zoo, and the Portland Japanese Garden. Its also steps away from Providence Park, home of the Portland Timbers – the city’s professional soccer team. The Artist Repertory is Portland’s longest-running theater company and plays great shows regularly. Coco Donuts and Little Red’s serves crafted sweets. And Ichiza’s Kitchen built a 100% plant-based menu. For dinner, visit the cozy Goose Hollow Inn and enjoy a Reuben sandwich and some beer.
Goose Hollow is close to some of the best schools in Portland. These schools include Ainsworth Elementary School, West Sylvan Middle School, and Riverdale High School among others.
Goose Hollow has a number of historic homes as well as elegant condos built into repurposed mansions. The area offers both modern and historic housing options, with single-family homes, townhouses, and apartments.
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This redeveloped corner of the city is a little easier on the budget (compared with the newest and biggest construction project, South Waterfront) but it still has tons of great amenities. Shopping, eating, drinking – Lloyd District offers some of the best of Portland without the big price tag.
Lloyd District is a shopper’s mecca. It’s home to one of Oregon’s largest mall, featuring over 150 stores and has more stores along Northeast Broadway. The Moda Center hosts NBA games and concerts. And epic events fill the Convention Center regularly. Lloyd District has a vast menu of dining options as well. Check out a few of our favorites: Blossoming Lotus, McMenamins, Citizen Baker, and Pine State Biscuits.
Schools in the area include Irvington Elementary School and Benson Polytechnic High School among others.
The Saturday Market, Voodoo Doughnut, Lan Su Chinese Garden. These are Portland’s front-stage stars, and they’re all in Old Town. This section of Portland merges with downtown and continues north along the Willamette River. Smattered with historical architecture, quirky shops, and nightlife hubs, Old Town Chinatown, has unique destinations everywhere you look.
While the area is brimming with amenities, more shops and restaurants keep opening. A recent addition the Pine Street Market. This hot lunch-stop acts like Portland’s version of NYC and D.C.’s trending “food halls.” Grab lunch made by an array of local chefs and test some of Portland’s tastiest samplings – from ice cream to bratwurst, BBQ, and artisan bread.
Pop into Stumptown Coffee, one of the city’s most popular cafes. Step onto the streets on weekend nights when Old Town closes to cars and transforms into a party. Enjoy live music, creative cocktails, dance clubs, and late-night eats along this entertainment district.
Shop for wool blankets and rustic home decor at one of Portland’s oldest businesses, Pendleton Home. Explore the underground Shanghai Tunnels that tell of Portland’s historical past. And grab a bite to eat at Mi Mero Mole or the long-standing Dan & Louis’ Oyster Bar.
Schools in the area include Northwest Academy, The International School, Ainsworth Elementary School among others.
Downtown and Old Town are becoming more expensive to live in, but there are a variety of options from newly constructed condos to quirky single-family homes.
This fun and funky neighborhood is known for its energetic street fairs, eclectic cuisine, and indie shops. Alberta residents are made up of a blend of ethnic backgrounds, and the neighborhood’s stores and restaurants reflect the diversity of the region.
Alberta bursts with festivities when independent vendors, artists, and shoppers gather in the streets on the last Thursday of each month. New shops are moving through the area, from Pilates studios to vegan cafes. Salt & Straw scoops handmade, small-batch ice cream. Little Big Burger serves beer with its sizzled patties. And the Waffle Window food cart adds creative culinary twists to a traditional breakfast dish.
Schools in the area include Alliance High School, Ainsworth Elementary School, and Benson Polytechnic High School among others.
We hope this was helpful, and if you decide to take the plunge, don’t hesitate to reach out to your friends here at Bellhops. As we said, we are Bellhops—movers in Portland and throughout the country and we would love to help.
We've done the research and made our selections for the best neighborhoods in Portland for 2019.
Portland has so many suburbs it can be really difficult picking the best one (they're all awesome). We're here to make that choice a little bit easier with our 2019 guide to the best suburbs in Portland.