Andrew and I are self-proclaimed foodies so for our honeymoon, we wanted to go where there is yummy food (and places to hike to burn some calories so we can eat more food). We also did not want to travel too far before our move to another continent, so we decided on a short trip to the foodie cities of Portland and Seattle.
This is what we did, saw, and ate for our 6 day adventure in the Pacific Northwest.
We flew from San Francisco to Portland in the morning, picked up our rental car, and explored downtown Portland.
No trip to Portland is complete without a visit to Powell’s City of Books, one of the largest new and used bookstores in the world. It’s located in the Pearl District and occupies a full city block. We probably could have spent hours in there, but our parking spot had a 2 hour limit.
For lunch, I got Chicken & Rice from Nong’s Khao Man Gai, a little food stand in downtown Portland. It’s a Thai chicken and rice meal that is completed with this amazing garlicky-gingery sauce of deliciousness. You can compare Khao Man Gai to Hainan Chicken, but the sauce is what really makes it.
For dinner, we went to Pok Pok, a Southeast Asian restaurant serving food found at pubs, restaurants, homes, and on the streets of Thailand. The place reminds us of our trips in Southeast Asia, but much cleaner. We ordered the Spicy Fish Sauce Wings that were crazy spicy. While it was yummy, San Tung still has my heart for saucy wings. We also ordered the Claypot Glass Noodles with Prawns that was very good. I don’t even like shrimp, but that was a very enjoyable dish. Salt & Straw was right next to the Pok Pok location we were at, but we were too full to stand in line and order.
We stayed at the Shiloh Inn & Suites in Portland next to the airport (I was being cheap) because I bid on a hotel room on Hotwire and that’s what I ended up with. Once I found out, I freaked out cause their rooms look like a time machine from the 1980′s, but called and asked for a renovated room and was pleasantly surprised. Staff was nice for an airport hotel, place was clean, but quite outdated. For what we paid for, we were happy. Plus, they have free wifi and free hot breakfast in their restaurant!
For our morning snack, we picked up donuts from Blue Star Donuts, as recommended by many friends as better than Voodoo Donuts. I don’t even like donuts that much, but these were REALLY good. I thought Andrew and I would just 2, one of the each of us, but when Andrew got to the cashier, he said, “We’ll get half a dozen.” I looked at him shocked that we would eat 6 of those sugary fried thing, but I was really happy that he actually got 6 cause they were so good.
Then, we drove to Multnomah Falls. From Portland, it’s about a 30 mile drive to the Falls. We arrived there late morning and had trouble finding parking at first so if you go, definitely go early or late. We did the Multnomah-Wahkeena Loop hike and loved it. It’s a 4.9 mile hike with a lot of uphill and some of the most beautiful waterfalls and cascades. This hike was definitely less crowded than the Multnomah Falls/Benson Bridge area and I would highly recommend it to any of our friends, but only if you are up for a challenge. It took us 2.5 hours to complete the 4.9 mile hike.
After our long hilly hike, we drove 2 more miles down the Historic Columbia River Highway to Oneonta Falls. I confess, I totally found this place on Buzzfeed’s 29 Surreal Places in American You need to Visit Before You Die, but this was definitely a fun, short 1-mile hike. It’s out and back. There were lots of other hikers there, but I imagine that if there were less people, fairies would fly through.You wade through the water (the water went up to my stomach) and climb log jams to reach another beautiful waterfall. You will definitely need to wear shoes (or water shoes) on this hike since you’re walking on rocks and logs.
Thank goodness we got 6 donuts cause I totally ate another one on our 3-hour drive up to Washington’s historic Salish Lodge where we stayed for 2 nights.
The Salish Lodge is a luxury resort getaway about 30 minutes east of Seattle with views overlooking Snoqualmie Falls. This was a splurge and treat for us, but even their lowest category of rooms had an oversized jetted tub and a fireplace. Staff was friendly and immediately sent us champagne and truffles.
We pampered ourselves at The Spa and had lunch in The Dining Room. We both got massages. While neither of us felt “wow’ed” by the massage experience, we felt extremely relaxed following our treatment. The best part of The Spa was their co-ed therapeutic mineral pools, steam room, and sauna. I loved smelling the eucalyptus and relaxing there.
We had a Honey-Glazed Chicken Cobb Salad and soups from The Dining Room overlooking the Falls. Salish Lodge is known for their honey as they have their own herb garden and beehives. It wasn’t heavy, but it filled us up. It was pricy, but we were treating ourselves. 🙂
Snoqualmie Falls is beautiful and huge. There is a nice downhill and then uphill hike from the lodge to the bottom of the falls right next to the hotel. The hike brings you down to different viewing points of the waterfall and eventually to the bottom.
We then drove from the Salish Lodge to Seattle where we stayed at a cute modern Airbnb apartment 7 miles away (20 minute drive) from downtown.
We picked up a Cuban sandwich from Paseo, Seattle’s “Legendary Sandwich Shop” and enjoyed it overlooking the views of Seattle from Kerry Park. This park is extremely small with very little shade, but it definitely had some of the best views of Seattle.
One of our good friends gave us a gift card to get ice cream at Molly Moon’s, so we got ourselves a sundae before dinner. Molly Moon’s is a great ice cream shop with locations all over Seattle that uses ingredients from the Pacific Northwest to create fresh and creative local flavors. Thanks Ash!
For dinner, we went to Shiro’s Sushi Restaurant. Shiro’s was opened by an apprentice of Jiro in Japan (made famous by the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi). I never had omakase style of service, but I quite enjoyed it. Uni was so fresh and our server was really nice. Andrew claims that the sushi he had here was the best he ever had.
Out of guilt and in preparation to eat again, we went for a run around Washington Park Arboretum.
Then, we explored and walked around Pike’s Place. Yes, we saw the pig, the flying fish, the fresh flowers, the gum wall, and the first Starbucks. We got our clam chowder and salmon chowder from the famous Pike Place Chowder (clam chowder was better), raw oysters from Jack’s Fish Spot (made famous from the Travel Channel), smoked salmon pate Piroshky from Piroshky Piroshky, and greek yogurt from Ellenos Real Greek Yogurt (my favorite thing I ate during this entire trip; I would eat this over ice cream any day). I even ordered a second one (passion fruit and mango flavors) to bring back to eat for breakfast. So good!
For dinner, we ended up at Din Tai Fung near the University of Washington as recommended by our Airbnb hosts. I love Din Tai Fung and have been to all their locations in Taipei and Arcadia. They’re clean restaurants that serve my favorites of Dan Dan noodles and Xiao Long Baos. Like all of their restaurants, you can watch them fold these little explosion dumplings. This location however, was located in an outdoor mall and looked like an upscale chain restaurant (like a nice P.F. Chang’s). The wait was 2 hours, but we got a seat at the bar in about 20 minutes. Food was standard for Din Tai Fung (nothing to rave about as I always enjoy my meals at Din Tai Fung), but it was an experience since I never thought I would eat Chinese dumplings and noodles from a bar. Din Tai Fung’s soup dumplings has now made its way into the American palette. It just needs needs to open up in SF Chinatown.
We joined Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour and learned about Seattle’s history. Did you know that the first floors of most of downtown Seattle (at least the old part) is actually the second floor because of their sewage problems or that the term “Skid Row” originated from Seattle because they used to skid logs down the street? I also learned that Seattle public schools were initially funded by Madame Lou who ran the most prestigious parlor house.
Following our tour, we enjoyed lunch at Serious Pie. We went to the location at the Starbucks Roastery. It was SO good. They serve wood-fire pizzas. I especially enjoyed their simple margarita pizza. I love pizzas that are light and airy. We also enjoyed our tea and coffee from the Starbucks Roastery & Tasting Room while we were there. Yay for all the Starbucks cards we’ve accumulated over the years!
After chilling out at the Starbucks Tasting Room, we headed to the Seattle Airport to conclude the end of our Pacific Northwest Honeymoon. I am sure we’ll be back though. We can’t say no to all those yummy foods.