Weekend Wanderings: The Nines Portland

Photo Courtesy of The Nines

With a sprawling food scene, one of the best Saturday markets in the country, and no sales tax (hellooo, shopping!), Portland is one of the most appealing road trip weekend destinations. A three hour drive from Seattle, this is one of our favorite cities to visit. Portland is lovely any time of the year, but even nicer from now through late fall.

Where to Stay

Our favorite place to stay when we visit Portland is The Nines. Conveniently located in the heart of downtown Portland, the Nines is a Luxury Collection Hotel by Marriott and brings a new level of style, eco-consciousness, and hospitality to the city. The rooms are spacious and are full of luxurious amenities. They also have two stellar restaurants located inside the hotel (one is a rooftop bar!).

The Nines occupies the top nine floors of the historic Meier and Frank Building, and pays homage to the building’s history as a beacon of high fashion with its trendy lobby decor. The Nines also has a curated collection of more than 400 pieces of local Oregon artwork, including sculptures, paintings, and custom installations.

A destination in itself, the beautiful historic building is the ideal home base for exploring downtown Portland. Browse nearby boutiques, dine in the trendy Pearl District, or use the eco-friendly MAX Light Rail to explore nearby gardens, museums, and unique neighborhoods that pepper the lively city. The Nines also has an onsite concierge that can help provide additional information or assist with reserving tickets and transportation.

Photo Courtesy of The Nines

Where to Eat

Urban Farmer

Urban Farmer redefines the modern Portland steakhouse with a food menu and beverage program focused on local and sustainable fare. The sophisticated farmhouse setting is perfect for any occasion, whether you’re having a fun dinner out with friends or a romantic date night. Located in the atrium of the Nines, Urban Farmer serves breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner, so you can really visit any time of the day.

The menus at Urban Farmer reflect an emphasis on Northwest ingredients and simple, straightforward preparations. They offer a range of beef options including grass-fed Oregon beef, pasture-raised, grain-finished beef, as well as corn-fed beef. Urban Farmer’s beverage program extends the theme of local and sustainable with a 350-bottle wine list, beer selections from the Portland city limits, and cocktails made with Oregon spirits. Urban Farmer creates a connection between the diner and local farmers, ranchers, distillers, and winemakers.

We had the pleasure of having dinner at Urban Farmer, and as expected, everything was absolutely amazing. We definitely recommend the beef tartare, the oysters, and the twice baked fingerling potato tart with white cheddar, bacon, and chives. If you’re a meat lover, then you have to do the New York steak tasting, which comes with three 6oz cuts of grass-fed, corn-fed, and dry aged steaks. You can elevate your steak even further with additions like blue cheese truffle butter and bone marrow.

The menus at Urban Farmer change seasonally, and right now we’re itching to go back and try the Dungeness crab risotto and the duck breast. The dessert menu at Urban Farmer is fabulous as well, featuring scrumptious dishes like the butterscotch sundae and the orange hazelnut cake. Dining at Urban Farmer is truly an experience that you won’t soon forget.

Urban Farmer. Photo Courtesy of The Nines


We all love a rooftop bar, and what makes Departure even more special is the phenomenal food. Located atop The Nines, Departure is an escape from the ordinary Asian restaurant, offering a journey into sophisticated surroundings with innovative modern Asian cuisine and breathtaking downtown Portland views.

From street food-styled starters and meal-sized classics, to rice and noodle specialties, to ethically-sourced sushi, Departure Portland embraces the bounty of the Pacific Northwest to deliver the fiery flavors of the Far East. Whether steamed or stir-fried, smoked or sautéed, each dish leads guests to another stage along Departure’s culinary adventure.

Departure features both an a la carte “arrival” menu, and a “departure experience” tasting menu. The arrival menu features shareable classics that pair well with cocktails and conversation. With delicious offerings such as sashimi, tempura lobster nigiri, spicy pork belly, and kabocha squash, there really is something for everyone.

The departure experience menu is seasonally inspired and comes with three courses for $60/person. The first course includes starters such as oysters, tom kha, and roasted beet salad. Next up there are both sushi and dim-sum options, similar to those on the arrival menu. The main course offers delectable entrees like the Alaskan salmon and Ishiyaki steak. Desserts are offered a la carte and include a vanilla bean cashew cheesecake and a chocolate mousse with matcha crumbles.

Departure. Photo Courtesy of The Nines

What to Do

There is so much to do in Portland, you honestly need more than a weekend to do and see it all! However, some of our favorites are the Portland Japanese Garden, Washington Park, and the Portland Art Museum. The Portland Saturday Market that takes place on the waterfront is also a must, and you have to check out the iconic Powell’s City of Books. If you’re up for venturing a bit out of the city, Multnomah Falls is absolutely stunning and is only 30 minutes from downtown. It is also the third largest waterfall in the nation.

We have no doubt that you will have a fantastic stay in Portland. Happy traveling!