Portland is known as the “Silicon Forest” with the biggest anchor tenant being Nike who are based just outside of town, (don’t expect to see many locals walking around wearing Puma or Adidas!). The city is a hub for software, athletic/outdoor products, advanced manufacturing and ‘green’ building / tech. Portland is one of the most environmentally friendly and green cities in the world. Known also for its large number of microbreweries and micro-distilleries, as well as its coffee enthusiasm and a fantastic food scene.

WHERE TO STAY

  • THE EASTLUND – a great spot right by the Portland Convention Center on the East Side of town, close to the cool neighborhoods across the river from Downtown.
  • PORTLAND MARRIOTT DOWNTOWN WATERFRONT – great location near Downtown Portland, OMSI and the Portland Saturday Market.
  • HOTEL ROSE – right on the waterfront close to the transit and freeways and very reasonably priced.
  • ACE HOTEL PORTLAND – Portland outpost of the hip and trendy hotels in most major US cities. Located in the increasingly trendy West End with plenty of shops, restaurants and bars right out your front door. Stumptown Coffee is attached to the lobby.
  • HOTEL MODERA – is a great spot with clean modern rooms plus the hotel bar has the perfect summer patio – perfect for business meetings of relaxing.
  • SENTINEL HOTEL – built in 1909 a historic and iconic luxury hotel with an awesome bar (Jackknife) and restaurant – “Jake’s Grill”.
  • HOTEL DELUXE – offers the best service in Portland in a quiet neighborhood and with an awesome old Hollywood feel.
  • THE NINES HOTEL – is new, modern and has a fantastic rooftop restaurant and bar.

CO-WORKING

  • WEWORK – with their Portland location (Customs House) close to Downtown.
  • COLLECTIVE AGENCY – close to Wework and the Old China Town area.
  • DESKHUB – close to Downtown these guys also have office spaces in Phoenix, Salt Lake, San Diego & Scottsdale.
  • CENTRL – a favorite of ours in ‘The Pearl’ – Portland’s creative district, 10mins from Downtown Portland. We love the industrial style design and super friendly staff.
  • THE HIVE – at the Leftbank Development is within walking distance from the Moda Center (arenas) and Oregon Convention Center.

COFFEE & KAI

FOR COFFEE

  • BARISTA – comes highly recommended and they’ll even do a Flat White.
  • WATER AVENUE COFFEE – across the river East of Downtown on Water Avenue. Awesome spot if you are driving out East with a small but amazing breakfast/lunch menu.
  • STUMPTOWN – a Portland staple with multiple locations throughout the city including two in Downtown.

FOR LUNCH AND DINNER

  • POK POK – the wait for their amazing Thai cuisine will be worth it (get their early) and you can drink and do appetizers in their sister restaurant ‘Whiskey Soda Lounge” across the street – they’ll even text you when your table is ready so you can head back across to Pok Pok.
  • BAR AVIGNON – French/American cuisine in an intimate setting and a great wine list.
  • XICO – exceptional Mexican cuisine specialising in Mezcal cocktails.
  • SERRATTO is an awesome business lunch spot in Portland’s Alphabet district with amazing Italian cuisine. Serratto has also played host to a few NZTE events in recent years.
  • KACHKA – is a far cry from New Zealand but a great place for Russian fare at dinner with a slightly upscale twist and uniquely Portland vibe.
  • LECHON – a newer dinner spot with outstanding ‘South American’ cuisine. After dinner stroll the river as the restaurant is across the street to Waterfront Park.
  • LAURELHURST MARKET – ‘THE’ spot for meat-lovers. They have a great beer selection, excellent wine pairing and creative cocktails. In traditional butcher-shop style they break down all of their meats in-house and have a butcher shop attached to the restaurant. Upscale enough for a business meeting and low key enough for dinner with friends and colleagues.

NIGHT SPOTS

  • IMPERIAL – is a downtown Portland gem attached to Hotel Lucia with great cocktails and snacks. Open until 11pm so a great ‘first stop’ if you stay out late.
  • CIRCA 33 – an Eastside winner with throwback vibes to the prohibition era and a ‘secret room’ that’s a local secret spot.
  • DEPARTURE – on top of the Nines Hotel.
  • CASCADE BARREL HO– USE – has a plethora of Belgian style sour beers. We have it on good authority they have a golden stout that has a full stout flavor and feel, but you can see through the glass. Apparently very cool and delicious for any stout drinkers out there!
  • GROUND KONTROL – a bar that’s also a gaming arcade (with Beer Holders on each arcade game), gets rave reviews from NZTE’s team!
  • DRINK EXCHANGE – has variable price drinking, based on demand (like the stock exchange), so you can easily score $1 beers.
  • HUBER’S – is your spot for Spanish Coffee late at night. Portland’s oldest restaurant, this place is an event just to watch the bartenders light sugar rims and 151 on fire.

COOL HUNTING

  • Portland is quintessentially ‘West Coast’ often referred to as one of the coolest cities in the US. In terms of cost of living it’s relatively cheap with a great liveable downtown area. Portland is also a city that’s all about food and beer. There’s an amazing food scene with some of the best listed in ‘Coffee & Kai’. Even more unique to Portland is the food truck scene.
  • There are food trucks located all over the city and usually grouped together in vacant lots. Anything from Asian to Italian, ice cream to fried Mars bars. They are inexpensive, quick, and host a wider verity of foods to choose from. You’ll find many of the NZTE team and kiwi companies swing by the food trucks for a quick and delicious lunch during a busy day of meetings.
  • As well as being a foodie city, Portland is also a mecca for CRAFT BEERS and spirits. There is a love affair with IPA’s too.
  • The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) is a must if you love this kind of experience. They have a submarine available for tours and many other interactive experiences for a few hours of fun.
  • We’re also reliably told the planet’s best coconut cream pie is found in Portland too, “a religious experience” at MOTHER’S BISTRO.
  • For days out hit Wine Country (lots of great Pinot Noir), Mount Hood and the Oregon Coast. Information on food & wine tours as well as restaurant reviews and other activities can be found HERE .

GETTING AROUND

  • Portland has an extensive transit system for a city of its size. The MAX picks you up inside of the Portland Airport (PDX) and takes you into the heart of the city. There are 5 different lines that run to outer areas in various directions.
  • If you are spending the day in the central city, ride the PORTLAND STREETCAR. It runs to all parts of the central city and shaves a lot of time getting from one side of downtown to the other. Download a map online and take a look in advance.
  • You’ll also notice there are a lot of bikes — bike rentals are plentiful. If you rent a car keep your eyes peeled for bikers at all times as they come from every direction. UBER or  LYFT is also everywhere in Portland.
  • Portland is not an overly formal place. The only people in a suit and tie are typically defense attorneys, real estate and insurance agents. Much of the business community is okay with a slightly less formal appearance. That said know your audience. Larger companies do tend to have some formalities and dress codes, despite it being a city dominated by baristas and musicians!
  • Organizations like the PORTLAND DEVELOPMENT COMMISSIONGREATER PORTLAND INC. are a great resource for help and support in getting set up. For a wealth of further information on relocating and starting up in Portland check out the PORTLAND RELOCATION GUIDE and OREGON STARTUPS

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