About the Hawthorne District
The Southeast Portland Hawthorne District spans from SE 12th Ave to SE 60th Ave and includes a range of residential homes and local businesses. Named for the founder of Portland’s first mental hospital, Hawthorne Boulevard is now known for its liberal residents, hip cafes and shops. The Hawthorne District’s alternative vibe and progressive reputation (residents once notably came together to successfully protest the installment of a McDonald’s on the Boulevard) makes it attractive to a wide variety of residents and small business owners, and the Hawthorne District is home to some of Portland’s most characteristic Craftsmen style homes, unique restaurants, and off-beat retail shops.
The Hawthorne District isn’t technically an actual neighborhood in Portland! Though the area is well known and established among residents, almost to the point where most don’t know the truth, the Hawthorne District is not recognized among Portland’s nearly 100 neighborhoods.
Additionally, it wasn’t always called Hawthorne Boulevard as its original moniker was “Asylum Avenue” – though this was changed in the 1800s for obvious reasons.
Getting to Hawthorne District
The Hawthorne District is located on Portland’s Eastside – meaning East of the Willamette River – in Southeast Portland. The Hawthorne District spans from SE 12th Ave to SE 60th Ave.
Things to do in Hawthorne District
Some of Portland’s best food is found along Hawthorne, from the thoroughly Portlandia experience of The Waffle Window and the various eats at Cartopia (Potato Champion in particular is worth a trip), to fiendishly good sandwiches at Devil’s Dill and Lardo, or cozy breakfasts at Jam or Fried Egg I’m In Love. For pizza lovers there’s a few fantastic spots to choose from like Blackbird, Hotlips, Rovente or Apizza Scholls, and for those more inclined to Mexican head to ¿Por Qué No? for a spicy feast and some of the best margaritas in Portland.
The largely liberal and youthful population has made Hawthorne a vegan dining destination in recent years, offering fantastic cafes like Harlow, The Whole Bowl, and Next Level Burger for strictly veggie eats and a vegan option on nearly every other menu in the area. For other health conscious folks, New Seasons Market offers local and mainstream groceries as well as deliciously diet-friendly salad, sandwich and burrito bars and an unrivaled produce selection.
In addition to the abundance of fantastic eateries, the Hawthorne District is home to some of Portland’s best and most unique retail shopping. An afternoon spent lost in House of Vintage is a rite of passage for any Portland resident, as is a stroll through Jackpot Records. For some grown-up fun, try the Portland Cider House or the Hawthorne Hideaway, of course the Bagdad Theatre and Pub is a legend for a reason and well worth a visit too, and be sure to check out whose playing at the Hawthorne Theatre which is known for its eclectic performances.
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