The STANDARD H Travel pages are our version of city guides presented by our founder, Wesley Smith. These are places he's traveled, enjoyed, and recommends, so they're all vetted and what we refer to as STANDARD H verified. These lists will evolve, so check back often and travel safe!
"When I was in my early 20's I worked at a fairly nice steakhouse. It was there where I began learning about wine, and as a huge fan of Pinot Noir (prior to watching Sideways & Netflix documentaries!), Willamette was somewhat of a pilgrimage. It was quite convenient that I'd love Portland, as well." - Wesley
Deschutes Brewery Portland Public House
210 NW 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97209
I have been a longtime fan of Deschutes beers. Introduced to Portland breweries by way of Rogue Brewing (and their delicious Dead Guy Ale) my attention was soon grabbed by Deschutes while becoming a big advocate of their Mirror Pond Pale Ale. But it was only when I visited this place on 11th Ave when I tried their Fresh Squeezed IPA. If you're a fan of IPA's, I have a feeling you will very much enjoy this beer, as well. The food is good - I inhaled a burger when I was there, but the menu is extensive, so rest assured you'll find something you like to eat.
Pine State Biscuits
1100 SE Division St #100, Portland, OR 97202
I actually learned about PSB from a friend from North Carolina, where I'm originally from. It turns out, the three founders are, too. As a kid, I remember my elementary school's milk was Pine State Milk, which I can only assume is where the name came from, and the above address is the latest location I have visited. My first time to Portland was about 8 years ago when they still had their original location on Belmont open. That has since closed in lieu of their incredible growth of their now 5 greater-Portland locations and one in Reno, NV. I always get the sausage & egg biscuit pictured above. It's insanely good.
3377 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97202
A must-visit while in Portland. The Burrata starter is incredible, but before you even get started, order one of their many delicious cocktails. If I were a Portlandian, I could easily see myself being a regular at Ava Gene's, and it would make for a great date spot, as well. It's one of those places that feels special while not breaking the bank.
1300 SE Grand Ave a, Portland, OR 97214
What's funny about Coava is that I visited, loved the espresso, bought a tumbler mug as a souvenir only to receive a phone call from my Dad saying he wished he'd bought one, too. After a quick Google, I found out their only other location (at the time) was right here in downtown San Diego! Mug purchased - no problem. So, I'm lucky to have them close but it was that visit to what I believe is their original location that was something special. If I'm not mistaken, it's also where Jerry Seinfeld had coffee with Fred Armisen in their episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.
10880 NE Mineral Springs Rd, Carlton, OR 97111
One of my favorite makers of Pinot Noir. Granted, Willamette is known for this varietal, however, this is my favorite. Historically, Soter has done wonderful farm to table lunches paired with 6 or 8 of their best wines, and I can't recommend this enough. The food is exquisite and the wine, well, I think I've mentioned I enjoy it. The Mineral Springs Ranch Pinot Noir is my go to for the money. If you want to go whole hog, however, I do think the splurge on the white label is worth it. It's so, so good.
691 OR-99W, Dundee, OR 97115
Argyle is located inside a modern day barn with a beautiful interior. It's open to a larger tasting area out back, and though I do like their Nuthouse Pinot Noir, it was their Sparkling wine I actually enjoyed most. There are several vineyards close by, so I suggest heading here first and exploring the area, especially if you're limited on time.
6905 Spring Valley Rd NW, Salem, OR 97304
Famous for their "Four Ladies", Cristom has a gorgeous property set back from the road perched up on a hill. My Dad and I were in Willamette on a father/son trip when we visited and the experience was great. The charcuterie board was perfectly paired with our tasting and the service was awesome. Oh yeah, the wines are great, as well. I ended up having several bottles shipped including one of their Roses, which was a pleasant surprise. It really is amazing to taste the nuances of wines grown so close to one another...but that's kind of what makes wine great, isn't it?