The Yo! Store
935 N.W. 19th Ave., Nob Hill
Shopping in Portland is supremely satisfying because there’s a higher concentration of small-batch goods than mass-produced items. The Yo! Store is the perfect example. It’s a thoughtfully stocked boutique where you’ll find Portland-made skin care (we see you, Olio E Osso), accessories, and ceramics lining the shelves next to tiny racks of European-made children’s clothing and vintage dresses. There’s also a handsome offering of art books and homewares. If you’re looking for a distinctive thank-you, hostess, or birthday gift, you’ll find it here.
Gem Set Love
720 N.W. 23rd Ave., Nob Hill
Home to thousands of pieces of fine vintage, antique, and estate jewelry, Gem Set Love (formerly known as Gilt) has been a destination for collectors and casual shoppers alike throughout its 20-plus years in Northwest Portland. Brides-to-be flock here from around the country for the impressive collection of estate engagement and wedding rings with stunning, well-preserved diamonds and precious stones, as well as bracelets, brooches, necklaces, and earrings, each in hard-to-find, if not totally individual designs. With prices ranging in the low hundreds to the several thousands, there really is something here for every budget. This is a reliable place to bring in your own well-loved jewelry for repairs, too.
925 N.W. 19th Ave., Nob Hill
Hilariously, this local bike shop made its mark with a bike sock featuring the pattern of Portland’s beloved airport carpet. Their gorgeously designed retail space is home to design-conscious bike gear and apparel, and it also serves as a small gallery space for owner Jeremy Dunn’s eclectic, sports-focused projects. He’s collaborated with local artists on limited-edition athletic wear, and put on quirky exhibitions, like last year’s display of vintage Blazers memorabilia from a friend’s garage.
Bamboo Sushi NW
836 N.W. 23rd Ave., Nob Hill
Bamboo Sushi has four locations spread among Portland's quadrants: SW, NW, NE, and SE. Each location varies slightly; they all have a casual vibe and really good sushi (in addition to hot Japanese dishes). You can make table reservations but seats at the sushi bar (always fun) are first come first serve. What makes Bamboo different than most other sushi restaurants is that they take a lot of steps to be as sustainable as possible. For example: They don't serve fish from endangered populations; their seafood is caught by fishermen who operate under environmentally ethical principles; and their meat comes from ranches in Oregon/Idaho, and is grass-fed, hormone-free, and free-range. Bamboo Sushi use renewable energy sources, reusable teak wood chopsticks, biodegradable to-go containers, and so on.
Salt & Straw
838 N.W. 23rd Ave., Nob Hill
The small-batch ice cream business, which cousins Kim and Tyler Malek launched out of a single neighborhood ice cream parlor, has grown into a family of shops, including three in Portland (here in Nob Hill, and in Richmond and Alberta), plus a stall in Pine Street Market. The focus at S&S is on inventive flavors: salted caramel cupcake, pear & blue cheese, avocado & strawberry sherbet. On the flip side, their single-origin vanilla is some of the best we’ve ever had. For those who aren’t fortunate enough to live near a shop, the seasonal Pints Club, which sets you up with five unique pints every month and delivers them right to your door, is an excellent option.