Exploring the Central Eastside

After a year in our new location, here is what we have learned about our new home.

It seems like just yesterday that Urban Works relocated to the heart of the Central Eastside. As the new kids on the block, we set out to explore our new stomping grounds to get a feel for the up-and-coming neighborhood. Here are some of our discoveries:

The Parking Situation Fix:


Parking in the Central Eastside, especially around our office on Water Avenue and Yamhill Street, is a little spotty (bad pun fully intended). If you’re unable to find street parking, don’t despair, there are a couple of lots available for public use at reasonable rates. Keep your eyes and ears open regarding the 3 vacant blocks on Water Ave between Taylor and Madison Streets. The highly anticipated development, known as the ODOT Blocks, is zoned “General Industrial” and if rumors are true, parking is included in these development plans, along with retail and office opportunities.

The Restaurant Scene:

Boke Bowl

While brown bagging it is preferable, it can also be very boring.  Luckily, there are a number of outstanding eateries within walking distance for when we find ourselves in need of a quick(ish) bite. Here are a few of our favorite spots in the neighborhood:

Boke Bowl:  You know ramen, it’s the noodle brick with the salty powder that costs 30 cents-a-packet, right? Boke Bowl will completely change your take on the dorm room staple. Their version of the noodle soup features outstanding broths with ingredients you would never expect. Our favorites include the Carmelized Fennel Dashi Ramen, Fried Chicken Steam Buns, and the Warm Brussel Sprout Salad.  Boke is celebrating 5 years as a brick-and-mortar eatery this Black Friday the 25th.


Bunk Bar:  The sandwiches at Bunk are works of art. You can’t really go wrong with any of the sandwiches, but if you are looking to break your diet, the meatball sandwich is epic. With a crunchy yet soft hoagie roll, house made meatballs packed with flavor, and marinara and cheese, you can’t top it. On a hot day, try the Iceberg, it’s a blended margarita mixed with beer, and it’s perfect.

Wayfinder Brewery:  The newest addition to Portland’s brewing industry is poised to become the go-to neighborhood brewpub. From homemade soft pretzels to the wood fired grill, we haven’t had enough time to try everything on the menu!

Kure:  A new staple in our diets. Working above Kure Juice is addictive in the best way. The Bowl of the Gods has saved us on many days that we were in too much of a hurry getting out of the house to have a good breakfast.  We are also firm believers in drinking some extra nutrients during flu season to keep us healthy.

Retail in the Neighborhood:

Grand Marketplace

The Grand Marketplace:   Looking for a vintage sign? Need an overstuffed leather chair? Maybe a repurposed old army footlocker would be the perfect addition to your garden. The Grand Market Place is jam packed full of knick-knacks and ephemera that will give your eyes a workout. If you need something to do on a rainy day, visit The Grand Marketplace and explore their collection.

City Liquidators:  Always worth a cruise through to find something you never knew you needed! But trust us, you want it.

Sheridan Market:  One of the only grocery options in the neighborhood, Sheridan has a great selection of grab-and-go lunches, fresh produce, a meat counter, and a gourmet deli with a menu of hot or cold sandwiches.  They feature daily food specials on the grill out front – put in your order, go pick up some groceries, pay, and collect your lunch on the way out the door!

Beware the Train:

It never fails. If you need to get somewhere fast, the train will barrel through and your plans will be forfeit.  It’s not unusual to see a line of cars filled with seething commuters waiting impatiently for the seemingly endless train to cease its incessant horn blowing and pass already!!!  Working in the Central Eastside is great, don’t get me wrong, but we have a love/hate relationship with the train.