The Hawthorne neighborhood is the darling of the eastside and the backbone of the Organic Corridor. This commercial strip stretches from the Hawthorne Bridge all the way to Mt. Tabor Park (at 60th avenue) and was the first neighborhood on the east side of the river to really take flight. The ever expanding heart of Hawthorne is found between 30th and 39th and features anchors like the Baghdad (pub) Theatre, a Powell’s Books, many cafes and
coffee houses, gift shops, wine stores and even a pasta shop and upscale delicatessen.

There are many neighborhood highlights to be found heading east on Hawthorne from downtown. Here are some of my favorites. Near Hawthorne and 18th, you can’t miss the Barefoot Sage, reputed to be one of Portland’s best massage spas. Also at 20th and Hawthorne, you’ll find the Bombay Cricket Club(1925 SE Hawthorne, 503-231-0740), a fantastic Indian restaurant. I recommend this place to everyone, but I wouldn’t try going without a reservation…even on a Tuesday night.

The Jaxx Club - ImbibeA little further up the street, you’ll come across Imbibe (Hawthorne at SE 23rd),
a jazz bar that has live music almost every night of the week. Across the street from Imbibe is Hawthorne’s Grand Central Bakery. The Kalamata Loaf is a personal favorite of mine. A neighborhood sized Safeway is located at about 30th. Use this Safeway when you want a quick in-and-out versus the doing a full shopping stop at the big Fred Meyer located at 39th.

The Bagdad Pub TheaterThe heart of Hawthorne features anchors like the Baghdad Theatre (at 37th), an old pub theatre that shows second run movies and occasional classics. Grab a beer, burger and sit down in one of their comfy chairs for the movie.

I like Chez Machin (3553 SE Hawthorne, 503-736-9381) for Sunday brunch with its selection of savory and sweet crepes. Other restaurants in this stretch of Hawthorne that stick out are: the new beatnik hangout, the Gold Dust Meridian (at 33rd); My Thai Bistro (at 35th, 503-230-9288); Three Doors Down (1429 SE 37th, 503-236-6886); and the Hawthorne pioneer, Bread and Ink (3610 SE Hawthorne, 503-239-4756).