Canteen

Canteen, Portland, Oregon

October, 2010. It was our fourth wedding anniversary, and we wanted to go out and celebrate with a nice meal. Not hard here in this city — so I donned a dress and some lipstick and put on my nicest heels and we headed out. We went to a restaurant with a James Beard award. Silly me for assuming that people would get fancy. What was I thinking?

In order to watch the celebrated chef cook our meal, we specially requested to sit up at the counter, where we could keep tabs on the food and take in the action of the kitchen. As my rabbit was prepared in front of my eyes, two dudes sidled up to the bar next to us, just out of the corner of my eye. I looked over and, for just a second, thought, “Are those guys homeless?”

They weren’t homeless at all — they probably lived in fancy houses in the Hawthorne neighborhood. But that’s our hipsters for you. This incident spurred a game that we play sometimes, guessing whether someone is a hipster or a hobo. As I sat there, in my high heels, ordering a fancy anniversary dinner, our hipster friends sipped at their tall boys of Miller High Life and ate their impeccably cooked burgers. Long live the Portland hipster.

Canteen, Portland, Oregon

Canteen feels like hipster ground zero. The juice, fresh pressed in front of your eyes by burly raw food enthusiasts, is great. It’s a place where our beloved hipsters with face tattoos feed their three-year-olds walnut taco crumbles and fresh pressed ginger juice. It might be indie Portland heaven.

In the summer, there’s no better place. The people-watching on Stark is good, the chairs are comfy (or try the long old-growth timber bench running the length of the restaurant) and you can kick back and drink fresh juice while you people watch and play my favorite game. Highly recommended: The Walnut Taco salad and Super Veggie juice.

Canteen, Portland, Oregon

Canteen is at 2816 SE Stark St. in the Sunnyside neighborhood – just watch out for hipsters. Follow them on Twitter for even more juice.