Mill Park Neighborhood Guide
Features of the Mill Park Neighborhood
Because Mill Park is in East Portland, it has a mix of both developed and undeveloped areas. The northwestern corner of Mill Park has most of the action, thanks to its proximity to Mall 205 and the presence of Adventist Health next door in Hazelwood. This area is up-and-coming, and you can notice it along the main thoroughfares, which are Start St., 122nd Ave., and Division St.
Interestingly enough, Mill Park is surrounded almost entirely by the Hazelwood neighborhood. Since Hazelwood is being developed more, Mill Park is getting some of the action. The area has seen a recent influx of new arrivals, which has helped to increase the property values. Although the neighborhood itself is small and doesn’t have a ton of businesses, Hazelwood and Powellhurst-Gilburt to the south do. So, residents don’t have to go far to find amenities and retailers.
East Portland Community Center
Most of the larger neighborhoods in Portland have some kind of community center, but only a few are worth mentioning. One of them is across I-205 in Mount Scott, and another is right here in Mill Park. The East Portland Community Center has more than you would expect. One of the highlights is a massive indoor pool, complete with a water slide. You would almost be forgiven if you thought you had wandered into a water park like Great Wolf Lodge.
Beyond the pool, the community center has everything you could need, including a fitness center, kitchen, banquet hall, outdoor playground, rock-climbing wall, and even an indoor basketball court. Best of all, the place has free wifi for guests, so you don’t need to leave anytime soon. Overall, East Portland Community Center is a jewel of the Mill Park neighborhood.
East Portland Community Center – 740 SE 106th Ave.
Mill Park Businesses of Note
Although there are three major boulevards that cut through Mill Park, this neighborhood is relatively light on new and exciting businesses. Fortunately, if you know where to look, you can find a few hidden gems. Even better, we’ve done the searching for you so that you don’t have to waste any time.
These days, when you go into a sushi place, you’ll notice that many of the dishes come with a spicy mayo sauce. For a long time, the only place to get it was at one of these restaurants, but now you can find it in most grocery stores. Interestingly enough, Fujiyama is the originator of this sauce, at least according to the owner and founder, Timmy Nguyen. What does he call it? Timmy sauce, of course. Although he serves it here, apparently he created it while working at his original restaurant, called Fuji’s. Since then, it has become a staple of sushi eateries everywhere.
While the origins of Siracha mayo are fascinating, the food at Fujiyama is the primary reason to visit. Each dish is made with fresh ingredients, and you can tell that the chefs take pride in their work. Although this restaurant is one with a rotating belt, you don’t have to worry about food sitting out for too long. While they do rotate dishes quickly, most of them are taken before they reach the end. Feel free to order individual dishes as well – we highly recommend the shrimp boat or the rainbow maki roll.
Fujiyama Sushi – 10308 SE Washington St.
As we’ve covered before, Mexican restaurants in Portland run the gamut. Some are dive places that have excellent authentic food, while others are more of an experience, with an emphasis on style over substance. Places like Cazador in Lents are the former, and restaurants like La Carreta in Brooklyn are the latter. As far as El Palmar, it’s kind of a mix of both.
When talking about the food, it’s delicious, but clearly caters to a more Portland-centric crowd (read: not too spicy). However, there is plenty of flavor, and you’ll get more than enough to eat. With regard to the experience, El Palmar is both a restaurant and a dance club, so it really depends on what time you visit. During the day, it’s a quiet eatery. At night, however, it gets wild and lively, with packed bodies on the floor until closing time. So, based on your preference, you can figure out when to come and eat.
El Palmar Mexican Food – 12222 SE Stark St.
Bridge City Taproom
One of the best things about living in Portland is that you can’t walk five feet without running into a taproom. Over the last 10 years, these establishments have popped up all over the place, like an alcoholic version of a fast-food chain. Fortunately, each one is locally owned and operated, meaning that you can feel good about patronizing them all, and each experience is different than the last.
With Bridge City Taproom, this place feels like a good old-fashioned sports bar. There’s nothing fancy about it, but it is far better than some of the other “dive bar” taprooms in East Portland. Since Bridge City is relatively new, it still has that fresh, clean feeling to it.
If you’re into basketball, we recommend coming here for Blazers games. However, anytime is a good time to visit, thanks to the mouthwatering menu. Bridge City specializes in delivering high-quality favorites, including street tacos, fried chicken, jumbo burgers, and fish and chips. Oddly enough, one of the most popular menu items is not something you’d expect from a taproom – cake. Regulars rave about the delicious cake options that rotate regularly, so be sure to save room for a slice before you leave.
Bridge City Taproom – 620 SE 122nd Ave.
Clutch Putt Mini Golf
When listing the most popular attractions in Portland, mini-golf would not necessarily crack the top ten. However, when you’re looking for a family-friendly activity that everyone can enjoy, nothing beats a round or two at a golf course. While there are few of these places around Portland, Clutch Putt is conveniently close.
Overall, this course isn’t as flashy or exciting as some others in the city (i.e., Glowing Greens), but it’s the perfect way to spend a couple of hours on a warm summer day. The layout is smooth and easy to navigate, and the holes can be relatively challenging for beginners and intermediate players. One of the highlights is a Plinko-style game at the end of the 18-hole course, where you can win prizes (including a free round on your next visit).
Clutch Putt Mini Golf – 700 SE 122nd Ave.
Whelan’s Irish Pub
Although taprooms and bars are plentiful in Portland, it can be hard to find a genuine Irish pub in the city. Fortunately, Mill Park residents don’t have to search high and low to get a pint of Guinness and a plate of mashed potatoes. Whelan’s Pub is a recent addition to the neighborhood (since 2017), but it has the potential to become a fixture for a long time.
As you might expect, Whelan’s dishes out plenty of Irish beer and whiskey, but the menu is just as exceptional. Highlights include the Guinness Burger (complete with a Guinness glaze), authentic Irish fish and chips, excellent mac and cheese, and corned beef fries. If you come on the weekends, you’ll be treated to either bangers and mash or shepherd’s pie. Whelan’s also has daily specials, so be on the lookout for those whenever you visit.
Whelan’s Irish Pub – 11709 SE Division St.
Parks in Mill Park
Mill Park Neighborhood Vibe
Since this area is up-and-coming, it has a nice blend of families, working professionals, and retirees. As new businesses open, you can expect this neighborhood to become even more of a hotspot. Thankfully, it’s mostly quiet in the residential areas, although some are nicer than others.
Zip Code 97216
Mill Park Real Estate
If you’re looking for a starter home, Mill Park may be an excellent option. While the home prices are climbing slightly, they are well below what you would find in the “nicer” parts of Portland. There is a mix of old and new construction, so pay attention to the part of the neighborhood you’re in. Some areas are developing faster than others, so keep that in mind.
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