Overlook Neighborhood Portland
Overlook is located in North Portland and is bordered by the popular University Park, Arbor Lodge, Humboldt, Boise, and Eliot neighborhoods. Overlook also includes what is known as Swan Island, a mostly industrial area with an active recreational boat launch and port.
Overlook Neighborhood Features
As a result of the Portland real estate market boom and like many other Portland neighborhoods, Overlook has seen an influx of new residents to the area. As one might imagine, Overlook has some wonderful areas with beautifully improved homes and neighborhoods, and some still in transition.
This area feels a bit secluded as it is on the “other side” of Interstate Avenue but offers convenient access to other local neighborhoods, and the Max light rail train. Local businesses thrive here – a few standouts are the wacky and ever-popular Alibi bar, Fire on the Mountain, and the Historic Overlook House. Locals shop at New Seasons Market and Fred Meyer and also enjoy the retail and restaurant offerings in the nearby Kenton, St Johns, and Mississippi Ave neighborhoods.
While it feels less urban than its neighbors, Overlook offers very “bikable” access to downtown Portland, great mass transit options via light rail and bus, and is about a 5-minute drive to downtown Portland. If you prefer walking, be sure to wear your Adidas running shoes. Don’t have any? Well, the Adidas North American headquarters are right here in Overlook, and the flagship store is inside the Montgomery Park Building. Shoe fans love PDX because we have the two biggest shoemakers in the world, just a few miles away from each other.
Overlook Neighborhood Businesses of Note
Like the neighborhoods surrounding it, Overlook is home to some of the best restaurants, bars, and hotspots in Portland. The two best places to stroll are Interstate Ave and Killingsworth St. We highly recommend taking a walking or bike tour of the area to see what hidden gems pop out at you. However, for those who want to plan their itinerary, we’ve listed some of our top picks below.
Historic Overlook House
If you’re planning on getting married in Portland, there are a lot of picturesque venues around. For Overlook residents, the Historic Overlook House is one of the prime highlights of the neighborhood. Built in 1928, the structure is both imposing yet quaint, with plenty of greenery on the grounds for all kinds of wedding photos. The venue is maintained through a joint partnership between the Friends of Overlook House and the Portland Parks and Recreation department.
The original home was built by the Ravens, who owned a successful creamery in the city – Raven Creamery. The land was actually bought by the Overlook Land Company, which had some specific rules regarding what could be built there. According to the original deed, any structure couldn’t cost less than $2,000 (roughly $30,000 in today’s money), nor could it sit less than 20 feet away from the street.
Since its inception, the Overlook House has been part of the community, serving as the headquarters for the Overlook Women’s Club. To show how civically engaged the Ravens were, Elvira sold the house to the city for $1.00 with the stipulation that it serve the Overlook Community. She did this after her husband, Herman, died while out teaching dairymen in Oregon best practices for milk processing. (He was nationally known for his expertise and participated in Dairy conventions across the country.) On that day, his car got stuck in the mud, and he succumbed to a heart attack while trying to push the car out.
Historic Overlook House – 3839 N Melrose Dr.
Portlanders are known for loving their hand-crafted pies, and Pinky’s is one of the top pizza-slash-cocktail lounges in the area. Pinky’s is an excellent spot to hang with friends or have a party since the place does rent out its lounge area regularly. Whiskey is the spirit of choice, as they have dozens of both well-known and less-recognizable brands.
The menu here is just as eclectic as the staff and clientele. Yes, you can get your favorite slices and pies, but there are some more unique offerings as well. Some of the notable selections include a Sriracha pickled eggs, a Muffaletta sandwich, and Korean BBQ jerky. When talking about pizza, they have everything from vegan options to The Shaft, which comes with three kinds of meat, onions, peppers, and mushroom. Get a slice or buy the whole pie if you’re willing to share (or just want leftovers for tomorrow morning).
Pinky’s Pizzeria – 3990 N Interstate Ave.
Alibi Tiki Bar
While dive bars are plentiful in Portland, Tiki bars are few and far between. The Alibi is one of the oldest spots around, and it’s also one of the most funkadelic options for grabbing a pint or cocktail. Established in 1947, The Alibi has become a local landmark, thanks to its massive outdoor neon sign and area-famous karaoke nights.
Any Tiki bar wouldn’t be complete without a fun cocktail menu, so be sure to bring a sense of adventure when you visit. Some of the highlights include Alibi Slushies, the Shark Attack, and the various punch bowls, which are perfect for friends. Also, if you’re a little hesitant to get up and sing, we highly recommend the Scorpion Bowl. With three kinds of rum, along with gin, brandy, and citrus, it’ll make even the most conservative patron get loose enough to sing “Don’t Stop Believing.”
The Alibi also serves standard bar and tropical-style dishes (like Loco Moco), and many of the spirits on tap come from local distilleries and breweries. Be sure to come for Sunday brunch and karaoke, which goes until 4 pm on weekends. Brunch and karaoke are a match made in heaven.
Alibi Tiki Bar & Lounge – 4024 N Interstate Ave.
These days, most hobby stores are all but a memory. With online shopping so ubiquitous, the appeal of hanging out at a brick-and-mortar establishment seems so antiquated. Fortunately, for hobbyists in Portland, Hobbies Unlimited is still alive and kicking. Portlanders love keeping local businesses alive, so you can expect this place to stick around for a while yet.
No matter what your hobby is, whether it’s robotics, model vehicles, trains, or Lego sets, Hobbies Unlimited has it all. The arts and crafts scene in Portland is growing pretty well, thanks to hotspots like the DIY Bar, where you can get drunk while making a lovely decorative piece. The staff at Hobbies Unlimited are more than helpful, so even if you’re new to a specific project, you can get guidance and advice to ensure everything fits together smoothly.
Hobbies Unlimited – 4503 N Interstate Ave.
For the sports fans of the Overlook Neighborhood, one of the best places to watch a game with a cold drink is the Satellite Tavern. Regardless of your sport of choice, the place comes alive on game day. The relaxed and open vibe is perfect for watching solo or with friends. If you do come alone, plan on making a few new acquaintances while you’re here. Summertime is also excellent at Satellite, thanks to its outdoor seating area and open-air fire pit.
Another element that sets Satellite apart from other sports bars is its daily specials. Every day has something unique to offer, from $1 wings on Mondays to ribeye on Thursdays. Saturday nights are a bit more open-ended, so be sure to check in to see what the chef has cooking in the back. Satellite offers mostly bar food, including fish and chips, and a variety of burgers. We highly recommend the Blue Cheese Steak Sandwich if you’re extra hungry. The place also has health-conscious items like salads, fried cauliflower, and tomato soup.
Satellite Tavern – 5101 N Interstate Ave.
If you’re in the mood for Mediterranean food, Spitz is just the place for you. Although the name isn’t very becoming, the dishes more than make up for that. Spitz’s specialty is doner wraps, and if you haven’t had one before, now is the perfect time to branch out. The restaurant offers a wide selection of doners, filled with everything from hummus to tzatziki to kalamata olives to feta cheese. You can also get meat or veggie-filled doners, depending on your preference.
While doners are the main highlight, Spitz has all of the Mediterranean favorites as well. Falafel, fried doner rolls (like taquitos), and salads. You can also choose from a variety of bowls, each one as tantalizing as the last. Since Spitz is known for street food, everything is portable if necessary. However, there is plenty of seating both inside and out when you visit, so don’t feel like you’re in a rush.
Spitz Mediterranean Street Food – 2103 N Killingsworth St.
Milk Glass Mrkt
For those looking for a quaint, homestyle deli, the Milk Glass Mrkt is a gem worth exploring. Its chic atmosphere and minimalist decor are both aesthetically pleasing and highly welcoming to new visitors. Milk Glass Mrkt is the perfect spot to enjoy some pastries, or a nice soup and sandwich combo.
What helps MGM stand out is that it’s both a corner market and restaurant. So, if you’re trying to have lunch while out shopping, you can kill two birds with one stone. The market is also notable for sourcing as much of its products locally as possible – both for the menu and the items on the shelves. While its selection isn’t as vast as other stores, the market does offer hard-to-find products that you won’t see at most grocery stores. Fresh and wholesome is the mantra here, and it doesn’t disappoint.
Milk Glass Market – 2150 N Killingsworth St.
Parks in the Overlook Neighborhood
Madrona Park – Basketball court, playground, and paved and unpaved paths
Beach Community Garden – Neighborhood garden
Patton Square Park and Community Garden – Garden Picnic tables, garden and playground
Overlook Park – Dog off-leash area, baseball field, basketball court, playground, soccer field, softball field, track, volleyball court
Overlook Community Resources
Overlook Neighborhood Vibe
Community conscious, family-friendly, bicycles everywhere, walkers, dog friendly, babies in strollers. This feels like a good place to raise a family and it feels less urban than its surrounding neighborhoods. Most of the homes are well kept and cared for with landscaped yards and gardens.
Overlook Zip Code 97217 and 97227
Overlook Real Estate
Overlook homes range from condos, Bungalows, some Victorians, Foursquare, and even a few ranch style homes. This area is very pretty, feels safe, and has old-growth trees that line many of the streets.
To learn about the Portland real estate market, we recommend this local Portland-based, top 100 real estate blog in the world.
If you are interested in buying a home in Portland, we recommend meeting up with these top 1% Portland buyer’s agents, or if you are considering selling a home we recommend these top 1% Portland seller’s agents. Visit our Portland Real Estate Page for more information.
Overlook Neighborhood: Friends We’ve Lost
Miho Izakaya – Japanese Pub featuring tapas and cocktails in a converted house.
Beaterville Cafe and Bar – Old-school diner featuring auto memorabilia and breakfast favorites
Pause Kitchen and Bar – American restaurant with a relaxed, chill atmosphere
DiPrima Dolci Italian Bakery – An old-world style bakery serving traditional Italian and American treats
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