North Portland's Mississippi Avenue sits close to the border of Northeast Portland, and shares characteristics with both. Mostly, North Mississippi Avenue is today a hip and funky neighborhood in what was for a long time a forgotten part of the city.
Much of North and Northeast Portland have historically been home to Portland's African American population, but these days Mississippi Avenue is pretty well packed with hipsters. The street has a fantastic array of great restaurants and bars, eclectic shops, and even its own food cart pod.
There's a great (and tiny) music venue, a fabulous ice cream shop, a bar with hammocks instead of chairs on the back patio, and a retro barber shop. There's what one tour guide calls the “Goodwill for old houses,” where renovating Portlanders can get old appliances and house fixtures discarded in someone else's remodel. There's a serious old-fashioned curiosities shop that defies all expectations, a shop that only sells light bulbs, and a few “Portlandia” filming locations along the street, too.
Each July, North Mississippi Avenue is home to the Mississippi Avenue Street Fair, and the area is also host to Second Thursday – the second Thursday of every month, when art galleries open new shows.
The section of Mississippi Avenue with the best concentration of places to shop, eat and explore runs from Fremont Street north to Skidmore. You can park anywhere along the street or in the surrounding neighborhoods and wander, or you can ride the #4 bus from downtown right to the heart of North Mississippi Avenue.