Weekend Guide

The Best In-Person Things to Do in Portland This Weekend: Pizza Week, Drive-In Comedy Shows, and More

April 23-25, 2021 Edition
April 23, 2021
It's Pizza Week, baby! You have until Sunday to snag specially created $2 slices and $16 pies from participating spots, like this Salami Picante from Sweet Heart Pizza. (Sweet Heart Pizza via Portland Mercury on Instagram)

Have you bagged a vaxx appointment yet? If you have one this weekend, we have some ideas for places to get a tasty lunch afterward (like Tillamook Market if you're going to the OHSU site). Read on for details, plus more of our picks for ways to spend this possibly drizzly weekend, from seeing drive-in comedy shows at Oaks Park to grabbing $2 slices for Portland Pizza Week, and from catching IRL movie screenings (like Together Together at Living Room and The Truffle Hunters at the newly reopened Cinema 21) to seeking out public art for International Sculpture Day. For even more options, read our guide to the best online events this week.


Jump to: Food & Drink | Shopping | Arts | Outdoors


FOOD & DRINK

Get food near one of Portland's major vaccination sites. If there's one thing that calls for a proper celebration, it's receiving that long-awaited, much-coveted jab in the arm. Why not incorporate a special meal into your personal festivities—safely, of course? If you're getting your shot at Oregon Convention Center, check out Canard, Mirakutei, or Nong's Khao Mon Gai. Or if you're at the OHSU community vaccination site in Portland International Airport’s Red Economy Parking Lot, try Cafe Yumm, Flying Elephants Delicatessen, or Tillamook Market. If you're getting vaccinated at the community vaccination site at Hillsboro Stadium, go for Mr. Bento Burger or Copper River Restaurant. And finally, if you're at the community site at the OHSU campus on Marquam Hill, try Sam's Cafe or Thai Yummy.

Celebrate Picnic Day. Pack up your wicker basket and find a spot to unfurl your red checkered gingham blanket: It's picnic season! Today, April 23, is Picnic Day, which is the perfect excuse to head outdoors for a socially distanced meal al fresco. Kachka Lavka has recently reopened for in-person shopping and outdoor seating and is selling freshly baked breads, assortments of house-made charcuterie, chicken olivier salad, cheese, crackers, and plenty of other snacks and provisions that would be perfect for your moveable feast. Olympia Provisions is also a great one-stop shop for charcuterie, cheese, sandwiches, and more. Alternatively, assemble a spread with tinned fish, meats, cheeses, bread, and panini at the Italian market Cooperativa, or grab some fried chicken (a time-honored picnic staple) and jojos from Reel M Inn Tavern. We're fans of Laurelhurst ParkPittock Mansion, and the Hoyt Arboretum for picnic spots.

Eat sustainably for Earth Day. Earth Day was on Thursday, but if you'd like to extend the festivities through the weekend, you can seek out some sustainably minded restaurants. Hopworks, which is the first certified B Corporation brewery in the Pacific Northwest, celebrated its 13th anniversary on Earth Day and has a newly revamped menu, with new dishes like IPA-braised pork nachos and a new black bean burger. As an Earth Week special, the worker-owned Sri Lankan vegan restaurant Mirisata is also offering polos cutlets (breaded and fried croquettes with curried jackfruit and potato filling) with green chili sauce. For more sustainable eats, check out Bamboo Sushi, Farm Spirit, Noble Rot, Clarklewis, and Sharks Cove.

Other notable weekend events:

Portland Pizza Week 2021
After a hiatus in 2020, the Portland Mercury’s Pizza Week is returning in 2021 to team up with Portland's best pizza purveyors to offer amazing, delicious, $2 slices to the masses! (Or $16 whole pies.) With over 30 restaurants and bars taking part, you’ll never be far from your next slice, and your week—nay, your life—will be all the better for it.
Various locations (Friday-Sunday)

SHOPPING

Support your local booksellers on Indie Bookstore Day, the nationally recognized holiday that encourages readers to support their local small-but-mighty booksellers (read: not Amazon) while checking coveted tomes of their reading list and vying for prizes. To make the most out of the occasion, post a Bookstore Day-inspired selfie and post it on social media in the days leading up to Saturday, April 24 (including the day of), and tag your favorite local bookstore and two of your bookish friends, along with the hashtags #BookstoreShoutOut and #IndieBookstoreDay. You may be chosen to receive an Independent Bookstores of the United States map from Pop Chart, a 2021 IBD tote bag, and credit for free audiobooks courtesy of Libro.fm. We've rounded up some of our favorite small bookstores to shop from in Portland, complete with their latest offerings under Portland's current phase of reopening. 

Plan ahead for Mother's Day by preordering gifts from local businesses (and by fervently highlighting Sunday, May 9 in your planner). For an unconventional offering that lasts longer than a bouquet of flowers, get your mom's name engraved on a brick in Pioneer Courthouse Square for a cool $125, which comes with a Certificate of Brick Ownership signed by the Mayor of Portland. Orders placed on or before August 1 will be included in their fall 2021 engraving. For something more tangible, choose from Tender Loving Empire's Mother's Day collection, which features both individual items (ceramic mugs, salted caramels, candles galore) and care packages (like an anxiety-quelling parcel with small-batch health and beauty products or a wine lover's package). 

Other notable weekend events:

Powell's Used Book Drive
Drop off your used bookaroos at the Powell's warehouse.
Powell's Industrial Warehouse, Northwest (Friday-Sunday)

ARTS

Admire 3-D art for International Sculpture Day. Started seven years ago by the International Sculpture Center, the holiday (this Saturday) encourages you to admire sculptural art in your area and to tag #isd on Instagram to contribute to a feed of sculptures from around the world. If you're not yet comfortable visiting a museum, the Public Art PDX app is a good way to seek out Portland's many public artworks scattered across town, like Peter Nylen's "Alluvial Wall" located along the Eastbank Esplanade, Michael Florin Dente's "The Dream" outside the Oregon Convention Center, Michael Stutz's "Facing the Crowd" outside Providence Park, Frederic Litmann's "Farewell to Orpheus" on the PSU campus, Lee Kelly's "Frank E. Beach Memorial Fountain" in the International Rose Test Garden, and the absurdly large Paul Bunyan statue on the Southwest corner of North Denver Ave in Kenton.

Other notable weekend events:

LIVE Comedy with Rose City Rollers & Portland Mercury!
Pods of four or fewer can reserve an appropriately distanced outdoor picnic table at which to watch live comedy from the likes of Amanda Arnold, Becky Braunstein, Shain Brenden, and other local funnypeople. Tickets to this Rose City Rollers and Portland Mercury event also gets you access to a beer garden and food service from the folks at Killer Burger. 
Oaks Park, Southeast (Friday-Saturday)

Oscar Shorts
See this year's lineup of animated, documentary, and live-action short films nominated for the 2021 Academy Awards, including Gísli Darri Halldórsson and Arnar Gunnarsson's "Yes-People" (animated), about people who cope with everyday battles, from work to relationships to dish-washing; Sophia Nahli Allison and Janice Duncan's "A Love Song for Latasha" (documentary), which highlights the injustice surrounding the shooting of 15-year-old Latasha Harlins at a South Central Los Angeles store; and Travon Free and Martin Desmond Roe's "Two Distant Strangers" (live-action), in which a Black cartoonist's repeated attempts to get home to his dog are thwarted by a recurring deadly encounter that forces him to re-live the same awful day over and over again.
Living Room Theaters, Southwest (Friday-Sunday)

Mortal Kombat
Following the lead of genre mutual Godzilla vs. Kong, this big-screen spinoff of the classic video game—which stars Lewis Tan as a fighter challenging champions from all the realms in a battle to the death—will premiere on both HBO Max (for 30 days only) and in select theaters.
Various theaters (Friday-Sunday)

Together Together
Patti Harrison is a delightful weirdo whom you may recognize as the bitchy secretary in Shrill or as Bangles in HBO's Made for Love. We hope that Together Together—in which she plays a 26-year-old who becomes a gestational surrogate to a single, middle-aged app designer (Ed Helms)—will give her enough space to show the world her talents, so she can officially launch into space and become a star.
Living Room Theaters, Southwest (Friday-Sunday)

The Truffle Hunters
Many breeds of dogs, verdant forests, and delectable subterranean ascomycete fungus pervade this documentary about truffle hunting in Northern Italy. The trailer alone has us feeling positively whimsical.
Cinema 21, Northwest (Friday-Sunday)

OUTDOORS

Search for a prize at the Rose Festival's Spring Training Treasure Hunts, which are going down in four six-day installments in various counties, leading up to the main hunt over Memorial Day weekend (whose prize will be a block of Lucite with a special Rose Festival Medallion embedded inside). If you've never participated in one of these before, here's how they work: Check the event website at 10 am daily for clues, then use everything at your disposal (Google included) to solve them in pursuit of a $20 Voodoo Doughnuts gift card and/or bragging rights. The Multnomah County training hunt began on April 20 and lasts through 26th, with hunts in Clackamas, Washington, and Clark County to follow. Note that the Rose Festival won't take place this year in traditional fashion, but there will be some related events in May and June, so stay tuned. 

Other notable weekend events:

Forest Bathing
Experience the practice of Shinrin-Yoku, or Japanese forest bathing, which is said to boost immune strength, reduce stress, and improve cognitive functioning, in this guided walk at the Leach Botanical Garden.
Leach Botanical Garden, Southeast (Friday)

Lilac Days
Take in the lovely scent of lavender-hued lilacs while they're in peak bloom. Heads up: the gift shop is closed.
Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens, Woodland (Friday-Sunday)

National Park Week
National Parks in Washington and Oregon and around the country will host activities you can do from your couch—along with some themed in-person events—for a whole week.
Various locations and online (Friday-Sunday)

RCR Skate Pop-Up
It's the last weekend to check out Rose City Rollers' open-air skating rig at Lloyd Center. As usual, the Skatemobile will be on site if you need to rent gear.
Lloyd Center, Northeast (Saturday-Sunday)

Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival
Gazing at forty acres of tulips lined up in orderly rows against the majestic backdrop of Mount Hood never gets old. In previous years at least, the traffic tends to be pretty bad on weekends, but it’s worth the wait if your eyes are starved for color.
Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm, Woodburn (Friday-Sunday)