Get to Know: Gresham
Stepping slightly outside the main quadrants of Portland, we are heading east to visit Gresham. The city of Gresham is packed with parks, borders our Washington neighbors, and is a quick getaway to many natural recreation spots. Since 2010, Gresham’s population has grown 8.8% and is still rising — many Portlanders are eager to enjoy the easy access to surrounding rivers, hikes, parks, and outdoor adventures.
Gresham is Portland’s largest suburb, ranking just above Beaverton in population size! The city provides its residents with big-city Portland perks, natural surroundings, and a suburban neighborhood feel. If you are looking for a city with a little bit of everything, Gresham might be the place for you.
Without further ado, join us on a tour of the multidimensional city of Gresham.
Our Gresham Favorites
Snacks and Sips
Gresham is a hodgepodge of delicious and authentic world cuisine. You will find your favorite haunts, but we urge you to explore! Indulge in as many cultures, flavors, and experiences as possible. This time around, we’ve organized our favorite snacks and sips by cuisine. How many can you check off the list?
Japanese at Takahashi – Cozy spot for Japanese comfort foods, from specialty rolls, tempura, ramen, and plenty of authentic sweets. Takahashi owner Seiji Takahashi brought nostalgic tchorchkes from Japan to decorate his restaurant — a little slice of home!
Filipino at Fork and Spoon Food House – The “authentic island experience” just down the road. Bring friends and family with you because you will not be able to control yourself ordering just one dish off the menu (trust us). We suggest ordering tapas style and digging in together!
Korean-Chinese Fusion at TaipeI Noodle Haus – Our top choice for a lazy night on the couch paired with Korean-Chinese takeout! The menu is filled with classic dishes, loaded with flavor. Try the hand-pulled zha jiang mian black bean seafood noodles!
Ethiopian at Sisters Ethiopian Restaurant — Sometimes, you have to take to the streets and hear it from the locals (you know, besides us). Katherine Chew Hamilton, Food Editor of PDX Monthly, laid down why Sisters is one of the best East African restaurants in the city:
When you walk into Sisters to pick up a takeout order, you’re immediately hit by the fragrance of herbs, spices, and aromatics, and greeted with a friendly welcome. The menu is short and to the point, and it’s a haul from downtown Portland, but absolutely worth a stop.
Ethiopian food packs on the flavor and Sisters does that and more, with juicy, slow cooked meats, hot peppers, bitter greens, and rich, buttery rice dishes. However, we suggest you try the Sisters’ platters served with injera (Ethopia’s national dish). If you haven’t had injera before, imagine a large, thick sourdough crepe, topped with delicious meats, veggies, and sauces. YUM!
Somali at Salama International Bazaar — Similar to Ethopian cuisine, Somali dishes typically feature rich meats, curries, and buttery rice. However, Somali restaurants are even less common in Portland, so take advantage of Salama’s riiiiich suqaar and kaykay dishes! Patrik may have to sit this one out — Salama is heavy on the meat! But, if you are a meat-eater looking for a meal that will send you right into a food coma, check Salama out.
Lao at Kasoy & Co — On the go? Meandering around Gresham and want a quick (and epic) lunch? Kasoy is one of Gresham’s best food carts and Lao restaurant. The restaurant is named after its signature dish. Kasoy is a bone broth soup with rice noodles, pork, quail eggs, meatballs, and tomatoes. PDX Eater — a go-to resource for us — suggests ordering the tham mak hoong “a Laotian-style papaya salad made with fermented crab” and the fried milk fish “erved with spicy Laotian dipping sauce jeow som.” We’ll take you up on that!
Pssst: Keep an eye out for the red truck — you may miss the Kasoy & Co. cart as you’re zipping down Burnside.
Lebanese at Nicholas’ — We believe Nicholas’ Lebanese and Mediterranean Restaurant should speak for itself… do whatever you can and get yourself to Nicholas’! The restaurant serves all the traditional Lebanese fare to an unbelievable standard. Their hummus might be the best in the city. Don’t believe us? Do check it out for yourself!
Activities & Parks — Get Outside!
In this community guide, we combined the Activities and Outdoor Adventures section because Gresham is surrounded and chock-full of natural landscape to explore! The best part of Gresham — besides the world of cuisine detailed above — is its proximity to bustling Portland neighborhoods AND to the Columbia River, hiking trails, campsites, and nature parks. Take an adventure in Gresham with our outdoor-adventure checklist below!
Hogan Butte Nature Park — Gresham’s newest park sits on 46 acres on top of Hogan Butte. At the top elevation of 930 feet, take in a stunning panoramic view of FOUR mountains and the Columbia River! The paved .5-mile trail (ADA accessible) is ideal for a casual stroll.
Butler Creek Park — Spend a relaxing afternoon at Butler Creek, walking the 1.4-mile Butler Creek Greeway Trail, or wrap up a day-long hike along the Springwater trail and Binford lake with a relaxing (and well deserved) picnic in the park!
Nadaka Nature Park & Garden — Perfect for a day with the little ones! Nadaka Park features a nature-based play area for children, a .46-mile trail, and free community events taking place throughout the year.
Salish Ponds Wetland Park — Recreation galore! Fish around the west pond, walk along the nature trail that winds through the park and along the ponds, and view diverse habitats of wildlife and vegetation.
Blue Lake Regional Park — With the extreme heat Portland has experienced in the past few years, afternoons at the Blue Lake shore has been a hot spot to beat the heat. The park features a disc golf course, bike paths, basketball courts, softball fields, volleyball nets, picnic tables, and (of course) the lake for swimming, floating, and fishing!
Feeling outdoorsy but want to leave your hiking boots at home? Persimmon Country Club & Gresham Golf Course
Compared to the surrounding communities, Gresham is a car-dependent city. With natural oases, parks, and trails throughout the neighborhood, most daily errands are not accessible by foot. Gresham’s walkscore is 47, with a transit score of 39 and a bike score of 64. Gresham is definitely bikeable — throughout the city for daily errands and along the many nature trails.
Popo & Archer Take Gresham
Gresham has so much to offer for us pups, we still have our time in the spotlight. Without further adieu, here are all the dog-friendly bars and cafes in Gresham! Our dads get to relax with a drink and we get to relax with our dads 🐶💙
Gresham! The ideal place for an adventurer, foodie, and an aspiring world traveler (all without leaving the city). Do you prefer a moderate distance between you and the bustle of Downtown Portland, but enjoy the convenience of being close to, well, everything? Well, then we found your perfect Portland neighborhood!
Don’t hesitate to reach out – let’s get you settled in Gresham and off to find your next adventure!
Skip to the Bottom…
Find links below to everything we covered in this blog (plus a few extras)
Sips and Snacks:
Dog Friendly Bars & Cafes:
Eager to continue exploring Portland? Thinking about moving to our beautiful city? Check out all of our featured community blogs and find the perfect Portland neighborhood for you!
Gresham Homes for Sale September 22, 2023
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