Portland Neighborhood Guide: Mount Tabor
Who wouldn’t love this view from Mount Tabor?
In our last Portland neighborhood guide, we featured Ladd’s Addition. This month, we’ll look a few miles east, towards Mount Tabor, another one of Portland’s most picturesque, walkable, and livable neighborhoods.
Our guide to Mount Tabor will show you how the area is broken down into 4 distinct neighborhoods: Mount Tabor, North and South Tabor, and Montavilla. We’ll also talk about the history and culture of the area, as well as a few reasons why people love living there!
The History of Mount Tabor
Where else can you live on a volcano?
That’s right, Mount Tabor is actually a volcano. Don’t worry though, it’s extinct and completely safe!
The Mount Tabor area is one of Portland’s oldest neighborhoods, with a history dating all the way back to 1848, when the land rights were sold for under $50! It was named to honor another Mount Tabor, all the way across the globe in Israel.
Originally home to farmers who grew fruit and vegetables in the area, over the years the area became increasingly residential. Today it’s a mostly residential area, home to families who are looking for a quieter alternative to busy city living.
The Mount Tabor Neighborhood
Mount Tabor itself is over 600 feet tall, providing incredible views of downtown Portland and beyond. The actual Mount Tabor neighborhood sits between Burnside and Division, from 49th to 76th Avenue.
The crown jewel of the neighborhood is definitely Mount Tabor Park, with nearly 200 acres of tree-lined public space just a few miles from busy downtown Portland. The park includes:
- Three beautiful reservoirs that provide drinking water for much of the area
- Plenty of tall trees, green grass, and picnic tables. The perfect place for spending a summer’s day.
- Miles of off-road running and walking trails. Frequent (and fun) races are held by a local non-profit with proceeds helping to maintain the park. Local Tip: If you’re looking for a lung-busting workout, jog or ride your bike to the top of Mt. Tabor starting on SE 72nd Avenue at Division Street. It’s a tough trip, but the views are worth it!
If you take a walk around Mount Tabor Park on a beautiful day (or even one of our many grey and drizzly Portland days), I guarantee you’ll fall in love with the neighborhood and start imagining yourself finding a home in the area.
Most homes in the Mount Tabor neighborhood were built around 70 years ago, in the mid 1940’s. You’ll find some real architectural gems, including a variety of:
- English cottages
- Tudor homes
- Arts-and-Crafts designs
You’ll even find some really great modern designs too!
The North & South Tabor Neighborhoods
North Tabor and South Tabor are two appropriately named neighborhoods. They form the north and south borders of the Mount Tabor neighborhood. In many ways, they feel like an extension of Mount Tabor itself.
Both neighborhoods were once part of Mount Tabor itself. As the city grew, North and South Tabor developed their own identities and became unique neighborhoods in their own right. And both make great places to live!
The neighborhoods are diverse, home to a mix of creative professionals, working-class families, longtime Portland residents, and new arrivals as well. The houses and yards tend to be a little larger than those on Mount Tabor itself, so if you love the area but need a little more space, look to North or South Tabor.
The Montavilla Neighborhood
Montavilla is another Portland neighborhood with a unique history. Originally named Mount Tabor Village in the 1890’s, the name was eventually shortened to Mt. Ta. Villa on the area’s streetcars. Over time, the name Montavilla came into common use and has stuck to this day!
Montavilla is bordered by I-205 on the east, I-84 to the north, Division Street to the south and SE 76th Avenue to the south. Easy access to the freeways and downtown make for easy commutes no matter where you work!
Not only is Montavilla located near the amazing Mount Tabor Park, it’s home to a few great parks of its own, including Montavilla Park. Montavilla Park features a pool (great for summertime swimming) and a community center (home to many fun community events). During the summer, Barrydale Park hosts free concerts, movies after dark, and is home to many local sports leagues.
Why Locals Love the Area
Location, Location, Location!
I think Mount Tabor’s one of the most perfectly located areas in Portland. It’s just a short drive, bus trip, or bike ride to downtown, but it’s still full of the natural beauty that draws people to the Portland area.
Many of Portland’s hottest and hippest restaurants call the Mount Tabor area home. You’ll find a variety of cuisines and restaurants, including:
- The Country Cat – If classic southern comfort food meets classic northwest cuisine sounds tasty, you’ll love The Country Cat. Try the ham, fried chicken, and bacon-braised collard greens.
- A.N.D. Cafe – One of Portland’s most popular vegan and vegetarian brunch spots. Plenty of gluten-free options, too, if that’s your thing!
- Tabor Tavern – The Tabor Tavern calls itself “a true neighborhood restaurant” and that’s a pretty perfect description of their classic pub-style menu. Great sandwiches, beers, and cocktails, plus a very tasty weekend brunch! You’ll become a regular for sure!
- Apizza Scholls – Long considered to serve one of the best pizzas in Portland, if not the country, Apizza Scholls is one-of-a-kind. Pizza lovers line up early for the handmade dough and classic toppings. It’s popular for a reason! You just have to give it a try!
Shopping, Culture & Entertainment
There’s more to do in the Mount Tabor neighborhoods than just eat! Nearby Hawthorne Boulevard and Belmont Street have great shops featuring products from great local artists! I really love Tender Loving Empire on Hawthorne!
Other spots worth checking out include:
- Academy Theater – $2 movies! Recent releases and a different classic movie every week.
- Kayak & Canoe Museum – One of Portland’s underappreciated cultural institutions, you’ve never seen so many kayaks and canoes in one place!
- Adult Soap Box Derby Race – That’s right, an soapbox derby race for grownups! Every summer, teams from all over Portland race their homemade cars down Mount Tabor’s steep slopes. What a hoot!
Ready to Call Mount Tabor Home?
Doesn’t Mount Tabor sound like a great place to live?
If you’re looking for a home in the Mount Tabor area, keep an eye on our Homes on the Market page. You might find your dream home in one of Portland’s best neighborhoods!