On the tip of the peninsula formed by the convergence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers, St. Johns is a truly unique Portland neighborhood. Featuring a small-town atmosphere with a quaint main street, it is a great place to call home.

We’ve created this guide to introduce you to St. Johns and what makes it one of the best places to live in Portland.


The History of St. Johns

St. Johns started as it’s own city in 1902, and was annexed by the city of Portland in 1915. Due to its industrial roots, St. Johns was known throughout the 20th century as a blue collar neighborhood. A wave of new restaurants, shops, and bars though has transformed the neighborhood into one of the hottest spots in Portland.

Attracting entrepreneurs, professionals, and creative types, St. Johns is truly a neighborhood in transformation.


Places to See

With so much history and culture, there’s no end to activities in St. Johns! Whether you’re looking to enjoy the park, grab a bite at one of the neighborhood’s famous restaurants, or get some delicious locally roasted coffee, there’s sure to be something to love.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

St. Johns Bridge

The St. Johns bridge is truly a stunning piece of architecture. Known for its two large green gothic towers, the bridge spans the Willamette river right before it converges with the Columbia. It’s also the only suspension bridge in the Willamette Valley!

Fun fact: previous to the bridge being built in 1931, the river crossing was served by a ferry that transported 1,000 vehicles a day across the Willamette.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Cathedral Park

Resting underneath the east side of the bridge, Cathedral Park is a beautiful place to visit on a summer day. The park is one of the city’s most recognizable due to the bridge overhead and the cathedral like arches of the bridge piers.

In addition to its beauty and wide open green spaces, Cathedral Park is a popular spot for picnics, wedding parties, and romantic proposals! The park also offers a boat ramp, an off-leash dog area, and a hiking trail.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

St. Johns Twin Cinema

The St. Johns Twin Cinema has been a neighborhood fixture since 1913. Originally called the Northgate Theater, the cinema is located on the main strip of St. Johns on Lombard Street. The theater shows popular first run movies, and offers local beer and pizza in addition to more traditional movie fare like popcorn, candy, and soda pop.

St. Johns Farmers Market

The St. Johns Farmers market is a local favorite. Running from June-November and select days the rest of the year, there’s no better place in town to buy fresh fruit and other goodies from local businesses and artisans. The market runs 9-2 on Saturdays, so make sure to get there early for some fresh local produce!

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Forest Park

Though not technically in St. Johns, Forest Park is a short car or bike ride over the St. Johns bridge. It’s technically a municipal park run by the city of Portland, but in reality is more of a forest. Stretching 8 miles along the west side of the Willamette River, Forest Park is one of the country’s largest urban forest reserves.

The park offers 70 miles of recreational trails and covers 5,100 acres. More than 100 bird species and 60 mammal species inhabit the park, making it a unique place to experience wildlife just near home. Whether you love hiking, running, biking, or birdwatching, forest park is a gem.



St. Johns offers some of the best restaurants in the city. Whether you’re looking for a delicious cup of coffee or some authentic Mexican fare, St. Johns has something for you.

Mama San Soul Shack

Mama San’s offers an interesting mix of southeastern Asian and southern American food. Offering items like southern fried chicken wings along with kimchi made in house, Mama San Soul Shack offers the unique fusion style of food that makes Portland’s food scene one of the best in the nation.

Tienda Santa Cruz

Tienda Santa Cruz is consistently ranked as one of the top Mexican restaurants in Portland. Tucked away in the back of a Mexican grocery store and bakery, it’s a unique place to get a taco or burrito for a great price.

Locals tip: try the consomé de Barbacoa weekend special featuring five roast lamb tacos and a bowl of lamb consomé with garbanzos.

Cathedral Coffee

A local staple, Cathedral Coffee is one of the best coffee shops in a city full of great coffee shops. Serving local coffee, tea, and pastries, pop in on a chilly portland morning to drink a cup of joe and lounge in one of their many comfortable chairs.



The Fixin’ To

The Fixin’ To on Lombard is a St. Johns institution. The bar is a southern-inspired honky tonk that’s a fun place to get a local beer and some delicious food. The bar now offers pizza from a highly rated former food cart, as well as some southern comfort food.

The Garrison Tap Room

The Garrison Tap Room is the tap room of Royale Brewing. The Garrison is the only place you can find the full selection of Royale’s delicious and unique Northwest ales! Try their Pilsner, or if you are a fan of heavy beers and are feeling adventurous, their Chocolaty Porter!

Occidental Brewing

One of North Portland’s oldest breweries, Occidental Brewing is located a short distance from Cathedral Park. Known for their variety of German inspired beers, try the kolsch as you relax in their airy, euro-inspired tap room!


Housing in St. Johns

St. Johns offers housing opportunities for everyone! You can find all styles of Portland homes, from ranches to old victorian houses. With new restaurants, shops, and markets coming in all the time, it’s a great place to set down roots!

Interested in living in St. Johns? Contact us at Columbia Redevelopment to find out what we have available in the area. We buy homes all over Portland and work hard to improve every home we buy. Call (503) 200-8730 to learn more!