Pine Street Market, Portland food hall – Did it meet the hype?

Pine Street Market, Portland, OR

After much anticipation Pine Street Market finally opened in May in downtown Portland, OR on 126 SW 2nd Ave in the corner of SW Pine Street and SW 2nd Ave two blocks south of W Burnside Street.  Pine Street Market is a “food hall” inside a building, providing a great culinary experience with the whole food cart experience but inside a building along with alcohol.  People who live and work in downtown have been really excited since last year after the announcement of this great establishment in downtown Portland.

Currently, Pine Street Market provides food options from many great known restaurants from around Portland including Brass Bar, Common Law, Marukin Ramen, OP Wurst, Pollo Bravo, Shalom Y’all, Trifecta Annex, and Salt & Straw.  Refer to Pine Street Market’s website for more info on what kind of food those vendors serve.

Pine Street Market, Portland, OR Pine Street Market, Portland, ORSo what is it like inside and what are consumer’s experiences like dining at Pine Street Market?  Is it everything the place said it would be?  I visited the place last weekend and had a good overall experience dining with a beer during lunch time.  It was around Saturday 2:00pm and the place was really crowded.  The place had awesome food options and it was definitely the attraction but on the down side, I could not find any seats and that reminded me of a chaotic food court in a shopping mall.

Is it just me?  Let’s see what people are saying on Yelp.

“Probably the best sundae I have ever had in my life… But their super hyped up marketing machine owners who claim it will “change downtown forever” are a little off… Yes, you can try food from some excellent local chef/owners all in one place!  But please… There is nothing about it that makes it a market.”  – S.J., Yelp

” Loved the concept and the quality and selection of vendors here… The place is PACKED. Very hard to get a seat, FYI.” – Lena H. Yelp

” Love. Love. Love, Pine Street Market.  The concept, the atmosphere, the options.” – Kristi C., Yelp

I think the place has the right idea but has room for improvement.  The place is kind of too small and hopefully in the future it can extend to the second story of the building providing more seats and options including a real market.  Whether this place will continue to thrive as the go-to place for an authentic Portland food experience or will be another food court at best, I think it’s important that the place embraces more local and authentic shopping and dining experience rather than a mere aggregate of a few eateries with limited seats.

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