Nob Hill Old Pharmacy Café

2100 NW Glisan •• 503-548-4049
The antique sign behind the counter that reads “Cosmetics—Prescriptions” speaks to this café’s past as a neighborhood apothecary. Today, though the pharmacist is long gone, OTC stimulants actually are still available—in the form of good, strong coffee and shots of espresso. With its yellow pegboard walls and rows of hanging metal light fixtures, Nob Hill may be a little rough around the edges for some, but then you can show up here at 3 a.m., wracked by insomnia or suffering from heartbreak, and imagine yourself one of those romantically sullen characters in an Edward Hopper painting or, if that doesn’t appeal, order yourself a big ol’ greasy grilled cheese sandwich. Just the right medicine. —EG


Stumptown Downtown

128 SW Third Ave •• 503-295-6144
Walk into this Wi-Fi hotspot most afternoons, and the mini-wall of Power Macs will burn tracers of glowing apples into your retinas. Such brand identification is but one feature that makes this downtown coffee house hipper than average; there’s also the dual-turntable DJ station, the 20-foot-high exposed brick wall, the racks of Juxtapoz and Magnet, and the option of adding a shot of espresso to your pint of beer. Recently, we spotted one man who was so fashion-forward that he matched a pair of pegleg stretch pants to a pair of pixie boots. Hipsters may be the only ones who can enjoy using the bathrooms here, since the keys required for entry happen to be attached to life-size plastic ducks. —JD


St Honoré Boulangerie

2335 NW Thurman •• 503-445-4342
When you enter St Honoré, located on NW Thurman St where the dense retail strip of NW 23rd Ave gives way to industry, you’ll find a sipping spot tinged with Paris. The little round tables in this boulangerie, with their beige-and-black woven chairs, combine with a long wood table reminiscent of a French country house and a refined clientèle to exude Old World sophistication. For those with piercings and full-sleeve tattoos, this place is too cute; recently we found not one, but three patrons decked out in various shades of baby blue (try that at Stumptown). —EG


Schondecken Coffee Roasters

6720 SE 16th Ave •• 503-236-8234
With three small tables and shelf-lined walls crowded with jars of tea and spices, Schondecken recalls the general store from Little House on the Prairie. Thankfully, the proprietor is not Harriet Oleson, but 59-year-old Nancy Duncan, who since 1996 has been lovingly roasting coffee four pounds at a time in her Sivetz air roaster, a process that regularly suffuses the shop with a tantalizing, smoky-sweet aroma. Ask the soft-spoken Duncan to choose a favorite among her dozen varieties, and the former pharmacy tech will demur like a parent asked to pick a favorite child—but when pushed to select a good springtime brew, she might recommend a Brazilian. —KC