Red Star Tavern, Portland

Another example of Portland's brill dining scene, the Red Star Tavern was an easy venue for our last evening and a top recommendation from fellow instablogger @melbfoodstagram. For all our walking, talking and touring we went straight for the steak and chips. I paired it with some local craft brews on tap, a Double Mountain 'Vaporiser' and a Widmer Brothers Hefeweizen; and my friend with a nice drop of Soter Pinot Noir.

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Pacific Pie, Portland

A slice of home! I heartily agree with Pacific Pie's philosophy: "Drink a pint, eat a pie and all is right with the world; Butter plus flour equals magic; Something delicious is always in season". A nice spot of anglo-Aussie meets US cuisine in North West Portland, the perfect place for ex-pats to satisfy a craving for a meat pie. Recommended by our fab Third Wave Coffee tour guide.

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Third Wave Coffee Tours, Portland

Third Wave Coffee Tours is an excellent way to explore the Oregonian coffee scene. We signed up for Thursday's Artisinal Donuts and Specialty Coffee tour and literally let owner Lora Woodruff lead us about by our noses. The tour gave fascinating insights into the local scene and gave us a stunning array of donuts to sample. We began at Coco Donuts and were offered two varieties of single origin drip coffee paired with our treats; at each donut stop our coffee was offered black and although I don't normally drink it that way I decided to get into the spirit and wasn't sorry. We walked from Coco to Local Roasting Co where we watched the magic at work, hearing the crack of the beans and smelling a freshly roasted batch. From there to Bluestar Donuts, who brewed an interesting, exclusive roast that Lora explained was designed to stand up to the strong flavours of the donuts - one being a sweet potato and sage number - you can't help but notice the perfect pairing. Our final stop on the tour was sampling a short macchiato from fine coffee purveyors, Barista, and we were lucky enough to take in a cupping session in progress. Wish I'd bought the He-Man tee - souvenir regrets!

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Ground Kontrol, Portland

A retro arcade with alcohol, um how fast can I get there? A brilliant concept, Ground Kontrol features all the games you knew and loved as an 80s child at a quarter a game, serving a simple bar menu and some whacky nibbles your mother would never let you eat. Not a great place for conversation but with original Space Invaders, Pac-man and Tetris you only need to be able to say "in your face, I win!"

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Pike Place Public Market, Seattle

Started by farmers as a way to stop the middle-man from unreasonably hiking up the price of produce, Pike Place is the original farmers market. Home to sensational produce and baked goods, this is where you'll find the fishmongers throwing salmon like football and Seattle institutions Lowell's and The Athenian (made famous by Sleepless in Seattle).

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