Cathedral Park and Hometown Smoker

A little while ago I visited the St. John’s area of Portland located on the northern edge of the Willamette River and just at the foot of the iconic St. John’s Bridge. Cathedral Park is a public park that sits right underneath the St. John’s Bridge. You couldn’t get any closer. It is a great use of space that might otherwise just be wasteland. It is just about 3 blocks from the main street area of St. Johns and easily walkable. When I visited in late summer, it was mostly green, but in looking at the types of plants there, it is sure to be a beautiful sight in the Spring.

It is a lovely park with mostly green space and a stage where they hold summertime concerts. Notice the arches that support the bridge are repeated in the arch at the top of the bridge – a design feature rarely used in modern times.

After visiting the park, we stopped in at Homegrown Smoker – a vegan restaurant which was the real purpose of our visit. They create vegan versions of bbq and comfort food. Vegan bbq? Is that an oxymoron? Not in Portland it’s not. And it was just pretty darn good!

Lunch inside Hometown Smoker

St Johns area of Portland
The area of St. Johns has the feel of a small town all its own with its own iconic movie theater sign. 

There are several really nice murals to see too

The St. Johns neighborhood is an area that even many Portlanders haven’t visited, but should. If you like individual restaurants that don’t belong to a chain, small independent shops, and historical buildings, St. Johns is the place to visit.

Hometown Smoker

8638 N. Lombard Ave, Portland OR

website and menu: 

Open Wednesday – Sunday for lunch and dinner