On Saturday I finally made it down to the lovely new little shop and cafe in Portland called LOWELL. Christie and I were excited to check it out, but as we approached the front door and glimpsed in, we were both taken aback. It was even more amazing than we expected…and we knew it would be good.

The couple who opened the place, Maya and Dino, are pretty incredible, too. We got some coffee, sat at the bar of the café, and talked to them like we were old friends. (Maybe one day we will be.) Maya told us that her parents used to have a shop where they sold Native American crafts, and that’s where some of the wire baskets and other goods they’re selling came from. The beautiful wooden spoons were sourced from an indigenous community that they have a connection to in Mexico. I bought a teeny little vintage leather coin purse that I couldn’t bear to leave behind. Christie left with her arms full of a beautifully worn rug and metal toolbox. The entire shop is expertly curated, and the jewelry, pottery, furniture, and other little trinkets each had their own stories and allure.

Dino is in charge of food in the basic kitchen, and based on the smell of the soup stock he was brewing, he knows what he’s doing. I already have plans to go back for a Japanese-style soup they’ll begin serving this week. In fact, from the moment I walked into the place, I couldn’t help but think it belonged in my favorite outer neighborhoods of Tokyo: Shimokitazawa or Nakameguro, just like the café that is the inspiration for this blog.

If you live in Portland, do yourself a favor and go to LOWELL as soon as you can.

819 N Russell St | Portland OR 97227
503 753 3608
Open Wednesday through Sunday, 12-8pm-ish


All photos were taken with my iPhone.



  1. OH, it looks so lovely! I can’t wait to go. You’ll have to bring me on your next outing!

  2. Shayda

    Yes, im so happy you posted this! Just met Maya at Alien Nativity few weeks ago and she gave me her card.. I keep meaning to go in there! The vibe sounds wonderful to foster my new creative ventures. I’m enjoying reading yr blog immensely! Xx

  3. Connie Allen

    I’m a native Oregonian. Live in the Southwest now(lake Havasu,AZ.) and knowing Dino and Maya I can hardly wait to re-visit my roots —-eat and shop at the LOWELL -taste- Dino’s out of this world dishes (Yum) and see Maya;s creative flair while searching for those special treasure.ssss. PS.The coin purse sounds wonderful…

  4. This place looks so Annie. xo

  5. That selection of wooden kitchen spoons looks like reason enough to go on its own. Soup is the kicker! We just discovered Russell St a few weeks ago. Here’s another reason to go back! Thanks–and I love finding other Portland bloggers. Lauren at fizgiggery.com sent me over. 🙂

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