Portland-area vintage vendors

We live in a great town for so many reasons – one of which (for me) is all the exceptionally cool neighborhoods. I love to wander those hoods, stop for coffee, shop, lunch with friends. And just about the time I think I’ve mapped and traversed and seen ’em all – a ridiculous thought, to be sure – I find a new set of shops that need exploring.

That’s what happened this week. It started like this: someone wrote asking me if I’d seen old cast-iron pans in my salvage haunts. I replied no, only an isolated vintage pan here or there. I also asked if this gentleman had come across any good sources in his own wanderings. He said he had seen a few cast iron pieces at Metalwood Salvage. Per their website, Metalwood Salvage currently has a pop-up store at Vintage Vendors, and will soon be moving into their own location.

Cool. But what the heck is Vintage Vendors? Here’s the straight poop – it’s a great vintage shop on NE Sandy with prices that will make you happy. My friend bought a tea tray and a vintage tackle box for under $30! They have metal, lots of household items and furniture, tackle boxes, signs, and a huge globe selection. And more, of course. But these are the gems that stuck in my bean.

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The globes are fun. When I asked the proprietor, he said he picks them up whenever he finds them. And find them he does. Globes are cool to collect, plus crafty people can turn them into a hanging pendant or a chandelier.

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Do you ever find something you really love, but instead of buying it you tell yourself, If I’m still thinking about this in a week, I’ll go get it. Well, there’s something at Vintage Vendors that I really want, and it hasn’t left my mind. Don’t you dare buy it before I get back there! (And, I’m not saying what it is.)

As a recap – here’s my hit parade of Portland salvage / antique shopping neighborhoods:

Sellwood – a classic for a reason. While I find the prices at many of the salvage / antique stores in this neighborhood to be a bit high, I love the food options that make this hood a great destination to spend time on a lovely afternoon.

Hawthorne – for the people watching, plus Red Light Clothing Exchange. Great older vintage and 70s / 80s finds!

Aurora – my favorite, and not technically a neighborhood – it’s a town south of PDX. There are some great prices in Aurora, and there are also fairly priced, beautiful antiques. While there are not a lot of food options, the Colony Pub has amazing tots. Who needs more than tots?

Mississippi – funky stores, some antiques, some used clothing, great food.

NE Sandy! – Vintage Vendors could put this one on the map for me, but I don’t know what else is in the neighborhood. More time on NE Sandy is in order. Can anyone chime in about the food sitch there? Good, bad? What’s a gal to do but explore, explore, and explore some more.

Let me know if you have any NE Sandy tips – or any other great hoods, shops, restaurants that need exploring. Share the deets! Meanwhile, I’ll be keeping an eye out for the new Metalwood Salvage store and will keep you posted.

Portlander Nancy Ranchel is a self-described accountant, design fan, serial re-modeler, compulsive re-user and blog writer.