One of the most iconic Portland destinations is Portland Saturday Market. Every weekend from March through December, dozens of incredible Portland vendors come out to show off their products ranging from sweet confections and ethnic eats to hand dyed clothing and accessories – and everything in-between.
Saturday Market can be fun to browse but you might have a hard time leaving without picking up at least a couple of the unique items on display. Since most everything at the market is handmade, local, organic, or some combination of the three, things can get pretty spendy, pretty quickly. Knowing which vendors you can get the best deal from can help you determine where you want to pick up that gift or a treat for yourself.
There are more jewelry booths than any other single category of goods at Saturday Market, so you have numerous vendors to choose from. Most of the jewelry you see will be handmade and a lot of it features local and even upcycled materials. You won’t have any trouble finding something beautiful but it might be tough to find something that falls within a price range that won’t make your checking account angry at you. Thankfully, you can sift through the price tags and come out on top with a shiny new piece of jewelry to show for it.
Your best bet for a relatively affordable purchase could be Oregon Jewelry and Ornaments. Their rings, bracelets, and hair accessories are made from bronze, copper, and nickel silver and come in some pretty fantastic designs. If you want to get a reasonable price on a really cool piece, make a beeline for booth 300.
If there’s anything that can make a person feel like a million bucks more than using some really great-smelling bath products, I’m sure not aware of it. There’s no shortage of aromatic bath salts, lotions, and soaps sold at Saturday Market. You can’t really go wrong with any of these vendors but if you get a cheap thrill from, well, buying things that are cheap, Amity Soap Company might be the best bang for your buck. Their soap bars sell for about a dollar less than many of the other soaps at the market and they smell incredible.
Looking for a card to send to your non-Portland family or friends that says, “Yup. We’re as weird as they all say we are”? What If Creations offers cards, t-shirts, and other prints of animals, specifically combinations of animals and other things. Think Purrmaids, Saxahorses, and Rattle Deer. If you like the idea of patronizing a very niche market, they are definitely worth a shot.
Yes, you will find candy and baked goods at Saturday Market. Since it’s hard to pin down which option has the best value for your dollar, you should really just go with whatever strikes your fancy. I recommend One Fork Farm, specializing in corn syrup-free caramels. Insider tip: go to their booth, eat your body weight in free samples, then buy an inordinate amount of caramels to take home.
Portland Saturday Market is a Portland tradition that brings together some of the best vendors in the region. Whether you make several purchases or just pick up one or two things, you can feel good about the fact that your dollars are going toward the support of local businesses, artists, and chefs. Make the trip out to the waterfront this weekend and check out the festivities for yourself.
Photo by Steve Morgan