Jimmy Buffett may have his Margaritaville, but when Portlanders need a tropical escape they turn to NoPo’s Island Café to find their slice of paradise.
Located on the shores of the Columbia River, the Island Café is an oasis for boaters and anyone looking for the laid back vibe typically found in warmer climates. This much loved floating restaurant puts you right on the water where you can watch ships sail silently past under the shade of a beach umbrella as you listen to stories gathered from ports all around the world.
The spirit of the tropics comes through in their Pacific island-inspired menu, too, with lots of fresh seafood, classic burgers, and local ingredients. Send your taste buds on vacation with a Lobster Salad Wrap ($10.95), Alaskan Halibut Island Tacos ($11.95) or, my favorite, the Mango Barbecue Chicken Bowl ($9.95). Boat drinks are mixed up behind the bar and in the Island Café’s beach shack found in their waiting area.
My family has made the Island Café our go-to summer place every year. We order up their daiquiris, sit back and enjoy the cool breeze coming off the water. It’s the perfect place to watch the sun setting at the end of the Columbia River and the snows of Mt. Hood turning orange and pink in the east.
Things to know before you go:
The Island Café will be reopening for the season on April 16that Hayden Island’s McCuddy Marina. The marina is active; so look for signs for visitor parking and stay clear of any lots reserved for the boaters renting slips in the marina.