North Tabor (Portland, OR)

Sandwiched between an interstate and an extinct volcano, North Tabor is a 1.5-mile-wide neighborhood in eastern Portland that’s home to one of the city’s biggest employers. It’s a place where there’s always something to do, somewhere to go, and something to look at in the background. “North Tabor’s pretty much like living in a park,” says Claire Paris, principal broker and owner of Portland’s Paris Group Realty. “I love that place.”

Like most of eastern Portland, North Tabor grew up along a series of streetcar lines that fanned out across the city at the turn of the century. Many of the neighborhood’s homes date back to this period, including the seven-bedroom Shogren House, where sisters May and Ann Shogren lived while they ran a clothing business that catered to Portland’s elite in the 1910s. Built in 1906, this house features a gabled roof with decorative brackets on its eaves, diamond-paned windows, an open floor plan, exposed beams at the ceiling, and the rather heavy use of natural materials like wood and stone – all of which are common design elements found in the Craftsman-style houses built 100 years ago.

And while many of North Tabor’s houses feature these design elements – though on a much smaller scale – they aren’t as prominent as in other parts of the city. “North Tabor was developed a little later than other neighborhoods, so you’ll get a lot of Mid-Century Moderns and World War II ranches,” Paris says. The one-story ranch-style house is best known for its rectangular, L- or U-shaped design and simple, open floor plan. Mid-Century’s have clean lines, natural materials and a lack of the decorations or adornments you’d find with other houses.

According to recent home sales data, two-bedroom houses in North Tabor cost $350,000 to $600,000, while most three-, four- and even a few five-bedroom houses in this neighborhood cost $500,000 to $750,000. Paris says these prices make North Tabor one of the city’s more affordable neighborhoods and a great spot for first-time home buyers. The neighborhood has also managed to keep many of its trees intact, which yields the park-like feeling Paris mentioned before.

Though North Tabor may feel like a park, the only actual park inside its borders is the Rosemont Bluff Natural Area – a two-acre stand of evergreen and deciduous trees on a triangle-shaped lot stuck between Northeast 68th Place and an apartment complex off Northeast 69th Avenue. The neighborhood also doesn’t have any schools outside the private Portland Montessori School, which offers programs serving children aged 15 months to the sixth grade at the corner of Northeast Davis Street and Northeast 50th Avenue. Students enrolled in Portland Public Schools will attend the Laurelhurst School for kindergarten through the eighth grade and Grant High School.

But North Tabor makes up for its lack of schools and parks with two major employers that take advantage of its location just off Interstate 84. Providence Health & Services’ Portland Medical Center, the city’s second-largest employer, is on a sprawling campus at the corner of Northeast 47th Avenue and Northeast Glisan Street. And the Multnomah County Juvenile Justice Complex – part of a judicial system that employs 650 people – is just across the street from Rosemont Bluff.

These two entities and their supporting businesses are more likely than not responsible for North Tabor having two grocery stores – a Fred Meyer on Northeast Glisan Street and a QFC on East Burnside Street – along with more restaurants than you’d expect to find in a neighborhood its size. Paris said her two favorites are Big’s Chicken, an Alabama-style fried chicken restaurant helmed by Chopped Season 22 winner Chef Ben Bettinger, and the Tabor Tavern, where you can get fried Brussels sprouts and a specialty cocktail off the happy hour menu for less than $12.

Other neighborhood favorites include Leikam Brewing, where you can grab a Coffee Cardamom Stout to warm you up on a cold winter’s night, and WAJAN, which has served Jakarta’s signature creamy beef soup and other Indonesian entrées from its East Burnside location since 2019. These amenities, along with North Tabor’s affordable housing prices and convenient location, more than make up for the lack of schools and parks you’d find in other Portland neighborhoods.