Located at the corner of Pettygrove and 23rd Avenue, Vivace is a well-known café in one of Portland’s trendy hipster districts ( “trendy-third”, as some people call it). The café, with its refinished wooden floors, felt-covered cushioned dining chairs and low-hanging chandelier, reminds me of the parlor in someone’s old Victorian house. The western windows catch a lot of sun (after the leaves have dropped from the trees), good for warming yourself on those crisp fall afternoons. If you prefer to sit outside, there are several tables on the covered porch and also next to the sidewalk along 23rd.
With its large windows and bright yellow walls, the café has an airy, uplifting feel to it, even on a cloudy day (of course, the caffeine doesn’t hurt). There are a few oil paintings by local artists hanging on the walls (for sale, in case you’re interested). The chairs creak as people shift in them, and the floor does too. There are a few tables in the back room, but it is much darker than out front. I prefer the main dining area.
I came to Vivace at 12:30 on a Thursday afternoon, and when I arrived I was lucky to get the one open table in the front dining room. Vivace is known for having excellent crepes and many people crowd in for lunch. I saw several people in the café hunched over their food, eating quickly while reading or staring at their laptops. An hour later, the café had cleared out, and it was quiet enough that you could hear the soft classical music floating in the air.
Vivace is a good place to go if you are looking for a quick lunch or if you have a long afternoon of studying in front of you. It is yet another café in Portland that sells Stumptown Coffee. The prices are average ($2 for a double espresso) and the chairs are fairly comfortable. My biggest complaint with Vivace is that when the café is full, there is not much space between you and the people at the next table. It’s hard to move around at all without bumping into them.
Overall, I enjoyed my two hours at Vivace, and can see myself going back sometime.
Address: 2287 NW Pettygrove Street, Portland, OR 97210 (map)
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7am-10pm
Free WiFi? Yes, but it is slow sometimes
Recommend it? Yes