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Portland Brings Home the Cup!

Portland, Oregon is known for many things, but as of Sunday, December 6, 2015, Portland is now known as the 2015 winner of the MLS Cup.

Timbers captain Liam Ridgewell (front, right) and longtime captain Will Johnson (front, left), who missed most of the year due to injury, hoist MLS Cup at MAPFRE Stadium. Head coach Caleb Porter (right), applauds his squad. PHOTO BY: USA TODAY Sports


Major League Soccer is the professional soccer league in the United States. With 20 teams across the U.S. the MLS franchise has become increasingly popular in the past few years, expanding to cities such as Portland, Oregon. Portland has had a soccer team for many years, but in 2011 the MLS expanded to include both the Rose City (Portland) and Vancouver, B.C. Since that year the Portland Timbers organization has grown on and off the field – becoming one of the loudest soccer cities in the U.S. and according to the Bleacher Report, the best stadium for soccer fans.

This past weekend Portland brought home what is considered the Super Bowl of wins for soccer – the MLS Cup. We would like to congratulate the Portland Timber’s organization for this victory! We are proud to live in Portland and even prouder of our Timbers for bringing home the cup. This is just another reason to love Portland:

Thinking about moving to Portland? Our Newcomer’s Handbook for Moving to and Living in Portland will have all the information you need about the Rose City!

Chicago Art

In anticipation of Chicago Artists Month


From the streets to the galleries, Chicago has never lacked passion, expression and innovation. To honor Chicago’s commitment to culture, let’s talk about art. From the days of hosting one of the most successful World’s Fairs in 1893, Chicago has permanently stamped its mark as a city of culture and expression. Today that mark has touched all corners of the city’s society.

At the heart of art in this vibrant city is The Art Institute of Chicago, where numerous exhibits grace gallery floors and invite locals and tourists to experience the creative genius of artists from across time. The institute holds numerous exhibits such as the galleries of Greek, Roman and Byzantine Art and galleries of modern art. The latest exhibit that will swing through the Institute in July will be the painted tapestries of Édouard Vuillard. exh_vuillard_window_overlooking_the_woods_480The exhibit will bring together two halves of Vuillard’s earliest pieces. First Fruits is a two-part tapestry done by Vuillard in 1899. This is the first time since 1950 that the pieces will be reunited, after being sold into separate private collections over 50 years ago.  The exhibit will open July 11 and will stay until October 6:

If older century tapestries are not your style, Chicago brings current issues to the spotlight as well. An art exhibit by Ti-Rock Moore has been displayed in the Gallery Guichard since July 9. Moore’s piece is controversial, as it infuses the events of last year’s Ferguson shooting with a raw display of expression. Her piece is said to display the Statue of Liberty, a noose and Michael Brown all in the same context. She makes an argument for privilege in America with this impactful and controversial exhibit. The exhibit will last through August 10:!blank/ckje.

Art truly begins with the artist, and their inspiration by people and events. As Moore is inspired by Michael Brown, spectators will be inspired by the lush forest that Vuillard brings to the fabric. A young designer was inspired by another aspect of Chicago–the homeless population. Ian Todd decided to use his efforts as a design student to help the plight of homeless people on the streets of Chicago by redesigning the cardboard signs that are often seen with the homeless community in any city. Todd turned the typical handwritten sign into an appealing advertisement. Homeless Signs - ChicagoUsing several elaborate fonts, Todd wrote the messages of homeless people on cardboard signs to help them stand out. Todd, a California native, proved that using art in the smallest way can bring attention to the big issues.  He brought the stories of the city’s homeless to the news, as they highlighted his cause as a demonstration of community in downtown Chicago:

Artists in Chicago are making big waves, whether it be Moore with dramatic exhibits, or Todd with writing fonts on cardboard signs, the city pulls together to appreciate the passion behind the acts that drive these artists.

And if Chicago brings out the artist in you, share your work with the numerous art competitions around the city. The Chicago Artists Month competition invites people to submit their work as a chance to participate in the 20th anniversary of Chicago Artists Month that will take place in early October to mid-November:

Artists bring history, style and culture to Chicago. The culture of Chicago made even Frank Sinatra swoon. After all is it not he that sang it best?

Newcomer’s Handbook for Moving to and Living in New York City, Updated for 2015!

23rd Edition Now Available

Newcomer's Handbook for Moving to and Living in New York City, 23rd Ed.The twenty-third edition of the Newcomer’s Handbook® for Moving to and Living in New York City: Including Manhattan, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, and Northern New Jersey, about 415 pages long, contains detailed information on neighborhoods, getting settled, helpful services, child care and education, cultural life, green living, and much more. Updated by Julie Schwietert Collazo, who has lived in New York City since 1999, this book, designed especially for individuals who are planning to move to New York City or for those who have just arrived in the Big Apple is the essential guide to the New York boroughs and the surrounding communities.

In detailing New York City neighborhoods from Inwood to Battery Park, or Riverdale to Bayside to DUMBO to Grymes Hill, this volume delineates the character and features of each area as well as the types and availability of housing, plus a list of convenient addresses and web sites. It then goes further afield to describe suburbs in New Jersey, Long Island and Westchester, and Connecticut. This edition also includes photographs illustrating what the neighborhoods and communities actually look like.

Updates to the twenty-third edition include amended neighborhood maps, new and updated website addresses for quick access to additional information, and new sections, including Pregnancy, Labor & Delivery, and Postpartum Services in the Helpful Services chapter and Charter Schools in the Childcare and Education chapter.

Here is an excerpt from our Cultural Life chapter:

The incredible diversity and depth of the city’s cultural, intellectual, and artistic life is a magnet for many of the people who move here. Nowhere else can such an enormous range of interests and avocations be accommodated on so many levels. While it is impossible to cover all the opportunities New York offers, we can help the newcomer, young and old alike, access this cultural variety by providing a compilation of ticket, subscription, and membership information for leading opera companies, symphony orchestras, dance companies, theatrical repertory groups, and museums. We’ve also included cultural opportunities for children, as well as a section called Literary Life that focuses on libraries and bookstores. Addresses provided are in Manhattan unless otherwise noted. For more cultural life and opportunities, see the community resources listed at the end of each neighborhood profile at the beginning of the book. And while it’s easy to forget that New York is a college town, don’t forget to check out the many offerings of colleges and universities around the city,
including Columbia, CUNY, and NYU (see Higher Education at the end of the Childcare and Education chapter).

MLK Day Activities

Celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin-Luther-King-Jr-dMartin Luther King Jr.’s birthday is January 15th, but is officially observed on the 3rd Monday of January. Not everyone has this day off, but for those that do, there are many things in your city that you can do to celebrate the life and memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. this Monday and over the weekend.

The new movie Selma was released last week and chronicles a three-month period of the life of Martin Luther King Jr. The New Yorker’s David Denby writes about Selma: “This is cinema, more rhetorical, spectacular, and stirring than cable-TV drama…” He goes on to point out that “DuVernay’s timing couldn’t be more relevant. Next year marks the fiftieth anniversary of both the Selma marches and the passage of the Voting Rights Act.” If you are interested in seeing this movie and learning about this inspiring leader check your latest theater listing for show times.

Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta, GA, so it is fitting that the MLK Civil and Human Rights Conference is held there from January 15-19. The conference was established to commemorate the life of Dr. King and the civil rights movement, but is inclusive of all people and aims to focus its efforts on community service and education. It is not too late to attend and registration can be done at the event.

If you live in Oregon, there are many activities going on. chronicles some of the many options that you have from a Prayer Breakfast to a week-long celebration in Salem: Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2015: Celebrations, services and events around Portland.

San Francisco hosts an annual parade and festival in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Beginning at 11:00 AM on January 19th, the 1.5 mile parade starts at Caltrain Station and ends at Willie Mays Plaza. The Northern California Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Foundation has put together a list of events in and around San Francisco: From January 16-19 there will be a children’s discovery hunt, music festival, health & wellness festival, and free admission at some of the city’s museums.

Interested in volunteering? A lot of people, from federal workers to private business employees, have Monday off work. With the upcoming three-day weekend, Time magazine encourages you to turn your day off into a day on. They have listed some volunteer organizations for major cities across the U.S.:

New York City has a website specifically devoted to volunteer opportunities on MLK day: There are also many opportunities for kids in New York City to get involved and learn about Dr. King’s life via interactive peace marches and various free museums. The Apollo Theater is hosting a free event, which includes musical performances, readings, panelists and moderators to encourage an engaging conversation about Dr. King. This event will be held on Sunday, January 18th, and is such a popular event that reservations are no longer available. Those still interested in attending can standby the day of the event in case space opens up (  The Annual Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, is New York City’s largest public celebration. Also free to attend, this event brings together artists, activists, civic leaders, and community member to honor his legacy (

No matter where you live, there are many activities to celebrate the life and legacy of this impactful historical figure. This list just touches on a few of the many celebrations around the U.S. but is a good starting point to deciding how you choose to celebrate the life of Dr. King on Monday.

Newcomer’s Handbook for Moving to and Living in Portland, Updated for 2015!

New year, new Portland handbook.

Newcomer's Handbook for Moving to and Living in Portland, 3rd EditionThe third edition of the Newcomer’s Handbook® for Moving to and Living in Portland: Including Vancouver, Gresham, Hillsboro, Beaverton, Tigard, and Wilsonville, about 560 pages long, contains detailed information on neighborhoods, getting settled, helpful services, child care and education, cultural life, green living, and much more. Written by Bryan Geon, who has spent over a decade exploring Portland and the surrounding region, both as a long-time resident and serial newcomer, this book, designed especially for individuals who are planning to move to Portland, Oregon, or for those who have just arrived in the Rose City, is the essential guide to Portland and the surrounding communities.

In detailing Portland neighborhoods from Kenton to Multnomah Village and the Pearl District to Montavilla, this volume delineates the character and features of each area as well as the types and availability of housing, plus a list of convenient addresses and web sites. It then goes further afield to describe suburbs in East Multnomah County, Clackamas, Washington, and even Yamhill counties, plus Vancouver and its suburbs in Washington state. This edition also includes photographs illustrating what the neighborhoods and communities actually look like.

Updates to the third edition include the latest on changes in Oregon law (legalized recreational marijuana, phased in starting in mid-2015; reinstatement of legalized same-sex marriage), new sports venue names (Moda Center, Providence Park, Ron Tonkin Stadium), transportation updates (in particular the Tilikum Crossing bridge, opening in the fall of 2015 and designed to serve mass transit, pedestrians and bicyclists, and emergency vehicles; and the new light-rail line to Milwaukie, also scheduled to begin operations in late 2015), and several references to Portlandia (as defined in the Local Lingo section: Portlandia: Popular IFC sketch-comedy show starring Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein that pokes fun at the city’s quirks and foibles; some people refer to it, only half-jokingly, as a documentary).

And best of all, this volume approaches Portland with a sensibility appropriate to the city with humor and a bit of delight in the quirkiness that exemplifies the Rose City. For example, a brief excerpt from the Weather and Natural Disasters chapter:

By now, you’ve probably heard a few not especially funny jokes about Oregon rain. One old saw holds that Oregonians don’t tan, they rust. Another states that Portland’s rainy season only runs from September 1 to August 31. Yet another asks, “What do you call two consecutive days of rain in Portland?” (Answer: the weekend.) Then there’s the story about the hapless fellow waiting to be admitted into hell. He watches anxiously as Satan throws almost every soul in line ahead of him into the fiery pit, but notices that every so often the devil chucks someone off to the side instead. Intrigued, he summons up the courage to peep, “Excuse me, Prince of Darkness, but I notice that you seem to be throwing some people off to the side instead of into the inferno.” “Oh, them,” the devil replies ruefully, “They’re from Portland. They’re too wet to burn.” Har har har. Endless rain. How very droll.

It does rain a lot in Oregon. Rumors of a nine-month deluge, however, are greatly exaggerated. The sun comes out sometimes, even in winter, and summers are typically glorious. And even if the weather’s often wet and gray, it’s somewhat comforting that the region’s best known climatic feature is its drizzle rather than, say, category 5 hurricanes, killer tornadoes, or paralyzing blizzards.

Which is not to say that Portland is not at risk from natural disasters. All that rain sometimes begets mudslides and floods, and the area is subject to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, forest fires, and the occasional ironic drought. It’s all part of the price you pay for living in a paradise—a soggy, geologically unstable paradise.

Want to read more? Order now

New Los Angeles Edition Now Available!

The 6th Edition of the Newcomer's Handbook for Moving to and Living in Los Angeles is now available.

Newcomer's Handbook for Moving to and Living in Los Angeles, 6th EdBrand new, updated for 2014! First Books, publisher of the bestselling Newcomer’s Handbook® relocation series, is excited to announce publication of the sixth edition of the Newcomer’s Handbook® for Moving to and Living in Los Angeles: Including Santa Monica, Pasadena, Orange County, and the San Fernando Valley.

This 398-page volume will quickly orient newcomers to the history, culture, and lifestyle of the Southland. Highlights include:

  • Local Quirks & Lingo, in the Introduction, offers essentials for living here; unsurprisingly, many points are related to driving and parking. How does a “red flag day” alert affect parking? Does “going over the hill” have something to do with unavailability of plastic surgery?
  • Each community section in the Neighborhoods chapter now features a photosample of local housing in the area. Get an idea of what to expect before exploring neighborhoods for yourself.
  • A new section of Helpful Apps has been added to the Getting Settled chapter, offering even more ways to get connected in the area.

Here is a short introduction to Los Angeles:

“At first glance, Los Angeles appears to be a sprawling metropolis with no clear demarcations from one municipality to the next, let alone distinct neighborhoods. It takes time and patience to navigate this d to understand the subtle qualities that make Santa Monica different from Venice, or Silver Lake from the Fairfax district, but after a while, you will find neighborhoods in Los Angeles have different characteristics. Exploring LA’s com- munities is easy and fun, and for newcomers especially, it’s encouraged—just expect to spend at least some of the time sitting in traffic.

While cruising through the city, you will no doubt encounter the “strip mall” phenomenon; that is, the appearance of one-to three-story mini-malls on every other block. While some consider these modern strip malls architectural eyesores, these neighborhood commerce centers usually provide a needed service or product.

Los Angeles’ problems of crime and violence may be notorious, but in reality, they reflect the nation’s urban woes and are certainly no better or worse here than in other major US cities. In fact, in the latest survey of FBI crime statistics, which ranked violent crime levels of the 300 largest metropolitan areas in the country, Los Angeles didn’t even make the top 100. As in any city, a good dose of street smarts and common sense will help steer you away from trouble, and as safety experts are fond of reminding us, always be aware of your surroundings. Certain high-crime neighborhoods, such as South Central and Watts, are not recommended for outsiders or newcomers, but there are plenty of safe and affordable areas in which to live, work, and play.

In terms of climate, the warmest temperatures and worst air pollution occur in the summer months, and in general, you can expect the climate and air quality to be hotter and smoggier the further east you go. The Los Angeles metropolitan area reliably ranks at or near the top of ozone pollution lists, so if smog-related illnesses are a particular concern, choose your location carefully. For detailed information on the air quality in the areas you are considering calling home, contact the South Coast Air Quality Management District at 909-396-2000,

The City of Los Angeles is the second most populous city, behind New York City, in the USA, with an estimated population of 3.8 million in 2012. Los Angeles County is comprised of 9.9 million residents and alone would rank as the eighth most populous state. LA is a multi-ethnic, multicultural society, as diverse as any city in the world. The ethnic breakdown of students enrolled at LA Unified School District (the largest district in the USA after New York) tells you just how diverse it is here: 73.7% Hispanic, 10.2 % Black, 8.8% White, 5.8% Asian, and the balance includes American Indian, Filipino, and Pacific Islander. People from more than 140 coun- tries live in Los Angeles County, including the largest population of Mexican, Armenian, Korean, Filipino, Salvadoran, and Guatemalan communities outside their respective home nations. The city is so large you can fit St. Louis, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Boston, Pittsburgh, and Manhattan all within the municipal boundaries!

For decades, people around the world have been attracted to Los Angeles for its promises of fame and fortune, and excellent year-round weather. While only a sliver of the population is famous and wealthy, the good weather here is no myth. Average temperatures range from 58 degrees Fahrenheit in December to 73 degrees in September, and it’s not uncommon to have an 80-degree day at the beach in February, while much of the rest of the country shivers under a layer of snow. Our annual precipitation is just under 15 inches, with an average of 291 sunny days a year.

Some fun facts you may want to know about LA…”

Buy now to read the rest of this excerpt and learn all you need to know about Los Angeles!

New York Pizza

Must Try Pizza Restaurants in New York

BuzzFeed’s recent article on 18 Pizza Joints You Must Try Before You Die, covers many pizza restaurants in the New York City area. Therefore, if you are moving to (or already live in) New York, we have a list of suggestions for your next pizza craving.

Di Farra PizzaOur first recommendation is Di Fara Pizza. Some people wait up to three hours to eat their delicious pizza; it is that good! Di Fara opened in 1964 by Domenico DeMarco, an Italian immigrant who came to the US in 1959. The pizzeria holds the number one spot for pizza in the New York Zagat for eight years straight and received excellent reviews and features in The New York Times and on the Food Network. Di Fara keeps its pizza authentic by importing tomatoes from Italy!

GoodfellasSecondly, Goodfellas in Staten Island is world renowned for their tequila pizza, made with coconut, mango, tomato, shrimp, lime, tequila, bacon, and white sauce; it won best pizza at the 2012 International Pizza Expo. Goodfellas was established in 1992 by Scot Cosentino. Cosentino only uses fresh ingredients for his pizzas and cooks them all at 800 degrees in traditional wood-fire brick ovens. The famous food has attracted famous actors such as Tom Cruise and Penelope Cruz.

Joe's PizzaAnd last but not least is Joe’s Pizza, which was opened in 1975 by Joe Pozzuoli, another Italian-born chef. Joe’s pizza is called “the quintessential New York slice” by New York Magazine and GQ listed it as one of the “Best 25 Pizzas on Earth.” The restaurant was also featured in Spider Man 2; Toby McGuire, as Peter Parker, worked as a delivery boy for Joe’s. This Hollywood highlight inspired other celebrities to stop on by and try a piece, including big names like Leonardo DiCaprio, Anne Hathaway, and more. Even Kevin Bacon said to Maxim Magazine that “for his last meal he’d want a slice of Joe’s Pizza.”

Newcomer's Handbook for New York CityThis is far from a complete list of the excellent pizza joints in New York, but these three should give you a good introduction to the New York pizza scene. And, as always, if you want to know more about what to do in the city after you have your slice of pizza, check out our Newcomer’s Handbook to Moving to and Living in New York City.

Written by: Kristin Monteith

Musicians and Their Hometowns

Famous Musicians' Home Cities

Do you know of any great musicians from your hometown? Newcomer’s Handbooks can name a few, and we want to share them with you!

Cee-Lo GreenCeeLo Green (born Thomas DeCarlo Calloway) reigns from Atlanta, GA. The five-time Grammy winner is best known for his song “Forget You,” released in 2010. After being a judge on The Voice, Green started his own show called The Good Life, where he and a group of friends, Big Gipp, Khujo and T-Mo, work together. Green also works with The Greenhouse Foundationin Atlanta, which he and his sister founded to help educate children in disadvantaged areas as well as to follow a family tradition of philanthropy.

Fall Out BoyFall Out Boy, the band consisting of Patrick Stump, Pete Wentz, Joe Trohman, and Andy Hurley, formed in Chicago in 2001. Songs like “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark,” “Thks fr th Mmrs,” and “Dance, Dance” have helped to maintain the band’s popularity even after a hiatus from 2010 to 2012. After releasing their comeback album Save Rock and Roll in 2013, the band conducted an expansive tour and performed with the other popular rock bands such as New Politics and Panic! At the Disco.

Sara BareillesSara Bareilles, whom you probably recognize from one of her big hit’s “Love Song,” hails from Los Angeles, where she went to the University of California. The five-time Grammy nominee taught herself to play the piano, and she started her career with Epic Records in 2005 after years of singing for acapella groups. Bareilles is currently in the midst of her “Little Black Dress” tour to promote her most recent album, The Blessed Unrest, released in 2013.

Fun.Many musicians call New York City home, but Fun. has been one particularly-popular band. The band consists of Nate Ruess, Andrew Dost, and Jack Antonoff, and they made it big in 2012 with their songs “Some Nights” and “We Are Young.” Besides creating catchy music, the band takes on a variety of charity projects: Andrew paints pies with all profits going to animal shelters in Detroit, and the band as a whole supports a variety of LGBT organizations such as Free & Equal and The Ally Coalition.

Macklemore & Ryan LewisLastly, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis call Seattle home. Macklemore, whose given name is Ben Haggerty, released the top-hit song “Thrift Shop,” which won two Grammys for best rap performance and song. During the 2014 Grammys, Macklemore preformed his song “Same Love” while the host, Queen Latifah, read out marriage vows from a mix of couples in support of equal marriage rights. Macklemore is also a big sports fan, and he dedicates songs to his Seattle teams; for instance, “My Oh My” is dedicated to the Seattle Mariners.

Written by: Kristin Monteith

Bookstores to Visit

World's Coolest Bookstores

On July 24, 2014 CNN released their list of World’s Coolest Bookstores, and we can confirm the coolness of five that are located in cities we know well from our handbooks.

The Last Bookstore 1

To start, The Last Bookstore in Los Angeles started as an online store but is now located in an old bank, vaults included. On the top floor, there is a section called the Labyrinth with over 100,000 books all priced at a dollar. The Last Bookstore 2Along with their wide collection of books (making them the largest independent bookstore in California), Last Bookstore also sells records and holds book signings/readings. If that isn’t enticing enough, the book structures (such as the desk and tunnel to the Labyrinth) will make the visit worth your while.

StanfordsThe next couple of shops are Stanfords and Foyles Flagship, both of which are in London. Stanfords carries the world’s largest stock of maps and travel bFoyles Flagshipooks, which comes as no surprise since the store initially opened as a map shop in 1853. If you are traveling through London and need assistance with your next excursion, the attentive staff at Stanfords can help with your research. Foyles Flagship, on the other hand, originated in 1903 when brothers William and Gilbert Foyles started selling textbooks based on an exam they had failed. Now the store is thriving with five locations, one of which is where the Sex Pistols first performed.

The StrandAnother of CNN’s coolest bookstores is The Strand in New York City. The Strand was started by Ben Bass on 4th Avenue in book row amongst 48 other bookstores and is the only one left standing today. Currently on 12th and Broadway, The Strand carries over 2.5 million new, used, and rare books. According to their website, the store is still kept in the Bass family, and they expect to continue this tradition, not seeing online stores like Amazon as a threat.

PowellsAnd last, but certainly not least, is Powell’s City of Books in Portland, OR. It might be a little biased to say this, but Powell’s is a book-lover’s paradise. The store takes up a whole city block and is packed up to three levels with books. Powell’s carries 122 subjects and 3,500 subsections, making it hard to not find a book on their shelves. If you do find something they don’t carry (because it has been self-published), Powell’s can print it right in the store with their Espresso Book Maker.

Those are the bookstores from CNN’s list we know from our Newcomer’s Handbooks. And if you’re moving to any of these cities, we suggest checking these stores out.

Written by: Kristin Monteith

The Coffee of Portland

Portland's Best Coffee Houses

Heart Coffee RoastersCoffee has become the source of life for some of us here at First Books and according to Buzzfeed’s new article 25 Coffee Shops Around the World You Have to See Before You Die, it’s a good thing we’re located in Portland, OR, where the list’s number one and three shops are located.

Portland’s Heart Coffee Roasters makes it to the number-one slot on Buzzfeed’s list. According to the “About” section on their website, Heart’s motivation is to offer “uncompromising quality.” To achieve this result, they begin with green (unroasted) coffee and roast it a temperature that fully develops its flavors; each cup of coffee must pass a “standard of excellence” before making it into the hands of the customer. The Heart crew now serves affogatos, an espresso-lover’s favorite, which is a scoop of ice cream or gelato topped with a shot of espresso. Heart’s homemade ice cream consists of coconut cream, maple syrup, vanilla bean, and Himalayan pink salt; therefore, it is vegan and lactose-intolerant friendly. And though this treat is only sold in Heart’s two café locations, you can still order their special roasts and other items from their online shop.

Stumptown CoffeeThe third shop on Buzzfeed’s list is Stumptown Coffee Roasters, which has five shops (including their headquarters) in Portland as well as a few locations in New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle. Stumptown is a farm-to-coffee-cup kind of place that builds relationships with the farmers in order to obtain the “best beans in the world,” resulting in the best coffee. Duane Sorenson first opened the shop in 1999 with the dream to make coffee based on the quality not the quantity, which, based on the popularity of his shops, is a dream he has more than achieved.  Cold brew, one of  Stumptown’s most raved about creations, tastes of pure caffeine and is a perfect pick-me-up on a hot summer morning. Don’t be disappointed if there are no shops near you; Stumptown sells a variety of their blends and even brew kits on their online store, so you can bring Stumptown’s goodness home.

Written by: Kristin Monteith