elephant, asian elephant

Saturday Selections: Elephant’s Delicatessen (Portland)

Happy Saturday, Readers!

Sorry, but if you don’t live in Portland, Oregon, or aren’t planning a trip here anytime soon, this Saturday Selection may leave you feeling a bit envious because this week I had the wonderful experience of visiting Elephant’s Delicatessen and all I can say is YUM! Well, okay, there’s more to say otherwise this would be a very short post…

About Elephant’s

elephant, asian elephant

No, not these kind of elephants.
Creative Commons Image from AnimalPhotos.info

Now, when I say I finally made my way over to Elephant’s, I mean their flagship shop on NW 22nd. There’s a few other mini versions of the place (known as Flying Elephants) and I’ve stopped into them before for their quick grab-and-go selections, but really, you’ve GOT to go to the one on 22nd to really understand the joys of Elephant’s.

The deli/food shop started in 1980 and may have been responsible for the beginning of the foodie movement in Portland as the shop offered up specialty coffees, pastas, cheeses and other goodies from Europe. Sorry, did my mouth just water? Apologies.

They still pride themselves on quality ingredients, a huge selection of yummies from croissants to hot food to desserts, and surprisingly reasonable prices. That doesn’t mean that Elephant’s is the cheapest lunch spot in town, but it’s not as expensive as you think it might be when you walk in.

My Elephantine Experience

The moment my husband and I walked into Elephant’s and headed over to the bar (coffee bar and drinks bar), something seemed oddly familiar. It was uncannily like stepping into a European cafe (or bar as they are sometimes called). Since I’m slightly obsessed with all things Europe, I was so happy I nearly forgot about the misery of the head cold I’ve been enduring.


A delicious cuppa energy! Public domain image from PIxabay.

Ordered our drinks – double espresso for me, hot chocolate for my husband – and sat down at the bar. Now, the drinks were good, quite good, but what really shot Elephant’s into Saturday Selections was the service. This was no surly barista acting like he was doing us a huge favor by providing us beverages. He was happy in his job, friendly without being annoying, he even gave my husband a top up on his hot chocolate rather than dump the extra down the sink and also offered us free biscotti!

We lingered over our beverages, well, as much as I can linger over an espresso, and then wandered around the shop a bit (not too long since we had errands to run and only had two hours’ parking). I tried to control my drooling, but it wasn’t easy. I vowed we would be coming back before the end of the day.

So, with our errands finished and only 10 minutes left in our parking spot, I dashed back into the deli, and grabbed a to-go tiramisu (my second favorite dessert). The tiramisu did not make it home…

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2 thoughts on “Saturday Selections: Elephant’s Delicatessen (Portland)

  1. David says:

    I’ve been there! When I first walked in, it reminded me of a cross between all the chocolate shops in Brugge (or Bruges), Belgium and the food section in Fortnum and Mason in London. The hot chocolate is like drinking liquid chocolate! Very good.


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