Melissa Wilmot

Correspondent

  • Portland, Oregon, USA

Melissa Wilmot is a Forbes Travel Guide Correspondent who lives in Portland, Ore. and covers the city for Forbes Travel Guide. Wilmot writes about luxury travel, lifestyle, wellness and dining. After time spent heading up communications at the Portland Japanese Garden and at a major public relations company, she founded her own communications firm. Born in South Africa, Wilmot has travelled to every continent except Antarctica. A few years ago, she and her husband took a luxury safari trip with their infant son and now Wilmot can’t wait to take both of her young sons to explore the world further.

  • On May 18, 2013
    Melissa Wilmot answered the question: Melissa Wilmot

    What are the best food gifts to buy in Portland?

    Portland's a foodie town, so leaving without any edible reminders of your visit would be such a shame!
    • While Tillamook Cheese is now on shelves in stores around the nation, it's homegrown in the coastal town of Tillamook, Oregon. If you don't get a chance to day-trip and tour the impressive cheese factory, make sure to pick up a baby loaf of pepper jack (or two).
    • In 1993, every chocolate lover's dream opened in Portland. We're talking about Moonstruck Chocolates. These handcrafted gourmet chocolates are some of the best you'll find. And, with five locations in the Portland area, hopefully visitors will have an opportunity to try them for themselves. Either way, Moonstruck Chocolates make excellent gifts. From the cute Honey Bee Truffles to the Dark Chocolate Grey Sea Salt Caramels, there's something for everyone. Buy a box and personally select each chocolate for the perfect gift.
    • With one of the top wine regions in the nation a mere hour away from Portland in the Willamette Valley, wine is always a great gift idea. If you don’t get a chance to personally visit and wine taste, stop by Zupan’s to browse their expansive selection of wine, or just ask one of the knowledgeable Wine Stewards for tips.
    • More than 98% of hazelnuts consumed in the U.S. are grown here in Oregon. So, naturally, hazelnuts make a great edible gift. Made In Oregon has a terrific selection of hazelnut gifts ranging from roasted, salted and smoked to chocolate covered, and more.
  • On May 18, 2013
    Melissa Wilmot answered the question: Melissa Wilmot

    What are the best bars in Portland?

    Departure Without even diving into all the fantastic breweries and distilleries that Portland has to offer, we could spend quite some time on our favorite bars. Whether we’re ordering off the happy hour menu, tasting a wine from our own Willamette Valley, or listening to great live music, these are some of our favorites.


    Kells Irish Restaurant and Pub is home of the largest St. Patrick’s Festival in the Northwest. On top of that, they offer great beers and live music year-round.

    Take in Portland from 15 floors above street level at Departure’s happy hour. Sitting outside with a cocktail in hand is the best possible way to wind down your day.

    Brix Tavern offers a classic tavern vibe in the heart of the Pearl District. In addition to a great selection of beer, wine and cocktails, they’re known for some amazing good ol’ American comfort food. Read: Baked truffle mac & cheese and chicken pot pie.

    Blocks from the Rose Quarter and home of the Portland Trail Blazers, Spirit of 77 is bringing the American sports bar back to life. If you’re not there to watch your favorite teams on the big screen TVs, make sure to stop by en route to, or from, a Blazers game.

    Established in 1879, Hubers is Portland’s oldest restaurant. In addition to this claim to fame, they are known for their signature drink — the spanish coffee, prepared tableside with great flair.
  • On May 18, 2013
    Melissa Wilmot answered the question: Melissa Wilmot

    What are the best restaurants in Portland?

    Where to even start? Portland absolutely has something for everyone. A divine, scrumptious dining experience can be had for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert and the summary below simply scratches the surface. But, if you must start somewhere, this is the place!

    1. Las Primas: True confession: I lived in Lima, Peru for 2 years. What that means is that I know great Peruvian cuisine, and this is it. The signature sandwich, the butifarra, will make your taste buds thank you forever. Pair it with the yuquitas, yucca dough fritters topped with a creamy pepper sauce, and make sure to order the super-flavorful empanadas. Peruvian dining isn’t complete without an accompanying pisco sour drink and Las Primas goes one step further in their creative and unique pisco cocktails – you’ll need multiple visits to try them all.
    2. Ox: What do you get when you add the wood-fired grilling tradition of Argentina, the culinary heritage of Spain, France and Italy, and a nod toward the palate of the Pacific Northwest? One of Portland’s hottest restaurants. Ox is known for its prime local meats and fish as well as seasonal produce, all prepared in a thoughtful manner. The wait for a table is worth it, and once in, make sure to sample the bruschetta of Dungeness crab, avocado, radish, cucumber and shiso, the maple-glazed heirloom carrots, briar rose chèvre, tarragon and truffle-salted pistachios, and the grass-fed Uruguayan beef ribeye.
    3. Le Pigeon: This is a must for Portland dining. The elbow-to-elbow experience is part of the charm, but the tasting menus are what set this restaurant apart and allow diners to “have it all.” The yogurt-grilled prawns, goat cheese gnocchi and crusted pork cutlet are some favorites, but don’t limit yourself. Top off the experience with the espresso pot de crème, and you’ll already be dreaming about your return.
    4. Grüner: Located in Portland’s hot and burgeoning West End, the Alpine-European cuisine at Grüner isn’t what you would expect. No heavy, greasy food here. Instead, you’ll find an amazing attention to detail with flavor combinations you haven’t sampled before. Start with the tarte flambée, an Alsatian “pizza” topped with sweet onions, smoky bacon, fromage blanc and chives. Follow that with the choucroute garnie entrée. Bratwurst, saucisson, cider-braised pork belly, cured pork tenderloin, sauerkraut and yukon gold potatoes are taken to the next level with sweet (and spicy in the right way) mustard. Pair your meal with one or two recommended German beers from the extensive drink menu.
  • On May 16, 2013
    Melissa Wilmot answered the question: Melissa Wilmot

    What are the best food gifts to buy in Portland?

    Portland's a foodie town, so leaving without any edible reminders of your visit would be such a shame!
    • While Tillamook Cheese is now on shelves in stores around the nation, it's homegrown in the coastal town of Tillamook, Oregon. If you don't get a chance to day-trip and tour the impressive cheese factory, make sure to pick up a baby loaf of pepper jack (or two).
    • In 1993, every chocolate lover's dream opened in Portland. We're talking about Moonstruck Chocolates. These handcrafted gourmet chocolates are some of the best you'll find. And, with five locations in the Portland area, hopefully visitors will have had the opportunity to try them for themselves. Either way, Moonstruck Chocolates make excellent gifts. From the cute Honey Bee Truffles to the Dark Chocolate Grey Sea Salt Caramels, there's something for everyone. Buy a box and personally select each chocolate for the perfect gift.
    • With one of the top wine regions in the nation a mere hour away from Portland in the Willamette Valley, wine is always a great gift idea. If you don’t get a chance to personally visit and wine taste, stop by Zupan’s to browse their expansive selection of wine, or just ask one of the knowledgeable Wine Stewards for tips.
    • More than 98% of hazelnuts consumed in the U.S. are grown here in Oregon. So, naturally, hazelnuts make a great edible gift. Made In Oregon has a terrific selection of hazelnut gifts ranging from roasted, salted and smoked to chocolate covered, and more.
  • On May 14, 2013
    Melissa Wilmot answered the question: Melissa Wilmot

    What are the best bars in Portland?

    Departure Without even diving into all the fantastic breweries and distilleries that Portland has to offer, we could spend quite some time on our favorite bars. Whether we’re ordering off the happy hour menu, tasting a wine from our own Willamette Valley, or listening to great live music, these are some of our favorites.


    Kells Irish Restaurant and Pub is home of the largest St. Patrick’s Festival in the Northwest. On top of that, they offer great beers and live music year-round.

    Take in Portland from 15 floors above street level at Departure’s happy hour. Sitting outside with a cocktail in hand is the best possible way to wind down your day.

    Brix Tavern offers a classic tavern vibe in the heart of the Pearl District. In addition to a great selection of beer, wine and cocktails, they’re known for some amazing good ol’ American comfort food. Read:  baked truffle mac & cheese and chicken pot pie.

    Blocks from the Rose Quarter and home of the Portland Trail Blazers, Spirit of 77 is bringing the American sports bar back to life. If you’re not there to watch your favorite teams on the big screen TVs, make sure to stop by en route to, or from, a Blazers game.

    Established in 1879, Hubers is Portland’s oldest restaurant. In addition to this claim to fame, they are known for their signature drink... the spanish coffee, prepared tableside with great flair.
  • On May 14, 2013
    Melissa Wilmot answered the question: Melissa Wilmot

    What are the best bars in Portland?

    Departure Without even diving into all the fantastic breweries and distilleries that Portland has to offer, we could spend quite some time on our favorite bars. Whether we’re ordering off the happy hour menu, tasting a wine from our own Willamette Valley, or listening to great live music, these are some of our favorites.


    Kells Irish Restaurant and Pub is home of the largest St. Patrick’s Festival in the Northwest. On top of that, they offer great beers and live music year-round.

    Take in Portland from 15 floors above street level at Departure’s happy hour. Sitting outside with a cocktail in hand is the best possible way to wind down your day.

    Brix Tavern offers a classic tavern vibe in the heart of the Pearl District. In addition to a great selection of beer, wine and cocktails, they’re known for some amazing good ol’ American comfort food. Read:  baked truffle mac & cheese and chicken pot pie.

    Blocks from the Rose Quarter and home of the Portland Trail Blazers, Spirit of 77 is bringing the American sports bar back to life. If you’re not there to watch your favorite teams on the big screen TVs, make sure to stop by en route to, or from, a Blazers game.
  • On May 13, 2013
    Melissa Wilmot is now following Jenn Louis
  • On May 13, 2013
    Melissa Wilmot answered the question: Melissa Wilmot

    What are the best restaurants in Portland?

    Where to even start? Portland absolutely has something for everyone. A divine, scrumptious dining experience can be had for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert and the summary below simply scratches the surface. But, if you must start somewhere, this is the place!

    1. Las Primas: True confession: I lived in Lima, Peru for 2 years. What that means is that I know great Peruvian cuisine, and this is it. Their signature sandwich, the butifarra, will make your taste buds thank you forever. Pair it with the yuquitas, yucca dough fritters topped with a creamy pepper sauce, and make sure to order the super-flavorful empanadas. Peruvian dining isn’t complete without an accompanying pisco sour drink and Las Primas goes one step further in their creative and unique pisco cocktails – you’ll need multiple visits to try them all.
    2. Ox: What do you get when you add the wood-fired grilling tradition of Argentina, the culinary heritage of Spain, France and Italy, and a nod toward the palate of the Pacific Northwest? …One of Portland’s hottest restaurants. Ox is known for their prime local meats and fish as well as seasonal produce, all prepared in a thoughtful manner. The wait for a table is worth it, and once in, make sure to sample the bruschetta of Dungeness crab, avocado, radish, cucumber and shiso, the maple-glazed heirloom carrots, briar rose chèvre, tarragon and truffle-salted pistachios, and the grass-fed Uruguayan beef ribeye.
    3. Le Pigeon: This is a must for Portland dining. The elbow-to-elbow experience is part of the charm, but the tasting menus are what set this restaurant apart and allow diners to “have it all.” The yogurt-grilled prawns, goat cheese gnocchi and crusted pork cutlet are some favorites, but don’t limit yourself. Top off the experience with the espresso pot de crème, and you’ll already be dreaming about your return.
    4. Grüner: Located in Portland’s hot and burgeoning West End, the Alpine-European cuisine at Grüner isn’t what you would expect. No heavy, greasy food here. Instead, you’ll find an amazing attention to detail with flavor combinations you haven’t sampled before. Start with the tarte flambée, an Alsatian “pizza” topped with sweet onions, smoky bacon, fromage blanc and chives. Follow that with the choucroute garnie entrée. Bratwurst, saucisson, cider-braised pork belly, cured pork tenderloin, sauerkraut and yukon gold potatoes are taken to the next level with sweet (and spicy in the right way) mustard. Pair your meal with one or two recommended German beers from the extensive drink menu.
  • On May 9, 2013
    Melissa Wilmot is now following Portland, Oregon
  • On May 9, 2013
  • On May 8, 2013
    Jennifer Kester is now following Melissa Wilmot
  • On May 8, 2013
    Jaydine Sayer is now following Melissa Wilmot
  • On May 7, 2013
    Melissa Wilmot answered the question: Melissa Wilmot

    What are the best activities in Portland?

    Forest Park Conservancy Portland is a phenomenal place to explore… rain or shine! While a novel could be written (and probably has) about all there is to do in and around this city, here are just a few activities you should make sure to check out:

    • BrewCycle: Grab some friends and be prepared to experience Portland’s best breweries in a whole new way. Combining Portland’s love of handcrafted beer and biking, the BrewCycle will take you, as fast as you can pedal, to your next pint.
    • Shopping: No sales tax in Portland. Need we say more? Oh yes, also really good to mention the plethora of fantastic designers featured at fashion retailers like Frances May, Mercantile and of course our Northwest favorite, Nordstrom. If it’s art you’re in the mood for, prominent galleries like the Elizabeth Leach Gallery feature talented and established artists, including some of the Northwest’s best.
    • Running, Walking or Hiking Trails: You’ll find a trail perfect for whatever you have in mind, all within Portland city limits. Can’t beat a leisurely stroll to the top of Mt. Tabor to enjoy beautiful vistas of the city, or running the shady trails of Forest Park.
    • Upscale Bowling: Now, don’t laugh, it’s true, Grand Central Bowling could possibly be considered “luxurious.” The lounge features sleek couches overlooking modern lanes with all the latest technology. Want even more? Try their VIP bowling experience to enjoy private luxury seating and two exclusive bowling lanes. And we haven’t even mentioned the food and drink options. Let’s just say sushi is on the menu… and it’s really good!
  • On May 7, 2013
    Melissa Wilmot answered the question: Melissa Wilmot

    What are the best activities in Portland?

    Forest Park Conservancy Portland is a phenomenal place to explore… rain or shine! While a novel could be written (and probably has) about all there is to do in and around this city, here are just a few activities to make sure you check out:

    • BrewCycle: Grab some friends and be prepared to experience Portland’s best breweries in a whole new way. Combining Portland’s love of handcrafted beer and biking, the BrewCycle will take you, as fast as you can pedal, to your next pint.
    • Shopping: No sales tax in Portland. Need we say more? Oh yes, also really good to mention the plethora of fantastic designers featured at fashion retailers like Frances May, Mercantile and of course our Northwest favorite, Nordstrom. If it’s art you’re in the mood for, prominent galleries like the Elizabeth Leach Gallery feature talented and established artists, including some of the Northwest’s best.
    • Running, Walking or Hiking Trails: You’ll find a trail perfect for whatever you have in mind, all within Portland city limits. Can’t beat a leisurely stroll to the top of Mt. Tabor to enjoy beautiful vistas of the city, or running the shady trails of Forest Park.
    • Upscale Bowling: Now, don’t laugh, it’s true, Grand Central Bowling could possibly be considered “luxurious.” The lounge features sleek couches overlooking modern lanes with all the latest technology. Want even more? Try their VIP bowling experience to enjoy private luxury seating and two exclusive bowling lanes. And we haven’t even mentioned the food and drink options. Let’s just say sushi is on the menu… and it’s really good!
  • On May 7, 2013
    Melissa Wilmot answered the question: Melissa Wilmot

    What are the best activities in Portland?

    Forest Park Conservancy Portland is a phenomenal place to explore… rain or shine! While a novel could be written (and probably has) about all there is to do in and around this city, here are just a few activities to make sure you check out:

    • BrewCycle: Grab some friends and be prepared to experience Portland’s best breweries in a whole new way. Combining Portland’s love of handcrafted beer and biking, the BrewCycle will take you, as fast as you can pedal, to your next pint.
    • Shopping: No sales tax in Portland. Need we say more? Oh yes, also really good to mention the plethora of fantastic designers featured at fashion retailers like Frances May, Mercantile and of course our Northwest favorite, Nordstrom. If it’s art you’re in the mood for, prominent galleries like the Elizabeth Leach Gallery feature talented and established artists, including some of the Northwest’s best.
    • Running, Walking or Hiking Trails: You’ll find a trail perfect for whatever you have in mind, all within Portland city limits. Can’t beat a leisurely stroll to the top of Mt. Tabor to enjoy beautiful vistas of the city, or running the shady trails of Forest Park.
    • Upscale Bowling: Now, don’t laugh, it’s true, Grand Central Bowling could possibly be considered “luxurious.” The lounge features sleek couches overlooking modern lanes with all the latest technology. Want even more? Try their VIP bowling experience to enjoy private luxury seating and two exclusive bowling lanes. And we haven’t even mentioned the food and drink options. Let’s just say sushi is on the menu… and it’s really good!