Raúl Gómez-Rojas is Music Director of Metropolitan Youth Symphony (MYS). He’s originally from Costa Rica, where he grew up playing the violin in his local youth orchestra. When he’s not conducting, playing, or teaching, he enjoys spending time outside with his wife and two pups. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter @rgomezmusic.


Casa del Pollo / Lake Oswego

Located in Lake Oswego, this spot is perfect for a relaxing dinner of healthy and delicious staples from my home country, Costa Rica. I especially love their ceviche and the wonderful hospitality from Jorge and company.

Milagro Theatre / SE

My wife is a professional actor, so it’s no wonder one of my favorite things is to see plays in town. Milagro presents a fun and engaging season that gives voice to Latino(a) playwrights and performers.

Hungry Tiger / SE

I am almost always hungry after evening performances. Hungry Tiger is my favorite destination for after-concert, late-night drinks, and food. They have a killer vegan menu and superb cocktails. Try their tot-chos!


Metropolitan Youth Symphony / SW

Every Saturday morning, more than 500 young musicians rehearse the 15 ensembles of MYS, including orchestra, band, and jazz. I get to conduct the most advanced full orchestra. Working with these talented students is always the highlight of my week.

Supernova Food Cart / Woodstock

Absolutely the best bánh-mì in town, and it happens to be vegan. I love hitting this food cart on SE Woodstock for lunch, especially when it’s nice out. Their whole menu is amazing.

BodyVox / NW

Cleary, I love the arts. BodyVox is one of my favorite dance companies in town. I adore their shows and also admire the work they do for young dancers with their Junior Artist Generator program.


Thousand Acres Dog Park

Thousand Acres (aka the Sandy River Delta) is our favorite place to bring our two pups to run freely and get in the water. The place is so big that we discover new areas every time we go.

Oregon Symphony Concert / Downtown

Portland is lucky to have such an incredible hometown orchestra. Hearing the OSO at the “Schnitz” is guaranteed to move you to your core. I enjoy their fun, edgy programming, and virtuosic performances.

Do your weekend plans make for the perfect arts itinerary?

Do you always know the coolest spots? Submit your fabulous directions for the perfect weekend script.