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Best Restaurants: Downtown Portland & Beyond

By The Oregonian, Yelp & My Chauffeur

Portland City Grill

From 30 floors above the street, diners and drinkers at Portland City Grill have a commanding view of the city. PHOTO BY JAMIE FRANCIS

$ Eat well for $10-$15
$$ Most entrees under $20
$$$ Most entrees $20 and up
$$$$ Most entrees $30 and up

Those with 'Prix Fixe' menus include: Andina, Brazil Grill, The Heathman, Hubers, Mortons, Portland City Grill, Portland Spirit & Wildwood. Click here for casual outside patio dining.

Page 2

10 Essential Portland Coffee Shops



The Hottest Restaurants in Portland Right Now (this month) - Mapped

31 Restaurants Every Portlander Should Try (Mapped)

If you were going to ask us for a recommendation; we would suggest the whole-pig head, fried ears and brainaise from Jackrabbit.


[ Peruvian ]

Andina

1314 N.W. Glisan St.
503-228-9535; andinarestaurant.com $$-$$$

Andina. Photo by Steven Gibbons

The bar of this progressive Peruvian restaurant boils with more energy than the Urubamba River. Acoustic music shoots out of the corner, a sea of daters and friends share design-intensive tapas and much chatter, and everyone seems to be swirling glasses of interest. The bar and casually elegant dining room share a menu with a staggering number of small plates, from ceviches to a classic papas a la huancaina, plus a small list of big-portioned mains. Seafood abounds throughout, a reminder of Peru's 1,500-mile Pacific coast.

Recommended: Start with piquillo peppers stuffed with quinoa, or beautifully grilled asparagus spears. Other keepers: pork tenderloin with cheese ravioli; quinoa cooked up like risotto; slow-cooked lamb shank shrouded with raw red onion and chiles; delicately tangy goat-cheese lemon cake sided by a pretty, leaf-shaped swath of berry sauce. Sacsayhuaman, full of passion fruit and sending forth a delirious chile glow, remains one of the city's great cocktails.

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[ American ]

Blueplate

308 S.W. Washington St.
503-295-2583; eatatblueplate.com $

This downtown hole in the wall elicits nostalgia for old-time soda fountains. Jeff Reiter, former Park Kitchen sous chef, wields the spatula in a modest kitchen with impressive results, from slow-cooked brisket to properly gooey mac and cheese.

Recommended: The fabulous soda-fountain selections are the real draw. Look for the "Toulouse Lautrec" with anise, coriander and mint, in the forbidden spirit of absinthe, and the "Painted Desert," decked out in the colors of sunset and flavored with honey, saffron and pomegranate. (When the holidays draw near, think pumpkin pie milkshakes!)


Veritable Quandary

1220 S.W. First Ave.
503-227-7342; veritablequandary.com $$

Veritable Quandary accurately calls itself a local landmark since 1971, but it's been a landmark longer than it's been an interesting restaurant. Over more than a decade running the VQ kitchen, chef Annie Cuggino has changed things. Over time, and especially in the past few years, she's developed a cuisine that's still bar-muscular but steadily intriguing, with big portions and bigger flavors. Meals extend from accurately named giant prawns with bacon and avocado to chocolate souffle with a cap that rises heavenward as hot chocolate sauce infiltrates its core. The kitchen hits its peak in a Saturday-night $65 tasting menu, heavy with skill and protein, that can be paired with an imaginatively chosen six-wine accompaniment for $30 more.

Eat and drink: Grilled scallop on pureed root vegetables; bacon-wrapped giant prawns; seafood stew; steak with gorgonzola; pancetta-wrapped rabbit; chocolate souffle with Nocello liqueur.


[ Classic American ]

Hubers - Portland's Oldest Restaurant

411 SW 3rd ave.

503-228-5686; hubers.com $$

Huber's - Celebrate Thanksgiving with a Huber's Turkey Dinner.

Nothing says "classic Portland" like Huber's.  "Turkey is king" and tastes exactly "how you always wanted your mom to make it" at this "historic" Downtowner (opened in 1879 and in the Oregon Pioneer Building since 1910) serving roasted birds with "holiday" trimmings and other midpriced American fare; it's like "stepping back in time" when you sit in the "delightful, clubby" wood-paneled bar & elegant, historic dining room. And for a "cool show", order an "expertly prepared" Spanish coffee – "it is a favorite."

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[ Brazilian ]

Brazil grill

1201 S.W. 12th Ave.
503-222-0002;
brazilgrillrestaurant.com $$$

This all-you-can-eat destination for serious carnivores is the only devoted outpost of Brazilian churrasco, the traditional preparation of spit-roasted meats. Waiters with bared swords, each skewering one of a dozen different meats, prowl an expansive dining room, stopping at a signal from a table to slice off a serving. You pay a flat fee -- and the food keeps on coming.

Recommended: Marinated lamb loin, roasted pineapple; lively cocktails of Brazilian sugar cane liquor.

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[ Pacific Northwest ]

Noble Rot

$$

“When I was a kid, you crossed the river to the east side for Blazers games and the airport. That’s it,” remembers Noble Rot chef and Oregon native Leather Storrs of fine dining in the 1980s and ’90s. A nice meal meant a reservation at the west side’s Heathman Hotel or Ringside steak house. That is, until 2000, when a cluster of low-rent storefronts along 28th Avenue near East Burnside triggered a decisive shift in the city’s dining geography. Upstart chefs traded traditional, rank-and-file gigs in downtown’s big kitchens for their own grittier “shoestring” operations—and dragged the epicenter of PDX dining across the Willamette.

In 2002, a boisterous little wine cave with a roll-up garage door dubbed Noble Rot** delivered the coup de grace to west side supremacy. Owners Kimberly Bernosky and Courtney Storrs took the staid wine bar concept out at the knees, with seriously eclectic wine flights and Leather Storrs’s comfort roster of onion tarts and fancy mac. See Rooftop Bars With a View.

Today, East 28th Avenue Restaurant Row’s disruptive vision of intimate dining surrounded by concrete grit and house pickles is the city’s default. “Because rents were cheaper and we were on the east side, it allowed us to be freer and not feel like we needed to ape Paley’s or Zefiro,” says Leather. “It was like, ‘What the hell, let’s just do it.’ We just caught lightning.” —Portland Monthly

**Noble Rot moved to its current location on East Burnside in 2009.


Clyde Common

1014 S.W. Stark St.
503-228-3333; clydecommon.com  $$

At this slick storefront on the ground floor of the retro-hip Ace Hotel, the tattooed and tailored sit side by side at communal tables and converse over a menu that roams from chicken-fried chicken livers to popcorn, with an emphasis on edgy organ meats. Sure, you'll find ravioli here, but it's probably filled with beef hearts. Chef Jason Barwikowski is a promising talent who spins the likes of tongue and blood sausage into dishes with a playful rusticity. Detractors find the food and desserts uneven -- interesting, but still finding their way. Both would be correct. But everyone seems to agree on one thing: The Clyde is anything but common.

Recommended: Focaccia, soft and salty and sitting in an olive-oil soak -- you can't stop eating it. Watch for duck pate or fried anchovies on the frequently changing menu, along with good hanger steaks, burgers and whole roasted fish. Check out the daily fish or meat boards -- little bites and condimentia served with icy vodka or aquavit. The modestly sized, largely European-dominated wine list is carefully chosen with reasonable value.


Higgins

1239 S.W. Broadway
503-222-9070; higginsportland.com $$$

The original farm-to-table spot.  Greg Higgins has done more to ennoble the humblest Northwest ingredients than anybody since Portland native son James Beard. And the restaurant that bears his name is at once an elegant gallery of local bounty and an earthy, no-fuss joint where great food and drink are served up Portland-casual style. The white-tablecloth restaurant in front boasts some of the town's best service and inspired seasonal menus. In the woody bar around back, a bistro menu allows you to enjoy an entire meal -- with drinks -- for less money than you might spend on an entree up front.

Recommended: The ever-present house charcuterie sampler, the pastrami-and-cheddar sandwich and the hamburger on a rosemary bun are worth every penny of their quite reasonable prices. The winter-slipping-into-spring menu is a good example of changing ideas: potato-bacon dumplings in a delicate morel sauce; perfectly fried razor clams; a "whole pig" platter of pork, with different cuts receiving individual preparations; and a lovely dessert of almond tart served with fig compote. The draft beer list rivals those of a lot of brewpubs, and the wines are nicely varied and fairly priced.


Wildwood Restaurant

1221 NW 21st Avenue
wildwoodrestaurant.com $$$

What's so special: The only place to wine and dine on high-class cuisine by award winning chef Corey Screiber, featuring fare straight from the Oregon soil. Support local farms and tantalize your taste buds with such dishes as Grilled Pacific Ahi Tuna, Mesquite Roasted Sweet Briar Farms Pork Chops, or Stumptown Espresso Crème Caramel.


The Heathman Hotel Restaurant [ Northwest/French ]

1001 S.W. Broadway
503-790-7752; heathmanrestaurantandbar.com $$-$$$

Chef Philippe Boulot's polished, French-rooted cuisine shouts Pacific Northwest sourcing. But he's an eclectic fellow, reaching for a rustic Mediterranean-island-style octopus salad or jumping to Italy to capture a bagna cauda, the lusty "dip" heated enough to cloud seared, rare Ahi tuna strips served with fingerling potatoes, wilted leeks and Oregon truffle.

Recommended: Start with oven-roasted red and gold beets topped with baby spinach with a sheen of shallot-balsamic vinaigrette; the accompanying fourme d'ambert blue cheese is a briny, cool-creme counterpoint. American-style Kobe beef is sliced to fan out over a rough-cut tossing of potatoes, spinach and watercress with hearts of palm salad and sweet onion-soy vinaigrette. Two can share one dessert, and make it the upside-down apple tart with vanilla ice cream. Wines are in shrewdly selected abundance, from celebrated Bordeaux blends to the little-known but proud Cornas to Oregon's pinots.


Portland Spirit Downtown Dinner Cruise

Click for more about Portland SpiritQuite simply, a Portland Spirit dinner cruise is the perfect night out. A vibrant setting enhanced by dazzling city sights and city lights. An evening filled to the brim with festive cuisine, locally sourced and prepared fresh on board, entertainment, and live performances. For a party of two to a small group of friends or co-workers, or a grand affair for up to 300+ guests, this is the ultimate Portland experience.

View an interactive map of the Portland Dinner Cruise route. 

Sample Menus

Portland: Nightly year-round
Boarding 6:30pm
Cruising 7:00pm-9:30pm
$68 Adults
$63 Seniors and Children

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[ French ] - Every city needs a French bistro and Portland is lucky to have 2.

Carafe

200 S.W. Market St.
503-248-0004; carafebistro.com $$

 Chef/owner Pascal Sauton isn't trying to rewrite le grand cuisine, and in today's climate of showoff chefs, that's reassuring. Here, French countryside cooking stays true to tradition, but because Sauton is obsessive about his handpicked ingredients (Ayers Creek beans, Cattail Creek lamb, etc.), the flavors are bright and alive. All the main courses stay under $20, a real feat these days, and a nightly prix fixe offers three courses for $20.

Recommended:
Steak tartare; pork rillettes; mussels; frisee aux lardons; burger; steak frites with bearnaise; lamb merguez sandwich; profiteroles. French wines by the carafe are as easy to pay for as they are to drink.


Le Pigeon (Gabriel Rucker - James Beard's "The best young chef in America"

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[ Steakhouse ]

El Gaucho

319 S.W. Broadway
503-227-8794; elgaucho.com
$$$$ -- and then some

If you can look a $50 entree in the eye and not blink, El Gaucho will give both you and your steak meticulous pampering and attention. This includes tableside preparation and carving, more tuxedos than a penguin colony and, indeed, some remarkable beef. It arrives gently seared and moist, with a mouth-filling, aged richness. Everything else, of course, is supporting cast, but some of the other dishes, including some appetizers and flambe desserts, considerably enhance the experience. The service, plus a complimentary cheese, fruit and nuts plate, encourages luxurious lingering.

Recommended: Steaks, especially filet mignon and porterhouse; Wicked Shrimp; steak tartare. Also, don't miss the Caesar salad, bananas Foster and cherries jubilee -- all prepared tableside. In addition to a substantial wine list, you'll find a Captain's Reserve list that goes deep into three figures. Possibly reflecting Seattle ownership, Washington reds seem to outweigh Oregon varietals, although there are some nice pinot noirs.


RingSide Steakhouse

Ringside

2165 W. Burnside St.

503-223-1513; ringsidesteakhouse.com  $$$$

A local institution since 1944, this classic restaurant still wows with its steaks and sides — James Beard himself called their onion rings the best he'd ever had.

 


Morton's

213 S.W. Clay St.
503-248-2100; mortons.com $$$$

It doesn't quite match the vertiginous luxury of El Gaucho or the old-school local vibe of RingSide, but it's the best of the national steakhouse chains in town. From the ritualistic presentation of ingredients before the meal until the moment you reel out into the street sated and happy, you get first-rank treatment.

Recommended: Steaks are superior (consider the Diane and Oscar treatments); lobster cocktail; smoked salmon; dessert souffles. They call the hot chocolate cake "legendary" for good reason. The bar is very well-stocked; the wine list is like a volume of tax law.


Portland City Grill

111 S.W. Fifth Ave., 30th floor
503-450-0030; portlandcitygrill.com $$$

The check may be expansive, but so are the menu and the eye-popping, sky-high view. Options range from upscale steaks to a full sushi bar and a range of Asian-inflected dishes. And yes, that is Mount Hood behind your pinot noir.

Recommended: Sushi, from a list wide and deep; steaks and grilled meats, such as ginger-hoisin-glazed lamb chops; baked-to-order cookies; chocolate mousse. Have a cocktail: This is, after all, the city's most bustling after-work nosh-and-cruise spot; wines by the glasses, mysteriously served in a tiny carafe, as if the gulps and sips were especially chosen for you.

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[ Seafood/Clam Chowder ]

Jake's Famous Crawfish (McCormick and Schmicks)

401 S.W. 12th Ave.Jake's Famous Crawfish Logo
503-226-1419; mccormickandschmicks.com $$$

This Portland institution has served locals and visitors since 1892, and it's still a favorite place to take out-of-towners. Jake's prides itself on the freshness of its fish, and the daily list of sea creatures is ample evidence. Most evenings the bar is as crowded as the bouillabaisse.

Recommended: Fine cured lox; delicious smoked, cedar-planked salmon; simple grilled fish; the fabulous -- and fabulously rich -- banana cream pie. Beware of dishes that tend to be over-sauced, for the ingredients can get masked.

Braddow Bowls Food Truck (Hawaiian)

425 SW College St.

Happy Fish n Chips Food Truck

1830 SW Park Ave.

My Brother's Crawfish (Southern, Creole/Cajun)

8320 SE Harrison St.

Jacqueline (Cocktail Bar, American)

2039 SE Clinton St.

Powell's Seafood Restaurant (Chinese)

6633 SE Powell Blvd.

ABC Seafood Market

6509 SE Powell Blvd.

The Weekly Yelp


 

Eat: An Oyster Bar

 

 

North Portland
3808 N Williams Ave, Portland, OR
Cajun/Creole

 

 

Photo by Yelp

 

The Parish

 

 

Pearl District
231 NW 11th Ave, Portland, OR
Seafood, American (New), Southern

 

 

Photo by Yelp

 

Salty’s On The Columbia River

 

 

3839 NE Marine Dr, Portland, OR
Buffets, American (New), American (Traditional)

 

 

Photo by Yelp

 

Southpark Seafood

 

 

Southwest Portland
901 SW Salmon St, Portland, OR
Seafood, American (New)

 

 

Photo by Yelp

 

Dan & Louis Oyster Bar

 

 

Southwest Portland
208 SW Ankeny St, Portland, OR
Seafood, Lounges

 

 

Photo by Yelp

PDX Monthly

Image: Kelly Clarke

 

Heathman Hotel - Headwaters

 

 

Southwest Portland
1001 SW Broadway, Portland, OR
Seafood, Lounges

Breaking News - First Look At Headwaters, Opening October 14, 2016

9th Annual Chowder Challenge

Clam Chowder: Ds Bar, EaT: An Oyster Bar, Breakside Brewery, Deschutes Brewery, Ecliptic Brewing, Farm House Cafe, Fifth Quadrant, Lompoc Tavern**, RingSide Fish House, Wild Wood Cafe, Widmer Brothers Pub and Year of the Fish.

** Lompoc Tavern won the Annual Chowder Challenge 6 out of 8 times.

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[ Lebanese ]

Karam Lebanese Cuisine

316 S.W. Stark St.
503-223-0830; karamrestaurant.com $$

Yearning for a Lebanese mamma to make your lunch? Head downtown to Karam, where artichoke stew and kafta casserole are simmering in the kitchen and sometimes delivered to your table by the chef herself. Though homey, this is Portland's most ambitious Middle Eastern cooking. Whether you order the unusual or stick to faves like chicken shawarma or lamb kebabs, Emelin Karam's home cooking is all about honest values: great flavors, big portions and incredible prices.

Recommended: The real heat comes with steaming fresh pita bread, which arrives still warm and puffy from the oven, perfect for dipping into terrific hummus or sopping up broths from complex stews. The massive menu has lots of dishes you don't see elsewhere: three ways with goat, fresh pumpkin kibbeh, even molokhie, a traditional dish layered with bread, rice, cilantro, mallow leaves and lamb.

Weekly Yelp
Portland
 
Middle Eastern flavors in Southeast Portland
Passport to Lebanon
Middle Eastern flavors in Southeast Portland Riyadh’s Lebanese Restaurant
Craving authentic baba ghanoush? We've got good news and bad news. The bad news is flights from Portland to Beiruit take over 24 hours. The good news? PDX is bursting at the seams with top-notch Lebanese cuisine. Here are some of our favorites!
 
Al-Amir Restaurant
4 star rating 151 reviews
Southwest Portland
223 SW Stark St, Portland, OR
Lebanese
Dave C.  
“That the food is superb is a given, but it's the reception you get when you eat there. Even when this place is humming and crowded they manage to make you feel as if you are their dearest family member that has just come home from a long absence away.”
Dave C., Camas, WA
 
Habibi Restaurant
4 star rating 419 reviews
Southwest Portland
1012 SW Morrison St, Portland, OR
Lebanese, Mediterranean
Jessica K.  
“Their tender lamb shawarma was love at first bite. I am also a fan of their slightly smoky baba ghannouj and the vegetarian grape leaves. Bonus points for offering an all-day happy hour with a pretty large selection.”
Jessica K., Portland, OR
 
Nicholas Restaurant
4_half star rating 726 reviews
Central Eastside
318 SE Grand Ave, Portland, OR
Mediterranean, Lebanese
Heather F.  
“The only restaurant I can go to for dinner, eat leftovers for lunch the next day, and then seriously consider going back for dinner again the next night. The food is so good I could easily eat it several meals in a row, or maybe even every day.”
Heather F., Portland, OR
 
Oasis Lebanese Cuisine
4_half star rating 100 reviews
22293 NW Imbrie Dr, Hillsboro, OR
Lebanese
Matt S.  
“The beef was delivered with crisp veggies, a garlic dressing that I'm sure is housemade, wrapped in another succulently warm pita. It was so good that by the end I was getting full and my stomach kept saying ‘no!' while my mouth said ‘shut up, stomach’.”
Matt S., Hillsboro, OR
 
Riyadh’s Lebanese Restaurant
4 star rating 140 reviews
Southeast Portland
1318 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR
Lebanese
Jimmi H.  
“We went with friends and ordered multiple plates for the whole table to share. Highlights were the yogurt, the lamb, the dolmas, and the tomato and cucumber salad. The bread is as fresh as it can be, coming straight from the oven and still puffed up.”
Jimmi H., Portland, OR
 
Salam Restaurant
4 star rating 98 reviews
1002 NE Orenco Station Pkwy, Hillsboro, OR
Lebanese, Persian/Iranian
Haroun K.  
“Salam is a gem. The gormeh sabzi, eggplant stews, and rice are excellent. The lentil soup and house salad are great. The rice pudding is laden with saffron, and is out of this world.”
Haroun K., Portland, OR
 
Ya Hala Lebanese Cuisine
4 star rating 272 reviews
Montavilla
8005 SE Stark St, Portland, OR
Lebanese
Michael S.  
“Ya Hala made me wanna holla holla. I tried the server-recommended butternut squash homous with smooth garbanzo bean dip flavored with a healthy dose of sweet butternut squash and served with a warm and puffy pita.”
Michael S., Vancouver, WA
 
Zaatar
4 star rating 39 reviews
Pearl District
1037 NW Flanders St, Portland, OR
Lebanese, Cocktail Bars
Leslie W.  
“The vegetarian mezza plate was fantastic. The baba ghanoush was smoky and lemony and creamy, with a hint of smoked paprika. My husband had to fight me for the last bites of cauliflower.”
Leslie W., Portland, OR

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[ Deli ]

Kenny & Zuke's

1038 S.W. Stark St.
503-222-3354; kennyandzukes.com $

Owners Ken Gordon and Nick Zukin lavish attention on curing and smoking their meats and making everything they can from scratch. This is pastrami unlike any other, not only in its smoky taste and sheer flavorfulness but also in its equally original texture. Not everything scales the heights of the pastrami, but there's plenty here not to miss -- from superb bialys to benchmark Reubens.

Recommended: Pastrami on rye enshrined in house-made rye bread; the Reuben; the pastrami and egg salad sandwich; the stunning pastrami burger, topped with thick-sliced pastrami and a crown of melted cheese. Good matzo-ball soup with suitably dense matzos. Excellent coleslaw and applesauce. Impressive nonalcoholic drink list; a few wines and beers are well-selected and better than what one might expect in this sort of restaurant. Editor's note: Freelance contributor Michael C. Zusman owns a small minority interest in Kenny & Zuke's.

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[ Mexican ]

[ Burritos/Tacos ]

Taqueria Nueve

$$

It used to be you crossed the river to the east side for Blazers games and the airport. That’s it,”  That is, until 2000, when a cluster of low-rent storefronts along 28th Avenue near East Burnside triggered a decisive shift in the city’s dining geography. Upstart chefs traded traditional, rank-and-file gigs in downtown’s big kitchens for their own grittier “shoestring” operations—and dragged the epicenter of PDX dining across the Willamette.

First came Taqueria Nueve* in 2000, a funky, fusion-free Mexican spot from Paley’s Place alum Billy Schumaker at 28 NE 28th Ave. Neighbors wolfed wild boar tacos and sipped margaritas bright with actual fresh-squeezed limes (!).

hot sauces, folks. The Weekly Yelp

 

La Cocina Restaurant

4_half star rating

108 reviews

Northeast Portland
3939 NE Martin Luther King Blvd, Portland, OR
Mexican

hannah k.

 

“The La Cocina salad came out first. Everything tasted so fresh!... Next came my burrito. I love me some pastor burrito, and this was really good... I'll definitely become a regular. I'm actually salivating as I write this.”
hannah k., Portland, OR

 

King Burrito

4_half star rating

244 reviews

North Portland
2924 N Lombard St, Portland, OR
Mexican

Sean R.

 

“King makes their burritos like those I used to get in San Francisco's Mission District. They're messy, they're big, they're simple, they're loaded with meat, beans and veg, and they are perfectly but not overly sauced and spiced.”
Sean R., Portland, OR

 

Taqueria Los Gorditos

4 star rating

296 reviews

Southeast Portland
1212 SE Division St, Portland, OR
Mexican

Kristen M.

 

“Best burritos! I am a meat-eater, but their vegan/veg burritos are the best! Love the tofu, soyrizo, and soy curls. So good! Nice service, friendly, and you can eat next door at Apex while enjoying a beer.”
Kristen M., Portland, OR

 

Nayar Taqueria

4_half star rating

61 reviews

Southeast Portland
5901 SE Foster Rd, Portland, OR
Mexican, Comfort Food, Vegetarian

Kathleen K.

 

“I got the al pastor burrito, and it was quite honestly the best burrito I've ever had. Absolutely delicious. Every single bite. The people working there are friendly and charming — exactly the kind of people who you like to give your business to.”
Kathleen K., Portland, OR

 

Taqueria Lindo Michoacan

4_half star rating

69 reviews

Southeast Portland
4035 SE Division St, Portland, OR
Mexican, Food Stands

Katherine M.

 

“I got the super sized veggie burrito, and it was delicious. It was the size of a foot long sandwich... The burrito had the usual veggie burrito filling, so nothing super unique or anything but still tasty... I'm already a fan.”
Katherine M., Portland, OR

 

El Nutri Taco

4_half star rating

94 reviews

Northeast Portland
2124 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR
Mexican, Vegan

AJ D.

 

“Big fan of this place. As others have said, the veggie/vegan burrito menu is really impressive and delicious... They have good horchata and very friendly staff... The insides of the restaurant are consistently well kept and very clean.”
AJ D., Portland, OR

 

Tienda Santa Cruz

4_half star rating

233 reviews

St. Johns
8630 N Lombard St, Portland, OR
Mexican, Bakeries, Grocery

Silvia P.

 

“Amazing authentic comida mexicana muy rica! Very affordable (many options under $8 or so). Huge burritos under $5 and very, very good! Must have for cheap, delicious Mexican food. Worth every penny. Get some pan dulce in the store after!”
Silvia P., Portland, OR

 

Ole Frijole

4 star rating

63 reviews

Northeast Portland
4125 NE Killingsworth St, Portland, OR
Mexican

Renee Z.

 

“Best veggie burrito in PDX! Order the veggie fajita option. Light on the dairy (and probably amazing without it), heavy on the beans, rice, and grilled veggies. Big enough to warrant leftovers but too delicious to make that a reality.”
Renee Z., Portland, OR

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[ Mexican Mole ]

Hot, chocolatey, nutty, spicy, and... savory? Si señor – it's Mexican mole. This earthy sauce is pretty much good on everything, but it can be a little hard to find this side of Oaxaca. That's why your Weekly Yelp is making a mountain of deliciousness out of Portland's mole holes!

Mi Mero Mole
metes out an impressive number of rotating guisados, and Andy D notes, "The menu lists over 30, with six to eight available each day," some of which are stoked with the namesake sauce. Meanwhile, Douglas C fondly remembers Autentica's Platillo Mexicano (cheese enchiladas covered in mole) as "to-die-for." He admits, "Once the enchiladas where gone, I sat there and ate the rest of the mole with a spoon. It was that good." And Jessica K recalls, "I dreamed that I wrestled a burrito bigger than my head. I woke up and realized I had, in fact, eaten a freakishly large, spicy green mole chicken burrito wrapped in a fantastic tortilla of yumminess" from Santería. That's a lunch fit for a luchador!

"Maybe in California it's about grande, greasy burritos filled with a pound of artery-clogging meat," but Brian N finds the star of the veggie-heavy plate at Verde Cocina. "It isn't the pork in the tortilla, but everything around it – grilled apples, kale and bean salad, warm tortillas and mole." Lucas Z has nothing but praise for the chocolate-y goodness at Amelia's, where the sauce is "homemade and tastes as if you were in Mexico." He suggests the daily special, whatever it be! And Lisa T lusts for Mextiza's "Cameron en Pipián." Made with prawns simmered in a traditional tomato and nut mole sauce, it's "rich, creamy and wonderful." Pair it with "El Zacatecano mezcal" and todo es bueno en el mundo!

Adam A checks in for his favorite "chicken with mole and fresh homemade flour tortillas" at La Costita. One bite and he exclaims, "What a meal! It has great spices, creaminess from the mole, tender chicken," and fluffy rice. Whitney O gets sauced with Agave Azul's "beef in mole." Think "spicy, yet chocolatey, just like it's supposed to be. The best Mexican food" in town? It's a-mole. And Sandra W goes googley-eyed over the mole with pollo at Nuestra Cocina: "A nearly boneless, generous portion of seasoned grilled chicken," sitting in a handmade pumpkin seed mole. We'll go mano-a-mano with that meal!

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[ Eclectic ]

Mother's Bistro & Bar

212 S.W. Stark St.
503-464-1122; mothersbistro.com $$

You make the trek home to the family hearth after a long absence and you don't want trendy, edgy or experimental. You want familiar, homey, comforting. You want, in short, the sort of fare that Mother's have been serving with reliable skill and care for years. Chef-owner Lisa Schroeder is a busy presence in the kitchen, dining room and even the swank Velvet Lounge bar. Her gracious touch, like the parlor-style furnishings and setting, gives you the essence of the place: It's all designed to make you feel at home.

Recommended: The standards always satisfy: matzo soup, pot-roast plate, chicken and dumplings, chopped liver, mac and cheese. But wandering in the less familiar portions of the menu can pay off, too: fried calamari with a garlicky sweet-and-sour sauce, a perfect Parisian bistro-style steak frites, Asian-accented pulled pork. Cocktail service has grown more sophisticated.

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[ Japanese ]

Murata

200 S.W. Market St.
503-227-0080 $$ (regular menu), $$$$ (kaiseki)

Besides consistent, impressively fresh sashimi and sushi -- like unexpected rolls and geoduck -- Murata sets out a range of Japanese specialties, including seafood-dense nabe stews for two, unusual grilled fish dishes and a kasu cod that makes "melting in your mouth" not a cliche but a literal description. Tempura is equal parts air and crispness, and it lures with nonstandard elements such as soft-shell crab.

Recommended: Tempura, especially king-crab tempura; black cod in sake paste; grilled salmon collar; sushi; nabe stews (for more than one); and, if you're feeling expansive, multicourse kaiseki banquets. Limited but adequate beer and sake selection.

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[ Asian ]

[ Southeast Asian ]

Ping

editor's pick
102 N.W. Fourth Ave.
503-229-7464 ; pingpdx.com $-$$

Photo by Lee Emmert

It has the soul of the 1917 Hung Far Low Building, the look of a Japanese drinking club and the green sensibility of indie Portland. It pays respect to Chinatown's past but looks to the future with food, art and design from local cultures all over Asia, like you'd find today in modern-day Bangkok or Tokyo. But mostly, as customers sit at the sleek counter inhaling pork bone tea, Vietnamese short ribs and black sesame ice cream, Ping feels exciting: the most daring, challenging, intriguing restaurant to open in some time.

Recommended: The menu draws significantly from Singapore and Malaysia, with some rare discoveries from China, like ju pa bao, a sublimely brined pork chop on a tiny, buttery bun. But don't think Chinese-style or family-style eating. This is high-level snacking, à la drinking houses all over Asia. Plan to spend $20-$30 a person. Meet friends, have fun over drinks and eat some good food, perhaps pork collar with tangy-tart dipping sauce; skewers of spicy baby octopus; rice soup with pork meatballs, paired with super-heady salted duck egg salad; and kaipatam toast slathered with thick custard jam.


[ Pan-Asian ]

Saucebox

214 S.W. Broadway
503-241-3393; saucebox.com $$-$$$

Sometimes you go to a place because it makes you feel cool. In downtown Portland, Saucebox is it. The vibe: high-energy Hong Kong happy hour. Bruce Carey's restaurants are always detail-oriented, and in the cacophony of Saucebox's sleek black bar and beyond, libations are the thing. The house cocktail menu lists more than a hundred, with rising talent Kyle Billings pouring; a glass "shrine" reverently houses liquors, cordials and infusions; and the daily happy hour and late-night DJ scenes are off the hook.

Recommended: None of this means you should skip dinner. Just order a Saucebox signature, like the Javanese roasted salmon, a pupu platter or even sushi, and enjoy the action from the dining balcony above the bar. The sedate white dining room offers sit-down dinners -- ideal on an expense account, what with $28 entrees. Cocktails put an emphasis on fun. Hit the Thai Basil Gimlet or the chile-infused vodka Kickboxer -- as the passion fruit and raspberry purees meld, the Lava Lamp-like liquid entertains.


[ Thai-Som Tum ]

Som tum: the spicy, tangy, shredded green papaya salad that often plays Fatone to pad Thai's Timberlake. It may not be as popular, but it has a fervent cult following (and plenty of hidden talent). Now it's time for the Weekly Yelp to get in sync with Portland's sizzling som scene!

A self-admitted "picky psycho about som tum," Bree C attests that a good salad "brings you up with spiciness, swirls happiness around all of your senses, then eases you down smoothly into tangy pleasure." Where does she fill her tum-my? No question: Thai Abode. Meanwhile, Phil M swears by the "namesake dish at SomTum Gai Yang. Max it out on spice – it won't disappoint! The salad is sweet and crunchy, with a fiery build." But Soi9 stoked Sandra W's mouth-flames. The salad was so hot there that even "Mr. Macho Guy, 'I-can-handle-anything'" (aka her hubby) ended up "sweating and twitching" from the heat.

If you crave a Lao/Isaan version (think saltier and spicier), have no fear. Pok Pok's signature salad will, as Anita H warns, "definitely give you a HUGE kick in the pants." For an adventure, try it "Isaan style" with fermented salt crab and dry chilis. Over at Chiang Mai, Sylvia S swears "the menu reads like something out of a Thai restaurant jackpot; featuring lots of interesting, rare options" like som tum with choice of pickled black crab or traditional dried shrimp. And Kesone Thai Lao Bistro offers up Thai and Lao variations as well. Andrew R reports, it's his "ace in the hole… as far as neighborhood restaurants go." Need to cool your palate? "The salad rolls are works of art." We can roll with that.

Down in Sellwood, Jade Bistro And Teahouse serves up some "dirt cheap" som tum that makes Tyler A say yum. "The salad isn't as spicy" as most places, but he reckons it offers a "perfect crunch" to offset the succulent grilled shrimp. A crustacean sensation! When Susan W is faced with som tum at Red Onion, she cries, "Holy moly, Batman! When these guys say 'very spicy,' they are not messing around." Go Laotian for an added kick… Onions always make us cry.

And in SE Portland, Lang Baan (authentic Thai food)

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[ Late-Nite ]Luc Lac

It's late and you're staring down tomorrow's impending hangover. Are you seriously considering a greasy meal slapped together with a caulking gun at a fast food joint? Stop right there! This Weekly Yelp is here to save the day (or night) with a list of Portland's bona fide fifth meal grub.

Need to soak up those drinks? Central serves full dinner until 2:30am on weekends and Rick W reports, "The food is amazing. Try the rabbit and kale – it's spicy with just enough fattiness to create an unctuous, undeniably delicious meal. The cocktails are well crafted. And the ambience? Delightfully rustic." For another fancy option downtown, rock with Jeff M to Lúc Lác for their namesake dish. This "tender beef tenderloin, seared with Hennessey, beurre de France, garlic, and black peppercorn, is served over mixed greens with tomato fried rice." And that's offered until the wee hours? How'd we get so Lúc-y?

Sometimes you just need midnight pie. Kade M's go-to at Hammy's is "fresh mozz, bacon, tomato, and basil on a garlic and oil base." They even offer "all sorts of vegan options, like cashew cheese pizza or whatever those crazy veegs are dreaming up these days." Meanwhile, Eric L has "no problem downing four pieces" of Sizzle Pie's "oh-so yummy pizza in one sitting. And these slices are HUGE!" His favorite items? "The Ol' Dirty, Pig Destroyer and Heart Attack Man." Those'll annihilate your hunger. Mary H never suffers a missed connection at Lonesome's: "Not only are these pizzas bomb at 2am when one is bombed, but they also happen to be amazing for dinner with a bottle of red wine and jazz." Need a dining buddy?

"Everyone knows the dirtier the taco shop, the better the food," and Beth N finds her burrito at Javier's. It's "well-seasoned, simple and flavorful." But Nicholas N goes for dogs at his Zach's Shack after-party: "It's within stumbling distance of Tanker and Space Room and is open late!" The "John Popper with jalapeños, cream cheese and Mae Ploy" alongside "a PBR tall boy" always hit the spot for him. And Joanna Y blows it up at Big Bertha's, "the perfect late-night yum-factory in the 'Bar-muda Triangle.' Think classic falafel and lamb gyros with upgraded extras like whole garlic cloves and feta for maximum flavor." We'll toast tomorrow's mimosa to that!

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[ Indian ]East India Co.

Looking for some solid fare from the subcontinent? Don't worry – you don't have to go to Bombay the hard way. Just follow along as your Weekly Yelp dishes up a Delhi-cious buffet of P-town's Indian eats.

Erin N grabs her "takeout container full of yum" directly from Mum's. This little cart dishes out Indian food with a "South African side to it, which is different but tasty." Try the garlic pork – it's the pig's oink! But Robert H touts The Tao of Tea as "a great spot for a date with your yoga crush." Aside from world-class teas, they offer "light and tasty Indian food." Case in point? The besan ka pura: a chickpea crêpe, filled with tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and cumin. Mandana S is a huge fan of pani puri, which she describes as "sexy little pillows made of angel wings, stuffed with potato crack and topped with liquid love." And Bombay Chaat House carries "the best in all of Portland." Sounds bomb!

Chowing down on a huge portion of tofu dahl at Real Taste of India, Mac M yells, "Holy sh*t! These are some damn fine vittles!" He's talkin' "slow roasted lentils, perfectly cooked basmati rice, flavorful tofu, ginger, and garlic." And Melissa V digs Abhiruchi for dinner: "All of the dishes we ordered, and especially my lamb kharai, were super flavorful and fresh. Plus, they offer hot, fresh naan and super attentive, friendly service." There's naan better than that.

"Appearances can be deceiving," but as far as Christopher J N is concerned, at Gandhi's, "the bills stay safe in your pocket and the tasty food safe in your gullet. Imagine trays full of delicious Indian fare inside a mini food court." Meanwhile, Devon D makes a passage to East India Co for "five-course lunch specials." Set a midday date – you won't "even come close to finishing and will get out of there for $30" for two. When it comes to the dishes, "the tandoori lamb chops steal the show." But Aaron W doubles down on Roshambo's moong dahl – "yellow moong beans with spinach and spices, topped with house-made ghee. It's a hearty, delicious dish and the traditional Indian spices really amplify the experience." Korma-n get it!

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[ Cigars ]11th Ave.

Let's be blunt: you don't have to be Fidel Castro (or even wear an ironic Castro hat) to appreciate a fine stogie. In fact, Portland has a fairly robusto cigar scene notwithstanding the '09 smoking ban. And your Weekly Yelp is lighting up a list of spots to puff, puff, pass those oh-so sweet cee-gars.

Need some seriously "fine cigars or quality tobacco smoking paraphernalia"? Frank L reports that Rich's "is your store. No fancy frills, just smokes and a ton of magazines." And the salespeople don't make "you feel like a chump for lack of cigar expertise." Join Jenn A for a smoky treat at 82nd Avenue Tobacco and Pipe. They boast a "friendly and helpful staff," and a "plush cigar lounge" with a flat-screen for in-store puffery. And Lena W admits, "I don't smoke big fancy cigars or pipes, but I do really enjoy mini cigars. Lucky me, Broadway Cigar has a nice little shelf of quality stogies that aren't nearly as intimidating as the big ones in the humidor." That's some sweet leaf.

Often in need of advice, Laura H appreciates that the folks at Timber Valley Tobaccos "are very knowledgeable" about their wares. Plus "they help you find the best deal for what you're looking for." Pearl Specialty may be, according to Melissa P, a "fancy schmancy store full of amazing, delicious booze," but it doesn't stop there. The well-stocked walk-in humidor seals the deal. And 11th Avenue Liquor is "one of the most organized and efficiently run liquor stores" Heather H has ever visited. Aside from the "wide selection of booze and mixers," the cigar offerings are top-shelf. Even aficionados should be able to find some succulent, smoke-sticks here. 
 
Of course, "places where you can smoke cigars indoors," which, in Ethan D's "opinion is the best way to smoke cigars, are few and far between. Places like Greater Trumps are a Godsend." Not only do they "serve alcohol, but you can bring your own cigars from home" to enjoy in the bar. Or, retreat from the hustle of the city with Mark H into the "bar in the basement" of Kells. This smoky spot is where he finds "a great selection of beer, whiskey and cigars." Lastly, Matt W recognizes that El Gaucho's "filet mignon is the best out there," but add in "classy service, romantic atmosphere" and an upscale cigar room hidden in back and he's set. Roll out!

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[ Soda Fountains ]

It's a well-settled fact that booze is a healthy part of a complete breakfast. But sometimes it's nice to start your day the soft drink way. This Weekly Yelp is digging deep into Portland's beverage scene to find fountains and house-made suds that even a (soda) jerk would love.

"Part novelty and part delicious," Fizz has Shannon H feeling bubbly. Offering an array of ice cream flavors – "salted caramel, anyone?" – she recommends adding a scoop to their fountain pop. The syrups are made with real cane sugar and none of that high-fructose malarkey! Eva A appreciates that Fairley's Pharmacy offers "a less rushed attitude" than most modern script dispensaries. But what really makes it special is the "stuff your typical pharmacy might have had 75 years ago," like a functioning soda fountain! Peter T feels, "visiting Pattie's Home Plate Café is like going into an old-time diner while under the influence of something strong." Why so quirky? The costumes, Avon counter, "a jukebox with 45s that haven't been changed since the mid '60s," and some interesting fizzy beverages.

Craving straightforward sodas? Kaitlin P really loves the house-made ginger and vanilla bubblies up at Firehouse. "The flavors are crisp and not overly sweet," she reckons, and pair well with pizza that's "simple yet full of flavor." Plus Tommy T attests, Pyro Pizza pours up "a great handmade soda selection" courtesy of Give Pizza A Chance, adding that they "rival most sodas out there." With rotating flavors like natural cola, sarsaparilla or root beer, ginger, Thai coffee, and basil-lime, his cup runneth over.

When Megan T needs a "nice change of pace from the standard diet cola," she slurps up a special at Blueplate. Think "homemade sodas from the fountain," like an anise-hibiscus blend, alongside classic American comfort food. Meanwhile, Melissa V makes tracks for the "delicious drinking vinegars" that Whiskey Soda Lounge makes in-house. Her recent choices were "pomegranate and pineapple. Both have that nice, tart, funky edge, and go great with the fish sauce wings," which are also a must-try. Frannie H has fun with one of The Original's "fancy sodas" brewed on site. She digs the "ginger-lemongrass concoction – such a clean and refreshing flavor! It's nice and bubbly and not too sweet." Spike it with booze for a couple bucks more!
 

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[ Food Carts ]

Contrary to the official words of House Stark, we can rightly say that spring is coming. In fact, if you couldn't tell by the weather, it's already here, which means food cart season is right around the corner. This Weekly Yelp has a truckload of info on some of Bridge City's most recent mobile menus.

Bread And Broth (Downtown)
Steve M reminisces, "Back when I was a kid, my grandma used to describe cold blustery weather as 'Soup Weather'," and we get "soup weather an awful lot in Portland." Good thing there's "someone downtown who makes soup as good as both of my grandmas." 

Rescue Bagels (Downtown)Rescue Bagel
"These bagels are seriously the best thing to ever happen to bread," boasts Michelle H. "They're chewy and dense, without a wack texture. Plus, "the option to get a bagel breakfast sando for less than $5" is a real saving grace.

Pizza Box (Inner-SE Industrial)
With a wood-fired oven in the cart, it's no wonder "the crust is cooked perfectly and the ingredients are nice and fresh." Coleen M offers a protip: "It's not fun to stand in the rain to wait for your pie, so grab a drink at the brewery that's right there and then eat your pizza with a microbrew." 

Okinoshima (SW 3rd & Stark Pod)
Lawrie M calls this the "best okonomiyaki in Portland. Warm, savory, seafoody goodness perfect for toting back to your office on a rainy day. Your salivating co-workers will be jealous (or think you're a sadist) as you awkwardly chopstick goopy chunks of meat and magic into your gaping maw." 

Garden Monsters (Alberta Arts)
Misty B gets all teary-eyed for the "vegan, meaty, and gluten-free offerings" at this salad cart. Her fave? "The steak caesar salad (Caesar the Great). It's dressed perfectly, the croutons are crunchy and well seasoned, the bacon is crisp and smoky, and the steak bites are juicy and full of flavor!" Rawr!

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[ Wine Bars ]Thirst

Sure, getting sauced on PBR and playing Big Buck Hunter is a great way to spend a Saturday. But what if you're looking to class it up while you smash it up? Well, this Weekly Yelp is taking flight with some of Portland's most di-vine wine bars.

When Kari S needs to find the vine, she heads to ENSO, where the "small batches of wine just taste better." Sip on that alcoholic grape juice in the unpretentious, "hang-with-your-buddies atmosphere." And Mikhail H may keep Kir close to her heart for their "amazing selection of wines," but also finds, "The food that comes out of the tiny kitchen is small but mighty!" Amber A takes her wine junkets to Journeys for the "cozy, homey and relaxing" feel. "If you're really looking to hang out," she recs you "grab a seat in the back room and pull a board game from the game shelf." Play date, anyone?

To sate her cravings, Patti F puts Noble Rot on her list: "Big comfy booths? Check. Amazing view of the city lights? Check. Good happy hour? Check. Great wine selection? Check." A regal repose. Meanwhile, Every Day Wine is anything but ordinary, according to David R. It "aims to keep affordable, really good wines on hand. In addition to wines by the glass, the flights are great ways of going on mini wine tours without prying your butt off the bar stool." Abbie H offers her ode: "I. Love. Red. Wine. It makes me happy. And the knowledge of the people that work at Coppia has helped me understand pairings and my palate." Decant beat that!

For all you "vino fans looking to expand your knowledge and repertoire," Jim S swears by Thirst Wine Bar & Bistro. Why? Simply put, "their commitment to sharing Oregon wines," by offering "weekly free tastings," periodic "cellar tastings sponsoring local wineries, and pairing dinners." Tiffany B sips her cares away at Bar Avignon. It's a "sexy place in SE to have some wine and talk about the end of one's day at a quaint, candlelit table. The wine list is a big one," so get pouring! And Katherine K admits she's "in complete lust with robust, full-bodied, spicy red wines," and Barilé fulfills her every fantasy. Plus, the beer snob husband even gets to come and enjoy "a small, yet diverse tap list." Someone's got her crush on.

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[ Old School ]

The Weekly Yelp
Boccone Dolce from Papa Haydn
Portland's Old-School Eats
Boccone Dolce from Papa Haydn Iryna K
Tired from chasing the latest food trends? Rest your weary feet at one of Portland's tried-and-true dining destinations. Here are some of Yelpers' favorite restaurants to have stood the test of time.
 
Alexis Restaurant
4 star rating 93 reviews
Old Town - Chinatown
215 W Burnside St, Portland, OR
Greek, Mediterranean
Tamara C.  
“We both had the avgolemono soup which is a delicious chicken broth, with orzo pasta, egg, and lemon juice. On a previous visit I had the octopus marinated in olive oil, vinegar, and a dash of garlic. It was perfect, not chewy or rubbery but just right.”
Tamara C., Portland, OR
 
Huber’s Cafe
4 star rating 478 reviews
Southwest Portland
411 SW 3rd Ave, Portland, OR
Lounges, American (Traditional)
Dan N.  
“A quick pour of Triple-Sec, and a generous helping of Bacardi 151 preceded the fire. With a quick flick of a lighter the glass was ignited, and a very tall pour of Kahlua proceeded. After the show, it was topped up with coffee and a lovely top of cream.”
Dan N., Forest Grove, OR
 
Jake’s Famous Crawfish
4 star rating 806 reviews
Downtown
401 SW 12th Ave, Portland, OR
Seafood
Randi W.  
“Come in prepared to indulge, schmooze, and soak up the atmosphere. I had a delicious pacific salmon sauté, with oyster and shiitake mushrooms in a hazelnut cream sauce. Some raspberries on top and my prosecco on the side cut through the cream beautifully.”
Randi W., Portland, OR
 
Papa Haydn
4 star rating 182 reviews
Southeast Portland
5829 SE Milwaukie Ave, Portland, OR
American (New), Breakfast & Brunch, Desserts
Holly D.  
“I've been coming to Papa's since 1979 and have never had bad service or bad food. Six of us ordered six different desserts. They were all excellent but the party favorites were the creme brûlée, the boccone dolce, and the coconut macaroons to go.”
Holly D., Portland, OR
 
RingSide Steakhouse
4 star rating 436 reviews
Northwest
2165 W Burnside St, Portland, OR
Steakhouses
Jamie C.  
“We tried the bone-in filet topped with crab in a béarnaise sauce. Delicious. The topping was very delicate and a perfect complement to the meat. We ordered a side of brussels sprouts, abacony, mustardy, slightly sweet roasty bowl of goodness.”
Jamie C., Vancouver, WA
 
Roake’s
4 star rating 72 reviews
18019 SE McLoughlin Blvd, Portland, OR
Hot Dogs, Burgers
Josh C.  
“Coney dogs, burgers, milkshakes, and fries, oh my! This place hasn't changed much since it opened in '38, but the food is food stuff. Dining room is not much unless you've seen the inside of a sardine can, so call ahead and place your to-go order.”
Josh C., Clackamas, OR
 
Sayler’s Old Country Kitchen
4 star rating 206 reviews
Hazelwood
10519 SE Stark St, Portland, OR
Steakhouses, Seafood
Mike W.  
“You can get a 20 oz t-bone for less than $30 and it includes soup/salad, a side dish, and a scoop of ice cream. Not to mention the veggies with sour cream sauce and bread with garlic butter that comes to the table before your meal.”
Mike W., Portland, OR
 
Veritable Quandary
4_half star rating 775 reviews
Southwest Portland
1220 SW 1st Ave, Portland, OR
American (New), Breakfast & Brunch
Ophelia Y.  
“A friend of mine and I came for lunch, and luckily got a seat at the bar without a reservation. I got the duck confit, and holy hell — that dish blew my mind! I was so full about two-thirds of the way in, I still had to polish it off!”
Ophelia Y., Portland, OR

[ Pi ]

The Weekly Yelp
Portland
Happy Pi Day, Portland!
Pi Day In Portland
Happy Pi Day, Portland! Sarah C
Pi day (3.14) is almost upon us, and what better way to make all your food-filled mathematical dreams come true! We're here to help you calculate the most efficient method to overindulge your way through all the sweet and savory pies PDX has to offer! Don't miss this crumbly affair.
 
Banning’s Restaurant & Pie House
3_half star rating 158 reviews
Southwest Portland
11477 SW Pacific Hwy, Portland, OR
Desserts, American (Traditional), Breakfast & Brunch
Bryant B.  
“It's a 24-hour diner, serving exactly the sort of food you expect. Banning's pies are excellent. I'm fond of the pecan and the mudd pies, but both of the apple pies are excellent as well.”
Bryant B., Portland, OR
 
East Glisan Pizza Lounge
4_half star rating 167 reviews
Northeast Portland
8001 NE Glisan St, Portland, OR
Lounges, Pizza
Taylor J.  
“Awesome energy and a stellar pizza there. Go. Go now. The pepperoni isn't any ordinary, run-of-the-mill sort of pepperoni. This is tasty, and made with pesto, and the crust! Oh the crust is crisped to perfection!”
Taylor J., Lake Oswego, OR
 
Imperial
4 star rating 546 reviews
Southwest Portland
410 SW Broadway, Portland, OR
American (New), American (Traditional)
Meg R.  
“Their dessert chef is a pro, and made a mean brown butter pecan pie. We paired it with their housemade honey ice cream and the flavor combo was out of this world! They serve up big portions too, so split a dessert and take a nap afterwards.”
Meg R., Portland, OR
 
Lauretta Jean’s
4 star rating 130 reviews
Southeast Portland
3402 SE Division St, Portland, OR
Bakeries, Desserts, Breakfast & Brunch
John R.  
“I've tried many of the sweet pies and my favorites are the fruit-based, such as the tart cherry or blueberry. The chocolate cream is indulgent and delicious. The crust is great, flaky, and crusty but unwilling to break when you need it most.”
John R., Portland, OR
 
Pacific Pie Co
4 star rating 293 reviews
Central Eastside
1520 SE 7th Ave, Portland, OR
Bakeries, Cafes, Australian
Sabrina M.  
“Wow! We had the steak and cheese pie... The crust was flaky and buttery and I love the little animal cut-out they bake onto the top of it. It's so cute I almost didn't want to eat it. But I did eat it... in like under three minutes. So, so good!”
Sabrina M., Portland, OR
 
Paiku
4_half star rating 18 reviews
North Portland
7316 N Lombard Ave, Portland, OR
Food Trucks
Tiffany L.  
“I saw they were offering a blueberry/strawberry/rhubarb pie. When our order arrived, there was an extra slice of their chocolate banana pie! Why? Because they didn't feel the two (pretty decent) slices were big enough — wow! Also, thanks, Paiku!”
Tiffany L., Portland, OR
 
The Pie Spot
4_half star rating 216 reviews
Northeast Portland
521 NE 24th Ave, Portland, OR
Desserts, Cafes
Jermel-Lynn Q.  
“Choose from the traditional Bradley apple pie or for something more familiar yet unknown as a pie, the s'mores pie! Love that this place is open late night and totally satisfies a craving of something sweet.”
Jermel-Lynn Q., Portland, OR
 
Random Order Coffeehouse & Bakery
4 star rating 312 reviews
Northeast Portland
1800 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR
Coffee & Tea, Desserts, Bars
John R.  
“I had the chicken pot pie there and it was absolutely delicious. Succulent chicken chunks with all the required vegetables, the lovely inner-gravy, and that wonderful crust. The crust was perhaps the best feature in that it has a wonderful cornmeal taste.”
John R., Portland, OR

7 Rooftop Bars With a View (Discover Portland)

10 Barrel
A sampler tray of beer on the rooftop bar at 10 Barrel Brewing. Photo courtesy of 10 Barrel Brewing.

By Jon Shadel

What’s better than drinking? Drinking outside, of course. And what’s better than drinking outside? Sipping a stiff one while lazing on a roof — ideally a lofty vantage from where you can take in the varied scenery of Oregon’s wild nature blending in with the urban fabric of the city. 

Since one of Portland’s claims to fame is its hyped craft bar and brewery scene, it’s no surprise that we’ve got plenty of patios and rooftops to choose from. And each offers a different take on the al fresco boozing experience — some with the best views, some with the best brews (or wine, cocktails, etc.). But there are a few that hit that sweet spot.

We’ve undertaken that grueling task of identifying the best locales for hanging out on a roof with a few good friends, visiting every bar with an open rooftop and asking ourselves a few simple questions at each stop: Sweet views? Yep. Great drinks? Mhm. Let’s just say we’ve done the hard work for you.


Altabira City Tavern

Where: 1021 N.E. Grand Ave. #600, altabira.com

The view: The unassuming Hotel Eastlund, which stands just a few stories above street level, might seem an unexpected host for one of the city’s best rooftop bars, but Altabira City Tavern, a relative newcomer to the bar scene, offers sweeping views from its sizeable rooftop patio of the sunlit spires of the Oregon Convention Center and the humble skyline of downtown Portland.

Drink this: While its concise tap list may pale in comparison with other bars, Altabira offers a well-curated selection of 16 local craft brews and cider, as well as cocktails and wine. 


10 Barrel Brewing

Where: 1411 N.W. Flanders St., 10barrel.com

The view: The newest rooftop to open in the city unsurprisingly ranks among the most crowded. This Bend-based brewery first welcomed guests to its rooftop bar in early 2016, and it’s been a buzzing spot on sunny days ever since — offering a modest view of the glossy condos and converted warehouses of the upscale Pearl District.

Drink this: As one of Oregon’s most well-known breweries, opt for a sampler try to try a little bit of everything on the menu. But if you have to settle on just one drink, don’t miss their flagship beer, the Apocalypse IPA.


Noble Rot

Where: 1111 E. Burnside St., noblerotpdx.com

The view: This fourth-floor wine bar on East Burnside Street offer sweeping views of downtown and Southeast Portland — especially at night, when it’s just about the only place you can swirl a glass of local pinot while taking in the twinkly lights of the city’s humble skyline backed by the dark silhouette of the West Hills.

Drink this: The ever-changing wine menu features standout labels from around the world. Try a flight to get a taste for what’s on offer at the moment. Their drinks menu also includes cocktails, beer and cider. 


Departure Restaurant + Lounge 

Where: 525 S.W. Morrison St., departureportland.com

The view: The only rooftop bar in Southwest is perched on top of The Nines, a ritzy hotel attracting a primped and perfumed crowd taking to the roof for unmatched views of Pioneer Courthouse Square. It’s here that the Portland’s true scale reveals itself — the height restrictions on buildings means even the density of the downtown center feels intimate, manageable and small, but the buzz of this always-busy, fashionable bar makes clear this is a trendsetting city — or, perhaps more appropriately said, a small town on steroids.

Drink this: The kitchen shines under the watchful eye of Top Chef-contestant Gregory Gourdet, and a menu of fine craft cocktails pairs deliciously with his pan-Asian fare.

Radio Room

Where: 1101 N.E. Alberta St., radioroompdx.com

The view: Formerly a gas station, the patio and adjoining second-floor rooftop bar area teem with activity on summer weekends, when locals from this artsy, fiercely independent enclave in Northeast Portland turn out in droves to sip drinks from a concise menu of craft beer, cocktails and wine. Bell towers of St. Andrew Catholic Church, an icon of the neighborhood, dominate the westward view from the top—a great spot to soak in the last few rays of sun on a sunny evening.

Drink this: The drink menu is no showstopper, but it is nonetheless a crowd-pleaser. The craft cocktails creations are the clear standout, specifically the Lavender Gin Fizz, a twist on the classic, but shaken with lavender bitters.


The Society Hotel

Where: 203 N.W. 3rd Ave., thesocietyhotel.com

The view: This hybrid boutique hotel and upscale hostel, which is housed in a Victorian-era brick building in Old Town/Chinatown, doesn’t really have a top-floor bar. Why is it on the list? Well, it does have a rooftop terrace with commanding views of central Portland. To enjoy alfresco drinks here, guests can order cocktails from the cafe in the lobby, where you’ll also find rotating local beers on tap as well as a full espresso bar.

Drink this: This third-wave cafe meets craft bar means you’ve got plenty of options, but you can’t go wrong with the menu of cocktails, which are the minimum purchase required to gain access to the rooftop area.


Portland City Grill

111 S.W. Fifth Ave., 30th floor
503-450-0030; portlandcitygrill.com $$$

Portland City Grill

The check may be expansive, but so are the menu and the eye-popping, sky-high view. Options range from upscale steaks to a full sushi bar and a range of Asian-inflected dishes. And yes, that is Mount Hood behind your pinot noir.

Recommended: Sushi, from a list wide and deep; steaks and grilled meats, such as ginger-hoisin-glazed lamb chops; baked-to-order cookies; chocolate mousse. Have a cocktail: This is, after all, the city's most bustling after-work nosh-and-cruise spot; wines by the glasses, mysteriously served in a tiny carafe, as if the gulps and sips were especially chosen for you. And lastly, the happy hour menu (until 6pm) if full of great food deals.


[ TEA ]

The Weekly Yelp
Smith Teamaker
Photo by Simon K Smith Teamaker
Portland Spills The Tea

The Local Yelp - Portland

We have a tea-lightful list for you this week. Whether you like it hot, cold, bubbly, or in a latte we’ve got Portland's top-notch teas. Snuggle up with a big cup and bookmark these beauties!
 

 
Jasmine Pearl Tea Company
5 star rating   72 reviews
Tea Rooms, Coffee & Tea
Northeast Portland, 724 NE 22nd Ave, Portland, OR
Chris O. Chris O. wrote: “The selections very good from black to oolong, to green, white, and even herbal infusions. I also saw some teas I hadn't seen before which was a nice surprise. All the teas are out in tins that you can open to see and smell. This is very helpful.”
 
Smith Teamaker
4_half star rating   80 reviews
Coffee & Tea, Tea Rooms
Northwest, 1626 NW Thurman St, Portland, OR
Amiee H. Amiee H. wrote: “I tried the tea flight, which is four different teas for $10... The tea flight is served on a platter, you get one large cup of each tea, a small sample of what the tea leaves look like, a little description card of the tea, and two little almond cookies.”
 
Stash Tea Retail Store & Tea Bar
4_half star rating   32 reviews
Coffee & Tea, Tea Rooms
North Portland, 3972 N Mississippi Ave, Portland, OR
Jessica S. Jessica S. wrote: “My purchases today entailed: Mangosteen Green Tea, Coconut Mango Oolong, and Organic Lavender Tulsi Herbal Tea. All three different in their own respects but equally delicious when steeped and sipped out of whatever container suits your sipping pleasures.”
 
Tea Bar
4 star rating   40 reviews
Bubble Tea, Coffee & Tea, Tea Rooms
Southeast Portland, 4330 SE Division St, Portland, OR
Isaac H. Isaac H. wrote: “As far as boba tea in PDX, this is by far my favorite. The tapioca pearls are always well balanced, chewy, and just the right amount of sweetness... I recommend the vanilla rose, but if you like green tea, the matcha boba is also amazing as well.”
 
Tea Chai Te
4 star rating   284 reviews
Coffee & Tea, Bubble Tea, Kombucha
Alphabet District, 734 NW 23rd Ave, Portland, OR

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Mellissa B. Mellissa B. wrote: “They have over 120 different kinds of tea blends including Chai, green, black, white, oolong, and herbal remedy types... Teas are brewed less sweet than other places around town (thank you!), so speak up if you're a sugar fiend and they'll help you out.”

[ SANDWICHES ]

The Weekly Yelp

Shut Up And Eat's Italian Grinder
Photo by Gabe H Shut Up And Eat's Italian Grinder
Happy Sandwich Day!

The Local Yelp - Portland

It can be simple or elaborate. Any way you slice it, there's nothing like some good ol' sandwich satisfaction.

 
Block And Board
4_half star rating   59 reviews
Beer, Wine & Spirits, Butcher, Sandwiches
Southwest Portland, 8421 SW Terwilliger Blvd, Portland, OR
Michael M. Michael M. wrote: “Two words: Bánh mì. I don't know what kind of black magic sorcery they use to make that pork taste so good, but that is a bomb sandwich... Top it off with a veggie and pickle mix and a fresh baked baguette... This was a top-notch gourmet sandy.”
 
Brass Tacks Sandwiches
4 star rating   162 reviews
Sandwiches
North Portland, 3535 N Vancouver Ave, Portland, OR
Katherine V. Katherine V. wrote: “Warm ciabatta bread filled with lots of turkey and big chucks of perfectly-ripe avocado were in total harmony with the well-seasoned tomato jam. Best turkey sandwich I've had in a long time. Also, very fulling. Also — also! — comes with potato chips.”
 
Charlie’s Deli
4_half star rating   103 reviews
Delis, Sandwiches, Food Delivery Services
Old Town - Chinatown, 22 NW 4th Ave, Portland, OR
Jenny P. Jenny P. wrote: “If eating an entire reuben from Charlie's is wrong, I don't wanna be right... There is nothing else I could think as I was enjoying the perfect texture, crazy good sauerkraut and better yet- flavorful dressing that was NOT gloppy and too much.”
Start Order   Make Reservation
 
Kingsland Kitchen
5 star rating   90 reviews
Sandwiches, British, Breakfast & Brunch
Southwest Portland, SW Oak 5th, Portland, OR
James M. James M. wrote: “I got the 'Little Britain' sandwich and it was one of the best breakfast sandwiches I've ever had... The sandwich has a fried egg, banger pork sausage, applewood smoked bacon, black pudding, mushrooms, tomato, and HP brown sauce.”
 
Meat Cheese Bread
4 star rating   337 reviews
Sandwiches, Breakfast & Brunch
Southeast Portland, 1406 SE Stark St, Portland, OR
Christy H. Christy H. wrote: “I ordered the pulled pork sandwich with aioli and broccolini. It was amazingly full of flavor, juice like you wouldn't believe, and it was a total mess of yumminess! Loved this one but you may not want to get it on the first date.”
 
PBJ’s Grilled
4 star rating   176 reviews
Sandwiches, American (Traditional)
Central Eastside, SE 12th Ave & SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR
Katherine C. Katherine C. wrote: “The grilled spicy peanut, coconut shrimp, basil, and orange marmalade sandwich was to die for. Deliciously oily with a wonderful combination of flavors. Sandwich is big enough for two meals for me. This is a creative food cart creation at its best.”
 
Shut Up and Eat
4_half star rating   622 reviews
Sandwiches, Italian
Creston-Kenilworth, 3848 SE Gladstone St, Portland, OR
David F. David F. wrote: “Shut Up And Eat is home to my current favorite sandwich, the Broad St. Bomber. The steak is chopped into pieces that are just the right size... The cheesy goodness is evenly melted throughout, and I highly recommend getting hot and sweet peppers.”
 
Taste Tickler
4 star rating   202 reviews
Sandwiches, Asian Fusion
Northeast Portland, 1704 NE 14th Ave, Portland, OR
Shannon T. Shannon T. wrote: “Their mighty sandwiches will make your hands feel small. It's not some small wimpy sandwich that you can easily take a bite out of. It's massive and often overflowing. Lots of meat, lots of bread, lots of veggies, lots of cheese... A lot of everything!”

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[ MEDITERRANEAN ]

$$

It used to be you crossed the river to the east side for Blazers games and the airport. That’s it,”  That is, until 2000, when a cluster of low-rent storefronts along 28th Avenue near East Burnside triggered a decisive shift in the city’s dining geography. Upstart chefs traded traditional, rank-and-file gigs in downtown’s big kitchens for their own grittier “shoestring” operations—and dragged the epicenter of PDX dining across the Willamette.

In 2002, Navarre redefined “local” eating with a checklist of inspired European small plates conjured from chef John Taboada’s weekly farm box.

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[ HOTEL RESTAURANTS ]Pomo 0317 hotel restaurants pk6i5f

  • Imperial at the Lucia

  • Headwaters at the Heathman

  • Jackrabbit at the Hilton Executive Tower - The whole pig's head (right) is one of Jackrabbit's "Shared Suppers." Alternative suppers include braised rabbit with 80 cloves of garlic, and a $110 pin bone steak with seasonal vegetables and bone marrow dip. In the photo: slow-roasted pig head, fried pigs ear, and chicory salad, served alongside "brainaise" (a Cosentino signature), and pork-fat salsa verde ($50) Image: Benjamin Tepler

  • Bullard at the Woodlark (coming Spring 2018)

 

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- See more Portland Best Restaurants from oregonlive.com.

- More Downtown Dining by TravelPortland -

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