Welcome to Portland. Let's eat.
There’s so much incredible food (and drink) in our lovely little city. And, it can be overwhelming to sort through it all. Nancy Levenson and I posted a similar list a couple of WDS's back, so I'm continuing the effort.
So, here are some personal recommendations. Some of these spots are on the east side of the river because that’s where the best food in the city is. Have a delicious time in Portland and we’ll see you at WDS!
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Downtown addresses are in bold. Downtown is quite walkable. If you’re bussing it, download the PDX Bus app and plan your trip to any of the other neighborhoods.
For the love of all things good and holy, please don’t go to Starbucks when you’re in Portland. We have some of the best coffee in the universe. Try these. Bringing your own cup is cool, too.
Immigrant-owned, beautiful space serving Stumptown Coffee and an amazing selection of teas.
Black-owned, sneakerhead-themed coffee shop in Oldtown/Chinatown. If you’re looking for artisan roasted coffee without the snobbery, this is your place.
- 802 SW 10th Ave
- 5347 NE Sandy Blvd
- 1422 NE Alberta
Good hipster watching. Many restaurants and other coffee shops serve their coffee, too.
Yes, there will be some drinking.
Wide open space, great for groups. Craft cocktails, Happy Hour food (their Happy Hour is all day long), and an extensive wine/bubbles selection.
A dark bar inside Hotel DeLuxe. Very Mad Men. They have an entire menu of champagne cocktails.
- 701 NW 13th Ave
A lovely restaurant with fantastic cocktails. Their menu looks amazing. We just seem to forget to eat when we’re here because drinks.
I basically live here. One of the only bars in town that understands that a classic daiquiri doesn’t involve a blender. Also, they have the best wallpaper and a cute covered patio.
One of the best tiki bars in the country. These well-balanced cocktails are NOT the overly sweet blended drinks you might find in a strip mall.
PLACES TO EAT
Best bagels in town. NY style, Kosher bagels.
- 211 SW 6th Ave
- 621 SE Morrison St
- 1028 SE Water Ave
- 128 NE Russell St
Meaty sandwiches. On the heavier side but pretty darn delicious.
- 126 SW 2nd Ave (inside Pine Street Market)
- 609 SE Ankeny St
Casual ramen spot with a solid menu.
- 1720 SW 4th Ave
- 721 NW 9th Ave
- 1755 SW Jefferson St
Lots of locations including a few on the west side. Healthful, simple fare. Vegetarian options. Budget-friendly.
- 417 SW 13th Avenue
Chicken and rice has never tasted so good! The owner, Nong, was on Chopped and killed it.
- SW Alder between 9th & 10th
- SE 3rd (Between Clay & Market)
Quick Mediterranean cart food.
- 25 NW 11th Ave
- 135 NW Broadway
The salad bar lives! Their motto is “In carrots we trust.” Obviously, you must try it.
- 830 NW Everett Street
High-end grocery store with an amazing deli. Specializes in Mediterranean foods.
Decadent and worth a splurge, especially for brunch. Hard to describe because the menu is so varied. Try the radicchio salad and the Korean fried chicken. Bring a group of people so you can try more dishes. Family style is encouraged. Waits can be long.
Old-school no-frills diner. A Portland breakfast institution, especially if you have a hangover. Get the potatoes and the toast (homemade bread).
Like a sushi bar, but with cheese. Run by Portland’s king of cheese, Steve Jones.
Modern Vietnamese. Also open late at night. A bit chaotic but the food is tasty and fresh and the prices are moderate.
- 212 SW Stark Street
Especially recommended for breakfast and brunch. Waits can be long but they do take reservations. I recommend the chopped liver, if that's your thing.
- 2337 East Burnside Street
Southern food. Especially great for breakfast and brunch. Two favorites that are total opposites: chicken and waffles (brunch) + the screen door plate (lots of amazing fresh veggies, served at dinner).
- SW 9th and Alder
- 1100 NW Glisan
They serve one thing: a bowl of rice, beans, cheese, salsa, olives, sour cream, avocado and their secret sauce. It’s really satisfying and inexpensive.
Good sushi and izakaya. Try the Japanese Caesar salad and the sesame spinach, too.
- 510 SW 3rd Ave (& Washington)
Go for Crazy Hour, from 2 to 5 if you can. They offer a couple of their burgers for a discount. Amazing French fries, too. They are known for a burger with peanut butter on it.
- 230 E. Burnside St
- 1355 NW Everett St Suite 120
- 3449 N. Anchor St Suite 200
Huge, delicious burgers. Warning: you may leave uncomfortably full.
- 518 SW Taylor
- 77 SE Yamhill
- 4409 SE Hawthorne
- 1 N Center Ct St
Amazing smoothie + juice bar.
- 925 NW Davis St
Homemade raw + vegan food that you can enjoy even if you’re not into the raw and vegan thing. Juices and desserts, too.
- 3226 SE Division St
Authentic Thai food. Probably Portland’s most talked (and written about) restaurant. Drink the Mango Alexander. Eat the khao soi and the wings (order them spicy). The chef/owner, Andy Ricker, has been on TV with Anthony Bourdain a few times. Long waits but if you have 6 or more, you can make a reservation.
Voodoo Doughnut is a tourist trap. Now you know. But there are lots of other great doughnut shops, bakeries and ice creameries.
- 1237 SW Washington St
- 3549 SE Hawthorne Blvd
- 921 NW 23rd Ave
There’s also one in Japan and apparently it’s a big hit.
- 814 SW 6th Ave
- 709 SW 17th Ave
- 2735 NE Broadway St
Arrive early and score a buttermilk bar before they run out.
- 4759 NE Fremont St Suite C
They have tiny doughnuts in delicious flavors. It’s not conveniently located. Go anyway.
- 501 SW Broadway
- 3333 SE Division St
French bakery. We especially love the éclairs and the macarons. They also have decent sandwiches and salads.
- 102 NW 9th Ave
More famous for bread than sweets but really, it’s all quite good.
- 3345 SE Division St
- 2035 NE Alberta St
- 838 NW 23rd Ave
There are usually really long lines so make sure you like the people you’re with and then it’ll be fun. You can also try as many flavors as you want before you commit. Pro tips: You can also ask for a “split scoop” and get two flavors in one scoop. If you want to get a pint from the freezer, you can skip the line. My favorite flavor is pear blue cheese.
- 428 SW 12th Ave
- 3713 N Mississippi Ave
Divine ice cream cookie sandwiches.
TREAT YOURSELF TO A NICE DINNER
- 410 SW Broadway
High-end comfort food and a great happy hour, too.
- 3377 SE Division St
Seasonally inspired Italian. Tables are hard to come by unless you reserve well in advance, but there is often a place to perch at the bar. Order at least two things from the vegetable menu.
- 4537 SE Division St
They have a ham menu (yes, a ham menu) and an Oyster Hour from 5–6. Both Ava Gene’s and the Woodsman are owned by Duane Sorenson, who also started Stumptown Coffee.
- 333 NW 13th Ave
Small plates. Order everything. Share everything.
- 310 SE 28th Ave
- 836 NW 23rd Ave
- 1409 NE Alberta St
Beautiful and sustainable sushi. Hip atmosphere. We love the drinks here, too.
- 726 SE 6th Ave
Upscale American fare and craft cocktails in a low-lit, modern interior. If you’re a carnivore, don’t miss the “Big Ass Ribeye.”
- 3155 E Burnside
If you love steak, don’t miss this place. Reservations suggested. There’s also a butcher shop inside and they sell sandwiches and (sometimes) fried chicken at lunchtime.
- 120 NE Russell Street
Small plates, Spanish-ish. We like to get there when they open to avoid the long waits. Order the bacon-wrapped dates and if you like liver, the sherry chicken liver mousse (Jeff’s favorite). If you do need to wait, walk next door and upstairs and have a drink at The Secret Society.
EAST SIDE FAVORITES
- 2454 E. Burnside
A casual Hawaiian place run by the Laurelhurst Market guys. Good happy hour. Strong mai-tais.
- 3848 SE Gladstone St.
Very large, very delicious sandwiches. Great for sharing. East-Coast vibe.
- 1667 SE Bybee Blvd
Our favorite sushi place. Not only is the sushi HUGE, it’s super fresh. Order about half of what you’d normally get or you’ll have a lot of (dreaded) sushi leftovers. Be prepared to wait and try to arrive long before you’re hungry, or at least 30 minutes before they open.
- SE 28th and Ankeny
Super fresh and flavorful Mexican food. Portland isn’t known for Mexican but this place hits the spot every time.
- 1708 E Burnside
- 4225 N Interstate
- 3443 NE 57th Ave
Our local chain for wings. They also brew their own beer. It’s loud and crowded and we always eat too much when we go here.
There you have it. We could go on and on and on. Find us and we can talk about food and drinks or go get some food and drinks together. We can't wait to meet you at WDS!