So a whole host of places shut down last year and even more in the past month (RIP Esparza’s), but don't worry, 'cause just like the acne that a handsome devil like you totally didn't have in middle school, when one spot goes away, another three pop up. Here are the six best new ones...
Life of Pie
This NoPo pizza joint has quickly become the 'hood's latest go-to eatery (But look out, Lardo’s coming soon!), on the strength of its sweet and tangy sauce, charred and chewy crust, unpredictable toppings, and a seven-hour happy hour that means you know where we’ll be most days from 11am-6pm.
Shut Up and Eat
Its recent expansion, the arrival of Lardo, and its even-more-outside-of-the-box approach to sandwich construction have practically turned this not-exactly-new sandwich shop into an up-and-comer, and earned it a shton of seriously well-deserved media attention for things like their Harvest Sausage Sandwich w/ Pumpkin Mascarpone.
A successful Kickstarter campaign brought this little taco joint back from the grave. Now located in the rapidly evolving area tentatively called “South Eastside Industrial” (we prefer SESI, or "Sissy"), they can take credit for inspiring Portland’s taco craze (at least in part), thanks to things like crispy wild boar carnitas, pescado of the day tacos, and braised beef cheek.
The American Local
Though a modern izakaya is not exactly what you’d expect from a place called the American Local, the food delivers: expect eats ranging from octopus skewers and grit cakes, to fresh-baked Parker house rolls and shrimp-fried quinoa. It’s all good, so either bring a lot of friends, or plan on making it your... um, Local hang.
Mi Mero Mole
The influx of TV and film productions has apparently turned Portland into a sort of "Hollywood North", where practically anything gets a part two, but MMM isn't just any old taco joint, and now, thankfully, they're slinging their solid South-of-the-Border fare in Chinatown.
We expected big things, and Chef Murray's “pastry luncheonette" -- with its clean, white interior graced with a smattering of cute knick-knacks and home kitchen treasures -- delivers via some immaculately prepared eats including the Lefse wraps and quiches that're made with constantly changing ingredients and are surprisingly sweet, given that she's a "dessert" chef.
Life of Pie could easily take the, uh, cake, for NoPo’s go-to pizza joint: the sauce is tangy and sweet, crust appropriately charred and chewy.
Though a modern izakaya is not exactly what you’d expect from a place called The American Local, the food delivers. Expect everything from octopus skewers to grit cakes, fresh-baked Parker house rolls to shrimp-fried quinoa.
A successful Kickstarter campaign funded this little taco joint. Located in the rapidly evolving area tentatively called “south eastside industrial” this spot can credit itself for inspiring Portland’s taco craze.
A tribute to the street food of Mexico, Mi Mero Mole by Nick Zukin (of Kenny & Zuke's) has upped the Chinatown taco game... and just about everyone has noticed. Guisados are what the place is about, a Mexican City concept translating to "a stew, stir-fry, or filling," and you can select the kind you want from a chalkboard on the orange wall. Count on a meat, seafood, vegetarian, and vegan option that can be poured into corn tortilla tacos, served as a plate with rice and beans, rolled into a burrito, or grilled into a quesadilla. Boundaries are pushed with adventerous meat options like tongue, rabbit, and blood sausage, which are always better with a margarita from the fast-casual dining room's bar.
Chef Kristen Murray is bringing the PDX what her team is calling a "pastry luncheonette".
Known for its meatball sub and Broad Street Bomber cheesesteak, Shut Up and Eat is a sandwich shop favorite in Southeast Portland. Go for a bacon, egg, and cheese in the morning or stop by later and choose from their extensive list of unique lunchtime offerings.