Food & Drink

The 11 Best Pork Belly Dishes in Portland

Published On 05/06/2015 Published On 05/06/2015
Mike Jordan/Thrillist

While everybody else is focusing on bacon, here in Portland we know that it’s almost always better to eat that pure, uncured pork belly. Don't believe us? You will after checking out these 11 PDX dishes...

Double Dragon - Bar & Restaurant

Pork Belly Bánh Mì

Double Dragon (address and info)
Southeast Portland
"Melty pork fat, charred meatiness, special glaze." Don’t ask any questions, just order it.

The Americal Local/David Reamer

Pork belly skewer

The American Local (address and info)
Richmond
The simplest iteration on the list, one of our favorite local izakayas skewers and grills hearty pieces of pork belly and serves them with a dollop of Sriracha and maple syrup. It's a sophisticated way of convincing yourself you’re not sitting at the bar eating fatty chunks of bacon.

Boxer Ramen

Tonkotsu Shio

Boxer Ramen (address and info)
Multiple locations
Okay this may be a little bit of a stretch, but hear us out. While the pork belly is properly balanced with the other ramen toppings, the overwhelming porkiness of the underlying tonkotsu is what makes this a contender for best ramen in town.

JANNIE HUANG

Pork Belly Cubano

Bunk Sandwiches (address and info)
Multiple locations
One the absolute best sandwiches in the city, Bunk’s Pork Belly Cubano is also nationally recognized by food television’s talking heads as a superior combination of caramelized pork belly, melted Swiss cheese, and pickles.

Teote

El Diablo Arepa

Teote (address and info)
Ladd’s Addition
Teote’s buttery corn cakes topped with spicy slow-cooked pork belly is what dreams are made of. Maybe it’s the warm sun on a lively outdoor patio, maybe it’s the micheladas, whatever it is, there’s no better way to enjoy it than savoring every bite of the signature arepas.

FLICKR/FRANCIS STORR

Pork Belly Benedict

City State Diner and Bakery (address and info)
Kerns
Anyone can quickly upgrade their breakfast game by swapping bacon with pork belly, but it takes a measured hand to achieve perfection. City State does this by properly cooking a slab of belly and slapping it on an English muffin with arugula and apricot jam followed by a dill hollandaise bath.
 

Pork Belly Mac & Cheese

Grassa (address and info)
Downtown
It should be no surprise that the crew behind Lardo easily whips up a decadent rendition of bacon mac. It’s a classy Southern homage with handmade macaroni, barbecue pork belly, and jalapeños topped with cornbread crumbles.

Ate-Oh-Ate Hawaiian Restaurant

Aina Burger

Ate-Oh-Ate (address and info)
Kerns
Is it bold to say that this burger sets the standard for how pork belly should be used on all other burgers from here on out? We don’t think so. Granted, it’s complemented by the perfect brioche bun smeared with spicy mayo and topped with shredded iceberg lettuce and funky kimchi relish, which helps, but the belly's the star of this show.

Twitter/@smallwarespdx 

Pork Belly Dan Dan Noodles

Smallwares (address and info)
Beaumont
Duh! Of course one of our favorite new brunch spots serves some of the best pork belly, but not how you think; it’s topping a fiery combination of dill pickle, Sichuan pepper, and peanut in dan dan noodles.

Pono Farm Soul Kitchen

Kakuni

Pono Farm Soul Kitchen (address and info)
Hollywood
One of our favorite restaurants to open last year, Pono Farm Soul Kitchen uses only its own farm-raised beef and pork, which really shines in dishes like this 10-hour braised pork belly with tatsoi and a soft boiled egg in umami-rich soy and black truffle broth.
 

Heirloom Hominy

Ox (address and info)
Eliot
Pork belly is an obvious dish when you’re serving “Argentine-inspired Portland food.” Ox makes it special by presenting it with braised pork belly, chiles, cilantro, and a fried duck egg. There’s a reason why it’s one of the busiest restaurants in the city.

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1. Double Dragon 1235 SE Division, Portland, OR 97202 (Clintondivision)

Brought to you by a dude whose resume includes NYC's famed Momofuku, Double Dragon's bursting with next-level banh mis, featuring meats like five-spiced, hoisin-sauced, and 6hr-braised pulled pork.

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2. The American Local 3003 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97202 (Clintondivision)

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.

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3. Teote 1615 SE 12th Ave, Portland, OR 97214 (Hawthorne Dist)

A fun and festive late-night spot and casual eatery, the Eastside's Teote is a super-authentic Latin American spot that serves up tasty street fare and grilled meat entrees alongside mezcal cocktails and cervezas aplenty. Known for their crave-worthy arepas, tossed with jalapenos, cheddar, and haberno lime crema, they're so good, you won't even mind that they're gluten free. Teote's semi-hidden upstairs bar area on the top floor, with its own bar area and fire pit, is a great summertime lounging locale.

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4. City State Diner and Bakery 128 NE 28th Ave, Portland, OR 97214 (Kerns)

Happiness is on the menu at City State Diner and Bakery in Portland's Kern neighborhood. Sandwiches with names including Croque Madames and Fancy Pants, can only make you smile.

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5. Grassa 1205 SW Washington St, Portland, OR 97205 (Downtown)

From the same team that brought you Lardo, Grassa's an Italian resto that dishes out house-made pastas like radiatori, chitarra, and strozzapreti with delicious Boot-inspired sauces and toppings.

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6. Ate-Oh-Ate 2452 E. Burnside Ave, Portland, OR 97214 (Buckman)

Be sure to try the Aina Burger with crispy pork belly, kimchi relish, shredded iceberg, and shaved onion --proving that not all Hawaiian-style burgers come with teriyaki and pineapple.

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7. Smallwares 4605 NE Fremont, Portland, OR 97213 (Beaumont Wilshire)

Smallwares serves inauthentic Asian cuisine one small plate at a time. Inauthentic as in take your expectations and turn them on its head. With fare like chicken lollipops and pork skin ragu, there's no better place to get your weird bar food on. For a slight return to normalcy, hit the bar for your choice cocktails, beer, and wine.

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8. Pono Farm Soul Kitchen 4118 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland, OR 97212

Pono Farm Soul Kitchen books itself as Japanese soul food, although there’s certainly some French influence. The menu is divided into your choice of protein, but there are plenty of vegetarian or seafood options, including an entire sushi menu too.

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9. Ox 2225 NE Martin Luther King Blvd, Portland, OR 97212 (Ne Portland)

MLK Blvd smells a lot like grilled meat thanks to the arrival of Ox, the bovine baby of a husband-and-wife team that's dropping Argentinian techniques on meat charred on a Hades-hot, custom-made Grillworks wood-fired grill.

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