Where to Eat in Portland Right Now
With Thrillist’s Eat Seeker, we've made it our mission to curate an ever-changing list of the very best things to eat at any given moment, from the brand new spots in town to the hottest of the last couple of years. Even during a global pandemic that is decimating the restaurant industry, new restaurants are opening up—some in response to the changing industry, and others in spite of it. As you scroll you’ll find the ones that have opened up in the last few months, then the ones that have shaped the last few years. There’s also information on the best way to order food from said spots, with takeout, delivery, and a few in-house dining options available.
The gist: From Chef Sarah Schafer and Anna Caporael, who previously owned the Southern-tinged restaurant Irving Street Kitchen, Cooperativa is a sprawling Italian market in the Pearl District, with pantry items for home cooking, wine, flowers, a cafe, pizza and pasta shop, and a cocktail bar.
The food: In addition to essential pantry goods and other ingredients for home Italian cooking, the market has a caffé with coffee drinks and pastries; a restaurant for pizza and fresh pasta; a gelato shop; and a bar that includes ready made cocktails which, thanks to new state legislation, are available for takeout, filling all your home Negroni needs.
The cost: Varies wildly, from a $1 pastry or a $5.50 slice of pizza to $50 family meals.
How to order: Cooperativa has its own online market for pick-up orders. In store shopping is also allowed for masked customers.
The gist: Portland isn’t generally considered a destination for Mexican dining, but that is slowly but steadily changing. One big addition to the Mexican scene is República. Tucked into the sleek and urban Ecotrust Building, República comes from Chef Lauro Romero of King Tide Fish and Shell; Angel Medina, the founder of Reforma Roasters; and Olivia Bartruff of Olivia B Sweets.
The food: The new restaurant is all about Mexican home cooking, from guisados (stewed meats) to tortas, sopas, tacos, and oversized tacos filled with guiso. Additionally, República offers Mexican pastries and a daily family feast with multiple dishes and courses.
The cost: Taco plates run from $10 to $12 and other entrees hover around the $11 mark. Sweet treats are $6 to $12, while the family dinners range from the low $40s to $70, based on the size of the feast.
How to order: Order pickup online or delivery through Postmates.
The gist: Owner Alfredo Climaco used to serve hollowed out pineapples filled with non-alcoholic piña coladas out of his mobile cart at events. Now, he has his own brick and mortar bar with a wide patio to park his cart, and is still serving his whole-pineapple piña coladas, only now with the option to have rum in them.
The food: Alongside a variety of piña coladas, margaritas, and other drinks, Tropicale offers a short food menu with Mexican staples like tacos, tostada, and ceviche. But it’s the big blended piña coladas served in a pineapple that are the real star here.
The cost: Tacos are $5 or two for $9, plates range from $7 to $13, and drinks vary. A whole pineapple worth of piña colada is $16, or $12 sans rum.
How to order: Order directly at the cart.
The gist: No, Earl Ninsom’s famous Thai restaurant Langbaan is not new. However, what was once a multi-course tasting menu with a months-long waiting list has been entirely revamped during the pandemic so that arguably the only elements that remain the same are the name and the incredibly high quality of dining. Today, Langbaan operates as Thai soup restaurant, with outside dining as well as pickup and delivery options.
The food: These bold and aromatic soup dishes include silky, chewy noodles and rich broths. The most stunning dish is the Boat Oxtails with ramen-style alkaline noodles, beef broth, oxtail, and meatballs, but any of them are sure to be a hit, and they are liable to change and rotate out. Langbaan also offers drinking snacks, dumplings, salads, and cocktails.
The cost: Drinking snacks range from $5 to $10, while soups range from $14 to $21.
How to order: Options for pick-up and delivery orders are available online.
Grind Wit Tryz
The gist: Grind Wit Tryz has been attracting hours-long lines at its food cart since it opened in fall of 2019. Moving to a brick and mortar location is always a risk for carts, but doing so during the pandemic this last year was an even bolder move. However, that seems to have paid off, as the Hawaiian sensation continues to draw in crowds who carry off over-laden boxes of rice bowls.
The food: Portions tend to verge on “absurd” here, with platters of ono chicken, kalua pork, ahi poke, and more. Everything is big, flavorful, and deeply satisfying, even indulgent.
The cost: Entrees range from $11 to $17, and can usually serve two.
How to order: Grind Wit Tryz offers an online market for pre-orders.
The gist: Portland is certainly no stranger to Vietnamese dishes like bánh mì, pho, and vermicelli noodle salads; nor are vegan restaurants anything but commonplace. So it’s no surprise that a vegan, Vietnamese pop-up series would get a strong enough following to open a permanent location, even during a pandemic, like Mama Dút did in late 2020.
The food: Owner Thuy Pham serves vegan takes on bánh mì (including pork and mushroom), pork bao, chicken pho, and even bottles of fish sauce. Dessert should not be missed either, whether it’s the vegan cheesecake or a mango tart.
The cost: Entrees range from $7 to $14, while add ons like cold brew, “phish sauce,” desserts, and vegan aioli range in price.
How to order: Available for pickup and delivery, Mama Dut uses Portland’s own independent, bike-powered delivery service, CCC PDX. Orders are available online.
The gist: Maya Lovelace’s blue-hued love letter to Southern cooking may have kicked off the fried chicken crazy that seemed to have swept the city in 2019. Yonder is the permanent location for her previous pop-up Mae.
The food: Buttermilk fried chicken is served either dusted with spices or dipped in North Carolina vinegar sauce. While it’s the main draw, the sides aren’t to be missed either, including pimento cheese macaroni salad, bacon braised collards, and the fantastic biscuits.
The cost: Fried chicken bucket meals are $55 and come with 10-piece fried bird, four biscuits, and two 16 ounce sides. A half bucket is $28, with five pieces of chicken, two biscuits, and two 8 ounce-sides. An assortment of salads, sides, desserts, and drinks range in price.
How to order: Order online via Tok at the website for pickup or via Caviar for delivery.
The gist: Many years ago, Ping opened in Old Town, eventually helping to launch the careers of chefs like Andy Ricker, whose famous Pok Pok empire just recently closed due to the pandemic. Now, the “Thai Izakaya” restaurant has returned to the city in the form of a delivery and pick-up only restaurant operating out of the space formerly home to the chef’s tasting menu experience Holdfast Dining.
The food: Meat skewers and Thai and Singapore noodles dishes are the main focus at Ping, with each dish being heavily aromatic and filled with meats, vegetables, shellfish, and fresh herbs. Spicy ramen noodle salads, noodle soups, pig knuckle sandwiches, and Thai drinking snacks are all on the menu. Ping also serves the innovative and bold cocktails from the adjacent bar Deadshot.
The cost: Entrees range from $11 to around $18, sides and add-ons from $6 to $12, and cocktails are $12.
How to order: Pickup and delivery options are both available online.
The gist: One part Italian pantry shop, one part pasta restaurant, the newly opened Montelupo has navigated the perils of the Pandemic with a mix of outdoor dining and a focus on to-go and delivery meals. In the cooler months it has shut down its tented dining, but it’s still open with an array of pastas to go, alongside its market of fresh and dried pastas, pantry items, wines, and cocktails. Grab some wine or to-go cocktails and some pasta to take home, ready made or ready to cook.
The food: Montelupo is all about Italian home cooking, including a lovely Bucatini alla Amatriciana with pancetta, garlic, tomato and chili; a delicate lemon-braised chicken cavatelli with capers; and heartier dishes like beef and pork bolognese. However, it’s the simplicity of the Tajarin where the cooking really shines, with thin egg noodles tossed with truffle butter and parmesan for a nutty, aromatic pasta dish.
The cost: Pasta dishes range from $11 to $16. Cook-at-home pasta dishes range from $16 to $25 or so, and serve multiple diners.
How to order: Visit the market’s online market for pick-up or Caviar for delivery options.
The gist: Arguably Portland’s biggest opening of 2019, Thai barbecue and cocktail spot Eem combined the efforts of three of Portland’s culinary big names—Thai chef Earl Ninsom of Hat Yai and Paadee, pit boss Matt Vicedomini of Matt’s BBQ, and bartender Eric Nelson.
The food: Eem currently has two menus—one is a menu of curries with smoked meats, as well as sides like fried chicken, papaya salad, and BBQ fried rice. The other menu is a menu of full dinners with four dishes meant for two to three people, each with papaya salad, fried chicken, BBQ fried rice, and a choice of meat curry. With the recent cocktails to-go legislation, Nelson’s tropical drink menu is now also available.
The cost: Complete meals are $49 each. Grab and go prices vary.
How to order: Order on Tock for pick up and dining, or visit Caviar for delivery.
The gist: Another of Portland’s favorite “food cart to brick-and-mortar” success stories, the colorful Gado Gado sits in an unassuming strip mall and serves Indonesian and Chinese cuisine as well as innovative cocktails.
The food: At the moment, the restaurant’s titular Indonesian salad is absent, but the menu includes roti; pork dumplings; Singapore clam chowder; grilled squid and citrus salad; and spicy charcoal-grilled head-on shrimp.
The cost: Gado Gado dishes range from $10 to $25.
How to order: Orders for takeout, patio dining, and delivery are all available online.
The gist: A charming, art-strewn restaurant for Indonesian street food, coffee, and snacks.
The food: Dinners are best started with some snacks, like gorengan (deep fried fritters), meat skewers, and some fruit and vegetable salads. For entrees, dishes like gado gado (a warm vegetable salad) and ayam goreng (Indonesian fried chicken) are good intros for those who haven’t had the opportunity to sample much Indonesian food. The nasi uduk offers a nice sampling of components, with deep fried egg in hot chile sauce, pickled vegetables in turmeric peanut sauce, and sweet and spicy stir-fried tempe served over rice with a tapioca cracker.
The cost: Snacks run from $4.50 to $7.50, while the entrees run from $12 to $18.
How to order: Order online for takeout or via Caviar for delivery
Holy Trinity Barbecue
The gist: Another food cart proving that Portland, weirdly, knows how to do Texas-style barbecue, Holy Trinity was one of the first food carts in the rapidly developing John’s Marketplace food cart pod on Powell Boulevard.
The food: Brisket, pork ribs, and burnt ends, sausage, and pulled pork are all slow smoked, running with limited orders each week and often selling out. The pro move is to build a sampler plate with a number of meat options, as well as a few sides like cheesy grits.
The cost: Meat is priced out by the half-pound, usually with prices around $13 for brisket, $10 for pork ribs, and $9 for pulled pork, while sausages are $5.50 each. Family packs are $60 or $120 based on size. Due to fluctuating meat availability, prices are liable to change.
How to order: Walk up to the cart for à la carte meat and sandwich options, or order ahead online
The gist: A food cart turned glamorous brick and mortar with a successful crowdfunding campaign, Malka opened just in time for the pandemic to hit. The restaurant now serves its eclectic, maximalist bowls and sandwiches for takeout and delivery.
The food: Malka’s food is tough to pin down, but often involves rice bowls and salads loaded with fresh fruits, marinated meats, herbs, spices, and sauces. For instance the Important Helmet for Outer Space is a barbecue curry pork and rice bowl with avocado, mushrooms, tamarind slaw, crispy shallots, lime, and more. The Bellflower is a jasmine rice salad with fresh fruit and vegetables, piles of herbs, nuts, sesame, a choice of protein, and coconut-lime fish sauce. Somehow, it all works.
The cost: Entrees are $16 to $18, while smaller items like the pulled pork sandwich is $10.
How to order: Call 503-899-4245 to place an order for pickup or visit Caviar for delivery.
The gist: An upbeat bistro with a heavy seafood component, Normandie combines French and Northwest cooking but isn’t afraid to draw inspiration from cuisines across the world. It’s also a place for local and European wines, as well as apple brandy cocktails.
The food: Normandie offers à la carte items like burgers, BBQ carrot salads, ceviche, grilled octopus with green beans, shrimp rolls, and the stunning corn and padron pepper beignets. It also has a family meal, with tamarind glaze pork, rice with pickles and herbs and lettuce for wraps, a cabbage wedge salad with lardon, and sorbet.
The cost: Family meals are $55, burgers are $14, beignets are $10, and other dishes range from $5 to $28
How to order: Order online at Normandie’s website or out on the patio for dining in.
The gist: A vegan Sri Lankan pop-up program turned full restaurant, Mirisata has more than one thing going for it, including an all-vegan menu on spicy, aromatic curries that are rarely seen in Portland. The other area that Mirisata impresses is with its business structure; in a year where restaurant culture and equity was on the forefront of national discussions, Mirisata opened as a worker-owned cooperative.
The food: Throughout the week there are options for vegan roti, sambol, kottu, and sides of curries. The weekend sees a rotating curry and rice platter: always heavily aromatic and often spicy, curries often include jackfruit, eggplant, dahl, lotus root, coconut, and other Sri Lankan dishes.
The cost: Most entrees are around $13, while curry dinners are around $20.
How to order: Reservations for pickup, as well as delivery options from third-party vendors, are all available on the restaurant’s website.
The gist: Quick, affordable, and healthy Kashimiri dining from chef Deepak Kaul, who worked at some high end restaurants in New York and San Francisco.
The food: Rice bowls are the mainstay at Bhuna, including a pleasantly spicy pork vindaloo, comforting Chettinad chicken, and a number of vegetarian options including kohlrabi and collards, Kashimiri tomato and eggplant, and Kashmiri palak paneer. Chickpea-battered calamari and lotus root fries are a great way to start a meal here, and sides include extra vegetables, rice, naan, and dal.
The cost: Rice bowls are $11 to $15, except at happy hour when they’re all $11 with a beer or soda. Starters and sides range from $3 to $9, while a family meal with multiple rice bowl mixings, starters, sides, and dessert is $55.
How to order: Online orders for pickup and delivery are available at the website, or diners can drop in for orders at the counter.
The gist: A fried chicken and jojos food cart at the John’s Market pod with a hilariously iconclastic Instagram account.
The food: The Southern fried chicken sandwich is a great starting place, with golden-fried chicken thighs of monstrous proportion atop fluffy buns with slaw, pickles, and Jojo sauce. Variations like bacon ranch and spicy chicken are also worth the visit, as are the crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside jojos that give the shop its name. While it’s mostly known for its chicken and jojos, the burgers served at Jojo are just as good as the sandwiches.
The cost: The Southern fried chicken sandwich is $12, and jojos start at $4 for a small order, are $7 for a large order, or $10 for loaded jojos with either American or cheddar cheese. Cheeseburgers are $8 to $12, with the option for doubling or add-ons.
How to order: Order online, call in at (971) 331-4284, or visit the cart.
The gist: A Texas-meets-Portland restaurant from acclaimed chef Doug Adams, Bullard was one of most anticipated restaurants when it opened in December of 2018.
The food: Navigating the complexities of a COVID-19 world, Bullard offers its food as a series of daily meal packages: one day of the week might be a TexMex night with ground beef and queso burritos, another sees a dry-aged burger kit or San Antonio roasted chicken. It always serves a small group and comes with sides and dessert.
The cost: Prices vary based on the meal, usually between $50 and $75.
How to order: The restaurant’s website has delivery and takeout options for each meal.
The gist: Self-described a “reverse steakhouse,” G Love is a bright and cheerful bistro that puts vegetable plates as the entrees, with meat dishes as sides and starters.
The food: G Love’s approach to contemporary American dining focuses on seasonality and locality, expressing the cuisine of the Northwest in fresh and light ways while borrowing from other regions. Here, tomato crudo with Thai chilis and basil, melon salad with grilled peppers, corn and squash pappardelle pasta, charred hanger steak, and blackened albacore tuna are paired with local and Old World wines.
The cost: Dishes at G Love range from $7 to $17, with a two-person takeout meal for $45.
How to order: Order online for takeout and delivery at the website.