Waiting in line for (a probably too expensive) brunch has kind of become a Portland tradition, but what if it didn't have to be? What if you could get a Boozy Brunch without waiting? Turns out you can, provided you hit one of the 12 places on our list of sweet PDX brunch destinations that don't have lines... or at least they didn't until we started telling everyone. Sorry.
The 12 best Portland brunch spots... without lines
Who’d have thought one of our best best bottle shops would also be a darn good destination for a low-key brunch? (Just watch out on NFL Sundays: Saraveza is a notorious Packers bar.) The watering hole opens up it’s speakeasy, the Bad Habit Room, on weekends and serves hearty tavern fare and plenty of pints. Check their schedule to make sure you avoid any cheesy crowds
Sure it’s got one of the city’s best Bloody Marys, but surprisingly, you can almost always find a seat here on the weekends.They’ve got Benedicts big enough to share, but because it’s a steakhouse, you should probably just go with the steak and eggs or Chef Matt’s surprising take on beef hash. Either way do yourself a favor and order a few extra English muffins. You probably won’t be able to finish them, but you’ll definitely want to take some home.
Although it's not your traditional Portland brunch, one of our very favorite dim sum places also happens to be fairly quiet if you can make it there before 11am. (Or 1pm if you had a really good night.) It’s best to arrive with a crowd so you can try everything without getting full in the first five minutes. Insider tip: get the sticky rice. It may be the city's best secret hangover cure.
How can an institution like Goose Hollow’s Leaky Roof not be packed 24/7? This place has been serving home-cooked food since 1947, and you can still walk in at almost any time and have your pick of tables and get cheap drinks/large portions. Just what you’re looking for after a late night.
Tucked away in the Northwest, Industrial Cafe quietly puts on one of the best brunches in the extended neighborhood, and considering its location, it's not totally surprising how easy it is to slip onto a stool at breakfast time, but it's kinda shocking that it doesn't get more buzz. The food is consistent and somewhat healthy with a generous offering of breakfast salads and quirky brunch items. If Industrial Cafe was situated on Division or Mississippi there’d be a line every weekend.
There’s nothing wrong with a blue collar brunch joint on the same street currently birthing trendy new restaurants at a phenomenal rate. In fact, it almost serves as a badge of honor for a neighborhood that’s almost comically crowded with new stalwarts and up-and-comers. Sckavone’s isn't one of those places, and for the most part you can expect somewhat greasy classics, just make sure to stay away from anything featuring their “house-made chorizo”.
It's probably unfairly overlooked because it’s just around the corner from the heavy hitters on Mississippi, but that's good for you because it means you can actually get a table and (more importantly) some booze before your hangover gets worse. So next time you’re about to draw straws to see who stands in line for Gravy, do yourself a favor and take the group here. Also, get the Breakfast Pillow. Trust us.
Chef Vitaly Paley, who you probably know because of his awesomely American hot dog, has taken over Downtown’s hotel dining scene with his restaurant Imperial, but you want to hit his little counter service joint next door where you can get a homemade pop tart and sip boozy Italian sodas while you wonder why the place isn’t packed. One of the best parts? It also features some of the city’s best hidden menu items, so feel free to try ordering whatever you want. They’ll probably be able to make it happen.
This tiny restaurant is somewhat innocuously situated on 39th Ave, smack dab in the middle of Hawthorne and Division. It only has a handful of seats and the kitchen takes its time preparing delicate but hearty dishes on eclectic twee plates, so it’s no surprise that this place has a line that rivals the queue outside the Apple store. Wait, what? It doesn’t? Why not? Probably because brunch service is daily and folks in the neighborhood aren’t limited to the weekends to get their fix. If you’re looking for a great weekday brunch, you just found it.
Not only do they have a great happy hour, this Cuban restaurant offers a killer* brunch with items that're made up of beans, rice, eggs, and your choice of protein. On a nice day you can sit outside, but now that fall’s coming you’re going to appreciate the seating inside.
*To our knowledge Pambiche’s brunch hasn’t actually killed anyone. Yet.
It all began with the sisters who founded Dots Cafe on SE Clinton. After selling that business the sisters founded Lily Day Cafe in an awkward strip mall off 52nd and Powell. After closing for remodeling, it opened again as Midpoint Food & Drink and... oh who am I kidding? Grilled cheese breakfast sandwiches! Let that sink in. And then go there. Immediately.
The only reason this place isn’t packed in the mornings is because most people don’t eat noodles for breakfast. Which is silly... noodles make a delicious breakfast! Especially if you have one of the best noodle dishes in Portland. It doesn’t open as early as it used to during the week, but you can walk in anytime after 9am on the weekends for your fix.
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1. Saraveza1004 N Killingsworth, Portland
2. Urban Farmer525 SW Morrison St, Portland
3. H.K. Cafe4410 SE 82nd Ave, Portland
4. Leaky Roof1538 SW Jefferson St, Portland
5. Industrial Cafe & Saloon2572 NW Vaughn St, Portland
6. Sckavone's4100 SE Division St, Portland
7. Equinox830 N Shaver St, Portland
8. Portland Penny Diner410 SW Broadway, Portland
9. Trinket2035 SE Cesar E Chavez Blvd, Portland
10. Pambiche2811 NE Glisan St, Portland
11. Midpoint Food & Drink3524 SE 52nd Ave, Portland
12. Sen Yai3384 SE Division St, Portland
More bottle shop than sports bar, Saraveza's Wisconsin roots mean their huge roster of craft brews gets paired with Cheesehead favorites (Nueske's meats, a housemade brat with Carlton farms pork) on game day, along with a schload of sausage and tasty pasties, because it can get nipply in Green Bay.
An actual sustainably sound restaurant (not just another trend-follower...), Urban Farmer boasts "barrel to bar" drinks, beef-cut options that will make you pound your chest, and sides like Asparagus and Lefse (asparagus and what?), which consists of crème fraîche, confit lemon, and dill. It's located on the 8th floor atrium of the Nines Hotel and is open daily for breakfast, lunch, happy hour and dinner. There's also a popular weekend brunch complete with a Bloody Mary bar.
This place serves great dim sum as well as a fabulous brunch. If you think noodles for breakfast seems weird, then you've clearly never tried it. Pro tip: go for the sticky rice. It may be the best secret hangover cure.
They've got happy hour everyday from 3-6pm, plus great brunch specials, what more could you want?
The Industrial Cafe quietly puts out one of the best brunches in the extended neighborhood with a generous offering of breakfast salads and quirky brunch items. The best part? Not that many people know about it so there's not a huge line!
This family owned Italian resto has become a staple of the PDX brunch scene. Try the house-made entrees ranging from bennies to Florentine or their chicken-fried steaks. You can also enjoy the spicy bloodies and other b-fast 'tails, as well as the cute servers.
Equinox is a hidden gem where you can score high-end eats and hair of the dog cocktails without the wait. Just don't tell anyone. Wait... dammit!
A New York style do-it-all eatery and bar, the Portland Penny Diner serves breakfast, lunch, cocktails, and of course your end of the night I-think-I' m-going-to-call it-but-I'm-hungry needs.
Trinket focuses on brunch and cocktails, and does both with creativity and gusto. Unexpected eats like pistachio french toast with orange marmalade, fried egg duck breakfast sammies, and libations like the Jerez 75 with cava, fino, sherry, ginger, & lemon are the order of the day at this morning hot spot.
Pambiche specializes in traditional Cuban comfort food, using family-owned recipes for more than a decade. And if you're in the mood for a drink, they also feature a great happy hour as well.
Midpoint serves grilled cheese breakfast sandwiches. Let that sink in... then go get some.
The Pok Pok empire continues to grow with this old-school noodle joint on Division St, where you can snag traditional Thai breakfast eats like porky Jok porridge and Sen Lek Naam Kai soup with poached eggs. They also serve up lunch and dinner (with cocktails) in case their 8a opening time is too aggressive.