If there's one thing people in Portland like more than a sweet restaurant, it's a sweet NEW restaurant... or possibly telling people they've already been to said sweet new restaurant. Either way our list of the 13 best new bars and restaurants in the PDX should come in handy...
The 13 Best New Bars and Restaurants in Portland
It didn’t take long for the Pearl’s best salad spot to expand a little South to Old Town. Its concept is simple: take the ubiquitous salad bar, increase the amount of options, use better ingredients, and tell everyone about how healthy lunch can be. And it looks like it's making a profit. With salads ranging from $9 to $12 and the option to stack proteins, Garden Bar has a good thing going.
Popular cheese man, Steve Jones, expanded his operation into the Downtown area and took over the space that's somewhat below Multnomah Whiskey Library. The small room is set up like a sushi counter so you can sit at the bar and watch Steve slice various cheeses and assemble them on beautiful wooden boards. The menu is pretty pricy, but should work well as a waiting room for the aforementioned MWL clientele who are more than willing to wait hours and overspend on craft cocktails.
The Eastside just got another brunch spot with the opening of one of this year's most anticipated spots.You can expect the same deliciously sloppy BBQ that's served at the original location during lunch, dinner, and on a special late-night menu. Plus, they just installed a TV so you can get your sticky, smoky fix while catching Blazer games.
Another day, another Micah Camden expansion. This time “trendy-third” welcomes the latest outpost of Blue Star Donuts, which is arguably the best in the city. Expect a line as it just opened up on the 18th, but that should die down as people realize it’s just sugar and bread. Just kidding, expect a line.
The lobby of the newly revamped Hotel Vintage Portland just reopened with a swanky new bar full of upscale cocktails and food from the hotel’s restaurant, Pazzo Ristorante. There’s also a game room upstairs, complete with pool tables, shuffleboard, and multiple giant TVs, two of which come with an XBOX One and a Wii U.
Central Eastside Industrial
Biwa, home to a favorite noodle dish of ours, has finally opened up its ramen-centric sister, Noraneko. The menu is straightforward with four kinds of ramen: shio, shoyu, miso, and a vegetarian, as well as fried chicken, gyoza, and a salad. Surprisingly, despite the popularity of Biwa’s menu, the highlights on a recent trip were the cocktails. The variety of shochu highballs were pleasantly subtle and mildly alcoholic, giving you the option of to try a few without the risk of stumbling onto the nearby railroad tracks on your way home.
The little Bend brewery that could, 10 Barrel was recently purchased by corporate overlords AB InBev, much to the chagrin of many craft-beer-lovers. On the bright side, all that money seems to have given them the push they needed to finally open their Portland pub! We’re still waiting for the rooftop bar to open, which should happen this summer, but in the meantime you can enjoy their first beer brewed in Portland (an IPA, duh), as well as all the usual favorites.
Late-night Thai eats with a couple of Vietnamese-inspired sandwiches after 10pm -- no wonder we’ve been looking forward to this opening! Bang Bang is another addition to Fremont, a street you’re bound to become familiar with this year if only 'cause you can't resist BB's Jungle Curry.
The Pearl’s favorite rooftop sports bar has finally opened another outpost in the midst of Downtown. Unfortunately this time the name is deceiving as there are no decks to be on. Luckily there is a glut of brand-new TVs strategically placed to give every guest a decent view of every game. The drinks and food are on the cheaper side and, for the time being, the space is rather vacant. Don’t expect it stay that way once playoff seasons starts though.
You can imagine that a place with a name like Batter is open for breakfast and brunch, maybe even lunch. But this new restaurant on one of Portland’s fastest growing streets is also open for those late night pancake obsessives. (Sorry Hotcake House!) Although it's still in soft opening hours, Batter has a menu with 16 sweet and 14 savory options. And there’s a full beer, wine, and cocktail menu, complete with a section of the barrel-aged variety. This might just be your new fourth meal.
One of our most anticipated openings this spring, El Gallo has finally opened its doors near Reed College. Basic tacos start at $2.50 and the fancy options aren’t that much more at a neat $3. This might be the closest you can get to Mexico City street tacos here in Portland.
Wood-fired pizza has almost completely taken over every neighborhood, not that we’re complaining! Sure, the folks Fire + Stone try to say there’s more than good pizza -- like lamb shank and roasted chicken, all wood-fired -- but they know what the people want, and with nine options, they give it to us. But the best part? Their online ordering system includes to-go beer and wine.
Two former Ned Ludd chefs have ditched the fine dining game for the latest trend to sweep Westward, fancy hot dogs. The difference here? Instead of crafting their own sausages they’re picking up the name brand variety and dressing them up the way you and your Food-Network-loving friends used to do after stumbling home from the bar. Doing this keeps their price point down (their most expensive weiners are $4) and allows the diner to spend more on their tap cocktails. Oh, and there’s a mural depicting an epic battle between Mike Tyson and Bruce Lee.
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1. Garden Bar135 NW Broadway Ave, Portland
2. Chizu1126 SW Alder St, Portland
3. Smokehouse Tavern1401 SE Morrison St, Portland
4. Blue Star Donuts1237 SW Washington St, Portland
5. Bacchus Bar627 SW Washington, Portland
6. Noraneko1430 SE Water Ave, Portland
7. 10 Barrel Brewing1411 NW Flanders St, Portland
8. Bang Bang PDX4727 NE Fremont St, Portland
9. Broadway On Deck225 SW Broadway #100, Portland
10. Batter, Griddle and Drinkery4425 NE Fremont St, Portland
11. El Gallo Taqueria4422 SE Woodstock Blvd, Portland
12. Fire+Stone3707 NE Fremont St, Portland
13. Donnie Vegas1203 NE Alberta St, Portland
One of the best salad spot has a simple concept: take the ubiquitous salad bar, increase the amount of options, use better ingredients, and tell everyone about how healthy lunch can be.
This small cheese bar is set up like a sushi counter so you can sit at the bar and watch the staff slice various cheeses and assemble them on beautiful wooden boards.
Expect sloppy barbecue you know and love from Smokehouse 21. It's not a bad place to catch a Blazer game either. According to locals, Smokehouse Tavern serves up some of the best barbecue in Portland, and we can't help but agree.
Not content with just Yakuza and Little Big Burger, the folks behind those spots now also have Blue Star Donuts, the latest entry into their 'establishments to make PDXers enormous' list. Blue Star offers up "donuts for adults," meaning that you should look elsewhere for sprinkles. Instead, here you'll find donuts with flavors like horchata glazed, chipotle chocolate ganache, and maple glazed & bacon.
The lobby of Hotel Vintage Portland just reopened with a swanky new bar full of upscale cocktails and food from the hotel’s restaurant, Pazzo. There’s also a game room upstairs, complete with pool tables, shuffleboard, and multiple giant TVs, two of which come with an XBOX One and a Wii U.
The menu is straightforward, with four kinds of ramen: shio, shoyu, miso, and a vegetarian, as well as fried chicken, gyoza, and a salad. And while the food is excellent, it's the cocktails that really steal the show here.
A lot of breweries have large patios, but only 10 Barrel, nestled in NW Portland, has a rooftop patio with a view of the neighborhood. It also has a line of 20 taps upstairs so, thankfully, you won’t have to go back down. Just ignore the fact that it’s now owned by Budweiser (er, America), and enjoy the still-excellent beers.
If everything and everyone got along as well as curry and cocktails, then the world would be a peaceful place. Also inebriated and satiated. Bang Bang keeps us coming back for the early and late happy hour with $2 skewers and house cocktails like the mezcal-based Roberto Burns.
This sports bar is has strategically placed TVs so every guest has a decent view of whatever game is on. The drinks and food are on the cheaper side too.
You can imagine a place with a name like Batter is open for breakfast and brunch, maybe even lunch. But this resto is also open for those late-night pancakes. With a menu that has 16 sweet and 14 savory options there's something for everyone.
El Gallo serves some of the best Mexican food in the city. Basic tacos start at $2.50 and the fancy options aren’t that much expensive. This might be the closest you can get to Mexico City street tacos here in Portland.
The pizza, lamb shank, and roasted chicken are all wood-fired to perfection. But the best part? You can order beer and wine to-go through the online ordering system.