Every other day, somebody else discovers what we've known all along: that Portland is one of the best damn food cities in the country, with great bites (and probably a strip club and brewery) on every corner. There's so much great food, in fact, that it can be hard to forget to eat some of the icons. Fear not: we've compiled an essential list of Portland eats everybody should consume before they die… probably from eating all this stuff. We've really blown our resolution this year.
BroderAddress and Info
At Broder, everything from the Swedish hash to the Lost Eggs to the aquavit cocktails contributes to a first-rate Scandinavian menu, but no meal here is complete without ableskiver (Danish pancakes). Served with lemon butter and lingonberry jam, the warm, fluffy spheres are so much more than the sum of their batter.
2. Ike's Fish Sauce Wings
Pok PokAddress and Info
Now that Andy Ricker’s Thai street food-inspired dishes have made homes in New York and LA, Portlanders may feel that nativist urge to boycott Pok Pok as the de facto poster boy for the city’s influx of outsiders drawn to our artisanal ways. But even those mourning the loss of “Old Portland” don’t need to bite past the wings to understand why Ricker’s creations deserve national attention.
3. Deviled eggs
Grain & GristleAddress and Info
G&G has become a mainstay of Portland’s booming restaurant culture that emphasizes local ingredients and inventive Northwest fare at a reasonable price. Although the menu changes frequently, the deviled eggs, topped with boquerones (marinated Spanish anchovy fillets), never leave, and every day we thank the gods of land and sea for the ever-pleasing combination.
4. The Cheesus
Grilled Cheese GrillAddress and Info
Alberta Arts District
Offensive to some, intriguing to others, tasty to all, The Cheesus is a one-third-pound burger with grilled cheeses for a bun. That’s two grilled cheeses -- each filled with add-ons like grilled onions and pickles -- protecting your hands from the juicy patty but threatening to further clog your plaqued-out arteries. Oh, and you can eat it inside a retro double-decker bus.
Podnah's Pit BarbecueAddress and Info
Podnah’s is a forerunner of Portland’s obsession with reinventing Southern barbecue, and this place does it best by not messing with Texas-style pit methods. While all of the oak-smoked meats will help you realize your most carnivorous fantasies, the mere scent of the brisket will bring you to your knees, a slice of white bread in each hand, ready to receive the beefy labor of love.
6. Korean fried chicken
Boke BowlAddress and Info
The 48-hour preparation for Boke’s Korean fried chicken is so intense that these par-smoked birds are offered only one night a week. Our advice: get a group of friends together to ravage this family-style chicken alongside kimchi and terrific steamed buns.
7. The chef's menu
LangbaanAddress and Info
For years, Chef Earl Ninsom has quietly been cooking up some of the city’s best Thai food -- well beyond pad Thai and deep into tradition -- at PaaDee. But with the opening of the chef-driven Langbaan, he’s honed it all into an experience and emerged with the chance to get one of the best central Thai meals you’ll ever eat. If you can get in. Word spread pretty quickly, so this might end up being your favorite meal… of 2018.
Olympia ProvisionsAddress and Info
We at Thrillist will never stop obsessing over the handmade cured meats of Olympia Provisions. Here, it’s all about the craft, and we’re convinced that salumist Elias Cairo could stuff a casing with manure and still make a salami that tastes better than most.
9. Beefy stroganoff
Casa DiabloAddress and Info
Famed as a vegan strip club -- and one of the raunchiest anywhere -- Casa Diablo might be the most appropriate place to enjoy a surprisingly delicious plate of soy stroganoff to precede a good strokinoff (hey-o!). Please, leave the establishment before you perform the latter.
10. Pho Dac Biet
Pho An SandyAddress and Info
This hole in the wall has developed a long list of regulars, and all of us feel like we’ve stumbled upon a steaming bucket of pho at the end of the Sandy Blvd rainbow. The fragrant bone broth, a perfected classic, is what keeps us coming back.
11. Foie gras profiteroles
Le PigeonAddress and Info
Don’t let the name fool you: these caramel-covered, salty desserts do not smell of liver or have any iron flavor. The foie gras is actually in the form of ice cream, and it’s sandwiched between two flaky profiteroles. These are all very good things. Better, in fact, than your pronunciation of profiteroles.
12. Crispy pork belly
DepartureAddress and Info
A stylish rooftop bar and pan-Asian restaurant, Departure could get away with serving noodles boiled in used bath water and still be packed with well-coifed loungers basking in a late-summer sunset. But Chef Gregory Gourdet brings us expertly crafted plates like the crispy pork belly adorned with pickled cherries that are so palate-pleasing, you’ll forget to enjoy the skyline view.
LardoAddress and Info
Hawthorne (& other locations)
If you can get your hands on one of these hefty sacks of pork heaven, you’re in luck, because they go fast. Crunchy on the outside and gooey and fatty on the inside, this savory hunk of meat is topped with subtly tangy gremolata, caper mayo, arugula, and a nice helping of salty Parmesan. Don’t be distracted by one of Lardo’s other exquisite sounding sandwiches -- this is the one you didn’t even know you’ve been craving all these years.
14. Margarita pizza
Apizza SchollsAddress and Info
Apizza Scholls has sat proudly on lists of the best pizza in the country for years, but we’re here to tell you that… well, nothing, really, because here it is on another list. For damn good reason. The New Haven-ish pies are perfect, but we recommend going with the simple margarita, mainly because it’s rare that the palette is just as beautiful as the painting that ends up on it.
15. Cointreau creme brûlée
Blue Star DonutsAddress and Info
Downtown (& other locations)
Forget about waiting in line for penis-shaped donuts and get in line for pipettes: Blue Star’s signature oddities would be just fine if they were just filled with house-made vanilla custard. But they’re impaled with a little plastic pipette filled with Cointreau syrup. Squeeze it in and savor donut science at its most Portlandian.
16. Dim sum
HK CaféAddress and Info
Boasting the best assortment of freshly steamed dim sum in Portland, HK’s got your hangover cure covered in the form of steamy pork buns, bamboo-wrapped chicken rice, and several different metamorphoses of fried shrimp balls. And if you bring enough people with you, the maitre d’ may even seat you at one of the tables with a very handy lazy Susan, so you don’t have to flag down a lady playing bumper cars with a dim sum cart just to get condiments.
Florida RoomAddress and Info
Totchos may not officially be on the Florida Room’s menu, but if you’re nice enough to the bartenders, they may honor you with a mound of fried tots covered in cheese, beans, olives, guac, and sour cream… a combination that some believe was actually invented at Florida Room. Pro tip: Monday night is trivia night here, and everyone knows that totchos are brain food.
18. Oxtail croquettes
Toro BravoAddress and Info
There’s a lot you’ll want to order off Toro Bravo’s laundry list of tapas, but this is the most drool-worthy of them all. These crispy oxtail-filled croquettes are topped with chili mayonnaise, providing a bit of a kick with all that savory oxtail crunch.
Tasty n SonsAddress and Info
Sometimes you want to shake up brunch with something a little different, maybe even exotic compared to your basic French toast or eggs. For more adventurous brunch mornings, Tasty n Sons’ take on the classic Israeli dish, shakshuka, consisting of eggs baked in sweet, savory tomato sauce with merguez sausage and a side of freshly grilled bread that will satisfy your appetite and give you something to brag about. Because, face it, you’re in Portland, where bragging is just part of brunch.
Tienda Y Panaderia Santa CruzAddress and Info
Thick and crispy, the carnitas and extensive salsa bar here make up for the modest, fluorescent-lit, grocery store back room ambiance. In whatever form you choose your carnitas -- burrito, taco, quesadilla, bucket-o-meat™ -- carnitas as the protein of choice. Also, you do not want to make the amateur move of skimping on the salsa bar -- the avocado sauce is also the best in town, possibly the best outside Mexico. Oh, even more important: carnitas are not actually on the menu. You’re welcome.
21. Filet mignon
AcropolisAddress and Info
Not every town has its own cattle rancher-owned strip club that serves thick-cut $7 steaks, over 65 beers, and a few wines on tap. With that steak price, selection of beer, and four different stages, you could easily spend all day in this SE Portland joint, keeping yourself entertained and satiated without ever leaving the rack.
22. Khao man gai
Nong's Khao Man GaiAddress and Info
Downtown (& other locations)
Poached chicken and rice, with a little thingy of broth. It seems like the simplest thing in the world. But thanks to food-cart superstar Nong, it’s anything but. In fact, her take on the obscure Thai street-food favorite is unlike anything you’ve ever tasted, and the stuff of legend.
23. Potted Judy cheese
The Country Cat Dinnerhouse & BarAddress and Info
Adam Sappington does wonders with everything from smoked steelhead to fried chicken and full-animal butchery specials. But this white trash-ish family recipe -- like pimento cheese, spiked with Budweiser and aged in the jar -- is essential with any meal.
24. Crispy pig ears
AviaryAddress and Info
Alberta Arts District
A must-have when visiting Aviary, these crispy pig ears are not at all whatever freakish image you may have pictured in your head. Served with rice and garnished with cilantro and Thai basil, the crispy pork is as explosive in texture as it is in flavor. Which is to say, prepare for sensory overload.
25. Combo plate
The People's PigAddress and Info
Anyone who claims that Portland has no distinct BBQ style has never sat down in the dingy digs of the Pig. The menu’s sparse, but it’s impossible to choose which smoked wonder to get. Should it be the perfect ribs? The smoked fried chicken, which marries the Colonel with bacon? The pork shoulder, with its brisket-y pink rings? The answer is yes. Get the combo plate and get them all.
26. Whatever you're told
BeastAddress and Info
Naomi Pomeroy has ascended to the heights of celebrity chef-dom, But even before she was a familiar face, her prix fixe feasts were an essential Portland experience. What you’ll get is up in the air, but expect charcuterie. Expect piles of lovingly prepared meat and fresh veggies. And pray for the signature foie gras bon bon.
27. Beef tartare
Old Salt MarketplaceAddress and Info
They might as well just call it sashimi ‘cause this beef tartare is as delicate as anything you’d get by calling omakase. It's salty, olive oily, and velvety on the tongue -- the French knew what they were up to when they came up with this genius dish. And the in-house butchers over at Old Salt Marketplace took that genius to the next level.
28. Ribeye and chowder
OxAddress and Info
Greg and Gabby Denton’s house of Argentinean meat is the best thing to happen to steak in the PNW since the Acropolis. Except, you know, everybody’s fully clothed and the food’s really, really great. Indulge and get the ultimate surf/turf combo: a 36oz ribeye and a bowl of the clam chowder that houses smoked marrow bones. You’ll smell like meat when you leave. You’ll be grateful.
29. Rabbit in a Clay Pot
KachkaAddress and Info
At the Russian hotspot, the zakuski (small bites) menu and pelmeni are the most popular, and rightfully so considering the artful and playful dishes like Herring Under a Fur Coat. But they also overshadow the entrees, of which the garlic-bathed Rabbit in a Clay Pot -- a saucy hindquarter spruced up with cherries -- is the best. Still get the zakuski. Split the rabbit.
30. Vietnamese tumeric noodles
HA VLAddress and Info
My mom always said that sure signs of good Vietnamese noodle soup are the variety of floating accouterments and the soup color. Let’s just say that HA VL’s shrimp cake-jammed, golden turmeric soup -- garnished with peanuts, rice crackers, and various ground meats -- would make my mom very proud.
31. Pork belly Cubano
Bunk SandwichesAddress and Info
Transplants, you won’t be in Portland long before someone forces you to devour a pork belly Cubano, and this person will suddenly become your best friend for life. Or will it be the sandwich itself that you helplessly befriend? No time to ponder such questions, just order another one to go.
32. Fried chicken
Reel M InnAddress and Info
There are a lot of great fried chicken places in this town, but Reel M Inn is the stuff of legend. Yeah, you’ll have to wait one to two hours if you come here during prime dinner time, and there are only a handful of tables, and it can get pretty rowdy seeing as it’s primarily a dive bar. But with that full disclosure in mind, get yourself over to Reel M Inn before they turn this diamond in the rough into a yuppie apartment complex with tenant-only happy hours and communal pingpong tables. (Please, please don’t ever let that happen… this place is the best.)
33. Fish & chips
Horse BrassAddress and Info
At the risk of angering Queen and country, one of Portland’s mightiest beer bars also makes a fish & chips that tops its UK forefathers, with thick hunks of halibut dunked in a thick beer batter. And you don’t even get newsprint on your fingers when you eat it.
34. Iberico ham
HamletAddress and Info
Billed the world’s finest ham, the Iberico doesn’t come cheap. But it does come lovingly cut from an on-bar bone by folks specially trained to serve it. Spring for it. It’ll ruin honey-baked for life.
35. Roasted chicken
CoquineAddress and Info
The simple roasted chicken is having a moment in Portland, and the best moment you can have with it is at our pick for the best new restaurant in Portland: it’s a whole bird, meant to share, but you might find youself fighting over the entire thing once the red kuri squash, spicy yogurt, pomegranate, and perfectly cooked meat hit your tongue. Save room for chocolate chip cookies. Or don’t. You can bring those home for your recovery.
36. Bistecca alla Fiorentina
NostranaAddress and Info
OK, yes, we put this 1kg, 40-day dry-aged steak on the list because it’s ridiculous (and ridiculously good), but basically we’re just saying to eat at Nostrana more often, dammit. It’s Italian perfection. It has one of the best happy hours around. Can somebody just give Cathy Whims a damn Beard award already? Because there’s a reason she’s been nominated six times, making her the DiCaprio of the Portland restaurant scene.
37. The Reggie
Pine State BiscuitsAddress and Info
We hate waiting for our food, yet we’ve stood in line many times to get our fix of Pine State’s fried chicken biscuit sandwiches. The no-frills Reggie is topped with bacon, cheese, and sausage gravy, making for the rare offering that both locals and tourists will continue bragging about having tasted.
38. The Slowburger
Slow BarAddress and Info
Long before the humble burger became a gourmet trend -- seriously, look at all these amazing newcomers -- this semi-divey OG of the Eastside Industrial scene was getting national attention for plopping a half pound of grade-A beef between brioche buns, then adding Gruyere, butter lettuce, and a fat onion ring. It’s so good that Slow Bar opened up a mini-restaurant just to focus on it. We prefer it chased by a Tijuana Speedball at the place of its birth.
BiwaAddress and Info
Long before izakayas were popular, and before most Americans considered the possibility of spending more than 25 cents for a bowl of ramen, Biwa was serving up the best bowl of shoyu in town. It still does.
40. Korean BBQ
DJK BBQAddress and Info
Why go to Beaverton? Well, there’s a mall. And, um, a Five Guys. Oh, and also Oregon’s answer to LA’s Koreatown. DJK is the most authentic, and best, KBBQ experience in the state, done unpretentiously and without making you feel like an idiot for not knowing how to cook bulgogi at your table without a side of third-degree burns.
41. Baked stuffed trout
LuceAddress and Info
You want some overcomplicated, crazy-ass Italian food? Well, you won’t get it in this tiny little Kearns spot, which is about as close as you’ll get to the Lady & the Tramp experience in town. The trout comes stuffed with herbs. That’s it. And it’s incredible.
42. General Tso chicken sandwich
SmallwaresAddress and Info
Johanna Wares is one of Portland’s most inventive chefs, rightly praised for taking Asian concepts and warping them to her whims. By all means, listen to everybody and get the fried kale. As a side for the General Tso chicken sandwich. Simply turning the generic, sticky, Americanized staple into something good is a task unto itself. Transforming it into a delicately layered, perfectly lowbrow sandwich is something else, and making it a standout on a menu, where most items would individually be the stars at any other restaurant is a triumph. Let’s hope it becomes a mainstay.
43. Hardcore Omakase
NodoguruAddress and Info
You have to move pretty fast to get tickets to Nodoguro’s “hardcore” sushi nights, but when a chef named Ryan Roadhouse promises something hardcore, well, you listen to him. Mainly because he knows pain don’t hurt, and he takes great pains to find the freshest, most unlikely fish. Nights are themed, and you never know what you’re going to get. Don’t worry. Trust the master.
44. Bavette frites
Laurelhurst MarketAddress and Info
More tender than your lonely heart on Valentine’s Day, Laurelhurst’s steak frites fulfill both your meat hunger pangs and your salt cravings. And hey, what’s so different from a perfectly cooked piece of meat and a Valentine’s Day date anyhow? Speaking of which, Laurelhurst is also a very romantic spot, pulling out all the stops with candles and white napkins and all that mushy, fancy stuff. Basically, your date won’t see the meat juice running down your mouth in the candlelight.
45. Brunch buffet
Salty's on the ColumbiaAddress and Info
You’ll notice that there aren’t so many brunch picks here. That’s mainly because there are far too many similar places doing variations of the Portland experience, which generally means waiting in line for expensive eggs. Here, the experience is that you don’t feel like you’re in Portland at all. No, it feels like you’re on a cruise ship. Or at a fancy maritime-themed casino, grazing on fresh, delicious seafood. The summer patio seating is clutch. But regardless of when you go, you’ll feel like you’re on vacation.
46. Buttermilk fried rabbit sandwich
Raven & RoseAddress and Info
Juicer and more flavorful than your standard fried chicken, the buttermilk fried rabbit sandwich at Downtown Portland’s Raven & Rose is just what you need to spruce up your bland, stucco-infused workday. Served with marinated sweet pickles in a toasty, fresh Fleur de Lis ciabatta roll, this sandwich is one of a kind.
47. Seven-course chef's tasting menu
RoeAddress and Info
Yeah, it’s expensive. But sometimes, you treat yourself. And when you do, it’s nice to have an onslaught of raw, shelled, and finned seafood thrust at you by one of the region’s best and most discerning seafood chefs, in a secret-feeling spot located in the back of his also-great Block and Tackle. Should you spring for the caviar service? Of course you should. You deserve it.
48. Oyster hour
The Woodsman TavernAddress and Info
The Northwest boasts the best oysters in the country -- sorry, Northeast -- and The Woodsman Tavern takes full advantage by bringing us the briniest hour in Portland: $2 bivalve delights straight out of the Pacific, shucked to order. Slurp, swallow, repeat.
49. Boudin noir
St. JackAddress and Info
One of the most meticulous chefs in town, Aaron Barnett makes every thing from scratch, using old-school methods often ditched because they take too much care. So, yeah, this blood sausage goes with the cliché of being made with that extra ingredient of love. Also, blood.
50. Stan's Meat Plate
ImperialAddress and Info
Creamy, nutty, and in its own league, Imperial knows how to cure its own meats and put together a top-notch, best-in-show meat plate. In a town so obsessed with charcuterie, that’s really saying something. Pair it with a $5 Vieux Carré on tap at happy hour.
Sign up here for our daily PDX email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun Portland has to offer.
Thrillist senior editor Andy Kryza contributed to this report, then also quit the gym.
1. Broder Cafe2508 SE Clinton St, Portland
2. Pok Pok3226 SE Division St, Portland
3. Grain & Gristle1473 NE Prescott, Portland
4. Grilled Cheese Grill1027 NE Alberta, Portland
5. Podnah's Pit BBQ1625 NE Killingsworth St, Portland
6. Boke Bowl's Brick and Mortar1028 SE Water, Portland
7. LangBaan6 SE 28th Ave, Portland
8. Olympia Provisions107 SE Washington St, Portland
9. Casa Diablo2839 NW St Helens Rd, Portland
10. Phở An6236 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland
11. Departure Restaurant & Lounge525 SW Morrison St, Portland
12. Le Pigeon738 E Burnside St, Portland
13. Lardo1212 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland
14. Apizza Scholls4741 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland
15. Blue Star Donuts1237 SW Washington St, Portland
16. H.K. Cafe4410 SE 82nd Ave, Portland
17. The Florida Room435 N Killingsworth St, Portland
18. Toro Bravo120 NE Russell St, Portland
19. Tasty 'N Sons3808 N Williams Ave, Portland
20. Taqueria Y Panaderia Santa Cruz8630 N Lombard St, Portland
21. Acropolis Steakhouse8325 SE McLoughlin Blvd, Portland
22. Nong's Khao Man Gai1003 SW Alder St., Portland
23. Country Cat Dinnerhouse & Bar7937 SE Stark St, Portland
24. Aviary1733 NE Alberta, Portland
25. The People's Pig3217 N. Williams Ave, Portland
26. Beast5425 NE 30th Avenue, Portland
27. Old Salt Marketplace5027 NE 42nd Ave, Portland
28. Ox2225 NE Martin Luther King Blvd, Portland
29. Kachka720 SE Grand Ave, Portland
30. Ha VL2738 SE 82nd Ave, Portland
31. Bunk Sandwiches2017 NE Alberta St, Portland
32. The Woodsman Tavern4537 SE Division, Portland
33. Horse Brass Pub4534 SE Belmont St, Portland
34. Hamlet232 NW 12th Ave, Portland
35. Coquine6839 SE Belmont St, Portland
36. Nostrana1401 SE Morrison St, Portland
37. Pine State Biscuits2204 NE Alberta St, Portland
38. Slow Bar533 SE Grand AVE, Portland
39. Biwa215 SE 9th Ave, Portland
40. DJK Korean BBQ12275 SW Canyon Rd, Beaverton
41. Luce2140 E. Burnside, Portland
42. Smallwares4605 NE Fremont, Portland
43. Imperial410 SW Broadway, Portland
44. Laurelhurst Market3155 E Burnside St, Portland
45. nodoguro3735 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland
46. Salty's on the Columbia3939 N Marine Dr, Portland
47. Raven & Rose1331 SW Broadway, Portland
48. Roe3113 SE Division St, Portland
49. St. jack1610 NW 23rd, Portland
Established in 2007 -- and the older sibling of Border Nord -- Broder is a small, Scandinavian eatery/bakery specializing in breakfast. European eats like pytt i panna (hash), lefse (Norwegian potato crepes, with various filling options), and köttbullar (Swedish meatballs) can be found here. Your move, IKEA.
The original Pok Pok, from Chef Andy Ricker, slings super-authentic and beyond-tasty Thai eats -- most notably, the famous chicken wings that are a must-order.
Harmony between two greats can yield powerful results: Mercury and Bowie's "Under Pressure", Fitzgerald and Armstrong's "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off", or LeBron and D-Wade's 73 wins! Okay, maybe 58, but they can't call the whole thing off now. For harmony between more edible greats, hit Grain & Gristle, opening Monday.
The name Grilled Cheese Grill might be a bit gratuitous, like "We get it! This spot serves grilled cheese!", but don't discount this Portland shop's predilection for puns: they do make a mean grilled cheese. We especially like The Gabby: with four local cheeses and a ton of bacon between two hunks of bread, this is the hottest Union since Gabrielle starred in Bad Boys II. Ohhhh!!
Podnah's Pit's a smoked meat temple in Portland with BBQ styles emulating Carolina and Texas. According to locals, there is no finer barbecue fare in Portland than the dishes served up a Podnah's, and we can't help but agree. Their ribs and brisket are as close to perfect as barbecue can be.
Boke Bowl's Brick and Mortar, now taking in residence on Portland's Industrial East Side neighborhood, have turned ramen into an art and an actual meal you'd crave outside of your finals' week dungeon. In addition to the regular menu, Thursday nights are Korean Fried Chicken night, in case you thought you were gonna take that run later.
LangBaan is the Thai word for "back of the house". This spot prides itself on providing the complete experience of Thai-style dining from the century-old inspiration. The food is traditionally prepared from the fresh local and seasonal ingredients.
The SE Portland outpost of OP sits in a beautifully restored industrial building and serves innovative takes on traditional Spanish and Mediterranean dishes. Locally-sourced meats and seasonal vegetables shine throughout the menu, and cheese and charcuterie boards offer a range of shareable options for a romantic or group meal.
Casa Diablo isn't your typical restaurant from the outside, or, for that matter, the inside. It's modeled after the vampire bar in From Dusk Til Dawn and features a solid vegan menu with must-tries like soy stroganoff. Not what you were expecting? There's another surprise: this spot is actually a strip club that has a bank full of those ever-popular $2 bills for tipping and dancers performing the wildest leather-free strip show you’ll ever see. That's right: this is a vegan strip club. Bless you, Portland.
Don't be turned off by its hole-in-the-wall look, Pho An serves up seriously killer bone broth and slurp-worthy noodles.
Located in the Nines Hotel, The Departure serves authentic pan-Asian cuisine -- such as sushi, dim sum, and kushiyaki, along with vegan and gluten-free items-- and creative cocktails in a scenic, double balconied setting with a great outdoor seating area and sweeping views of downtown PDX. Try the Tasho Macho, the venue's longest-surviving drink, which is an Asian fusion take on the Moscow mule.
Yes, it's named after a pigeon, but their amazing upscale fare draws no comparison a common bird. They specialize in French food and they always have market-fresh fish and seafood, as well.
With a motto like "Bringing Fat Back," Lardo promises some of Portland's most indulgently carnivorous sandwiches. The term "lardo" actually refers to a specific cut of fatback pork salami that's typically cured with rosemary and other herbs. In the spirit of artisanal salami-curing, this narrow red sandwich joint is all about repurposing traditional meat cuts and charcuterie in more contemporary iterations, as evidenced by the double burger topped with pork pastrami or the spicy meatball banh mi. Even the fries here are loaded with crispy fat and Parmesan. And because no plate of fatback is complete without a beer, Lardo has a rotating selection of craft beers on tap.
This Hawthorne pizza shop is so focused on making you the perfect pie that if they run out of dough, they'll close early if they have to, to preserve the quality of their ingredients. Serving up quality pies rooted in Neapolitan tradition, Apizza goes heavy on the cheese, generous with the sauce, and hearty on the toppings.
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.
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.
A neighborhood restaurant with games, Monday night trivia and killer bar food.
A perpetually packed spot in Eliot, this Spanish-inspired restaurant serves up small, shareable plates of succulent beef, pork, lam, and duck with vegetables made every which way to make their way around the table. With rustic red-brown walls and polished wood floors, the unpretentious vibe here makes you feel like you're in the home a good friends, unlike most upscale tapas restaurants.
With "Tasty" in the name, you know it must be good. This local tapas spot is popular with the breakfast and brunch crowd, but they also have stellar dinner options and a great happy hour.
Tucked into the back of this Mexican market is a counter service spot with real-deal authentic Mexican tacos, burritos, and more. Local favorites include the tacos al pastor or carnitas.
With 65 beers on tap and a steak that rivals any meatery in town, Acropolis brings new meaning to the word "strip" at one of Portland's most famous stripperies.
A food cart success story, this catering businesses (plus their line of namesake sauce, Nong) boasts a brick and mortar on Alder. The menu is mostly their classics, but there are still surprises in store, like the peanut sauce that compliments both a vegetarian and a pork dish.
The husband-&-wife chef team at this cute little spot (decorated with tons of wooden tables) turn out fresh, Southern-inspired comfort food.
On the off, off chance that the bird ISN'T the word, it's probably a good bet that this restaurant/bar is. Aviary's got a great selection of cocktails and beers for you to wet your beak, and the food menu's organic, locally sourced ingredients will leave you questioning why you've been choking down millet seed all your life. Ok, no more puns, we promise!
Housed inside a weathered shack in Eliot, The People's Pig is serving up near-sinful BBQ, including a next-level smoked fried chicken sandwich that requires you wear anything but white. Grab a swivel chair at the counter, a cozy booth, or a picnic table out back, and prepare to get messy -- the crispy-skinned chicken thighs are smoked to perfection and coated in a house-made jalapeño jelly that you'll want to lick every last dollop of and jar for yourself. While this hefty creation is the star (did we mention it's served on charred sourdough?), there are plenty of pig-centric options, too, as this joint's name would hint, like melt-in-your-mouth baby back ribs and juicy slices of pork shoulder. Meat isn't everything here, though, considering the cast-iron cornbread trickled with honey will visit your dreams for nights to come.
Beast, Beard-winning chef Naomi Pomeroy’s (she of Knife Fight) amped-up supper club, opened to acclaim in 2007 and never looked back. Six courses can include anything Pomeroy has imagined, and the fixed-price meals are served at communal tables. These meat-heavy dishes make for a truly unique and unforgettable Portland dining experience.
Old Salt Marketplace is a Concordia-based old-timey-style grocer, butcher, and resto, serving up huge entrees like half-chickens w/ wheat berries and steak tartare with toast.
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.
This Russian eatery is brought to you by the team behind Oven & Shaker. Lots of knickknacks litter the area while lace curtains allow just enough natural light in to not feel dark. The menu has plenty of hearty fare, and of course, vodka.
Ha & VL has quietly usurped Portland’s soup mantle. Now their daily specials often sell out and hungry people grumble about having to settle for their almost equally delicious banh mis. So if you’re going in around lunchtime, make sure to call ahead.
Born in Portland in 2008, Bunk Sandwiches opened its doors to serve the people of Portland quality, comforting sandwiches. Now a cult favorite, Bunk has opened in various locations across the state, as well as across the country -- all the way to Brooklyn. The nationally acclaimed sandwiches are reinventions of classics, like the Pork Belly Cubano -- made with ham, Swiss, mustard, and pickles, and upgraded with roasted pork belly and shoulder. Bunk knows the importance of a balanced breakfast, so the hearty breakfast sandwiches are available all day. And it also knows the importance of a good beverage, evident by their daily happy hours, house cocktails, and draft and bottled beer lists.
The Woodsman Tavern is a gastropub delivering upmarket takes on American favorites like fried chicken, broiled cod, and New York strip steak, all the while slinging craft beer, vintage bourbon, win, and a handful of house specialty cocktails. The burgers here are unforgettable and some of the best in Portland -- the two stacked patties come straight from Lanet Family Farms and meet raw onions, pickles, and lettuce on a toasted bun.
The City of Roses has over 75 breweries that aren't Breakside, and almost every one of them is represented at no-nonsense Brit pub Horse Brass. This place has been serving up craft beer since 1976 (before it was cool) and has never not been a great place to knock back a few. It’s the best British pub outside of Britain, right down to the halibut fish & chips.
The team behind Pearl's brought us this ham and cocktail concept. Lots of ham, actually, imported from all over the globe. It may not be the first combination you'd think of for a restaurant speciality, but have a shot of prosciutto and mezcal before you knock it. Picklebacks suddenly feel so irrelevant. The space has an L-shaped copper bar and leather banquettes along the wall, allowing you to socialize with other patrons over meat-centric plates or cozy up with a drinking companion.
Coquine is a pleasantly bright and simple French-inspired neighborhood joint serving up seasonal vittles for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Sit for the four course "Chef's Choice" menu or the seven course "Tasting Menu" (both are best with the optional wine pairings) and enjoy high brow options like sweet potato tempura, chicken liver mousse with persimmon jam, and roasted squab with chestnuts, leeks, and mushrooms. You can also go a la carte with treats like the pan-roasted, pasture-raised, bone-In rib eye. Pair the house-made pastries or Rye Pancakes (made with with house ricotta and ginger lemon curd) with specialty cocktails like Not your Average Joe (coffee, rye whiskey, orange liqueur, bitters, and cream) and Brunch Punch (warm, spiced wine).
Nostrana is an Italian restaurant in residential South East Portland that features classic Italian food made with simple ingredients from long-standing recipes. It's also a quality spot for their wine list, dessert menu, and special happy hour deals. Plus, it's the birthplace of the Negroni Social, an industry costumed gala, which inspired the creation of Negroni Week, Nostrana is Portland’s capital of the negroni.
Pine State Biscuits uses ingredients taken straight from the farm to make biscuit creations that'll satisfy every comfort food craving.
Onion ring-topped burgers. Crispy fries drowning in melted cheese. Smoked bacon and onion wood-fired pizza -- the upscale branding and polished interior of this East Portland hangout might have you believing it's a snooty bistro, but what this place really delves out is glutenous American favorites. While menu items like ahi tuna salad and white wine fondue keep this place's image intact, most know to go straight for the house burger or bbq pork sandwich with their specialty cocktail.
Biwa is a Japanese restaurant serving up yakitori, ramen, and the occasional burger in SE Portland.
For the best Korean BBQ in the Portland area, look no further than DJK BBQ. So much bulgogi, so little time.
Enjoy classic, artisanal Italian food without having to step foot on a plane.
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.
Imperial restaurant, located in the historic Hotel Lucia, is owned and operated by Chef extraordinaire Vitaly Paley. This spot has a modern bright interior, and all the food is dishes made with local ingredients. The menu's combination of new and traditional American cuisine can be paired with any of Imperial's fine wines, specialty cocktails or draft and bottled beers.
Whether vegetarian or carnivore, Laurelhurst Market is bound to have a dish you'll love. The restaurant and butcher shop works with local farmers to provide patrons with the best Portland has to offer, which includes the restaurant's French fries. Laurenhurst also mixes incredible cocktails, so be sure to indulge in the variety of creative libations.
A wildly popular Japanese pop-up experience went brick-and-mortar in Hawthorne's Nodoguro, but that doesn't mean things are getting predictable. Ticketed themed omakase feasts are full of surprises, with frequently changing menus that cater to the truest of hardcore sushi fans. There are three central types of experiences: Sousaka, Hardcore (19 courses), and SupaHardcore (21 courses), where diners should expect both traditional sushi and out-there experimental plates.
Salty's on the Columbia is a seafood and steak resto boasting some awesome views of the river from their outdoor patio.
Housed within a historical landmark, Raven & Rose serves upscale comfort food and a nearly overwhelmingly large wine list. The beautiful dining room is inspired by the Irish and British countryside, as does the menu. Take dining to the next level by experiencing a bison cheeseburger paired with a craft beer you can't pronounce.
Roe is so secretly tucked behind another restaurant, you might get the urge to nervously whisper a ridiculous password. Once you enter (sans keyword) you're treated to a comfy seafood joint where the chefs, in a unique open kitchen set-up, prepare your meal right before your amazed eyes.
St. Jack is run by a former 23Hoyt chef and named for the man's encouraging grandfather (it's also an Americanization of "coquille St. Jacques", French for "scallop"). There is an elegantly-tiled patisserie with pastry domes and Stumptown coffee as well as a bistro side serving rustic continental fare. Snack on bones marrow gremolata and seared foie gras or, for something heavier, a whole roasted trout with lentils, arugula and brown butter vinagrette.