Portland, Oregon - Restaurants

Old Aug 29th, 2019, 05:45 PM
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Portland, Oregon - Restaurants

We will be in Portland in mid-September (2 couples, first time visitors). We're staying in the Marriott Residence Inn in the Pearl District. We are looking for restaurants in that area for dinner, serving local cuisine and offering fish dishes (not just shellfish), among other varied choices of course. (The availability of fresh fish is important, as one person has dietary restrictions). Thank you in advance for your advice, much appreciated.
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Old Aug 30th, 2019, 12:08 PM
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If you'd like good seafood--but not just a fish house--you've come to the right city. Here are a few that I've been to, or close friends have been to in a couple of places. Failing that, I'd encourage you to look at either the Portland Monthly Magazine's page, or The Oregonian's dining guide. Portland Monthly has rarely steered us wrong... Karen Brooks in particular is a great writer. Note that some of our best restaurants make reservations, but some really hot restaurants don't, and you could be waiting 1-2 hours--and people do. So this is also a question of how you dine.

Caffe Mingo--Caffe Mingo, Bar Mingo and the branch in the burbs are all great food, solidly so. Caffe Mingo is the most formal of the three and most apt to have multiple fish offerings among their food.

Paley's Place--in an old house extensively remodeled on 21st, this is one of the first restaurants to make Portland's national scene. We've gone regularly over the years. It's been 2-3 years but my last visit was a steelhead that was perhaps the best fish dish I've ever eaten.

Toro Bravo--this is one with no reservations and people line up to wait early. Portland's first and best tapa place. I am a fan--no question.There are definitely seafood options, including some with Basque influences, although maybe not enough for your taste. Have a look at their menu.

Andina--this Peruvian place is a favorite of many of my friends, and considered to be a top restaurant in Portland. As Peruvian cuisine has a lot of fish and shellfish, you should be very happy here. I have nut allergies, and my son told me, they're everywhere and I should avoid it. So I have not been. But am envious

In Northwest (not the Pearl, but still near you) 23Hoyt and St. Jack's have great reps. I have been to 23Hoyt but it was a long time ago. Would absolutely go again.

A few famous ones you may have read about... I have not been to any of these between cost and allergy issues.

Le Pigeon and Little Bird--Gabriel Rucker is one of the bright stars of Portland. Le Pigeon is the more expensive; Little Bird is on my list but I haven't made it there. Both have seafood offerings...

Beast-- James Beard-winnning level restaurant. A set menu. Naomi is considered to be a trailblazer.

Pok Pok--Again, James Beard winning but very different. Think Thai and other Asian street food. Casual.

Finally.... one outlier you won't find in most US cities.

Jin Wah is a Chinese/Vietnamese place in the suburbs that really focuses on seafood. If you love Chinese food, I'm not sure there's many places like this one stateside. They might have other dishes but the seafood is why people come. We went with Chinese friends and it was really an incredible place.

JIN WAH | Vietnamese & Chinese Seafood Restaurant

Do not recommend
Headwaters--went there as a treat and were rather disappointed. Service issues to work out.

Note: I edited this, somehow I thought they were staying at the Silver Cloud from a prior thread.

Last edited by 5alive; Aug 30th, 2019 at 12:58 PM.
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Old Aug 30th, 2019, 04:31 PM
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Thank you very much for your detailed response! Your info is very helpful and we appreciate it. Again, many thanks.
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Old Aug 30th, 2019, 05:24 PM
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At the SE corner of what Google maps tells me is the Pearl District, my nephew took me to dinner at the Portland City Grill, good food & the best views in town from the 30th floor. I don't like heights but I loved this restaurant. https://portlandcitygrill.com/
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Old Sep 1st, 2019, 08:09 AM
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Thank you! I'll check it out!
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Old Sep 1st, 2019, 08:15 AM
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By "fresh fish" do you mean it has never been frozen? That's harder to find because of the way the seasons go. For example fresh salmon season is wrapping up now end of August. The quality would be higher if you got frozen from the a few months ago peak of the season (they flash freeze on the boat) than what you might find fresh in September. We have beautiful fish in the PNW but don't be put off if it has been frozen to insure quality is my small point here.
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Old Sep 1st, 2019, 07:06 PM
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5Alive, I just read that Jin Wah is closing their doors for good as of tomorrow, September 2nd. I’d never heard of it and was intrigued, but I guess it’s too late for me to check it out.

I’m surprised no one has mentioned Jake’s which is the quintessential Portland seafood restaurant downtown. Always good and a large variety of seafood.


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Old Sep 1st, 2019, 10:02 PM
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That is too bad about Jin Wah. I haven't gotten back there in a while.

Agree with Suze that some fish may have been frozen if not in season.

I didn't include Jake's because the OP asked for restaurants that aren't just fish houses, which Jake's kind of is. So is Southpark and Roe, btw.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2019, 09:42 AM
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We visited Portland in October and absolutely loved our experience at the Oregon Culinary Institute for lunch. Check out https://www.oregonculinaryinstitute....er-information. The food was incredible regarding taste, presentation, and quality. Service was very accommodating and friendly, and the price is unbelievably low cost. If you can snag a reservation, don't hesitate to go.
Another very nice option is at Lan Su Garden, which we found to be delightful. We enjoyed a light lunch and tea following our garden tour. It was relaxing, pretty, and very tasty. https://www.lansugarden.org/about-the-garden/teahouse/

Last edited by durems; Sep 2nd, 2019 at 09:53 AM.
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Old Sep 5th, 2019, 07:34 AM
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Thanks very much to all for your advice! We appreciate it. The Culinary Institute is a very good idea.
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