Portland Restaurants

These days, rising-star chefs and the foodies who adore them are flocking to Portland. In this playground of sustainability and creativity, many of the city's hottest restaurants change menus weekly—sometimes even daily—depending upon the ingredients they have delivered to their door that morning from local farms. The combination of fertile soils, temperate weather, and nearby waters contributes to a year-round bountiful harvest (be it lettuces or hazelnuts, mushrooms or salmon) that is within any chef's reach.

And these chefs are not shy about putting new twists on old favorites. Restaurants like Le Pigeon, Beast, Ox, Ned Ludd, Natural Selection, and Aviary have all taken culinary risks by presenting imaginatively executed, often globally inspired fare while utilizing sustainable ingredients. There’s a strong willingness in and around Portland for chefs to explore their creative boundaries.

Menus frequently extend across nations and continents. First-time visitors to Portland always seem to be impressed by the culinary scene’s international diversity, especially when it comes to Asian and Mediterranean fare, but you’ll also find outstanding examples of Peruvian, Russian, regional Mexican, and dozens of other ethnic restaurants. Of course, seafood is prevalent, with chefs regularly taking advantage of the availability of fresh salmon, albacore, halibut, crab, oysters, and mussels from the rivers and the Pacific Ocean.

Most of the city's longtime favorites are concentrated in Nob Hill, the Pearl District, and downtown. But many of the city’s most exciting food scenes are on the East Side, along Alberta Street, Mississippi Avenue, Williams Avenue, Fremont Street, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Burnside Street, 28th Avenue, Belmont Street, Hawthorne Boulevard, and Division Street, and tucked away in many neighborhoods in between. Serious food enthusiasts will definitely want to make some trips to some of these vibrant, if out-of-the-way neighborhoods.

Bar and restaurant culture greatly overlap in Portland, and many eateries around the city stand out as much because of their carefully curated beverage programs as for their food. Expect to find wine, craft beer, and cocktail lists that rely heavily on Northwest products, and also note that many of the top cocktail lounges, brewpubs, and wine bars we included in our Nightlife and Performing Arts chapter also serve excellent tapas and bar snacks.

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  • 1. Castagna Restaurant

    $$$$ | Hawthorne District | Pacific Northwest

    Enjoy artful Pacific Northwest cuisine—like grilled halibut, kohlrabi, and mussels, or summer beans, chanterelles, wilted sorrel, and roasted...Read More

  • 2. Clyde Common

    $$$ | West End | Pacific Northwest

    Gourmands from all walks of life—politicians, rock stars, socialites, and hipsters—eat and drink at this bustling bistro and bar in the Ace...Read More

  • 3. Country Cat

    $$ | Southeast | American

    Pork lovers rejoice: you've found hog heaven. House-cured, slow-cooked country ham and bacon and samplers of pork shoulders, head, and belly...Read More

  • 4. Higgins

    $$$ | Downtown | Pacific Northwest

    One of Portland's original farm-to-table restaurants, this classic eatery, opened in 1994 by renowned namesake chef Greg Higgins, has built...Read More

  • 5. Imperial

    $$$ | Downtown | Pacific Northwest

    Tall concrete pillars, exposed brick and ductwork, soft overhead lighting, and rustic wood tables and floors create an industrial-chic vibe...Read More

  • 6. Interurban

    $ | North | Modern American

    A laid-back North Mississippi gastropub with an L-shaped indoor bar and a bi-level back patio with lush landscaping and a shaded pergola, Interurban...Read More

  • 7. Irving Street Kitchen

    $$$ | Pearl District | Modern American

    You might come to this hip Pearl District restaurant set inside a gorgeously transformed warehouse building just because you heard about the...Read More

  • 8. Lardo

    $ | Southeast | American

    One of several spots around Portland that has become known for advancing the art of sandwich making, Lardo offers a steady roster of about a...Read More

  • 9. Ned Ludd

    $$$ | Northeast | Pacific Northwest

    Named for the founder of the Luddites, the group that resisted the technological advances of the Industrial Revolution, this Northwest-inspired...Read More

  • 10. Olympia Provisions

    $$ | Southeast | Modern American

    Salumist Elias Cairo made a name for himself throughout the country with his artisanal charcuterie, such as smoked chorizo, pepper-coated capicola...Read More

  • 11. Screen Door

    $$ | Northeast | American

    The line that forms outside this Southern cooking restaurant during weekend brunch and dinner is as epic as the food itself, but you can more...Read More

  • 12. Smokehouse Tavern

    $ | Southeast | American

    Top Chef season 14 contestant B.J. Smith operates this rather stylish take on a down-home barbecue joint. It's in a modern space that's been...Read More

  • 13. Tasty n Sons

    $$ | Northeast | American

    Offering one of the best brunches in Portland, this North Williams Avenue eatery has an industrial, sky-lit dining room and open kitchen, a...Read More

  • 14. Trifecta Tavern

    $$ | Southeast | Modern American

    Baker extraordinaire Ken Forkish (of Ken's Artisan Bakery and Artisan Pizza fame) operates this dapper tavern inside a converted garage in the...Read More

  • 15. Beast

    $$$$ | Northeast | Pacific Northwest

    This meat-centric exemplar of Portland's cutting-edge culinary scene occupies a nondescript red building with subtle signage. Chef-owner Naomi...Read More

  • 16. Bernie's Southern Bistro

    $$ | Northeast | American

    For an upscale version of a down-home Southern meal, look to this welcoming candlelit bistro in quirky Alberta District. The fresh, organic...Read More

  • 17. Bijou Cafe

    $ | Downtown | American

    This spacious, sunny restaurant with high ceilings has excellent breakfasts, and they're served until 2: eggs with breakfast sausage (from Portland...Read More

  • 18. Blue Goose

    $ | Southeast | American

    This festive tribute to the food of the Southwest occupies the former, long-running Esparza's space and retains that establishment's homey look...Read More

  • 19. BridgePort Brewpub & Restaurant

    $ | Pearl District | American

    The century-old, hops- and ivy-covered industrial building seems out of place among its newer, posher fashion- and furniture-focused neighbors...Read More

  • 20. Bunk Sandwiches

    $ | Southeast | American

    You'll probably have to stand in line to get into this narrow soda-shop-style bar, but once you settle in at a table and experience the rich...Read More

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