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. Andina

    $$$ | Pearl District | Peruvian

    This popular upscale Pearl District restaurant offers an inventive menu—a combination of traditional Peruvian and contemporary "Novoandina"...Read More

  • 2. Ava Gene's

    $$$ | Southeast | Italian

    Chef Joshua McFadden's fantastic Roman-inspired Italian eatery ranks among the top tables in town both in popularity and quality. Capsule-shape...Read More

  • 3. Biwa

    $$ | Southeast | Japanese

    A sleek, modern subterranean Japanese izakaya in the industrial Central East Side, Biwa takes ramen and small plates to delicious heights. Homemade...Read More

  • 4. 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

  • 5. Departure Restaurant + Lounge

    $$$ | Downtown | Asian

    This swanky rooftop restaurant and lounge on the top floor of The Nines hotel looks fresh out of L.A.—a look and feel that is, indeed, a departure...Read More

  • 6. 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

  • 7. 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

  • 8. 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

  • 9. Kachka

    $$ | Southeast | Russian

    In a city with a sizable population of Russian immigrants, the success of this Central East Side establishment decorated to resemble a dasha...Read More

  • 10. Le Pigeon

    $$$$ | Southeast | French

    Specializing in adventurous Northwest-influenced French dishes of extraordinary quality, this cozy and unassuming restaurant consistently ranks...Read More

  • 11. Mediterranean Exploration Company

    $$ | Pearl District | Mediterranean

    Developed by cookbook author and celeb-chef John Gorham, this tribute to Mediterranean cuisine occupies a handsome former warehouse on historic...Read More

  • 12. 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

  • 13. Pok Pok

    $$ | Division | Asian

    Andy Ricker, the owner of one of Portland's most talked-about restaurants, regularly travels to Southeast Asia to research street food and home...Read More

  • 14. 23Hoyt

    $$ | Nob Hill | Eclectic

    A chic, upscale tavern, 23Hoyt draws kudos for, and revelers to, its scene-y happy hour, which features a wide selection of interesting small...Read More

  • 15. Bamboo Sushi

    $$ | Southeast | Japanese

    The best sushi spot in Portland is also the most environmentally sustainable, sourcing its fish conscientiously from fishing operations that...Read More

  • 16. 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

  • 17. Bluehour

    $$$ | Pearl District | Mediterranean

    This see-and-be-seen Pearl District institution, with its high ceilings, white tablecloths, long sweeping curtains, smart staff, and small but...Read More

  • 18. BTU Brasserie

    $$ | Northeast | Chinese

    This microbrewery in Northeast Portland's Hollywood district offers a food menu that varies from the usual brewpub format. Here you’ll find...Read More

  • 19. Little Bird Bistro

    $$$ | Downtown | French

    Celeb-chef Gabriel Rucker of Le Pigeon fame operates this lively Downtown sister restaurant that's gained a following for its deliciously curated...Read More

  • 20. Oven and Shaker

    $$ | Pearl District | Pizza

    A joint venture between four-time James Beard Award–nominated chef Cathy Whims and talented cocktail mixologist Ryan Magarian, this aptly named...Read More

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