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. 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

  • 2. PaaDee

    $ | Southeast | Thai

    Adjoining the more celebrated, reservations-only sister restaurant Langbaan, PaaDee serves some of the freshest, most flavorful Thai food in...Read More

  • 3. Revelry

    $$ | Southeast | Korean

    Portland has long trailed its northerly neighbor Seattle when it comes to Korean cuisine. Happily, in 2016, Seattle's renowned Relay Korean...Read More

  • 4. 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

  • 5. Tamale Boy

    $ | Northeast | Mexican

    Chef Abel Hernandez hails from Veracruz by way of Mexico City, and while he’s adept at preparing tamales—both the Oaxacan style wrapped in banana...Read More

  • 6. 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

  • 7. 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

  • 8. Firehouse Restaurant

    $$ | Northeast | Italian

    Occupying a stately, redbrick, former firehouse, this inviting neighborhood spot in Northeast's Woodlawn neighborhood is warmed by a wood-fire...Read More

  • 9. Ha & VL

    $ | Southeast | Vietnamese

    This humble, no-frills banh mi shop amid the many cheap and authentic Asian restaurants on S.E. 82nd stands out not just for its filling sandwiches...Read More

  • 10. Mi Mero Mole

    $ | Old Town | Mexican

    Graffiti and murals decorate one concrete wall of this colorful Old Town–Chinatown eatery dedicated to Mexico City–style street food, proof...Read More

  • 11. Nicholas Restaurant

    $ | Southeast | Middle Eastern

    In a small streetfront along an unimpressive stretch of Grand Avenue, this hidden gem serves some of the best Lebanese food in Portland, for...Read More

  • 12. Pine State Biscuits

    $ | Alberta District | American

    Loosen your belt a notch or two before venturing inside this down-home Southern restaurant that's especially beloved for its over-the-top breakfast...Read More

  • 13. Russell St. Bar-B-Que

    $ | Northeast | Barbecue

    Pig-themed bric-a-brac indicates the specialty at this casually hip neighborhood joint, known for its fall-off-the-bone baby back ribs, but...Read More

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