Bisected by the beautiful Columbia and Willamette rivers with the stunning snow-capped mount hood as a backdrop, Portland is its own glorious, eco-friendly, and progressive world.
Portland’s infrastructure promotes environmental consciousness, with vast bike lanes, hiking trails, electric rail lines, and amazing city parks. Washington Park is a prime example of Portland’s celebration of Oregon’s natural beauty, with formal Japanese gardens, the Oregon Zoo, and massive fields to enjoy picnics and playdates.
A beacon for cultural ingenuity, Portland stands out in every way, inventing a proprietary brand of hipster counterculture where everything is original. If there ever was a city that supported local, independent businesses, it’s Portland. Whether you’re looking for food markets, coffee houses, bookstores, theater, or music, you’ll find the very best of home-grown creativity in Portland.
Portland’s restaurant scene is yet another example of Portland’s creative originality, with the most diverse and innovative array of restaurants, featuring every world cuisine through a unique gaze. Whether you’re looking for American, Mexican, Chinese, or anything in between, restaurants in Portland deliver authentic and innovative dining experiences and, of course, delicious food.
I spent a lot of time in Portland, eating my way through its fantastic restaurant scene. I’ve compiled an eclectic list of my favorite restaurants in Portland that not only serve amazing food but also reflect Portland’s one-of-a-kind spirit. Read on to learn about each restaurant so you, too, can delight in Portland’s incredible culinary scene.
960 SE 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97214
Located in the Central Eastside neighborhood of Portland, Kachka is a Russian restaurant run and owned by Belarusian immigrant Bonnie Morales who wanted to recreate the elaborate dinner parties of her youth.
Kachka’s authentic Russian dishes have won accolades in Eater, GQ, and Bon Appetit as the nation’s most outstanding and essential restaurants. It was also nominated as a James Beard Award finalist for the best new restaurant when it opened in 2015.
Kachka has a deli and grocery selling imported Russian delicacies, sauces, pickled vegetables, and Kachka’s brand of infused vodkas. It also has a breakfast and lunch counter called Lavka.
Kachka’s dinner menu has options for pre-fixe caviar and vodka tastings along with an incredible a la carte menu with the very best caviar and roe, Russian seafood cocktails, and seafood spreads, pickled vegetables, shareable hot plates, dumplings, and main entrees.
738 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214
Le Pigeon is a fine-dining French Restaurant in East Portland between the Kerns and Buckman neighborhoods. Its incredibly rustic dining room with mismatched wood furniture, large, family-sized tables, and pots and pans hanging from the rafters makes you feel like you’ve walked into a 19th-century French country house.
There are two Chefs’ tasting menus– one for meat-eaters and the other for vegetarians, along with an impressive wine list featuring domestic, European, and French wines.
The Chef’s tasting menu has six courses of incredibly rich and well-executed authentic French dishes like foie gras and beef tartare. I loved the spiced glazed duck breast with chanterelle mushrooms, huckleberry, and sunchoke.
2448 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214
Tusk is a Mediterranean and Middle Eastern restaurant that locally sources the freshest ingredients from Portland and Oregon’s fruitful farms. In the Buckman Neighborhood, Tusk has a wonderfully light and airy dining space painted all white with a minimalist aesthetic. There’s also a great outdoor patio to dine al fresco.
Tusk’s menu has a variety of Mediterranean appetizers and spreads known as Mezze. I recommend splitting the mezze platter to sample all the appetizers at once. It contains hummus, turmeric potato salad, beets and tahini, roasted delicata squash with green wheat and dates, pickles, olives, Aleppo chili oil.
If you still have room after that, try the Mediterranean take on steak and eggs with Wagyu beef, pork, a sunny side egg, celeriac remoulade, dates, and toasted bread.
3377 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97202
From the owners of Tusk, Ava Gene’s is a quaint yet refined Italian-inspired bistro and wine bar in the Division/Clifton neighborhood. Ava Gene’s has numerous culinary events, like wine tastings and bi-weekly dinner series known as Trattoria Nights with a pre-fixed multi-course dinner inspired by Roman cuisine and sourced from Pacific Northwest farms.
Ava Gene’s menu is a prefixed six-course tasting menu with wine pairings that rotate according to a seasonal market. They also have a great weekend brunch menu and a la carte dinner menu.
Their vast menu of Giardini, or veggies, is the very best display of Oregon’s produce bounty. I recommend the pumpkin, brown butter, currants, pecans, pears, sunchokes, dates, wild rice, and pistachio salad. Try the arctic char with apples, walnuts, and scallions for a delicious main dish.
1605 NE Killingsworth St, Portland, OR 97211
Hat Yai is a Thai street food eatery specializing in South Thailand’s famed fried chicken and roti, which is traditionally sold in the street and small shops. Hat Yai is a friendly, casual, and bustling restaurant in Portland’s Vernon neighborhood a few blocks from Alberta Park. The food is an authentic exploration of Thai comfort food at its best, served on brown paper-lined trays.
Along with fried chicken and roti, Hat Yai also has a variety of Thai food favorites from every region, like Pad Thai, skewers, and curries. I recommend the fried chicken wings with sticky rice. They also make amazing Malay-style curry and roti combos with chicken, beef, or vegan curry. You can get a taste of fried chicken and curry in one of their Hat Yai Combos.
Q Restaurant & Bar
828 SW 2nd Ave, Portland, OR 97204
Located in a bright and lively dining space with an open kitchen in downtown Portland, Q Restaurant and Bar is a family-owned and operated eatery that uses local purveyors to create its eclectic menu.
Head Chef Annie Cuggino uses her decades-long career in Portland and New York City to inform her innovative culinary creations inspired by Oregon’s seasonal bounty.
Q Restaurant’s menu runs the gamut of world cuisines with Oregon’s fresh ingredients as a centerpiece. You can have a traditional Indian dish as an appetizer, an American-style salad, and an Italian entrée at Q.
I loved the curried potato-filled dosa with pickled beets, cauliflower, coconut, and mint leaves. The seafood stew was incredibly comforting, with Washington mussels and clams, sturgeon, wild prawns, and calamari all from the Pacific.
2225 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Portland, OR 97212
Located in the Eliot neighborhood, OX Restaurant is a James Beard Award-winning Argentinian steakhouse and seafood restaurant in a friendly, lively atmosphere with a local neighborhood vibe. Head Chef duo Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quinonez deliver a beautiful presentation of the Argentine Parrillada, a delicious meal of wood-fired, grilled meats.
Using USDA prime beef, seafood, and vegetables sourced from local purveyors, OX’s dinner menu has three sections with starters, grilled meats, fish, and veggies, and garden-inspired sides.
I recommend starting with the fresh clam chowder with smoked bone marrow, green onion, jalapeno, and toasted garlic breadcrumbs. Argentina is famous for its grilled steak, so I recommend trying the ribeye steak with a side of flash-fried brussels sprouts.
734 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214
Specializing in French cuisine, Canard is Le Pigeon’s more casual sister restaurant and cocktail bar located in Portland’s Central Eastside.
Meaning “duck” in French, Canard specializes in duck dishes but has a slew of inventive and modern takes on French cuisine, fusing French dishes with comfort dishes worldwide. Their fun and intimate dining space has an open kitchen with a large counter with bar stools for customers to get front row seats to the chef’s theatrics.
Canard’s ample menu of wine, beer, and cocktails offers the perfect beverage to accompany a very decadent meal. Their signature dish is the Duck Stack, a savory pancake stack with duck gravy and tabasco onions, topped with a duck egg. I also loved their foie gras dumplings with peanut vinaigrette, fig jam, and sage.
6839 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR 97215
Coquine has been a Mount Tabor neighborhood favorite since 1991, offering craft cocktails and new American cuisine inspired by Oregon’s seasonal bounty.
Executive Chef Katy Millard creates everchanging cocktail and food menus that have earned James Beard nominations for their ingenuity. Coquine also boasts its zero-food-print status, sourcing from farms whose practices help eliminate carbon from the atmosphere.
Coquine has various dining options, including two four-course Chefs’ tasting menus, one in their intimate dining room and one at the bar. You can also order pre-fixe meals to go for a classy dinner at home.
I loved their milk braised pork sugo with crispy sunchokes and parmesan cheese over handmade pasta. Their hazelnut brown butter cake with whipped cream was to die for.
1022 SW Morrison St, Portland, OR 97205
Located in downtown Portland a few blocks from the famous Powell’s Books, Mucca Osteria is a fine-dining contemporary Italian restaurant owned and run by Chef Simone Savaiano. Chef Savaiano sources all her ingredients exclusively from Pacific Northwest farmers. The restaurant’s country-chic dining room is a romantic setting for special dinners.
All pasta is scratch-made in-house daily, along with crusty country bread and a wide array of fabulous desserts. I could eat the Gnocchi al Fagiano with slow-braised pheasant ragu, porcini mushrooms, and Reggiano cheese for every meal and die happy!
Rose VL Deli
1022 SW Morrison St, Portland, OR 97205
Rose VL Deli is a casual, no-frills Vietnamese eatery in Old Portland’s Chinatown, offering affordable and authentic heaping bowls of noodle soups and Vietnamese coffee. Owned by a Vietnamese husband and wife duo who cook and work the counter, Rose VL Deli is a true mom-and-pop gem.
They offer specials on soups every day of the week and rice bowl specials on the weekend. You want to get a sweet, creamy, and highly caffeinated Vietnamese coffee to accompany one of the most comforting bowls of noodle soup you’ll eat. I loved the Shrimp-cake noodle soup with shrimp cake, pork, pork meatloaf, tofu, and tomatoes over vermicelli noodles in rich pork broth.
811 NW 21st Ave, Portland, OR 97209
Caffe Mingo is an intimate traditional Italian kitchen and cocktail bar in Nob Hill, offering a weekly rotating menu of locally sourced, fresh, and homemade Italian dinners and desserts you’d find in any Italian grandmother’s repertoire. Caffe Mingo’s cozy interior has large circular marble-topped tables and an old wooden bar lined with colorful fruit bowls.
Their house lasagna with pork and beef Bolognese, bechamel, and grana is the most delicious I’ve ever tasted. They also have a second menu at their next-door Mercato eatery with a different selection of small plates, pizza, pasta, and sweets.
Mother’s Bistro & Bar
121 SW 3rd Ave, Portland, OR 97204
Inspired by Moms everywhere, Mother’s Bistro and Bar is a cute, colorful American comfort food diner, serving refined takes on comfort food that your mother would cook. Owner, chef, and Mother Lisa Schroeder has a Mother of the Month program where a mom from the community shares her favorite home-cooked meals that are then featured on the menu.
You can get breakfast, lunch, dinner, and brunch at Mother’s, its menus full of all your favorite childhood meals from biscuits and gravy to meatloaf. I had a meatloaf sandwich for lunch on fluffy white bread with a side of Mother’s signature macaroni and cheese.
Mediterranean Exploration Company
333 NW 13th Ave, Portland, OR 97209
Located in Portland’s hip Pearl District, just north of Powell’s City of Books, Mediterranean Exploration Company (MEC) is the pioneer restaurant from the Sesame Collective, a group of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern eateries around Portland. MEC’s bustling and friendly Mediterranean-inspired restaurant and bar center around an open hearth.
MEC has a fun cocktail menu with delicious drinks sourced from local distilleries. Their food menu features a slew of roasted and grilled dishes straight from the hearth. I loved their roasted eggplant dip and house-made labneh with fried cauliflower and wood-fired pita bread.
1752 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97214
Castagna is a fine dining New American restaurant from award-winning Chef Justin Woodward, teetering between Portland’s Central Eastside and Belmont neighborhoods. Chef Woodward’s stunning plates are a veritable work of art and have earned him James Beard Foundation nominations annually since 2013. Castagna’s wine program earned wine director Brent Braun Food and Wine Magazine’s award for Sommelier of the year.
Menus change often and take on a world-cuisine theme. When I ate there, they had a pre-fixe Italian-inspired menu. I loved their house-made tortellini stuffed with ricotta and served in an aged vinegar and cream sauce.
1401 SE Morrison St Ste 101, Portland, OR 97214
Meaning “ours” in Italian, Nostrana is a regional Italian kitchen and restaurant that focuses on locally sourced ingredients to create simple and authentic Italian dishes from around Italy.
Head Chef Kathy Whims is a 6-time James Beard Award finalist and travels yearly to Italy for her culinary research. Located in Portland’s Buckman neighborhood, Nostrana’s historic location inside an old 50’s grocery store adds to the rustic-chic charm.
Nostrana’s menu changes daily, using fresh ingredients from local markets. Their menu has a typical array of antipasti, first course plates like pasta and pizza, and second-course entrees.
I started with their hand-made gnocchi with gorgonzola cream, spinach, red wine, onion, hazelnut, and aged balsamico. I chose the light and flavorful wood-oven roasted trout with lentils and broccolini for a delightful main course.
1610 NW 23rd Ave, Portland, OR 97210
Located in the northern section of Downtown Portland a quick walk from the famous Washington Park, St. Jack is a fine-dining rustic French restaurant and cocktail bar specializing in Bouchon fare of Lyon, France. Run by seasoned Chef Aaron Barnett, St. Jack sources their ingredients from Northwest Pacific farms, showcasing their flavors with fancy French technical cooking.
Menus change daily at St. Jack, and they also offer a pre-fixe five-course tasting menu with a wine pairing for each course.
As per French tradition, I had to try St. Jack’s escargot with seaweed butter, confit garlic, and a freshly toasted baguette, which was the perfect prelude to the whole roasted chicken in a bath of matsutake wild mushroom jus and served with mashed potatoes.
113 SW Naito Pkwy, Portland, OR 97204
Lechón is a fine-dining South American restaurant on the beautiful waterfront of the Willamette River in Portland’s Chinatown with spectacular views of the Tom McCall Waterfront Park.
Lechon’s head chef, Jaco Smith, serves family-style meals of Argentinian-style parilladas and empanadas, Peruvian ceviches and seafood dishes, and more in a stunning four-story ceilinged dining room with a giant live jellyfish and coral reef aquarium.
I loved their grilled octopus with chorizo fried potatoes, salsa verde, and preserved lemon as a starter. It’s hard to pass up the baked piquillo pepper empanadas with cheese, onion, parsley, and ancho aioli. Their grilled selection of Argentinian-style meat and Peruvian seafood is fantastic, and I recommend one of each for the table.
1901 SW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97201
Located in the heart of downtown Portland, Persian Kabab is a Persian Food Truck serving the freshest and most authentic Persian-style kebabs and roasted vegetables. Persian Kabab is a great spot to pick up lunch to go on a busy work schedule or as a sunny afternoon picnic at nearby Poet’s Beach along the Willamette River.
Portions are incredibly hearty for a reasonable price. You can choose from various kabab combos that come with delicious Zaatar rice and roasted veggies. I recommend the combo of chicken and kofta kebabs with rice and grilled lemon.
2005 SE 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97214
Willow Restaurant is an upscale wine bar and artisanal beer pub serving seasonally-inspired New American cuisine.
Located in a beautifully preserved old house near Ladd’s Addition, Willow Restaurant is a neighborhood favorite fine-dining establishment. The restaurant has a living room, bar, and dining space that creates the feeling of going over to your friend’s house for a dinner party.
The menus at Willow Restaurant are prefixed six-course tasting menus with either a beer or wine pairing program featuring craft beers and fine wines from local and foreign producers. The tasting menu features various small plates that showcase a broad range of world cuisines, like papaya salad with ceviche, coconut, chili, and ribeye roast with pumpkin mojo and pink peppercorn jus.
4546 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97206
Phone: (503) 899-4245
Malka is one of the more unique dining experiences you’ll encounter in Portland’s Richmond neighborhood, with incredibly inventive meals that everyone will love no matter the age or the dietary preference. Malka serves cocktails and craft beers to a hip young adult crowd and has a kid-friendly menu and mocktails for families.
Each menu item has a quirky and silly name and a laundry list of fresh ingredients. Whether you’re in the mood for Pan Asian, Mediterranean, or Barbeque, you’ll find a colorful take on every dish.
I went there for one of their over-the-top grilled cheese sandwiches known as “Please Be Seated,” with a blend of fontal, Emmental, Raclette, and Tillamook extra sharp cheddar, coconut tomato cashew sauce, miso creamed kale, and garlicky leeks, griddled onions, and schmaltz roasted potatoes on a potato sourdough.
1503 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97201
Located a block from downtown Portland’s Worth Park Blocks and the Portland Art Museum, Love Belizean is a Latin American fast-casual restaurant specializing in Belizean dishes. The menu is written on a giant chalkboard. You can order and collect your meal at the counter.
If you’ve never had Belizean food, you’re in for a treat with rich, comforting tropical curries, fried chicken, and seasoned rice dishes. I loved the Belizean red beans and rice version, with stewed red beans in a coconut curry broth with seasoned coconut rice. I wish I had tried the beer-braised pork, but I’ll surely be back for round two!
Portland City Grill
111 SW 5th Ave 30th Floor, Portland, OR 97204
Portland City Grill is a fine-dining steakhouse in a beautiful and elegant dining room on the 20th floor of the U.S. Bancorp Tower in Downtown Portland’s Pearl District.
Enjoy a delicious steak or seafood dinner with a birds-eye view of the city and surrounding mountains. For the adult crowd, they have an unbeatable happy hour with the finest bar fare for under 10$ a dish and cheap craft cocktails, wine, and beer.
I recommend starting with one of their Asian-inspired fresh fish appetizers like the spicy yellowfin tuna roll or the ahi poke stack. The steaks are perfectly cooked using USDA Prime Wagyu beef. Try the 7 oz center cut filet with crab and bearnaise sauce for a decadent surf and turf meal.
Departure Restaurant + Lounge
525 SW Morrison St 15th Floor 15th Floor, Portland, OR 97204
Located high above downtown Portland in a stunning modern dining room in the Meier & Frank Building, Departure Restaurant and Lounge is an upscale modern Pan Asian fusion restaurant and cocktail lounge run by celebrity Chef and cookbook author Gregory Gourdet. Chef Gourdet’s beautiful and delicious dishes are an actual departure from the ordinary.
I recommend ordering various small plates to share so that you can sample a variety of innovative dishes. I loved the mahogany noodles with chili glaze, truffle marinated crispy tofu, sweet pepper, shiitake mushrooms, and rabe. The pork belly dim sum with young coconut, apple, ginger, and cilantro was also delicious.
SW 4th Ave & SW College St, Portland, OR 97201
Rosemary is a cheap yet delicious Mediterranean fast-food stand in the heart of downtown Portland a few blocks from Portland State University. A popular spot for students on a budget or young professionals in a hurry, Rosemary offers fast, friendly service and authentic Middle Eastern dishes.
With everything from gyros to falafel to giant cheesesteak heroes, whatever you order is hearty and comforting. They make some killer French fries, and their falafels are as light and crispy as they come. You can get a falafel and rice plate or a falafel pita wrap with roasted veggies and fresh tahini sauce.
2333 NE Glisan St, Portland, OR 97232
In the Kerns neighborhood, Friendship Kitchen is a Vietnamese comfort food restaurant and tropical cocktail bar with a huge back patio and a tiki-hut vibe. Chef Trang Nguyen offers vibrant dishes as colorful and tropical as the fun and festive atmosphere. Her incredible food and playful cocktail program have earned accolades from Eater and multiple local publications.
I love all of the Vietnamese-style tropical cocktails, especially the Ho Chi Mama with lychee puree, simple syrup, lemon, Chambord, and vodka. It pairs perfectly with a spicy bowl of Pho or Bun bo Hue lemongrass soup with beef brisket.
Mole Mole Mexican Cuisine
2231-2237 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211
Located in the Alberta Arts District, Mole Mole Mexican Cuisine is a family-owned and run food cart serving the most authentic Mexican dishes from every region of Mexico. Married duo Roberto Flores and Alejandra Rendon act as head chef and sous chef, respectively, while their daughter Brenda takes orders and delivers the food.
While you may expect a hastily thrown together paper plate of food from a food stand, Mole Mole’s dishes offer a presentation that could rival a fine dining restaurant. You’ll find the various mole, tacos, burritos, salads, and other regional specialties like pozole and quesabiria.
3039 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211
Thom Portland is a casual, friendly Vietnamese restaurant and mini-market in the Concordia neighborhood. It’s a great place to dine in a small, simply decorated restaurant with a small grocery counter full of imported Vietnamese sweets and cookies. They’re also a favorite take-out spot for the surrounding neighborhood.
They make the best Pho in town with two delicious varieties. For meat lovers, try the traditional Beef Pho with beef broth, steak, brisket, and meatballs. Vegans will love the Pho Chay with vegetable broth, mushrooms, tofu, bok choy, and vermicelli.
Feel Good PDX
1120 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR 97214
Located in the Buckman neighborhood, Feel Good PDX is a fast-casual health food restaurant offering build-your-own grain bowls, salads, and vegetable plates. Chef Gabriel Pascuzzi strives to provide the most beautiful and colorful dishes to convince skeptics of the joy and hearty sustenance of healthy, clean eating.
Sourcing his vegetable-heavy menu from local farms, Chef Pascuzzi offers a user-friendly ordering method. Customers choose a grain or salad to act as the base for one of four vegetable medley combinations.
I went with the red quinoa-based bowl with “The Usual” veggie medley of cucumber, cherry tomato, arugula, marinated chickpeas, and red onion tossed in a basil mint pesto with charred lemon vin, nutritional yeast, sumac, and micro basil on top.
1125 SE Grand Ave, Portland, OR 97214
Brazakaya combines Brazilian churrascaria with a Japanese Izakaya, a fusion of grilled meat traditions. Brazakaya, as the name suggests, is a Brazilian Izakaya open strictly as a delivery or take-out establishment. In Portland’s Central Eastside neighborhood, their location is a simple kitchen and pick-up spot for locals with delivery to the greater Portland area.
The menu has a variety of Japanese-style meat, vegetable, and tofu skewers, small plates, and Brazilian meat-heavy main plates. I recommend the Picanha steak, which is a typical Brazilian sirloin cut served with white rice, black beans, collard greens, crunchy cassava flour, and vinaigrette.
1315 NE Fremont St, Portland, OR 97212
Located in the Irvington neighborhood two blocks from Irving Park, Mochella Restaurant is a sophisticated forage-to-table restaurant that uses foraged, wild ingredients to make spectacular plates of New American food. Morchella focuses on wild game and foraged mushrooms, seeds, and berries from the Pacific Northwest for a unique and 100% sustainable menu.
While the menu is meat-heavy, they offer various vegan options foraged food like chanterelle mushrooms, elderberries, and acorns. I loved their fresh sourdough bread with pine nut butter and the white chanterelle soup with mugolio and sheep sorrel. I recommend the venison steak with sunchokes, charred dandelion, and purslane for a wild game dish.
6035 NE Halsey St, Portland, OR 97213
Located in Rose City Park neighborhood, Precious Pizza is a Latinx-owned Detroit-style pizzeria, making Grandma-style pan pizza from scratch in small batches with the freshest ingredients.
If you’ve never tried Detroit-style pizza, it’s a deep-dish, pan pizza with a square shape and charred edges with the cheese, sauce, and toppings spread out to the edges so that there’s hardly any crust.
You can get vegan, no-cheese pizzas with sauce and fresh basil leaves. For everyone else, Precious Pizza offers a small but delicious menu of pan pizzas made with a combination of fresh mozzarella, Parmigiano, red sauce, and toppings. My favorite is the Spicy Pineapple Papi with mozzarella, red sauce, pepperoni, bacon, pineapple, jalapeno, and hot honey.
2610 NW Vaughn St, Portland, OR 97210
Pizza Thief is a New York-style pizzeria and bar serving a Pacific Northwest spin on classic New York-style pizza. Located in Northwest Portland, Pizza Thief and Bandit Bar is owned and run by life-long friends Darby Aldaco and Toy Pasquale who used to steal pizzas during teenage dare games and decided to transform their adolescent shenanigans into a legitimate business.
In true NY pizzeria fashion, Pizza Thief sells slices and whole pies. They also make delicious salads, fresh focaccia, and homemade cookies, along with clever cocktails and a wine and beer list sourced from local wineries and breweries.
I loved their sausage and onions pie with fennel sausage, tomato sauce, mozzarella-provolone mix, red onion, piquillo peppers, pickled Fresno chiles, grana, and Sicilian oregano.
Top Burmese Burma Joy
1305 NW 23rd Ave, Portland, OR 97210
Located a few blocks east of the beautiful Washington Park in the King’s Hill neighborhood, Top Burmese Burma Joy is a casual, eco-friendly Burmese restaurant in a lovely dining space adorned with lush green plants and tropical tiki décor.
Their outdoor patio is on a wood deck with wood picnic benches and a roof covered in hanging, flowery vines. They grow their salad ingredients using aeroponic technology that eliminates the use of soil, thus cutting water consumption by 95%.
Burmese food combines Southeast Asian and Indian flavors and is one of the most delicious, aromatic dining experiences you will encounter.
There are as many vegan options as meat dishes, so that every dietary preference will find a fantastic option. I went for a vegan dish and tried the coconut rice and tofu with Burmese-style soy tofu curry cooked with fresh tomatoes, onion, ginger, garlic, paprika, and turmeric.
1128 SW Alder St, Portland, OR 97205
Lil’ Shalom is a Mediterranean restaurant and bar specializing in food from Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria. Another member of the Sesame Collective that also owns the MEC restaurant, Lil’ Shalom, is a friendly, fast-casual East Side neighborhood favorite run by Chef Cody Hubbard, who has worked in renowned kitchens since he was 18.
The menu at Lil’ Shalom has a similar Mezze menu to MEC and a wider variety of hummus like Hummus Lahmajun with spiced beef and lamb, olives, and pistachio. They also have a great selection of grilled meats and vegetables. I had to try their Shakshuka Royale, with fire-roasted tomatoes and peppers, baked eggs, and toasted rye bread.
3971 N Williams Ave Suite 103, Portland, OR 97227
Located in a clean, airy space in the Boise neighborhood, Lua is a Vietnamese restaurant and bar that strives to show customers a wide range of Vietnamese flavors and dishes by offering an enormous menu of regional favorites. Lua means “grain” in Vietnamese, and Lua praises rice as the mother grain that spawns all Vietnamese dishes.
The menu at Lua is the largest and most comprehensive menu on my list, with dozens of varieties of regional dishes served in Vietnamese street food fashion. Their list of tropical fruit and milk drinks and Vietnamese coffees is astounding and a must-try.
I loved their selection of Banh Bao steamed buns served with dipping sauces and an assortment of pickled vegetables.
Poboyz Cajun Creole Kitchen
132 SW 3rd Ave, Portland, OR 97204
Poboyz Cajun Creole Kitchen started as a downtown Portland food cart owned and run by Portland Native Randall Willhite. Their comforting Creole dishes were so popular that he soon opened a downtown Portland brick-and-mortar location. Poboyz is cajun and creole food at its best in a friendly, casual space with a full bar and laid-back, Louisiana-style atmosphere.
The menu at Poboyz has every Cajun and Creole dish you’d associate with New Orleans, from po’boys to Jambalaya. I loved their fried catfish po’boy with a large battered and fried filet, lettuce, tomato, pickle, and remoulade sauce. Their red beans and rice with sausage are authentic, delicious, and under 10$.
4311 NE Prescott St, Portland, OR 97218
Baon Kainan is a Filipino food truck in the Cully neighborhood, offering modern twists on traditional Filipino dishes. Owners and chef duo Ethan and Jeri Leung use their Filipino American identity to combine their love for their Moms’ traditional Filipino dishes they grew up eating with American flavors and influences.
Baon Kainan serves lunch and early dinner four days a week with weekend brunch and daily specials. Their signature dish is Chicken Adobo with grilled chicken in a smoked tamari and vinegar sauce, served with rice, bok choy, and pickled vegetables.
My favorite dish was the Kare Kare Fries with braised beef in a peanut sauce over fries topped with pickled chilis and spicy shrimp paste.
YaYa Cantonese BBQ
1451 NE Alberta St Suite A, Portland, OR 97211
Located between the Alberta Arts District and King neighborhood, YaYa Cantonese BBQ is an authentic Cantonese BBQ restaurant from Chinese and New York native Chef Steven Chin.
Chef Chin created YaYa to honor his New York Chinatown roots and his grandfather’s Chinatown grocery store, where his love story with Cantonese barbeque began.
The menu at YaYa is a simple yet utterly perfect selection of Cantonese barbecued meats, noodles, and chef’s specialties. I recommend the house-fried rice with duck, shrimp, pork, vegetables, and egg, and the Chili-Honey duck wings with a side of scallion oil noodles.
1524 SE 20th Ave, Portland, OR 97214
Nimblefish is an Edomae-inspired 10-seat fine-dining sushi restaurant in Southeast Portland with a highly curated Omakase experience from famed Chef Cody Auger, who creates an ever-changing chef’s tasting menu of the most delicious and high-quality sushi, nigiri, and sashimi.
Each course has a specific wine or sake pairing, but you can also explore the expansive wine list to enjoy a bottle or two during this intimate and memorable meal.
The cuts of fish are so fresh and perfect that the dishes need little adornment to be stunning in taste and plating. My favorite plates included the octopus sashimi, smoked salmon rolls, and fermented soybean rolls known as inari.
As one of the nation’s most proudly unique cities, Portland’s restaurant scene is likewise among the most diverse and creative. From Vietnamese street food to gourmet Mexican food trucks to fine-dining Italian kitchens, you won’t find a more innovative and delicious selection of restaurants anywhere else.
You’ll be astonished by the ingenuity and delectability of each eatery on my list of the best restaurants in Portland. With so many outstanding options, it’s ok to have multiple favorites.
If you’re in Portland and want to have an amazing brunch experience, check out these restaurants, right here.
Did we leave something off of this list? Feel free to let us know in the comments, and we’ll check it out!
Best Restaurants in Portland, Oregon
- Le Pigeon
- AVA GENE’S
- Hat Yai
- Q Restaurant & Bar
- OX Restaurant
- Mucca Osteria
- Rose VL Deli
- Caffe Mingo
- Mother’s Bistro & Bar
- Mediterranean Exploration Company
- Castagna Restaurant
- St. Jack
- Persian Kabab
- Willow Restaurant
- Love Belizean
- Portland City Grill
- Departure Restaurant + Lounge
- Friendship Kitchen
- Mole Mole Mexican Cuisine
- Thơm Portland
- Feel Good PDX
- Morchella restaurant
- Precious Pizza
- Pizza Thief
- Top Burmese Burma Joy
- Lil’ Shalom
- Poboyz Cajun Creole Kitchen
- Baon Kainan
- YaYa Cantonese BBQ
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