Portland Drink and a Bite Highlight: Kachka

For Foodie Friday today, I continue my series highlighting a Portland Drink and a Bite of food that I think not only is best in class within Portland, but is a classic representation of the character of Portland. Of course, that Portland Drink and a Bite Highlight is also delicious, and unique.

When it’s chilly outside, nothing soothes and warms me more than the buttery soft comfort of Kachka and their dumplings. You could select to enjoy the meat one of the Siberian Pelmeni with Beef, Pork, Veal and Onion or the vegetarian version of Tvorog Vareniki with Farmers Cheese and Scallion. Do not miss this, it is a must order and my Portland Bite highlight. I get this every time I visit Kachka.
At Kachka PDX do not miss these Russian Dumplings of siberian pelmeni with beef, pork, veal and onion and also on the happy hour menu! Kachka's tvorog vareniki, a dish of scallion and farmer’s cheese filled dumplings that are just melt in your mouth, and also on the happy hour menu!

As for a drink, you should get a little vodka. Flavor Infused Vodka especially. You can order it at the sizes of 30, 60, or 100 grams, so it’s possible to get a taste of that Russian tradition of drinking and eating without going overboard. After all, a 30 gram serving is only an ounce.

The vodkas infused with flavors vary from chamomile vodka, horseradish vodka, earl grey, cocoa nib vodka and a few others which seem to consistently be on the menu. And there’s then additional other flavors that rotate seasonally, varying from strawberry, lemon to charred rosemary, matsutake mushroom and more. My personal favorite is the horseradish vodka, which I will usually get with a flavored sweet infused vodka flavor too and a seasonal one. I’m pretty excited that they are going to starting March 2016 be offering bottles of their horseradish vodka for sale so I can get my vodka fix on at home!

Vodka, 30 grams from Kachka Kachka PDX Vodka Flights: 30 grams x 3 of curated vodka. This one is the Mother Russia flight with from right to left, green mark, hammer + sickle, and imperia

For a cocktail with a flavored vodka, you could also consider their tart and refreshing Baba Yaga, which features their chamomile vodka, liquore strega, and lemon.

Kachka PDX Happy Hour drink of the Baba Yaga with chamomile vodka, liquore strega, lemon

If you’d like, you can also get (in addition to the dumplings of course) the much raved about “Herring Under a Fur Coat” cold zakuski. This dish is beautiful, and it seems to be the glamour shot that represents Kachka.
The famous Kachka PDX dish of the Herring Under a Fur Coat, a 7 layer dip but russian. and actually a salad, with herring, potatoes, onions, carrots, beets, mayo, eggs. The famous Kachka PDX dish of the Herring Under a Fur Coat, a 7 layer dip but russian. and actually a salad, with herring, potatoes, onions, carrots, beets, mayo, eggs.

You just remember that you can’t go wrong with any of the zakuski, whether cold or hot. You can’t go wrong.

The reason that I love Kachka, besides the incredible food, and the nice service, is that it’s so very Portland that a restaurant like this can be so successful and loved by foodies. Despite visiting many cities that are considered “Best Food Cities”, it’s only someplace like Portland where food lovers are willing support the unknown just as long as it’s good. Who knew Russian food can be such a hot commodity that it was named 2014 Restaurant of the Year by Willamette Week, and 2015 Rising Star Restaurant of the Year by the Oregonian. Co-owners Bonnie Morales and Chris Israel took a risk that I’m not sure would have paid off in most other cities.

The fact that Portland loves food, and that we embrace all kinds of good food even and especially the unfamiliar, makes me proud to be a Portland citizen. I love how Kachka highlights Soviet era food that just a few decades ago, embarrassed the immigrant kids and was hidden. No, Kachka does more than highlights – it really embraces it and successfully makes everyone embrace it too.

Have you been to Kachka? What is your favorite dish or drink if you have?



  1. The dumplings at Kachka are my favorite too! A few times I’ve been there the dishes have been hit or miss for me, but the dumplings are always spot on. Oh, and the vodka flights, of course. 🙂

  2. Jenni Kupelian says:

    Wow! Looks delicious, I’ll have to check out Kachka

  3. I’m so intrigued, especially since they made this list: http://www.eater.com/2016/1/13/10738058/the-national-eater-38-where-to-eat-in-2016

    And vegetarian dumplings? I had no idea!

  4. Ahhh I love Kachka!! The first time a friend recommended we go there I was all, “A Russian restaurant? Really?!?! And vodka instead of wine? Have you gone mad?”
    Blew my mind!!!
    I now recommend it to EVERYONE.

  5. I still have not been there but I can’t stop thinking about the dumplings they had at FEAST! SO amazing!!

  6. That looks so delicious and interesting, Kachka is definitely going on my short list.

Speak Your Mind