A summary by type of eating establishment of my Portland Restaurant Reviews. I noted the dates of posts because the linked review is more reliable the more recently I reviewed it. Around 2011 is when I started to have a better idea of how to evaluate my dining experiences. These links go to my posts, and the posts should include pictures and a link to the restaurants/food carts. If I don’t have a review, I will link to the restaurant directly for you and the link is in italics.
- Top Recommendations for Portland
- Northwest Specific Cuisine
- Food Carts
- Happy Hour / Cocktails
- Downtown Area
- Pearl District Restaurants
- Northwest PDX
- Southwest PDX
- Southeast PDX
- Northeast PDX
- Asian Food
- Beaverton Area
- Other (From Travels)
- Example Food Event Coverage
- Food carts- try them! I have a whole section below. It’s part of Portland’s charm, our various cart pods. I love them, and my favorite card pods are the one at SW 12th and Alder for lunch, the Tidbit food cart for evening, Cartopia for late night, and all day (9 AM – 9 PM) would be Portland Mercado (I wrote a summary post on the carts of Portland Mercado here).
- For an overview of the overall PDX food cart scene you can check out some Forktown/Eat Mobile tours I participated in 2011, including a Friday one that traveled to various pods from downtown to the Crystal Gardens pod, North Station, and then Mississippi Marketplace and the Saturday one included Cartopia, D-Street Noshery, A La Carts, and Good Food Here. Some of these food cart pots have closed, and food carts do turn over, but it gives you an idea of what you might experience.
- I have also done coverage of Eat Mobile Food Cart Festival for several years, a great event to get a sample of all the glory of all the various food cart offerings in Portland. You can even make it a progressive meal, or buffet it with friends.
- A great site to look up food carts to find out where they are and the latest (they do move around) is the website Food Carts Portland.
- For classic Northwest cuisine, I point to Higgins Restaurant (April 2014) for their classic and dependable service and focus on Northwest cuisine and ingredients all the time
- For unique Northwest ingredients combined with homemade pastas and the fact they purchase and age and use whole animals, I love recommending Renata (April 2016) especially dining al fresco on their patio.
- For something unique, I recommend Russian cuisine via Kachka (January 2016) and more detail on more of their menu here for a full Russian Dinner (June 2015).
- For ramen, Boke Bowl (March 2011) and their modernist viewpoint on ramen thrown together with NW food sensibilities like fried chicken and pulled pork and pork belly
- Southern Brunch at Screen Door (March 2011). Yes the brunch line is crazy, but it will slip your mind when you start biting into that delicious food
- Pine State Biscuit at the PSU Farmers Market on Saturday or any of their multiple locations around time. I’ve loved every biscuit sandwich I’ve had, including having it with pimento cheese or gravy (December 2009) and again with the Reggie sandwich (the sandwich to get!) (September 2011) This is one of my favorite PDX breakfast sandwiches in my breakfast series
- My favorite of the Gorham restaurant empire in Portland is Tasty N Alder, which I provide highlights from a dinner (Feb 2013) as well as lunch (March 2013) and also my favorite picks from multiple visits (Feb 2015). There’s also Tasty N Sons, happy hour and dinner visits (July 2011), John Gorham mixes up flavors of the world for spicy, sweet, salty, savory. He also owns Toro Bravo. Both are known for waits. While waiting for Tasty N Sons I recommended drinks/snacks at Lincoln Restaurant (August 2016), I’m particularly am a fan of their happy hour. For Toro Bravo while you are waiting to be seated check out Secret Society for drinks.
- Steaks at Urban Farmer (December 2011) in a hip instead of the usual dark wood atmosphere, located right across from Pioneer Square- they also have excellent desserts (May 2014).
- For steaks, I also like Laurelhurst Market, like the delectable Brandt Ribeye Cold Smoked with the Laurelhurst Market cocktail of Smoke Signals (with Tennessee Whiskey, Sherry, Pecan, Lemon, and Smoked Ice) like I highlighted in this Bite and a Sip post (January 2016). I went to a Portland Dining Month dinner at Laurelhurst as well (March 2015) that gave me a chance to enjoy a few cocktails and 3 courses of deliciousness.
- For Thai, my current love is Paa Dee (June 2014) which tastes very authentic. I also like Pok Pok but Paa Dee is a little less written up so easy to get in without the rush with all the people who know Andy Ricker’s name. I also find it more vegetarian friendly.
- I admit I don’t have a blog post on it, but I always tell people to give Salt and Straw a try of their incredible ice cream. Don’t be intimidated by the line, it does move and at one point you will be offered various tastes of ice cream to try before you officially get to order!
- For an alternate take on sophisticated ice cream, I am a huge fan of Fifty Licks, as I covered here (Nov 2013) and who offer sophisticated sorbet cocktails.
- For a totally different dessert, how about churros at 180 (January 2016)
- For charcuterie or cheese I’m a big fan of Chop and Olympia (formerly Olympic) Provisions and Cheese Bar. You can see hints of the meat fun from Olympia Provisions with the spread from Olympic Provisions at Bailey’s Taproom 5th anniversary(August 2012) and the spread at the Portland Beer And Cheese Festival 2014. At the Portland Farmer’s Market at PSU on Saturdays, you can sample both Olympia Provisions and Chop. You can see Chop participating at the Portland Beer and Cheese Fest as well (June 2011 and June 2012 again providing meat accompaniments). As for cheese, visit Cheese Bar or alternative visit Chizu (March 2015).
- I love the atmosphere of Picnic House, for which I wrote posts noting the great style and soups, salads, and chocolate cake (July 2012) and again for sandwiches and sides (July 2012), and again where I loved the cocktails and a dessert of Pavlova (August 2012) and then a simple Soup, Salad, a Sandwich (October 2012)
- Fried Chicken? I think of Basilisk (November 2016)
- When it comes to trying Portland Beer:
- I always recommend Bailey’s Taproom first for their 25 rotating taps of local Northwest beers, and it’s location in the downtown area means you can choose to just have food delivered from Santeria (you can call or walk over and tell them where you are sitting adn they will deliver delicious Mexican- try the moles!), or you can then walk up to other restaurants/come from dinner beforehand. I’ve also brought in food from nearby Sizzle Pie and Lardo West.
- Other options include Deschutes Brewery Portland Public House where you can make your own samplers and enjoy some pretty decent food if this is your first time with Portland microbrews for a beginner course. They were part of the “P’s downtown beer tour” I blogged about for my sister in March 2011.
- I also like Breakside Brewery for this (get the blue cheese waffle fries I had (June 2011) and I also liked their curry fried chicken (Sept 2011)!).
- Beermongers (Aug 2009) which you can combine with a visit to Double Dragon or Portobello
- Saraveza and Hop and Vine which you can walk to both.
- For cocktails, I always recommend Teardrop Lounge (Sept 2011), Clyde Common (June 2012) or the small Pépé Le Moko (February 2014), and I also like the Rookery (part of Raven and Rose (see more in the Southwest Area section of this page)) and Luc Lac because of the great bartenders. My favorite Portland Drink and a Bite Highlight places that I’ve written about before include
- Portland Drink and a Bite Highlight: Ox
- Portland Drink and a Bite Highlight: Kachka
- Portland Drink and a Bite Highlight: Higgins Portland
- Portland Drink and a Bite Highlight: Laurelhurst Market
- Portland Drink and a Bite Highlight: Imperial
- If you are here in September, consider checking out Feast Portland events: I blogged about several events during my coverage of Feast 20-2016
- If you have some time, I really like Forktown tours, where you can have a progressive meal, sampling and learning about a neighborhood in Portland. Previously I took my brother on the Forktown NW Alphabet District Tour (Dec 2011). I also like the beer tours by Brewvana, such as this one I took to Corvallis and another (sponsored by Google+) that stayed in Portland
- There are several pop-ups in town you might consider, such as lucking out if Holdfast Dining or Langbaan has an opening. My favorite popup have been for Nodoguro (my last Nodoguro dinner/link to all Nodoguro recaps/guide to Nodoguro here), Mae PDX (as I recapped in September and November 2015) and also for Ruchikala (recap from Spring popup and a Winter popup). I wrote a list of Portland Pop Ups f you want to see what is active in PDX.
- Gluten free? Check out this list from Portland Monthly of all the places to eat and drink!
Northwest Pacific regional Cuisine
- For classic Northwest cuisine, I point to Higgins Restaurant (April 2014) for their classic and dependable service and focus on Northwest cuisine and ingredients all the time
- Castagna (March 2013) for modernist fine dining with strong Northwest regional ingredient
- Clyde Common: Happy Hour and a Dining Month Dinner (June 2012) has amazing crafted cocktails from Jeffrey Morganthaler
Food Carts – these move around so check for the latest location. A great site to look up food carts to find out where they are and the latest (they do move around) is the website Food Carts Portland. You can find all my food cart posts under the category Food Cart
- The cart is specialized in one dish, but does it sooo well- teriyaki chicken boxes at Dosirak (January 2015)
- Haan Ghin (July 2014) has a small menu because they hyper focus on two excellent Laotian dishes (Larb Gai and Mii Ghai) for a unique the weekday lunch by PSU
- Mama Chow’s Kitchen (July 2014) for addictive lollipop chicken legs and those garlic noodles, also Jeff makes great wontons using his mother’s recipe
- Pulehu Pizza for incredible combinations of flavor on grilled pizza from a food cart
Kargi Gogo – Food from Georgia from a Food Cart (April 2013). Georgia the country mind you, not the state! I love their Khachapuri (Cheese Stuffed Bread)- I’ve had everything at their cart before. This cart has closed as of December 2015 but keep an eye out for their Supra Dinner popups, as I attended and adored in this Supra Dinner recap hereClosed cart, unsure if they will do dinners once in a while
- Artigiano– Yukon Gold Gnocchi in Gorgonzola-Cream Sauce (April 2013), known for their incredible homemade pastas, yes from a food cart
- Tabor Food Cart and their Original Schnitzelwich (September 2012)
- Noodle House Food Cart (May 2012) offers Handmade hand pulled Asian noodles
- PB&J Grilled (April 2012) for grilled fancy peanut butter and jelly, but they aren’t just regular pb and j…
- A Plate Lunch: 808 Grinds Food Cart (October 2011) for Hawaiian onoliciousness
- The Mac and Cheese Strikes Back, by Big Ass Sandwiches (September 2011), they live up to their name with the fries piled right into the sandwich
- The Frying Scotsman – Fish and Chips (July 2011)
- PDX 671 (April 2011), specializing in food from Guam- 671 is the zip code. I sampled the chamarro flatbread, the red rice flavored with achotte, the chopped grilled chicken I had loved at Eat Mobile, a fritter, the choice to add a Finadene sauce to infuse more flavor of soy sauce-lemon-chili-onion (added in the last pic). Everything he offers is great, you can’t go wrong here. Try Guamanian food!
- Pyro Pizza (April 2011), great pizza from a wood fired oven, they also make their own sodas. I like their white truffle pizza, add basil and tomato as additional toppings.
- Whiffies (April 2011), fried pies that may be sweet or savory, your choice. The most popular are the bbq beef brisket with mozzarella, and the apple, fried pies
- Potato Champion (April 2011), has poutine, which means fries topped with gravy and cheese curds, one of the few gifts from Canada. The fries were fresh and crisp, they are generous here with the rich gravy (I went with the meat based one not the veg one although there is one available- but look at how thick that gravy is, well flecked with seasoning), and there were nice sprinklings of squeaky chewy chunks of Rogue curd throughout.
- Flavourspot (April 2011), has an extensive menu of “Dutch Tacos”, which are basically savory (cheese and maple sausage for instance) or sweet foods wrapped in a waffle instead of soft taco
- Emame’s Ethiopian (April 2011), specializing in Ethiopian food. I sampled both the lentil version on top of the injera which had a nice mild spice to it, and the much spicier chicken in berbere which is the Ethiopian national dish. This would be the favorite even by the end of the tour of several of the tour participants. The name Emame comes from what her son called her, aw.
- Baowry (April 2011). I met this cart on a food tour, and got to hear how Ross built the cart from scratch, their attempts to handmake and struggle to get the dough for their bao to rise in the winter, and then from their humble St Johns cart they have opened a brick and mortar so they can begin to offer many more ideas he has for Asian inspired dishes, a la Pok Pok. The meat here with their steamed Chinese bun is tender and moist, and came with the same little scoop of white ginger scallion rice and spicy noodle
- Grilled Cheese Grill- Cheesus and Quesus (March 2011)- eat grilled cheeses in simple and fancy formats on buses – a peek at the bus on Alberta and some of their other grilled cheeses here (December 2010)
- Gaufre Gourmet Food Cart (March 2011), specializing in mini waffles with sweet or/and savory. Example: a “street taco waffle” with seasonal shredded chicken with pico de gallo, salsa verde, sour cream and guacamole on a cornbread jalapeno waffle
- Parker’s Waffles, using waffles as a wrapper taco style, genius (January 2010)
- Savor Soup House‘s homemade soup and grilled cheese (choose your own fillings) (December 2009)
- You Can Haz Cheeseburger, by Brunchbox, two grilled cheese as the “buns” (December 2009)
- Korean Tacos and Sliders from Koi Fusion (July 2009)
- Khao Man Gai, a Hainanese chicken and rice dish from Nong’s Khao Man Gai (July 2009)
- My favorite PDX breakfast sandwiches in my breakfast series
- If it’s a weekday, consider the Portland Penny Diner for the PDXWT sandwich or a bagel ball! (December 2014)
- Southern Brunch at Screen Door (March 2011). Warning- you know those long lines in that Portlandia episode? Totally this place.
- Pine State Biscuit at the PSU Farmers Market on Saturday (December 2009), including having it with pimento cheese or gravy (December 2009)
- A brunch at Simpatica, bloody mary and chicken please (July 2011). Note they have communal tables.
- Kenny and Zuke’s (February 2014). Great bagels, great pastrami.
- Brunch at Brasserie Montmartre (February 2013)
- Portland City Grill brunch -though they don’t have the bloody mary bar anymore, they still have a great view of Portland from their location in the US Bank/Big Pink building (February 2010)
- A brunch at Mother’s Bistro (July 2010), which specializes in comfort recipes from moms
- If the weather is lovely, I like the parking lot (so easy for out of town guests who want to drive) and the patio of Meriwether’s for a lovely brunch in the garden. I mention it partially here while talking about both Bailey’s and Meriwether’s (Aug 2011)..
Happy Hours / For Cocktails
- Clyde Common: Happy Hour and a Dining Month Dinner (June 2012) has amazing crafted cocktails from Jeffrey Morganthaler. He also has a small new place, Pépé Le Moko
- Saucebox summary of many happy hours (December 2009), and in other posts also Saucebox’s Happy Hour (Mar 2009) and another Happy Hour (April 2009) in downtown
- For more sophisticated cocktails, you might consider the Heathman Hotel Cocktail Menu with seasonal northwest bites to accompany them.
- A long list of martinis from Bartini (which also serves those martinis at Urban Fondue (June 2012) next door.
- Teardrop Lounge (September 2011) in the Pearl produces beautifully crafted cocktails that change seasonally, and this flight of Siete Leguas tequilas with sangritas I had once just blew my mind
- Trader Vic’s Happy Hour (September 2011) and also visited for a meal and drinks (July 2012) for Polynesian fun
- DeCarli Happy Hour (January 2010) urban trendiness in Beaverton. I love their pizzettas (April 2012)
- Farm Spirit is my favorite of the fine dining vegan dining – so it is all vegetarian. It is not by default all gluten free, but you can ask and they can accommodate you. See my recap of a 12 course meal here (September 2015) and more recently in February 2016 and December 2016.
- Santeria, ask for vegan tinga or soyrizo in your Mexican thing, be it burrito or nachos, etc. Downtown. I’ve shared some photos of my favorite Santeria here for their mole enchiladas, tacos, and burritos and here for their chimichanga and taco salad.
- Portobello, has the bonus of being right by Beermongers, Apex and Double Dragon on a fabulous corner in SE. I visited them in Aug 2010
- Veggie Grill – multiple locations
- Tandoor Indian – very homey Indian. They have a buffet at lunch but can order individual dishes at dinner. Downtown.
- East India Co. – more trendy, modernist India in a more upscale atmosphere, SW/downtown
- Luc Lac Vietnamese Kitchen has vegetarian pho and great salad rolls with huge fresh Ota tofu inside (visit Dec 2011 and when they were previously Pho PDX), downtown
- I’m a big fan of LeChon which offers brunch, lunch, happy hour and dinner and is unique in that they offer South American grilled meats but also have plenty of vegetarian friendly option. I highlighted happy hour and some of the vegetarian options (July 2016)
- A huge value for lunch is the lunch buffet at DarSalam Lazurdi but it’s also great for dinner and always any time of day for those desserts! (December 2015)
- Great tea and desserts at Maurice, which is only serving their menu starting at 11 am (they open at 10 am but only serve their pastries and drinks then, not the food menu). Oh, those desserts! (January 2015)
- A lunch at Tasty n Alder March 2013)- check out their takes Korean Fried Chicken with short grain rice and Bim Bop Bacon and Eggs as unique dishes in Portland (but don’t expect authentic Korean), but I was especially in love with their various bloody mary options. Brunch and dinner are also rocking. I’ve probably had their entire menu I’ve been here so many times, after my visit with Portland Food Adventures(Feb 2013).
- Lunches at Lardo for their amazing sandwiches where they are bringing the fat back and celebrating the pork (February 2013), and also for their Chefwiches (July 2013)
- I love grabbing those swaddled baguette sandwiches from Addy’s Sandwich Bar that come in delicious combinations ranging from duck confit or country pate to vegeterain ones like chickpea spread, or cucumber and brie. Also offers pressed juices and smothies adn salads and yogurt parfaits, great to take on a picnic, on a hike, or on the go in general.
- Little Bird offers lunch, happy hour, and dinner from Gabriel Rucker (owner and chef of the famous Le Pigeon). The famous Le Pigeon burger is available here (as I tried in June 2011), as well as marrow bones as appetizers and this excellent chicken fried trout (Dec 2013)
- Kenny and Zuke’s (February 2014). Great bagels, great pastrami, and yum pastrami fries
- For a little bit of an appetizer for a date night/progressive dinner, enjoy a cheese flight of your choice or omakase where the wise cheesemongers pick out a flight to go with a drink at Chizu (March 2015)
H50 for Portland Dining Month (June 2013) for very modernist cuisine right along the waterfrontClosed
- Steaks at Urban Farmer (December 2011) in a hip instead of the usual dark wood atmosphere
- Clyde Common: Happy Hour and a Dining Month Dinner (June 2012) has amazing crafted cocktails but communal tables for dinner, and I particularly am a fan of their lumpia (July 2015) as chef Carlo Lamagna brings a few touches of his Filipino heritage into the menu here or there, they are quite a power lunch spot.
Gruner, alpine cuisine where I love the spatzle (June 2011) and also visited for lunch as part of Burgerquest (September 2011) but I didn’t love the service when I went there for another visit (August 2012)Closed
- Santeria, delicious Mexican best eaten across the street at Bailey’s Taproom (March 2011)
- Luc Lac Vietnamese Kitchen (December 2011) which used to be Pho PDX which even then offered vegetarian take (February 2011) and the best tofu rolls
- Nam Khao… at E-San Thai Restaurant (July 2011) is an unusual Thai dish that you cannot miss here
- Grassa for pasta, another outpost of Rick Gencarelli (July 2013)
- A Imperial: a dinner, 2 happy hours (Aug 2013) reveals I thought the dinner was good but happy hours are amazing, make sure you get something that was wood-fired!
- A dinner at Ringside Fish House for Seafood(August 2011)
- Japanese curry at Kale (December 2011), it’s all he offers in his restaurant, so you know it’s his specialty
- A dinner at Nel Centro the restaurant of Hotel Modera (November 2011) and they also offer an excellent happy hour (June 2016) and are one of my secret recommendations for an amazing al fresco meal and drinks with their fire pits outside
- Karam Lebanese Restaurant (January 2011)
- Vegetarian House, an all vegetarian Asian restaurant in “Chinatown” (January 2011)
- Little Bird Bistro, a more accessible Gabriel Rucker restaurant than Le Pigeon. I gave a mixed review from a few different meals (June 2011). I like sitting and eating at the bar.
- Stanford and Newport Seafood Grill by the Lloyd Center
- A nostalgic turkey lunch at Huber’s (February 2010) that takes you back to the 80s.
- Mediterranean Exploration Company (July 2014) gives you a taste of Greece and Israel
- Oven & Shaker: Portland Dining Month (June 2012), and then a visit for their Aracine and also their Cauliflower Pizza (August 2012) and then again for the Bianca pizza and The “Lost” Cosmopolitan (September 2012) and then again for a Winter special pizza of Brussels Sprouts pizza with brussels sprouts, bacon, robiola, pecorino (January 2013)
- Noodles & Company, a dinner of tastings in the Pearl (July 2011) is quick food but not fast food
- Macarons from Nuvrei (December 2012) for beautiful rainbow of macarons and also lovely baked goods such as this Fried Egg sandwich that includes fontina, tomato, frisée and dijon butter and cream cheese on their pretzel-y bagels, and a Lunch Edition (January 2013) where I loved the Morning Croque Madame. Check out my Nuvrei Pastries overview (December 2014) post for a good look at all the possible options for pastries at Nuvrei
- Remedy Wine Bar will cure your ails with small plates, plats du jour, and lots of wine options while gaving at the North Park Blocks (January 2014)
- Park Kitchen (March 2014), don’t miss their chickpea fries, and this dish for dinner below with Milk braised pork with Your Kitchen Gardens leeks, curds and whey was just phenomenal
- Davis Street Tavern (February 2013) lunch included a Mushroom Risotto with basil hazelnut pesto and an order of Steak Frites with grilled bavette steak and green chili hollandaise with shoestring fries
- Teardrop Lounge (September 2011) produces beautifully crafted cocktails that change seasonally, and has a very small food menu to have a bite as you enjoy the main event, the drinks
- Trader Vic’s Happy Hour (September 2011) and also visited for a meal and drinks (July 2012) for Polynesian fun. I prefer it for cocktails as a first or last stop of a progressive meal.
- Coppia – a dinner on New Year’s Eve 2012 (December 2012), a wine bar focused on food and wine pairings
- Metrovino, NYE 2011 (December 2011) offers many wine flight options
- Paragon Restaurant, eating a grilled cheese (January 2010)
- Henry’s Tavern (July 2010) has an amazing selection of beers
- Bamboo Sushi offers sustainable seafood, and a great happy hour!
- Besides their delicious ramen, on Sat and Sun you can get dim sum service from carts at the NW location of Boke Bowl (January 2015). They have an amazing bloody mary garnished with a fried chicken!
- Bent Brick where I had some happy hour food during my visit, including awesome duck jojos and a Hamburger Dog! My favorite dish though was the side of smashed chickpeas that had an earthy creaminess from the chickpeas but a light coolness yet something that brightened it from what turns out to be sour cream and Frank’s hot sauce.
- Urban Fondue (June 2012) for a 3 course meal of fondue – cheese, broth, and a dessert that could be chocolate/caramel whatever. They have very interesting flavor combinations… and great cocktails too (they are twinsies essentially with Bartini next door!)
- Wildwood lunch in the NW23rd Nob Hill neighborhood, and they have their own parking lot (January 2010)
- Slabtown Ribs & BBQ – Get the Ribs (March 2012)
- Raven and Rose, where I have been for their Classic cocktail class, stopped for a Paper Crane cocktail, visited for a Raven and Rye event, Beer with the Bird event, and Schwenking event, and other times but those are the only ones I blogged about. I love the Rookery and bartender geniuses Dave and Alan (2013). The Rookery has a food menu that includes fried cheese curds & fried pickles served with a smoked chili aioli. You need this. On Sunday evenings they also have an amazing Sunday Roast Dinner option you can enjoy family style (December 2014)
- Leaky Roof, a gastropub in walking distance of Jeld Wen Field (May 2012)
- The first place that always comes to mind for me is Kachka, which offers Russian food (June 2015).
- Renata was given the title of Restaurant of the Year by the Oregonian only a few weeks into being open, but I have to admit their starters and pastas are spectacular. I think they have the best pasta in Portland. And, great cocktails. See more details at my blog post with my first look at Renata (June 2015) and also their Aperitivo Happy Hour (April 2016).
- Great sushi and ramen on Mirakutei. My post explains how I prescribe a visit if you have a cold! (December 2014)
- Fried Chicken? I think of Basilisk (November 2016)
- For Korean I love Han Oak where you don’t have to worry about what to order – brunch comes as a whole set on Sunday and their dinners come as 3 courses though you can order additional snacks – more details on my Brunch Recap (July 2016) and then my Dinner Recap (November 2016)
- Fifty Licks Sorbet Cocktails and more (Nov 2013) to start before Burrasca (or after- or anyplace on SE Clinton or Division or Powell). Besides offering ice cream flavors and sorbets you can also get Fifty Licks sorbet cocktails and Cafe Cubano. So it can be your stop before and after dinner!
- Ava Gene’s (Dec 2013) I wrote a menu guide to read the very Italian menu. Expect that when you go, it will be unfamiliar- just like I would imagine my or your first day or so if you were to visit Italy for the first time.
- Accanto (June 2012) is the more casual enoteca sibling to its next door neighbor, fine dining prix fixe and historic Genoa. You may think Accanto is like any other moderate Italian neighborhood stop, but that’s where you would be wrong. They really take advantage of unique, perhaps even previously never heard of ingredients and bring them to your tastebuds to help you explore how much more is out there. Example: capellini with samphire, garlic, chili, and fennel seed, and Burrata with strawberries, favas, wrinkle crinkle crumple cress when I went to brunch
- I loved Boke Bowl modernist take on ramen, now their own brick and mortar location, even when it was still only a popup at Oba’s digs in March 2011 and at popping up inside Decarli’s in April 2011
- For Thai, my current love is Paa Dee (June 2014) which tastes very authentic. I also like Pok Pok but Paa Dee is a little less written up so easy to get in without the rush with all the people who know Andy Ricker’s name and don’t yet know Earl Ninsom. I also find it more vegetarian friendly. They also have LaangBaan in the back if you want to even get more adventurous, a smaller secret kitchen restaurant in the back that has multicourse prix fixe. They also have amazing fried chicken…
- Ken’s Artisan Pizza is a Portland Pizza powerhouse for the past 10 years because of their perfect pizza dough and offering classic combinations that are simple with excelent ingredients. I wrote about them and several of their pizzas when looking at the recently launched cocktail program (October 2016)
- Andy Ricker’s famous Thai Pok Pok (Mar 2009), then a Pok Pok lunch in (January 2011)
Andy Ricker again, Sen Yai – Dinner and a Breakfast (May 2013) which focuses more on noodles and Thai breakfast in the morning for a few hours (see photo earlier on this page)
- Roe – a seafood dining adventure (March 2013). Some of the creativity really wowed us, others didn’t work for me but reading the ingredients I agree they sound intriguing to put together so I understand where they were coming from.
- Nostrana Italian, from Cathy Whims- a gnocchi night (December 2011) and they often have special events, such as Handmade Pasta night at Nostrana, by Francesca Tori(October 2012)
- For brunch (with reservations) that can take you back to Israel, or dinners where you can get it family style and fill you table with lots of plates just like you were there, consider Cafe Castagna (January 2015)
- Portobello’s + Beermongers (August 2010) for fancy vegetarian cuisine followed by lots of beer
- You can check out Bunk Bar where I had roasted summer squash with romesco and ricotta (September 2012) to try some of the sandwiches from Tommy Habetz, Portland’s sandwich king, I tried another seasonal vegetarian sandwich (November 2011) this time of Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Apple Chutney, Gruyere & Horseradish sandwich. I’ve eaten several of the meat versions but somehow ate it with no pictures and so have no blog posts about it!
Genoa 5 course prix fixe (August 2011) is one of the few fine dining destinations of Portland
- Horse Brass Pub (July 2010) has an amazing selection of beers and English pub food, I loved the Ploughman’s Platter
- Country Cat Dinner (July 2012) offers a northwest seasonal take + southern food
- A Dinner at Ox (December 2012) and much better photos more recently (but less words) when I visited again May 2013 at this smoke and fire loving Argentinian take on grilled meats
- Dinner at Tabla Bistro (December 2011), you cannot come here without getting some of their homemade pastas
- St Honore Bakery on Division offers the tastiest tarte flambees of the city, and the location here on NE also has lots of ciders and spaetzle
- For a fun coffee and sweet during the day, visit 180 for churros (January 2016). These are light and crispy, not the greasy ones of festivals and fairs.
- Tasty N Sons, happy hour and dinner visits (July 2011) to try their world inspired medley of spicy, savory, salty, sweet flavors
- Firehouse Restaurant – celebrating family with fire (September 2013)
- Aviary offers a fun take on Asian fusion, as exemplified by this 3 course Portland Dining Month 2015 dinner (March 2015) I enjoyed that included an incredible Dungeness crab chawanmushi with bone marrow, sea urchin, Asian pear, snap peas and truffle vinaigrette. I also have some old photos of a dinner of small samplers at Aviary (February 2012)
- EaT: An Oyster Bar… Baked Oysters! (January 2012), though they have other cajun and New Orleans style cuisine as well
- Mac! Mac & Cheesery for Mac and Cheese options galore (July 2012)
- The Tardis Room (September 2012) which used to be the Fish & Chip shop (February 2011) but is still serving mostly the same food, but with new geeky deco theme
- If you can, check out the Nodoguro pop up and see if a date and time work for you! The themes change out every month – I’ve been to several of these, check out the tag Nodoguro
- I love the ramen at Boke Bowl, especially with the fried chicken added to your ramen choice. If you go to the NW location on weekends you can also get dim sum cart service!
- For ramen and sushi, and/or if you have a cold and want to clean your sinuses and comfort your sore throat, check out my prescription to Mirakutei
- Bamboo Sushi offers sustainable seafood, and a great happy hour!
- Andy Ricker again, Sen Yai – Dinner and a Breakfast (May 2013) that focuses on noodles and a short Thai breakfast menu in the mornings
- Khao Man Gai, a Hainanese chicken dish from Nong’s Khao Man Gai, while it lasts at her food carts (July 2009)
- Andy Ricker’s serving Thai food at Pok Pok (Mar 2009) , then a Pok Pok lunch in (January 2011)
- Nam Khao… at E-San Thai Restaurant (July 2011)
- Manao Thai Review (June 2013), which offers some harder to find Thai dishes on their menu
- Japanese curry at Kale (December 2011)
- Luc Lac Vietnamese Kitchen (December 2011) which used to be Pho PDX which even then offered vegetarian take (February 2011). Now Luc Lac offers even more Vietnamese treats and amazing cocktails
- Quan Linh Bistro (July 2010)
- DeCarli Happy Hour (January 2010) urban trendiness in Beaverton. I love their pizzettas and their polenta fries(April 2012)
- Hakatamon Lunch: more Korean (January 2010)
- Pupusas at Sabor Salvadoreño (August 2011)
- Summary of recommended lunches: Hall Street Grill, Best Baguette, Pho Hoa Hong (January 2010)
- Nakwon- A Homey Korean Restaurant in Beaverton (January 2010)
- McGrath’s Fish House (January 2010)
Check out both activities and food on My Food Travel Posts Index that includes details for Las Vegas and also Sonoma California!
- I love the charm of this bakery cafe for breakfast or a snack in Astoria at Blue Scorcher Bakery and Cafe (March 2015)
Seattle, WA Restaurant Recommendations
- Bathtub Gin and The Whale Wins (May 2013) in Seattle, amazing cocktails and amazing dinner
- The Crumpet Shop, at the Pike Place Market in Seattle (May 2013). I recommend stopping here for a quick bite, and then going on a Pike Place Market Food Tour or visiting Chihuly Garden and Glass, Seattle as I share in this photo post
- Happy Hour and Breakfast at Boka in Hotel 1000 in Seattle (February 2013)
- Bacco Cafe at Pike Place Market (January 2013) for brunch in Seattle
- Recently in Seattle… Tavern Law cocktails, Lunch at Revel (December 2011)
- Seattle Lunch and Dinners (October 2011) included Matt’s in the Market, Poppy, and Serious Biscuit
- A brunch at Lola’s in Seattle (September 2012)
- Spinasse Dinner: Italian Heaven in Seattle (August 2012)
- A most delicious brunch at Skillet Diner, Seattle… and then there was Unicorn (August 2012)
- A Chef’s dinner at Mistral Kitchen (September 2012)
- Brave Horse Tavern & Serious Biscuit, Spur in Seattle (March 2012), also fresh doughnuts from Dahlia’s Bakery
California Restaurant Recommendations
- Beercations in San Diego – 2014 list of breweries and overall places to visit, and my original beercation in 2013 that included Oggi’s Pizza and Brewing, Knotty Barrel, Stone Brewing World Gardens, Karl Strauss Sorento Mesa, Green Flash, Pizza Port Solana Beach and Coronado Brewing. I also have a separate post on dining alone at a bar in the Gas Lamp District hotel
- Los Angeles Area / LA
- Isaan Station for Thai Street Food with a eastern Thailand perspective
- A stop at Eight Korean BBQ, also known as Palsaik Korean BBQ, with their 8 flavors of marinated pork (October 2014)
- My little lunch at Son of a Gun Restaurant in Los Angeles with their fried chicken sandwich, lobster roll, and shrimp toast sandwich (October 2014)
- My lunch stop at Jinya Ramen Bar at Mid-Wilshire in Los Angeles with Jinya Number 1 Tonkatsu Black ramen, Pork Gyoza, Brussels Sprouts tempura and Takoyaki (October 2014)
- I helped host a bridal shower brunch at Le Pain Quotidien, and indulged in tartines in Los Angeles. The post also includes the rainbow of macaroon options at Cafe Concerto. (July 2014)
- Dinner at Manhattan Beach Post, Manhattan Beach, LA Area (June 2013). Make sure you get the bacon cheddar buttermilk biscuits with maple butter. They are worth the hype, warm, gooey with cheese inside and speckled with bits of delicious salty bacon
- I was at Manhattan Beach for Christmas and besides sharing photos of Dusk to Twilight and some random sights while walking in town, I also shared what the Christmas decorations looked like with the posts Christmas Holiday Decorations at Disneyland and for Holiday Decorations at California Adventure Park on Christmas Eve.
- Dinner at both Bäco Mercat and Bar Amá in Downtown LA. Check out the chicken fried steak at Bar Amá (June 2013)
- Lobsters in LA (January 2013) from Cousin’s Lobster Food Truck, Newport Seafood Restaurant, and Michael’s on Naples
- Umami Burger, Santa Monica CA (November 2011)
- Isaan Station for Thai Street Food with a eastern Thailand perspective
New York City, NY Restaurant Recommendations
New York highlights from March 2014 that I have blogged about:
- Lobster Rolls from Pearl Oyster Bar
- Scenes from Chelsea Market and Todd English Food Hall
- Best Bagel Sandwich in New York: Russ & Daughters
- Midtown Manhattan Lunches – Xian Famous Foods, ‘wichCraft, Zucker’s Bagels & Smoked Fish
- Bouchon Bakery Rockefeller
- Momofuku Noodle and Momofuku Milk Bar
- Eats in New York, New York (October 2011) included Shake Shack, Morso, Sarabeth’s
Hawaii Restaurant Recommendations
- Star Noodle in Maui (January 2012)
- Ono-ness in Kauai: Fish Express and Puka Dog and Papalani Gelato (January 2012)
- Giovanni’s, a Kahuku Shrimp Truck on Oahu (January 2012)
- Seaside Restaurant, Hilo in Big Island Hawaii (January 2012)
Misc Other West Coast
- Looking at 2 amazing options for local food and Beer on Rainey Street in Austin, Texas by stopping at Craft Pride and Banger’s Sausage House and Beer Garden
- Delicious Highlights from a vacation in Sedona in Arizona (July 2012) included Dahl and Diluca, Oak Creek Brewery and Grill, Elote Cafe, Mago Cafe and ChocolaTree
- Denver/Boulder visit: Beer at Left Hand, Avery, and Oskar Blues (October 2011)
- Leavenworth, WA
- Dinner at King Ludwigs Restaurant and Nightcaps at Icicle Brewing (November 2012)
- Munchen Haus, the direct competitor of Leavenworth Sausage Garten that we had visited a couple days earlier for more sausages in Leavenworth, WA (November 2012)
- Leavenworth Sausage Garten + Cured by Visconti (November 2012) for sausages in Leavenworth, WA
- A glimpse at the Gingerbread Factory, Leavenworth, the Christmas in Leavenworth (looks at Front Street park and the Christkindlmarkt and Christmas Lighting festival and the various Bavarian styled buildings) and also the views from Waterfront Park. I also shared some photos of Cute Signs and Art in Leavenworth and some photos of the Mists and the Mountains in Leavenworth, WA and Moon over Leavenworth
- Lunch at Chicago French Market (Dec 2013). This included a lobster roll from Da Lobsta, frites from Frietkoten Belgian Fries and Beer, and a Montreal smoked sandwich from Fumare.
- A breakfast at Miss Shirley’s in Baltimore (April 2013) blew me away when I was in Maryland
- Lebanese Taverna in Baltimore (April 2013), Maryland, a great place to refuel and is not far from the Inner Area Harbor area that I shared photos of. You can also walk from the Inner Harbor to Miss Shirley’s that I mentioned above as well. Lest you think my life in only eating… I also shared photos of a great exhibit I visited that I highly recommend, see my Art Blooms at the Walters Art Museum recap
- Boston Eats (October 2011) included Russell House Tavern, Masa Southwest, Jasper White’s Summer Shack, and Flour Bakery
- Colonial Food at Gadsby’s Tavern, Virginia (November 2010)
- Lunch at Lunch at Mt Vernon Inn (November 2010) in Virginia
- Korean food and Bertucci’s in Boston (March 2010)
- Shabu Shabu in Boston (March 2010)
- Tokyo Weekend: Sushi Dai (March 2012)
- Tokyo Weekend: Visits to Shinjuku, Akihabara = Noodle Day (March 2012)
- Food Fotos during my work hours in Tokyo (March 2012), including udon, okonomiyaki, katsu, Takoyaki, Kushiyaki
- Eating in Asia (April 2010)- in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan
- Eating meats in Germany; Bread and cheese for breakfast in Israel and Germany (March 2012)
- September 2014: Montreal! Au Pied de Cochon Montreal Recap and then Bouillon Bilk, Montreal and other Montreal eats
- Dim Sum in Toronto at Casa Imperial (December 2011)
- Memories of Vancouver’s Granville Island Public Market post
- Chinese places in Vancouver May 2009 with stops at Dr Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden, Dim Sum lunch afterwards at Kirin Downtown and a Dinner at Sun Sui Wah
- Guu with Garlic a Japanese Izakaya in Vancouver May 2009
- Portland Feast 2014 and Portland Feast 2013
- Portland Monthly’s Country Brunch 2014 and then Portland Monthly’s Country Brunch 2013
- Portland Beer and Cheese Festival 2014, and the coverage 2013 and the coverage 2012
- Eat Mobile 2014 (I go every year- also see Eat Mobile 2013, Eat Mobile 2012, Eat Mobile 2011, Eat Mobile 2010!)
- Pike Chocofest 2014 Recap and also the Review of Pike’s Chocofest 2013
And here are examples of special event dinners with pairings blogposts I have covered previously
- The pop-up of Nodoguro (Japanese) – multiple dinners, each with a different theme depending on the month
- Flight Dessert Bar popup (desserts)
- Ruchikala Winter Pop-up (Southwest US and Indian spices collide!)
- TeSóAria Wine Brunch
- A Grand Feast of Oregon, by Hawks View Cellars and Irving St Kitchen
- Saraveza and Block 15 Winter Dinner
- Portland Food Adventure at Tasty n Alder
- Breakside Brewer’s Dinner at Wildwood
- Pike Place Market Food Tour in Seattle
- Forktown Food Cart Tours – special tours in conjunction with Eat Mobile and Willamette Weekly. The Friday tour covered Crystal Gardens pod, North Station, and then Mississippi Marketplace. The Saturday tour covered Cartopia, and made our way to 3 other cart pods of D-Street Noshery, A La Carts, and Good Food Here
- Forktown NW Alphabet District Tour
- Beer tours via Brewvana, such as such as this one I took to Corvallis and another (sponsored by Google+) that stayed in Portland
- Portland Center Stage reviews of I Love To Eat (2013), LIZZIE the Musical (2014), The Last Five Years (2014), Twist Your Dickens (2014) and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (2015)
- Roundup of June 2014 drinking events in Portland
Archives: So Old I’m sort of Embarrassed…
- CLOSED Sideshow Eatery (September 2012) for a Pork belly sandwich and Poutine
- CLOSED Caps and Corks, a bar and restaurant that strives to be a Jack of All Trades for your Drinking Needs (July 2012)
- CLOSED Manao Thai Review (June 2013), which offers some harder to find Thai dishes on their menu and that’s what you should order
- CLOSED Fratelli for Portland Dining Month (June 2013), loved their Board of chicken liver mousse and smoked Mt. Shadow pork loin – French green lentils, preserved lemon
- Slappy Cakes (November 2009) and then exploring past the pancakes on a second visit (January 2010)
- Casa Del Matador’s Braised Carnitas plate (October 2009)
- A brownie dessert at Mc Menamins Market Street Pub (August 2009)
- Original, a Dinerant (June 2009) but more recently Original Dinerant and a Thanskgiving Gravy Cocktail (November 2011)
- East India Company (May 2009)
- Oba! (Mar 2009)