Portland is a known destination for food, coffee, and beer. Though we often complain about the lack of good Asian food and good, cheap eats, there’s still plenty of options to find a bite to eat.
We’ve put together a list of 49 to help you plan your foodcation in Portland, and we are also working through it ourselves. We’ll add notes as we eat at each spot, and replace them if we find better food too! If you’re looking to treat yo’self, check out our Portland fine dining guide.
Date Updated: Jan 25, 2020 Originally Created Feb 28, 2017
49 BEST PLACES TO EAT IN PORTLAND OREGON - PORTLAND FOOD BUCKET LIST
NORTH / NORTHWEST
- Ataula (Northwest, Spanish, $$)
- Gravey (North Portland, Breakfast & Brunch, $$) – The Challah French toast is a favorite amongst locals
- Paley’s Place (Northwest, French, $$$)
- Salt & Straw Ice Cream (Northwest + Mult Locations, Ice Cream, $$) – Our favorites are the strawberry balsamic with cracked pepper, bleu cheese and pear, and chocolate brownie flavor and coffee and bourbon flavor. PRO-TIP: If you buy them by the pint, you don’t have to wait in the long line. We always keep a few in our freezer.
- St. Jack (Northwest, French, $$$)
- Sweedeedee (North Portland, Breakfast & Brunch, $$)
- Aviary (Northeast, Asian Fusion, $$$) – Jacob loved the Japanese eggplant, and my favorite thing on the menu was the silken tofu pictured above.
- Beast (Northeast, French, $$$$) – I’ve heard so many people rave about Beast. The food wasn’t bad, but definitely overhyped, and it wasn’t our favorite experience.
- Davenport (Northeast, Seafood, $$$)
- Han Oak (Northeast, Korean Inspired, $$$) – James Beard best new restaurant nominee in 2017. Go on dumpling night if you don’t want to do the full tasting menu. My fave dish was the bibim gooksoo that reminded me a lot of jjolmyun.
- Laurelhurst Market (Northeast, Steakhouses, $$$)
- Mae (Northeast, Southern, $$$)
- Ned Ludd (Northeast, American, $$$)
- Ox (Northeast, Steakhouses, $$$) – won the James Beard Best Chef Award in the NW for 2017.
- Pambiche (Northeast, Cuban, $$) – if you’re in the mood for overpriced Cuban food that’s just okay.
- Pip’s Original Doughnuts (Northeast, Coffee & Tea, $) – loved their chai tea flight (but if you only want to try one, the Emmylou Chai was my favorite). The mini doughnuts can be hit or miss. Depending on the day, sometimes they’re great and sometimes they’re dry and over fried. They also give you a free dozen mini doughnuts within 7 days of your birthday.
- Pix Patisserie (Northeast, Desserts, $$) – On Eater’s list of Best Cake Shops
- Pizza Jerk (Northeast, Pizza, $$) – one of Bon Appetit’s best new restaurants in 2016 / 3.5 on yelp.
- Podnah’s Pit BBQ (Northeast, Barbeque, $$)
- Sa Bai Thai Cuisine (Northeast, Thai / Vegetarian, $$) – on the yelp 100 for 2017. Good and worth it if you’re in the area but not worth driving out just for the food.
- Screen Door (Northeast, Southern, $$) – was on the Yelp 100 for 2016. This is usually one of our first spots we take visitors for brunch and there is always a line. Their chicken and waffles are solid. The best? Debatable. But their praline bacon keeps us coming back.
- Toro Bravo (Northeast, Spanish Tapas, $$) – This is better in a big group since you get to try more plates. We came when our family was in town and our favorites were the salt cod fritters, Kurobuta pork cheeks, and squid ink pasta, which oddly reminded me of nacho cheese. We also ordered the house smoked coppa steak, Moorish lamb chops a la plancha (the least favorite thing we ordered), and the paella, which was huge and came with some sand from the sea.
- Nong’s Khao Man Gai (Central Eastside, Thai, $) – The chicken and rice here is so simple but so good. It was our regular spot, but now we just buy their sauce and make chicken and rice at home instead. We haven’t perfected it yet, but it saves us money. When our friends come in town, though, we always take them here.
- HoldFast Dining (Central Eastside, American, $$$$)
- Kachka (Central Eastside, Russian, $$) – on Eater’s 38 Essential Restaurants in the US.
- Le Pigeon (Central Eastside, French, $$$)
- Olympia Provisions (Central Eastside, American, $$) – the meat and cheese boards were delicious but portions were smaller and it was pricier than we expected.
- Pine State Biscuits (Central Eastside, Breakfast & Brunch, $) – Being from the south, we love our biscuits and gravy and this place helps us get our artery clogging fix when we need it. Jacob got the reggie deluxe and I got the Biscuits and shiitake mushroom gravy, which were both good.
- Taqueria Nueve (Central Eastside, Mexican, $$)
- Blue Star Donuts (Downtown + Mult Locations, $$) – Their donuts can be hit or miss, but the blueberry bourbon basil is our fave 👌
- Maurice (Downtown, French, $$) – It’s a cute spot. We didn’t like the sandwiches but would come back for tea, scones, and the black pepper cheesecake.
- Carlita’s (Pearl District, Tacos, Cocktails, $$) – Visit them for lively tacos and a carefully crafted whiskey and agave cocktail.
- Farm Spirit (Southeast, Vegan, $$$$) – vegan pre fixed menu. We’re not vegetarian, but we loved the food. The chef was also very personable and fun, and we had a lovely experience overall.
- Apizza Scholls (Southeast, Pizza, $$) – probably our favorite pizza place in Portland. Our favorite is the Apizza Amore and next up was the Tartufo2.
- Ava Gene’s (Southeast, American, $$$)
- Bollywood Theater (Southeast + Mult Locations, Indian, $$)
- Castagna (Southeast, American, $$$) – this was a Michelin star quality restaurant and has been a James Beard semifinalist. We loved all the dishes and creative presentation.
- Coquine (Southeast, American, $$$) – one of Bon Appetit’s best new US restaurant in 2016.
- Langbaan (Southeast, Thai, $$$$)
- Nodoguro (Southeast, Japanese, $$$$)
- Nostrana (Southeast, Italian, $$) – really loved their house charcuterie and Salumi pizza, but everything else was just okay.
- Off the Waffle (Southeast, Breakfast & Brunch, $) – If you want savory, get the goat in headlights.
- Pinolo Gelato (Southeast, Gelato, $) – Scoops are small, but we love this place over Salt & Straw. We usually only go to Salt & Straw if we have guests in town.
- PDX Sliders (Southeast, Burgers / Food Trucks, $) – on the yelp 100 for 2017. Their Hawthorne burger was my favorite. Definitely taking all our future visitors here.
- Rose VL Deli (Southeast, Vietnamese, $)
- Urdaneta (Southeast, Spanish, Tapas, $$$)
- Coco Donuts (Southwest, Donuts + Coffee, $) – seems like the newest Portland local fave for donuts. They’re sometimes too soft in texture for my liking. The space looks very pretty and photogenic. Their most popular donut is lavender and is usually sold out by the afternoon, but there are so many locations now.
- Wiz Bang Bar (Southwest, Ice cream, $) – If you like soft serve, this Salt & Straw’s sister store. Everyone raves about their magic shell, but I thought it was okay. Still on the list, because I want to give it another shot. Last time it was melting faster than I could shovel into my mouth.
TAKEN OFF THE LIST OR LOCAL FAVES BUT NOT OURS
- Bamboo Sushi (Southeast + Mult Locations, Japanese, $$) – it’s nice that it’s sustainable sushi, but I wish it tasted better. Also, the rice was falling apart.
- Lardo (Southwest, Sandwiches, $$) – Jacob had the pork belly, egg, and cheese sandwich, I ordered the pork meatball banh mi, and we got the loaded lardo fries for the table. They burnt my bread, but everyone else’s meal came out fine.
- Little Big Burger (Pearl District + Mult Locations, $) – tastes like a standard burger I can make at home.
- Pok Pok (Southeast, Thai, $$) – didn’t find the food worth the wait and hassle.
- Roe (Southeast, Seafood, $$$$) – plan to put it back on the list but temporarily closed for renovation.
- Voodoo Doughnut (Southwest + Mult Locations, $) – actually not a local fave or anyone’s fave after they try it, but it never stops hoards of tourists from going. For that reason, it’s included and continues to be on every Portland list. I will say that they do excel at marketing and creative looking donuts. Go for the photo opps but not so much for the doughnuts.
- Waffle Window (Southeast + Mult Locations, Waffles, $) – liked the farm fusion. It was yummy, but I wouldn’t go on my first few visits to Portland.
Map of The Best Places to Eat in Portland
How many of these restaurants have you been to? Did we miss anything?!
SEE MORE CITY FOOD GUIDES
“Discovery consists not of seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes” – M. Proust
Esther + Jacob
Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, which is one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found both near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in Las Vegas.