More days than not, grey sky-weary Puddletown residents find themselves in need of a pick-me-up, and arguably, the best kind of pick-me-up is the kind that comes with guacamole. Here are Portland’s mejor mole and mezcal meccas. Andalé!
Not just any ordinary downtown alley hole-in-the-wall, this one has a secret passageway to Mary’s Club, one of Portland’s most venerable strip clubs. As though that weren’t compelling enough, they also serve otherworldy cochinita nachos, and the When Pigs Fly plate is fun too. Get your change in dollars and you’re set.
At least once a week you’ll find me aiming a salsa verde bottle at a heap of nachos in this Alberta Street mainstay. A truly formidable stack of perfectly crisp chips, cheese, meat, beans, pico de gallo, sour cream and guacamole, they are some of the very best in the city. Or if you're feeling slightly less decadent, get the grilled garden vegetable tacos.
Bringing a burst of color to Division with its pumpkin façade, things only get more festive when you actually go inside this cheerful Latin looker, especially once you’ve ordered a round of the exceptional house margaritas. My ideal meal is the Yucatan lime soup, pork tacos, cebiche special and naturally, the dessert crepes.
Holding up the Mexican end of things in the restaurant-rich intersection of NE Killingsworth & 30th, this popular eatery’s chef draws from his Guerrero roots and Portland’s endless natural bounty to create a fresh-Mex menu that draws loyalists from near and far. Thursday is pozole night!
On a dark drizzly eve, it’s hard to find a cozier spot to cuddle with a tumbler of tequila and a few tacos from the dedicated taco menu (salmon tacos are A++). People watching is excellent too--you're inches from the steady and fascinating stream of hipster-centric 28th Avenue foot traffic.
The sister restaurant of Concordia’s acclaimed Autentica, this casual North Portland cantina serves a straightforward daily dinner menu that criss-crosses Mexico for influences—greatest hits include the rotisserie chicken, fried tongue sandwich and slow-roasted goat. But the tequila menu is the life of the party—there are so many on there, you’ll go cross-eyed trying to count them.
Furthering the guisado cause here in PDX, this busy taqueria specializes in Mexico City-style stewed meat and vegetable-filled tacos, burritos & quesadillas served alongside unique cocktails like the Horchata Borracha and Señor Brown (mescal and apple soda). Excellent house salsas round out a Mexican experience that’s deliciously outside the norm.
There’s so much to love about this airy, elegant Division Street cantina, where bright splashes of color against white walls set the stage for the kitchen’s beautiful, fiercely seasonal, locally-sourced take on traditional Mexican food. Get the salsas & guac to start, the trout pozole and/or enchiladas, and without hesitation, the Woodblock chocolate cake with passion fruit-chile ganache for dessert.
Since the day they opened, I've been waiting for this muy popular Division Street Mexican joint to take credit cards, and despite promises to that effect, they never have. Which is why I have to go to the ATM sometimes up to three times a week, preceding our very regular visits. Pretty much everything is solid, but if you’re in the mood for nachos, by all means indulge here, they are so worth it.
This funky Buckman taqueria shares the block with Bunk Sandwiches, a tattoo parlor and a dive bar, among other quintessential Portlandishness, and it fits right in with its mellow ‘tude, high quality from-scratch food, and laissez faire décor. Try the pastor burritos and imposing Robo Nachos.
Almost everything here is filled, surrounded and smothered with fresh vegetables, making it the ideal compromise between a craving for hefty classics like chile rellenos and huevos rancheros and a craving to not increase one’s waistline twofold.