In between browsing the vintage shops, boutiques, bookstores, head shops and random handmade jewelry displays artfully arranged on towels along the sidewalks of funky Hawthorne Boulevard, you'll probably need a snack. Fortunately, this uniquely Portland street is rife with all sorts of good eats, from savory khao soi gai and soujouk to poutine and bacon mac 'n cheese fried pies to fleur de sel chocolate chip cookies and Nutella & banana crepes. Fuel up, and carry on with your secondhand Frye boots and meditation cushion shopping.
Love getting a booth, a beer and a pie at this snug pizzeria on a cold night--it's a relaxing sort of place where you never feel rushed. You can also take any kind of eater here, the menu has plenty of gold standards like Hawaiian and pepperoni, but you can also get more unusual combos like the lamb and roasted potato or spinach and prosciutto. Good Caesar, with homemade dressing.
Portland's consummate special occasion dining room, regal Castagna serves food that can often double as art, which is nice if you're an Instagram fanatic and want to have some real filters fun. The $55 prix fixe tasting menu is an exceptional meal, but if you really want to go all out, opt for the $95 chef's tasting menu with wine pairings.
The consummate neighborhood restaurant, this upscale Hawthorne Blvd cafe makes a mean roast chicken, excellent thin crust pizza, and possibly the city's most famous burger. Great happy hour, daily from 5-6pm and 9pm to close.
Checked tablecloths, effortless charm, free-flowing wine—this tiny Hawthorne creperie is all French, except perhaps for the kindly-offered gluten free crepe provision. Try the onion soup and La Chevre.
You'll get the authentic Portland brunch experience at this cute corner cafe, giant lines and all. Brunch fare is reliable, portions are large, and the vibe is upbeat--especially when you order the pork belly mac n cheese or Sweet Jesus--a happy mess of a fried chicken waffle sandwich drenched in bacon, cheese, and maple mayo. Yes, maple mayo.
Portland's poutine kings live in this merry late-night cart in the SE Hawthorne Cartopia pod, slinging trays of ridiculously decadent gravy and white cheddar curd-smothered Belgian-style fries. If you really want to show your arteries who's boss, get the mind-boggling pulled pork fries. Or start out easy with a cone of regular fries and a few of the many inventive dipping sauces, like curry ketchup and tarragon anchovy mayo.
This brilliant little open kitchen and wine bar inside the Hawthorne Pastaworks turns out consistently exquisite small plates and snacks like the soft scrambled eggs and morels over toast and nettle and sheeps' milk ricotta gnocchi. Even the deviled eggs are a revelation. Choose your wine from the wall chalkboard or go pick any bottle from Pastaworks' wine section for a paltry $5 corkage.
Can’t argue with a fistful of hot deep-fried handpie, which is why this venerable Hawthorne cart has maintained such a fiercely devoted following. Go knowing it’s entirely possible that you will eat three of the peanut butter chocolate chip fried pies in one sitting.
Occupying a sleek and sexy little space right off SE Hawthorne, this is a great date night destination for sushi savants willing to splurge a bit. If you're feeling adventurous, opt for the omakase.
Tried eating an entirely vegetarian meal at this meat mecca just for kicks, and discovered that I love the fried chickpea sandwich with tzatziki & pickled red onions & an escarole Caesar just as much as the smoked coppa Cubano & porky "Dirty Fries". Gasp!
Board this boggling bus o’ sweets to find a mobile litany of sugary pickmeups both contemporary and old-fashioned—they sprawl over every surface, hang from the windows, and totally take over the back of the bus, sort of like you in high school but without the angst, spitballs, pimples, and detention.
Nothing fancy or flashy about the Blue Pig, it just serves straightforward Greatest Breakfast Hits like biscuits 'n gravy and corned beef hash to a mellow neighborhood crowd, usually without the wild waits of nearby Jam. The new location on the corner of SE Hawthorne and 20th is a much bigger, airier space, with a smattering of sidewalk tables for summer brunching.
Try happy hour (daily 4-6pm and 9pm-close) at this high energy, high-spice Szechuan spot set inside Hawthorne Theater, you can make a very affordable meal of the dan dan noodles, sauteed baby bok choy, and seafood pancake. Glasses of house bubbly & 22oz Sapporos just $4!
A perfect example of why we need more holes in the walls, especially ones that serve fat golden Liege waffles smothered in whipped cream and berries, dipped in chocolate, or supporting a huge ice cream sundae. (There are savory options too, if you must.)
Whether you've got a weeknight takeout pizza need or its Saturday night and last call has come and gone and you're absolutely obsessed with getting some pie action, this cute wood cart at 12th & SE Hawthorne has your back, churning out fresh wood-fired margheritas and puttanescas in mere minutes thanks to the oven built right into their wagon. Try the housemade sarsaparilla!
Come Sunday morning, you will find me in the window bar of this charming magazine-filled coffeehouse, surrounded by the NYT (or, you know, Elle), a ham and butter sandwich, a slice of homemade caramel or pistachio cake, and a pot of tea. Heaven.
This Thai hidey-hole on Hawthorne is one of my favorite cold weather destinations, especially when I'm craving a quick soup fix--my go-to is the Kuay Tiew Tom Yum noodle soup with ground pork, shrimp, Thai herbs and a big crispy wonton.
This quaint café and tearoom tucked into an old bungalow just a few blocks from the Hawthorne District’s commercial core brews a long list of Townshend’s Teas and mixes inventive tea cocktails like the ginger chai-laced toddy, ideally paired with a house scone or rainbow cookie. With advance notice, they can even host a tea party for you and your Wonderland friends.
Set in one of Hawthorne's grandest Victorian manors, this Lebanese spot cooks delicious, authentic food served with always-gracious service. Love the makanik, samboussek, and grilled Halloum cheese. Pretty little patio and porch seating in summer, heated outdoor hookah tent in the winter, full bar all the time, and they also cater and host special events.
Can't go wrong with this hip diner-esque restaurant's happy hour, served daily 3-6pm--the burger is only $5, the tasty kale salad is but $4, and a gooey mac 'n cheese is $3. Plus, they've got $2 Rainiers and $5 Greyhounds. Score!