You've heard about what a great restaurant city Portland is, and you've heard right. The place is a gastronome's paradise. But you can't even everywhere, even in a week of trying. So here are ten places you absolutely can't miss.
Vitaly Paley, one of the godfathers of the Portland restaurant scene, continues to quick away, quietly and masterfully, in this understated but refined restaurant, a favorite for birthdays and anniversaries.
Abandon any notions about west coast pizza before entering this world-class pizzeria, which serves thin, classical NYC / New Haven style pizza of a quality even better than any but a handful of its models. Also abandon any notion of getting it fast.
Andy Ricker's tribute to the flavors of Thailand has utterly transcended its ethnic niche and even its city, making a national name for itself with its spicy but complex foods -- especially its legendary chicken wings.
Portland's finest pasta is probably served at this large, airy, and causal restaurant, which is powered by a hot oven and some serious sourcing. I love the big steak, and there are some great other dishes, but really, you need to have the pastas here, particularly the handmade ones.
Gabriel Rucker's meaty bistro may not produce the lightest food in the world but it's hard to think of anywhere that does this kind of rustic, robust food so artfully and seemingly effortlessly. The guy is just a superstar, and deserved his Beard award.
Adam and Jackie Sappington's brilliant restaurant looks like just another Americana / lardcore joint, but make no mistake: this is nose-to-tail cooking at its most sophisticated. That said, you can't, CAN'T, miss the fried chicken.
Naomi Pomeroy's intimate meatery is an original, a one-of-a-kind meattastic girl-powered rhapsody in meat. The Pride of Portland.
Everyone is crazy about this do-everything bistro, which somehow manages to serve fantastic seafood, the kind of hardcore meat dishes you would expect from the PDX, and a cocktail program that just won't quit.
If there is a more sure-handed grilling restaurant anywhere, with a more masterful hand at both meat and vegetables, I'm sure I don't know about it. Bring your appetite, and don't miss out on the lamb. Chef Greg Denton is a true master.
One of the country's foremost charcuterie producers, Olympic has the added benefit of an awesome lunch counter where you can stop in for a glass of beer, some sausage, and a "meattata."
Bunk poses a serious question: are these the country's greatest sandwiches? In their power, portliness, richness, diversity, and the genius with which various hot meats are paired with different fresh breads, I honestly can't say. This or that po-boy or cheesesteak may compete; but Bunk beats them all for sheer virtuosity.