Portland is broken up into five quadrants (yes, we know quad means four, we do things a little differently here) and each of them is chock full of delicious dining opportunities. Check out my picks for the best eats in each section of the city.
Even if you're a meat eater, try the vegetarian tasting menu from chef David Anderson. He works magic with pasta, risotto, mushrooms, and more.
Ultra-reliable cafe with amazing roast chicken and a solid burger. Nothing like its modernist big brother restaurant next door, this spot is classic cooking all the way. Try the Happy Hour menu.
Fantastic homestyle thai from a husband-and-wife team, but be prepared to wait. I love the mint and apples in the salad rolls, and the soups are among the best in town.
Apizza Scholl’s Caesar salad is a large plate of whole romaine heart leaves—so you can totally eat with your fingers—parmigiano reggiano, and house made croutons, all tossed in the house Caesar dressing that’s made daily.
PDX's first cinderella story. Former shack turns into a full-on national empire. The wings are an obvious must-order, and be sure to sample from the list of exotic drinking vinegars. Try the muu paa kham waan!
From the wood-fired pizzas and handmade pastas to the pitch-perfect cocktails, the menu is a veritable Greatest Hits playlist of my favorite Italian foods. Insalata Nostrana is my pick for the best salad in town. Tip: head to Nostrana for late-night happy hour and get $5 pizzas and $5 glasses of wine every night after nine pm.
Get the biscuits and gravy (with sweet potato biscuits and roasted pork) for a stick-to-your-ribs homemade meal that will get your weekend off to a great start. Another must-eat: the coffeecake, dipped into a fresh mug of java.
This upscale-industrial spot serves up a killer cheese plate, and its a go-to spot for business lunches. Try the farm-fresh salads or the tagliatelle with lamb ragù.
Gabe Rosen's popular izakaya just launched a new menu of traditional Japanese highball cocktails (dubbed chu-hai's) powered by fresh produce and house infusions. Try the genmai-hai with toasted rice and vanilla.
Delish Swedish food in an oh-so-cute setting. Stop in for Happy Hour or dinner to avoid the long brunch lines, and try the Surf & Turf Bord (salami, ham, gravlax, smoked trout, pickled herring, and a wedge of cheese).
This sexy neighborhood restaurant-meets-wine-bar offers up European class & unassuming high-style. Head in for a late-night weekend burger & vieux carre.
The mecca for local pastry lovers and true connoisseurs of French-style artisan bread. Try any fresh fruit danish, the chocolate croissants, or the open-faced cured salmon sandwich for brunch and get weak in the knees.
Best green papaya salad in town. Shredded papaya tossed with veggies, Thai chiles, and whole peanuts, then doused with a dressing with hints of tamarind and lime. Comes with a side of grilled shrimp and a heap of sticky rice for a satisfying meal.
This craft cocktail bar serves the most sophisticated drinking food in town. Try the black tea fried chicken or braised short rib, and try at least three cocktails.
My go-to "California-Style" burger, with rock posters on the wall, good tunes on the sound system, and booze in the milkshakes. Burgers are just $5 3-5:30 M-F.
No list of Portland’s best cheese plates would be complete without a mention of Steve Jones’ dairy dreamland on SE Belmont. If there’s a good cheese selection anywhere in the city, there’s a good chance Jones had his hands on the wedges before they arrived at the restaurant.
My favorite vegan restaurant in Portland, Portobello serves home style Italian fare that even a Tuscan grandmother could love. Great cocktails (and mocktails) too! Try brunch.
Sweet French eatery with a penchant for foie gras, pigs feet, and killer cocktails. Have barman Kyle Webster whip you up something original with your favorite spirit.
My go-to taco truck! Perfect for "mixed groups" because vegetarians and omnivores will be equally satisfied. Try the soyrizo burrito or lengua tacos (plus a Mexi-coke).
This GQ favorite deserves every bit of the national press it's received. Say hi to Evan behind the bar and let him make you the best cocktail in PDX. Great for date night.
Ramen hot spot with a feel-good vibe. The under-the-radar must-have? The seasonal veggie salad (Brussles in winter, broccoli in summer) is even better than the ramen!
Nick Zukin’s Mexico City-inspired eatery boasting homemade tortillas and a rotating selection of traditional stews and stir-fries, is refreshingly casual and bright—with prices that are bound to impress.
The show-stopper here is the Smoked Coppa Cubano, with ham, dijon, and pickles. Another must try: the Crater Lake Root Beer...on tap!
Kelly Myers and Elizabeth Davis' upscale casual Mexican eatery has handmade tortillas, refined entrees, summery cocktails, and a colorful, eco-friendly design. Try the lunch window!
Southeast Stark’s new watering hole is serving up fresh-squeezed juices, fruit and veggie packed smoothies, and hearty vegan fare in an uber-hip space w/ great design.
The goods: locally-made soft-serve ice cream, shuffleboard, free old-school video games (yes, unlimited Ms. Pac Man and Donkey Kong), frozen margaritas, and kid-friendly bar food that feels like a mash-up of gourmet regional cuisine and the deep-fried-everything booth at the state fair.
Genoa's little sister is a go-to spot for brunch with a great Bloody Mary and a seasonally-shifting menu of benedicts, pastries, frittatas, and comforting dishes like creamy polenta or shortrib hash.
This offshoot of SE Division’s Detour Café serves from-scratch pastries, sandwiches, soups, and focaccia pizza in a huge concrete-chic space that was once a Model T factory.
Southeast Hawthorne’s mid-century hideaway with light pouring in through the windows, midwestern sensibility, and a terrific under-the-radar brunch menu. Try the beignets, zucchini fries, and spicy fried green bean salad.
Rum Club is an industry favorite. Expect to see high-profile bartenders drinking Fernet and trading stories from the night's service. Try the Ellwood.