Portland's Top 10 Restaurants of 2009

It's been a good year for Portland foodies, with plentiful new restaurants joining our old favorites in town. Whether you're into highbrow dishes, upscale casual wine country cuisine or sandwich-shack fare, there's something waiting for you. Here's our picks for the top Portland restaurants for 2009.

Updated: December 09, 2009

The Top 10


Ned Ludd

3925 Ne Martin Luther King Blvd, Portland, OR 97212

There are few spots better for casual eating than this woodsy tavern, Euro-American tavern. A menu filled with wood-fired oven dishes like meat pie and lemony ruby trout have created a buzz for this unexpected gem.


Laurelhurst Market

3155 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214

The city got its own butcher shop-restaurant hybrid when this classy, casual steakhouse opened in a renovated mini-mart. Everyone from Eastside hipsters to suits and skirts head here for modern steakhouse cuisine like steak frites and salt cod fritters as well as cocktails that put the bartender's bitters, tonics and infusions to good use.


Bunk Sandwiches

621 SE Morrison St, Portland, OR 97214

Lunch goers line up outside this tiny, smoke-filled sandwich shop to snag daily specials like a Pork Belly Cubano and tongue on rye. Less daring diners have options too like the meatball parmigiano or a roast beef elevated with crispy onions and horseradish.


Firehouse Restaurant

711 Ne Dekum St, Portland, OR 97211

Pizza lovers and Northeast neighbors crowd into this rustic restaurant on the ground floor of the historic Dekum Firehouse. Neapolitan-style pizzas are top menu contenders but don't skip other standouts like the wood-fired mussels, bruschetta or a house-made gnocchi served with chanterelles, sage and pecorino cheese.


Park Kitchen

422 NW Eighth Ave, Portland, OR 97209

There's nothing particularly buzz-worthy about this pick but no one can overlook the precise, seasonally driven cooking coming out of this Park Block restaurant's kitchen. Silken soups, inventive small plates and impressive cocktails amass to one memorable evening after the next. Don't miss: the deep fried green beans and bacon. It's an indulgence worth making room for.


Nostrana

1401 Se Morrison St, Portland, OR 97214

Chef Cathy Whims swung back onto everyone's radar this year with a well-deserved James Beard award nomination. Small plates such as the classic Insalata Nostrana or a beet ravioli with sage butter are equally impressive as mains like a pork saltimbocca. If you're hungry enough, consider ordering a wood-fired pizzato share.


Paley's Place

1204 NW 21st Ave, Portland, OR 97209

This old-guard Northwest restaurant has been on our dining out radar for years. Here's what we love about it today: The fine dining farm-to-table menu now includes half-portion sizes of entrees like a Dungeness crab and corn risotto or an heirloom bean and vegetable cassoulet so budget conscious diners can experience the finer side of dining out, too.


Thistle

228 NE Evans St, McMinnville, OR 97128

Portlanders make the trek to this unpretentious wine country restaurant for inventive farm-to-fork cuisine and an upscale casual ambience in the heart of historic downtown McMinnville. The modern American menu changes daily but might include dishes like a duck liver parfait with lillet gelee and pickled cherries or an entree of bacon-wrapped lamb loin.


Ping

102 NW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97209

Pok Pok's chef-owner Andy Ricker has created a dining destination in Chinatown with this design-driven, izakaya-style watering hole. Pearl District residents fill the seats and barstools nightly to sip a mix of Asian drinks and nosh on plates of bacon-wrapped quail-egg skewers, steamed pork buns and restorative noodle bowls.


Genoa Restaurant

2832 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR 97214

The verdict on this just re-opened restaurant's still out but with a fresh face in the kitchen and a less formal eatery now hitched to its side, this Italian restaurant will likely attract a new and curious crowd.