If we could describe Portland‘s food and beverage scene in one word, without a doubt, it would be: diverse. Whether it’s your first time visiting Portland, or your tenth time flying into PDX, there’s always something new to try, and at least one thing that will draw your attention. No matter where your interests lie, rest assured you will find whatever it is you are looking for.
The list of places to eat in Portland are endless, and for that reason we are going to give you a few ideas for the next time you visit. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite places to check out based on your guilty pleasure: food, coffee, or beer. As long as you’re interested in one particular category (or three), we’re sure you’ll find at least one place that tickles your fancy. We know you’re gonna love them!
We’ll start off with the world’s highest ranking guilty pleasure. Finding new and exotic cuisines is our specialty, and man, we sure have found some new amazing favorites that you will love. These six restaurants come from a wide range of cultures, and are definitely worth a try. But be warned, once you get a taste, you will come back for more!
Thai Fried Chicken: Hat Yai
If you’re going to Portland and love fried chicken, Hat Yai is a must. We know what you’re thinking, but don’t get it twisted. This is not your average fried chicken. Hat Yai upholds a reputation as being one of the best fried chicken spots in the city. A half-chicken order pairs exquisitely with a side of curry and roti. The uniquely exquisite blend of flavors in your mouth is something you’ll yearn for in the future. Believe us when we say, you gotta try this!
Nordic Brunch: Border Cafe
Feeling adventurous? For a delicious take on a Nordic brunch, visit Portland’s own Broder Cafe. Located in the Hosford-Abernethy area, the cafe boasts an unrivaled breakfast menu, full of delicious items to eat and drink. One of the regulars favorites is called förlorade ägg, also known as lost eggs, consisting of two poached eggs atop a bed of ham and spinach, then served in a skillet with parmesan panko crust. You don’t want to miss out on this incredible spot.
Pro tip: The cafe also serves a signature dish called lefse, which is pretty much a Norwegian potato crepe. The contents of the crepe change daily, so be sure to ask what’s inside the lefse when you stop by!
Russian Zakuski: Kachka
The list of Portland’s best restaurants wouldn’t be complete without Kachka. The Russian restaurant provides an extremely unique dining experience, serving post-soviet era food with a modern flair. The menu includes Russian dumplings, various types of caviar, and a whole lot of lamb.
The restaurant is considered by many to be the best Russian restaurant in the country, and is the only Portland restaurant to be included in America’s Essential Restaurants of 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 by Eater. The best part is, you can ask your server for their vodka pairing recommendations to compliment each dish.
Pro tip: For a nice warm kick, check out the Kachka horseradish vodka. Made from locally sourced ingredients, you are sure to not find anything else like this out there.
Texas Barbecue: Matt’s BBQ
As Americans, we can all proudly say one of our biggest guilty pleasures is BBQ. What draws us to Matt’s BBQ is that it’s more than just a barbecue joint that serves meat by the pound, and classic sides such as coleslaw and macaroni. Matt’s BBQ is a stationary food truck offering some of the best smoked meats money can buy.
Whether it’s the brisket that melts in your mouth, burnt ends or jalapeno cheddar sausage, they will not fail to impress you. Unsure what you want? They give you the option to try their meat on tacos and specialty sandwiches too! Matt’s BBQ is definitely an easy favorite of ours when looking for places to eat around this Oregon city.
Pro tip: if you can’t decide on one dish, you can order the whole shebang. Yes, they literally have “The Whole Shebang” on the menu for only $22. Realistically, it’s a win-win for everyone.
Fresh Roman Dishes: Ava Gene’s
For fresh ingredients that satisfy all your taste buds, come to Ava Gene’s. The menu is inspired by Roman cuisine, but with its own Pacific Northwest twist. Simply put, it can be classified as non-traditional Italian food. The restaurant uses locally sourced ingredients and makes all the pasta in-house. The restaurant is also self-proclaimed “vegan friendly” offering many delicious items for the meatless. It’s safe to say a whole lot of care goes into the creation of each dish, and you can definitely taste the difference in quality.
Coffee is a classic guilty pleasure many of us indulge in to prepare us for the day ahead. Aside from Portland’s ever so popular Stumptown Coffee Roasters, there are dozens of other local cafes that can whip up a tasty cup of joe. If we listed all the most notable coffee shops in the area, coffee connoisseurs will end up wanting to have multiple espressos a day (although, coffee bar hopping would be a fun idea). To highlight just a few, these three coffee roasters have a delightful ambiance to spend an entire afternoon, as well as a killer coffee selection you’ll surely appreciate.
- Case Study Coffee Roasters built a name for itself in the mid-2000s as an espresso catering company, and has now expanded to four brick and mortar locations scattered around Portland. Each location’s interior rocks the same cohesive color scheme, all while having their own quirky light fixtures and modern decor.
- Coava Coffee Roasters prides themselves on being a premier coffee roaster that specializes in quality. In Portland, you’ll find three Coava stores, and one warehouse-sized roastery on SE Main Street. If you come by and really enjoy their beans, you can keep the love alive by subscribing to recurring Coava coffee shipments straight to your doorstep.
- Kiosko Coffee Co. is the newest establishment of the three, opening their first stall along the Waterfront in 2017, with the intention to add an interesting spin to Portland’s coffee scene. Some of their most popular drinks include a Mexican mocha, mango sticky rice latte, and they even give you the option to choose between a Cuban, Mexican, or Brazilian Cortadito.
People in Portland genuinely care about their beer; so much so that they even hosted an official Oregon Beer Awards earlier this year. To guarantee you’ll get to try all the best beer in the city, here’s a list of all the Portland bars and breweries that won a gold medal for their delicious ales, including the name of each award-winning beer and which category it won. Take a brewery tour around Portland and try all the gold medalists of this year’s Oregon Beer Awards. Cheers!
Our Top Beer: Apocalypse IPA
Address: 1411 NW Flanders St, Portland, OR 97209
With multiple locations, you’ll have to visit all three to find your favorite!
Our Top Beer: Stay West
NW Slabtown: 1570 NW 22nd Ave, Portland, OR 97210
NE Dekum Pub: 820 Northeast Dekum Street. Portland, OR 97211
The Breaksider: 3612 SE 82nd Ave, Portland, OR 97266
Our Top Beer: Carina Peach Sour Ale
Mothership Brewery: 825 North Cook St. Portland, OR 97227
Moon Room: 930 SE Oak St. Portland, OR 97214
Our Top Beer: Black Butte Porter
Address: 901 SW Simpson Ave, Bend, OR 97702
Our Top Beer: Workhorse IPA
Address: 5115 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland, OR 97213
Start Your Culinary Journey
Ready to feed into your guilty pleasures? So are we! These are our top places to eat and drink in the beautiful west coast city. So the next time you and the family are in the area, don’t order in. Go out and explore all the amazing Portland bars and restaurants that make this city so great. We’ll see you there!