Hello CH'ers! My family of 4 is headed to Portland in June for the first time for an extended weekend getaway to try as much amazing food as we can cram in. I've learned from past trips that we cannot eat 3 restaurant meals a day, so we'll eat light breakfasts at our AirBnB. Since we have only 6 meals at restaurants, I want to make sure they're awesome meals.
I am not looking for suggestions for chain restaurants or the typical kid-friendly fare. We are a very food-oriented family and pick our vacation spots based on food. By way of background, we live in the SF Bay Area so we often take our kids to casual ethnic restaurants (Afghan, Burmese, Korean, Salvadorean, etc.) and they regularly enjoy unique foods like lengua tacos, nigiri, and Indian chaat. We also take them to more upscale restaurants when we're on vacation since they're well behaved. Thus, my kids have eaten pasta with white truffle sauce (their favorite entree on our Montreal trip), escargot, foie gras, grilled octopus, raw oysters, and other unusual fare. So I feel like anything is fair game provided it's not too awkward to bring kids to that venue. No bar crawls, sadly, since the kids are with us, but if there's a pub/restaurant with a good IPA to go with the meal, I'd happily consider the excellent beer options to be a tie-breaker. We generally favor seafood, ethnic food, and unique ingredients (e.g., items we can't easily source or prepare as home chefs).
Budget is not an issue. While we don't plan to rent a car, we don't mind taking a taxi/Lyft across town either. Our AirBNB is near the Southeast neighborhood and within walking distance of a number of options on my list so far.
Our daughters will be 9 and 12 by the time of the trip. The 9 year old has peanut, sesame, and fish allergies. We usually avoid going to any restaurant that uses peanuts (e.g., Thai or Vietnamese) due to cross-contamination concerns. Plus, I've read a lot about Pok Pok and Nong’s Khao Man Gai, so I'm tempted to try one of them by ordering lunch to go and getting her something else. We have great Asian food here, so I'm a little worried the hype won't be worth the wait. We usually avoid Asian food when we travel since it's so good here.
We also enjoy "destination" adventures like snacking at the Ferry Building in SF with oysters and clam chowder (plus grilled cheese sandwiches for them) from Hog Island, bread from Acme, more cheese from Cowgirl Creamery, etc. We had a great time at Montreal's Jean-Talon Market when we visited last year and we loved our street food tour of Mazatlan last month (we all had menudo!). So I already have the Portland Farmer's Market on our schedule for Saturday but welcome additional ideas. Is there food there or should we go somewhere else for lunch? If we eat there, then it's one less restaurant meal!
Since we'll be bringing our kids, I would only indulge in high-end dining for one meal (and only at a place where it's not awkward to bring kids). So while Beast looks intriguing, I figured I'd leave it off the list. I currently have a dinner reservation at Le Pigeon as I worried it might be hard to get a reservation later.
In addition to Le Pigeon, I also have on my list Coquine, Olympia Provisions (we're suckers for charcuterie!), Toro Bravo, and finally, Tasty and Son's Sunday brunch.
Thanks for any tips or feedback!