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Restaurants & Bars

Portland Area

[PDX] Portland Dining Guide & Tip Sheet v 2.0


Restaurants & Bars 39

[PDX] Portland Dining Guide & Tip Sheet v 2.0

extramsg | Aug 16, 2006 04:12 PM

Okay, I finally made a massive overhaul to the (can't stress this enough) NON-CHOWHOUND SANCTIONED Portland tip sheet. Hope it helps those in need, but otherwise, let the pummeling commence!


Last Updated August 14, 2006

This tip sheet is primarily intended for people who are new to Portland or just visiting and want a few quick recommendations. It may also be useful to people who are looking to explore a cuisine for the first time or who don't get beyond their own neighborhood often. It's not meant to be comprehensive. Nor is it intended to always give the best three in each category. Some restaurants may be both among the best American restaurants and the best breakfast restaurants, perhaps. However, they will only be listed in one category. Also, there is some attempt to add variety in each category, giving both upscale and downscale options, for example, or variety in location or style. However, each should be among the better, and possibly best, choices in Portland for that category.

You are encouraged to comment and make suggestions to improve this tip sheet.


| American | Bakeries | BBQ | Breakfast | Chinese & Korean |
| Chocolates | Desserts | French | Greek & Middle-Eastern |
| Hamburgers | Ice Cream | Indian | Italian | Latin-American |
| Mexican | Mexican-American | Northwest Cuisine | Pizza | Seafood |
| Special Occasion | Sushi/Japanese | Thai | Vietnamese |


| Asian | Farmer's | Gourmet/Organic | Meat | Wine |


* Sunday and Monday Options
* Neighborhood Quick Picks
* External Links, Discussion, and Guides
* Underrated or Under-Patronized Restaurants
* Overrated or Over-hyped Restaurants


1. Roux: Mid to upscale dining featuring the flavors of New Orleans. Prices can be spendy, but they earn it with dishes like their excellent cassoulet. Also has a deli "Bon Temps" next door. Dinner M-Su, Lunch M-Su (at deli only); 1700 N Killingsworth St, Portland, 503.285.1200;; online reservation via their flash-based website
2. Fife Restaurant: Elegant and interesting food for carnivores. Lightly southern-influenced dishes. Very open dining room and good bar in front of open kitchen. Dinner Tu-Sa; 4440 NE Fremont St, Portland, 971.222.3433;
2. Mother's Bistro & Bar: Midscale comfort food with a slight emphasis on Jewish traditions. Rotating specials menu highlights a different country of origin each month. Don't pass on the daily mac and cheese. Very good breakfasts with bagels flown in from NYC. Dinner Tu-Sa, Lunch Tu-F, Brunch Sa-Su; 409 S.W. Second Ave, Portland, 503.464.1122;; online reservations via

1. Pearl Bakery: One of the first and still one of the best artisan bakeries in town. Focuses on Italian loaves. Excellent olive ciabattas and fig-anise paninis. Limited, but good, lunch and pastry options. Lunch M-Su, Breakfast M-Su; 102 NW 9th Ave, Portland, 503.827.0910;
2. Ken's Artisan Bakery: Possibly the best breads in town. Used by many restaurants. The country brown has great depth of flavor. Emphasis on sourdoughs. Serves pizza Monday evenings and recently opened pizzeria on SE 28th. Dinner M, Lunch M-Su, Breakfast M-Su; 338 NW 21st Ave, Portland, 503.248.2202;
3. Di Prima Dolci: Italian bakery and pastry shop. Several substantial items like stromboli and sausage bread. Fabulously light pignoli and tasty cannoli filled to order. Pizzas on weekends. Lunch M-Su, Breakfast M-Su; 1936 N Killingsworth St, Portland, 503.283.5936

2. Campbell's: When good, brisket is tender and smoky with a nice bark. Same with pork ribs. Good sides and sweet potato pie. Can be quite inconsistent. If they give you a bad cut, complain. (Warning: recently changed owners.) Dinner Tu-Sa, Lunch Tu-Sa; 8701 SE Powell Blvd, Portland, 503.777.9795;
3. Cannon's Rib Express: Two words: "rib tips". While some of the tips will be chewy or fatty, often re-heated in the microwave, the huge bucket-o-tips is a fabulous deal and some of those tips will be fantastic. Also has vegetarian options for some reason. Outdoor seating only. Dinner M-Su, Lunch M-Su; 5410 NE 33rd, Portland, 503.288.3836

1. Simpatica: Catering outfit and charcuterie maker that has people lined up for their Sunday brunches. Fried chicken and waffles, biscuits and gravy, buffalo philly cheesesteak -- dishes that transcend their simple roots. Also have fixed price dinners Friday and Saturday, plus a selection of sandwiches for Sunday evenings. Brunch Su; 828 SE Ash, Portland, 503.235.1600;
2. Genie's Cafe: Southeast's nose-ringed and scruffy flock here for bounteous breakfasts and a full bar. Nearly all dishes come with their excellent roasted potatoes. Variety of eggs benedict are standouts. They even serve a good and relatively inexpensive burger and fries. Lunch M-Su, Breakfast M-Su; 1101 SE Division St, Portland, OR, 503.445.9777
3. Daily Cafe in the Pearl: Their second location with a larger menu, plus dinner. Well-executed gourmet breakfasts in a bright and casual cafe. The fixed-price brunch is a must, though a bit spendy. Dinner W-Su, Lunch M-F, Breakfast M-F, Brunch Sa-Su; 902 NW 13th Ave, Portland, 503.242.1916

1. Wong's King Seafood: Comparable to good Cantonese and dim sum offerings in San Francisco and Vancouver, BC. Favorites include Peking duck, crispy pork, salt and pepper squid, and house special won ton soup. Dim sum every day. Dinner M-Su, Lunch M-Su, Brunch M-Su; 8733 SE Division St, Portland, 503.788.8883
2. Bewon: Could be the restaurant in Portland most deserving of more business. Best choice here is the fixed-price 7-course dinner, han jung shik. From butternut squash soup as an opener, to your choice of entree with a myriad of perfectly-prepared panchan, to the finishing apple cider, it's a wonderful experience and a great value. Dinner M-Sa, Lunch M-Sa; 1203 N.W. 23rd Ave, Portland, 503.464.9222; online reservations via
3. Sungari Pearl: One of only a few Szechuan restaurants in Portland -- and possibly the only truly good one. Mid-scale (they have wine) with impeccable executions. Nice seafood dishes. Flavors are often balanced for the Western palate. Try the Dragon and Phoenix or wintermelon soup. Dinner M-Su, Lunch M-Sa; 1105 NW Lovejoy St, Portland, 971.222.7327

1. Sahagun: Artisan chocolatier in a tiny shop in NW Portland. Infused, ganache-filled truffles and chocolates are as good as any in the United States. Flavors are perfectly balanced. Many rotating seasonal items. Also makes a rich and foamy traditional chocolate drink. Open W-Sa; 10 NW 16th Avenue, Portland;
2. Alma Chocolates: Started at the Portland Farmers Market, they now have a chocolate shop in Laurelhurst. Chocolates in the shape of religious icons gilded in gold are their unique specialty, but truffles and bon bons are quite tasty. They also make a fabulous ginger-nut brittle coated with chocolate. Open Tu-Sa; 140 NE 28th Ave, Portland, 503.517.0262;
3. Moonstruck: Locally-owned national chocolates chain. Flavors are more balanced, designs more interesting, and prices better than its large scale competitors, such as Godiva and Teuscher. Open M-Su; 608 SW Alder St, Portland, 503.241.0955; 526 NW 23rd Ave, Portland, 503.542.3400; Village Shopping Center, 45 South State St, Lake Oswego, 503.697.7097; Beaverton Town Square, 11705 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy, Beaverton, 503.352.0835;

1. Pix Patisserie: Funky, fanciful French pastries. Chocolate rules along with fruity mousses. Do not overlook the interesting and well-made ice creams, such as the chocolate-habenero. The Amelie is one of their signature desserts. Occasional "dim sums" are a good way to introduce yourself to Pix. New location just opened in North Portland. Open late. Dinner M-Su, Lunch M-Su, Brunch Su; 3402 SE Division St, Portland, 503.232.4407; 3901 N Williams, Portland, 503.282.6539;
2. Baker & Spice: Greatly improved bakery from its beginnings as a farmers market fixture selling mostly cookies. Their modest selection of desserts are an excellent value for their quality. Many holiday and seasonal specials. They even make their own marshmallows for hot chocolate. Open Tu-Su; 6330 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland, 503.244.7573;
3. Papa Haydn: Decent NW cuisine restaurant with large dessert case filled mostly with cakes, tarts, and pies. Walk right up to the counter for to-go orders. Nice platings if you eat in. Standouts include the chocolate cube, St. Mortitz, and seasonal items. Wedding cakes made-to-order. Open late. Second smaller location in Westmoreland. Dinner M-Sa, Lunch M-Su, Brunch Sa-Su; 701 NW 23rd Avenue, Portland, 503.228.7317;

1. Fenouil: French classics with modern platings and high quality ingredients in one of Portland's most gorgeous spaces. Delicious, deeply flavored onion soup. Lovely foie gras terrine and duck confit. Get a sampling of the small desserts. Dinner M-Su, Lunch M-Sa, Brunch Su; 900 NW 11th Ave, Portland, 503.525.2225
2. Carafe: Top-notch bistro in a casual downtown location next to Keller Auditorium. Free valet parking, but packed when there's a show. The cold appetizers and braised rabbit stand out. Dinner M-Su, Lunch M-F; 200 SW Market St, Portland, 503.248.0004
3. St. Honore Boulangerie: One of Portland's several artisan bakeries. Croque monsieurs and a variety of sandwiches made with their baguettes for lunch. Nice pain au chocolat and beautiful pastries. Lunch M-Su, Breakfast M-Su; 2335 NW Thurman St, Portland, 503.445.4342

1. Karam: Not only the nicest owners in town, but some of the best food in any cuisine. Falafel are made fresh and fried-to-order. A must. Goat and eggplant dishes are exemplary. Get the whole wheat pita. Dinner M-Sa, Lunch M-Sa, Brunch Sa, Breakfast M-F; 316 SW Stark St, Portland, OR 97204, 503.223.0830;
2. Aladdin's Cafe: One of the best values in all of Portland. Freshly made pita is thick and bubbly, yet delicate. Do not miss the falafel, grape leaves, and safeeha. A small section of outdoor seating has just been completed. Dinner M-Sa, Lunch M-Sa; 6310 NE 33rd Ave, Portland, 503.546.7876
3. Eleni's Estiatorio: Original location for the best Greek food in Portland. Skip the pasta and try not to order too many dishes with tomato sauce. Fill up on appetizers, rather than entrees. Try the feta in filo, the calamari, grilled or fried, and meat-stuffed eggplant. Dinner Tu-Sa; 7712 SE 13th Ave., Portland, OR, 503.230.2165;

1. Cafe Castagna: Casual, bistro-style sister to more upscale French/NW restaurant. High quality meat on a soft house-made sesame seed bun. Order it medium-rare with choice of swiss or blue cheese (the cheddar is useless) and bacon. There are arguably better bistro burgers, but the excellent fries make it an overall winner. Dinner M-Su; 1758 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, 503.231.9959;
2. Helvetia Tavern: For those who live by the maxim that "bigger is better" this is your burger. A huge, sloppy mass of meat, cheese, dressing, and bun. Giant stack of thick, somewhat limp, fries. Make sure you Mapquest it, because it's on a road to nowhere. Dinner M-Su, Lunch M-Su; 10275 NW Helvetia Rd, Hillsboro, 503.647.5286
3. Mike's Drive-In: Local chain of classic, cheap drive-ins with thick shakes and a plethora of acceptable burgers. Order double-the-meat and top it with bacon, egg, and cheese. Thin and crispy fries. Look for seasonal shakes. Locations in Milwaukie, Oregon City, and Sellwood, the latter being more consistent. Don't stray too far from the basics. Dinner M-Su, Lunch M-Su; 1707 SE Tenino St, Portland, OR 97202, 503.236.4537; 3045 SE Harrison St, Milwaukie, OR, 503.654.0131; 10695 SE 42nd Ave, Portland, 503.786.0595; 905 7th St, Oregon City, OR, 503.656.5588

1. Via Delizia: The best among the several gelaterias in town. Creamier textures than most with a minimum of ice crystals and intense flavors. Skip the plated desserts, however, which are much better looking than they taste. Breakfast M-Su, Lunch M-Su, Dinner M-Su; 1105 NW Marshall St, Portland, 503.225.9300;
2. Dewey's Frozen Custard: Flavorful softserve, sundaes, and shakes where even a small (chihuahua) is large. Chocolate and vanilla are standard, but specialty flavors are common. Floats made with on-tap Thomas Kemper root beer. Serves hot dogs and sandwiches also. Lunch M-Su, Dinner M-Su; 51 S State Street, Lake Oswego, 503.697.3399
3. Boppin' Bo's: Classic malt shop and burger joint -- Portland's only laudable one. Uses Cascade Glacier hard ice cream, which is only decent, but they have a giant selection of sundaes, shakes, malts, floats, and so on. Desserts are served in traditional glassware and piled high with nuts, whipped cream, and cherries. Dinner M-Su, Lunch M-Su; 7809 NE Vancouver Plz Dr, Vancouver, 360.883.4900

1. Vindalho: Desi-chic by the chef-owner of Lauro. Western preparations and presentations, but eastern flavors are much fresher than most Indian restaurants in town. Do a very good job with breads. Samosas and pakoras stand out. Mussells are usually quite good. No reservations policy can create long lines. Dinner Tu-Sa; 2038 SE Clinton St, Portland, OR, 503.467.4550;
2. India Chaat House: All vegetarian food cart in downtown Portland run by very friendly Sikhs. $10 will stuff two people. They have a five course lunch special for $5. Try the samosa chaat or the channa bhature. Recently opened a location in Keizer. Dinner M-Sa, Lunch M-Sa, Breakfast M-Fr; 804 SW 12th Ave, Portland, OR, 503.241.7944
3. Mayuri: In a city of mediocre Indian buffets, this one is better than most. Good balance between quality of dishes and size of buffet. Flavors tend to be vibrant, though this is partially achieved through a heavy hand with salt and chiles. Paneer tikka masala disappears quickly with good reason. Dinner M-Su, Lunch M-Su; 16175 SW Walker Rd, Beaverton, OR, 503.533.9050

1. Alba Osteria: Piedmontese dishes that go far beyond typical pastas. Ask for center dining room. Far left room can be rather cold and bare. Get the carne cruda, agnolotti, and duck. Good wine list. Dinner Tu-Su, Lunch W-F; 6440 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland, 503.977.3045
2. Genoa: Portland's only true multi-course meal (7 courses for $75, 4 courses for $60). Relatively rustic food which leaves some underwhelmed compared with the style of restaurant. Service is very attentive and professional. The sitting room is more inviting than the dining room. Menu changes often. (Recently switched chefs.) Dinner M-Su; 2832 SE Belmont St, Portland, 503.238.1464;
3. Mama Mia Trattoria: Red sauce, East Coast, Sopranos-style Italian by the owner of Mother's Bistro. Huge, tasty portions in very nice downtown location. Fork-tender veal. Housemade mozzarella. Also has late-night menu. Dinner M-Su; 439 SW Second Ave, Portland, 503.295.6464;

1. Pambiche: Cramped and funky source for Cuban eats. Dishes such as stewed oxtails and black beans are tan rico. Comforting appetizers such as croquettes, empenadas, and fried plantains. Large case of flamboyant desserts utilizing tropical flavors. No reservations and often long waits. Open late. Dinner M-Su, Lunch M-Su; 2811 NE Glisan, Portland, 503.233.0511;
2. Andina: Upscale Peruvian restaurant with dishes frustratingly close to being truly good. Extensive "tapas" menu more consistent. Best ceviches in Portland. Try the stuffed yucca. Dinner M-Su, Lunch M-Sa; 1314 NW Glisan St, Portland, 503.228.9535;; online reservations via
3. Brazil Grill: Portland's first and only churrascaria, serving several cuts and types of meat sliced straight off the rotisserie and onto your plate. Juicy, tender, and flavorful. The rotisserie pineapple is fantastic. Also a salad bar with ten different offerings, plus feijoada. Fixed price, all-you-can-eat. Salad-only a cheaper option. Dinner M-Su, Lunch M-Su; 1201 S.W. 12th, Portland, 503.222.0002;

1. Tortilleria y Tienda de Leon: Deli in the back hides a treasure trove of Mexican stews. Can be fiery and intensely flavored, so ask for a taste. The pork with nopales (cactus paddle) is a favorite. Purchase by the pound or as part of a platter with fabulously delicioso frijoles. Excellent carnitas and tamales. Tortillas are made on-site. Purchase the magma-hot fluorescent green and orange salsas and take them home. Opening store in Spokane. Lunch M-Su, Breakfast M-Su; 16223 NE Glisan, Gresham, 503.255.4356
2. Autentica: The most solid and consistent of the several midscale regional Mexican restaurants in Portland. Best prices of the lot, too. Chef is from Guerrero and brings his home state tradition of serving pozole on Thursdays. Excellent octopus tostada. Lunch and brunch are rarely busy, yet even better deals than dinner. Dinner Tu-Su, Lunch Tu-F, Brunch Sa-Su; 5507 NE 30th Ave, Portland, 503.287.7555
3. Taqueria Ochoa: The premier taqueria in downtown Hillsboro, Washington county's Little Mexico. Huge photo menu on the wall. Try the gargatuan huaraches platter topped with birria, sided by stewed cactus and fresh guacamole. First-class salsa bar. Tamales in packs to-go and carnitas by the pound. Outdoor grill and al pastor spit on weekends. Look for specials on carboard signs at the register. 943 SE Oak St, Hillsboro, 503.640.4755

1. Esparza's Tex-Mex: Whimsical interior with marionettes, stuffed armadillo, and rattlesnakes hanging from the ceiling. Thick chips and spicy beans and salsa. Proper choices are important here. Lean smoked meats are too dry, but items such as the BBQ pork nachos are sublime. Mediocre margaritas despite large tequila selection. Very busy. 2725 SE Ankeny St, Portland, 503.234.7909
2. Catalina's: Ceviches, cocktails, fish tacos -- mariscos are the specialty here. Feel assured that even the oysters will be tasty. More typical oversized combo platters are decent as well. Two locations on opposite sides of Northeast Portland. Great value. Dinner M-Su, Lunch M-Su; 517 NE Killingsworth St, Portland, 97211, 503.288.5911; 10902 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland, 503.262.7272
3. Cha, Cha, Cha: Popular taqueria mini-chain specializing in brick-heavy, mission-style burritos in a less divey atmosphere. Fresh ingredients and traditional filling options put this above the national chains and many of the more "authentic" places. Tacos and tortas available as well. Dinner M-Su, Lunch M-Su; 1208 NW Glisan St, Portland, 97209, 503.221.2111; 2635 NE Broadway St, Portland, 503.288.1045; 1605 SE Bybee Blvd, Portland, 97202, 503.232.0437

1. Wildwood Restaurant & Bar: Established Grand Dame of Portland NW Cuisine. Nice use of seasonal and local ingredients with an ever-changing menu. Simple bar/lunch food, such as burger, pizza, and salads, are surprisingly good and interesting -- and much cheaper than other menu items. Desserts are seasonal and tasty. Great bar overlooking the open kitchen with friendly cooks. Booths provide some privacy. Dinner M-Su, Lunch M-Sa, Brunch Su; 1221 NW 21st Ave, Portland, 503.248.9663;; online reservations via
2. Park Kitchen: A lot of the flash and pretention is stripped from both the room and food. Dishes are simple, but interesting. Do not overlook the "cold plates". Try the chickpea fries and duck prosciutto salad. Small dining room that only recently expanded. Dinner Tu-Sa, Lunch Tu-F, Breakfast Tu-F, Brunch Sa-Su; 422 NW 8th Ave, Portland, 503.223.7275;
3. clarklewis: Noisy and semi-industrial interior, but excellent food. Dishes can be ordered in small, large, or family portions. Uses whole animals. Look for spit-roasted items and pork. Terrific pastas. Desserts can be inconsistent. Recent shakeup among owners and new investors, but same chef. Dinner M-Sa, Lunch M-Sa, Espresso Mornings M-Sa; 1001 SE Water Ave, Portland, 503.235.2294;; online reservations via

1. Apizza Scholls: New York style thin crust pizza is cooked until it crisps and begins to blister. Limited number of toppings creates a near-perfect balance of crust, cheese, and sauce. Try the margherita, fragrant with fresh basil, or the tartufo bianco, fragrant with truffle oil. Very busy and no reservations. Dinner W-Su; 4741 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, 503.233.1286;
2. Flying Pie: Thick, focaccia style crust piled high with toppings. A slice is a meal in itself. Choice of whole wheat dough at variable thicknesses available as well. Massive sandwiches are fabulous values. 7804 SE Stark St, Portland, 97215, 503.254.2016; 1600 NW Fairview Dr, Gresham, 97030, 503.328.0018; 3 Monroe Pkwy, Lake Oswego, 503. 675.7377;
3. New York NY: Half bar, half restaurant. Pat, da owner, looks and talks like he just stepped out of Goodfellas. Enormous, ultra-thin and crunchy slices. Probably the best slices in town, which usually run out during lunch. You can also order 26" pizzas. Very reasonable prices. Huge selection of sandwiches, plus other Italian dishes and desserts. Now has second, more sit-down, location. Dinner M-Su, Lunch M-Su; 7737 SW Barbur Blvd, Portland, 503.768.4408; 12725 SW Pacific Hwy, Tigard, 503.443.2404

1. Jake's Famous Crawfish: One of Portland's oldest restaurants -- a restaurant that spawned the McCormick & Schmick's chain. Dishes are only marginally better than the chain's, but the restaurant has more character. Huge selection of fish, but get something that's local and in season and you'll be happier. Dinner M-Su, Lunch M-F; 401 SW 12th Ave, Portland, 503.226.1419;
2. Southpark Seafood Grill & Wine Bar: Falls short in execution of being truly good. Nice uses of Mediterranean flavors and local ingredients. Pleasant high-ceiling interior and good location downtown. Dinner M-Su, Lunch M-Su; 901 SW Salmon St, Portland, 503.326.1300;; online reservations via and
3. Halibut's: A variety of fried fish and other seafood with good portions at fair prices. The quality of the seafood is excellent. The halibut is especially buttery. Good fries, too. The cocktail sauce has a strong kick from horseradish, so beware. Dinner M-Su, Lunch M-Su; 2525 Alberta, Portland, 503.808.9601

1. Carlyle: Everyday dining here is helping raise Portland's fine dining standards. But Carlyle also has two options perfect for special occasions: the barnwood table for parties of 12 to 18 is in the barn-sized kitchen while the "secret garden" allows for romantic seclusion next to their koi pond. Dinner M-Sa, Lunch M-Sa; 1632 NW Thurman St, Portland, OR, 503.595.1782
2. Paley's Place: Cozy and inviting room with professional service and perfectly executed dishes in an upscale neighborhood Victorian. Expect to see kobe beef, sweetbreads, and foie gras on the menu, along with many local ingredients. 1204 NW 21st Ave, Portland, OR, 503.243.2403
3. Hurley's: Portland's most luxurious menu. Very good service, creative and perfectly executed dishes. Taste at least one dish with truffles, caviar, or foie gras. Order a savory flan. Desserts do not live up to savory dishes. Dinner W-Su; 1987 N.W. Kearney St, Portland, 503.295.6487; reservations online via and;

1. Murata: Undeniably the best sushi in town. Eel, mackeral, and spicy tuna rolls are among their best. Salmon nigiri is amazing. Non-sushi dishes are hit and miss. Fixed price meals are a good value. Three small tatami rooms and a sushi bar manned by Murata-San himself further the very Japanese ambience. Free valet or validated parking. Dinner M-Sa, Lunch M-F; 200 SW Market St #105, Portland, 503.227.0080
2. Hakatamon: Ridiculously inexpensive sushi, especially as part of sampler platter, that is among the best in town. Most other menu items under $5. Try the house-made udon, tenpura, and terrific ahi poke. Located in Uwajamaya building. Dinner M-Su, Lunch M-Su; 10500 SW Beaverton Hillsdale, Beaverton, OR, 503.641.4613
3. Kyo-Fu: One word, but it's quite a mouthfull: okonomiyaki. Hard-to-find Japanese pancakes/fritattas stuffed with whatever you like. Try the pork and don't forget to coat the dish with the provided sauces. Most other items just okay, often over-seasoned. Great happy hour specials both early and late. No sushi. Dinner W-M; 4811 SE Powell Blvd, Portland, OR, 503.233.7616

1. Cha Ba Thai: Ostensibly a typical Thai restuarnt, a large list of monthly rotating specials separate Cha Ba from the herd. More interesting than their basic menu, although they do a good job with the standard stir fries and curries, too, especially the green curry. Whole fried fish can be delicious if fresh. Dinner M-Su, Lunch M-Sa; 5810 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland, 503.282.3970
2. Siam Society: Competes more directly with Typhoon than the typical curry and noodle shop, thus the slightly higher prices. But they earn it not only with more attractive presentations, but vibrant flavors and impeccable cooking. Several of the curry pastes are made from scratch. The mussaman is unique and wonderful, both tangy and peanutty. Try the catfish curry. The cardamon ice cream is fantastic. Look for specials and ask for the condiment tray if you like your food spicy. Dinner Tu-Su; 2703 NE Alberta St, Portland, 503.914.5197
3. Pok Pok: One of the shortest and simplest Thai menus in town, yet one of the most exciting. Their specialty is marinated, rotisserie chicken with charred skin. Delectable. An excellent khao soi. The khao man som tam is a tasty green papaya salad with a side of coconut infused rice and sweet, tender braised pork. Just take-out for now, the house next door to this hut promises to challenge for best Thai restaurant in Portland when it opens in September. Dinner M-Sa, Lunch M-Sa; 3226 SE Division, Portland, 503.232.1387

1. Pho Van Bistro/Silk: Midscale Vietnamese restaurant in the heart of Portland's most trendy neighborhood. Refined preparations with comparatively muted, but well-balanced flavors. Try the banana blossom salad. Decent desserts. Recently added a bar and menu is undergoing a modest overhaul. Three other locations with slightly less upscale menus are also excellent. Dinner M-Su, Lunch M-Su, Breakfast M-Su; 1012 NW Glisan St, Portland, 503.248.2172
2. Banh Cuon Tan Dinh:First restaurant opened in the fantastic Fubonn Shopping Center. Specializes in all things wrapped. Includes basics such as pho on its lengthy menu as well. Order the less typical: banh koht, banh cuon, banh hoi. Most dishes come with a fresh pile of herbs, greens, pickled veggies, and rice paper for wrapping and sauce for dipping. It's easy to get stuffed here on healthy, tasty eats for under $20 for two people. Dinner W-M, Lunch W-M, Breakfast W-M; 2850 SE 82nd Ave, Suite 11, Portland, 503.445.6807
3. Bun Bo Hue: Tiny gem specializing in their namesake, the spicy meat and vermicelli soup of central Vietnam. More complex version than any other spot in town with a very nice side of herbs and vegetables. Other dishes on the small menu are good as well. Dinner M-Su, Lunch M-Su; 7002 SE 82nd Ave, Portland, 503.771.1141


1. Uwajimaya: Mega-mart with Japanese emphasis. High-quality selection of fish, including live lobster, crab, tilapia, oysters, geoduck, clams, mussells, and crayfish. Great produce and meat selections as well, plus aisle after aisle of noodles, sauces, snacks, frozen goods, and so on. Portland's largest Asian market. Open M-Su; 10500 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy, Beaverton, 503.643.4512;
3. Fubonn: The eastside's Uwajimaya-lite with more of a Chinese-Vietnamese emphasis. Great prices, large selection. Growing selection of fish, including live seafood. Nose to tail meats. Lots of little connected Asian shops and three good restaurants. Banh mi and Vietnamese deli inside actual grocery store. Open M-Su; 2850 SE 82nd Ave, Portland, OR, 503.517.8885
3. An Dong: All-purpose Asian market with impeccable meats and offal. Fish and produce are varied and fresh. Shelves stock variety of goods: shark fin soup in a can, preserved ginger, pickled mango, dried squid, unrefined fish sauce, monstrous bags of MSG, etc. Excellent prices on Thai-style granite mortars. 5441 SE Powell Blvd, Portland, 503.777.2463

1. Portland Farmer's Market: Largest and busiest farmer's market in the region. Perhaps one of the best in the country. Emphasis on actual producers. Very few non-food merchants. All varieties of produce with mid- and late-summer berries and stone fruit especially popular. Great wild mushrooms in spring and fall. Amazing selection of apples, pears, and squash in fall. Several artisan cheese and bread makers. Fresh seafood, lamb, pork, and beef all year. Kid's activities and chefs demos. Also provides smaller weekday markets on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Beware of dogs and double-wide strollers. Open Sa 8:30am-2pm April-December; Park Blocks at Portland State University between SW Montgomery and SW Harrison, Portland, 503.241.0032;
2. People's Farmer's Market: Tiny weekday market with unique products and neo-hippy clientelle. Never overly crowded. Farmers are eager to discuss their goods. Rarities like stinging nettles in spring along with fiddlehead ferns and wild mushrooms. Great selection of tomatoes in late summer, especially cherry and heirloom varieties. Artisan bread, cheese, and chocolates. Open W 2-7pm All Year; 3029 SE 21st Ave, Portland, 503.232.9051;
3. Beaverton Farmer's Market: As expansive as the suburbs it inhabits. Competes with Portland Farmer's Market in size, but not in diversity or quality of products. Still, quite good, sharing many vendors with the other markets in town, but also a few unique ones. Strong emphasis on plant starts early in season. Asian merchants often have interesting greens and produce, along with gorgeous flowers. Smaller Wednesday afternoon market as well. Open Sa 8:00am-1:30pm May-Nov; SW Hall Boulevard, between Third and Fifth Streets, just south of Farmington Road;

1. New Seasons: In a town with many gourmet supermarket chains -- Whole Foods, Wild Oats, Zupan's, Market of Choice, Lamb's Thriftway -- New Seasons is the best. Knowledgable and helpful staff. Produce is adeptly selected and often outshines farmer's market offerings. Quality organic meats and excellent bulk foods. Open M-Su; 5320 NE 33rd Ave, Portland, 503.288.3838; 1214 SE Tacoma St, Portland, 503.230.4949; 1954 SE Division St, Portland, 503.445.2888; 7300 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy, Portland, 503.292.6838; 1453 NE 61st Ave, Hillsboro, 503.648.6968; 6400 N Interstate Ave, Portland (Opens in August '05);
2. City Market NW: A co-op with three great stores in one: Pastaworks, Viande Meats, Newman's Fish Market. Pastaworks supplies the bulk of the merchanise, including fabulous produce, cheeses, salumi, expensive balsamics, wine, and, of course, freshly made pasta. Viande sells quality raw meats and fowl, pates, sausages, and cooked or smoked meats. Newman's provides fish and seafood, including smoked salmon, raw and cooked crab, and live oysters. Each is tops in the city for their products. Parking in rear for customers only. Pastaworks has larger location on Hawthorne. Open M-Su; 735 NW 21st Ave, Portland, 503.221.3007
3. Whole Foods: Yes, a national chain. Free parking with purchase alone makes them worth a visit if you need to go to the nearby Powell's. But they're also one of the best sources for produce, cheese, meats, and fish in PDX, and easily the best in the grocery wasteland of Downtown/Pearl. They're the only source for 4+ year aged gouda. Nice prepared food options for cheap lunch or gourmet food to-go. Best value for cooking classes in the city. Open M-Su; 1210 NW Couch St, Portland, 503.525.4343;

1. Gartner's: Classic butcher where the people behind the counter know their meat and will cut it to your liking. Marinated meats, over 50 house-made sausages, smoked turkey, thick and tender jerky, and sliced meats. They also smoke their own hams and bacons and process game meats. Open Tu-Su; 7450 N.E. Killingsworth, Portland, 503.252.7801;
2. Phil's: Small boutique butcher in upscale part of town. Carries aged prime and Kobe beef, Carlton Farms pork, salmon, and even quality wines and champagne. Grills up tasty bites for lunch out front. Open Tu-Sa; 17 NW 23rd Pl, Portland, 503.224.9541
3. Nicky USA: A wholesale distributor of game meats, primarily, that also sells to the general public. Mammoth product list that includes American Kobe beef, wild Scottish game, elk, wild boar, and foie gras. No retail store. Order by phone using online product list and pickup in their Southeast location. Be warned: purchase minimums both in total cost and number of pieces/pounds. Open M-F; 223 SE 3rd Avenue, Portland, 800.469.4162;

1. Liner & Elsen: Varied inventory both in price and origin. Modest selection balanced by interesting wines. Tastings every first and third Friday with changing themes, plus most Saturdays. Also special events. Knowledgeable staff. Nice website with calendar, search, and pricing. Open M-Sa; 202 NW 21st Ave, Portland, OR, 503.241.9463;
2. E & R Wines: One of the largest selections of wine in town, well-organized and easy to browse. Provides a list of seasonally appropriate wines and discounts of 20% on a purchase of 12 bottles. Ed and Richard (the "E & R") are more helpful than the help. Lengthy and useful newsletter. Many tastings and events. Open Tu-Sa; 6141 SW Macadam Ave #104, Portland, OR, 503.246.6101
3. Mt. Tabor Wines: Small shop dedicated to high quality wines. Not just for the wealthy, they offer a "bang for the buck" list monthly in both their newsletter and website. Premium bottles are kept in their temperature controlled walk-in cellar. Tastings every Friday night and have recently started serving cured meats from the famed Salumi in Seattle. Open Tu-Sa; 4316 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR, 503.235.4444;

Future categories: Cheap eats, happy hour, Hawaiian, kid-friendly, late night, Mexican markets, steak, vegetarian, European markets. Feel free to suggest others.



B = Burbs
D = Downtown
N = North Portland
NE = Northeast Portland
NW = Northwest Portland
P = Pearl District
SE = Southeast Portland
SW = Southwest Portland

* Andina (P)
* Basta's Trattoria (NW)
* Cafe Castagna (SE)
* Caffe Mingo (NW, B)
* Ciao Vito (NE)
* Gino's (SW)
* Heathman (D)
* Higgins (D)
* Il Piatto (SE)
* Jake's Famous Crawfish (D)
* Nostrana (SE)
* Oba (NW)
* Olea (P)
* Paley's (NW)
* Pambiche (NE)
* Pazzo Ristorante (D)
* Pho Van (SE, B)
* Porto Terra (D)
* Red Star Tavern (D)
* Rivers (SW)
* Roots (B)
* Roux (N)
* Serrato (NW)
* Southpark (D)
* Sungari Pearl (P)
* Tabla (NE)
* Taqueria Nueve (NE)
* Tuscany Grill (NW)
* Typhoon! (D, NW, B)
* Veritible Quandary (D)
* Wildwood (NW)

* Alba Osteria (SW)
* Bar Pastiche (SE)
* Lovely Hula Hands (N)

* Acadia (NE)
* Assaggio (SW)
* Bluehour (P)
* Caffe Allora (NW)
* Carafe (D)
* Carlyle (NW)
* clarklewis (SE)
* Fenouil (NW)
* Karam (D)
* Lucy's Table (NW)
* Navarre (NE)
* Noble Rot (SE)
* Papa Haydn (NW, SW)
* Pho Van Bistro (P)
* Siam Society (NE)

Listed more or less in descending order by price. There has been some effort to give diversity to the recommendations, both in price and cuisine. All recommendations provide a full savory meal.

* Pazzo
* Saucebox
* Carafe
* Karam
* Hot Lips
* India Chaat House

* Andina
* Fenouil
* Park Kitchen
* Hot Lips
* Whole Foods
* Cha, Cha, Cha

* Carlyle
* Wildwood
* Basta's
* Mio Sushi
* Justa Pasta
* Tribute's

* Roux
* Lompoc
* Fire on the Mountain
* Di Prima Dolci
* Pizza A-Go-Go
* Tres Hermanos Taco Truck

* Fife
* Autentica
* Lagniappe
* Thai Noon
* Aladdin's Cafe
* La Bonita

* Tabla
* Taqueria Nueve
* Pambiche
* Michael's
* Fleur de Lis
* Pho Oregon

* Castagna/Cafe Castagna
* Nostrana
* Apizza Scholls
* Taste of Europe
* Zach's Shack

* Lauro
* Nuestra Cocina
* Vindalho
* Genie's
* Pok Pok
* Pho Hung

* Caprial's
* Papa Haydn
* Gino's
* Cha, Cha, Cha
* New Seasons
* Taste of Asia

* Malay Satay Hut
* Wong's King
* Ya Hala
* Flying Pie
* Banh Cuon Tan Dinh
* Morelia Taco Truck

* Gray's at the Park
* Roots
* Hudson's Bar & Grill
* Thai Little Home
* Taqueria Colima
* Galilee Cafe

* Caffe Mingo
* Syun
* Hakatamon
* Swagath
* New York, NY
* Ochoa


A week's worth of ideas for Portland (Chowhound)
Best Food Items (PortlandFood)
Downtown Portland Restaurant (Craigslist)
Downtown or public-transit available (Chowhound)
Looking to take a MAX food tour of Portland (Chowhound)
Must eats in Portland? (Craigslist)
One Night in Portland--Only the Best (Chowhound)
Oregon Recommendations Needed (eGullet)
Portland Dining Suggestions? Running out of ideas (eGullet)
Portland Peeps -- I need some ideas (Craigslist)
Portland recs? here for the weekend (eGullet)
Portland Tip Sheet (PortlandFood)
Visiting Portland, Where to eat!! (eGullet)
We're moving to Portland, OR (Craigslist)
Worst Restaurants in PDX (PortlandFood)

Fodor's Portland Dining Guide
Frommer's Best Dining Bets
Gourmet 2005 Restaurant Guide
Oregonian 2006 Top 100
Portland Menu Guide 2006
Portland Mercury 2005 Food Issue
Portland Mercury Restaurant Search
Portland Monthly Where-to-Eat
Portland Tribune 2006 Entree
Willamette Week Food Finder
Willamette Week 2006 Cheap Eats

* Aladdin's Cafe
* Baker & Spice
* Banh Cuon Tan Dinh
* Basta's Trattoria
* Bewon
* Brazil Butikim (Currently Moving)
* Bun Bo Hue
* Cafe Galilee
* Delphina's
* Jerusalem Cafe
* Karam
* La Bonita Taqueria
* Le Bouchon
* Pho Dalat
* Sahagun Chocolates
* Siam Society

* Adobe Rose
* Big Daddy's BBQ
* Cafe Du Berry
* Cup and Saucer
* Hoda's
* Legin
* Meriwhether's
* Mint
* Old Wive's Tale
* Sweet Basil
* Tad's
* Three Square Grill

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