Portland Food: Where You Should Eat When You Visit Portland, Oregon
I don’t consider myself to be a crazy Portland food expert but I have a decent palate and knack for finding out where to find good food when I travel. I have spent considerable time in Portland lately and have good friends who live here who have great palates that I trust. While this is not a be all end all list of eating in Portland…I still have a lot of eating to do….here are some of my Portland food favourites so far.
**This list will get updated anytime I eat anything new and noteworthy! I know that I’m missing Portland food trucks, but I haven’t been in a food truck mode lately.**
Table of Contents
Where To Eat In Portland
**Breakfast and brunch are a serious situation in Portland so I skipped a handful of the popular spots because I just can’t do long line-ups in the morning.**
Mothers Bistro is super popular and busy all the time. There could be a considerable wait during peak times. It’s downtown and well-known for their breakfast. I was recommended Mothers by a friend and I’m glad I came. At 8 am, there was already a wait for a table!
If you like Eggs Benedict, theirs is the best in the city!
Eggs Benny at Mothers
My friend was living a block away from Trinket and recommended that I come for breakfast while she was at work. I stumbled over one morning and I’m glad I did. The breakfast al pastor tacos are so good. I think they are open for dinner now too but at the time, they focused on breakfast, brunch, and lunch.
Al pastor breakfast taco at Trinket
Lunch (also open for dinner)
Mee Sen Thai Eatery
If you’re in the Northeast and craving Thai, Mee Sen is pretty good. It’s on Mississippi Ave and has nice lunch specials. I came here with my local chum George.
Mee Sen Thai lunch
I am a huge fan of Luce. In 2014, I randomly parked in front of Luce when I was meeting a friend at a coffee shop. I decided to go in for a quick lunch and ended up loving my meal. Since that initial visit, I’ve come back and I’m still a huge fan. The tagliatelle is delicious as is the octopus salad and the little antipasti items.
Tagliatelle with beef and pork ragu at Luce
Octopus salad at Luce
Nong’s Khao Man Gai
I’ve not been to the Nong’s popular Portland food truck but their stand-alone restaurant on SE Ankeny. I love Asian food, chicken, and rice….so yeah. Great budget eats!! Nhong’s was where I ate the most during my 3-month stay in Portland.
Chicken and rice at Nong’s Khao Man Gai
If you like sandwiches, Lardo is great. Lots of different choices and locations around the city. Seen below is their version of a banh mi. Lardo always gets included on top lists for best sandwiches in America.
Fries at Lardo
Everyone who visits Portland goes to Pok Pok. Super popular and super busy Thai spot by Chef Andy Ricker. It’s good but the lines are hella long at their Division location. I went to the one in the Northeast. We went a bit on the early side and there wasn’t a wait. Get the wings of course!
Pok Pok Portland!
I love mango sticky rice!
If you’re looking for some healthy eats try Harlow in the southeast. They have a lot of gluten-free, organic vegetarian food and drink options.
Rice bowl at Harlow
I’m pretty picky about my tacos having lived in SoCal for many years. Portland has a few good Mexican spots and I’m a fan of Tacos Nueve. It’s more of a sit down than a casual taqueria. Food is tasty!
Dudesssss!!!! Order the tres leches at Taqueria Nueve
Everyone makes a fuss about Pok Pok…and while it is delicious, there are other Thai choices in Portland. I had an incredible meal at Pa Dee and would definitely recommend it. Wait times are way more chill and food reminds me of the meals I had in Thailand.
This tempura salad was fire!!!
Everything was incredible
Ha VL and Rose VL Deli
If you’re looking for Vietnamese food in Portland, be sure to check out either Ha VL and/or Rose VL Deli. Both restaurants are owned by the same family, but both have different open times. They offer 2 soups a day, banh mi sandwiches, fruit smoothie boba, and Vietnamese coffees.
Ha VL is opened 8-4pm and closed on Tuesdays.
Rose VL Deli is opened 4-9pm Monday through Saturday, closed Sundays.
Turmeric soup broth with chicken and shrimp (Saturdays at Rose VL Deli or Sundays at Ha VL)
Chicken curry soup at Rose VL Deli on Saturdays
Banh mi at Rose VL Deli
Pho Bac at Ha VL
B & T Oyster Bar
If you’re looking for some seafood, Block and Tackle are great. We came here as a group, ordered their oysters and a few things to share.
Tasty & Sons
Tasty & Sons is awesome. I came here with a friend after he moved to Portland in 2014. It’s not far from his place so we grabbed dinner at the bar. No crazy waits, unlike brunch. The food quality is awesome and we both had an appetizer to share, entrees, a little dessert and a beer. We both spent no more than $30 with tip. That’s unheard of in Los Angeles for the quality of food!!!
I still need to check out Tasty and Alder but each time I went the wait was sooooo long.
Clyde Common is a modern tavern downtown with communal tables and is known for the local food and handcrafted cocktails. My travel writer friend Jenny sent me to see her friend who works here but he wasn’t in. I still enjoyed happy hour at the bar. I had one of their tasty burgers and a gin cocktail, all under $20 for dinner.
A happy hour burger at Clyde Common
Portland Farmers Market
On Saturday mornings from 9-2pm is the PDX Farmers Market. Come here for fresh produce as well as prepared foods and other items. We grabbed breakfast items and walked around. They have great stalls like Olympic Provisions and a local all natural kimchi company. Huge fan. Parking around here is difficult, but if you are already downtown, take a taxi!
Fruit on fruit on fruit at the Portland Farmers Market
Breakfast crepes at Portland Farmers Market
Portland Juice Co
Are you from California and need your cold-pressed juice? Hahaha. I am! There’s not a lot of juice in Portland yet but Portland Juice Co is great.
Portland Juice Company
Blue Star Donuts
I’ve been to Voodoo Donuts well before the lines started happening. Honestly, I’m not really sure what the fuss is about. If you have a sweet tooth and like donuts, Blue Star is way better. I’ll be straight. Don’t even waste your time with Voodoo. Sorry, not sorry.
Blueberry bourbon basil, real maple & bacon, dulce de leche and hazelnut. Just yes!
This was a Snapchat of a Cointreau creme brulee donut. Donuts FTW!
Salt and Straw Ice Cream
The ice cream is divine at Salt and Straw, but the lines are long. If you can decide on 1 flavour, you can go inside and skip the line if you buy a tub. I went to the location in the Northeast and the line was not as crazy as the one on Division Street.
Get one of the special monthly flavours and one of their regulars. So good. And if you want a smaller portion, you can order a kid-size cone!
Other Portland food recommendations
I don’t have photos of these places or these are restaurants and bars my local friends highly recommend.
Le Pigeon – spendy eats
Side Door – southern breakfast
Angelface – great bar
Navarre – farm to table Euro
Bar Avignon – new American bistro
Grüner – Scandi food downtown
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Share your Portland food faves in the comments so I can check them out next time!!
*Disclaimer: Special thanks to Mothers Bistro for the breakfast invitation. As always, all opinions are my own.**
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