Oregon is home to a lot of restaurants, bars, wineries, and breweries, but there are tons of hidden gems that the majority of Portlanders just aren't unearthing. To help guide us to these potential discoveries, we've enlisted some of our city's many food luminaries to share their under-the-radar recommendations for a weekly feature dubbed Dining Confidential.
Karen Foley is the publisher of Imbibe, a Portland-based national magazine and recipe-centric website devoted to liquid culture, covering everything from coffee to cocktails. Since launching Imbibe in 2006, Karen has constantly been on the lookout for stories about the people, places, and flavors behind the glass. She also happens to always have an eye out for a good burger, and one of her favorite go-to spots is NE Portland's delightful dive Club 21.
This is a dive(ish) bar that happens to have a damn good burger. The menu is build-it-yourself, and there are plenty of options. The meat is free-range Oregon beef, cooked just right, and the burger bun is perfectly soft (and they have other bread options if you're so inclined). There are plenty of good burgers to be had in Portland, but if you want one in a place with no attitude, no scene and usually no wait—plus, pinball, patio seating and well-priced beers—Club 21 is tough to beat.
Image of Club 21 courtesy Facebook