As is the tradition at Eater, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types, and bloggers. This year, we asked the group seven questions running the gamut from best dining neighborhood of the year to top restaurant newcomers, and we'll be rolling out their expert opinions all week long. Responses are cut, pasted, and (mostly) unedited herein. Readers, please share your survey answers in the comments.
Gary Okazaki, professional glutton (aka Gary the Foodie)
The heart of Downtown PDX has been reinvigorated. My favorite pizza is currently served at The Crown. Matt Jarrell is doing a solid job at Imperial. Roe has reopened in a spiffier space and remains one of my PDX favorites. Spatzle and Speck’s Karl Holl is at Bardot Wine Bar doing really nice work on the food side. Greg Gourdet’s food at Departure is the best its ever been, especially the desserts. Vitaly Paley’s Russian tea service is fun, and it appears DaNet is returning on a monthly basis at The Heathman. One of my favorite chef's counters in PDX is at Q Restaurant. A hearty breakfast/lunch can be had at the new Kingsland Kitchen brick-and-mortar. Moreover, Higgins is a PDX institution, and Little Bird is one of the best places in PDX for lunch.
Andrea Damewood, restaurant critic, Portland Mercury
Gotta hand it to the area around 28th and Burnside! With Guero coming in, Ahn Luu taking the helm at Tapalaya, Pollo Norte relocating, and Fifty Licks opening, there's been a lot of action 'round those parts. And don't forget the Monday/Tuesday Northern Thai Issan nights at PaaDee (or to keep trying to get a reservation at LangBaan!).
Michael Russell, The Oregonian’s food reporter and critic
LeBron James can’t win the MVP every year, and calling Southeast Division Street Portland’s best dining neighborhood is boring (caveat: OP Wurst is fun, and Doug Adams has been a great fit for The Woodsman Tavern). Instead, let’s go with 28th Avenue, home to the new Güero, the old Navarre, Russell standby Stammtisch, Angel Face, PaaDee and Langbaan, Crema Café (with its solid quiche), Ken’s Artisan Pizza, and Bamboo Sushi and just a short walk from Davenport, Tusk and The Oregonian’s 2017 Restaurant of the Year, Han Oak.
Erin DeJesus, deputy editor of Eater.com
I've likely said the same thing for three+ years, but Inner Southeast was still the neighborhood I spend the most time eating this year... that, and oddly, the area around the Keller (thanks to Murata and Duck House).
Mike Thelin, co-founder of Feast Portland
The triangle that forms with East 28th Avenue and Burnside between 12th and 28th, and Sandy BLVD is one of the best dining districts in the entire country and is only going to get better.
Michael Zusman, cookbook author, restaurant critic (and judge)
I’ve been seriously smitten with the development on NE Killingsworth, including Podnah’s Pit, Tiffin Asha, Hat Yai, and all the others in the cluster around 18th Avenue. I’m waiting for more.