Another wave of restaurant openings crashed over Portland this summer, and now the water has settled. After burnout from too much novel stimuli, Eaters can now finally parse through these new openings with the help from sites like Instagram and Yelp — the head honcho critics are giving these spots some time, so stay tuned for those later this year (or, if you need a pro to endorse your meal, Casa Zoraya seems to be the hot spot according to the local critics). For now, check out what the public has to say on the summer’s most anticipated openings, including an endorsement from Master of None’s delightful, food-loving giant.
From @smallwarespdx’s #JohannaWare: Nori Risotto—- a unique combination of ingredients which coalesced into an addictive and a funky dish. Another recommendation: GET THE BURGER. #pdxfood #pdxeats #pdxdining #pdxrestaurants #pnw #Portland #portlandfood #portlandeats #foodpix #foodfeed #foodpdx #gastronomy #travelportland #smallwares #smallwarespdx #nori #risotto
What it is: The return of Johanna Ware’s somewhat upscale pan-Asian restaurant, now open near Williams and Fremont
When it opened: July 21
What people are saying: Instagram has been aflutter with shots of nori risotto and seared scallops. Both Instagram behemoth Gary the Foodie and Oregonian critic Michael Russell visited and took the pics to prove it; the former emphatically recommended that followers “GET THE BURGER.” Yelp only learned recently that Smallwares had reopened, but the comments have been positive: The two reviews have commended the service and portion size, two critiques of the original iteration of the restaurant.
What it is: A Georgian cart-turned-restaurant on Alberta known for its stuffed cheesy breads (khachapuri) and traditional dumplings (khinkali)
When it opened: July 18
What people are saying: Yelp is enamored with Kargi Gogo. “After 4 trips to Georgia and falling in love with their culture and food, I am so happy to have delicious Georgian food (and wine) in Portland,” writes Wes P. He’s not alone — the restaurant’s dozen-or-so reviews all hang out in the four-and-five-star range, raving over the Georgian-style soup dumplings. Over on Instagram, positive reviews are flowing in from big-name ‘grammers like A Boy and His City, but the industry folks have been particularly excited: Ray owner Jenn Louis writes, “Khinkali, khachapuri...congratulations @kargigogous on your opening! So delicious!”
What it is: A fast-food drive-thru from Little Big Burger co-founder Micah Camden and partner Matt Lynch
When it opened: July 16
What people are saying: After fast food critic and The Simpsons’ Bill Oakley called Micah Camden’s burger the best in Portland, the hype was really high... and really hard to meet, according to its lukewarm Yelp reviews. “The contrarian in me just can’t fully jump on the bandwagon YET, but SD ranks in the upper echelon of the fast food burger experience,” writes Yelper Andrew A. Kathryn B. was unimpressed: “Better than McDonalds, still not that great. Surprised by all the hype.” Instagram was far more forgiving. “Witness the new generation of the kick ass, moderately priced, great burger in Portland that rivals any chain dump,” writes @thatblack65novass. Overall, people have been comparing it In-N-Out, because people apparently want to start a war with our Southern neighbors.
What it is: The small Russian drinking snack bar that is holding down the fort at the original Kachka location. The latter moved to SE 11th.
When it opened: July 6
What people are saying: Kachinka got some rave reviews from a big-name visitor in July: Eric Wareheim (Master of None, Tim & Eric). “This place is heaven on earth,” he writes. “Please please come to LA soon.” On Yelp, the whopping two reviews are overwhelmingly positive; Sarah F. writes, “Love the new menu items as well as some Kachka classics that they still serve at Kachinka. The slushy machine is a fun and tasty addition as well.”
The Portland scene has been opening a lot of wine bars recently with small plates that are so freaking delicious and I’m definitely going back here soon. Shown here are: “the eltorito” which consists of Romaine, creamy cilantro dressing, corn nuts, cotija and is reminiscent of the one from El Torito restaurant chain except even better; Continue swiping and you’ll find Beignets filled with Tilamook cheddar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #okomens #okomenspdx #winebar #smallplates #eltorito #salad #creamycilantrodressing #beignets #tilamookcheddar #cotija #cornnuts #yummy #foodie #foodgasm #foodstagram #foodlover #foodpics #eeeeeats #eaterpdx #pdxeats #buzzfood #ilovefood #portlandoregon #hangrytraveler
What it is: The new wine bar and small plate spot from the team behind fine dining destination Castagna
When it opened: June 11
What people are saying: “You guys: you need to run, not walk to OK Omens,” writes Instagram user @merrittolson. “This place has it all: insanely delicious and insanely well priced food, a ridonkulous wine list, and literally the most beautiful potato chips you have ever seen.” Reviews for OK Omens have been overwhelmingly positive, with people cheering on the reasonable wine prices (relative to the labels or age) and specific dishes: Beets with beef tartare, crab pasta with fish sauce bisque, and various small bites and spreads. “Ok Omens, you had me at brie butter!” writes Kirstie R. on Yelp.