Portland summers make up for nine months of cold, rainy gray with out-of-nowhere color, juicy and red-to-the-center tomatoes and strawberries on display on restaurant patios and in farmer’s market pints. Dining out, then, is a particular luxury, when local chefs hit up their backyard gardens and neighborhood farmers for seasonal specials and returning favorites. With the embarrassment of homegrown riches and the city feeling uncharacteristically social, the warm months prove to be prime time for restaurant openings — 2019 has already proven this true, with the recent arrivals of fine dining gem Berlu, Indonesian spots Wajan and Gado Gado, and Thai destination Hat Yai’s southern sibling.
Still, there’s more to come: From the places Portlanders have waited years for to the new surprises from out-of-towners, this summer will deliver a new class of potential mid-week haunts. Looking through this list, eaters can prepare for lots of take-out dishes they can throw in a bag and take to the river, as well as farm-heavy restaurants and family-friendly spots for chicken or pizza. Those on the lookout for long-anticipated Malka or butcher-meets-trattoria Piccone’s Corner will be disappointed: Both restaurants need a little more time. Take a look for the full list of summer stunners below.
The all-day Filipino restaurant from Clyde Common alum Carlo Lamagna has been on a year’s worth of anticipated opening lists, thanks to the success of the chef’s Twisted Filipino pop-up and his creative, memorable plates of longanisang and pork adobo. Things should finally wrap up within the next 30 days — the restaurant’s inspection is scheduled for the end of the month, and Lamagna says the spot for contemporary and traditional Filipino fare should be open the week after the 4th of July.
When it’s opening: Early July
Where it’s opening: 2525 Southeast Clinton Street
Read more: Long-Anticipated Filipino Restaurant Magna Will Open This Spring (psych!) on SE Clinton [EPDX]
Portland has been anxiously awaiting the return of Mae, Maya Lovelace’s distinctly Southern supper club, as she focuses on her recently opened fried chicken counter. Finally in her very-own digs, Mae will remain a destination for well-researched and personal vegetable dishes, homey Appalachian staples, and Lovelace’s stellar performance as Portland’s most gracious hostess and culinary storyteller. Lovelace says the new restaurant will also feature a killer wine list from Andy Young and a brand-new pastry chef.
When it’s opening: mid-to-late July
Where it’s opening: 4636 Northeast 42nd Avenue
Read more: Everything to Know About Yonder (and Mae), the Fried Chicken Restaurant from Maya Lovelace [EPDX]
The details: Earlier this year, the popular Hawaii-meets-Japan ramen cart announced plans to open a restaurant in deep Southeast Portland, with an assortment of highballs, poke, and — of course — plenty of ramen. The ramen cart is a staple on Eater Portland’s ramen map, thanks to its iconic shaka broth and sturdy noodles. Co-owner Michael Littman has been showing off the construction progress on the restaurant’s Facebook page, so hardcore fans can follow along before the August opening.
When it’s opening: August 2
Where it’s opening: 3848 SE Gladstone Street
Read more: Inventive Ramen Cart Hapa Is Opening Its Own Restaurant in Southeast [EPDX]
This modern Jewish deli, incorporating Middle Eastern spiced vegetable dishes and Ashkenazi staples, will be a major get for Northwest Portland. In the mornings, the cafe will sling bagel sandwiches, shifting toward matzo ball soup, chicken schnitzel sandwiches, and smoked fish spreads later in the day. The latest news is that owner Sonya Sanford just nabbed Risa Lichtman as her chef de cuisine; Lichtman has cooked everywhere from the illustrious Blue Hill at Stone Barns to North Portland breakfast cafe Sweedeedee.
When it’s opening: August 19
Where it’s opening: 1639 NW Glisan Street
Read more: Northwest Portland Is Getting a Modern Jewish Deli [EPDX]
Portland’s east side has hoarded all of the cool natural wine bars, from Sardine Head on North Alberta to SE Clinton’s Bar Norman. But soon, Northwest Portland will have its own spot for funky, limited intervention wines from Clyde Common vet Sami Gaston, poured alongside picnicky fare. Gaston is also a visual artist, so the space should be something to behold.
When it’s opening: August
Where it’s opening: 2112 NW Irving Street, Suite 105
Read more: A Clyde Common Alum Is Opening a Natural Wine Bar in Northwest Portland [EPDX]
The chef behind Stacked Sandwich Shop is opening the dream restaurant for the health-conscious. Mama Bird will specialize in woodfire-grilled chicken with various optional sauces, as well as vegetables yanked from the family garden and countless salads. Chef and owner Gabriel Pascuzzi is currently welding all the tables for the restaurant himself before it opens later this summer.
When it’s opening: August
Where it’s opening: Within the Carson South, 2121 NW Savier Street
Read more: The Guy from Stacked Is Opening a Grilled Chicken Counter in Slabtown [EPDX]
The details: A vegetable-heavy restaurant from AL’s Place vet Garrett Benedict, G-Love will show off the chef’s technical skill while highlighting produce from Olde Moon Farm in Silverton, located on his parents’ land. The restaurant will keep the protein servings small, focusing instead on boisterous produce dishes like savory rice porridge with grilled broccoli and preserved lime or heirloom tomato “tartare.” The restaurant is in full construction mode, but for now, the chef is focusing on his Kickstarter, which offers kickbacks like dinner for one at the chef’s counter.
When it’s opening: Late August
Where it’s opening: 1615 NW 21st Avenue
Read more: Get Ready for Portland’s First ‘Reverse Steakhouse’ [EPDX]
Submarine Hospitality, the restaurant group behind critical darlings like Ava Gene’s and Tusk, is on a roll, and soon star chef Joshua McFadden will open the family-friendly Cicoria next door to his Italian mainstay. McFadden’s thin-crust pizza style should be distinct from any other in town, combining Roman-style crispy pies with Midwestern tavern-style. Plus, pastry chef Nora Mace (formerly Le Pigeon) will handle the spot’s in-house gelato and sorbet, available in pints to-go.
When it’s opening: End of summer
Where it’s opening: 3377 SE Division Street
Read more: Seasonality-Obsessed Chef Joshua McFadden Is Opening a Family-Friendly Pizzeria [EPDX]
After years of planning, Bonnie and Israel Morales, of the perpetually buzzy Slavic restaurant Kachka, will finally open their casual deli space this summer. Home cooks should get psyched: Lavka will offer Eastern European pantry staples like jarred smoked sprats and frozen Kachka dumplings, as well as carry-out spreads, Herring Under a Fur Coat, pickles, and house-made charcuterie and fish sliced to order. For those looking for a quick lunch, however, Lavka will be a haven for all seeking the briny, pickled, and comforting, with Russian open-faced sandwiches, freshly baked piroshki, and “Lunchables-style” grab-and-go boxes with various spreads and house-made snacks.
When it’s opening: This summer
Where it’s opening: 960 SE 11th Avenue
Read more: Inside the Sprawling New Kachka, Combining Slavic Glitz and Comfort in Southeast [EPDX]
Big’s Chicken, the barbecue chicken shop from the folks behind Laurelhurst Market, is finally returning to Portland after burning down years ago. The restaurant was first revived in Beaverton, where folks commuted for birds slathered in Alabama white and jojos; both should be available at the Portland shop, as well as cocktails and beer.
When it’s opening: This summer
Where it’s opening: 4606 NE Glisan Street
Read more: Big’s Chicken Is Coming Back to Portland Proper [EPDX]
Updated June 19, 2019, 11:50 a.m.
This story was updated to name the specific farm from which G-Love sources its produce.