Anyone walking down SE 10th would probably miss it: In an unmarked building behind Holocene, a new indoor food hall, taproom, and music venue sits, complete with two bars, vegan ice cream, Cuban food, and onigiri.
Morrison Market houses a number of stalls, including Portland-known entities like the Oaxacan cart Mixteca and the Japanese vegan spot Obon, a staple at farmers markets. Many of the mini-restaurants — including Aviv owner Tal Caspi’s Be Sweet vegan ice cream stand and Obon Shokudo — opened in mid-February, lining the perimeter of a large industrial-style floor.
There’s more to Morrison Market than the food vendors: A central bar with mounted TVs sits in the center of the warehouse-like space, with an additional beer stall in the corner. To the left of the entrance, a large stage known as Stage 722 hosts DJs and bands. All that being said, there’s a certain level of confusion surrounding Morrison Market at this moment: Dele Okedara, also behind Meridian 7, has not responded to requests for comment, and many of the stalls in Morrison Market have yet to announce their presence on social media.
The court covers a wide swath of the globe — beyond the Oaxacan and Japanese food provided by Mixteca and Obon, respectively, other stalls offer gyros, acai bowls, Cuban sandwiches, and Kenyan nyama choma. Walking through the food hall Tuesday morning, these are the vendors stationed within Morrison Market:
Obon, run by Fumiko Hozumi and Jason Duffany, already has a longstanding Portland audience thanks to its house-made misozuke-stuffed onigiri, house-made udon in ginger-miso stew, and giant “tater tots” (korokke). Obon Shokudo, the company’s first permanent location, offers all of the greatest hits from its stalls at the Night Market and Portland farmers markets, including its version of Japanese curry, onigiri, and kenchinjiru, a ginger and root vegetable soup. The restaurant is 100-percent vegan, sourcing from Oregon farms like Flying Onion and Gathering Together Farm, and makes countless misos using a variety of legumes and seeds as toppings for its onigiri, including yuzu and pumpkin seed miso, ginger and barley-chestnut miso, and buddha’s hand citron with sunflower seed miso.
Mixteca — known for its presence at the Portland Mercado, Portland farmers markets, and its new restaurant location on SE 82nd — is a champion within the city’s Oaxacan culinary community. Outside of its farmers market appearances, the Morrison Market location of Mixteca is the business’s most central location yet, serving dishes like tamales and moles. Mixteca’s star dish is its tamal oaxaqueño, wrapped in banana leaves as opposed to corn husks and served with a rich mole; Doña Paula Asunción, the matriarch of Mixteca, has made her moles and tamales for her entire life. Mixteca specializes in the indigenous cuisines of Oaxaca and the Mixtec people of Mexico.
Tal Caspi’s Aviv is one of Portland’s essential vegan restaurants, thanks to dishes like its shakshuka and filled phyllo bourekas. The restaurant has also developed a following for its various coconut-based ice creams. The vegan ice cream comes in some interesting flavors: Halva, charcoal caramel apple, and New Mexico hatch chile are available alongside standards like coffee, vanilla, and chocolate. For those looking for a challenge, the Repent is a hardcore spicy ice cream made with whole Carolina reapers, ghost peppers, and chocolate habaneros.
Spice of Africa
Spice of Africa is a catering company and cooking class program teaching specific dishes and cuisines from different countries and regions of Africa. Like many of the stalls at Morrison Market, Spice of Africa has a following based on its work at the Portland State University Farmers Market. Owner Wambui Machua now offers various African staples at this new restaurant, from grilled goat and lamb stew to samosas and Ethiopian lentil stew. The stand, also called Karibu Africa, covers dishes from Kenya, Ethiopia, and other corners of the continent, with various sampler platters so people can get a taste of the whole area.
This new Cuban restaurant, with a car front built into its counter, is offering all the hits, from Cuban sandwiches to ropa vieja. The restaurant’s menu is split into sandwiches and full plates, which come with black beans, rice, and a salad. The restaurant’s “appetizers” mainly consist of sandwiches like medianoches and Cubans, as well as croquetas de jamon and ajiaco, a chicken and corn stew with potatoes. Mains for the larger platters range from camarones al ajillo (garlic shrimp) to lechon asado (grilled pork), as well as the classic stewed steak dish ropa vieja. Havana Station is also available on Doordash.
The Krazy Kokonut
This breakfast and acai bowl spot started east of Portland. Out in Gresham, the Krazy Kokonut layers chia seed parfaits, English muffin breakfast sandwiches, and coconut-chip-topped acai bowls for morning commuters. Now, Justice Taylor and Krista Larsen have brought their breakfast game to Morrison Market. Down the line, the stall will also offer grilled skewers with chicken and veggies.
This small chain of gyro and shawarma carts now has a cozy spot within an indoor space, serving dishes like lamb wraps and gyro-topped fries. So far, the location within Morrison Market seems to have a much more truncated menu, sticking to lamb in wraps and on platters.
Although all the stalls are open to the public, things are still slowly coming together: Obon Shoduko is working without a walk-in fridge, and Krazy Kokonut has yet to get a hood. Still, this new out-of-nowhere food hall is likely one to watch. Morrison Market is open at 722 SE 10th Avenue.