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Portland Food Writers Share Their 2022 Headline Predictions

A mix of optimism, hope, and dread defines the coming year

The famous photo of President Truman holding a newspaper falsely declaring his loss has been edited to instead read “Portland Opens New Pizzeria”
President Truman agreed that Portland was the number 1 American pizza city
W. Eugene Smith/Edit by Tai Horgan

“I think we’re going to see more pandemic pivots: popups over traditional restaurants, food businesses sharing spaces, improved outdoor dining pods, and streamlined online ordering and pickups. As meat prices continue to rise, restaurants are going to skew toward more vegan and vegetarian menus too.”
-Waz Wu, Eater Portland contributor

“My predictions aren’t original, they’re basically a rehash of what food writers have been saying all over the country throughout the pandemic. A labor shortage will cause more restaurants to offer counter service instead of traditional table service. Robots may be taking orders and delivering food. In addition, supply chain issues and increases in the cost of everything will lead to shorter menus with less expensive options.”
-Rachel Pinsky, Eater Portland contributor, Washington correspondent

“We saw a lot of momentum in the fight for workers’ rights this year with the Nabisco strike and the Voodoo strike, and I hope that continues. After Burgerville Workers Union set their historic precedent, my fingers are crossed that Little Big Union is able to follow in their footsteps. On a negative note, we’re bound to see more closures. Even without the ongoing pandemic throwing curveball after curveball, there’s the worsening threat of climate change and how that’s going to affect our food prices and systems.”
-Janey Wong, Portland Mercury food and drink columnist

“‘TK Opens as a Portland Pop-Up Incubator.’” I remember there used to be *tons* of spots like this all over town, but I think they were a little ahead of their time. Commissary kitchens became so, so crucial during the pandemic, and I really do think that pop-ups are the future as we continue to deal with/hopefully recover from the pandemic. There’s this place in Boston that’s essentially a cocktail bar that hosts restaurants and bars for six-month residencies; the pop-up chefs handle the cooking, and the bar provides the booze and front-of-house staff. I’d love to see something like that develop some traction in 2022.”
-Brooke Jackson-Glidden, Eater Portland editor

“‘Portland Breaks National Records for Number of Pizzerias’ ‘Beloved Portland Institution ______ Closes Permanently, Cites Rising Food Costs and Environmental Catastrophes’”
-Alex Frane, Eater Portland guest editor and contributor

“‘X restaurant/X cafe becomes a permanent to-go space,’ “[insert Asian cuisine here] becomes the next darling of Portland food scene,” “the comeback of downtown Portland,” perhaps even a tea renaissance??”
-Katrina Yentch, Eater Portland contributor

“‘Pre Fixe Grand Prix: Fine Dining’s Unexpected Portland Revival’”
-Jordan Michelman, Sprudge co-founder and beverage writer

“‘Portland Food Press Finally Notices Bridge City Pizza Which Has Been Making Absolutely Terrific Tavern-Style Pizza for Years But Getting Zero Attention.’ ‘General Public Overwhelmingly Agrees with Bill Oakley that Cheeseburgers WITH Lettuce and Tomato are Far Better Than Those Without Them.’”
-Bill Oakley, fast food influencer