With omicron cases on the rise, it can feel hard to be optimistic about the new year. However, many Portland chefs are still chipping away on menu development for new restaurants coming this year, and the new crop of restaurants looks extremely promising. The year starts with a whole-animal butcher shop and luncheonette with house charcuterie and pastrami sandwiches, followed by a Thai cafe and Myanmar-meets-Oregon takeout counter. Known Portland food cart entities and Jojo and Bing Mi will open their own restaurants, while newer-on-the-scene pop-ups like Heyday and Jacob & Sons open their own cafe and deli, respectively. A Top Chef finalist will build his long-awaited Haitian restaurant, and big-deal Seattle chain Dough Zone will open its Portland outpost. Restaurants will serve pho-braised-brisket-topped pizzas, zha jiang mian, boozy milkshakes, and fresh-baked babka, and — sooner rather than later — Portlanders will be able to try them for themselves. At least that can be a small comfort, looking forward. Below, find 10 of the most anticipated restaurants opening in 2022, from the earliest openings onward.
Farm Spirit alumni Kei Ohdera and John Schaible started this butchery-restaurant pop-up years ago, originally intending to focus on retired dairy cows. Since then, however, Pasture has grown into something much larger: When it opens its butcher shop and restaurant, all of its produce, grain, and meat will come from small, Northern Oregon farms, turned into things like pastrami sandwiches, roasted carrots in house chili oil and garlic cultured cream, and meat pies. Charcuterie and cured meats will be made in-house, whether they arrive on a sandwich or packed to take home.
When it opens: January
Where it is: 1413 NE Alberta Street
Read more: With a Forthcoming Restaurant and Butcher Shop, Pasture Wants to Deepen Portland’s Relationship to Whole-Animal Cooking
Portland’s quintessential jianbing cart — a Chinese crepe filled with things like sausage and egg — is exploring noodle territory with its first restaurant. The signature dish at Bing Mi Dumping and Noodle Bar is zha jiang mian, a Northern Chinese noodle dish with a salty fermented black bean sauce. However, the restaurant will also stuff dumplings with pork and cabbage or beef and celery, and fry rice with roasted duck and Chinese sausage.
When it opens: Mid-January to early February
Where it is: 2572 NW Vaughn Street
Read more: The Team Behind Bing Mi Will Open a Dumpling and Noodle Bar Next Year
The new Northwest Portland Thai restaurant from Earl Ninsom will not only be the new home to its celebrated supper club, Langbaan; it’ll be an all-day Thai cafe, from brunch to dinner, with cocktails from Eem’s Eric Nelson. The restaurant’s Instagram has hinted at dishes like fried eggs and roti, dumplings, and some sort of Thai take on tacos, pulling dishes from a live-fire setup in the kitchen. And, for those who want to dine outside, a table will be set up in a Thai train car in front of the restaurant.
When it opens: Mid-February (depending on city permits)
Where it is: 1818 NW 23rd Place
Read more: Portland’s Destination Thai Restaurant, Langbaan, Is Moving to Northwest Portland [EPDX]
It’s been a long, long, long time coming, but the restaurant from buzzy fried chicken cart Jojo should finally open its Northwest Portland restaurant in 2022. Here, diners will find the standards that made Jojo a destination — fried chicken sandwiches, crispy loaded jojos, gargantuan cheeseburgers — but the menu will also include things like boozy milkshakes, brunch sandwiches, and slushies, with a far larger vegan-friendly menu (think: Impossible burgers and tofu nuggets).
When it opens: Late winter
Where it is: 902 NW 13th Avenue
Read more: Perpetually Popular Fried Chicken Cart Jojo Is Opening a Restaurant
Farmers market spot turned takeout pop-up, Rangoon Bistro uses dishes and techniques from the cuisines of Myanmar and adapts them to produce local to the Pacific Northwest, with rotating thokes made with in-season Oregon vegetables (the summer tomato thoke is a must-order when it’s available), house-made chickpea tofu, and noodle dishes made with Umi Organic noodles. At its new restaurant within the Breathe Building, visitors can eat things like pennywort salads and pork-and-pickled-mango curry, as well as plenty of seasonal specials.
When it opens: March
Where it is: Within the Breathe building, at 2305 SE 50th Avenue
Read more: Farmers Market Favorite Rangoon Bistro Will Open Its Own Restaurant Next Year
Top Chef finalist and local celebrity chef Gregory Gourdet has spent the last year and a half reflecting on what kind of restaurant he wants to build from the ground up — not just in terms of dishes he’ll serve, share plates and whole proteins pulling inspiration from Haitian cuisine, but also in terms of the kitchen environment and restaurant culture he wants to create. “We have given ourselves the grace of many many months to open, and we’re trying to tackle issues piece by piece — making sure I can offer insurance, making sure the team is diverse, making sure there are women in leadership, making sure everyone who comes on board understands and aligns with our values,” he says. “Representing the Haitian diaspora is hugely important to me, but also creating a safe space for everyone who works there, creating a sustainable way of life is extremely important to me.”
When it opens: Late May/Early June
Where it is: Central Eastside (exact address to be announced)
Read more: Kann, ‘Top Chef’ star Gregory Gourdet’s first restaurant, aims for late spring opening [O]
Another farmers market spot, Hapa Pizza took dishes from various Asian cuisines and transformed them into pizza: char-dotted crusts topped with marinated pork belly and kimchi puree, or Vietnamese barbecue pork and banh mi fixings. While owners Aaron and Natalie Truong intended to open a food cart in 2022, now they’ve landed themselves a full-blown restaurant space in downtown Beaverton, set to open in late spring.
When it opens: May or June, potentially later depending on permits and construction delays
Where it is: 12755 SW Broadway Street in Beaverton
Read more: This Farmers Market Stall Tops Pizza With Pho-Braised Brisket
This pop-up has been dedicated to springy, chewy doughnuts made with glutinous rice flour, in flavors like ube and Vietnamese coffee. This year, however, Heyday will open its own cafe within the Collective Oregon Eateries pod, within the onsite food hall. Here, diners will find owner Lisa Nguyen’s selection of chewy doughnuts, as well as other chewy desserts, doughnuts, and treats — Korean kkwabaegi, Chinese crullers, and glutinous rice flour waffles.
When it opens: To be announced
Where it is: 3612 SE 82nd Avenue
Read more: Doughnut Pop-Up Heyday Will Open a Shop in the CORE Food Pod [EPDX]
In Seattle, Dough Zone has become a destination for its juicy xiao long bao, steamed Berkshire-Duroc pork buns, and parcel-like steamed dumplings with shrimp tails poking out the ends. Soon, it’ll head south and bring its cult-like following to Portland proper, taking over a large space in Southwest Portland.
When it opens: To be announced
Where it is: 1910 SW River Drive
Read more: Seattle Dumpling Sensation Dough Zone Will Open a Massive Portland Restaurant
For years, Portland has yearned for a larger Jewish deli scene — currently, the city is home to fewer than five — and Noah Jacob could be bringing something very special to Northwest Portland. Jacob & Sons will be a full-scale Jewish bakery and deli, with house pastrami and cured fish, house-baked babka and challah, and plenty of pickles. Jacob spent time at the celebrated California deli chain Wise Sons, so hopefully this one sticks (pour one out for Beetroot).
When it opens: To be announced
Where it is: To be announced
Read more: A Jewish Deli From a Wise Sons Alum Is Coming to Northwest Portland