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Here Are the 2022 Eater Awards Winners for Portland

The best restaurant, food cart, and bar of the year 

Each year, the Eater Awards honor some of the city’s best and brightest new talent, food carts and restaurants and bars that stood out among an increasingly competitive culinary scene. In 2022, choosing the Eater Awards were particularly challenging: Strong contenders closed before their time, while some closed restaurants and carts returned after lengthy hiatuses. So: What constitutes new? What does it mean to be the best? The energy, creativity, and focus of this year’s winners illustrated the specific spot they’re carving out in Portland — something not just new, but lasting. Something not just good, but impactful. Below, we celebrate some of the city’s finest, whether they’re new to the scene or simply stepping back into the limelight.

A man puts wood on the fire at Kann.
The hearth at Kann.
Dina Avila/Eater
A hand tosses mushrooms in a pan over a wood flame.
Mushrooms at Kann.
Dina Avila/Eater

Best New Restaurant: Kann

After years of anticipation and a pop-up last winter, Portlanders are finally filling the sleek dining room of chef Gregory Gourdet’s first restaurant. It would be easy for such a long-awaited restaurant to disappoint; and yet Kann exceeds expectations. Chef de cuisine Varanya Geyoonsawat executes Gourdet’s vision with reverence to Caribbean ingredients and nods to the African and Asian diasporas — Haitian dishes that Gourdet ate growing up in Queens and on trips to the island nation are at the heart of the menu. At the center of the restaurant, an eight-foot-long live-fire hearth turns out dishes like succulent epis brined chicken that glistens with herb oil and coffee-rubbed smoked beef rib, which is served with the fiery Haitian hot sauce ti malice. And for dessert, every manner of ice or sorbet provides juxtaposition to elegant custards and tarts, all almost unnoticeably without dairy or gluten. Everything is served with warmth, too, in a softly lit, elegant space. — Janey Wong, Eater Portland reporter

A plate of fried chicken at Rangoon Bistro comes with rice and dipping sauce. Carla J. Peña/Eater Portland
A crispy salad with cucumbers at Rangoon Bistro. Carla J. Peña/Eater Portland
The three men behind Rangoon Bistro stand in the restaurant. Carla J. Peña/Eater Portland

David Sai, Nick Sherbo, and Alex Saw.

Best New Counter Service: Rangoon Bistro

Rangoon Bistro’s origins as a farmers market stand echoes through its restaurant, where Myanmar and the Pacific Northwest meet among a handful of ever-changing seasonal dishes. The reverence that chefs David Sai, Alex Saw, and Nick Sherbo have for the produce they source is evident in their fresh, flavorful dishes, incorporating fruits and vegetables from places like Stewards Valley and Square Peg farms. Although technically sides, the trio’s thokes, or Burmese salads, steal the show with their Jackson Pollock-esque jumble of colors, textures, and flavors. As the seasons change, so do the thokes, highlighting produce like green tomatoes and winter squash; however, diners can always find Myanmar’s treasured tea leaf salad, the lahpet thoke, made here with Minto Island green tea leaves. With their distinctive take on local produce and individualized voices as chefs, the team at Rangoon Bistro is bringing a new enthusiasm for “farm-to-table” dining without the trappings of Portlandia cliches. — JW

A cardamom bun sits on a plate at Cafe Olli.
Cardamom bun at Cafe Olli.
Brooke Jackson-Glidden/Eater Portland
Pistachio crumble on a pear danish with orange blossom custard at Cafe Olli in Portland.
Close-up on a pear danish at Cafe Olli.
Brooke Jackson-Glidden/Eater Portland

Best New Bakery: Cafe Olli

Through the span of a day, this Northeast Portland restaurant’s menu shifts from egg dishes at breakfast to midday small plates to dinnertime pizza and pasta. The constant drum beat of a day at Cafe Olli are the bread and baked goods from pastry chef Siobhan Speirits and baker Lachlan Cameron. The pastry case is a wonderland where expertly knotted cardamom buns, shatteringly crunchy laminated pastries, and pillowy bomboloni sit pretty. In the morning, breakfast fixings are sandwiched between a soft milk bun while slices of country sourdough become platforms for a thick zig-zag of whipped ricotta and whatever seasonal housemade jam the kitchen has on hand. By evening, dinners are capped off with slices of fudgy chocolate cake or scoops of house-made ice cream. It may present as a cafe, but we think Cafe Olli’s pastries and breads are at a caliber akin to some of the city’s great bakeries. — JW

Roberto Hernandez Guerrero grates cheese over a pizza at Reeva Carla J. Peña/Eater Portland
Roberto Hernandez Guerrero’s son slices a pizza at Reeva. Carla J. Peña/Eater Portland
A man carries a margherita pizza out of Reeva. Carla J. Peña/Eater Portland

Margherita Pizza at Reeva.

Best New Food Cart: Reeva

Portland’s status as a food cart city, and growing recognition for its pizza scene, make pizza carts something of a no brainer. Some of the city’s finest pizzerias started on wheels, from the soon-to-reopen Gracie’s Apizza in St. Johns to the beloved Tastebud in Multnomah Village. Standing out in what some may call an oversaturated market can be difficult, especially now; that said, this Northeast Sandy food cart is truly innovating in the pizza space without sacrificing the tender chew and spring of its naturally leavened crust. Here, chef Roberto Hernandez Guerrero tops pizzas with tender birria or nuanced mole manchamanteles; he transforms iconic Mexican dishes like chiles en nogada or albóndigas into pizzas. The restaurant’s pizzaleada, a play on a Honduran baleada, starts with a foundation of rich refried beans, followed by melty cheese and either a gently spiced poblano or chipotle crema — it has become the cart’s calling card, and a dreamy one at that. It will be exciting to see where Reeva’s menu rolls next. — Brooke Jackson-Glidden, Eater Portland editor

Joel Gunderson pours a glass of wine while Aaron Barnett holds a bowl of clams.
Joel Gunderson and Aaron Barnett at Heavenly Creatures.
Ilana Freddye
A plate of clams at Heavenly Creatures.
Clams from Heavenly Creatures.
Ilana Freddye

Best New Bar: Heavenly Creatures

It’s rare that something other than a cocktail bar wins this award — and in a year packed with exciting new cocktail bars, like the stylish Caribbean Sousol or the heady Fools and Horses, it would have been an easy year to do so. But there is something effortlessly special about this Northeast Portland wine bar: Joel Gunderson, a seasoned sommelier, has set aside this tiny, candlelit nook for bottles of captivating Burgundian pinot noir bracingly intricate vermentinos, some well-known Willamette Valleys and some rare European treats. Chef Aaron Barnett, a seasoned vet of Portland’s restaurant scene, is known for his sophisticated French fare at Eater 38 stalwart St. Jack; here, though, we get to see him have fun, energized by the freewheeling nature of the space. Diners dive into fluffy clouds of aerated Camembert, potato chip in hand, before a crusty slab of bread arrives dripping with tonnato, fresh yellowtail sweet against a backdrop of brine. The space is tight, light low, giving evenings here both the relaxed air of European wine bars and anticipatory buzz of an evening of small delights. — BJG

Fatou Ouattara sits at a table within Akadi in Portland.
Fatou Ouattara, Akadi.
Molly J. Smith/Eater Portland
A whole fried fish lies on a platter covered in tomatoes, peppers, and onions at Akadi.
Whole fish at Akadi.
Molly J. Smith/Eater Portland

Best New Comeback: Akadi

When this West African restaurant sat Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, it hit a few snags, closing and reopening and closing once again. All the while, chef and owner Fatou Ouattara made some unabashedly delicious food in the space — whole fish drizzled in a zippy Dijon-based sauce, earthy-sweet mafe yapp, fall-apart tender goat swimming in a peppery broth. The cornerstone of her menu were her sauces: A ruddy tomato-ginger sauce with surprising depth or a spicier sibling with a smack of cayenne. A year and a half later, Akadi has not just returned in a large, lively space; Ouattara also opened a new market, a place to learn and explore the seemingly endless lexicon of African culinary traditions. At the restaurant, Ouattara explores a broader swath of Africa with her menu. Fufu comes in new hues, made with cabbage or plantain. Nigerian egusi, thick with melon seed, is almost sulfuric and deeply complex in flavor. And you can still dunk crispy, mackerel-stuffed pastel in that hard-to-forget sauce. What a joy, to return to Ouattara’s culinary world. — BJG

Portland Pop-Ups to Watch, December 2023

Portland Restaurant Openings

A Guide to Portland’s Bar, Restaurant, and Food Cart Openings

Eater Awards

Here Are 2023’s Eater Award Winners for Portland