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The Trends That We Want to See Continue in 2023, and Trends That Infuriated Us in 2022

Pop-ups, auto gratuity that goes toward living wages, and big names in the suburbs are just a few things that are welcome back in the new year

A plate of golden beets, figs, sesame seeds, and goat cheese at Chelo, a pop-up based at Magna in Portland, Oregon.
A dish from Chelo.
Courtesy of Chelo

Each December, Eater Portland ends the year by reflecting on the last twelve months of dining in a series we call Year in Eater. We reach out to Portland food writers and influencers for their perspectives on major trends, impressive newcomers, and standout meals, and share their responses in a single package.

Responses are edited and condensed for clarity.

“I don’t know if it’s just me imagining things, but I feel like I’ve started to see way more pork secretos on menus recently, which I love; it’s such a beautiful cut, with absolutely incredible marbling. I’ve talked publicly about how much I love shaved ice, so the increase in bingsu and kakigori I’ve spotted around Portland is a plus — not to mention granitas in savory preparations.”
-Brooke Jackson-Glidden, Eater Portland editor

“Not a restaurant trend, but Portland’s baker-without-a-bakery scene is hitting its peak — Fairbanks Bread, Starter Bread, Brainfood Bread, Quartet Bread Company — and I’ve searched out a lot of delicious loaves, many of them made from local grain, this year.”
-Jonathan Kauffman, Portland-based food writer and author of A Place Is a Gift newsletter

“Negroni Sbagliatos popping up this fall on every cocktail menu was kind of an annoying trend because most people just butcher the pronunciation.”
-Vicki and Vanessa Ng (@foodbellypdx), influencers

“Pop-ups are the most exciting trend of 2022. I feel like this has always been a Portland thing, but not to this level. Lots of chefs are not only doing the pop-ups, but those who own carts and restaurants are frequently hosting them or doing collabs. Some of my favorites have been: Luna Contreras’ Chelo pop-ups and collabs, Tamara Hattar’s Euzumeh, Megan and Bjorn Jacobse’s Aubergine, and Justin Dauz’s Eat Balong.”
-Nori de Vega (@nomnom_nori), influencer

“The continued diminishment of late night dining (especially late night coffee and tea) options is a bummer, but if that’s the price to pay for restaurant professionals living more sustainably, then it’s a small price to pay.”
-Nathan Williams, Eater Portland contributor

“Though they haven’t all been successful (see: Lac St. Jack, Lardo, and everything else in Mercato Grove), I’m kind of excited by all of the popular Portland restaurants setting up camp in the suburbs and other cities. Think Canard in Oregon City, and the Sudra, Sizzle Pie, Top Burmese, and others setting up shop in Beaverton and Hillsboro. And while it’s not exactly a Portland offshoot, I’d also include Mister Goose in St. Helens just because the dining scene in Columbia County (where I spend a fair amount of time) is the dead opposite of exciting.”
-Krista Garcia, Eater Portland contributor

“I am happy to see the rise in establishments which charge service fees in place of gratuity (ex: Masala Lab, Cafe Olli). I am somewhat “anti-tip” and don’t think tips should dictate if someone makes ends meet.”
-Ehow Chen (@ehow.eats), influencer

“Exciting? Big salads. Crispy rice sushi. Local fruit in everything. Infuriating? Duke’s Mayo. Yuck. And avocado smash. Just slice them!”
-Thom Hilton, Eater Portland contributor

On trend with other cities in the country, Portland restaurants opened suburban spots as people continued to work from home. Beaverton seemed to benefit from this shift, but Vancouver has been catching up. The success of pricey restaurants on the waterfront is proving that this city just north of Portland is a viable place for elevated food and drink.”
-Rachel Pinsky, Eater Portland contributor

I love seeing more restaurants add a good 20 percent or more gratuity automatically. I would much rather pay more up-front and know that the servers and staff are all well-compensated and have benefits. Most infuriating was seeing the continued glut of break-ins and theft that still plague a community struggling to survive on top of rising prices and other issues. I say this not to demonize anyone, as the city has failed all-around to offer adequate help on either side of the issue, but the continued thefts and break-ins feel like watching the Portland restaurant industry get kicked while it’s still down because of COVID and everything else.”
-Zoe Baillargeon, Eater Portland contributor