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A picture of the veggie pepper soup served with fufu at Akadi.
Veggie pepper soup from Akadi.
Akadi [Official]

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The Most Anticipated Restaurants Opening in Portland This Spring

Akkapong Earl Ninsom’s homage to Bangkok, Gregory Gourdet’s Haitian spot, and more restaurant openings to watch

In spite of the global political climate and ongoing pandemic, 2022 has been a shockingly good year for Portland restaurant openings. Some of the newest spots to open this year have been stunners, from the hyper-local butcher shop and restaurant Pasture to the chewy noodle and dumpling bar from Bing Mi. And still, we have nine months and change left, with more jaw-droppers coming from big-name Portland restaurateurs.

In this year’s spring restaurant preview, we provide the latest details on the openings we’ve been tracking this year — some restaurants, like Jewish deli Jacob & Sons, doughnut shop HeyDay, and pho-topped pizza spot Hapa Pizza, will arrive later in the year, likely in the summer. But within the next three months, we should see new spots for cheese-filled roti, mafe yapp, and sheng jian bao popping up across Portland.

Phuket Cafe

A first look from Portland Monthly divulges the details behind rockstar restaurateur Akkapong Earl Ninsom’s latest: Pulling inspiration from Ninsom’s hometown of Bangkok, Phuket Cafe will serve everything from dry-aged meats to cheese-stuffed roti, alongside cocktails from Eem’s beloved bar maven, Eric Nelson. It’ll also be home to Langbaan, the celebrated Thai tasting menu formerly tucked away behind Paadee. And, down the line, Phuket Cafe will also introduce lunch service and brunch, complete with pumpkin custard French toast.

Opening date: March 18
Where it is: 1818 NW 23rd Place
Read more: Portland’s Destination Thai Restaurant, Langbaan, Is Moving to Northwest Portland


Lilla

Sanjay Chandrasekaran has already developed a reputation among Portland’s vegan community for the Sudra, an Indian-Southwestern restaurant that pulls from his personal history. Lilla, his forthcoming pasta shop, will be more of a departure: He and chef Pasquale Liotti are developing a menu of dairy-less asparagus risotto, meat-free gnocchi bolognese, and pizzas topped with sunflower mozzarella or almond parmesan, as well as other vegan takes on Italian fare. The pastas and vegan cheeses will be made in-house, to be paired with wine and beer.

Opening date: Mid-April
Where it is: 960 SE Madison Street
Read more: A Vegan Handmade Pasta Shop Will Open in Southeast Portland


Akadi

After a long hiatus, Portland’s West African destination will finally reopen in a new location, and chef and owner Fatou Ouattara is expanding her repertoire with Akadi 2.0. Not only will Portlanders find classics like mafe yapp and poisson braisé, but the menu will grow, including dishes like sour sour leaves with peanut stew, Senegalese thieboudienne, and a wider range of vegan dishes. To accompany the reopening of Akadi, Ouattara will also open an African market, House of Flavor, selling produce like soursop and passionfruit as well as Akadi’s popular sauces.

Opening date: May 8 for Akadi, April 22 for House of Flavor
Where it is: 1001 SE Division Street for Akadi, 3901 N Williams Avenue for House of Flavor
Read more: Celebrated West African Spot Akadi Returns This Spring With Both a Restaurant and Grocery


Dolly Olive

Restaurant group Sesame Collective is behind some of the city’s favorite spots for falafel and hummus, with restaurants like Mediterranean Exploration Company and Shalom Y’all. At Dolly Olive, the next restaurant in the Sesame Collective canon, the emphasis will be on ingredients and cuisines from the southern Mediterranean, including Italy, Sicily, and Corsica. Expect plenty of pasta, lamb meatballs, and a wide selection of amari.

Opening date: May
Where it is: 527 SW 12th Avenue
Read more: Dolly Olive Will Bring Coastal Italian Brunch to Downtown Portland


Jojo

Portland’s lauded fried chicken cart, Jojo, has been chipping away at renovating the former Daily Cafe space for its full-blown restaurant, complete with boozy milkshakes, breakfast sandwiches, and Impossible burgers. Jojo’s famous fried chicken, crunchy and juicy and often layered between bread, will still hold significant real estate on the menu; however, the benefit of the larger kitchen is that die-hard fans will be able to get fun one-off specials as a part of the main menu (looking at you, fig jam patty melt).

Opening date: May or June
Where it is: 902 NW 13th Avenue
Read more: Perpetually Popular Fried Chicken Cart Jojo Is Opening a Restaurant


Kann

Gregory Gourdet’s hotly anticipated restaurant is still in development, but those who visited its sneak-peek “winter village” pop-up will recognize a few items on the future menu: diri ak sos pwa, a Haitian rice and bean dish; mayi moulen, a Haitian cornmeal porridge; and smoky tomato and peanut creamed greens. While Gourdet has been chipping away at new dishes — think: cane syrup lacquered duck and smoked beef ribs — the biggest coming development will be the installation of Kann’s hearth, where the chef will test out whole fish and chicken recipes.

Opening date: Mid-June
Where it is: To be announced
Read more: 10 Portland Restaurant Openings to Look Forward to in 2022


Dough Zone

Seattle’s dumpling obsession, Dough Zone will open its first Oregon location in Southwest Portland this spring, a whopping 7,500+ square foot restaurant where Portlanders can eat xiao long bao made with Berkshire and Duroc pork or steamed bun sandwiches filled with shredded beef. Dough Zone is particularly known for its q buns, also known as sheng jian bao: Little pan-seared pork buns filled with soup. It’ll likely be the largest Chinese restaurant in Portland, and a dining destination within Portland’s Southwest Waterfront.

Opening date: Spring
Where it is: 1910 SW River Drive
Read more: Seattle Dumpling Sensation Dough Zone Will Open a Massive Portland Restaurant

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