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Where can a few stoners get late-night takeout? Short staffing foiled the last 10 p.m. trip to our neighborhood Taco Bell. Bonus points for big portions and an easy-to-read menu.
Ollie & Colby
Hey, Ollie and Colby! What a fitting question for this time of year, three days before April 20th. I’ll admit, late-night takeout has become a trickier find recently, with short-staffing and a slow-to-recover nightlife scene, but a few spots come to mind immediately that should fit the bill.
If “late night” means open until 10 p.m. or later, Portland has a good number of really amazing stoner food options. It’s been a while, but when I partake, I tend to crave giant, meaty, cheesy things. Nacheaux is open until 10 p.m. on Wednesdays and until 11 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, serving dishes that would kill a pilgrim and blow the mind of anyone even the slightest bit high: Cajun fried chicken cheesesteaks topped with fries; churro beignets. If pho and banh mi are more of the vibe, Luc Lac is open until 11 p.m. And for pizza, Baby Doll is open until 11 p.m. at the earliest, with things like meatball subs and Italian heroes as well.
If you’re looking for something available after midnight, however, things get harder — but not impossible. The food cart Master Philly Cheesesteak on 146th is open until 2 a.m. most days and makes a mean pile of steak and Swiss, though the peppers and onions included would likely piss off any Pennsylvania expats reading this piece. For a burger, Tulip Shop on North Killingsworth makes one of the best in town available after midnight (if you order it on Friday or Saturday). I’ve also been known to house a Zach’s Shack hot dog after bar-crawling on Hawthorne; when inebriated, eating a hot dog covered in cream cheese, onions, and jalapeños seems more reasonable (sorry, Seattle). Plus, Zach’s is open until 2 a.m. daily.
The other Portland late-night tradition is Javier’s on Lombard, one of the very few remaining 24-hour restaurants in the city serving carnitas burritos and cheese quesadillas. A mountain of carne asada fries, slathered in guacamole, seems like a surefire option for a hungry stoner. For more Mexican food, the Fabo’s Tacos window in Old Town serves cheesy, beefy quesabirria until 2 a.m.
Of course, if you’re vegan, none of these options work for you. In that case, I’d head in the direction of Black Water, the vegan venue known for its drag shows and concerts. You can order takeout online, which includes all the classic stoner food standards, vegan-ified: soy protein Buffalo wings, vegan burgers with tempeh bacon, mac and cashew cheese. The bar is open until midnight every day.
If none of these options seem like the move, we do have a longer late-night dining map with plenty of options (Reel M Inn fried chicken! Bottle Rocket fish sauce tots!). And for dessert, the Pix-o-Matic — a 24-hour fancy dessert vending machine — is a prime option for someone (like me) who gets too high and overwhelmed by the prospect of speaking to a human in the wild. Good luck out there, and happy snacking.