clock menu more-arrow no yes
Three tortillas in purple, brown, and yellow shades sit next to a pool of clay-red sauce, with a small semi-circle of chicken on top. The chicken comes topped with thin shavings of truffle and microgreens.
Mole encacahuatado at Republica
Molly J. Smith/EPDX

The 38 Essential Restaurants and Food Carts in Portland, Winter 2022

The city’s most astounding restaurants, food carts, bars, and more

View as Map
Mole encacahuatado at Republica
| Molly J. Smith/EPDX

With its tangle of rivers, bevy of urban farms, and surplus of talented chefs, Portland is a dining city to its core. At food carts, subterranean bars, and white-tablecloth restaurants, chefs gather some of the region’s finest ingredients to transform into immaculate sushi, handmade pastas, and imaginative pintxos. For a city its size, Portland’s restaurant scene is impressively multifaceted — traditional and offbeat, casual and stylish, covering hundreds of cuisines from various countries and regions around the world. The through-line comes from a shared collaborative nature, a desire to work with other farmers, producers, and even competitors to make something fun and new.

Each quarter, Eater Portland updates the Eater 38, a list of exceptional restaurants, food carts, and markets that define what it means to eat here. The list sticks to businesses that have been open in Portland for at least a year, and add something distinct and invaluable to the dining scene at large. In particular, the restaurants and bars that this map celebrates are those who have gone above and beyond in a period when doing the bare minimum is herculean.

This update, we added stalwart Japanese restaurant Murata, iconic steakhouse Ringside, tasting menu destination Berlu, and the culinary chameleon that is República. We removed the late-great Holy Trinity Barbecue for obvious reasons, as well as Erica’s Soul Food while it remains temporarily closed, mid-move. Gumba and Ok Omens also leave the map on this update. For some of the most exciting new restaurants and carts in Portland, the Eater Portland heatmap is a better fit. Another note: As COVID-19 exposures rise, restaurants have started closing temporarily more frequently to test employees and allow for quarantines, so it’s best to check a restaurant’s Instagram before stopping by. The points on this map guide are not ranked; rather, they’re organized geographically.

Note: Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Gracie’s Apizza

Copy Link
8737 N Lombard St
Portland, OR 97203
(971) 512-0007
Visit Website

Pizzaiolo Craig Melillo doesn’t just make his own dough — a slow-fermented sourdough using Pacific Northwestern grain — for his pizzas; he makes his own mozzarella. Gracie’s, a small pizzeria in St. Johns, makes tangy and distinct pies with char-dotted crusts and house-pickled accoutrement, served alongside pints of house-made ice cream in flavors like amarena cherry or tahini chip. Melillo a humble and extremely talented guy, but he doesn’t make a big fuss about being noticed — that’s part of what makes his food feel so special: It’s something people get to discover. Gracie’s is open for takeout, with outdoor dining in a shared patio space.

A picture of a country ham pizza with cherry tomatoes and aleppo pepper at Gracie’s Apizza in St. Johns
A pizza at Gracie’s
Gracie’s Apizza [Official Photo]

2. St. Jack

Copy Link
1610 NW 23rd Ave
Portland, OR 97210
(503) 360-1281
Visit Website

Nothing feels as celebratory as a meal at St. Jack, where diners marvel at beautiful plates in a humming dining room, glasses of Champagne still bubbling on tables indoors and out. Here, diners will find owner Aaron Barnett’s take on French cuisine, now aided by the mind of chef John Denison. The simple classics are done astoundingly well here: the restaurant’s knockout chicken liver mousse is velveteen and has a sweetness reminiscent of rich ice cream, and a simple plate of steak frites comes with an on-point shallot-red wine demi-glace and tangy bearnaise. But dishes like mushroom vol-au-vent topped with a bouquet of lettuces and nasturtium, or beef tartare with sunchokes and green peppercorn sabayon, or escargot in seaweed butter are the ones that keep St. Jack at top-of-mind when thinking about celebratory Portland restaurants. St. Jack is open indoor and heated outdoor dining.

3. RingSide Steakhouse

Copy Link
2165 W Burnside St
Portland, OR 97210
(503) 223-1513
Visit Website

Ringside is Portland’s quintessential steakhouse, serving slabs of beef and James Beard’s beloved onion rings since 1944. Its cozy dining room — replete with fireplaces, burgundy booths, and white tablecloths — screams steakhouse, and the menu echoes the same: Dinners start with prawn cocktail or an iceberg wedge, maybe a bowl of French onion soup encrusted with gruyere. Dry-aged rib-eyes or buttery filet mignon sit next to a gargantuan pile of garlic mashed potatoes, drenched in bearnaise or lavish foie gras butter. Prime rib comes with the customary Yorkshire pudding and fresh horseradish, perhaps with a decadent addition of lobster mashed potatoes. But the real draw of Ringside is likely its roster of career servers — the restaurant is home to the city’s finest service, from the first Old Fashioned to the last glass of pinot. It’s open for indoor and outdoor dining, plus takeout.

4. Bhuna

Copy Link
704 NW 21st Ave
Portland, OR 97209
(971) 865-2176
Visit Website

The Indian food served by chef Deepak Kaul is simply soulful, turning each dish into its own little balanced ecosystem: Rich and finely honed spiced blends serve as the foundation for bowls of rogan josh, Goan pork vindaloo, and Chettinad chicken, balanced with refreshing raita and salty-briny mango pickle seeping into a bed of turmeric-yellow basmati rice. Kaul, an expat of fine dining kitchens, dug into his childhood to develop the menu at Bhuna, but make no mistake: This is his food, edited and recreated in his own voice. Bhuna is open for onsite dining with proof of vaccination, as well as delivery and takeout.

Plates of dishes at Bhuna
A meal at Bhuna, including naan, fried calamari, paneer, and more.
Katie Acheff

5. Mucca Osteria

Copy Link
1022 SW Morrison St
Portland, OR 97205
(503) 227-5521
Visit Website

Mucca harkens back to an era of dining — and a caliber of service — hard to find in contemporary Portland, where servers in ties and vests refill water glasses after a sip or two, where dishes meant to be shared are split and plated per person without a second thought, where a bowl of warm focaccia lands on the table just a few moments after diners place their orders. But service is nothing if the food can’t deliver, and Mucca delivers in spades: Ribbons of 500-day prosciutto di parma snugly encase a mound of burrata, a wild-tasting quail leans on a crisp polenta cake and a sprinkle of smoked paprika olive oil powder, a seared scallop sitting on a swipe of parmesan fondue plays pedestal to a dollop of caramelized shallots and garlic blossoms. The restaurant is open for indoor dining on white tablecloths, with proof of vaccination.

A very yellow pasta comes with garlic blossoms, olive oil powder, veal bolognese, and sundried tomatoes on a grey plate at Mucca
Yolk-yellow pasta tossed with sundried tomatoes and veal bolognese at Mucca
Brooke Jackson-Glidden

6. Duck House Chinese Restaurant

Copy Link
1968 SW 5th Ave
Portland, OR 97201
(971) 801-8888
Visit Website

In a casual former taproom, Duck House has finally provided Portland with a dreamy Chinese restaurant in the heart of the city. Since his 2016 arrival, San Diego chef Ivan Liu has played with heat and aromatics like a master, from delicate wontons with savory chile-oil-spiked broth to tingly dan dan noodles with borderline-bitter bite. The restaurant is open for takeout and delivery.

An overhead photo of a bowl of beef noodle soup at Downtown restaurant Duck House
Beef noodle soup at Duck House
Nick Woo

7. Republica

Copy Link
721 NW 9th Ave Suite #175
Portland, OR 97209
(541) 900-5836
Visit Website

It’s not just that República makes the city’s finest quesadilla, tri-colored masa folded over salty-stretchy quesillo with a side of nutty salsa macha. It’s not just that República’s tasting menu involves ingenious dishes like chanterelle adobo risotto with refried and nixtamalized beans. It’s not just that each server explains the ideation, culinary lineage, and historical context for each dish. It’s that República truly feels like a team effort, creative culinary minds coming up with a full day’s worth of excellence — from morning conchas to evening moles. It’s open for takeout and onsite dining during the day, with indoor and outdoor dining for dinner (proof of vaccination required).

8. Maurice

Copy Link
921 SW Oak St
Portland, OR 97205
(503) 224-9921
Visit Website

In a bright, beautifully appointed hole-in-the-wall venue near Powell's Books, Kristen D. Murray delivers exactly what Portland didn't know it needed: an incredibly charming "pastry luncheonette" that focuses equal attention on sweets and savory fare. Now, Murray is serving her delicate black pepper cheesecakes, warm Meyer lemon pudding cakes, and artfully adorned open-faced sandwiches in an outdoor dining space. The restaurant is also open for takeout — it’s best to eat the restaurant’s rich cones of chocolat capuchin while strolling around downtown Portland. Note: On winter break until February 8.

The open-format kitchen at Maurice
The counter at Maurice’s famous luncheonette
Dina Avila

9. Murata Restaurant

Copy Link
200 SW Market St
Portland, OR 97201
(503) 227-0080
Visit Website

When identifying Portland’s “essential” restaurants, it seems only fitting to include Murata, the unassuming Japanese restaurant downtown. Since 1988, Portlanders have stepped into its tatami room for dinners of miso soup and tonkatsu and broiled mackerel, pots of soothing zosui filled with ribbons of egg, chirashi adorned with generous slices of salmon and sweet scallop. Murata is old-school in the best way, a style of Japanese restaurant becoming rarer and rarer with time; sitting in its dining room, mulling over a pile of crispy tempura or chicken teriyaki, induces a reinvigorating nostalgia hard to find elsewhere. Murata is open for onsite dining and takeout.

10. Lovely's Fifty Fifty

Copy Link
4039 N Mississippi Ave
Portland, OR 97217
(503) 281-4060
Visit Website

In a pizza cafe that feels casual but intimate, pizzaiola Sarah Minnick embraces paradoxes beautifully: She took something brimming with childhood nostalgia — pizza and ice cream — and gave it a high-end twist. Seasonally rotating pizzas arrive strewn with edible flowers and chanterelles atop an airy-but-sturdy pizza dough made with Oregon whole grains. Portland may not be known for its pies, but if someone is defining Portland’s distinct pizza style, it’s Minnick. She takes pre-orders for pizzas; the instructions can be found on her Instagram.

A picture of Lovely’s Fifty Fifty pizza, which comes topped with edible flower petals and squash
A seasonal pie from Lovely’s Fifty Fifty
Lovely’s Fifty-Fifty [Official Photo]

11. Casa Zoraya

Copy Link
841 N Lombard St
Portland, OR 97217
(503) 384-2455
Visit Website

Since Zoraya Zambrano and her children, Gary and Gloria Marmanillo, opened Casa Zoraya back in 2018, this Peruvian spot has been Piedmont’s under-the-radar destination restaurant: Gary Marmanillo’s ceviches arrive at the table like a work of art, fried calamari adding crunch to the bed of fresh seasonal seafood tossed with a summery leche de tigre. Arroz Chaufa, a Peruvian fried rice dish, comes cheerfully paired with a passionfruit reduction for a dose of acid and sweetness. And the pisco sours feel like they’re shipped straight from the pisco bars in Lima, best sipped on Casa Zoraya’s back patio. The restaurant is open for indoor dining with proof of vaccination, outdoor dining on the heated patio, and also offers takeout and delivery.

A bowl of ceviche in a light orange sauce sits in a bowl with crispy fried calamari and large Peruvian corn kernels.
Ceviche at Casa Zoraya
Brooke Jackson-Glidden

12. Kabba’s Kitchen

Copy Link
4631 N Albina Ave
Portland, OR 97217
(503) 438-6770
Visit Website

In a nondescript lot off Albina, Kabba Saidikhan quietly serves exceptional Senegalese and Gambian dishes out of a black-and-silver food cart, from flaky fataya (meat pies) that satisfyingly stretch and tear apart to reveal a core of intricately spiced ground beef, to an acid-laden, whole-fish yassa, balanced with the addition of yellow rice. The cart’s mafe yapp, a creamy tomato-peanut stew with tender hunks of beef, is particularly nice paired with the shop’s bissap. The cart is open for takeout and delivery.

13. Eem

Copy Link
3808 N Williams Ave st 127
Portland, OR 97227
(971) 295-1645
Visit Website

Eem is a restaurant born out of collaboration, an amalgamation of Matt Vicedomini’s smoked meats, Earl Ninsom’s curries and salads, Colin Yoshimoto’s snacks and fried chicken, and Eric Nelson’s lively drinks. The resulting menu feels like it truly and cohesively shares those voices, with burnt ends simmering in a sweet coconut milk curry in one of the restaurant’s most beloved dishes. But beyond the menu, Eem feels like a place that treats every employee and customer with respect, a warm spot in a cold city that still feels relaxed when nothing feels relaxing. It’s open for takeout.

A plate of barbecue pork fried rice sits on an ornate floral plate at Eem
Barbecue pork fried rice at Eem
Dina Avila

14. Kee’s Loaded Kitchen

Copy Link
5020 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Portland, OR 97211

This red food cart and its massive “#Loaded” sign attracts hoards of customers as soon as it opens. Owner Kiauna Nelson and her staff load up gargantuan containers of saucy-and-smoky pot roast and garlicky macaroni and cheese; the menu changes per Nelson’s whim, and her fans usually go along with whatever she feels like serving. There’s a reason for that: Nelson’s food evokes shouts for how flavorful it is, from the fried chicken tossed in a seasoning reminiscent of Buffalo Bleu potato chips to her slices of cake, thrown in with the order for good measure. Plus, Nelson has consistently offered free food to her neighbors throughout the pandemic via her Feed Black Portland events. One meal is enough to feed four, and make no mistake: This is some of Portland’s finest soul food.

15. Berlu

Copy Link
605 SE Belmont St
Portland, OR 97214

Returning to the Berlu dining room after more than a year away feels, in many ways, like coming full circle. Tame Impala still plays on the speakers; the same little pillows hide in the nooks of the banquette. However, the menu now incorporates the context of Vince Nguyen’s last two years of cooking, exploring Vietnamese ingredients and dishes through his various pop-ups and pivots. Silken tofu custard arrives studded with pieces of fresh durian, geoduck, and little caramelized petals of lychee. Tiny lobster meatballs, peppery and juicy, float in a sweet broth, surrounded by luscious tendon and orange balls of squash. And for dessert, a charcoal-grilled bánh bò nướng, springy and almost savory; diners dunk the cake in a pandan-steeped, reduced, and smoked coconut milk, a decadent dollop of caviar and swirl of fig leaf oil floating on top. Berlu is open for tasting menu service indoors with proof of vaccination, as well as Sunday bakery service for takeout.

16. Nong's Khao Man Gai

Copy Link
609 SE Ankeny St C
Portland, OR 97214
(503) 740-2907
Visit Website

The original carts are gone, but Nong's Khao Man Gai’s restaurant space on SE Ankeny is still kicking, despite everything. Chef Nong Poonsukwattana’s signature dish, a deceptively simple take on Hainanese chicken, takes center stage here: Ask five acolytes their favorite part of the dish and each will offer a different answer: the soul-satisfying broth, the rice, Nong's ginger-heavy sauce, or the chicken itself, skins or no. Poonsukwattana’s story is one of dogged perseverance; that has not changed. Nong’s is open for onsite dining, takeout, and delivery.

A picture of Nong Poonsukwattana standing at the counter of her restaurant
Nong’s Khao Man Gai
Johnny Acurso

17. Le Pigeon

Copy Link
738 E Burnside St
Portland, OR 97214
(503) 546-8796
Visit Website

Gabriel Rucker, in his years at Le Pigeon (and, on occasion, Canard and the now-closed Little Bird), often molds the casual or unexpected into a fine dining format, from fried chicken to coconut shrimp; it made him uniquely prepared for the “pandemic pivot,” with his “bird boxes” of takeout and meal kits. When Le Pigeon returned, it dabbled in a few different iterations of itself, but the restaurant has settled into its new form, one that is perhaps surprising to those who know Rucker and the restaurant: Le Pigeon is no longer offering an a la carte menu, no longer serving burgers at its bar. Instead, it has become a tasting menu only restaurant, which was, after all, the best way to enjoy Le Pigeon in the old days. Still, Rucker is a master at combining the best of both worlds: A single menu may include “duck in a blanket” with chanterelle mushrooms, “orange chicken” made with rainier cherries, and a dessert of Rucker’s legendary foie gras profiteroles. Tasting menus are available vegetarian, as well, for indoor dining by reservation only; proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test required.

18. Scotch Lodge

Copy Link
215 SE 9th Ave #102
Portland, OR 97214
(503) 208-2039
Visit Website

Scotch Lodge, when it opened in 2019, was easily one of the most exciting new bars in Portland — not just for the hard-to-find whisky selection and creative cocktails, but for its menu of truly inventive bar snacks. The menu has retained some of those standouts: a soft shell crab sandwich gets its energy from a white kimchi slaw, the mushroom fettuccine comes coated in fiore sardo and a house Fresno spice, and fried brie sticks rolled in pumpernickel crumbs will rule over any mozzarella stick you’ve ever eaten. The bar is open for indoor dining, with reservations.

19. Normandie

Copy Link
1005 SE Ankeny St
Portland, OR 97214
(503) 233-4129
Visit Website

Twenty-somethings in t-shirts and jeans sit at teal tables in this airy, cool dining room, surrounded by stormy blue walls printed with seahorses. The decor nods at the restaurant’s vaguely oceanic theme, which the kitchen enforces with dishes like Pacific Northwestern oysters with horseradish granita, or a scallop-shrimp ceviche swimming in an aromatic coconut-pineapple leche de tigre. Surprisingly, some of Normandie’s most memorable dishes rely on land-locked ingredients, from spare ribs that easily release from the bone in a silk glove of maple-bourbon glaze, to a miso deviled egg with a filling whipped smooth and dusted with furikake. Then again, those eggs come with just a few dots of tobiko — a little briny touch never hurt anyone, after all. Normandie is open for indoor and outdoor dining (proof of vaccination required for indoor seats), as well as takeout. Note: Normandie will be on winter break until January 20.

Cut strawberries, cherries, apricots, and nectarines are piled with pistachios and basil over ricotta at Normandie in Portland, Oregon.
A tomato and stone fruit salad at Normandie, piled over a mound of ricotta.
Brooke Jackson-Glidden

20. Hat Yai

Copy Link
1605 NE Killingsworth St
Portland, OR 97211
(503) 764-9701
Visit Website

Earl Ninsom did it again: After treating Portland to deftly executed Thai cooking at Langbaan and Paadee, the chef and restaurateur created a casual southern Thai compatriot with hardcore devotees. Hat Yai’s shallot-fried chicken, salty and fragrant and just a touch sticky, pairs beautifully with Malayu-style curry and crispy roti, all available in the popular combo No. 1. However, diners will be rewarded for straying from the top billing: The restaurant’s searingly spicy kua gling ground pork is abundant with aromatics and alliums, and the dtom som shrimp pairs seafood with meaty oyster mushrooms in a broth pleasingly sour with tamarind and ginger. Hat Yai is open for takeout, with outdoor seating available.

Hat Yai fries chicken with a crust of fried shallots, which go well with an optional combination plate of dippable curry, flatbread, and sticky rice
Hat Yai combo with fried chicken, roti, and curry
Nick Woo

21. Nimblefish

Copy Link
1524 SE 20th Ave
Portland, OR 97214
(503) 719-4064
Visit Website

Chef Cody Auger’s SE Hawthorne sushi counter has become a national destination for Edomae-style sushi: meticulously cured and delicate slivers of fish, potent and pristine in flavor and texture. During the pandemic, Auger transitioned his restaurant into a more takeout and delivery-accessible format, which means the restaurant’s salt-and-vinegar-cured salmon and wild bluefin tuna can arrive alongside maki filled with things like crispy salmon skin, mackerel, and natto. However, the restaurant’s stellar omakase experience has also returned, with limited reservations available via Resy.

22. Quaintrelle

Copy Link
2032 SE Clinton St
Portland, OR 97202
(503) 200-5787
Visit Website

It had been open for years, but chef Ryley Eckersley helped Quaintrelle become a must-visit destination in Portland. Nothing about his food is minimalist: Eckersley plays with a full palette, be it Oregon seafood or fermented garlic honey or edible flowers or a smoked chanterelles or nuoc cham. Each dish, then, feels specifically his, the same way bar manager Camille Cavan’s cocktails, leaning on everything from amari to house-made tiki-adjacent syrups, are hers — it could be said that Cavan is one of the city’s most underrated bartenders. Quaintrelle has moved from its original North Mississippi location, now serving dishes on SE Clinton for onsite dining; proof of vaccination required. Note: Quaintrelle is closed until January 14.

A plate comes with a pile of fruits and vegetables, accompanied by a dollop of a pale white sauce dusted in red spice. The dish was served at Quaintrelle’s new location on SE Clinton in Portland, Oregon.
Albacore tuna with cherry, sweet onion, chili and a side of tonnato at Quaintrelle
Molly J. Smith / EPDX

23. Mirisata

Copy Link
2420 SE Belmont St
Portland, OR 97214
(503) 233-4675
Visit Website

There is so much that feels revolutionary about Mirisata: It’s one of Portland’s few collectively owned restaurants, serving vegan Sri Lankan food; Sri Lankan food is already an under-represented cuisine in Portland, let alone a version that is animal-product-free. The restaurant’s soft string hoppers (essentially pucks made of noodles) sop up sweet, caramelized seeni sambol, as well as a soothing red lentil dal and an earthy potato curry. The restaurant’s string kottu, a sort of stir-fry noodle with veggies and vegan egg, is comforting and best paired with a jackfruit curry. And the parippu vada, crispy fritters filled with split pigeon peas, are absolutely dreamy when dunked in the accompanying green chile sauce. Weekend visitors who can order off the rice-and-curry menu are in for a real treat, banana leaves piled with oyster mushroom curry and deviled sweet potatoes. Mirisata is open for onsite dining and takeout.

24. Magna Kusina

Copy Link
2525 SE Clinton St
Portland, OR 97202
(503) 395-8542
Visit Website

When the highly anticipated Filipino restaurant Magna opened in 2019, it was a great restaurant, one that got better every visit with silky squid ink noodles slick in crab fat, homey bowls of pancit bihon, and a sweet and gently charred biko, or coconut sticky rice. But it seems that chef and owner Carlo Lamagna reaches a new level each time his restaurant passes an anniversary, not just as a chef but as a leader. In 2020, he sold takeout containers of porky lechon, bright purple ube cookies with neon-green pandan frosting, and a supremely tender and saucy brisket kaldereta, setting aside a portion of his takeout profits every week to give back to the community. This year, after a hiatus, Magna reopened with a new menu format that holds space for both the supremely casual and the celebratory, whether it’s a skewer of charcoal-grilled rib-eye, a take on duck dinuguan that turns the blood-laden stew into a deep sauce, or a kare kare that swaps the peanut sauce for a butter made with roasted pumpkin seeds. Magna is open for onsite dining. Note: Magna will be closed until January 13.

Carlo Lamagna’s adobo uses his father’s recipe
Chef Carlo Lamagna cooking in the kitchen at Magna.
Celeste Noche / EPDX

25. Urdaneta

Copy Link
3033 NE Alberta St
Portland, OR 97211
(503) 288-1990
Visit Website

At this intimate pintxo bar, Javier and Jael Canteras have developed a reputation for straight-up goofy dishes winking at Northern Spanish staples, like a ham-and-cheese sandwich made with jamon serrano and American. Still, the traditional Spanish dishes on the menu remain true to the originals, whether it’s a confit potato tortilla Española or a blackened slice of Basque-style cheesecake. Urdaneta is open for takeout.

A pintxo sits on a board to be delivered to a table, while chefs continue to prepare dishes in the open-format kitchen
Chefs at Urdaneta prepare pintxos
Emily Moller Photography [Official Photo]

26. Jojo Food Truck

Copy Link
3582 SE Powell Blvd
Portland, OR 97202
(971) 331-4284
Visit Website

The fried chicken sandwiches at Jojo have become the stuff of legend, hypebeast towers of crunchy chicken topped with everything from Alabama white sauce to pepper relish. However, often the simplest dishes at Jojo are the team’s finest: the cart’s namesake jojos are crispy with mashed-potato filling, often gleefully dipped in house ranch. Jojo is open for takeout and delivery, with onsite dining at the pod.

Jojo’s spicy chicken sandwich includes a potato salad, crystal hot sauce, sambal mayo, shredded lettuce, butter roll
Fried chicken sandwich at Jojo
Nick Woo

27. Gado Gado

Copy Link
1801 NE Cesar E Chavez Blvd
Portland, OR 97212
(503) 206-8778
Visit Website

The Pisha-Dufflys have gone through a lot during the course of the pandemic: Mariah Pisha-Duffly and Tom Pisha-Duffly, the couple at the center of eclectic Indonesian restaurant Gado Gado, opened a second restaurant, had a baby, and lost Tom’s grandmother and father, all while weathering the challenges of working in the food service industry in 2020. It is astounding, more than anything, that they pulled off what they did: Gado Gado’s colorful takeout stand and patio became a welcoming and cheery respite during a grueling year. Now, the a la carte staples have moved over to Oma’s Hideaway, and Gado Gado has evolved into a true celebration restaurant: The restaurant hinges on an elaborate, prix fixe, “rice table” service, with globes of crispy panipuri cradling sweet corn and shallots, shrimp in lobster broth with brown butter and pineapple, and Gado Gado legends like its roti canai and coconut-sweet beef rendang. It’s open for onsite dining, on the patio or indoors; proof of vaccination is required for all visitors 12 years or older.

28. Matta

Copy Link
4311 NE Prescott St Ave
Portland, OR 97218
(971) 258-2849
Visit Website

Matta chef Richard Le refers to his food cart as a Việt Kiều experience: Việt Kiều, a term that refers to ethnically Vietnamese people living outside the country, is how Le identifies, a first generation Vietnamese American chef from California. Thus, his food is a representation of that identity: He recreates fast food classics like Filet-O-Fish with Thai chili tartar sauce and breakfast sandwiches on pandan milk buns, while also making dishes his mom, aunt, and grandmother made while he was a kid, like thit kho, a caramel-y pork belly reined in with a hit of fish sauce. Le is a deeply casual, instantly likeable chef, and his dishes reflect his creativity, charm, and honesty. Matta is open for takeout.

29. Malka

Copy Link
4546 SE Division St
Portland, OR 97206
(503) 899-4245
Visit Website

When Malka opened at the worst possible time — the beginning of 2020 — it was clear it would be something special. Jessie Aron and Colin McArthur created an otherworldly space in which they concoct mystifying, maximalist dishes, including an unforgettable matzo ball khao soi. Despite its brutally difficult first year, Malka surprises us again and again: Employees like Eli Goldberg spent off-hours working with mutual aid networks. The restaurant donated meals to food insecure diners on a day-to-day basis. And the meals themselves remained dazzlingly intricate, like a Umi ramen curry bolognese with stir-fried Brussels sprouts, or a mac and cheese with traces of berbere and vermouth. Malka is open for takeout.

30. Kim Jong Grillin

Copy Link
4606 SE Division St
Portland, OR 97206
(503) 929-0522
Visit Website

Kim Jong Grillin, a Korean cart that has probably earned its spot in the city’s hall of food cart fame, still nails every “bibim box” it sells, from the lightly charred japchae to the lipstick-red kimchi. Han Ly Hwang, the cart’s owner, has been slinging bulgogi and kimchi fried rice for free on and off throughout the pandemic, feeding food insecure and unemployed restaurant workers. When he’s not doing that, he’s raising money for the Black Resilience Fund or celebrating other restaurants on his cart’s page. Kim Jong Grillin is open for takeout and delivery.

31. Dirty Lettuce

Copy Link
4727 NE Fremont St
Portland, OR 97213
(971) 888-4158
Visit Website

Dirty Lettuce’s Alkebulan Moroski is meticulous and exacting with the meat-free proteins at their vegan restaurant, Dirty Lettuce: The chef goes down to the very foundations of the protein structure, mimicking the balance of fat and muscle that gives chicken its juiciness or pork ribs that “fall off the bone” quality. But at the core of Dirty Lettuce is an allegiance to the true Southern classics, be it a Cajun mac and cheese that boggles the mind with its faux sausage, or a fried “chicken” with a crackly skin indistinguishable from the real thing. The mission is to make vegan comfort food that feels true to the original, in an effort to get people more interested in eating less meat — non-judgmental, but still intent on excellence. And trust us: Eating those sour cream and onion mashed potatoes won’t feel like any sort of sacrifice, even without the dairy. Dirty Lettuce is open for takeout. Note: Dirty Lettuce will be closed, excluding limited heat-and-serve meals for pre-order, until January 14.

32. Apizza Scholls

Copy Link
4741 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Portland, OR 97215
(503) 233-1286
Visit Website

Hawthorne’s no-frills pizza cafe still produces some of the town’s best pies. Brian Spangler shows respect for his dough, refusing to overload his crisp, quick-fired crusts with more toppings than they can handle. Thankfully, there's no need for DIY concoctions given the pizzeria's meticulous equation of sauce, fresh mozzarella, pecorino romano, and, in the case of the Pizza Amore, salty capicola scattered on top. Apizza Scholls is open for takeout or delivery.

A pizza with mozzarella, sausage, and tomato at Apizza Scholls
A while pizza at Apizza Scholls
Nick Woo

33. Rose VL Deli

Copy Link
6424 SE Powell Blvd
Portland, OR 97206
(503) 206-4344
Visit Website

Tucked into a mini strip mall on SE Powell, Rose VL is the cheerful sister restaurant to Ha VL, serving those famous traditional Vietnamese soups with unending depth. Two to three different soups or noodles are served for takeout daily, along with brace-yourself strong Vietnamese iced coffee. Portlanders often flock on Saturday for cao lầu, a regional Vietnamese noodle dish with piles of herbs and a tangy, savory sauce. It’s open for takeout, onsite dining, and delivery.

A dish of noodles, pork, chicken, and a mess of herbs, with a side of hot stock
Cao lau at Rose VL Deli
Nick Woo

34. Tierra Del Sol Cuisine and Catering

Copy Link
7238 SE Foster Rd #1
Portland, OR 97206
(503) 975-4805
Visit Website

Most of the carts at Portland Mercado, the colorful Latin American food cart pod in Foster-Powell, could earn a spot among Portland’s best restaurants; still, Tierra Del Sol’s complex moles and sloppy-delicious tlayudas — smothered fried tortillas with beans — stand out. Chef Amalia Sierra left a career as a social worker for migrant farm workers to focus on her family business, which serves meticulously balanced Oaxacan specialties. No visit is complete without mole amarillo; its elusively layered spice is hard to forget. Tierra del Sol is open for takeout from both the original cart and its spot in the food hall Rocket Empire Machine.

An overhead picture of Tierra del Sol’s mole amarillo on the left and mole verde on the right
An assortment of moles from Tierra del Sol
Brooke Jackson-Glidden

35. Tèo Bun Bo Hue

Copy Link
8220 SE Harrison St #230
Portland, OR 97216
(503) 208-3532

In one of the most talent-packed restaurant alcoves off SE 82nd, this Vietnamese restaurant — with its line of shiny Vespas near the counter — has no formal menu; instead, customers walk up and order pho (chicken or beef) or the restaurant’s namesake dish, bún bò Huế. Pros know to go for the latter, extra spicy: In a dark-but-pristine broth, meaty pork knuckles, thin ribbons of beef and pork shank, and slippery rice noodles swim below a floating layer of alliums, joined by the accompanying mound of herbs and vegetables. Bún bò Huế is a perfectly multifaceted dish, with the soprano notes of lemongrass and mint given body with the brooding flavors of pork blood and beef bones; Teo makes the city’s best. It’s open for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

36. Master Kong

Copy Link
8435 SE Division St
Portland, OR 97266
(971) 373-8248

This Chinese restaurant in Southeast Portland is as casual as they come, but the dishes that roll out of Amy and Kang Zhu’s kitchen are deftly executed and profoundly flavorful — juicy pork dumplings lovingly made by hand, the interplay of ginger and pork in a bowl of congee, and the pile of herbs tucked into a jianbing keep the memory of a meal at Master Kong in mind long after it’s finished. Master Kong is open for takeout and delivery.

An overhead shot of an assortment of plates at Master Kong
Wonton noodle soup and jianbing at Master Kong
Nick Woo

37. Birrieria La Plaza

Copy Link
600 SE 146th Ave
Portland, OR 97233

Tijuana-style quesabirria, a cheesy take on the braised beef dish birria de res, is a national sensation for a reason: Melty, gooey, and sometimes crispy cheese is objectively delicious when paired with a slow-braised beef. But Birrieria La Plaza, the truck serving crisp and cheesy vampiros, takeaway cups of steamy consomme, and plates of snug tacos topped with scattered cilantro and onions, is so much more than a cart capitalizing on a trend; the tacos coming out of this cart could be some of the city’s best — the foundational birria is a gently spicy and grounded masterpiece. Birrieria La Plaza remains open for takeout.

38. Tortilleria Y Tienda De Leon’s

Copy Link
16223 NE Glisan St
Portland, OR 97230
(503) 255-4356
Visit Website

Under a ceiling of piñatas, this Mexican market and deli remains one of the Portland area’s top spots for guisados. Pros know to order at least one of the the beefy, gently spiced birria tacos, which come on the market’s house tortillas, though the pork in chile verde is no slouch either. For those uninterested in tacos, the deli’s chile relleno serves as a worthy vehicle for the various guisados. Taking home a few pints of each, plus some tortillas and cactus salad, is the move.

A close-up shot of carnitas tacos from Tienda de Leon
Tacos from Tienda De Leon
Nick Woo

Loading comments...

1. Gracie’s Apizza

8737 N Lombard St, Portland, OR 97203
A picture of a country ham pizza with cherry tomatoes and aleppo pepper at Gracie’s Apizza in St. Johns
A pizza at Gracie’s
Gracie’s Apizza [Official Photo]

Pizzaiolo Craig Melillo doesn’t just make his own dough — a slow-fermented sourdough using Pacific Northwestern grain — for his pizzas; he makes his own mozzarella. Gracie’s, a small pizzeria in St. Johns, makes tangy and distinct pies with char-dotted crusts and house-pickled accoutrement, served alongside pints of house-made ice cream in flavors like amarena cherry or tahini chip. Melillo a humble and extremely talented guy, but he doesn’t make a big fuss about being noticed — that’s part of what makes his food feel so special: It’s something people get to discover. Gracie’s is open for takeout, with outdoor dining in a shared patio space.

8737 N Lombard St
Portland, OR 97203

2. St. Jack

1610 NW 23rd Ave, Portland, OR 97210

Nothing feels as celebratory as a meal at St. Jack, where diners marvel at beautiful plates in a humming dining room, glasses of Champagne still bubbling on tables indoors and out. Here, diners will find owner Aaron Barnett’s take on French cuisine, now aided by the mind of chef John Denison. The simple classics are done astoundingly well here: the restaurant’s knockout chicken liver mousse is velveteen and has a sweetness reminiscent of rich ice cream, and a simple plate of steak frites comes with an on-point shallot-red wine demi-glace and tangy bearnaise. But dishes like mushroom vol-au-vent topped with a bouquet of lettuces and nasturtium, or beef tartare with sunchokes and green peppercorn sabayon, or escargot in seaweed butter are the ones that keep St. Jack at top-of-mind when thinking about celebratory Portland restaurants. St. Jack is open indoor and heated outdoor dining.

1610 NW 23rd Ave
Portland, OR 97210

3. RingSide Steakhouse

2165 W Burnside St, Portland, OR 97210

Ringside is Portland’s quintessential steakhouse, serving slabs of beef and James Beard’s beloved onion rings since 1944. Its cozy dining room — replete with fireplaces, burgundy booths, and white tablecloths — screams steakhouse, and the menu echoes the same: Dinners start with prawn cocktail or an iceberg wedge, maybe a bowl of French onion soup encrusted with gruyere. Dry-aged rib-eyes or buttery filet mignon sit next to a gargantuan pile of garlic mashed potatoes, drenched in bearnaise or lavish foie gras butter. Prime rib comes with the customary Yorkshire pudding and fresh horseradish, perhaps with a decadent addition of lobster mashed potatoes. But the real draw of Ringside is likely its roster of career servers — the restaurant is home to the city’s finest service, from the first Old Fashioned to the last glass of pinot. It’s open for indoor and outdoor dining, plus takeout.

2165 W Burnside St
Portland, OR 97210

4. Bhuna

704 NW 21st Ave, Portland, OR 97209
Plates of dishes at Bhuna
A meal at Bhuna, including naan, fried calamari, paneer, and more.
Katie Acheff

The Indian food served by chef Deepak Kaul is simply soulful, turning each dish into its own little balanced ecosystem: Rich and finely honed spiced blends serve as the foundation for bowls of rogan josh, Goan pork vindaloo, and Chettinad chicken, balanced with refreshing raita and salty-briny mango pickle seeping into a bed of turmeric-yellow basmati rice. Kaul, an expat of fine dining kitchens, dug into his childhood to develop the menu at Bhuna, but make no mistake: This is his food, edited and recreated in his own voice. Bhuna is open for onsite dining with proof of vaccination, as well as delivery and takeout.

704 NW 21st Ave
Portland, OR 97209

5. Mucca Osteria

1022 SW Morrison St, Portland, OR 97205
A very yellow pasta comes with garlic blossoms, olive oil powder, veal bolognese, and sundried tomatoes on a grey plate at Mucca
Yolk-yellow pasta tossed with sundried tomatoes and veal bolognese at Mucca
Brooke Jackson-Glidden

Mucca harkens back to an era of dining — and a caliber of service — hard to find in contemporary Portland, where servers in ties and vests refill water glasses after a sip or two, where dishes meant to be shared are split and plated per person without a second thought, where a bowl of warm focaccia lands on the table just a few moments after diners place their orders. But service is nothing if the food can’t deliver, and Mucca delivers in spades: Ribbons of 500-day prosciutto di parma snugly encase a mound of burrata, a wild-tasting quail leans on a crisp polenta cake and a sprinkle of smoked paprika olive oil powder, a seared scallop sitting on a swipe of parmesan fondue plays pedestal to a dollop of caramelized shallots and garlic blossoms. The restaurant is open for indoor dining on white tablecloths, with proof of vaccination.

1022 SW Morrison St
Portland, OR 97205

6. Duck House Chinese Restaurant

1968 SW 5th Ave, Portland, OR 97201
An overhead photo of a bowl of beef noodle soup at Downtown restaurant Duck House
Beef noodle soup at Duck House
Nick Woo

In a casual former taproom, Duck House has finally provided Portland with a dreamy Chinese restaurant in the heart of the city. Since his 2016 arrival, San Diego chef Ivan Liu has played with heat and aromatics like a master, from delicate wontons with savory chile-oil-spiked broth to tingly dan dan noodles with borderline-bitter bite. The restaurant is open for takeout and delivery.

1968 SW 5th Ave
Portland, OR 97201

7. Republica

721 NW 9th Ave Suite #175, Portland, OR 97209

It’s not just that República makes the city’s finest quesadilla, tri-colored masa folded over salty-stretchy quesillo with a side of nutty salsa macha. It’s not just that República’s tasting menu involves ingenious dishes like chanterelle adobo risotto with refried and nixtamalized beans. It’s not just that each server explains the ideation, culinary lineage, and historical context for each dish. It’s that República truly feels like a team effort, creative culinary minds coming up with a full day’s worth of excellence — from morning conchas to evening moles. It’s open for takeout and onsite dining during the day, with indoor and outdoor dining for dinner (proof of vaccination required).

721 NW 9th Ave Suite #175
Portland, OR 97209

8. Maurice

921 SW Oak St, Portland, OR 97205
The open-format kitchen at Maurice
The counter at Maurice’s famous luncheonette
Dina Avila

In a bright, beautifully appointed hole-in-the-wall venue near Powell's Books, Kristen D. Murray delivers exactly what Portland didn't know it needed: an incredibly charming "pastry luncheonette" that focuses equal attention on sweets and savory fare. Now, Murray is serving her delicate black pepper cheesecakes, warm Meyer lemon pudding cakes, and artfully adorned open-faced sandwiches in an outdoor dining space. The restaurant is also open for takeout — it’s best to eat the restaurant’s rich cones of chocolat capuchin while strolling around downtown Portland. Note: On winter break until February 8.

921 SW Oak St
Portland, OR 97205

9. Murata Restaurant

200 SW Market St, Portland, OR 97201

When identifying Portland’s “essential” restaurants, it seems only fitting to include Murata, the unassuming Japanese restaurant downtown. Since 1988, Portlanders have stepped into its tatami room for dinners of miso soup and tonkatsu and broiled mackerel, pots of soothing zosui filled with ribbons of egg, chirashi adorned with generous slices of salmon and sweet scallop. Murata is old-school in the best way, a style of Japanese restaurant becoming rarer and rarer with time; sitting in its dining room, mulling over a pile of crispy tempura or chicken teriyaki, induces a reinvigorating nostalgia hard to find elsewhere. Murata is open for onsite dining and takeout.

200 SW Market St
Portland, OR 97201

10. Lovely's Fifty Fifty

4039 N Mississippi Ave, Portland, OR 97217
A picture of Lovely’s Fifty Fifty pizza, which comes topped with edible flower petals and squash
A seasonal pie from Lovely’s Fifty Fifty
Lovely’s Fifty-Fifty [Official Photo]

In a pizza cafe that feels casual but intimate, pizzaiola Sarah Minnick embraces paradoxes beautifully: She took something brimming with childhood nostalgia — pizza and ice cream — and gave it a high-end twist. Seasonally rotating pizzas arrive strewn with edible flowers and chanterelles atop an airy-but-sturdy pizza dough made with Oregon whole grains. Portland may not be known for its pies, but if someone is defining Portland’s distinct pizza style, it’s Minnick. She takes pre-orders for pizzas; the instructions can be found on her Instagram.

4039 N Mississippi Ave
Portland, OR 97217

11. Casa Zoraya

841 N Lombard St, Portland, OR 97217
A bowl of ceviche in a light orange sauce sits in a bowl with crispy fried calamari and large Peruvian corn kernels.
Ceviche at Casa Zoraya
Brooke Jackson-Glidden

Since Zoraya Zambrano and her children, Gary and Gloria Marmanillo, opened Casa Zoraya back in 2018, this Peruvian spot has been Piedmont’s under-the-radar destination restaurant: Gary Marmanillo’s ceviches arrive at the table like a work of art, fried calamari adding crunch to the bed of fresh seasonal seafood tossed with a summery leche de tigre. Arroz Chaufa, a Peruvian fried rice dish, comes cheerfully paired with a passionfruit reduction for a dose of acid and sweetness. And the pisco sours feel like they’re shipped straight from the pisco bars in Lima, best sipped on Casa Zoraya’s back patio. The restaurant is open for indoor dining with proof of vaccination, outdoor dining on the heated patio, and also offers takeout and delivery.

841 N Lombard St
Portland, OR 97217

12. Kabba’s Kitchen

4631 N Albina Ave, Portland, OR 97217

In a nondescript lot off Albina, Kabba Saidikhan quietly serves exceptional Senegalese and Gambian dishes out of a black-and-silver food cart, from flaky fataya (meat pies) that satisfyingly stretch and tear apart to reveal a core of intricately spiced ground beef, to an acid-laden, whole-fish yassa, balanced with the addition of yellow rice. The cart’s mafe yapp, a creamy tomato-peanut stew with tender hunks of beef, is particularly nice paired with the shop’s bissap. The cart is open for takeout and delivery.

4631 N Albina Ave
Portland, OR 97217

13. Eem

3808 N Williams Ave st 127, Portland, OR 97227
A plate of barbecue pork fried rice sits on an ornate floral plate at Eem
Barbecue pork fried rice at Eem
Dina Avila

Eem is a restaurant born out of collaboration, an amalgamation of Matt Vicedomini’s smoked meats, Earl Ninsom’s curries and salads, Colin Yoshimoto’s snacks and fried chicken, and Eric Nelson’s lively drinks. The resulting menu feels like it truly and cohesively shares those voices, with burnt ends simmering in a sweet coconut milk curry in one of the restaurant’s most beloved dishes. But beyond the menu, Eem feels like a place that treats every employee and customer with respect, a warm spot in a cold city that still feels relaxed when nothing feels relaxing. It’s open for takeout.

3808 N Williams Ave st 127
Portland, OR 97227

14. Kee’s Loaded Kitchen

5020 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Portland, OR 97211

This red food cart and its massive “#Loaded” sign attracts hoards of customers as soon as it opens. Owner Kiauna Nelson and her staff load up gargantuan containers of saucy-and-smoky pot roast and garlicky macaroni and cheese; the menu changes per Nelson’s whim, and her fans usually go along with whatever she feels like serving. There’s a reason for that: Nelson’s food evokes shouts for how flavorful it is, from the fried chicken tossed in a seasoning reminiscent of Buffalo Bleu potato chips to her slices of cake, thrown in with the order for good measure. Plus, Nelson has consistently offered free food to her neighbors throughout the pandemic via her Feed Black Portland events. One meal is enough to feed four, and make no mistake: This is some of Portland’s finest soul food.

5020 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Portland, OR 97211

15. Berlu

605 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR 97214

Returning to the Berlu dining room after more than a year away feels, in many ways, like coming full circle. Tame Impala still plays on the speakers; the same little pillows hide in the nooks of the banquette. However, the menu now incorporates the context of Vince Nguyen’s last two years of cooking, exploring Vietnamese ingredients and dishes through his various pop-ups and pivots. Silken tofu custard arrives studded with pieces of fresh durian, geoduck, and little caramelized petals of lychee. Tiny lobster meatballs, peppery and juicy, float in a sweet broth, surrounded by luscious tendon and orange balls of squash. And for dessert, a charcoal-grilled bánh bò nướng, springy and almost savory; diners dunk the cake in a pandan-steeped, reduced, and smoked coconut milk, a decadent dollop of caviar and swirl of fig leaf oil floating on top. Berlu is open for tasting menu service indoors with proof of vaccination, as well as Sunday bakery service for takeout.

605 SE Belmont St
Portland, OR 97214

Related Maps

16. Nong's Khao Man Gai

609 SE Ankeny St C, Portland, OR 97214
A picture of Nong Poonsukwattana standing at the counter of her restaurant
Nong’s Khao Man Gai
Johnny Acurso

The original carts are gone, but Nong's Khao Man Gai’s restaurant space on SE Ankeny is still kicking, despite everything. Chef Nong Poonsukwattana’s signature dish, a deceptively simple take on Hainanese chicken, takes center stage here: Ask five acolytes their favorite part of the dish and each will offer a different answer: the soul-satisfying broth, the rice, Nong's ginger-heavy sauce, or the chicken itself, skins or no. Poonsukwattana’s story is one of dogged perseverance; that has not changed. Nong’s is open for onsite dining, takeout, and delivery.

609 SE Ankeny St C
Portland, OR 97214

17. Le Pigeon

738 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214

Gabriel Rucker, in his years at Le Pigeon (and, on occasion, Canard and the now-closed Little Bird), often molds the casual or unexpected into a fine dining format, from fried chicken to coconut shrimp; it made him uniquely prepared for the “pandemic pivot,” with his “bird boxes” of takeout and meal kits. When Le Pigeon returned, it dabbled in a few different iterations of itself, but the restaurant has settled into its new form, one that is perhaps surprising to those who know Rucker and the restaurant: Le Pigeon is no longer offering an a la carte menu, no longer serving burgers at its bar. Instead, it has become a tasting menu only restaurant, which was, after all, the best way to enjoy Le Pigeon in the old days. Still, Rucker is a master at combining the best of both worlds: A single menu may include “duck in a blanket” with chanterelle mushrooms, “orange chicken” made with rainier cherries, and a dessert of Rucker’s legendary foie gras profiteroles. Tasting menus are available vegetarian, as well, for indoor dining by reservation only; proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test required.

738 E Burnside St
Portland, OR 97214

18. Scotch Lodge

215 SE 9th Ave #102, Portland, OR 97214

Scotch Lodge, when it opened in 2019, was easily one of the most exciting new bars in Portland — not just for the hard-to-find whisky selection and creative cocktails, but for its menu of truly inventive bar snacks. The menu has retained some of those standouts: a soft shell crab sandwich gets its energy from a white kimchi slaw, the mushroom fettuccine comes coated in fiore sardo and a house Fresno spice, and fried brie sticks rolled in pumpernickel crumbs will rule over any mozzarella stick you’ve ever eaten. The bar is open for indoor dining, with reservations.

215 SE 9th Ave #102
Portland, OR 97214

19. Normandie

1005 SE Ankeny St, Portland, OR 97214
Cut strawberries, cherries, apricots, and nectarines are piled with pistachios and basil over ricotta at Normandie in Portland, Oregon.
A tomato and stone fruit salad at Normandie, piled over a mound of ricotta.
Brooke Jackson-Glidden

Twenty-somethings in t-shirts and jeans sit at teal tables in this airy, cool dining room, surrounded by stormy blue walls printed with seahorses. The decor nods at the restaurant’s vaguely oceanic theme, which the kitchen enforces with dishes like Pacific Northwestern oysters with horseradish granita, or a scallop-shrimp ceviche swimming in an aromatic coconut-pineapple leche de tigre. Surprisingly, some of Normandie’s most memorable dishes rely on land-locked ingredients, from spare ribs that easily release from the bone in a silk glove of maple-bourbon glaze, to a miso deviled egg with a filling whipped smooth and dusted with furikake. Then again, those eggs come with just a few dots of tobiko — a little briny touch never hurt anyone, after all. Normandie is open for indoor and outdoor dining (proof of vaccination required for indoor seats), as well as takeout. Note: Normandie will be on winter break until January 20.

1005 SE Ankeny St
Portland, OR 97214

20. Hat Yai

1605 NE Killingsworth St, Portland, OR 97211
Hat Yai fries chicken with a crust of fried shallots, which go well with an optional combination plate of dippable curry, flatbread, and sticky rice
Hat Yai combo with fried chicken, roti, and curry
Nick Woo

Earl Ninsom did it again: After treating Portland to deftly executed Thai cooking at Langbaan and Paadee, the chef and restaurateur created a casual southern Thai compatriot with hardcore devotees. Hat Yai’s shallot-fried chicken, salty and fragrant and just a touch sticky, pairs beautifully with Malayu-style curry and crispy roti, all available in the popular combo No. 1. However, diners will be rewarded for straying from the top billing: The restaurant’s searingly spicy kua gling ground pork is abundant with aromatics and alliums, and the dtom som shrimp pairs seafood with meaty oyster mushrooms in a broth pleasingly sour with tamarind and ginger. Hat Yai is open for takeout, with outdoor seating available.

1605 NE Killingsworth St
Portland, OR 97211

21. Nimblefish

1524 SE 20th Ave, Portland, OR 97214

Chef Cody Auger’s SE Hawthorne sushi counter has become a national destination for Edomae-style sushi: meticulously cured and delicate slivers of fish, potent and pristine in flavor and texture. During the pandemic, Auger transitioned his restaurant into a more takeout and delivery-accessible format, which means the restaurant’s salt-and-vinegar-cured salmon and wild bluefin tuna can arrive alongside maki filled with things like crispy salmon skin, mackerel, and natto. However, the restaurant’s stellar omakase experience has also returned, with limited reservations available via Resy.

1524 SE 20th Ave
Portland, OR 97214

22. Quaintrelle

2032 SE Clinton St, Portland, OR 97202
A plate comes with a pile of fruits and vegetables, accompanied by a dollop of a pale white sauce dusted in red spice. The dish was served at Quaintrelle’s new location on SE Clinton in Portland, Oregon.
Albacore tuna with cherry, sweet onion, chili and a side of tonnato at Quaintrelle
Molly J. Smith / EPDX

It had been open for years, but chef Ryley Eckersley helped Quaintrelle become a must-visit destination in Portland. Nothing about his food is minimalist: Eckersley plays with a full palette, be it Oregon seafood or fermented garlic honey or edible flowers or a smoked chanterelles or nuoc cham. Each dish, then, feels specifically his, the same way bar manager Camille Cavan’s cocktails, leaning on everything from amari to house-made tiki-adjacent syrups, are hers — it could be said that Cavan is one of the city’s most underrated bartenders. Quaintrelle has moved from its original North Mississippi location, now serving dishes on SE Clinton for onsite dining; proof of vaccination required. Note: Quaintrelle is closed until January 14.

2032 SE Clinton St
Portland, OR 97202

23. Mirisata

2420 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR 97214

There is so much that feels revolutionary about Mirisata: It’s one of Portland’s few collectively owned restaurants, serving vegan Sri Lankan food; Sri Lankan food is already an under-represented cuisine in Portland, let alone a version that is animal-product-free. The restaurant’s soft string hoppers (essentially pucks made of noodles) sop up sweet, caramelized seeni sambol, as well as a soothing red lentil dal and an earthy potato curry. The restaurant’s string kottu, a sort of stir-fry noodle with veggies and vegan egg, is comforting and best paired with a jackfruit curry. And the parippu vada, crispy fritters filled with split pigeon peas, are absolutely dreamy when dunked in the accompanying green chile sauce. Weekend visitors who can order off the rice-and-curry menu are in for a real treat, banana leaves piled with oyster mushroom curry and deviled sweet potatoes. Mirisata is open for onsite dining and takeout.

2420 SE Belmont St
Portland, OR 97214