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Two forks dunk bread in a fondue pot. beats1/Shutterstock

Where to Find Melty, Cheesy Fondue in Portland

From appetizer crocks of Gruyere and Emmentaler to cauldrons meant for groups with a smorgasbord of accompaniments

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Fondue evokes images of 1970s dinner parties and alpine ski lodges, people lounging in sweaters while dunking bread, meat, and apples into bubbling cauldrons of molten cheese. The Swiss dip, often fortified with booze, typically relies on cheeses like Emmentaler and Gruyère. But Portlanders rarely stick to tradition: Here, chefs use everything from cheddar to Gorgonzola for their base, swirling them with pesto or offering house-made sausages as an accompaniment. Then again, those seeking a simple pot of melty Swiss cheeses, with a few cubes of crusty bread on the side, will be able to find plenty of options in Portland proper. Below, find our guide to the city’s fondue scene; for a broader spectrum of cheesy fare, this map may be a better fit.

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.

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Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process.

Urban German Wursthaus

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This German spot steps away from Cathedral Park is primarily known for its sausages, as well as other standards like schnitzel. However, the bar and restaurant also offers a tiny taste of Switzerland for those who order its soft pretzel: The dish comes with a little cup of creamy fondue, as well as apples for an alternative cheese vehicle. Another option: Order a few extra sides of the fondue alongside one of the restaurant’s house-made sausages. For more cheese action, visit Urban German on a raclette night.

Swiss Hibiscus

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Of course Portland’s primary Swiss restaurant is going to offer some version of this quintessential Alpine dish. Alberta’s Swiss Hibiscus bolsters its traditional fondue with the requisite Kirsch, a central European brandy, which gives it a lovely sweetness; it arrives at the table with cubes of French bread, though those interested can add vegetables for a touch of something fresh. Pro tip: Order a bratwurst or wienerschnitzel with the fondue for some exceptionally decadent dipping.

Urban Fondue

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Since 2004, Portland’s homegrown fondue emporium has sat in Nob Hill, dropping off pots of melty cheese and chocolate at tables of enthusiastic families and couples on dates. Outside of the obvious chain that will appear on this map, Urban Fondue serves the widest variety of molten cheese in town, made with a variety of bases: Smoked cheddar, Brie and Gorgonzola, mozzarella, Swiss and gruyere. Fondue options range from hyper-traditional to off-the-wall — take, for example, the pesto caprese, which comes with cherry tomatoes, basil pesto, and balsamic. Fondue specials rotate monthly, and for dessert, the restaurant offers a staggering array of chocolate, caramel, and butterscotch fondues.

The Melting Pot

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Of course, this chain of fondue restaurants does, in fact, offer cheese fondue — six varieties, in fact, with options like loaded baked potato cheddar, spinach-artichoke, and Wisconsin cheddar. Each pot of fondue comes with bread and a rotating roster of fruits and vegetables, though meat eaters may prefer to add a charcuterie board, to submerge some cured meats in their pot of cheese. Like Urban Fondue, the Melting Pot also offers other varieties of the dish — visitors can cook seafood and meats tableside in pots of hot broth, and finish the meal with chocolate fondue.

Heidi's Of Gresham

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For decades, this Gresham stalwart has stood as a family favorite for friendly Americana: Meals of onion rings, Crab Louis, roast beef with mashed potatoes. In its time open, however, Heidi’s has kept a little sliver of Europe represented on its menu, thanks to founder Marie Eklund’s Swiss roots. The recipe for Heidi’s fondue is kept under lock and key, served simply in a bowl with bread for dunking.

Alpenrausch

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What was once Olympia Provisions Public House is now this love letter to the Alps from the same owners, a Southeast Division restaurant celebrating the various cuisines found in the south-central European mountain range. So of course, Alpenrausch serves a very traditional Gruyère and Emmentaler fondue, for those who have eaten it in the motherland — expect something thinner than what you’d find at a Melting Pot, but still plenty luscious, with plenty of booze that cooks down over the course of the meal. The fondue comes with Olympia Provisions kaisekrainer, bratwurst, and other cured meats, plus new potatoes, pickles, bread, and a rotating selection of produce.

Papa Haydn

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When people think of this longstanding Portland restaurant, with locations on either side of the Willamette, they often think of the desserts: impressive layer cakes, tortes, and mousses served alongside espresso martinis and limoncello. But the savory menu is also a standby for many Portland families, who visited the restaurant for celebratory bowls of risotto. Fondue is available as an appetizer here, a nontraditional blend of Gorgonzola and fontina poured in a darling mini cast-iron crock. It sits over a tea candle on a plate with baguette, apple, and a rotating vegetable.

Rue Cler

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This chandelier-lit French market and restaurant pours mimosas to serve with Dungeness crab Benedicts on the weekends, while evenings involve classics like cordon bleu and steak frites. During dinner service, the restaurant serves its fondue for two with crudite, apples, and baguette, best paired with the restaurant’s charcuterie board.

Arrivederci Wine & Jazz

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This Milwaukie jazz bar has the feel of a laid back, old-school piano bar, lit with string lights and serenaded by a rotating cast of live performers at the center of the space. Fondue here is simply served as a starter, with baguette and bratwurst, with optional add-ons like pretzels and extra sausage; the actual base is rich and silken without being excessively heavy. For more vehicle options, pair it with an antipasti plate, loaded with fruit, pickled vegetables, cured meats, and cheeses.

Urban German Wursthaus

This German spot steps away from Cathedral Park is primarily known for its sausages, as well as other standards like schnitzel. However, the bar and restaurant also offers a tiny taste of Switzerland for those who order its soft pretzel: The dish comes with a little cup of creamy fondue, as well as apples for an alternative cheese vehicle. Another option: Order a few extra sides of the fondue alongside one of the restaurant’s house-made sausages. For more cheese action, visit Urban German on a raclette night.

Swiss Hibiscus

Of course Portland’s primary Swiss restaurant is going to offer some version of this quintessential Alpine dish. Alberta’s Swiss Hibiscus bolsters its traditional fondue with the requisite Kirsch, a central European brandy, which gives it a lovely sweetness; it arrives at the table with cubes of French bread, though those interested can add vegetables for a touch of something fresh. Pro tip: Order a bratwurst or wienerschnitzel with the fondue for some exceptionally decadent dipping.

Urban Fondue

Since 2004, Portland’s homegrown fondue emporium has sat in Nob Hill, dropping off pots of melty cheese and chocolate at tables of enthusiastic families and couples on dates. Outside of the obvious chain that will appear on this map, Urban Fondue serves the widest variety of molten cheese in town, made with a variety of bases: Smoked cheddar, Brie and Gorgonzola, mozzarella, Swiss and gruyere. Fondue options range from hyper-traditional to off-the-wall — take, for example, the pesto caprese, which comes with cherry tomatoes, basil pesto, and balsamic. Fondue specials rotate monthly, and for dessert, the restaurant offers a staggering array of chocolate, caramel, and butterscotch fondues.

The Melting Pot

Of course, this chain of fondue restaurants does, in fact, offer cheese fondue — six varieties, in fact, with options like loaded baked potato cheddar, spinach-artichoke, and Wisconsin cheddar. Each pot of fondue comes with bread and a rotating roster of fruits and vegetables, though meat eaters may prefer to add a charcuterie board, to submerge some cured meats in their pot of cheese. Like Urban Fondue, the Melting Pot also offers other varieties of the dish — visitors can cook seafood and meats tableside in pots of hot broth, and finish the meal with chocolate fondue.

Heidi's Of Gresham

For decades, this Gresham stalwart has stood as a family favorite for friendly Americana: Meals of onion rings, Crab Louis, roast beef with mashed potatoes. In its time open, however, Heidi’s has kept a little sliver of Europe represented on its menu, thanks to founder Marie Eklund’s Swiss roots. The recipe for Heidi’s fondue is kept under lock and key, served simply in a bowl with bread for dunking.

Alpenrausch

What was once Olympia Provisions Public House is now this love letter to the Alps from the same owners, a Southeast Division restaurant celebrating the various cuisines found in the south-central European mountain range. So of course, Alpenrausch serves a very traditional Gruyère and Emmentaler fondue, for those who have eaten it in the motherland — expect something thinner than what you’d find at a Melting Pot, but still plenty luscious, with plenty of booze that cooks down over the course of the meal. The fondue comes with Olympia Provisions kaisekrainer, bratwurst, and other cured meats, plus new potatoes, pickles, bread, and a rotating selection of produce.

Papa Haydn

When people think of this longstanding Portland restaurant, with locations on either side of the Willamette, they often think of the desserts: impressive layer cakes, tortes, and mousses served alongside espresso martinis and limoncello. But the savory menu is also a standby for many Portland families, who visited the restaurant for celebratory bowls of risotto. Fondue is available as an appetizer here, a nontraditional blend of Gorgonzola and fontina poured in a darling mini cast-iron crock. It sits over a tea candle on a plate with baguette, apple, and a rotating vegetable.

Rue Cler

This chandelier-lit French market and restaurant pours mimosas to serve with Dungeness crab Benedicts on the weekends, while evenings involve classics like cordon bleu and steak frites. During dinner service, the restaurant serves its fondue for two with crudite, apples, and baguette, best paired with the restaurant’s charcuterie board.

Arrivederci Wine & Jazz

This Milwaukie jazz bar has the feel of a laid back, old-school piano bar, lit with string lights and serenaded by a rotating cast of live performers at the center of the space. Fondue here is simply served as a starter, with baguette and bratwurst, with optional add-ons like pretzels and extra sausage; the actual base is rich and silken without being excessively heavy. For more vehicle options, pair it with an antipasti plate, loaded with fruit, pickled vegetables, cured meats, and cheeses.

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