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A picture of a margherita pizza at Life of Pie
A margherita pizza from Life of Pie, which clocks in at $7.
Brooke Jackson-Glidden

22 Go-to Spots for Affordable Dining in Portland

Find the city's best inexpensive meals around town, from fried chicken to banh mi

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A margherita pizza from Life of Pie, which clocks in at $7.
| Brooke Jackson-Glidden

In the not-too-distant past, Portland was famous for incredible food deals at bars, restaurants, and food carts. Today, various consequences of the pandemic have made it much harder to stretch a dollar. Restaurants have been accumulating massive amounts of debt just to stay afloat, supply chain failures are affecting the costs of wholesale food, and restaurant workers have learned that they can’t work sustainably at the wages they were making before the pandemic. These factors have, understandably, raised the cost of a meal. Consumers should recognize that affordable food — whatever that means — is an extra level of service that restaurants can choose to provide, but shouldn’t always be expected to.

With that in mind, there are still a number of affordable dining options in the Portland area. Many chefs and owners believe in making food accessible to a larger population and recognize that the pandemic left many people financially struggling. Access to delicious, high-quality food should be available to all people, and many in the restaurant industry design their menus to make that possible.

This map showcases restaurants, food carts, and bars slinging filling meals like sandwiches, fried chicken, noodle soups, and more for under $12. Note that happy hours are only included if they are frequent and long-running; if you’re looking for happy hours specifically, we have a map for that. The restaurants on this map are not ranked; rather, they are 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.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Alberta Market

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909 NE Alberta St
Portland, OR 97211

The iconic Alberta Market convenience store is a North Portland staple for its fried chicken wings, which have hovered at a nearly unbelievable price since opening. The wings are wonderfully crispy and golden, but no order is complete without a side of jojos, the large wedges of fried potatoes. Four wings and jojos clocks in at just $8.50. The market is walk-in only.

2. Pine State Biscuits

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2204 NE Alberta St
Portland, OR 97211
(503) 477-6605
Visit Website

Pine State Biscuits has been a longtime destination for tourists, with biscuits drowning in heaping quantities of shiitake mushroom and sausage gravies. Not much has changed price-wise since the pandemic, as most of the essential biscuit sandwiches remain less than $12. There’s also the option of building your own biscuit combo (starting with a $3 biscuit), with rich protein-heavy toppings that cost between $4 to $6. Those feeling less biscuit friendly can opt for equally affordable Southern-influenced specialties, like the mushroom gravy chicken pot pie ($9), triple-stack blueberry cornmeal pancakes ($10), and Andouille sausage corn dog ($6).

3. Phở DaLat Restaurant

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10232 NE Sandy Blvd
Portland, OR 97220
(503) 252-1536

A relaxed, spacious diner, Phở Dalat is a reliable stop for one of Portland’s most ubiquitous dishes, especially for those on their way to or from the airport. The bowls of beef broth, tender noodles, and accoutrements like tripe, round steak, and tendon are all around $10, including its signature Phở Dalat Dac Biet, with all sorts of beef bites includes steak, flank, and brisket. Takeout orders can be placed over the phone or in person; the restaurant also offers indoor dining.

4. Life of Pie Pizza

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3632 N Williams Ave
Portland, OR 97219
(503) 719-7321
Visit Website

Outside of happy hour, a margherita pizza for one at the casually rustic Life of Pie costs $12, but during happy hour, that drops down to just $7. The best part? Happy hour runs every day for seven whole hours, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. It’s best eaten on the patio of the restaurant with a cold beer, as the extra-thin crust doesn’t hold up to travel for long. Happy hour margheritas are available for onsite dining and pick-up. Call-in orders are welcome.

5. The Taste Tickler

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1704 NE 14th Ave
Portland, OR 97212
(503) 282-3681
Visit Website

This classic old Portland shop on Broadway has been passed down from owner to owner for decades, largely without changing the simple and honest sandwich menu that has made the Taste Tickler a cult favorite among Portlanders. In its current form, the sandwich shop serves ten-inch subs laden with options ranging from ham and salami to BBQ chicken or bulgogi. Each ten-inch sub costs around $10, but for the truly thrifty, the move is to splurge for the fourteen-inch sub, which is massive enough to constitute two meals. The shop also offers filling bento boxes for $9 to $13. The Taste Tickler is open for walk-up and call-in orders seven days a week.

6. Sushi Ohana

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1422 NE Broadway
Portland, OR 97232
(503) 284-1023
Visit Website

The number of conveyor belt sushi restaurants in Portland is frustratingly small, especially in an era of COVID-influenced dining. Sushi Ohana, however, has maintained the integrity of this dine-in-centric style of cuisine, offering stacks of rotating California rolls, nigiri, and tempura. Thanks to the classic five-tier pricing style, it’s easy to spend less than $12 while dining in, since even the “priciest” plates of higher-quality fish remain less than $5. During the busier lunch and dinner rushes, the trays are loaded, making it possible to get a meal in less than 30 minutes.

7. Happy Bibimbap House

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4204 NE Halsey St
Portland, OR 97213
(503) 477-6066
Visit Website

Happy Bibimbap House 2 is an extension of the popular Salem Korean restaurant, offering no-frills Korean dishes like soondubu and the namesake rice bowl for stellar lunchtime pricing: $10.99 for most entrees. Combo boxes also offer filling portions of bulgogi, galbi, and salmon for $10.99, plus a hard-to-beat, decked out instant ramen deal for $5.99. Plus, each meal ends with a tiny umbrella-topped orange for dessert. Note that the prices increase after lunch, which ends at 3 p.m.

8. Super Deluxe

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870 NW 13th Ave
Portland, OR 97209
(971) 279-5064
Visit Website

Those heading to Super Deluxe to satisfy a drive-thru burger craving often end up sitting in the car for 20 minutes minimum at the Powell Blvd. location. Instead, head over to the Pearl District spot for a lightning-speed experience that beats the wait of many other nationally recognized burger chains (looking at you, In-N-Out). This small Portland burger chain serves classic beef, chicken, and veggie burgers for less than $10, alongside crinkle cut fries ($2.75) and crispy popcorn-style chicken nuggets ($5.25 for 5). SuperDeluxe relies on pricing Pacific Northwestern ingredients affordably to stand out as a fast food burger staple.

9. Basilisk

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820 NE 27th Avenue
Portland, OR

This micro counter-service restaurant in the hip, industrial Zipper complex serves a mammoth fried-chicken sandwich for $10; the crispy behemoth may be the best version of the quintessential sandwich in Multnomah County. For those who want some spice in their life, the Nashville-style hot chicken comes decently close to the real thing, served searingly hot on a thick slice of white bread with pickles, also for $10. Orders can be placed in person or online; check the website for wait times.

10. World Foods

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830 NW Everett St
Portland, OR 97209
(503) 802-0755
Visit Website

For those who get senseless joy out of window shopping the aisles at specialty grocers, World Foods provides that experience. It’s been a fixture of the Pearl since 2004, as well as an outdoor watering hole for locals to sip on thoughtfully selected wines and cortados. The Mediterranean deli is tucked in the back, serving pita wraps and cafeteria-style servings of harissa lamb meatballs and sumac potatoes by the pound. Most items cost less $10 per pound, like the chicken shawarma ($7.99 per pound). Mix and match with items in the glass case (typically less than $5 each) to craft the ideal lunch on-the-go.

11. Los Gorditos

Copy Link
922 NW Davis St
Portland, OR 97209
(503) 445-6289
Visit Website

The local Mexican restaurant group started as a food cart on 50th and Division, and now has five locations across Portland, including food carts and restaurants. Every Gorditos location is casual and counter-service, and none of them break the bank, even for the enormous “garbage burritos” which stuff three types of meats, rice, beans, salsa, onions, sour cream, and cheese in a single, herculean tortilla for less than $11. It’s not just for meat eaters, though — Los Gorditos also has a sizable vegan menu at each spot with a variety of protein options to satisfy all diets. Los Gorditos is open for walk-in and online ordering. Some locations offer outdoor dining.

12. Aalto Lounge

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3356 SE Belmont St
Portland, OR 97214
(503) 235-6041
Visit Website

Aalto has been a Belmont neighborhood mainstay for over 20 years thanks to its reliable cocktails and happy hour staples, which include batch-prepared drinks for less than $5 and simple-yet-satiating $4 appetizers. But even outside happy hour, drinks often remain at $11 or under (plus $3 Jell-O shots), and the entire food menu sticks to single-digit prices. The main draw here is the decked out grilled cheese and tomato soup combo. Now, this isn’t your standard Kraft and Campbell’s affair — think: Parmesan dissolving between slabs of herb-crusted bread. The accompanying dip is a respectfully sized cup of chunky tomato bisque soup, topped with shards of that same freshly cut Parmesan. The sandwich and soup is $6 outside of happy hour, or $4 during happy hour. Visitors must order a happy hour drink to get access to the deal, but after spending less than $10 on a cocktail and an app, they may find themselves ordering another round just because they can.

A mug of tomato soup appears next to a grilled cheese at Aalto Lounge, with a pint glass cocktail next to it.
Tomato soup and grilled cheese at Aalto Lounge.
Katrina Yentch/EPDX

13. Chicken and Guns

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1207 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Portland, OR 97214
(503) 234-7236
Visit Website

Chicken & Guns’ rendition of smoked rotisserie chicken arrives alongside bright and spicy South American sauces like chimichurri or aji verde. The quarter-bird option is a respectable portion of chicken with salad or “guns” (aka potato chunks), which come deeply crisped and heavily seasoned with lemon and sea salt for $11. Apart from the chicken, the menu includes a few other $12 meals, like the “Tacu Tacu,” a bowl filled with plantains, black beans, lentils, and a choice of smoked meat or potatoes. The cart sits in the Cartopia pod, which offers plenty of cozy outdoor seating.

14. General Burnside’s Canteen

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3207 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Portland, OR 97214
(973) 641-8242
Visit Website

Although General Burnside labels itself as a fried chicken destination, its menu may suggest that this low key post is more than just a wing stand. Tucked in front of a Hawthorne food pod off SE 32nd, General Burnside offers a melting pot of New York City standbys in the form of $10-dollar deli sandwiches— think hot cuts of pastrami among layers of gooey cheese stuffed inside thick slabs of naan. They’re served alongside generous portions of hand-cut potato chips, and most sandwiches pair well with a robust “Truck Driver” chai. Amid the buttermilk fried chicken and meaty sandwiches, vegan and gluten-free visitors will find equally exciting options like marinated cauliflower wings and fried okra paired with curry mayo.

15. Cubo

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3106 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Portland, OR 97214
(971) 544-7801
Visit Website

Cubo is a colorful bungalow serving classic Cuban plates, sandwiches, and bowls alongside well known rum-based cocktails. The happy hour is cheap and frequent; running every weekday afternoon and late eve Monday through Thursday, cocktails become $6, pints are $4, and any half-sandwich plus plantains are available for just $7. Even outside of happy hour, prices remain low: Cocktails stay in the single digits, an order of three hefty empanadas clocks in at $10, and the vast majority of the restaurant’s bowls stay under $12. These days Cubo is one of the few spots in Portland open past 9 p.m.; this makes it a reliable choice for late-night crowds, who will likely destroy fast casual-style marinated guava chicken and slow-roasted pork shoulder covered in spicy mojo sauce and banana ketchup. Cubo is open for onsite dining, as well as takeout.

16. Pure Spice Chinese Restaurant

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2446 SE 87th Ave
Portland, OR 97216
(503) 772-1808
Visit Website

There’s something about ducks hanging in windows that draws the immediate attention of Chinese food lovers, searching for comfort foods that remind them of Chinatowns across America. In which case, Pure Spice caters to this audience appropriately, serving slabs of roasted duck brushed with sweet five spice sauce, and presented on beds of white rice or topped over egg noodles. Apart from dim sum standbys and clay pot meals, Pure Spice’s lunch menu offers an array of classic Chinese American dishes like honey chicken wings and chow mein for less than $12. Lamb and bean curd sheets, salt and pepper squid, and dan dan noodles give patrons of all appetites a chance to find something they like, especially considering the menu offers a whopping 38 dishes for lunch.

17. Birrieria PDX

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16544 SE Division St
Portland, OR 97236
(971) 336-6804
Visit Website

It may be physically impossible to leave this Centennial birria cart hungry. With a foundation of tender, methodically spiced birria, the menu of this cart ranges from crunch wraps with hot cheetos, to traditional quesabirria oozing with cheese, to ramen made with the braised beef’s consomé — all of them under $10. For $11, customers can get a smattering of various birria treats like vampiros, quesatacos, and mulitas, with a side of consomé for dipping. The cart has some picnic tables outside for those who want to eat there; Birrieria PDX has expanded, and now operates four carts around the city.

18. Kenny's Noodle House

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8305 SE Powell Blvd
Portland, OR 97266
(503) 771-6868
Visit Website

A cozy, busy little diner just past 82nd Avenue on SE Powell, Kenny’s Noodle House is all about the soups — steaming bowls of wontons, noodles, pork bits, and bok choy, not to mention the dozens of other varieties of noodle soups. Basically everything here clocks in between $10 and $12, even the “large” size bowls which are more than enough for the average diner. There’s also customizable congee, dumplings, and vegetables, making it an easy meal to share. Orders can be placed over the phone or in person.

19. An Xuyen Bakery

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5345 SE Foster Rd
Portland, OR 97206
(503) 788-0866
Visit Website

This cramped, family-owned bakery packs its shelves with all sorts of baked goods, from Thai green tea cakes and Chinese almond cookies to steamed bao and fluffy wrapped hot dogs. The show-stealer is the bánh mì sandwich on fluffy house-baked bread, which is one of the city’s best. Options like pork belly, bbq pork, and pâté will satisfy those who eat meat, while a few vegetarian options round it out for those who don’t; none of them are over $5.

20. Tambayan Restaurant

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6014 SE Foster Rd
Portland, OR 97206
(503) 777-4217
Visit Website

Serving Filipino plates long before the cuisine's recent rise in buzz, Tambayan knocks out a fleet of hulking $11 combo plates, with options like fried chicken and sweet longganisa sausages, served with a fried egg and a nourishing garlic rice that'd slay a vampire. The vibe is low-key cafe, with the food being the main draw. Orders can be placed over the phone or in person.

A plate of lumpia, adobo, and more from Portland Filipino restaurant Tambayan
A table full of dishes from Tambayan
Mattie John Bamman/EPDX

21. Portland Cà Phê

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2815 SE Holgate Blvd
Portland, OR 97202

This Vietnamese coffee shop from roaster Kimberly Dam generated serious buzz when it opened in April 2020, slinging cà phê sữa đá, ube and cardamom-flavored lattes, and inventive pastries. Like other restaurants on this map, the move here is sandwiches, in this case bánh mì. Provided by Dam’s mother’s House of Bánh Mì, the sandwiches are just $7, with several grilled meat options and a tofu option available for vegetarians and vegans. The bánh mì come slathered with rich egg butter, pickled vegetables, cucumbers, and soy sauce — perfectly refreshing on a hot day. Orders can be placed in person or online.

22. PDX Sliders

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1605 SE Bybee Blvd #5714
Portland, OR 97202
(971) 717-5271
Visit Website

The sandwiches at these two laid-back counter-service locations in Southeast barely count as sliders — at around $6 each, they’re practically the size of an average burger, especially with options like the Steel, a double cheeseburger that easily dwarves the average burger patty in town and comes in at $6.75. Those who want fries can add them for a few more dollars and stay around $12, as well as the recommended allowance of sodium for the week. PDX Sliders is open for indoor and outdoor dining, and customers can order in person or over the phone for takeout.

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1. Alberta Market

909 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211

The iconic Alberta Market convenience store is a North Portland staple for its fried chicken wings, which have hovered at a nearly unbelievable price since opening. The wings are wonderfully crispy and golden, but no order is complete without a side of jojos, the large wedges of fried potatoes. Four wings and jojos clocks in at just $8.50. The market is walk-in only.

909 NE Alberta St
Portland, OR 97211

2. Pine State Biscuits

2204 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211

Pine State Biscuits has been a longtime destination for tourists, with biscuits drowning in heaping quantities of shiitake mushroom and sausage gravies. Not much has changed price-wise since the pandemic, as most of the essential biscuit sandwiches remain less than $12. There’s also the option of building your own biscuit combo (starting with a $3 biscuit), with rich protein-heavy toppings that cost between $4 to $6. Those feeling less biscuit friendly can opt for equally affordable Southern-influenced specialties, like the mushroom gravy chicken pot pie ($9), triple-stack blueberry cornmeal pancakes ($10), and Andouille sausage corn dog ($6).

2204 NE Alberta St
Portland, OR 97211

3. Phở DaLat Restaurant

10232 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland, OR 97220

A relaxed, spacious diner, Phở Dalat is a reliable stop for one of Portland’s most ubiquitous dishes, especially for those on their way to or from the airport. The bowls of beef broth, tender noodles, and accoutrements like tripe, round steak, and tendon are all around $10, including its signature Phở Dalat Dac Biet, with all sorts of beef bites includes steak, flank, and brisket. Takeout orders can be placed over the phone or in person; the restaurant also offers indoor dining.

10232 NE Sandy Blvd
Portland, OR 97220

4. Life of Pie Pizza

3632 N Williams Ave, Portland, OR 97219

Outside of happy hour, a margherita pizza for one at the casually rustic Life of Pie costs $12, but during happy hour, that drops down to just $7. The best part? Happy hour runs every day for seven whole hours, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. It’s best eaten on the patio of the restaurant with a cold beer, as the extra-thin crust doesn’t hold up to travel for long. Happy hour margheritas are available for onsite dining and pick-up. Call-in orders are welcome.

3632 N Williams Ave
Portland, OR 97219

5. The Taste Tickler

1704 NE 14th Ave, Portland, OR 97212

This classic old Portland shop on Broadway has been passed down from owner to owner for decades, largely without changing the simple and honest sandwich menu that has made the Taste Tickler a cult favorite among Portlanders. In its current form, the sandwich shop serves ten-inch subs laden with options ranging from ham and salami to BBQ chicken or bulgogi. Each ten-inch sub costs around $10, but for the truly thrifty, the move is to splurge for the fourteen-inch sub, which is massive enough to constitute two meals. The shop also offers filling bento boxes for $9 to $13. The Taste Tickler is open for walk-up and call-in orders seven days a week.

1704 NE 14th Ave
Portland, OR 97212

6. Sushi Ohana

1422 NE Broadway, Portland, OR 97232

The number of conveyor belt sushi restaurants in Portland is frustratingly small, especially in an era of COVID-influenced dining. Sushi Ohana, however, has maintained the integrity of this dine-in-centric style of cuisine, offering stacks of rotating California rolls, nigiri, and tempura. Thanks to the classic five-tier pricing style, it’s easy to spend less than $12 while dining in, since even the “priciest” plates of higher-quality fish remain less than $5. During the busier lunch and dinner rushes, the trays are loaded, making it possible to get a meal in less than 30 minutes.

1422 NE Broadway
Portland, OR 97232

7. Happy Bibimbap House

4204 NE Halsey St, Portland, OR 97213

Happy Bibimbap House 2 is an extension of the popular Salem Korean restaurant, offering no-frills Korean dishes like soondubu and the namesake rice bowl for stellar lunchtime pricing: $10.99 for most entrees. Combo boxes also offer filling portions of bulgogi, galbi, and salmon for $10.99, plus a hard-to-beat, decked out instant ramen deal for $5.99. Plus, each meal ends with a tiny umbrella-topped orange for dessert. Note that the prices increase after lunch, which ends at 3 p.m.

4204 NE Halsey St
Portland, OR 97213

8. Super Deluxe

870 NW 13th Ave, Portland, OR 97209

Those heading to Super Deluxe to satisfy a drive-thru burger craving often end up sitting in the car for 20 minutes minimum at the Powell Blvd. location. Instead, head over to the Pearl District spot for a lightning-speed experience that beats the wait of many other nationally recognized burger chains (looking at you, In-N-Out). This small Portland burger chain serves classic beef, chicken, and veggie burgers for less than $10, alongside crinkle cut fries ($2.75) and crispy popcorn-style chicken nuggets ($5.25 for 5). SuperDeluxe relies on pricing Pacific Northwestern ingredients affordably to stand out as a fast food burger staple.

870 NW 13th Ave
Portland, OR 97209

9. Basilisk

820 NE 27th Avenue, Portland, OR

This micro counter-service restaurant in the hip, industrial Zipper complex serves a mammoth fried-chicken sandwich for $10; the crispy behemoth may be the best version of the quintessential sandwich in Multnomah County. For those who want some spice in their life, the Nashville-style hot chicken comes decently close to the real thing, served searingly hot on a thick slice of white bread with pickles, also for $10. Orders can be placed in person or online; check the website for wait times.

820 NE 27th Avenue
Portland, OR

10. World Foods

830 NW Everett St, Portland, OR 97209

For those who get senseless joy out of window shopping the aisles at specialty grocers, World Foods provides that experience. It’s been a fixture of the Pearl since 2004, as well as an outdoor watering hole for locals to sip on thoughtfully selected wines and cortados. The Mediterranean deli is tucked in the back, serving pita wraps and cafeteria-style servings of harissa lamb meatballs and sumac potatoes by the pound. Most items cost less $10 per pound, like the chicken shawarma ($7.99 per pound). Mix and match with items in the glass case (typically less than $5 each) to craft the ideal lunch on-the-go.

830 NW Everett St
Portland, OR 97209

11. Los Gorditos

922 NW Davis St, Portland, OR 97209

The local Mexican restaurant group started as a food cart on 50th and Division, and now has five locations across Portland, including food carts and restaurants. Every Gorditos location is casual and counter-service, and none of them break the bank, even for the enormous “garbage burritos” which stuff three types of meats, rice, beans, salsa, onions, sour cream, and cheese in a single, herculean tortilla for less than $11. It’s not just for meat eaters, though — Los Gorditos also has a sizable vegan menu at each spot with a variety of protein options to satisfy all diets. Los Gorditos is open for walk-in and online ordering. Some locations offer outdoor dining.

922 NW Davis St
Portland, OR 97209

12. Aalto Lounge

3356 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR 97214
A mug of tomato soup appears next to a grilled cheese at Aalto Lounge, with a pint glass cocktail next to it.
Tomato soup and grilled cheese at Aalto Lounge.
Katrina Yentch/EPDX

Aalto has been a Belmont neighborhood mainstay for over 20 years thanks to its reliable cocktails and happy hour staples, which include batch-prepared drinks for less than $5 and simple-yet-satiating $4 appetizers. But even outside happy hour, drinks often remain at $11 or under (plus $3 Jell-O shots), and the entire food menu sticks to single-digit prices. The main draw here is the decked out grilled cheese and tomato soup combo. Now, this isn’t your standard Kraft and Campbell’s affair — think: Parmesan dissolving between slabs of herb-crusted bread. The accompanying dip is a respectfully sized cup of chunky tomato bisque soup, topped with shards of that same freshly cut Parmesan. The sandwich and soup is $6 outside of happy hour, or $4 during happy hour. Visitors must order a happy hour drink to get access to the deal, but after spending less than $10 on a cocktail and an app, they may find themselves ordering another round just because they can.

3356 SE Belmont St
Portland, OR 97214

13. Chicken and Guns

1207 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97214

Chicken & Guns’ rendition of smoked rotisserie chicken arrives alongside bright and spicy South American sauces like chimichurri or aji verde. The quarter-bird option is a respectable portion of chicken with salad or “guns” (aka potato chunks), which come deeply crisped and heavily seasoned with lemon and sea salt for $11. Apart from the chicken, the menu includes a few other $12 meals, like the “Tacu Tacu,” a bowl filled with plantains, black beans, lentils, and a choice of smoked meat or potatoes. The cart sits in the Cartopia pod, which offers plenty of cozy outdoor seating.

1207 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Portland, OR 97214

14. General Burnside’s Canteen

3207 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97214

Although General Burnside labels itself as a fried chicken destination, its menu may suggest that this low key post is more than just a wing stand. Tucked in front of a Hawthorne food pod off SE 32nd, General Burnside offers a melting pot of New York City standbys in the form of $10-dollar deli sandwiches— think hot cuts of pastrami among layers of gooey cheese stuffed inside thick slabs of naan. They’re served alongside generous portions of hand-cut potato chips, and most sandwiches pair well with a robust “Truck Driver” chai. Amid the buttermilk fried chicken and meaty sandwiches, vegan and gluten-free visitors will find equally exciting options like marinated cauliflower wings and fried okra paired with curry mayo.

3207 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Portland, OR 97214

15. Cubo

3106 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97214

Cubo is a colorful bungalow serving classic Cuban plates, sandwiches, and bowls alongside well known rum-based cocktails. The happy hour is cheap and frequent; running every weekday afternoon and late eve Monday through Thursday, cocktails become $6, pints are $4, and any half-sandwich plus plantains are available for just $7. Even outside of happy hour, prices remain low: Cocktails stay in the single digits, an order of three hefty empanadas clocks in at $10, and the vast majority of the restaurant’s bowls stay under $12. These days Cubo is one of the few spots in Portland open past 9 p.m.; this makes it a reliable choice for late-night crowds, who will likely destroy fast casual-style marinated guava chicken and slow-roasted pork shoulder covered in spicy mojo sauce and banana ketchup. Cubo is open for onsite dining, as well as takeout.

3106 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Portland, OR 97214

Related Maps

16. Pure Spice Chinese Restaurant

2446 SE 87th Ave, Portland, OR 97216

There’s something about ducks hanging in windows that draws the immediate attention of Chinese food lovers, searching for comfort foods that remind them of Chinatowns across America. In which case, Pure Spice caters to this audience appropriately, serving slabs of roasted duck brushed with sweet five spice sauce, and presented on beds of white rice or topped over egg noodles. Apart from dim sum standbys and clay pot meals, Pure Spice’s lunch menu offers an array of classic Chinese American dishes like honey chicken wings and chow mein for less than $12. Lamb and bean curd sheets, salt and pepper squid, and dan dan noodles give patrons of all appetites a chance to find something they like, especially considering the menu offers a whopping 38 dishes for lunch.

2446 SE 87th Ave
Portland, OR 97216

17. Birrieria PDX

16544 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97236

It may be physically impossible to leave this Centennial birria cart hungry. With a foundation of tender, methodically spiced birria, the menu of this cart ranges from crunch wraps with hot cheetos, to traditional quesabirria oozing with cheese, to ramen made with the braised beef’s consomé — all of them under $10. For $11, customers can get a smattering of various birria treats like vampiros, quesatacos, and mulitas, with a side of consomé for dipping. The cart has some picnic tables outside for those who want to eat there; Birrieria PDX has expanded, and now operates four carts around the city.

16544 SE Division St
Portland, OR 97236

18. Kenny's Noodle House

8305 SE Powell Blvd, Portland, OR 97266

A cozy, busy little diner just past 82nd Avenue on SE Powell, Kenny’s Noodle House is all about the soups — steaming bowls of wontons, noodles, pork bits, and bok choy, not to mention the dozens of other varieties of noodle soups. Basically everything here clocks in between $10 and $12, even the “large” size bowls which are more than enough for the average diner. There’s also customizable congee, dumplings, and vegetables, making it an easy meal to share. Orders can be placed over the phone or in person.

8305 SE Powell Blvd
Portland, OR 97266

19. An Xuyen Bakery

5345 SE Foster Rd, Portland, OR 97206

This cramped, family-owned bakery packs its shelves with all sorts of baked goods, from Thai green tea cakes and Chinese almond cookies to steamed bao and fluffy wrapped hot dogs. The show-stealer is the bánh mì sandwich on fluffy house-baked bread, which is one of the city’s best. Options like pork belly, bbq pork, and pâté will satisfy those who eat meat, while a few vegetarian options round it out for those who don’t; none of them are over $5.

5345 SE Foster Rd
Portland, OR 97206

20. Tambayan Restaurant

6014 SE Foster Rd, Portland, OR 97206
A plate of lumpia, adobo, and more from Portland Filipino restaurant Tambayan
A table full of dishes from Tambayan
Mattie John Bamman/EPDX

Serving Filipino plates long before the cuisine's recent rise in buzz, Tambayan knocks out a fleet of hulking $11 combo plates, with options like fried chicken and sweet longganisa sausages, served with a fried egg and a nourishing garlic rice that'd slay a vampire. The vibe is low-key cafe, with the food being the main draw. Orders can be placed over the phone or in person.

6014 SE Foster Rd
Portland, OR 97206

21. Portland Cà Phê

2815 SE Holgate Blvd, Portland, OR 97202

This Vietnamese coffee shop from roaster Kimberly Dam generated serious buzz when it opened in April 2020, slinging cà phê sữa đá, ube and cardamom-flavored lattes, and inventive pastries. Like other restaurants on this map, the move here is sandwiches, in this case bánh mì. Provided by Dam’s mother’s House of Bánh Mì, the sandwiches are just $7, with several grilled meat options and a tofu option available for vegetarians and vegans. The bánh mì come slathered with rich egg butter, pickled vegetables, cucumbers, and soy sauce — perfectly refreshing on a hot day. Orders can be placed in person or online.

2815 SE Holgate Blvd
Portland, OR 97202

22. PDX Sliders

1605 SE Bybee Blvd #5714, Portland, OR 97202

The sandwiches at these two laid-back counter-service locations in Southeast barely count as sliders — at around $6 each, they’re practically the size of an average burger, especially with options like the Steel, a double cheeseburger that easily dwarves the average burger patty in town and comes in at $6.75. Those who want fries can add them for a few more dollars and stay around $12, as well as the recommended allowance of sodium for the week. PDX Sliders is open for indoor and outdoor dining, and customers can order in person or over the phone for takeout.

1605 SE Bybee Blvd #5714
Portland, OR 97202

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