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.Read More