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Starters, salads, and pasta at Montelupo
Marielle Dezurick/Official

13 Primo Italian Restaurants in Portland

Find all manner of pastas and wine with Portland’s stunning Italian restaurants

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Starters, salads, and pasta at Montelupo
| Marielle Dezurick/Official

In the last few years Portland has built itself a remarkably robust Italian food scene, from wood-fired pizzas to handmade pastas. Even during the pandemic, the city has seen its Italian options expand; beyond the classic trattoria, Portland now has a variety of Italian food carts and markets for in-home dining. Meanwhile, many of Portland’s venerated spots like Nostrana and 3 Doors Down have adapted to the new circumstances, expanding outdoor seating and adding delivery and takeout services.

Below, you’ll find Portland’s most exceptional Italian osterias and trattorias; those looking for a more specific pizza map can find it here.

A number of Portland restaurants have resumed dine-in service. The level of service offered is indicated on each map point. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns. For updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit the Oregon Health Authority’s COVID update page. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Gabagool

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7955 N Lombard St
Portland, OR 97203
(503) 894-9096
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Denizens of St. Johns need not venture far to find stellar Italian food, as Gabagool sits in the center of the neighborhood. The menu offers some unique options, like flatbread sandwiches called piadine — one such is the namesake gabagool, basically an Italian sub. There’s also spaghetti offered a variety of different ways, other pasta dishes, and a number of gluten-free polenta offerings. These days, the restaurant has moved out of its large-window dining hall and onto a heated patio, and also offers its pastas and sandwiches for takeout and delivery with online orders.

2. Gumba

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1733 NE Alberta St
Portland, OR 97211
(503) 975-5951
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Previously Portland’s best Italian food cart, Gumba has moved inside, taking over the space previously home to Aviary. Down the line, people can look forward to late night snacks and a bar, but for now it’s selling its decadent, loaded pasta dishes for takeout and for delivery via Postmates. The menu changes daily and can generally be found at its Facebook page, but Wednesdays are reserved for its very non-Italian, but very delicious, fried chicken sandwich.

3. L'unico Alimentari

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1825 N Williams Ave
Portland, OR 97227
(415) 430-5472
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While pasta doesn’t seem the most intuitive cuisine for a food cart, but L’unico Almentari at the Cartside Food Carts more than pulls it off. In addition to the fresh made pasta dishes like the spaghetti aglio e olio — light and delicate with a subtle heat — or the orecchiette al sugo — a rich and warming dish with tender bits of stewed beef in a sweet tomato sauce — the food cart also serves Italian sandwiches, including meatball, chicken parmigiana, and a vegetarian mushroom crostino. L’unico offers pick-up and delivery, and the Cartside Tap House offers seating and drinks.

4. Grassa

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1506 NW 23rd Ave
Portland, OR 97210
(971) 386-2196
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The argument could be made that Grassa is less Italian food, and more fast-paced American counter-service with Italian influences — any red-blooded Italian who orders carbonara and receives a bowl of pasta topped with breadcrumbs and a fried egg would likely want to have words with the manager. But it’s deeply satisfying, as are all the other fresh-made pastas. Slinging bowls of noodles loaded with an abundance of flavors, Grassa is the pasta equivalent of Lardo — fast, affordable, reliable, and tasty. It’s also available via delivery through Caviar from each of its three locations.

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More pork belly please.

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5. Cooperativa

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1250 NW 9th Ave Suite 100
Portland, OR 97209
(503) 342-7416
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The minimalist Italian marketplace will one day offer much more dining options for pastas and cocktails and desserts. For now, though, Cooperativa offers essential Italian products and produce for home cooking, as well as grab-and-go pizzas (including dessert pizzas), fresh panini (including breakfast panini), and coffee drinks. All of it is available for pre-order online.

6. Montelupo Italian Market

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344 NE 28th Ave
Portland, OR 97232
(503) 719-5650
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Like a number of other openings this year, Montelupo opened as a two-in-one market and restaurant. Those looking to dine in can do so in the heated tent the restaurant shares with the neighboring vegan restaurant Epif. The full-service menu includes generously sized bowls of rustic pasta dishes — the prosciutto and mortadella-stuffed tortelli calls for a side of bread to sop up some of the rich and warming tomato butter sauce, while the lighter tajarin features delicate noodles, truffle butter, and a pile of parmesan. Inside, shoppers can find jars of homemade sauce, Italian pantry staples, and cook-at-home pasta packages, including tomato butter sauce spaghetti and the tajarin. Most of the restaurant’s dishes are also available for takeout and delivery

7. Luce

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2140 E Burnside St
Portland, OR 97214
(503) 236-7195
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Black and white tiled floor and racks of olive oil, canned tomatoes, and wine give Luce’s intimate little space the feeling of a small shop in an Italian village. The illusion is made complete with Luce’s simple selection of fresh pasta dishes, vegetable sides, and delicate meats. Unfortunately, these cozy circumstances don’t serve well during a pandemic. Luce instead offers a few seats outside, as well as takeout options for food and wine, and even wine delivery.

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Nice @vickystetekluh

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8. Nostrana

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1401 SE Morrsion St #101
Portland, OR 97214
(503) 234-2427
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The lauded Italian eatery from Portland luminary Cathy Whims remains as relevant as it was when it opened in 2005. Out on the newly expanded patio, diners enjoy wood-fired oven pizzas, rotating pasta dishes, and robust Italian entrees made with local, seasonal ingredients. Of course, things have changed during the pandemic; visitors must have a reservation for the distanced dining and make all orders online. Those who would rather pick something up to take home can find a more limited menu.

9. Renata

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626 SE Main St
Portland, OR 97214
(503) 954-2708
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Renata has faced considerable uncertainty since the COVID-19 pandemic began shutting restaurant doors. While for a moment it looked as thought it would close, at the time being it has shut the doors on its sprawling and vaulted dining room, and offers instead a limited menu of its delicate wood fired-cooked pizzas and hand made pastas dishes for takeout. And while the lovely bar remains closed, its numerous Italian wines are available to-go by the bottle.

Renata/Facebook

10. 3 Doors Down Cafe

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1429 SE 37th Ave
Portland, OR 97214
(503) 236-6886
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An old fashioned dining room with white tablecloths and a name reminiscent of terrible ‘90s alt-rock bands keeps 3 Doors Down from being as hip as other Italian restaurants in Portland. It’s a shame, because the restaurant has been offering reliable Italian fare for decades, including vegetable-heavy pastas and classic Italian starters. It’s also secretly one of the geekiest wine spots in town, with a voluminous, global bottle list that makes it an industry hangout. 3 Doors down does offer indoor seating, but for those who don’t feel comfortable inside, it has a new outdoor dining area and offers takeout and delivery.

11. Cibo

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3539 SE Division St
Portland, OR 97202
(503) 719-5377
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Dominated by a central bar and lined with tufted red leather booths, the mistake could be made that Cibo is more of a pizzeria and bar than full Italian restaurant. But while the lovely wood-fired pizzas are a major draw, the small-but-solid pasta list and Italian wine menu elevate the restaurant to a more full-fledged Italian eatery. Today, Cibo is serving its menu for takeout and delivery only, but it’s gone the extra mile with an online order form that include “glasses” of wine served in seven-ounce bottles, as well as low-proof cocktails and full sized wine bottles.

12. Burrasca

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2032 SE Clinton St
Portland, OR 97202
(503) 236-7791
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An intimate interior with porcelain tiles and a beautiful, tree-lined patio give Burrasca a major upgrade from its modest beginnings as one of the city’s most popular Italian food carts, but the simplicity and quality of the food hasn’t changed. Today, diners can still find classic Florentine cuisine, like rustic meat sauces served over robust pastas and glasses of rich Tuscan wine. Burrasca currently offers indoor distanced seating, outdoor seating, and takeout. Reservations are strongly encouraged, and takeout is available by calling during business hours.

13. A Cena Ristorante

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7742 SE 13th Ave
Portland, OR 97202
(503) 206-3291
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A homey, romantic Italian restaurant A Cena (pronounced ah-chay-nah) has remained a staple of the Sellwood-Moreland neighborhood for years. Often changing with seasonal ingredients, it offers more robust pasta dishes made in-house (think rabbit sugo pappardelle and raviolini with lobster), as well as some meaty mains and fun sides, including onion rings. Its white tablecloths and painting-lined walls evoke an earlier dining style, and diners can now enjoy in-person dining with a reservation-only system and a plasma ionizer HVAC system. Those who still prefer to dine at home can find delivery and takeout options.

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1. Gabagool

7955 N Lombard St, Portland, OR 97203

Denizens of St. Johns need not venture far to find stellar Italian food, as Gabagool sits in the center of the neighborhood. The menu offers some unique options, like flatbread sandwiches called piadine — one such is the namesake gabagool, basically an Italian sub. There’s also spaghetti offered a variety of different ways, other pasta dishes, and a number of gluten-free polenta offerings. These days, the restaurant has moved out of its large-window dining hall and onto a heated patio, and also offers its pastas and sandwiches for takeout and delivery with online orders.

7955 N Lombard St
Portland, OR 97203

2. Gumba

1733 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211

Previously Portland’s best Italian food cart, Gumba has moved inside, taking over the space previously home to Aviary. Down the line, people can look forward to late night snacks and a bar, but for now it’s selling its decadent, loaded pasta dishes for takeout and for delivery via Postmates. The menu changes daily and can generally be found at its Facebook page, but Wednesdays are reserved for its very non-Italian, but very delicious, fried chicken sandwich.

1733 NE Alberta St
Portland, OR 97211

3. L'unico Alimentari

1825 N Williams Ave, Portland, OR 97227

While pasta doesn’t seem the most intuitive cuisine for a food cart, but L’unico Almentari at the Cartside Food Carts more than pulls it off. In addition to the fresh made pasta dishes like the spaghetti aglio e olio — light and delicate with a subtle heat — or the orecchiette al sugo — a rich and warming dish with tender bits of stewed beef in a sweet tomato sauce — the food cart also serves Italian sandwiches, including meatball, chicken parmigiana, and a vegetarian mushroom crostino. L’unico offers pick-up and delivery, and the Cartside Tap House offers seating and drinks.

1825 N Williams Ave
Portland, OR 97227

4. Grassa

1506 NW 23rd Ave, Portland, OR 97210

The argument could be made that Grassa is less Italian food, and more fast-paced American counter-service with Italian influences — any red-blooded Italian who orders carbonara and receives a bowl of pasta topped with breadcrumbs and a fried egg would likely want to have words with the manager. But it’s deeply satisfying, as are all the other fresh-made pastas. Slinging bowls of noodles loaded with an abundance of flavors, Grassa is the pasta equivalent of Lardo — fast, affordable, reliable, and tasty. It’s also available via delivery through Caviar from each of its three locations.

1506 NW 23rd Ave
Portland, OR 97210

5. Cooperativa

1250 NW 9th Ave Suite 100, Portland, OR 97209

The minimalist Italian marketplace will one day offer much more dining options for pastas and cocktails and desserts. For now, though, Cooperativa offers essential Italian products and produce for home cooking, as well as grab-and-go pizzas (including dessert pizzas), fresh panini (including breakfast panini), and coffee drinks. All of it is available for pre-order online.

1250 NW 9th Ave Suite 100
Portland, OR 97209

6. Montelupo Italian Market

344 NE 28th Ave, Portland, OR 97232

Like a number of other openings this year, Montelupo opened as a two-in-one market and restaurant. Those looking to dine in can do so in the heated tent the restaurant shares with the neighboring vegan restaurant Epif. The full-service menu includes generously sized bowls of rustic pasta dishes — the prosciutto and mortadella-stuffed tortelli calls for a side of bread to sop up some of the rich and warming tomato butter sauce, while the lighter tajarin features delicate noodles, truffle butter, and a pile of parmesan. Inside, shoppers can find jars of homemade sauce, Italian pantry staples, and cook-at-home pasta packages, including tomato butter sauce spaghetti and the tajarin. Most of the restaurant’s dishes are also available for takeout and delivery

344 NE 28th Ave
Portland, OR 97232

7. Luce

2140 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214

Black and white tiled floor and racks of olive oil, canned tomatoes, and wine give Luce’s intimate little space the feeling of a small shop in an Italian village. The illusion is made complete with Luce’s simple selection of fresh pasta dishes, vegetable sides, and delicate meats. Unfortunately, these cozy circumstances don’t serve well during a pandemic. Luce instead offers a few seats outside, as well as takeout options for food and wine, and even wine delivery.

2140 E Burnside St
Portland, OR 97214

8. Nostrana

1401 SE Morrsion St #101, Portland, OR 97214

The lauded Italian eatery from Portland luminary Cathy Whims remains as relevant as it was when it opened in 2005. Out on the newly expanded patio, diners enjoy wood-fired oven pizzas, rotating pasta dishes, and robust Italian entrees made with local, seasonal ingredients. Of course, things have changed during the pandemic; visitors must have a reservation for the distanced dining and make all orders online. Those who would rather pick something up to take home can find a more limited menu.

1401 SE Morrsion St #101
Portland, OR 97214

9. Renata

626 SE Main St, Portland, OR 97214
Renata/Facebook

Renata has faced considerable uncertainty since the COVID-19 pandemic began shutting restaurant doors. While for a moment it looked as thought it would close, at the time being it has shut the doors on its sprawling and vaulted dining room, and offers instead a limited menu of its delicate wood fired-cooked pizzas and hand made pastas dishes for takeout. And while the lovely bar remains closed, its numerous Italian wines are available to-go by the bottle.

626 SE Main St
Portland, OR 97214

10. 3 Doors Down Cafe

1429 SE 37th Ave, Portland, OR 97214

An old fashioned dining room with white tablecloths and a name reminiscent of terrible ‘90s alt-rock bands keeps 3 Doors Down from being as hip as other Italian restaurants in Portland. It’s a shame, because the restaurant has been offering reliable Italian fare for decades, including vegetable-heavy pastas and classic Italian starters. It’s also secretly one of the geekiest wine spots in town, with a voluminous, global bottle list that makes it an industry hangout. 3 Doors down does offer indoor seating, but for those who don’t feel comfortable inside, it has a new outdoor dining area and offers takeout and delivery.

1429 SE 37th Ave
Portland, OR 97214

11. Cibo

3539 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97202

Dominated by a central bar and lined with tufted red leather booths, the mistake could be made that Cibo is more of a pizzeria and bar than full Italian restaurant. But while the lovely wood-fired pizzas are a major draw, the small-but-solid pasta list and Italian wine menu elevate the restaurant to a more full-fledged Italian eatery. Today, Cibo is serving its menu for takeout and delivery only, but it’s gone the extra mile with an online order form that include “glasses” of wine served in seven-ounce bottles, as well as low-proof cocktails and full sized wine bottles.

3539 SE Division St
Portland, OR 97202

12. Burrasca

2032 SE Clinton St, Portland, OR 97202

An intimate interior with porcelain tiles and a beautiful, tree-lined patio give Burrasca a major upgrade from its modest beginnings as one of the city’s most popular Italian food carts, but the simplicity and quality of the food hasn’t changed. Today, diners can still find classic Florentine cuisine, like rustic meat sauces served over robust pastas and glasses of rich Tuscan wine. Burrasca currently offers indoor distanced seating, outdoor seating, and takeout. Reservations are strongly encouraged, and takeout is available by calling during business hours.

2032 SE Clinton St
Portland, OR 97202

13. A Cena Ristorante

7742 SE 13th Ave, Portland, OR 97202

A homey, romantic Italian restaurant A Cena (pronounced ah-chay-nah) has remained a staple of the Sellwood-Moreland neighborhood for years. Often changing with seasonal ingredients, it offers more robust pasta dishes made in-house (think rabbit sugo pappardelle and raviolini with lobster), as well as some meaty mains and fun sides, including onion rings. Its white tablecloths and painting-lined walls evoke an earlier dining style, and diners can now enjoy in-person dining with a reservation-only system and a plasma ionizer HVAC system. Those who still prefer to dine at home can find delivery and takeout options.

7742 SE 13th Ave
Portland, OR 97202

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