Evolved from 18th century sake shops, izakayas are casual taverns that are one part British gastropub, one part Spanish tapas bar, yet remain firmly Japanese. Traditionally, most izakayas specialize in small, shareable plates of fried, salty, or savory snacks that go with boozy drinks. In the U.S., though, the definition is a little looser and might not even focus on Japanese food. To wit: The recent rebirth of Ping, the long-closed “Thai izakaya.”
Izakayas are practically synonymous with drinking and socializing, which is difficult to translate to the at-home experience, but now that takeout cocktails are legal it might be a little easier. And truly, is there ever a situation in which karaage or agedashi tofu isn’t a knockout choice? Below, we’ve compiled a map of izakayas across the greater Portland area that are packaging up boxes of takoyaki, gyoza, and even bottles of sake. Looking for straight-up sushi spots? There’s a separate map for those. Ramen-focused restaurants also have their own guide. Maps are not ranked; they’re organized geographically.
A number of Portland restaurants have resumed outdoor dine-in service. The level of service offered is indicated on each map point. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for onsite dining, 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.Read More