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Portland’s Essential Izakayas, Mapped

Where to find these Japanese pubs

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There’s a new Japanese establishment that has popped up all over Portland: the izakaya. Evolved from 18th century sake shops, these casual taverns are the Japanese version of what would happen if a British gastropub and a Spanish tapas bar had a lovechild. Generally avoiding a menu divided into courses or entrees, most focus on small, shareable plates filled with fried, salty, or savory snacks that go with boozy drinks.

This map covers the best Portland’s quadrants as well as the ‘burbs, and features more traditional spots like Bamboo Sushi and Shigezo Izakaya as well as Japanese-inspired options such as The American Local and Wares.

Looking for straight-up sushi spots? There’s a separate map for those over here. Ramen-focused restaurants also have their own guide, right here.

(Note: The points on this map guide are not ranked; rather, they’re organized geographically.)

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Yakuza Lounge

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5411 NE 30th Ave
Portland, OR 97211
(503) 450-0893
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Known for its sleek dining room and landscaped patio, Yakuza offers a rotation of salads, small plates, rolls, and lots of boozy craft cocktails. Not-to-miss dishes include the radicchio salad and the shoestring-fries-and-chevre-topped burger.

2. Izakaya Kichinto

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102 NE Russell St
Portland, OR 97212
(971) 255-0169
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One of Shigezo’s Portland-based sister restaurants, Izakaya Kichinto serves up standards like steamed gyoza, grilled mackerel, and agedashi tofu. Sushi rolls, noodles, and a few curry options round out the menu.

Okonomiyaki
Izakaya Kichinto

3. Wares

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2713 NE Sandy Blvd
Portland, OR 97232
(503) 954-1172
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Chef-owner Johanna Ware is back and serving up more of her “inauthentic” Asian dishes at this reincarnation of her restaurant Smallwares. Ware is always tweaking her compact menu, offering usually include fried kale, kimchi stew, and a rice bowl with your choice of protein.

4. Syun Izakaya

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209 NE Lincoln St
Hillsboro, OR 97124
(503) 640-3131
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With a menu of 60-plus small plates and sushi rolls as well as one of the largest selections of sake in the Pacific Northwest, the much-lauded Syun is well worth a suburban field trip. Along with izakaya classics, there’s a board full of daily specials.

5. Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya

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11830 NW Cedar Falls Dr
Portland, OR 97229
(971) 266-3188
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Find a handful of standard izakaya snacks along with signature ramen bowls at the Portland outlet of this Tokyo-based franchise, formerly known as Kukai Ramen & Izakaya. Must-tries are the pork belly bun and fried chicken (karaage).

6. Biwa

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215 SE 9th Ave
Portland, OR 97214
(503) 239-8830
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Recently rebooted with lunch and late-night hours, the Central Eastside’s go-to izakaya has been offering creative Japanese fare for over a decade. Sample a variety of favorites — karaage fried chicken, pork dumplings, squash croquettes — with the bento box, or go for Biwa’s killer burger or ramen.

7. Shigezo

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910 SW Salmon St
Portland, OR 97205
(503) 688-5202
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Opened in 2010, downtown Portland’s go-to izakaya has something for everyone. Great bets are the gyoza (Japanese pot stickers), Tokyo ramen, and chicken katsu curry. Score the best deals at happy hour, which is twice daily from 4 to 6 p.m. and again from 9 p.m. until closing.

8. Afuri

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923 SE 7th Ave
Portland, OR 97214
(503) 468-5001
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Ramen may be the signature dish of this Tokyo-based chain but the izakaya portion of the menu gives those soupy noodles a run for its money. Afuri’s secret weapon is the genshiyaki — an old-school Japanese grill — which it uses to grill its meat, fish, and veggie skewers.

9. The American Local

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3003 SE Division St
Portland, OR 97202
(503) 954-2687
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For an eclectic, all-American twist on the traditional izakaya, head to this SE Division hot spot. Expect blood orange with the scallops or mac and cheese fried with panko. This is drinking food, folks, so be sure to check out the house cocktails.

Shio koji cured kanpachi with rainier cherries, black sesame purée, and basil 
The American Local

10. Yataimura Maru

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3810 SE Division St
Portland, OR 97202
(503) 841-5527
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Another Shigezo affiliate, Yataimura is an izakaya, ramen shop, and sushi bar rolled into one, with decor that pays homage to Japan’s food-stall-lined alleyways. Look for offerings like bacon-wrapped quail eggs and grilled eggplant with bonito flakes.

Karaage chicken
Yataimura Maru

11. Yama Sushi & Izakaya

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アメリカ合衆国, 2038 SE Clinton St
Portland, OR 97202
(503) 231-2859
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If you’re looking for an expansive menu filled with izakaya-style dishes, then this is the place for you. The happy hour is a screaming deal, with options like shishito bacon skewers to calamari tempura ranging in price from $3 to $6. Oh, and sake cocktails, too.

12. Yuzu

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4130 SW 117th Ave
Beaverton, OR 97005
(503) 350-1801
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Another ramen hotspot in Beaverton, Yuzu quietly houses a treasure trove of izakaya dishes. Seafood, chicken, pork, and beef carry the menu, with vegetarian options in short supply. Not to miss are the melt-in-your-mouth grilled rib-eye bites.

Yaki onigiri
Yelp/Melissa N.

13. Bamboo Sushi SW

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404 SW 12th Ave
Portland, OR 97205
(503) 444-7455
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Famous for its sushi, this sustainable-minded chain is also well-versed in izakaya offerings. Look for the grilled mackerel, served in a woven basket over smoking alder wood, and shishito peppers with miso butter and bacon, infused with umami goodness. There are three other Bamboos a little further afield from downtown, too.

1. Yakuza Lounge

5411 NE 30th Ave, Portland, OR 97211

Known for its sleek dining room and landscaped patio, Yakuza offers a rotation of salads, small plates, rolls, and lots of boozy craft cocktails. Not-to-miss dishes include the radicchio salad and the shoestring-fries-and-chevre-topped burger.

5411 NE 30th Ave
Portland, OR 97211

2. Izakaya Kichinto

102 NE Russell St, Portland, OR 97212
Okonomiyaki
Izakaya Kichinto

One of Shigezo’s Portland-based sister restaurants, Izakaya Kichinto serves up standards like steamed gyoza, grilled mackerel, and agedashi tofu. Sushi rolls, noodles, and a few curry options round out the menu.

102 NE Russell St
Portland, OR 97212

3. Wares

2713 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland, OR 97232

Chef-owner Johanna Ware is back and serving up more of her “inauthentic” Asian dishes at this reincarnation of her restaurant Smallwares. Ware is always tweaking her compact menu, offering usually include fried kale, kimchi stew, and a rice bowl with your choice of protein.

2713 NE Sandy Blvd
Portland, OR 97232

4. Syun Izakaya

209 NE Lincoln St, Hillsboro, OR 97124

With a menu of 60-plus small plates and sushi rolls as well as one of the largest selections of sake in the Pacific Northwest, the much-lauded Syun is well worth a suburban field trip. Along with izakaya classics, there’s a board full of daily specials.

209 NE Lincoln St
Hillsboro, OR 97124

5. Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya

11830 NW Cedar Falls Dr, Portland, OR 97229

Find a handful of standard izakaya snacks along with signature ramen bowls at the Portland outlet of this Tokyo-based franchise, formerly known as Kukai Ramen & Izakaya. Must-tries are the pork belly bun and fried chicken (karaage).

11830 NW Cedar Falls Dr
Portland, OR 97229

6. Biwa

215 SE 9th Ave, Portland, OR 97214

Recently rebooted with lunch and late-night hours, the Central Eastside’s go-to izakaya has been offering creative Japanese fare for over a decade. Sample a variety of favorites — karaage fried chicken, pork dumplings, squash croquettes — with the bento box, or go for Biwa’s killer burger or ramen.

215 SE 9th Ave
Portland, OR 97214

7. Shigezo

910 SW Salmon St, Portland, OR 97205

Opened in 2010, downtown Portland’s go-to izakaya has something for everyone. Great bets are the gyoza (Japanese pot stickers), Tokyo ramen, and chicken katsu curry. Score the best deals at happy hour, which is twice daily from 4 to 6 p.m. and again from 9 p.m. until closing.

910 SW Salmon St
Portland, OR 97205

8. Afuri

923 SE 7th Ave, Portland, OR 97214

Ramen may be the signature dish of this Tokyo-based chain but the izakaya portion of the menu gives those soupy noodles a run for its money. Afuri’s secret weapon is the genshiyaki — an old-school Japanese grill — which it uses to grill its meat, fish, and veggie skewers.

923 SE 7th Ave
Portland, OR 97214

9. The American Local

3003 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97202
Shio koji cured kanpachi with rainier cherries, black sesame purée, and basil 
The American Local

For an eclectic, all-American twist on the traditional izakaya, head to this SE Division hot spot. Expect blood orange with the scallops or mac and cheese fried with panko. This is drinking food, folks, so be sure to check out the house cocktails.

3003 SE Division St
Portland, OR 97202

10. Yataimura Maru

3810 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97202
Karaage chicken
Yataimura Maru

Another Shigezo affiliate, Yataimura is an izakaya, ramen shop, and sushi bar rolled into one, with decor that pays homage to Japan’s food-stall-lined alleyways. Look for offerings like bacon-wrapped quail eggs and grilled eggplant with bonito flakes.

3810 SE Division St
Portland, OR 97202

11. Yama Sushi & Izakaya

アメリカ合衆国, 2038 SE Clinton St, Portland, OR 97202

If you’re looking for an expansive menu filled with izakaya-style dishes, then this is the place for you. The happy hour is a screaming deal, with options like shishito bacon skewers to calamari tempura ranging in price from $3 to $6. Oh, and sake cocktails, too.

アメリカ合衆国, 2038 SE Clinton St
Portland, OR 97202

12. Yuzu

4130 SW 117th Ave, Beaverton, OR 97005
Yaki onigiri
Yelp/Melissa N.

Another ramen hotspot in Beaverton, Yuzu quietly houses a treasure trove of izakaya dishes. Seafood, chicken, pork, and beef carry the menu, with vegetarian options in short supply. Not to miss are the melt-in-your-mouth grilled rib-eye bites.

4130 SW 117th Ave
Beaverton, OR 97005

13. Bamboo Sushi SW

404 SW 12th Ave, Portland, OR 97205

Famous for its sushi, this sustainable-minded chain is also well-versed in izakaya offerings. Look for the grilled mackerel, served in a woven basket over smoking alder wood, and shishito peppers with miso butter and bacon, infused with umami goodness. There are three other Bamboos a little further afield from downtown, too.

404 SW 12th Ave
Portland, OR 97205

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