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Tacos al pastor, cabeza, nopales, and suadero are lined up in house-made tortillas at Portland’s Taqueria Los Ponchos.
A set of tacos at Taqueria Los Ponchos.
Brooke Jackson-Glidden/Eater Portland

The Hottest New Restaurants and Food Carts in Portland, June 2022

A taqueria filling house-made tortillas with shavings from a trompo, a Mississippi osteria with hand-made pastas, and other noteworthy new spots to try around town

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A set of tacos at Taqueria Los Ponchos.
| Brooke Jackson-Glidden/Eater Portland

As a city rife with turnover and sitting comfortably on the culinary cutting edge, Portland sees restaurants open doors with regularity, hoping to make a splash in a town that’s overabundant with talent for its size. However, some of those newcomers become the talk of the town quickly, among food writers or neighborhood regulars in search of something special.

The pandemic has been a particularly brutal for the restaurant industry: The lingering presence of COVID-19 has forced chefs and restaurant owners to think on their feet, creating brand-new business models with barely any capital. Some people, who had big restaurant plans in 2020, had to push back their opening dates. However, those that were able to open often created experiences and dishes that somehow remained creative during a morose, exhausting time.

Thus, we present the Eater Heatmap, which covers some of the exciting restaurants that have opened in the past six months. Know of a spot that should be on our radar? Send us a tip by emailing pdx@eater.com.

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.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Gabbiano’s

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5411 NE 30th Ave
Portland, OR 97211
(503) 719-4373
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What a joy, to return to a boisterous dining room. Northeast Portland Italian restaurant Gabbiano’s, adorned with chianti bottles and pasta-themed artwork, doesn’t take itself too seriously, which means its approach to food feels breezy and fun. Take, for example, the mozzarella sticks, formed into little shot glasses filled with marinara; or, perhaps, the caprese negroni, made with sun-dried tomato-infused Campari and basil vermouth — its menu is goofy but still thoughtful, with each choice backed up by the flavors delivered. Gabbiano’s is open for indoor dining with proof of vaccination, as well as outdoor seating on a heated patio.

2. Pasture PDX

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1413 NE Alberta St
Portland, OR 97211
(503) 841-5033
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In an Alberta storefront with blue-and-white walls and wishbone chairs, Kei Ohdera and John Schaible sell Hawley Ranch beef and house-made sausages out of a small butcher case. However, Pasture’s real draw is the lunch menu, which is meant to highlight the restaurant’s house-cured meats. You can see why: Shockingly delicate and just lightly smoky, Pasture’s pastrami is easily among the city’s best. Order it on a ciabatta sandwich with a saucy cabbage slaw and pickled carrots, or in a Reuben variation with a carrot ketchup thousand island dressing. The vegetables here play no understudy to the meats, however; a seasonal green salad with preserved lemon balances bitterness with an almost yuzu-esque sweetness. It’s open for onsite dining and takeout.

3. Paladin Pie

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2231 NE Alberta St
Portland, OR 97211
(503) 327-8831
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This Alberta pizza cart builds its pies on a foundation of soft, lightly tangy dough, spotted with tiny flecks of char; from there, pizzas range from the classics (pepperoni and cheese) to inventive twists. The Jazz Cabbage is a particular standout, the sour bite of the kimchi playing off the ferment of the dough, mellowed by cheddar and bacon. It’s open for walk-ups.

4. Tartuca

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3951 N Mississippi Ave
Portland, OR 97227
(503) 477-8008
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This brick-walled, intimate spot exudes mid-week date night energy. Italian orange wine flows while couples dip crostini into flaky branzino dip, subtly briny with a zing of lemon. Juicy harukei turnips sit on a jammy collection of melted alliums, before a soft crusted pizza lands at the table, topped with mushrooms and coppa. The orecchiette, tossed in green garlic pesto, gets a sweet dose of preserved lemons chef Jamie Wilcox harvested from her partner’s parents’ property years ago. This place may feel casual and inviting, but it’s clear the team here is passionate about what they do.

A bowl of noodles is covered in green flecks and charred raab at Tartuca in Portland, Oregon.
Orecchiette with green garlic pesto and preserved lemon.
Brooke Jackson-Glidden/Eater Portland

5. Phuket Cafe

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1818 NW 23rd Pl
Portland, OR 97210
(503) 781-2997

The newest Akkapong Earl Ninsom restaurant has completely transformed the former Ataula space, with emerald green hues, an intimate feel, and leaves painted up the northern wall. The menu does not seem to borrow much from any of Ninsom’s other restaurants; instead, little quesadilla-esque triangles of pandan roti enjoy the sweetness of a coconut creme fraiche, plump mussels peek out of a pile of tom-yum-scented rice, and delicate slivers of striped bass curl under layers of fresh mint. In true Eric Nelson fashion, the cocktails head into fun, tropical territory, but the slate-dry, chilly martinis are particularly nice with the restaurant’s oysters. It would be a sin to leave without trying the various kakigori, petals of shaved ice piled on top of a dome of panna cotta.

6. La Fondita/Taqueria Los Ponchos

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422 NW 8th Ave
Portland, OR 97209

These two businesses, which run side-by-side at a shared address, are the homes of two facets of República’s team. To the left, Doña Chapis, previously spotted flipping tortillas on República’s comal, runs La Fondita; she does the same here, grabbing handfuls of masa to press for tacotes and quesadillas. She passes the tortillas, wrapped warm in a cloth napkin, across the counter to diners, who sop up smoky-sweet mole the color of clay or a brick-red pozole topped with thin slices of watermelon radish. To the right, the Torres family runs Taqueria Los Ponchos; many Torreses have worked in the República kitchen. A projector plays black-and-white movies on the white cement walls next to a long bar, where bartenders shake Oregon strawberries with hibiscus and lemon verbena. This is, truly, a taco bar, where shots of mezcal arrive alongside thin multicolored masa tortillas, filled with rich, fall-apart pieces of cabeza or shavings of al pastor from the trompo (a rarity in Portland proper). Both are open for onsite dining.

7. Mikiko Mochi Donuts

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300 NE 28th Ave
Portland, OR 97232

In this tiny cafe off NE 28th, chef Alex McGillivray and his partner, Emily Mikiko Strocher, sell colorful butter-mochi-based doughnuts in flavors like ube and Thai tea. These are unlike most mochi doughnuts found around the country: Somewhere between a brioche doughnut and butter mochi, the doughnut has a texture that is more soft than springy, with gentle give upon each bite. McGillivray knows how to complement the natural sweetness of the dough, by pairing it with acid — a passionfruit curd pooled in the center, a yuzu glaze topped with sprinkles. Plus, they’re naturally dairy- and gluten-free. Visitors can stop by for takeout orders.

8. Batterfish

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3336 SE Belmont St
Portland, OR 97214
(971) 258-2845
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Jason Killalee is very serious about the craft of frying fish and chips. Having found success in Los Angeles, he briefly opened a Happy Valley food cart before settling into a narrow brick and mortar location on Southeast Belmont. His fish doesn’t adhere to his Irish background or to a particular American style — instead, its incredibly thin, delicately crispy crust gives way to flaky fish, served alongside piles of never-frozen golden fries. The style means less batter and far less oil, leading to a lighter take on the classic. To further disrupt tradition, Killalee also serves burritos with curry battered fish, fried fish tacos, and a spicy catfish sandwich that borrows herbs and flavors from Southeast Asia. Batterfish is open for indoor dining and takeout.

9. Rukdiew Cafe

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2534 SE Belmont St
Portland, OR 97214
(971) 302-6115
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Out of the blue, Rukdiew Cafe landed on Belmont with some of the city’s finest khao soi: Salty-sweet, layered spice, with delightfully funky pickled greens and a hit of fried and fresh alliums. Rukdiew is the kind of place where you can find comforting staples like pad kee mow and pad Thai, as well as boat noodles overflowing with meatballs and braised beef. The kana moo krob, crispy hunks of pork belly with stir-fried gai lan, is another highlight. It’s open for onsite dining, as well as takeout and delivery.

10. Bluto’s

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2838 SE Belmont St
Portland, OR 97214

Split wood piles up around the counter of this Belmont Greek restaurant, fueling the wood fired grill where skewers of shrimp and oregano-spiced chicken brown. Around the walk-up counter, tables support dishes of hummus so smooth it has the texture of soft serve, alongside cucumber-y tzatziki and puffs of pita-esque flatbread in white paper bags. With skewers of exceptionally juicy lamb souvlaki and salads dotted with grilled olives, Bluto’s is clearly vying for top billing in Portland’s Greek restaurant scene.

11. Wu-Rons

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1430 SE Water Ave
Portland, OR 97214

Chef Taka Terashita worked for New York’s lauded French-Japanese chef Tadashi Ono before opening this unassuming ramen shop with his former distributor, Shintaro Yamada, 3,000 miles away. Terashita specializes in the ramen Yamada ate growing up in Fukuoka: A silky tonkotsu broth filled with firm, thin noodles, with a hearty sprinkling of sesame seeds on top. These bowls are simple but spectacular, from a vegetarian tantanmen using fresh and dried shiitakes to a milky miso tonkotsu topped with thick slabs of chashu. It’s open for onsite dining.

12. Rangoon Bistro

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2311 SE 50th Ave
Portland, OR 97215
(503) 953-5385
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Tucked in a corner of the Breathe Building, this farmers market standby turned bustling cafe specializes in a culinary cross-section of Myanmar and Oregon. Here, chefs David Sai, Alex Saw, and Nick Sherbo use seasonal Pacific Northwestern produce to create dazzlingly intricate dishes with countless components. Thinly sliced, suede-smooth chickpea tofu sits on a pile of nuts and cabbage, with a citrusy soy sauce dressing. Chicken danbauk blends toasty spices with tender chicken, with a super bright chile-laden yogurt. A saucy tofu nway is a Pollock painting of flavors and textures — the ground pork and nuts, the earthiness of the tofu, the bright pow of a pickled vegetable. Everything feels fresh and alive, loud and vibrant, except for a gorgeously simple salted coconut milk, the ideal accompaniment to any meal.

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1. Gabbiano’s

5411 NE 30th Ave, Portland, OR 97211

What a joy, to return to a boisterous dining room. Northeast Portland Italian restaurant Gabbiano’s, adorned with chianti bottles and pasta-themed artwork, doesn’t take itself too seriously, which means its approach to food feels breezy and fun. Take, for example, the mozzarella sticks, formed into little shot glasses filled with marinara; or, perhaps, the caprese negroni, made with sun-dried tomato-infused Campari and basil vermouth — its menu is goofy but still thoughtful, with each choice backed up by the flavors delivered. Gabbiano’s is open for indoor dining with proof of vaccination, as well as outdoor seating on a heated patio.

5411 NE 30th Ave
Portland, OR 97211

2. Pasture PDX

1413 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211

In an Alberta storefront with blue-and-white walls and wishbone chairs, Kei Ohdera and John Schaible sell Hawley Ranch beef and house-made sausages out of a small butcher case. However, Pasture’s real draw is the lunch menu, which is meant to highlight the restaurant’s house-cured meats. You can see why: Shockingly delicate and just lightly smoky, Pasture’s pastrami is easily among the city’s best. Order it on a ciabatta sandwich with a saucy cabbage slaw and pickled carrots, or in a Reuben variation with a carrot ketchup thousand island dressing. The vegetables here play no understudy to the meats, however; a seasonal green salad with preserved lemon balances bitterness with an almost yuzu-esque sweetness. It’s open for onsite dining and takeout.

1413 NE Alberta St
Portland, OR 97211

3. Paladin Pie

2231 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211

This Alberta pizza cart builds its pies on a foundation of soft, lightly tangy dough, spotted with tiny flecks of char; from there, pizzas range from the classics (pepperoni and cheese) to inventive twists. The Jazz Cabbage is a particular standout, the sour bite of the kimchi playing off the ferment of the dough, mellowed by cheddar and bacon. It’s open for walk-ups.

2231 NE Alberta St
Portland, OR 97211

4. Tartuca

3951 N Mississippi Ave, Portland, OR 97227
A bowl of noodles is covered in green flecks and charred raab at Tartuca in Portland, Oregon.
Orecchiette with green garlic pesto and preserved lemon.
Brooke Jackson-Glidden/Eater Portland

This brick-walled, intimate spot exudes mid-week date night energy. Italian orange wine flows while couples dip crostini into flaky branzino dip, subtly briny with a zing of lemon. Juicy harukei turnips sit on a jammy collection of melted alliums, before a soft crusted pizza lands at the table, topped with mushrooms and coppa. The orecchiette, tossed in green garlic pesto, gets a sweet dose of preserved lemons chef Jamie Wilcox harvested from her partner’s parents’ property years ago. This place may feel casual and inviting, but it’s clear the team here is passionate about what they do.

3951 N Mississippi Ave
Portland, OR 97227

5. Phuket Cafe

1818 NW 23rd Pl, Portland, OR 97210

The newest Akkapong Earl Ninsom restaurant has completely transformed the former Ataula space, with emerald green hues, an intimate feel, and leaves painted up the northern wall. The menu does not seem to borrow much from any of Ninsom’s other restaurants; instead, little quesadilla-esque triangles of pandan roti enjoy the sweetness of a coconut creme fraiche, plump mussels peek out of a pile of tom-yum-scented rice, and delicate slivers of striped bass curl under layers of fresh mint. In true Eric Nelson fashion, the cocktails head into fun, tropical territory, but the slate-dry, chilly martinis are particularly nice with the restaurant’s oysters. It would be a sin to leave without trying the various kakigori, petals of shaved ice piled on top of a dome of panna cotta.

1818 NW 23rd Pl
Portland, OR 97210

6. La Fondita/Taqueria Los Ponchos

422 NW 8th Ave, Portland, OR 97209

These two businesses, which run side-by-side at a shared address, are the homes of two facets of República’s team. To the left, Doña Chapis, previously spotted flipping tortillas on República’s comal, runs La Fondita; she does the same here, grabbing handfuls of masa to press for tacotes and quesadillas. She passes the tortillas, wrapped warm in a cloth napkin, across the counter to diners, who sop up smoky-sweet mole the color of clay or a brick-red pozole topped with thin slices of watermelon radish. To the right, the Torres family runs Taqueria Los Ponchos; many Torreses have worked in the República kitchen. A projector plays black-and-white movies on the white cement walls next to a long bar, where bartenders shake Oregon strawberries with hibiscus and lemon verbena. This is, truly, a taco bar, where shots of mezcal arrive alongside thin multicolored masa tortillas, filled with rich, fall-apart pieces of cabeza or shavings of al pastor from the trompo (a rarity in Portland proper). Both are open for onsite dining.

422 NW 8th Ave
Portland, OR 97209

7. Mikiko Mochi Donuts

300 NE 28th Ave, Portland, OR 97232

In this tiny cafe off NE 28th, chef Alex McGillivray and his partner, Emily Mikiko Strocher, sell colorful butter-mochi-based doughnuts in flavors like ube and Thai tea. These are unlike most mochi doughnuts found around the country: Somewhere between a brioche doughnut and butter mochi, the doughnut has a texture that is more soft than springy, with gentle give upon each bite. McGillivray knows how to complement the natural sweetness of the dough, by pairing it with acid — a passionfruit curd pooled in the center, a yuzu glaze topped with sprinkles. Plus, they’re naturally dairy- and gluten-free. Visitors can stop by for takeout orders.

300 NE 28th Ave
Portland, OR 97232

8. Batterfish

3336 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR 97214

Jason Killalee is very serious about the craft of frying fish and chips. Having found success in Los Angeles, he briefly opened a Happy Valley food cart before settling into a narrow brick and mortar location on Southeast Belmont. His fish doesn’t adhere to his Irish background or to a particular American style — instead, its incredibly thin, delicately crispy crust gives way to flaky fish, served alongside piles of never-frozen golden fries. The style means less batter and far less oil, leading to a lighter take on the classic. To further disrupt tradition, Killalee also serves burritos with curry battered fish, fried fish tacos, and a spicy catfish sandwich that borrows herbs and flavors from Southeast Asia. Batterfish is open for indoor dining and takeout.

3336 SE Belmont St
Portland, OR 97214

9. Rukdiew Cafe

2534 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR 97214

Out of the blue, Rukdiew Cafe landed on Belmont with some of the city’s finest khao soi: Salty-sweet, layered spice, with delightfully funky pickled greens and a hit of fried and fresh alliums. Rukdiew is the kind of place where you can find comforting staples like pad kee mow and pad Thai, as well as boat noodles overflowing with meatballs and braised beef. The kana moo krob, crispy hunks of pork belly with stir-fried gai lan, is another highlight. It’s open for onsite dining, as well as takeout and delivery.

2534 SE Belmont St
Portland, OR 97214

10. Bluto’s

2838 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR 97214

Split wood piles up around the counter of this Belmont Greek restaurant, fueling the wood fired grill where skewers of shrimp and oregano-spiced chicken brown. Around the walk-up counter, tables support dishes of hummus so smooth it has the texture of soft serve, alongside cucumber-y tzatziki and puffs of pita-esque flatbread in white paper bags. With skewers of exceptionally juicy lamb souvlaki and salads dotted with grilled olives, Bluto’s is clearly vying for top billing in Portland’s Greek restaurant scene.

2838 SE Belmont St
Portland, OR 97214

11. Wu-Rons

1430 SE Water Ave, Portland, OR 97214

Chef Taka Terashita worked for New York’s lauded French-Japanese chef Tadashi Ono before opening this unassuming ramen shop with his former distributor, Shintaro Yamada, 3,000 miles away. Terashita specializes in the ramen Yamada ate growing up in Fukuoka: A silky tonkotsu broth filled with firm, thin noodles, with a hearty sprinkling of sesame seeds on top. These bowls are simple but spectacular, from a vegetarian tantanmen using fresh and dried shiitakes to a milky miso tonkotsu topped with thick slabs of chashu. It’s open for onsite dining.

1430 SE Water Ave
Portland, OR 97214

12. Rangoon Bistro

2311 SE 50th Ave, Portland, OR 97215

Tucked in a corner of the Breathe Building, this farmers market standby turned bustling cafe specializes in a culinary cross-section of Myanmar and Oregon. Here, chefs David Sai, Alex Saw, and Nick Sherbo use seasonal Pacific Northwestern produce to create dazzlingly intricate dishes with countless components. Thinly sliced, suede-smooth chickpea tofu sits on a pile of nuts and cabbage, with a citrusy soy sauce dressing. Chicken danbauk blends toasty spices with tender chicken, with a super bright chile-laden yogurt. A saucy tofu nway is a Pollock painting of flavors and textures — the ground pork and nuts, the earthiness of the tofu, the bright pow of a pickled vegetable. Everything feels fresh and alive, loud and vibrant, except for a gorgeously simple salted coconut milk, the ideal accompaniment to any meal.

2311 SE 50th Ave
Portland, OR 97215

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