clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
An art deco style mural of a reposing skeleton behind a well-stocked bar.
Bar at Holy Ghost.
Nathan Williams/Eater Portland

Where to Eat and Drink in Portland’s Creston-Kenilworth Neighborhood

Southeast’s overlooked neighborhood boasts destination-worthy brunch and award-winning coffee

View as Map
Bar at Holy Ghost.
| Nathan Williams/Eater Portland

Anchored around the small, tree-filled Kenilworth and Creston parks, Creston-Kenilworth is just a short stroll from the popular dining corridor on nearby Division; however, because of the separation created by the busy (and sometimes deadly) Southeast Powell Boulevard, it feels like an entirely different world. Rather than one main strip, Creston-Kenilworth’s epicurean highlights are clustered blocks apart, many on the neighborhood’s edge on either Powell or Southeast Holgate, including well-known draws like Hopworks’ creative brews and Cafe Rowan’s celebrated brunch. The heart of the neighborhood, however, is Southeast Gladstone — a street name unfamiliar to plenty of Portlanders in other quadrants, but home to terrific bars, one of the city’s oldest sushi restaurants, and one of Portland’s few remaining all-day cafes serving both morning caffeine and evening booze. Below, find our guide to dining in Creston-Kenilworth, from morning Benedicts to late-night gin fizzes.

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.

Read More
Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process. If you buy something or book a reservation from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

Holy Ghost

Copy Link

Holy Ghost sets out to prove a bar can achieve peak cool without taking itself too seriously. The gorgeously designed art-deco inspired bar sports aquamarine tiles, leather bar stools, and one of the most eye-catching behind-the-bar murals in town. Simultaneously, Holy Ghost leaves no gimmick behind, offering a “Champagne button” at tables to summon a bottle of bubbly — or a bucket of the Champagne of beers, Miller High Life — along with fun features like an “Agave Social Club” punch card, automated cocktail shakers, a menu with hand-drawn bartender profiles, and group cocktails served in a tea pot. Mezcal is a serious passion here, with dozens of varieties offered straight, in distinctive cocktails, or in refreshing ranch waters. Food is available from the adjoining Electric Pizza Company and 28 Tigers, with whom Holy Ghost shares a patio.

A sign high above an art deco-style bar reading “Everything is Gonna be OK.”
Holy Ghost.
Nathan Williams/Eater Portland

Salsas Locas (Tortilleria Y Tienda DeLeon's)

Copy Link

East Portland’s loss is Creston-Kenilworth’s gain with the 2022 relocation of one of Portland’s favorite taco spots. Portlanders residing west of I-205 too rarely venture east to eat, but for two decades Tortilleria y Tienda de Leon’s word of mouth grew on the strength of its chewy tortillas and phenomenal guisados. Peer into the deli case to decide which guisado option fits the mood: tender puerco verde, spicy bistec de res roja, tangy cochinta pibil, among others. Catering packages are available for a crowd-pleasing party-in-a-box. Vegetarian options include cactus and zucchini. Seating inside the small restaurant and grocery is limited — outdoor tables are covered and heated.

Portland Cà Phê

Copy Link

Portlanders are no strangers to the ubiquitous iced coffee found at the city’s numerous Vietnamese restaurants, but for many the launch of Cà Phê in 2021 was something of a revelation. Owner Kimberly Dam was inspired to source robusta beans, which younger generations of American coffee drinkers associate with their grandparents’ powdered instant coffee, and adopted roasting techniques to bring out their best qualities. Cà Phê drinks might feature 100 percent robusta, 100 percent arabica, or a 50/50 blend, using them to concoct some of the most photogenic and delicious coffee drinks in town, including the intoxicatingly purple ube latte and the curiously savory espresso tonic (yes, with quinine). Cà Phê also offers some of the city’s best banh mi, courtesy of Montavilla’s House of Banh Mi (owned by Dam’s mother Que Bui). Be warned, these popular sandwiches have been known to sell out before closing time.

A cold coffee drink in a tall glass sitting in front of a sunny, plant-filled window.
Espresso tonic at Cà Phê.
Nathan Williams/Eater Portland

Yoko's Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar

Copy Link

A favorite of Reedies and neighborhood “townies” since 1989, Yoko’s is a no-nonsense Japanese restaurant that focuses on fresh, affordably priced sashimi and gimmick-free rolls as well as tasty tempura, donburi, and other hot options. The understated, wood-heavy dining room is highlighted by a small salt-water aquarium. Yoko’s is only open four hours per night and does not take reservations, so consider grabbing a drink at next-door C-Bar if there’s a wait. Yoko’s does not offer takeout.

A hand-painted wooden sign for Yoko’s Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar.
Yoko’s.
Nathan Williams/Eater Portland

C-Bar PDX

Copy Link

A deep tap list and one of the city’s best pinball machine collections may be the highlights, but this laidback neighborhood watering hole avoids being defined by either. Both the main bar area and back patio are spacious and often peppered with affable regulars, each section separated from the pinball room so those less thrilled at the sound of bumpers flapping can imbibe obliviously. The popular breakfast is available daily until 4 p.m., including generously portioned fried chicken and vegetarian biscuits and gravy. The killer happy hour is highlighted by $6 burgers — including an impossible burger option — and a selection of $6 classic cocktails.

A row of pinball machines in front of a brightly colored wall mural.
Pinball at C-Bar.
Nathan Williams/Eater Portland

Hopworks Urban Brewery

Copy Link

Hopworks may be a regional brewing powerhouse these days — producing 10,000 barrels per year — but to Creston-Kenilworth residents it’s simply a terrific pub within walking distance. The deep beer list features frequently rotating seasonal specials and covers the gamut from the light, quaffable Pacific Sands lager to the bracingly hoppy Giggle Nuggets and creative sours like the barrel-aged prickly pear Cactus Attactus. The spacious dining room has a funky bike-centric eclecticism that stays on the tasteful side of chain-restaurant over-design, and the back patio is smartly situated on the opposite site of noisy Powell Boulevard. The solid food offerings include burgers, pizza, nachos, and other pub staples.

A light colored beer pouring from a tap into tall, clear glass.
Pacific Sands Mexican Lager at Hopworks.
Nathan Williams/Eater Portland

Matt and Memere's

Copy Link

Portland may be home to a high percentage of transplants from outside the Northwest, but it’s a bit of a mystery how this rainy Northwest riverport punches so far above our weight in Louisiana-style cuisine. Located in the newer Original food cart pod on Southeast Powell, Matt and Memere’s cart may not be the city’s most celebrated Cajun food, but its po’boy sandwiches are second to none. Served on crispy Leidenheimer bread from New Orleans, po’boy options include tender catfish, crunchy shrimp, chewy alligator, and fried green tomatoes in tangy Remoulade sauce. The Original offers ample covered and uncovered outdoor seating.

Fried chicken sandwich standby Jojo still operates its bright blue cart in The Original pod, serving crispy boneless thighs slathered in Alabama white sauce or pepper relish on fluffy rolls. While the chicken and gargantuan burgers are often the pull here, the cart’s namesake dish — seasoned and fried potato wedges, crispy on the outside with an aerated-mashed-potato center — remain some of the city’s finest.

Gladstone St. Pizza & Saint Pizza Lounge

Copy Link

No Portland neighborhood is complete without an anchor laid-back pizza joint, and for nearly twenty years Gladstone Street Pizza and Saint Pizza Lounge have been holding it down for denizens of Creston-Kenilworth. Daily happy hour and themed nights like karaoke, trivia, and sketchbook nights make this a popular neighborhood hang. While plenty of casual pizza spots coast on great vibes but run-of-the-mill pizza, GSP takes its pies seriously, with chewy, nicely charred crust, flavorful sauce, and generous, fresh toppings. The Lounge offers a full bar, a small but tasty tap list, and a terrific assortment of Italian wines. Split a bottle with the group for best value.

Cafe Rowan

Copy Link

This destination brunch café at the busy corner of Holgate and Cesar Chavez Boulevard — a stalwart on the Eater 38 — will soon offer regular dinner hours on Thursdays and Fridays starting at 5:30 p.m. Fans of Rowan’s decadent lobster rolls and eggs Benedict brunches can soon dine on kanpachi crudo with fennel pollen or pan con tomate with duck fat, prosciutto, and sea urchin; the excellent coffee offerings will be joined by wines and cocktails selected to pair well with the new entrees. Outdoor seating is limited and popular on precious Portland sunny days.

A white coffee mug sitting on a table in front of a sunny cafe dining room.
Dining room at Cafe Rowan.
Nathan Williams/Eater Portland

Hapa PDX Ramen & Whiskey

Copy Link

Once a popular food cart, Hapa has been dishing out the delightful combination of rich ramen and complex whiskies (or sake) in Creston-Kenilworth since 2019. Ramens include the popular favorite G-Special featuring pork belly broth and belly nuggets, classic shoyu and tonkotsu, and a highly flavorful vegan ramen with bean curd, sprouts, and spinach. The cocktail menu prioritizes classic whiskey drinks but includes lighter seasonal sips like a wasabi cucumber martini, with both gin and sake, or a booze-free cherry blossom mocktail. The modest, atmospheric dining room has plenty of bar seating, so don’t be afraid to rub elbows with fellow ramen-lovers.

Fried pork belly and white rice, topped with soy sauce and scallions, on a dark ceramic plate.
Pork belly at Hapa PDX.
Nathan Williams/Eater Portland

Keeper Coffee Co

Copy Link

Tucked inconspicuously a half block off Southeast Holgate and housed in a quaint building that feels largely unchanged since its 1920s construction, Keeper Coffee maintains about a surprisingly low profile for a coffee shop that boasts the national champion barista of 2022 and national runner-up of 2023. Despite the stellar coffee, brewed from Coava beans, and top-notch baked goods, Keeper remains a comfortable place for unrushed afternoons or laptop mornings. And when Keeper closes, the next door Wyrd Meadery is just getting its evening started.

A latte with intricate foam art in a white and blue ceramic cup sitting on a dark wooden table.
Latte at Keeper Coffee.
Nathan Williams/Eater Portland

COFFEE BEER

Copy Link

Cafés that evolve daily from coffee-and-pastry spots in the morning to happy hour watering holes at workday’s end are a mainstay in much of the world but are in desperately short supply in Portland today. One of the standouts in this endangered species is Southeast 42nd’s Coffee Beer, whose name leaves no mystery to its concept. Cut loose from the Google calendar and settle in with a beverage featuring the temperature (from hot coffee to cold slushies: both booze and non-booze) and brain chemistry impact (double shot Americanos with optional CBD shots to draft and canned beers and a small assortment of whiskies) that best suits your vibe. Stick around long enough and find yourself sucked into VHS movie night, daily at 6 p.m. The tiered tables on the sunny south side are one of Portland’s loveliest spots on a warm day. Non-vegans take note that only plant-based milks are available with coffee drinks.

A red slushie and green slushie in clear glasses standing in sunlight in front of a textured green wall.
Slushies at Coffee Beer.
Nathan Williams/Eater Portland

Phở Hùng on Powell

Copy Link

For over four decades, Phở Hùng on Southeast Powell has been delivering astonishingly consistent, soul-nourishing pho to hungry Portlanders. Like its sister restaurant on Southeast 82nd, the fantastic beef broth is the key here, offered with nearly twenty different combinations of meat types. Chicken pho ga is also available, along with other Vietnamese specialties like spicy, bloody bun bo hue and a vegetarian pho broth with broccoli and fried tofu. Both the dining room and the parking lot are more spacious than they first appear driving past on Powell. Phở Hùng is closed Thursdays, but the sister restaurant just six minutes away is open daily.

Holy Ghost

Holy Ghost sets out to prove a bar can achieve peak cool without taking itself too seriously. The gorgeously designed art-deco inspired bar sports aquamarine tiles, leather bar stools, and one of the most eye-catching behind-the-bar murals in town. Simultaneously, Holy Ghost leaves no gimmick behind, offering a “Champagne button” at tables to summon a bottle of bubbly — or a bucket of the Champagne of beers, Miller High Life — along with fun features like an “Agave Social Club” punch card, automated cocktail shakers, a menu with hand-drawn bartender profiles, and group cocktails served in a tea pot. Mezcal is a serious passion here, with dozens of varieties offered straight, in distinctive cocktails, or in refreshing ranch waters. Food is available from the adjoining Electric Pizza Company and 28 Tigers, with whom Holy Ghost shares a patio.

A sign high above an art deco-style bar reading “Everything is Gonna be OK.”
Holy Ghost.
Nathan Williams/Eater Portland

Salsas Locas (Tortilleria Y Tienda DeLeon's)

East Portland’s loss is Creston-Kenilworth’s gain with the 2022 relocation of one of Portland’s favorite taco spots. Portlanders residing west of I-205 too rarely venture east to eat, but for two decades Tortilleria y Tienda de Leon’s word of mouth grew on the strength of its chewy tortillas and phenomenal guisados. Peer into the deli case to decide which guisado option fits the mood: tender puerco verde, spicy bistec de res roja, tangy cochinta pibil, among others. Catering packages are available for a crowd-pleasing party-in-a-box. Vegetarian options include cactus and zucchini. Seating inside the small restaurant and grocery is limited — outdoor tables are covered and heated.

Portland Cà Phê

Portlanders are no strangers to the ubiquitous iced coffee found at the city’s numerous Vietnamese restaurants, but for many the launch of Cà Phê in 2021 was something of a revelation. Owner Kimberly Dam was inspired to source robusta beans, which younger generations of American coffee drinkers associate with their grandparents’ powdered instant coffee, and adopted roasting techniques to bring out their best qualities. Cà Phê drinks might feature 100 percent robusta, 100 percent arabica, or a 50/50 blend, using them to concoct some of the most photogenic and delicious coffee drinks in town, including the intoxicatingly purple ube latte and the curiously savory espresso tonic (yes, with quinine). Cà Phê also offers some of the city’s best banh mi, courtesy of Montavilla’s House of Banh Mi (owned by Dam’s mother Que Bui). Be warned, these popular sandwiches have been known to sell out before closing time.

A cold coffee drink in a tall glass sitting in front of a sunny, plant-filled window.
Espresso tonic at Cà Phê.
Nathan Williams/Eater Portland

Yoko's Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar

A favorite of Reedies and neighborhood “townies” since 1989, Yoko’s is a no-nonsense Japanese restaurant that focuses on fresh, affordably priced sashimi and gimmick-free rolls as well as tasty tempura, donburi, and other hot options. The understated, wood-heavy dining room is highlighted by a small salt-water aquarium. Yoko’s is only open four hours per night and does not take reservations, so consider grabbing a drink at next-door C-Bar if there’s a wait. Yoko’s does not offer takeout.

A hand-painted wooden sign for Yoko’s Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar.
Yoko’s.
Nathan Williams/Eater Portland

C-Bar PDX

A deep tap list and one of the city’s best pinball machine collections may be the highlights, but this laidback neighborhood watering hole avoids being defined by either. Both the main bar area and back patio are spacious and often peppered with affable regulars, each section separated from the pinball room so those less thrilled at the sound of bumpers flapping can imbibe obliviously. The popular breakfast is available daily until 4 p.m., including generously portioned fried chicken and vegetarian biscuits and gravy. The killer happy hour is highlighted by $6 burgers — including an impossible burger option — and a selection of $6 classic cocktails.

A row of pinball machines in front of a brightly colored wall mural.
Pinball at C-Bar.
Nathan Williams/Eater Portland

Hopworks Urban Brewery

Hopworks may be a regional brewing powerhouse these days — producing 10,000 barrels per year — but to Creston-Kenilworth residents it’s simply a terrific pub within walking distance. The deep beer list features frequently rotating seasonal specials and covers the gamut from the light, quaffable Pacific Sands lager to the bracingly hoppy Giggle Nuggets and creative sours like the barrel-aged prickly pear Cactus Attactus. The spacious dining room has a funky bike-centric eclecticism that stays on the tasteful side of chain-restaurant over-design, and the back patio is smartly situated on the opposite site of noisy Powell Boulevard. The solid food offerings include burgers, pizza, nachos, and other pub staples.

A light colored beer pouring from a tap into tall, clear glass.
Pacific Sands Mexican Lager at Hopworks.
Nathan Williams/Eater Portland

Matt and Memere's

Portland may be home to a high percentage of transplants from outside the Northwest, but it’s a bit of a mystery how this rainy Northwest riverport punches so far above our weight in Louisiana-style cuisine. Located in the newer Original food cart pod on Southeast Powell, Matt and Memere’s cart may not be the city’s most celebrated Cajun food, but its po’boy sandwiches are second to none. Served on crispy Leidenheimer bread from New Orleans, po’boy options include tender catfish, crunchy shrimp, chewy alligator, and fried green tomatoes in tangy Remoulade sauce. The Original offers ample covered and uncovered outdoor seating.

Jojo

Fried chicken sandwich standby Jojo still operates its bright blue cart in The Original pod, serving crispy boneless thighs slathered in Alabama white sauce or pepper relish on fluffy rolls. While the chicken and gargantuan burgers are often the pull here, the cart’s namesake dish — seasoned and fried potato wedges, crispy on the outside with an aerated-mashed-potato center — remain some of the city’s finest.

Gladstone St. Pizza & Saint Pizza Lounge

No Portland neighborhood is complete without an anchor laid-back pizza joint, and for nearly twenty years Gladstone Street Pizza and Saint Pizza Lounge have been holding it down for denizens of Creston-Kenilworth. Daily happy hour and themed nights like karaoke, trivia, and sketchbook nights make this a popular neighborhood hang. While plenty of casual pizza spots coast on great vibes but run-of-the-mill pizza, GSP takes its pies seriously, with chewy, nicely charred crust, flavorful sauce, and generous, fresh toppings. The Lounge offers a full bar, a small but tasty tap list, and a terrific assortment of Italian wines. Split a bottle with the group for best value.

Cafe Rowan

This destination brunch café at the busy corner of Holgate and Cesar Chavez Boulevard — a stalwart on the Eater 38 — will soon offer regular dinner hours on Thursdays and Fridays starting at 5:30 p.m. Fans of Rowan’s decadent lobster rolls and eggs Benedict brunches can soon dine on kanpachi crudo with fennel pollen or pan con tomate with duck fat, prosciutto, and sea urchin; the excellent coffee offerings will be joined by wines and cocktails selected to pair well with the new entrees. Outdoor seating is limited and popular on precious Portland sunny days.

A white coffee mug sitting on a table in front of a sunny cafe dining room.
Dining room at Cafe Rowan.
Nathan Williams/Eater Portland

Hapa PDX Ramen & Whiskey

Once a popular food cart, Hapa has been dishing out the delightful combination of rich ramen and complex whiskies (or sake) in Creston-Kenilworth since 2019. Ramens include the popular favorite G-Special featuring pork belly broth and belly nuggets, classic shoyu and tonkotsu, and a highly flavorful vegan ramen with bean curd, sprouts, and spinach. The cocktail menu prioritizes classic whiskey drinks but includes lighter seasonal sips like a wasabi cucumber martini, with both gin and sake, or a booze-free cherry blossom mocktail. The modest, atmospheric dining room has plenty of bar seating, so don’t be afraid to rub elbows with fellow ramen-lovers.

Fried pork belly and white rice, topped with soy sauce and scallions, on a dark ceramic plate.
Pork belly at Hapa PDX.
Nathan Williams/Eater Portland

Keeper Coffee Co

Tucked inconspicuously a half block off Southeast Holgate and housed in a quaint building that feels largely unchanged since its 1920s construction, Keeper Coffee maintains about a surprisingly low profile for a coffee shop that boasts the national champion barista of 2022 and national runner-up of 2023. Despite the stellar coffee, brewed from Coava beans, and top-notch baked goods, Keeper remains a comfortable place for unrushed afternoons or laptop mornings. And when Keeper closes, the next door Wyrd Meadery is just getting its evening started.

A latte with intricate foam art in a white and blue ceramic cup sitting on a dark wooden table.
Latte at Keeper Coffee.
Nathan Williams/Eater Portland

COFFEE BEER

Cafés that evolve daily from coffee-and-pastry spots in the morning to happy hour watering holes at workday’s end are a mainstay in much of the world but are in desperately short supply in Portland today. One of the standouts in this endangered species is Southeast 42nd’s Coffee Beer, whose name leaves no mystery to its concept. Cut loose from the Google calendar and settle in with a beverage featuring the temperature (from hot coffee to cold slushies: both booze and non-booze) and brain chemistry impact (double shot Americanos with optional CBD shots to draft and canned beers and a small assortment of whiskies) that best suits your vibe. Stick around long enough and find yourself sucked into VHS movie night, daily at 6 p.m. The tiered tables on the sunny south side are one of Portland’s loveliest spots on a warm day. Non-vegans take note that only plant-based milks are available with coffee drinks.

A red slushie and green slushie in clear glasses standing in sunlight in front of a textured green wall.
Slushies at Coffee Beer.
Nathan Williams/Eater Portland

Phở Hùng on Powell

For over four decades, Phở Hùng on Southeast Powell has been delivering astonishingly consistent, soul-nourishing pho to hungry Portlanders. Like its sister restaurant on Southeast 82nd, the fantastic beef broth is the key here, offered with nearly twenty different combinations of meat types. Chicken pho ga is also available, along with other Vietnamese specialties like spicy, bloody bun bo hue and a vegetarian pho broth with broccoli and fried tofu. Both the dining room and the parking lot are more spacious than they first appear driving past on Powell. Phở Hùng is closed Thursdays, but the sister restaurant just six minutes away is open daily.

Related Maps