Fremont Street runs west and east through the center of Northeast Portland’s many neighborhoods, starting in North Portland’s Boise neighborhood, past Irvington, Alameda, Beaumont-Wilshire, Cully, and Roseway. Stretching from Interstate 5 to Mississippi, 82nd, and beyond into East Portland, Fremont has become home to a handful of Portland’s must-visit restaurants, neighborhood bars, doughnut fronts, and specialty coffee shops. It would be impossible for this list to include every decent place along Fremont, so this map sticks to the can’t-miss establishments that not only are worth visiting, but help make Portland Portland. From mini-doughnuts to foraged foods, pizza to a Princess Bride-themed cafe, these places have lodged themselves into the lore of the city itself. For more neighborhood guides, this collection may help.Read More
The Fundamentals of Portland’s Fremont Street
Where to find exceptional food, drink, and vibes in the Northeast Portland neighborhood
Pepe Chile Taqueria & Catering
Parked steps from the New Seasons on Williams, Pepe Chile Taqueria is a common neighborhood stop for tacos and burritos. Unlike some taquerias that stick to little more than onions and cilantro, Pepe Chile goes all-out with toppings, with options like marinated cabbage, pickled onions, pico de gallo, and chipotle mayo. Diners get a choice of four toppings for free. The breakfast menu is really what sets the cart apart — the chilaquiles breakfast burrito and the vegan option are both stellar.
Opened during the early stages of the pandemic, this sandwich shop along North Williams and Fremont has managed to survive and thrive — becoming a favorite lunch spot for many hospital workers in the area. Morning breakfast sandwiches, slathered with pesto aioli or chipotle mayo on sourdough English muffins, transition into lunch sandwiches on soft and chewy ciabatta, with options like herb-roasted turkey with bacon, cheddar, apple, and pesto aioli. Each of Better Half’s meat sandwiches also have a vegan counterpart.
En Vida PDX
Serving a hybrid of Colombian, Brazilian, and Cuban cuisine, En Vida, which chef Mauricio Prado calls a “South American Bistro,” serves Colombian hot dogs smothered with chips and pineapple sauce, Cubano sandwiches, and vaca fritas alongside empanadas, fried plantains, arepas, and ceviche. The restaurant offers an exclusively South American wine list, along with some cocktails made with cachaça — the Brazilian sugar cane spirit similar to rum.
With foraged and wild foods, chef Cameron Lee Dunlap, formerly of Fireside and 23Hoyt, serves a upscale menu of cerebral Northwest cuisine at Morchella. Depending on the season, dishes range from bison rib-eye confit with sunchoke, dandelion, and elderberry gastrique, to venison leg with wild mushrooms and green garlic. When it comes to desserts, look for things like cobbler with hazelnut ice cream.
A well-thought out selection of cocktails is the initial draw of Free House, a neighborhood bar along Fremont, but the outdoor patio, blurring the lines between inside and outside, will keep you coming back. Summery cocktails are abundant here: The Golden Hour mixes tequila and lemon with Ancho Verde and passionfruit, while the Lake Minnetonka adds Union Mezcal to soda and a blackberry-raspberry shrub. The chop or wedge salads, along with smoked cheddar mac and cheese and a burger with shoestring fries, round out the food menu.
Rose City Book Pub
Portland is a literary city, from bookshops like Powell’s and Mother Foucault’s to publishers like Tin House and Dark Horse Comics. So of course, Portland is a natural home for the Rose City Book Pub, a pub-meets-used bookstore-meets-bar. Meals have a homemade feel, and the drafts feature a nice selection of Northwest beers. Read a book with a beer, sitting among shelves of other carefully curated books, while an open mic or comedy night happens somewhere at the other end of the pub.
Also featured in:
“It’s a Princess Bride-themed cafe, but subtle,” is how one might describe Guilder, sitting at the heart of the Alameda neighborhood. A large André the Giant stencil guards the stairway to a second-floor seating area overlooking the espresso bar. The cafe serves vegetarian and vegan breakfast sandwiches like the “Miracle Max,” a sourdough English muffin with cheese, garlic aioli, tomato, and scrambled eggs; for lunch, opt for the “Inconceivabowl,” pearl barley, onion-pickled egg, cannellini beans, red pepper, Brussels sprouts, and pickled red onion with a creamy miso vinaigrette spread. Junior’s Roasted Coffee is roasted onsite, and the company’s “cost of production” program pays farmers 30 percent of the profits after production costs, offering a model for roasters to track how much to pay coffee producers for an appropriate profit margin.
Prince Coffee is one of Portland’s last multi-roaster cafes, meaning it does not roast its own beans but instead offers a selection of rotating roasters throughout the year. In this Scandinavian-inspired cafe, visitors find coffee from New York, Denmark, or Denver along with Portland mainstays like Proud Mary. The shop has pivoted from coffee and stroopwafels, to specialty coffee and natural wine. Owner Katie Prinsen focuses the wine program on wines made by women. The pastries are from the James Beard-nominated local bakery, Bakeshop, which focuses on whole grains.
Red Sauce Pizza
Portland’s pizza nerds flock to this Beaumont shop’s upside-down “Red Sauce” sign, walking past the “Pizza rolls not gender roles” sandwich board in search of charred and chewy pies topped with aged mozzarella, Grana Padano, Pecorino, and of course, red sauce. Red Sauce’s all-beef pepperoni with pineapple and jalapeno is a smash, as is the Hot Nancy with red onions, ricotta, and spicy honey. Meals should end with soft serve and house-made chocolate chip cookies.
This sleek Beaumont-Wilshire cocktail bar is the kind of place born for a first date or mid-week happy hour, couples chatting over bowls of castelvetrano olives and shrimp cocktail while sipping dirty martinis or clarified pineapple daiquiris. Summery boozy slushies are a fun option when sitting on the patio on a hot day; alternatively, those who prefer to hide out with the AC can stick to devouring a burger inside the bar.
From Jackson, Mississippi to Portland, Oregon, Alkebulan Moroski has brought something truly special to Portland — vegan soul food or, in Moroski’s words, “sinful Southern eats.” The restaurant’s seitan-based ribs, fried “chicken,” mac and cheese, and more get as close as they can to the real thing, thanks to the chef’s meticulous house-made meats. Keep an eye out for specials on Instagram.
Pip's Original Doughnuts & Chai
In a town known for Voodoo, Pip’s Original is likely the local favorite, thanks to its fresh-fried mini-doughnuts. Doughnuts arrive topped with cinnamon and sugar, sea salt and honey, Nutella and sea salt, candied bacon and maple, or whatever seasonal concoction the people at Pip’s have come up with. The shop also specializes in a variety of house chai blends — The Smoky Robinson mixes cocoa, cinnamon, clove, and vanilla with a Lapsang Souchong tea base. Pip’s Original also operates another location in Beaverton.
From the owners of The Old Gold, Paydirt, and Tough Luck comes a similar “tavern” for the Beaumont-Wilshire and Cully neighborhoods. Like its other sister bars, Hi-Top Tavern is elevated beyond your average bar with a fantastic selection of spirits and cocktails, but friendly and inviting enough to avoid pretense or stuffiness. A surprisingly large L-shaped patio sits out back where one can bring well-behaved dogs and even children before 9 p.m. You can always find Blazers games on during the basketball season and some warm cocktails during those dark winter months.
Mad Hanna is a quintessential Portland neighborhood dive bar. It’s nothing special from the outside, uninviting and yet alluring. Inside Mad Hanna gives way to eclectic and quirky decor with a large smoking patio out back. The drinks are simple yet creative, made with fresh citrus. Board games overflow and DJs spin nightly. Step through the doors of the “Cully Community Center,” and enjoy the dive.
Also featured in:
Annie's Donut Shop
A classic doughnut shop that’s existed at the Roseway neighborhood’s Sandy and Fremont intersection for decades, Annie’s serves top-notch, traditional doughnuts in a diner-like setting. It’s a family-run, Portland institution without any fluff — just really good doughnuts, particularly cake varieties.
Born from the Beech Street Community Garden and Rocky Butte Farmers Market, Fresh Love serves avocado toast and sandwiches along with coffee and smoothies in a small brick building in the Roseway neighborhood. But what sets Fresh Love apart is the selection of fresh produce and farmers-market-level of pantry items available onsite. This mini-market is ideal for a lunch stop or a quick grocery run — think: citrus, greens, pasta sauce, or salsa for dinner on your way home.