Tucked away in the the grey Northwest, Portland may not be famous for its Southern cookin’, but a few noble standouts are changing the game. Fried chicken, collards, ribs, gumbo, meatloaf, and jambalaya can be found that are transportive enough to make you think you traveled to Appalachia, Cajun Country, or the Deep South.Read More
Portland’s Killer Southern Restaurants
Take a trip down South with these knockout spots
PoShines Cafe De La Soul
Exemplifying both Southern cooking and hospitality, Po’Shines is a window-lined, church-run cafe that delivers delicious, modern soul food, po’boys, and barbecue. Po’Shines also serves breakfast all day, and operates a non-profit workforce training program called Teach Me To Fish.
Maya Lovelace’s legendary Southern pop-up dinner Mae changed the landscape of Portland’s food scene, as she brought her signature pimento mac and cheese, braised collards, fluffy biscuits and, of course, unforgettable fried chicken to the back room of the Old Salt Marketplace every Monday and Wednesday. Now based in the dark blue dining room of Dame, Mae is firmly settled in Portland’s food hall of fame — come for the chicken, stay for the inventive and meticulously sourced vegetable dishes.
Patton Maryland serves up some great Southern dishes as well as a few vegan options unlikely to be seen on a menu in the South, all served in a polished space. Smoked meats, shrimp and grits, and other essential dishes fill the menu, which also includes a great weekend brunch.
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Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week, Miss Delta churns out deep-South classics like gumbo, baby back ribs, catfish po’boys, and chicken-fried steak, all in a down-home space on North Mississippi. It’s great for dinner, and also makes for a hearty brunch spot without the usual interminable lines.
A New Orleans-style bistro, Acadia offers some of the most jaw-dropping gumbo in town, as well as a great jambalaya and shrimp creole. It also boasts a solid Sazerac, the official drink of NOLA. Stop in on Mondays when entrees are just $14, and a three-course meal with salad and bread pudding comes in at $25.
The Waiting Room
Based in a bright blue house in Northwest Portland, The Louisiana-twinged Waiting Room specializes in oysters, fried chicken, cocktails, and champagne. A half or full order of chicken, a dozen oysters, and a bottle of sparkling wine makes for an ideal Southern date night.
New Orleans born chef-owner Anh Luu brings her Vietnam-via-New Orleans heritage to play with classic NOLA dishes in the cozy red dining room of Tapalaya. This means pork belly bánh mì sandwiches and fish sauce wings among the jambalaya and gumbo.
The Screen Door may now be treated as a running joke for its infamously long lines, but there’s a reason it became as popular as it did: the sweet potato waffle with a towering stack of fried chicken drizzled with syrup. But the breakfast dish is far from the only reason to visit, thanks to options like brisket platters, shrimp and grits, and pimento cheese.
The Country Cat Dinner House and Bar
Homey comfort food spot The Country Cat exemplifies heartland cooking with an emphasis on locally sourced products and whole animal butchery. It sports a stellar Southern brunch, and has a location at the airport for hungry travelers.
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Le Bistro Montage
Beloved for its late-night hours, boisterous servers, and creative to-go packaging, Le Bistro Montage is one of the city’s oldest Southern stalwarts. While the mac and cheese is a popular choice, Montage also offers Southern staples like jambalaya, crispy frog legs, red beans and rice, and more.
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The Woodsman Tavern
For a restaurant that bills itself as Northwestern, Woodsman’s menu is packed with Southern influences, from its delicious fried chicken (served in a bucket), to its braised collards, hush puppies, and country ham. With Le Pigeon alum Andrew Gordon at the helm now, the elegant-rustic dining room of the Woodsman is filled with Southern classics made with French technique.
A staple for Reedies and other Woodstock residents, Delta has been serving Southern food and 40s of PBR for decades now. Most everything here is fried, just as mama used to make it, including pickles, oysters, chicken, hush puppies, gizzards, shrimp, and okra. Bring a big appetite, especially for the huge brunch portions.