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The Curries of EEM
Nick Woo/EPDX

13 Stellar Curries in Portland

Everything from halibut green curry to Indonesian rendang

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The Curries of EEM
| Nick Woo/EPDX

Whether it’s paired with a tropical cocktail or enjoyed at home via takeout, a great curry can be as comforting than a bowl of chicken noodle soup (if not more so). While Portland may have a great variety of noodle soups, it also has a wide range of curries: This map includes curries with origins all over the world, from Ethiopia to Thailand, with a focus on the deeply spiced sauces found in Asia and Northern Africa. Still, many of these dishes veer into new territory, from Thai-flavored American barbecue to vegan Indian jackfruit. Wherever it’s from, a satisfying bowl of curry is never far from warming the coldest of hearts.

Note the points on this map, like all Eater PDX maps, are not ranked; rather, they are organized geographically.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Hat Yai Combo at Hat Yai

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Earl Ninsom’s counter service restaurant Hat Yai is probably best known for its Southern Thai fried chicken. When ordered in the combo, it comes with a Mary’s free range thigh and wing, pan-fried roti, and sticky rice, which all make stellar vehicles to dip into rich, thick, coconut milk, cinnamon, and clove-based Malayu-style curry. 

Pictures of several trays of chicken, curry, and roti at Hat Yai, with a pair of hands holding ripped pieces of roti. Christine Dong/Official

White Curry with Brisket Burnt Ends at Eem

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Built on a stable of American barbecue and Thai flavors, a section of tropical Thai barbecue bar Eem’s menu is dedicated to curries and fire-powered proteins. One of the strongest curries on the menu is the creamy, coconut milk white curry paired with Golden Mountain-brushed brisket burnt ends, roasted cauliflower, and scallions. It would be a mistake not to accompany this sweet-smoky dish with one of the many cocktails or mocktails on the menu.

White curry with brisket burnt ends
Nick Woo/EPDX

Ametha Ohn Htamin @ Top Burmese

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As one of the few places in Portland serving Burmese food, family-owned Top Burmese represents the cuisine well with this slow-cooked, yogurt-marinated beef curry. Teeming with turmeric and garlic flavor, this dish arrives with coconut rice or flaky, fatty paratha. Either way, it’s a welcome addition to Portland’s dining landscape, especially when it follows a tea leaf salad.

Ametha Ohn Htamin @ Top Burmese
Nick Woo/EPDX

Chettinad Chicken @ BHUNA

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Once a pop up within Culmination Brewing, 2018 Eater PDX Chef of the Year Deepak Kaul’s casual Indian restaurant opened last year bringing tasty Kashmiri pakora and curries to the Alphabet District. Among many standout dishes, the Southern Indian Chettinad chicken comforts with notes of yogurt, turmeric, and chilies. Topped with poppy seeds and tomatoes, Mary’s free range chicken thigh meat is mixed in a mildly spiced blend of garlic, ginger, and coconut-based curry. Fried shallots and saffron rice tie the whole dish together, and a side of lotus root fries won’t hurt either.

Chettinad Chicken @ BHUNA
Nick Woo/EPDX

Jackfruit Vindaloo Bowl @ The Sudra

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Casual counter service spot the Sudra serves thoughtful vegan Indian in a comfy patio setting. In particular, the restaurant’s take on vindaloo gets its earthiness from a smart choice of produce: Tender jackfruit and root vegetables are covered in a spicy vindaloo, coupled with a tangy, tahini-dressed kale salad.

A picture of the jackfruit vindaloo curry at The Sudra
Jackfruit Vindaloo Bowl @ The Sudra
Nick Woo/EPDX

Rendang Sapi & Telor Dadar @ Wajan

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With murals depicting the Kota train station and Javanese mythological figures, Wajan offers Indonesian cuisine from owner Feny’s hometown of Jakarta. Complex, dark rendang curry coats braised beef in savory, spicy, galangal-and-red-chile flavors. Alongside a fluffy omelet with green onion, fried shallots, sambal ijo, and rice, Wajan’s hearty curry doubles down with the extras.

Rendang Sapi & Telor Dadar @ Wajan
Nick Woo/EPDX

Katsu Kalé Doria @ Kalé

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At this casual downtown counter-service spot, chef Makoto Yoshino goes heavily into comfort food territory, serving sizeable rice bowls of hearty Japanese curry topped with gooey, melted cheese, pickled daikon, and breaded-then-baked chicken or pork cutlets. Yoshino, originally from Kobe, does one thing and does it well, focusing almost exclusively on this dish.

Katsu Kalé Doria @ Kalé
Nick Woo/EPDX

Halibut & Clam Green Curry @ Departure Restaurant + Lounge

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The cornerstone of Top Chef alum Gregory Gourdet’s cuisine is assembling a set of familiar-yet-sophisticated flavors and transforming them into fresh, vibrant plates. The curries at bright and modern Departure are no exception. A typical spicy coconut milk green curry could easily overpower the accompanying halibut and clams, but here, the refreshing sauce — paired with Thai eggplant, asparagus, and basil — balance the dish and accentuate the seafood.

Halibut & Clam Green Curry @ Departure Restaurant + Lounge
Nick Woo/EPDX

Curry Beef Brisket Over Rice @ So Good Taste Noodle House

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In a small, SE 82nd Avenue strip mall, this unassuming Chinese restaurant serves supremely tender beef brisket pieces, hearty baby bok choy, and chunks of ginger covered in a dark, savory sauce. A bed of rice is essential — each grain soaks up every last bit of flavor.

Curry Beef Brisket Over Rice @ So Good Taste Noodle House
Nick Woo/EPDX

Ye-beg Alicha @ Bete-Lukas Ethiopian Restaurant

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Hidden away on the second floor of an apartment complex, Bete-Lukas is an easy-to-miss restaurant that has been serving Ethiopian cuisine on SE 50th Avenue for over a decade. These earthy and succulent lamb cubes may be one of the milder items on the menu, but the butter and onion curry sauce pairs incredibly well with tangy, springy injera bread platters.

Ye-beg Alicha @ Bete-Lukas Ethiopian Restaurant
Nick Woo/EPDX

Goan-Style Shrimp @ Bollywood Theater

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At Troy MacLarty’s counter service Bollywood Theater, lightly cured shrimp with curry leaves are bathed in coconut milk and a touch of lime. The result is a spiced yet refreshingly pleasant Goan-style dish that complements saffron rice or raita, green chutney, and paratha in a thali plate.

Goan-Style Shrimp @ Bollywood Theater
Nick Woo/EPDX

Kaeng Hang Leh @ Pok Pok

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While Andy Ricker’s Pok Pok is known for fish sauce wings and khao soi, the sweet Northern Thai dual pork dish kaeng hang leh holds its own with pork belly and pork shoulder in ginger, palm sugar, turmeric, tamarind, Burmese curry powder, and pickled garlic. It’s a rich bowl that works exquisitely with a number of drinking vinegars.

Kaeng Hang Leh @ Pok Pok
Nick Woo/EPDX

Chicken Curry Noodle Soup @ Rose VL Deli

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The cao lau on Saturdays at Rose VL has become iconic at this point, but the chicken curry noodle soup at this cheery Vietnamese shop showcases the versatility of these meticulous soup makers. Shredded chicken, potatoes, carrots, mouth-coating coconut cream, and refreshing lemongrass arrive with a tangle of vermicelli noodles in yellow curry chicken broth.

Chicken Curry Noodle Soup @ Rose VL Deli
Nick Woo/EPDX

Hat Yai Combo at Hat Yai

Pictures of several trays of chicken, curry, and roti at Hat Yai, with a pair of hands holding ripped pieces of roti. Christine Dong/Official

Earl Ninsom’s counter service restaurant Hat Yai is probably best known for its Southern Thai fried chicken. When ordered in the combo, it comes with a Mary’s free range thigh and wing, pan-fried roti, and sticky rice, which all make stellar vehicles to dip into rich, thick, coconut milk, cinnamon, and clove-based Malayu-style curry. 

Pictures of several trays of chicken, curry, and roti at Hat Yai, with a pair of hands holding ripped pieces of roti. Christine Dong/Official

White Curry with Brisket Burnt Ends at Eem

White curry with brisket burnt ends
Nick Woo/EPDX

Built on a stable of American barbecue and Thai flavors, a section of tropical Thai barbecue bar Eem’s menu is dedicated to curries and fire-powered proteins. One of the strongest curries on the menu is the creamy, coconut milk white curry paired with Golden Mountain-brushed brisket burnt ends, roasted cauliflower, and scallions. It would be a mistake not to accompany this sweet-smoky dish with one of the many cocktails or mocktails on the menu.

White curry with brisket burnt ends
Nick Woo/EPDX

Ametha Ohn Htamin @ Top Burmese

Ametha Ohn Htamin @ Top Burmese
Nick Woo/EPDX

As one of the few places in Portland serving Burmese food, family-owned Top Burmese represents the cuisine well with this slow-cooked, yogurt-marinated beef curry. Teeming with turmeric and garlic flavor, this dish arrives with coconut rice or flaky, fatty paratha. Either way, it’s a welcome addition to Portland’s dining landscape, especially when it follows a tea leaf salad.

Ametha Ohn Htamin @ Top Burmese
Nick Woo/EPDX

Chettinad Chicken @ BHUNA

Chettinad Chicken @ BHUNA
Nick Woo/EPDX

Once a pop up within Culmination Brewing, 2018 Eater PDX Chef of the Year Deepak Kaul’s casual Indian restaurant opened last year bringing tasty Kashmiri pakora and curries to the Alphabet District. Among many standout dishes, the Southern Indian Chettinad chicken comforts with notes of yogurt, turmeric, and chilies. Topped with poppy seeds and tomatoes, Mary’s free range chicken thigh meat is mixed in a mildly spiced blend of garlic, ginger, and coconut-based curry. Fried shallots and saffron rice tie the whole dish together, and a side of lotus root fries won’t hurt either.

Chettinad Chicken @ BHUNA
Nick Woo/EPDX

Jackfruit Vindaloo Bowl @ The Sudra

A picture of the jackfruit vindaloo curry at The Sudra
Jackfruit Vindaloo Bowl @ The Sudra
Nick Woo/EPDX

Casual counter service spot the Sudra serves thoughtful vegan Indian in a comfy patio setting. In particular, the restaurant’s take on vindaloo gets its earthiness from a smart choice of produce: Tender jackfruit and root vegetables are covered in a spicy vindaloo, coupled with a tangy, tahini-dressed kale salad.

A picture of the jackfruit vindaloo curry at The Sudra
Jackfruit Vindaloo Bowl @ The Sudra
Nick Woo/EPDX

Rendang Sapi & Telor Dadar @ Wajan

Rendang Sapi & Telor Dadar @ Wajan
Nick Woo/EPDX

With murals depicting the Kota train station and Javanese mythological figures, Wajan offers Indonesian cuisine from owner Feny’s hometown of Jakarta. Complex, dark rendang curry coats braised beef in savory, spicy, galangal-and-red-chile flavors. Alongside a fluffy omelet with green onion, fried shallots, sambal ijo, and rice, Wajan’s hearty curry doubles down with the extras.

Rendang Sapi & Telor Dadar @ Wajan
Nick Woo/EPDX

Katsu Kalé Doria @ Kalé

Katsu Kalé Doria @ Kalé
Nick Woo/EPDX

At this casual downtown counter-service spot, chef Makoto Yoshino goes heavily into comfort food territory, serving sizeable rice bowls of hearty Japanese curry topped with gooey, melted cheese, pickled daikon, and breaded-then-baked chicken or pork cutlets. Yoshino, originally from Kobe, does one thing and does it well, focusing almost exclusively on this dish.

Katsu Kalé Doria @ Kalé
Nick Woo/EPDX

Halibut & Clam Green Curry @ Departure Restaurant + Lounge

Halibut & Clam Green Curry @ Departure Restaurant + Lounge
Nick Woo/EPDX

The cornerstone of Top Chef alum Gregory Gourdet’s cuisine is assembling a set of familiar-yet-sophisticated flavors and transforming them into fresh, vibrant plates. The curries at bright and modern Departure are no exception. A typical spicy coconut milk green curry could easily overpower the accompanying halibut and clams, but here, the refreshing sauce — paired with Thai eggplant, asparagus, and basil — balance the dish and accentuate the seafood.

Halibut & Clam Green Curry @ Departure Restaurant + Lounge
Nick Woo/EPDX

Curry Beef Brisket Over Rice @ So Good Taste Noodle House

Curry Beef Brisket Over Rice @ So Good Taste Noodle House
Nick Woo/EPDX

In a small, SE 82nd Avenue strip mall, this unassuming Chinese restaurant serves supremely tender beef brisket pieces, hearty baby bok choy, and chunks of ginger covered in a dark, savory sauce. A bed of rice is essential — each grain soaks up every last bit of flavor.

Curry Beef Brisket Over Rice @ So Good Taste Noodle House
Nick Woo/EPDX

Ye-beg Alicha @ Bete-Lukas Ethiopian Restaurant

Ye-beg Alicha @ Bete-Lukas Ethiopian Restaurant
Nick Woo/EPDX

Hidden away on the second floor of an apartment complex, Bete-Lukas is an easy-to-miss restaurant that has been serving Ethiopian cuisine on SE 50th Avenue for over a decade. These earthy and succulent lamb cubes may be one of the milder items on the menu, but the butter and onion curry sauce pairs incredibly well with tangy, springy injera bread platters.

Ye-beg Alicha @ Bete-Lukas Ethiopian Restaurant
Nick Woo/EPDX

Goan-Style Shrimp @ Bollywood Theater

Goan-Style Shrimp @ Bollywood Theater
Nick Woo/EPDX

At Troy MacLarty’s counter service Bollywood Theater, lightly cured shrimp with curry leaves are bathed in coconut milk and a touch of lime. The result is a spiced yet refreshingly pleasant Goan-style dish that complements saffron rice or raita, green chutney, and paratha in a thali plate.

Goan-Style Shrimp @ Bollywood Theater
Nick Woo/EPDX

Kaeng Hang Leh @ Pok Pok

Kaeng Hang Leh @ Pok Pok
Nick Woo/EPDX

While Andy Ricker’s Pok Pok is known for fish sauce wings and khao soi, the sweet Northern Thai dual pork dish kaeng hang leh holds its own with pork belly and pork shoulder in ginger, palm sugar, turmeric, tamarind, Burmese curry powder, and pickled garlic. It’s a rich bowl that works exquisitely with a number of drinking vinegars.

Kaeng Hang Leh @ Pok Pok
Nick Woo/EPDX

Chicken Curry Noodle Soup @ Rose VL Deli

Chicken Curry Noodle Soup @ Rose VL Deli
Nick Woo/EPDX

The cao lau on Saturdays at Rose VL has become iconic at this point, but the chicken curry noodle soup at this cheery Vietnamese shop showcases the versatility of these meticulous soup makers. Shredded chicken, potatoes, carrots, mouth-coating coconut cream, and refreshing lemongrass arrive with a tangle of vermicelli noodles in yellow curry chicken broth.

Chicken Curry Noodle Soup @ Rose VL Deli
Nick Woo/EPDX

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