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A flaky Cuban pastry filled with picadillo at Pambiche in Portland, Oregon.
Picadillo empanadas at Pambiche.
Nick Woo/Eater Portland

Where to Eat, Drink, and Relax on East 28th’s Underrated Restaurant Row

A lineup of food and drink to try on East 28th Avenue, from playful cheese boards to towering fried chicken sandwiches

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Picadillo empanadas at Pambiche.
| Nick Woo/Eater Portland

While Division, Hawthorne, and Mississippi have long garnered attention as great restaurant rows, East 28th Avenue has come into its own. The stretch between Northeast Sandy Boulevard and Southeast Stark boasts an incredible collection of restaurants, cafes, food carts, and bars that include the city’s top German food and beer selection, everyone’s favorite fried chicken sandwich, and Andes-region vegan cuisine.

In this map, we focus on the main strip, but traveling on East Burnside (Davenport, Luce, The People’s Pig, Pix Patisserie) or Northeast Glisan (Han Oak, Providore Fine Foods, Friendship Kitchen) make this part of Portland an eater’s paradise.

For our latest update, we focused on restaurants, cafes, and bars with sole locations on this strip, which now eliminates Fifty Licks Ice Cream, Bamboo Sushi, and Staccato Gelato (don’t worry, you can find other locations across town). For more neighborhood guides, this stream may help.

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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The Zipper

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Anchored by Sari’s rib-eye bibimbap with gochujang and burdock root and Basilisk’s now-legendary fried chicken sandwich, this industrial food hall also features vegan Detroit-style pizza and a bar with an extensive whiskey selection. The centrally located communal seating area is ideal for friends and family wanting to choose different dishes and gather at both indoor and outdoor tables. As a bonus, it’s also dog-friendly.

Dove Vivi Pizza

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Taking a cornmeal crust and adding a Portland flair, This casual-meets-classy, nonconformist pizzeria smothers chunky tomato sauce and loads of cheese with toppings like corn, eggplant, and house-made sausage. Wedged between a convenience store and a dry cleaner on Northeast Glisan, this neighborhood spot is also notable for its fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies that have reportedly made local chefs fall in love.

Pambiche

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For more than a decade, Pambiche has been serving some of Portland’s best Cuban food. From Cubanos and empanadas to red snapper seasoned with herbs and rum, this colorful, casual spot is certainly a people-pleaser. Don’t sleep on desserts like the glazed guava cheesecake with hibiscus ginger cookie crust. Lunch, dinner, or happy hour are available in this lively environment, but brunch is a bonus as it avoids the usual weekend morning hoards.

Epif Restaurant and Pisco Bar

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After operating a restaurant in Chile for six years, the owners of Epif, Nicolle Dirks and Jose “Pepe” Arancibia, moved to Portland to take normally meat-centric South American cuisine and give it a vegan twist. Menu highlights include quiche with roasted artichokes and citrus-pepper sauce and fried pumpkin sopapillas drizzled with vegan honey. While the swank dining area is inviting, the narrow bar will treat fans of pisco to the largest selection in the city, as well as a wide array of cocktails to complement it.

Stammtisch

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With an extensive imported beer list, Stammtisch already has a well-deserved drinking audience, but its food menu, with fluffy-breaded-and-hearty Wiener schnitzel and juicy pork-and-veal currywurst, also make it an outstanding German restaurant. Enjoy a beer, a soccer game, and pretzel at a spot where the super-loyal regulars can get their names on reserved mugs and barstools.

Montelupo Italian Market

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This all-day Italian cafe boasts tons of street seating to enjoy morning coffee and pastries or dinner from its menu of fresh pastas and seasonal cocktails. Menu highlights include ricotta cavatelli with lemon braised chicken and capers, as well as the “Six Beet Under” with white rum and beet shrub. When you’re ready to go, take a stroll through their market for some wine and grab-and-go desserts to continue the experience at home.

Mikiko Mochi Donuts

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The new brick-and-mortar home of this popular pop-up serves gluten-and-dairy-free baked rice flour doughnuts with a compelling tender-sticky-chewy texture. Flavors reflect Japanese-American family roots and playful Portland trends, like black sesame with marionberry jam and yuzu vanilla confetti cake. Savory options include a doughnut breakfast sandwich with yellow sriracha.

After spending a few years down the street as a food cart in Pod 28, Güero’s full-service restaurant is bright, lively, and decorated with colorful foliage. Sourcing responsibly-raised meat, Megan Sanchez and Alec Morrison craft dishes like the torta ahogada, a carnitas-and-habanero-slaw sandwich covered in smoky, acidic achiote-tomato sauce. The hamburguesa’s charred patty and American cheese pair well with pickled jalapenos and chipotle mayo. Order when you walk in, then grab a seat at one of the tables or at the vibrant bar adorned with beautiful flower vases.

Bull Run Pizza

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The former Barley Pod food cart now operates as a full pizzeria on Northeast 28th, serving grandma-style slices and hand-tossed thin crust pies using a long, cold-fermented dough. Toppings include shaved Brussels sprouts, crimini mushrooms, and chèvre crumbles with roasted onion ranch dip. The Caesar salad breaks free of standard romaine vibes with radish, cotija, toasted pepitas. Pro-tip: get your orders in early – this hotspot can see some long waits.

Nightingale

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This quiet, cozy Mexican cocktail bar makes for a great date night, whether seated outside or inside under the disco ball. Smoky cocktails complement a menu that features rockfish ceviche, honey gold potatoes with chorizo and cotija, and grilled portobello and bell pepper tacos. Finish the evening with a dessert like the churro bites with dulce de leche or vegan dark chocolate olive oil cake with espresso glaze.

Navarre

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With a menu featuring French, Spanish, and Italian small and large plates, Navarre tastes and feels like a neighborhood European restaurant. Dishes include succulent hanger steak with a crisp crust, Roman-style artichokes with tender stems and luscious hearts, bright pickled vegetables, and smooth and rich pork and foie gras pâtés that do not skimp on the foie. With about 50 wines available in half pours, a variety of different imports can be tasted relatively inexpensively.

Since 2008, Earl Ninsom has been serving some outstanding Thai food at this brightly-lit, casual spot. Seared black cod curry gets sweet and herby with pineapple and basil, while laabs steal the show. The omelet larb with toasted rice powder, shallot, and peanuts blends sour, salty, and umami flavors with a mixture of textures that will have you forgetting you’re in Portland.

Cheese & Crack Snack Shop

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Started as a food cart on Hawthorne, Cheese and Crack Snack Shop puts Nathan Hall and William Steuernagel’s creativity on display with stainless steel trays of house-made crackers, slices of cheese, and spoonfuls of jam, fudge, and honey. While Cheese & Crack offers a selection of beers and wines to pair with the food, summers call for the frosé, a rosé wine slushie. On sunny days, the competition for the three outdoor picnic tables is fierce as families line up for soft serve cones with strawberry dust and chocolate cowboy hats.

Ankeny Tap & Table

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This old-school neighborhood pub spills out into the street’s pedestrian courtyard on sunny weekends for families to enjoy burgers, tacos, and weekend brunch classics. The spot also works for dates and friend groups to catch up over spicy watermelon margaritas, frozen mojitos, and shareable appetizers like cremini mushroom toasts, rosemary duck fat fries, and cauliflower elotes.

With several outdoor picnic tables, fire pits, and a tent covering to shield from sun or rain, Pod 28 has hosted a number of carts that have become full-service restaurants like Güero. The current set of food carts include FOMO Chicken (sweet and spicy Korean fried chicken), Saint Burrito (burritos and quesadillas), and Egyptian Bros (gyros). Those seeking a hoppy drink pairing can head to Captured Beer Bus, which features about a half-dozen beers as well as wine and cider on tap. Casual and kid-friendly, play a game of cornhole after lunch.

Ken's Artisan Pizza

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After the success of Monday Pizza Nights at Ken’s Artisan Bakery, Ken Forkish opened this bustling-yet-intimate Southeast favorite in 2009. Euro-style pies are churned out in two minutes from the Le Panyol wood-fired oven. Four beers on tap and 15 to 20 wines by the glass give you plenty of options to pair with Soppressata, Margherita, or the seasonal Roasted Vegetable Plate. This place is popular and gets busy, so unless you arrive at 5 p.m., expect a bit of a wait.

Baby Doll Pizza

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This laid-back, casual spot with pinball machines and checkerboard flooring slings pizzas by the slice or as whole pies. The thin crust is crispy, and the sauce and toppings are made in-house, including the sausage, ricotta, and mozzarella. Adjoining a full bar, the draft list runs about 12 deep with about 30 bottle choices. It’s open until 11 p.m., and midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, making it the go-to late night (for Portland) option in this neighborhood.

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The Zipper

Anchored by Sari’s rib-eye bibimbap with gochujang and burdock root and Basilisk’s now-legendary fried chicken sandwich, this industrial food hall also features vegan Detroit-style pizza and a bar with an extensive whiskey selection. The centrally located communal seating area is ideal for friends and family wanting to choose different dishes and gather at both indoor and outdoor tables. As a bonus, it’s also dog-friendly.

Dove Vivi Pizza

Taking a cornmeal crust and adding a Portland flair, This casual-meets-classy, nonconformist pizzeria smothers chunky tomato sauce and loads of cheese with toppings like corn, eggplant, and house-made sausage. Wedged between a convenience store and a dry cleaner on Northeast Glisan, this neighborhood spot is also notable for its fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies that have reportedly made local chefs fall in love.

Pambiche

For more than a decade, Pambiche has been serving some of Portland’s best Cuban food. From Cubanos and empanadas to red snapper seasoned with herbs and rum, this colorful, casual spot is certainly a people-pleaser. Don’t sleep on desserts like the glazed guava cheesecake with hibiscus ginger cookie crust. Lunch, dinner, or happy hour are available in this lively environment, but brunch is a bonus as it avoids the usual weekend morning hoards.

Epif Restaurant and Pisco Bar

After operating a restaurant in Chile for six years, the owners of Epif, Nicolle Dirks and Jose “Pepe” Arancibia, moved to Portland to take normally meat-centric South American cuisine and give it a vegan twist. Menu highlights include quiche with roasted artichokes and citrus-pepper sauce and fried pumpkin sopapillas drizzled with vegan honey. While the swank dining area is inviting, the narrow bar will treat fans of pisco to the largest selection in the city, as well as a wide array of cocktails to complement it.

Stammtisch

With an extensive imported beer list, Stammtisch already has a well-deserved drinking audience, but its food menu, with fluffy-breaded-and-hearty Wiener schnitzel and juicy pork-and-veal currywurst, also make it an outstanding German restaurant. Enjoy a beer, a soccer game, and pretzel at a spot where the super-loyal regulars can get their names on reserved mugs and barstools.

Montelupo Italian Market

This all-day Italian cafe boasts tons of street seating to enjoy morning coffee and pastries or dinner from its menu of fresh pastas and seasonal cocktails. Menu highlights include ricotta cavatelli with lemon braised chicken and capers, as well as the “Six Beet Under” with white rum and beet shrub. When you’re ready to go, take a stroll through their market for some wine and grab-and-go desserts to continue the experience at home.

Mikiko Mochi Donuts

The new brick-and-mortar home of this popular pop-up serves gluten-and-dairy-free baked rice flour doughnuts with a compelling tender-sticky-chewy texture. Flavors reflect Japanese-American family roots and playful Portland trends, like black sesame with marionberry jam and yuzu vanilla confetti cake. Savory options include a doughnut breakfast sandwich with yellow sriracha.

Güero

After spending a few years down the street as a food cart in Pod 28, Güero’s full-service restaurant is bright, lively, and decorated with colorful foliage. Sourcing responsibly-raised meat, Megan Sanchez and Alec Morrison craft dishes like the torta ahogada, a carnitas-and-habanero-slaw sandwich covered in smoky, acidic achiote-tomato sauce. The hamburguesa’s charred patty and American cheese pair well with pickled jalapenos and chipotle mayo. Order when you walk in, then grab a seat at one of the tables or at the vibrant bar adorned with beautiful flower vases.

Bull Run Pizza

The former Barley Pod food cart now operates as a full pizzeria on Northeast 28th, serving grandma-style slices and hand-tossed thin crust pies using a long, cold-fermented dough. Toppings include shaved Brussels sprouts, crimini mushrooms, and chèvre crumbles with roasted onion ranch dip. The Caesar salad breaks free of standard romaine vibes with radish, cotija, toasted pepitas. Pro-tip: get your orders in early – this hotspot can see some long waits.

Nightingale

This quiet, cozy Mexican cocktail bar makes for a great date night, whether seated outside or inside under the disco ball. Smoky cocktails complement a menu that features rockfish ceviche, honey gold potatoes with chorizo and cotija, and grilled portobello and bell pepper tacos. Finish the evening with a dessert like the churro bites with dulce de leche or vegan dark chocolate olive oil cake with espresso glaze.

Navarre

With a menu featuring French, Spanish, and Italian small and large plates, Navarre tastes and feels like a neighborhood European restaurant. Dishes include succulent hanger steak with a crisp crust, Roman-style artichokes with tender stems and luscious hearts, bright pickled vegetables, and smooth and rich pork and foie gras pâtés that do not skimp on the foie. With about 50 wines available in half pours, a variety of different imports can be tasted relatively inexpensively.

Paadee

Since 2008, Earl Ninsom has been serving some outstanding Thai food at this brightly-lit, casual spot. Seared black cod curry gets sweet and herby with pineapple and basil, while laabs steal the show. The omelet larb with toasted rice powder, shallot, and peanuts blends sour, salty, and umami flavors with a mixture of textures that will have you forgetting you’re in Portland.

Cheese & Crack Snack Shop

Started as a food cart on Hawthorne, Cheese and Crack Snack Shop puts Nathan Hall and William Steuernagel’s creativity on display with stainless steel trays of house-made crackers, slices of cheese, and spoonfuls of jam, fudge, and honey. While Cheese & Crack offers a selection of beers and wines to pair with the food, summers call for the frosé, a rosé wine slushie. On sunny days, the competition for the three outdoor picnic tables is fierce as families line up for soft serve cones with strawberry dust and chocolate cowboy hats.

Ankeny Tap & Table

This old-school neighborhood pub spills out into the street’s pedestrian courtyard on sunny weekends for families to enjoy burgers, tacos, and weekend brunch classics. The spot also works for dates and friend groups to catch up over spicy watermelon margaritas, frozen mojitos, and shareable appetizers like cremini mushroom toasts, rosemary duck fat fries, and cauliflower elotes.

Pod 28

With several outdoor picnic tables, fire pits, and a tent covering to shield from sun or rain, Pod 28 has hosted a number of carts that have become full-service restaurants like Güero. The current set of food carts include FOMO Chicken (sweet and spicy Korean fried chicken), Saint Burrito (burritos and quesadillas), and Egyptian Bros (gyros). Those seeking a hoppy drink pairing can head to Captured Beer Bus, which features about a half-dozen beers as well as wine and cider on tap. Casual and kid-friendly, play a game of cornhole after lunch.

Related Maps

Ken's Artisan Pizza

After the success of Monday Pizza Nights at Ken’s Artisan Bakery, Ken Forkish opened this bustling-yet-intimate Southeast favorite in 2009. Euro-style pies are churned out in two minutes from the Le Panyol wood-fired oven. Four beers on tap and 15 to 20 wines by the glass give you plenty of options to pair with Soppressata, Margherita, or the seasonal Roasted Vegetable Plate. This place is popular and gets busy, so unless you arrive at 5 p.m., expect a bit of a wait.

Baby Doll Pizza

This laid-back, casual spot with pinball machines and checkerboard flooring slings pizzas by the slice or as whole pies. The thin crust is crispy, and the sauce and toppings are made in-house, including the sausage, ricotta, and mozzarella. Adjoining a full bar, the draft list runs about 12 deep with about 30 bottle choices. It’s open until 11 p.m., and midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, making it the go-to late night (for Portland) option in this neighborhood.

Related Maps