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A fried chicken sandwich with barbecue sauce at Jojo.
A fried chicken sandwich at Jojo.
Dina Avila/Eater Portland

Where to Find a Mid-Week Lunch in Portland

Where to grab a pile of Chinese food, a comforting bowl of khao soi, a quick slice, or a gargantuan fried chicken sandwich

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A fried chicken sandwich at Jojo.
| Dina Avila/Eater Portland

With more people working from home and tourism business still slow, fewer restaurants are offering lunch through the workweek — especially for dine-in. However, there are still plenty of Portlanders hungry in the middle of the day, looking for a bowl of poke, a hearty sandwich, a big salad, or a beautiful bento box. The good news: There are still restaurants and food carts across the city serving lunch for onsite diners, even on days when Portland restaurants are often closed (looking at you, Monday and Tuesday).

For this map, we’ve compiled a wide range of restaurants and food carts that are open and serving lunch in the middle of the week. A few parameters: The spots on this map are open at least four out of five weekdays, from Monday through Friday, and offer some sort of onsite dining — that includes food cart pods with covered picnic tables, as well as restaurants with full-on indoor table service. For more lunch options, check out our sandwich map.

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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Pasture PDX

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A butcher’s shop and market in Northeast Portland, Pasture is open Tuesdays through Fridays for roast beef sandwiches with pepper relish, house pastrami Reubens with carrot thousand island, and kale salads with feta and lemon. Those grabbing a quick lunch before heading home can grab Oregon-raised meats from the butcher case for dinner.

Prost Marketplace

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The Prost Marketplace pod, next to the North Portland German beer bar, is home to a number of carts consistently serving lunch. Desi’s bowls of yellow-hued basmati rice, topped with tandoori tempeh or cardamom-chai chicken or masala pulled pork, consistently deliver for a multifaceted mid-week meal. Burger Stevens is the place to be for quarter-pounders topped with bacon or jalapeños, some of the city’s best. And for those who would rather repeat breakfast than move on to lunch fare, Fried Egg I’m in Love is open daily with pesto-slathered egg sandwiches. Prost Marketplace is home to ample covered and heated seating within the pod.

Mamma Khouri's

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This North Williams restaurant, which the owners describe as “Middle Eastern,” offers a number of strong lunch options, from meze platters to share with coworkers to pita-wrapped sandwiches stuffed with juicy lamb shawarma or falafel. Mamma Khouri’s also offers things like Turkish coffee to perk up mid-work day, as well as hard-to-find Lebanese and Syrian smoothies for an on-the-go treat.

Taqueria La Mestiza

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A quick jaunt away from the Grotto or Rocky Butte, Taqueria La Mestiza specializes in Yucatecan standards like panuchos, cochinita pibil, and salbutes. However, for those seeking a pile of chorizo tacos, a burrito stuffed with tender carnitas, or moist, banana-leaf-wrapped tamales, Taqueria La Mestiza delivers.

Smokin Fire Fish

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A sort of permanent pop-up within Tamale Boy’s Russell Street location, Smokin Fire Fish is one of the city’s most underrated spots for Hawaiian food, with oft-changing plate lunch specials, a wide range of poke, and a variety of musubi. No visit is complete without an extra order of mac salad. Check out the pop-up’s Instagram for weekly specials.

Pizza Thief

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Finding a slice of pizza in Portland isn’t as easy as it used to be, but some shops have a full slice case for a quick weekday lunch. Whole grain sourdough pizzas come topped with caciotta al tartufo, piquillo peppers, or schiacciata salami, served alongside thick slabs of focaccia, Italian chop salads, and rye hand pies. Pros know to order the Calabrian chile-garlic oil for dipping and dunking.

Bing Mi Dumpling and Noodle Bar

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A sibling to the popular jianbing cart, this Northwest Portland restaurant is a nice spot for hand-made noodles and dumplings. Bing Mi Dumpling and Noodle Bar specializes in zha jiang mian, topping chewy noodles with julienned veggies and little nubs of pork coated in Chinese black bean. The noodles are also available vegan, and those uninterested in noodles can find dumplings stuffed with shrimp or ground pork, platters of roast duck and Chinese sausage, and soothing congee. Sweet soy milk makes for a lovely accompaniment.

Qiao Noodle House

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Sometimes, a cold day calls for a cauldron of hot soup, but committing to a full-on hotpot at lunch can be tough. This Weidler Chinese restaurant is a strong solution, specializing in a Yunnanese dish called Crossing the Bridge noodles. Essentially, diners get an individual pot of bubbling broth, with a vast assortment of potential additions — corn, woodear mushrooms, tofu skins. It’s a sort of individual, DIY, build-your-own soup, with springy noodles and a rich-but-not-heavy broth. Alternatively, popcorn chicken is also strong here.

While dinners at the internet-famous Jojo can get a little crowded, lunch tends to be a calmer affair, with all the same gargantuan fried chicken sandwiches and burgers spotted in the evenings. Committing to both a hulking sandwich and a pile of impeccably executed potato wedges might induce a coma post-lunch break, though if you can pull it off, we commend you; for other mere mortals, Jojo serves a fun, ultra-crunchy salad that’s actually filling, with coleslaw, house ranch, and fried shallots. It’s best topped with sliced fried chicken or tofu.

Mercato at Caffe Mingo

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The casual counterpart to Caffe Mingo, the Mercato lands somewhere between a small Nob Hill trattoria and an Italian gourmet market. Visitors can stop by for lunches of gnocchi Bolognese or saffron risotto, or opt for something lighter, like a hearty Caesar or a bowl of ribollita. Mercato is one of the few lunch spots with a lengthy dessert menu, including tiramisu gelato and lemon-ricotta cake.

The Sudra

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Many Portland vegans are already quite familiar with this small Portland chain of Indian-Southwestern food. Linger over a thali plate for a leisurely lunch, with black lentil dal, ginger-agave-roasted carrot salad, and more. For something a little lighter, the lentil kofta bowl with roasted cauliflower is particularly nice. The Sudra is open daily with onsite dining.

Flying Fish Company LLC

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This East Burnside fish market serves Pacific Northwestern rockfish tacos, Ora King salmon crudo, and Washington steelhead sandwiches on its comfortable covered patio throughout the day, alongside an array of shucker’s choice oysters on the half shell and house-smoked salmon. The eclectic menu makes it a good choice for a wide range of diners, whether you’re seeking build-your-own poke or a piping hot bowl of clam chowder. Fish changes seasonally, and is available in the market to take home for dinner.

Nong's Khao Man Gai

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It simply wouldn’t feel right to omit Nong’s from this map, a standby for comforting mid-week lunches of impeccably cooked rice, tender chicken, and that citrusy ginger sauce. To switch things up, get the pork rice or peanut sauce chicken instead of the restaurant’s famous khao man gai. Nong’s is also one of the few restaurants on this map to feature a kid’s menu.

When seeking shrimp and grits, jambalaya, or — of course — po’boys, this downtown Portland restaurant is the place to be. For a little bit of everything, the po’bowl comes with red beans and rice, meats like shrimp or sausage, and remoulade, ideal to take back to a desk. Those with time to linger should start with an order of fried mac and cheese balls, and finish with a pile of powdered-sugar-doused beignets.

Obon Shokudo

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Vegans love this Southeast Grand spot for its supremely comforting, homey Japanese food, ranging from earthy miso stew to onigiri stuffed with misozuke. Those who prefer a lighter lunch will appreciate Obon’s wide range of onigiri, an easy grab-and-go option; those looking to linger should start with some crispy kabocha korokke, followed by a bowl of the restaurant’s lovely, handmade udon noodles.

Rukdiew Cafe

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This Southeast Belmont Thai restaurant is a cheery spot for a mid-week lunch, with plush, rose-pink bar stools and robin’s egg blue booths. The food matches the decor — dishes here are colorful and bright, crunchy salad rolls followed by a lime-laden larb. Rukdiew also serves some of the finest khao soi in the city, with a brick-red slick of chile oil floating above a nuanced broth teeming with cinnamon and coriander. It’s best paired with a Cherry Blossom, a non-alcoholic cocktail made with pomegranate juice and lychee.

Bluto's

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This Greek spot from the man behind Lardo serves skewers of juicy lamb souvlaki alongside silky hummus and bright tzatziki, with sheets of fresh-baked pita for swiping and stuffing. Around lunchtime, the restaurant’s salads are a smart choice, hearty and filled with things like whipped sheep’s cheese or beet tahini. Add some souvlaki for protein, and a swirl of soft serve to get through the rest of the day.

Love Belizean

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The Belizean chicken at this downtown spot is a favorite among Portland State University students, who stop in for plates of saucy chicken thighs, coconut rice, and the restaurant’s unforgettable habanero sauce. On rainy afternoons, it’s best to add on a bowl of coconut curry soup. Vegans can stick around for coconut curry stewed red beans.

Murata Restaurant

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For decades, downtown workers have popped into this old-school Japanese restaurant for combination lunches of broiled salmon, tonkatsu, or sashimi, complete with sunomono, steamed rice, and miso soup. On cold days, Murata’s tempura-topped udon is straight-up comfort food.

Tasty Corner Chinese Restaurant

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This downtown Chinese restaurant is creating a buzz online for its tingly mapo tofu, Chongqing chicken, and hand-shaven noodles. All of the above are available for lunch at a reduced price, plus Chinese American standards like General Tso’s chicken and Mongolian beef. Additionally, Tasty Corner offers a variety of lunch specials, with a cup of hot-and-sour or egg-flower soup and rice included.

Rose VL Deli

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This cheery Vietnamese soup spot on Powell is easily worth the hype, with rotating bowls every day but Sunday and Wednesday. Any given visit might involve buoyant pork meatballs floating in a pristine broth, or bowls filled with wontons and char siu pork. It’s hard to go wrong, and each visit can involve thick, stuffed salad rolls and Vietnamese iced coffee.

This deaf-owned Lents spot is one of the very few Portland restaurants that actively accommodates deaf diners, taking orders in American Sign Language; the team also uses speech-to-text software for hearing diners. Pah! is also a strong spot for a burger — not caught up in the super-thin smash burger trend, these are thick, juicy burgers, particularly the Champ, a barbecue-bacon cheeseburger. Those up for a challenge can start with the restaurant’s take on a blooming onion.

Pasture PDX

A butcher’s shop and market in Northeast Portland, Pasture is open Tuesdays through Fridays for roast beef sandwiches with pepper relish, house pastrami Reubens with carrot thousand island, and kale salads with feta and lemon. Those grabbing a quick lunch before heading home can grab Oregon-raised meats from the butcher case for dinner.

Prost Marketplace

The Prost Marketplace pod, next to the North Portland German beer bar, is home to a number of carts consistently serving lunch. Desi’s bowls of yellow-hued basmati rice, topped with tandoori tempeh or cardamom-chai chicken or masala pulled pork, consistently deliver for a multifaceted mid-week meal. Burger Stevens is the place to be for quarter-pounders topped with bacon or jalapeños, some of the city’s best. And for those who would rather repeat breakfast than move on to lunch fare, Fried Egg I’m in Love is open daily with pesto-slathered egg sandwiches. Prost Marketplace is home to ample covered and heated seating within the pod.

Mamma Khouri's

This North Williams restaurant, which the owners describe as “Middle Eastern,” offers a number of strong lunch options, from meze platters to share with coworkers to pita-wrapped sandwiches stuffed with juicy lamb shawarma or falafel. Mamma Khouri’s also offers things like Turkish coffee to perk up mid-work day, as well as hard-to-find Lebanese and Syrian smoothies for an on-the-go treat.

Taqueria La Mestiza

A quick jaunt away from the Grotto or Rocky Butte, Taqueria La Mestiza specializes in Yucatecan standards like panuchos, cochinita pibil, and salbutes. However, for those seeking a pile of chorizo tacos, a burrito stuffed with tender carnitas, or moist, banana-leaf-wrapped tamales, Taqueria La Mestiza delivers.

Smokin Fire Fish

A sort of permanent pop-up within Tamale Boy’s Russell Street location, Smokin Fire Fish is one of the city’s most underrated spots for Hawaiian food, with oft-changing plate lunch specials, a wide range of poke, and a variety of musubi. No visit is complete without an extra order of mac salad. Check out the pop-up’s Instagram for weekly specials.

Pizza Thief

Finding a slice of pizza in Portland isn’t as easy as it used to be, but some shops have a full slice case for a quick weekday lunch. Whole grain sourdough pizzas come topped with caciotta al tartufo, piquillo peppers, or schiacciata salami, served alongside thick slabs of focaccia, Italian chop salads, and rye hand pies. Pros know to order the Calabrian chile-garlic oil for dipping and dunking.

Bing Mi Dumpling and Noodle Bar

A sibling to the popular jianbing cart, this Northwest Portland restaurant is a nice spot for hand-made noodles and dumplings. Bing Mi Dumpling and Noodle Bar specializes in zha jiang mian, topping chewy noodles with julienned veggies and little nubs of pork coated in Chinese black bean. The noodles are also available vegan, and those uninterested in noodles can find dumplings stuffed with shrimp or ground pork, platters of roast duck and Chinese sausage, and soothing congee. Sweet soy milk makes for a lovely accompaniment.

Qiao Noodle House

Sometimes, a cold day calls for a cauldron of hot soup, but committing to a full-on hotpot at lunch can be tough. This Weidler Chinese restaurant is a strong solution, specializing in a Yunnanese dish called Crossing the Bridge noodles. Essentially, diners get an individual pot of bubbling broth, with a vast assortment of potential additions — corn, woodear mushrooms, tofu skins. It’s a sort of individual, DIY, build-your-own soup, with springy noodles and a rich-but-not-heavy broth. Alternatively, popcorn chicken is also strong here.

Jojo

While dinners at the internet-famous Jojo can get a little crowded, lunch tends to be a calmer affair, with all the same gargantuan fried chicken sandwiches and burgers spotted in the evenings. Committing to both a hulking sandwich and a pile of impeccably executed potato wedges might induce a coma post-lunch break, though if you can pull it off, we commend you; for other mere mortals, Jojo serves a fun, ultra-crunchy salad that’s actually filling, with coleslaw, house ranch, and fried shallots. It’s best topped with sliced fried chicken or tofu.

Mercato at Caffe Mingo

The casual counterpart to Caffe Mingo, the Mercato lands somewhere between a small Nob Hill trattoria and an Italian gourmet market. Visitors can stop by for lunches of gnocchi Bolognese or saffron risotto, or opt for something lighter, like a hearty Caesar or a bowl of ribollita. Mercato is one of the few lunch spots with a lengthy dessert menu, including tiramisu gelato and lemon-ricotta cake.

The Sudra

Many Portland vegans are already quite familiar with this small Portland chain of Indian-Southwestern food. Linger over a thali plate for a leisurely lunch, with black lentil dal, ginger-agave-roasted carrot salad, and more. For something a little lighter, the lentil kofta bowl with roasted cauliflower is particularly nice. The Sudra is open daily with onsite dining.

Flying Fish Company LLC

This East Burnside fish market serves Pacific Northwestern rockfish tacos, Ora King salmon crudo, and Washington steelhead sandwiches on its comfortable covered patio throughout the day, alongside an array of shucker’s choice oysters on the half shell and house-smoked salmon. The eclectic menu makes it a good choice for a wide range of diners, whether you’re seeking build-your-own poke or a piping hot bowl of clam chowder. Fish changes seasonally, and is available in the market to take home for dinner.

Nong's Khao Man Gai

It simply wouldn’t feel right to omit Nong’s from this map, a standby for comforting mid-week lunches of impeccably cooked rice, tender chicken, and that citrusy ginger sauce. To switch things up, get the pork rice or peanut sauce chicken instead of the restaurant’s famous khao man gai. Nong’s is also one of the few restaurants on this map to feature a kid’s menu.

Poboyz

When seeking shrimp and grits, jambalaya, or — of course — po’boys, this downtown Portland restaurant is the place to be. For a little bit of everything, the po’bowl comes with red beans and rice, meats like shrimp or sausage, and remoulade, ideal to take back to a desk. Those with time to linger should start with an order of fried mac and cheese balls, and finish with a pile of powdered-sugar-doused beignets.

Obon Shokudo

Vegans love this Southeast Grand spot for its supremely comforting, homey Japanese food, ranging from earthy miso stew to onigiri stuffed with misozuke. Those who prefer a lighter lunch will appreciate Obon’s wide range of onigiri, an easy grab-and-go option; those looking to linger should start with some crispy kabocha korokke, followed by a bowl of the restaurant’s lovely, handmade udon noodles.

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Rukdiew Cafe

This Southeast Belmont Thai restaurant is a cheery spot for a mid-week lunch, with plush, rose-pink bar stools and robin’s egg blue booths. The food matches the decor — dishes here are colorful and bright, crunchy salad rolls followed by a lime-laden larb. Rukdiew also serves some of the finest khao soi in the city, with a brick-red slick of chile oil floating above a nuanced broth teeming with cinnamon and coriander. It’s best paired with a Cherry Blossom, a non-alcoholic cocktail made with pomegranate juice and lychee.

Bluto's

This Greek spot from the man behind Lardo serves skewers of juicy lamb souvlaki alongside silky hummus and bright tzatziki, with sheets of fresh-baked pita for swiping and stuffing. Around lunchtime, the restaurant’s salads are a smart choice, hearty and filled with things like whipped sheep’s cheese or beet tahini. Add some souvlaki for protein, and a swirl of soft serve to get through the rest of the day.

Love Belizean

The Belizean chicken at this downtown spot is a favorite among Portland State University students, who stop in for plates of saucy chicken thighs, coconut rice, and the restaurant’s unforgettable habanero sauce. On rainy afternoons, it’s best to add on a bowl of coconut curry soup. Vegans can stick around for coconut curry stewed red beans.

Murata Restaurant

For decades, downtown workers have popped into this old-school Japanese restaurant for combination lunches of broiled salmon, tonkatsu, or sashimi, complete with sunomono, steamed rice, and miso soup. On cold days, Murata’s tempura-topped udon is straight-up comfort food.

Tasty Corner Chinese Restaurant

This downtown Chinese restaurant is creating a buzz online for its tingly mapo tofu, Chongqing chicken, and hand-shaven noodles. All of the above are available for lunch at a reduced price, plus Chinese American standards like General Tso’s chicken and Mongolian beef. Additionally, Tasty Corner offers a variety of lunch specials, with a cup of hot-and-sour or egg-flower soup and rice included.

Rose VL Deli

This cheery Vietnamese soup spot on Powell is easily worth the hype, with rotating bowls every day but Sunday and Wednesday. Any given visit might involve buoyant pork meatballs floating in a pristine broth, or bowls filled with wontons and char siu pork. It’s hard to go wrong, and each visit can involve thick, stuffed salad rolls and Vietnamese iced coffee.

Pah!

This deaf-owned Lents spot is one of the very few Portland restaurants that actively accommodates deaf diners, taking orders in American Sign Language; the team also uses speech-to-text software for hearing diners. Pah! is also a strong spot for a burger — not caught up in the super-thin smash burger trend, these are thick, juicy burgers, particularly the Champ, a barbecue-bacon cheeseburger. Those up for a challenge can start with the restaurant’s take on a blooming onion.

Related Maps