clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
The neon lights of Chin’s Kitchen.
Chin’s Kitchen, one of the oldest Chinese restaurants in Portland
Krista Garcia/EPDX

19 Old-School Portland Restaurants That Have Hung On Through the Pandemic

Some of the city’s oldest, these classic restaurants survived the last year for a reason: they’re good

View as Map
Chin’s Kitchen, one of the oldest Chinese restaurants in Portland
| Krista Garcia/EPDX

Portland restaurant culture runs deep. And though it's easy to get distracted by the new restaurants opening every week, it's important to remember the city has decades-old classics that’ve made Portland food what it is today. Over the course of the pandemic, some iconic Portland-area spots that have held on through the decades — Canton Grill, for instance — have shut down or gone on indefinite hiatus; however, a number of historic Portland restaurants and bars have weathered the incessant challenges of the last few years, even without their dining rooms.

On this map, find some of Portland’s longest-running diners, cafes, steakhouses, watering holes, and other historic drinking and dining establishments worth checking out, including Huber’s Cafe, Portland’s oldest. The restaurants on this map have been open for at least 50 years, aka since 1972 (the passing of time is relentless, bestie). Some are only selling takeout; some are opening up for indoor dining once again. Nonetheless, they’re staying afloat, the way they have for years.

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.

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
If you buy something or book a reservation from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

Nite Hawk Cafe and Lounge

Copy Link

Nite Hawk was built in 1931 as a place to bring in cars for an oil change and chow down on diner food while waiting. It’s since changed many hands, but ever since 1980, it’s been a proper diner serving up chicken-fried steaks and club sandwiches. Visit the Nite Hawk’s lounge for stiff drinks, diner food staples, and pool tables.

Amalfi's Italian Restaurant

Copy Link

This Northeast Portland Italian restaurant first opened in 1959, one of the first restaurants in the city to serve pizza. The restaurant still uses the same recipe for its pizza dough, topping those pies with alfredo, artichoke hearts, and everything in between. The restaurant also serves a slate of pasta dishes, red-sauce staples, and cocktails, with scoops of spumoni for dessert. Amalfi’s is open for takeout and dine-in, both indoors and outdoors — it can also be a fun spot for outdoor live music, when the weather is nice.

Clyde's Prime Rib

Copy Link

Bedecked in wood paneling, chandeliers, and red banquettes, Clyde’s is the place to party like it’s 1955. Juicy, pink slices of prime rib are the historic restaurant’s calling card, but modern touches like kale salad and poke have crept onto the menu, too. Stop by for live jazz in the lounge, paired with a Scotch on the rocks, or pop by for happy hour from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

Chin's Kitchen

Copy Link

Dating from the 1940s, Chin’s Kitchen, with its hard-to-miss neon, is one of the oldest Chinese restaurants in Portland. A few years back, the kitchen got an overhaul, and the restaurant began turning out Dongbei delicacies like handmade dumplings, steaming clay pots of Chinese sauerkraut and pork, and the summery la pi, a chilled noodle salad with a rainbow of julienned vegetables. Note: Chin’s is open for takeout and delivery only.

Skyline Restaurant

Copy Link

The ‘50s drive-in vibes at this classic Northwest Portland burger spot remain intact. Skyline first opened in 1935, and the restaurant still serves nostalgic milkshakes blended with pie, half-pounders on sesame buns, and chili cheese tots to eat sitting on the hood of your car or on the patio. It’s the ideal spot for a weekend lunch after a hike in Forest Park.

Republic Cafe and Ming Lounge

Copy Link

Walking into this 100-year-old restaurant and bar in the heart of Chinatown feels like walking into Wong Kar-wai’s In the Mood for Love, all intimate booths and neon red glow. Little wallpapered nooks, a dining room flanked with murals, a back lounge frequented by decades-old regulars, and a hidden banquet-room-turned-venue for concerts and parties make it one of the more compelling spots to grab a no-fuss cocktail and an old-school Chinese American restaurant dish like egg foo young or chop suey. Plus, it’s open until midnight most nights.

Fuller's Coffee Shop

Copy Link

Opened originally in Northeast Portland in 1947, Fuller’s Coffee Shop has been a Pearl District holdout on the same corner since 1960 (before there was even a Pearl District). A lunch counter in the true sense of the word, the diner with classic stools and weathered linoleum, serves fare like hash browns and egg salad sandwiches until 2 p.m. daily. 

Ringside Steakhouse

Copy Link

Open since 1944, this old-school steakhouse replete with fireplaces and table-side lamps, also serves onion rings that were purportedly the best James Beard ever had. It’s also hard to resist the lobster mashed potatoes. The wine cellar — only accessible by elevator and one of just two keys— holds many of the city’s oldest wines.

Jake's Famous Crawfish

Copy Link

Now owned by McCormick and Schmick’s, Jake’s has become more of a traditional seafood restaurant than a typical spot for peel-and-eat mudbugs. Open since 1892, the shop popcorn-fries its crawfish, stuffs halibut with bay shrimp and Dungeness crab, and ladles a bouillabaisse abundant with shellfish and salmon. Jake’s is open for takeout, delivery, and dining indoors and out — the patio seating takes up a charming chunk of a blocked-off street.

Dan & Louis Oyster Bar

Copy Link

Since the early 1900s, the Wachsmuth family has run this Ankeny seafood restaurant, selling raw oysters, oyster stew, and shellfish cocktail in a space covered in family photos and antiques. The menu has grown since its early days, now encompassing po’boys, gumbo, steamed mussels, and cioppino, served alongside beers and cocktails from the restaurant’s bar. Happy hour, which runs from 4 to 6 p.m. Mondays and Fridays, includes $2 oysters, $5 orders of fried fish, and $4 beers.

Huber's Cafe

Copy Link

Portland’s oldest restaurant, owned and operated by the descendants of original chef Jim Louie, has served roast turkey and mashed potatoes since 1879, but the famous Spanish coffee, prepared table-side, has only been on the menu for about four decades. Try to sit in the mahogany-filled back room that features handsome cathedral arches and stained-glass skylights.

Kelly's Olympian

Copy Link

Kelly’s originally opened its downtown Portland location in 1902, originally called the Olympian Saloon. These days, Kelly’s remains a spot for burgers, sandwiches, and beer, but its main draw is likely its shows, which range from stand-up comedy to local hip hop. This is another spot that’s nice to visit for the decor alone, decked out in motorcycle memorabilia and full-blown bikes.

Sayler's Old Country Kitchen

Copy Link

Opened in the 1940s but tricked out like the 1970s, Sayler’s started out as an East County chicken shack, at a time when the neighborhood was still largely berry fields. Now it’s one of the few restaurants in town that still serves a traditional relish tray, plus half-pound cheeseburgers, 20-ounce T-bone steaks, and choose-your-own cuts of prime rib. 

Goose Hollow Inn

Copy Link

Bud Clark opened this pub and restaurant in 1967, going on to serve as the city’s eccentric mayor from 1985 to 1992. While Clark has passed away, the restaurant lives on, serving Reubens and pints in the Goose’s poster-lined dining room and outdoor garden. Bands will play out back in the summers, and in the winter, there might not be a cozier spot for toddies and Irish coffees.

Leaky Roof Gastro Pub

Copy Link

The Leaky Roof started life as one of the city’s original food carts, way back in the 1940s. In 1947, it opened in its current Goose Hollow location and is still going strong as a neighborhood fixture. Whether ordering takeout or dining outside at picnic tables, diners will find the usual Irish pub food like Guinness stew and shepherd’s pie, plus weekend brunch, and “Portland’s largest selection of Irish Whiskey.”

Nick's Famous Coney Island

Copy Link

Opened in 1935, this Hawthorne dive bar happens to have some of the best chili dogs and cheese fries in town. Sports is usually on the TVs, and the lived-in space looks its 80-something years, which only adds to the charm of a bar named after a 19th century amusement park. Keep an eye out for specials, which range from double-stacked burgers to jalapeño margaritas.

A post shared by Ted Zahn (@neonhunting) on

Otto's Sausage Kitchen

Copy Link

Otto’s Sausage Kitchen started out as a meat market in Woodstock in 1922, then moved into its current location in 1936. For decades the same family has been making sausages and running the retail store, which continues to sell lovely smoked sausages, wursts and kielbasa, and pastrami. Stop by for lunches of deli sandwiches and wieners grilled outside the shop through the day.

The Original Pancake House

Copy Link

The original Original Pancake House was born in 1953, and the family-owned business that resembles a cozy cottage has since spread its glorious, batter-built gospel worldwide. For decades, hordes of Portlanders have flocked to the Southwest Portland cafe for the giant, puffy, eggy Dutch babies baked with sauteed apples. Those looking for traditional buttermilks will find those here, as well.

Mike's Drive-In

Copy Link

Technically, the original Mike’s Drive-In opened on East Burnside in 1971, but this Milwaukie location, which opened 1973, is often what people consider the flagship. Mike’s thrives on a foundation of sesame-seed-bun burgers, fried snacks ranging from pickle spears to tots, and plenty of ice cream treats like floats and malts. Aminé fans will likely recognize Mike’s from the “Caroline” video.

Loading comments...

Nite Hawk Cafe and Lounge

Nite Hawk was built in 1931 as a place to bring in cars for an oil change and chow down on diner food while waiting. It’s since changed many hands, but ever since 1980, it’s been a proper diner serving up chicken-fried steaks and club sandwiches. Visit the Nite Hawk’s lounge for stiff drinks, diner food staples, and pool tables.

Amalfi's Italian Restaurant

This Northeast Portland Italian restaurant first opened in 1959, one of the first restaurants in the city to serve pizza. The restaurant still uses the same recipe for its pizza dough, topping those pies with alfredo, artichoke hearts, and everything in between. The restaurant also serves a slate of pasta dishes, red-sauce staples, and cocktails, with scoops of spumoni for dessert. Amalfi’s is open for takeout and dine-in, both indoors and outdoors — it can also be a fun spot for outdoor live music, when the weather is nice.

Clyde's Prime Rib

Bedecked in wood paneling, chandeliers, and red banquettes, Clyde’s is the place to party like it’s 1955. Juicy, pink slices of prime rib are the historic restaurant’s calling card, but modern touches like kale salad and poke have crept onto the menu, too. Stop by for live jazz in the lounge, paired with a Scotch on the rocks, or pop by for happy hour from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

Chin's Kitchen

Dating from the 1940s, Chin’s Kitchen, with its hard-to-miss neon, is one of the oldest Chinese restaurants in Portland. A few years back, the kitchen got an overhaul, and the restaurant began turning out Dongbei delicacies like handmade dumplings, steaming clay pots of Chinese sauerkraut and pork, and the summery la pi, a chilled noodle salad with a rainbow of julienned vegetables. Note: Chin’s is open for takeout and delivery only.

Skyline Restaurant

The ‘50s drive-in vibes at this classic Northwest Portland burger spot remain intact. Skyline first opened in 1935, and the restaurant still serves nostalgic milkshakes blended with pie, half-pounders on sesame buns, and chili cheese tots to eat sitting on the hood of your car or on the patio. It’s the ideal spot for a weekend lunch after a hike in Forest Park.

Republic Cafe and Ming Lounge

Walking into this 100-year-old restaurant and bar in the heart of Chinatown feels like walking into Wong Kar-wai’s In the Mood for Love, all intimate booths and neon red glow. Little wallpapered nooks, a dining room flanked with murals, a back lounge frequented by decades-old regulars, and a hidden banquet-room-turned-venue for concerts and parties make it one of the more compelling spots to grab a no-fuss cocktail and an old-school Chinese American restaurant dish like egg foo young or chop suey. Plus, it’s open until midnight most nights.

Fuller's Coffee Shop

Opened originally in Northeast Portland in 1947, Fuller’s Coffee Shop has been a Pearl District holdout on the same corner since 1960 (before there was even a Pearl District). A lunch counter in the true sense of the word, the diner with classic stools and weathered linoleum, serves fare like hash browns and egg salad sandwiches until 2 p.m. daily. 

Ringside Steakhouse

Open since 1944, this old-school steakhouse replete with fireplaces and table-side lamps, also serves onion rings that were purportedly the best James Beard ever had. It’s also hard to resist the lobster mashed potatoes. The wine cellar — only accessible by elevator and one of just two keys— holds many of the city’s oldest wines.

Jake's Famous Crawfish

Now owned by McCormick and Schmick’s, Jake’s has become more of a traditional seafood restaurant than a typical spot for peel-and-eat mudbugs. Open since 1892, the shop popcorn-fries its crawfish, stuffs halibut with bay shrimp and Dungeness crab, and ladles a bouillabaisse abundant with shellfish and salmon. Jake’s is open for takeout, delivery, and dining indoors and out — the patio seating takes up a charming chunk of a blocked-off street.

Dan & Louis Oyster Bar

Since the early 1900s, the Wachsmuth family has run this Ankeny seafood restaurant, selling raw oysters, oyster stew, and shellfish cocktail in a space covered in family photos and antiques. The menu has grown since its early days, now encompassing po’boys, gumbo, steamed mussels, and cioppino, served alongside beers and cocktails from the restaurant’s bar. Happy hour, which runs from 4 to 6 p.m. Mondays and Fridays, includes $2 oysters, $5 orders of fried fish, and $4 beers.

Huber's Cafe

Portland’s oldest restaurant, owned and operated by the descendants of original chef Jim Louie, has served roast turkey and mashed potatoes since 1879, but the famous Spanish coffee, prepared table-side, has only been on the menu for about four decades. Try to sit in the mahogany-filled back room that features handsome cathedral arches and stained-glass skylights.

Kelly's Olympian

Kelly’s originally opened its downtown Portland location in 1902, originally called the Olympian Saloon. These days, Kelly’s remains a spot for burgers, sandwiches, and beer, but its main draw is likely its shows, which range from stand-up comedy to local hip hop. This is another spot that’s nice to visit for the decor alone, decked out in motorcycle memorabilia and full-blown bikes.

Sayler's Old Country Kitchen

Opened in the 1940s but tricked out like the 1970s, Sayler’s started out as an East County chicken shack, at a time when the neighborhood was still largely berry fields. Now it’s one of the few restaurants in town that still serves a traditional relish tray, plus half-pound cheeseburgers, 20-ounce T-bone steaks, and choose-your-own cuts of prime rib. 

Goose Hollow Inn

Bud Clark opened this pub and restaurant in 1967, going on to serve as the city’s eccentric mayor from 1985 to 1992. While Clark has passed away, the restaurant lives on, serving Reubens and pints in the Goose’s poster-lined dining room and outdoor garden. Bands will play out back in the summers, and in the winter, there might not be a cozier spot for toddies and Irish coffees.

Leaky Roof Gastro Pub

The Leaky Roof started life as one of the city’s original food carts, way back in the 1940s. In 1947, it opened in its current Goose Hollow location and is still going strong as a neighborhood fixture. Whether ordering takeout or dining outside at picnic tables, diners will find the usual Irish pub food like Guinness stew and shepherd’s pie, plus weekend brunch, and “Portland’s largest selection of Irish Whiskey.”

Related Maps

Nick's Famous Coney Island

Opened in 1935, this Hawthorne dive bar happens to have some of the best chili dogs and cheese fries in town. Sports is usually on the TVs, and the lived-in space looks its 80-something years, which only adds to the charm of a bar named after a 19th century amusement park. Keep an eye out for specials, which range from double-stacked burgers to jalapeño margaritas.

A post shared by Ted Zahn (@neonhunting) on

Otto's Sausage Kitchen

Otto’s Sausage Kitchen started out as a meat market in Woodstock in 1922, then moved into its current location in 1936. For decades the same family has been making sausages and running the retail store, which continues to sell lovely smoked sausages, wursts and kielbasa, and pastrami. Stop by for lunches of deli sandwiches and wieners grilled outside the shop through the day.

The Original Pancake House

The original Original Pancake House was born in 1953, and the family-owned business that resembles a cozy cottage has since spread its glorious, batter-built gospel worldwide. For decades, hordes of Portlanders have flocked to the Southwest Portland cafe for the giant, puffy, eggy Dutch babies baked with sauteed apples. Those looking for traditional buttermilks will find those here, as well.

Mike's Drive-In

Technically, the original Mike’s Drive-In opened on East Burnside in 1971, but this Milwaukie location, which opened 1973, is often what people consider the flagship. Mike’s thrives on a foundation of sesame-seed-bun burgers, fried snacks ranging from pickle spears to tots, and plenty of ice cream treats like floats and malts. Aminé fans will likely recognize Mike’s from the “Caroline” video.

Related Maps