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Two scallops sit on a blue plate next to a swipe of cheese sauce, with little dots of saffron gel, garlic blossoms, an orange-hued shallot relish, and olive oil powder. This dish was served at Mucca in downtown Portland, Oregon.
Scallops with shallot relish and saffron gel at Mucca
Brooke Jackson-Glidden

Where to Eat and Drink in Downtown Portland

Where to get a quick work lunch or a bite post-Powell’s

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Scallops with shallot relish and saffron gel at Mucca
| Brooke Jackson-Glidden

As some Portland workers return to the office and tourists begin to book hotel rooms, downtown Portland has slowly started to reanimate itself. Hotel restaurants are taking reservations, food carts are feeling something resembling a lunch rush once again, and some chefs have even opened new restaurants downtown in recent months. Downtown Portland is home to a wide variety of dining experiences, from street food to tasting menus, with everything from Isan Thai to Iraqi to Belizean cuisine represented.

When locals advise out-of-towners, they often dissuade them from spending much time downtown — “it’s not an accurate representation of the city” is the usual argument. However, to deny Portland’s downtown as a part of the city is to erase some of its longest-standing restaurants, some of its most interesting historic places, and some of its most beautiful buildings. Of course, if you visit Portland and only spend time downtown, you’re not seeing a full picture of Portland — this guide should give you what you need for a holistic look at the city.

This map has a stickler’s definition of downtown: nothing west of 405, and nothing north of Burnside. For restaurant options in the nearby Pearl, this map should do just fine. Per usual, this map isn’t ranked; it’s organized geographically.

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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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Maurice

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921 SW Oak St
Portland, OR 97205
(503) 224-9921
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If Måurice isn’t Portland’s best downtown lunch spot (it might very well be), then it’s easily its most charming. Kristen D. Murray and her crew take seasonal ingredients and spin them into gold-standard versions of clafoutis, gorgeous smørrebrød, and airy quiches. No visit is complete without a few fika — the black pepper cheesecake, in particular, is an iconic Portland dish. It’s open for takeout and outdoor dining.

2. Lechon

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113 SW Naito Pkwy
Portland, OR 97204
(503) 219-9000
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Located across the street from Waterfront Park, Lechon has a patio and sprawling interior replete with aquariums filled with jellyfish. The dinner menu serves satisfying South American fare like Peruvian lomo saltado, grilled octopus with chorizo, and achiote-marinated lamb chops, but the real move is to shop up for happy hour at 4 p.m. with things like $5 piquillo pepper empanadas and $8 shrimp ceviche. It’s open for onsite dining and takeout.

3. Toki Restaurant

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580 SW 12th Ave
Portland, OR 97205
(503) 312-3037
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Peter Cho and Sun Young Park, the owner of the oft-praised Han Oak, made the jump across the river with this casual, all-day Korean spot. It’s the kind of restaurant that works in a number of different scenarios: pork belly breakfast sandwiches and raspberry sugar doughnuts for weekend brunch, steamed bao burgers for quick mid-week lunch, bibimbap and hand-pulled noodles for Friday night takeout. But when dining in, it’s best to fill the table with ssam, delicate mandu, and the crispiest dang fried chicken you can find downtown — not to mention cool rotating dishes like whole shrimp soondubu or crab-masago bucatini. Toki is open for onsite dining with proof of vaccination, as well as takeout and delivery.

4. Abigail Hall

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813 SW Alder St
Portland, OR 97205
(971) 978-0148
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Considering their age, both of the restaurants in the Woodlark hotel exude a vintage charm that make them feel like seasoned Portland restaurants. Abigail Hall feels like a cosmopolitan lounge, the kind of place where you’d go for high tea or shrimp cocktails (hint: Abigail offers both). At the pink swirling booths that curl through the bar, customers order martinis for the table alongside oysters on the half-shell, before a Manhattan and a burger (or maybe just a pile of chicken strips and fries). It’s open for indoor dining and drinking with proof of vaccination.

5. Bullard Tavern

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813 SW Alder St
Portland, OR 97205
(503) 222-1670
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At Bullard Tavern, which feels like an investment banker’s mountain lodge in an oddly soothing way, diners will find dishes that feel like something out of a ‘60s supper club with a Texan twist: seafood towers, ribeye fajitas, baked Alaska, smoked beef carpaccio. Plus, the restaurant’s bar is a party, with large-format margaritas, flights of picklebacks, and an assortment of boilermakers. It’s open for indoor dining with proof of vaccination, as well as takeout.

6. Mucca Osteria

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1022 SW Morrison St
Portland, OR 97205
(503) 227-5521
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This SW Morrison Italian restaurant feels well-suited for special occasions, with its white tablecloths and its attentive servers. The restaurant’s antipasti is stacked with stunners, from the globe of burrata nestled in prosciutto to the seared scallops topped with shallot relish. It’s best to finish up with a bowl of house-made pasta, be it tortelli filled with mushrooms and ricotta or bright-yellow egg yolk tagliatelle in venison ragu. It’s open for indoor dining with proof of vaccination.

7. Stretch The Noodle

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223-269 SW Washington St
Portland, OR 97204

This sweet downtown Portland food cart lives up to its name: Xuemei Simard stretches chewy noodles of various shapes and sizes each day from within the cart. Some come tossed in chile oil; others piled high with herbs and minced pork. Each noodle order, however, should also come with a set of fat shrimp dumplings. It’s open for takeout.

8. DarSalam

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320 SW Alder St
Portland, OR 97204
(503) 444-7813
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Portlanders who dwell in cubicles and who have to keep an eye on the clock during their lunch breaks scored a major get when DarSalam, Portland’s first Iraqi restaurant, opened its ornate downtown digs. That means that all the restaurant’s meze, mango salad, falafel (doughnut-shaped for optimal crunchy exterior), kebob, and rice plates are just steps from the office. It’s open for takeout and indoor dining.

9. Luc Lac Vietnamese Kitchen

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835 SW 2nd Ave
Portland, OR 97204
(503) 222-0047
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Back in the day, this trendy Vietnamese restaurant would be thumping music until 4 a.m., churning out bowls of late-night pho and banh mi to bar-crawlers on Saturday nights. These days, it’s a far less rowdy operation: The restaurant’s dining room remains closed to diners, and its patio shuts down at 10 p.m. Still, the lines curling around the corner don’t lie: Luc Lac is as good as ever, from the vermicelli tossed with grilled pork and herbs to the bobbing meatballs in a steamy bowl of pho. The restaurant’s namesake dish, hunks of beef tenderloin tossed in a buttery Hennessy sauce, remains a standout. Luc Lac is also open for takeout and delivery.

10. Behind The Museum Cafe

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1229 SW 10th Ave
Portland, OR 97205
(503) 477-6625
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Quite literally behind the Portland Art Museum, this tea shop and cafe is a sweet respite in an unexpected locale. Sip on delicate genmaicha between bites of salmon onigiri, or simply opt for a matcha set, served alongside a handful of sweets. It’s open for indoor and outdoor dining, as well as takeout and delivery.

11. Higgins Restaurant & Bar

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1239 SW Broadway
Portland, OR 97205
(503) 222-9070
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Higgins is one of this town’s classic refined dining restaurants, known for its in-house charcuterie and Pacific Northwestern fare. Higgins’s cioppino contains a fishmarket’s worth of shellfish, and the coveted cheeseburger clocks in at $20 very-well-worth-it dollars. However, it’s extremely hard to beat the restaurant’s take on hearty cassoulet, with a trifecta of duck confit, Toulouse sausage, and pork shoulder. Higgins is open for indoor dining with proof of vaccination.

12. Love Belizean

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1503 SW Broadway
Portland, OR 97201
(503) 421-5599
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This restaurant serves dishes like yellow-hued coconut curry and stewed red beans, but it’s all about the Belizean chicken: saucy, braised thighs with chiles and onions, though its skin stays surprisingly crispy. It’s best complemented by the shop’s various house-made habanero sauces. Love Belizean is open for takeout and delivery.

13. Murata Restaurant

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200 SW Market St
Portland, OR 97201
(503) 227-0080
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Murata has held its spot on Market since 1988, the epitome of an old-school Japanese restaurant in the best way. Devotees nab open tatami rooms where they tuck into homey orders of broiled mackerel or ochazuke. The real highlight at Murata, however, has to be its sushi — the restaurant’s set dinners, chef’s choice combinations served alongside miso and small snacks, epitomize why the restaurant has survived the last 30+ years. Keep an eye on the specials board, as well. It’s open for indoor dining and takeout.

14. Som Tum Thai Kitchen

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1924 SW Broadway Second floor
Portland, OR 97201
(503) 545-3261
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There is plenty of fantastic Thai food in Portland, but this under-the-radar Isan restaurant on the Portland State University campus punches above its weight. Sirapob Chaiprathum, who goes by Q, pounds bright and complex papaya salads using things like field crabs and Laotian fish sauce, while pots of simmering broths waft galangal-and-lemongrass-scented steam. Those seeking the comfort of pad Thai or crab fried rice will find it here, but for the full experience, the restaurant’s sampler platters, named for Thai temples, are great for groups. Som Tum is open for indoor dining and takeout.

15. Duck House Chinese Restaurant

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1968 SW 5th Ave
Portland, OR 97201
(971) 801-8888
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Since it opened in 2016, Duck House has been a mainstay for slick dan dan noodles, plump xiao long bao, and juicy wontons in chile oil among both Portland State University students and Chinese food aficionados. It’s hard to go wrong here — most of the noodles, Sichuan dishes, and dumplings will please a crowd — but the one thing you won’t find at Duck House, ironically, is duck. It’s open for indoor dining and takeout.

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1. Maurice

921 SW Oak St, Portland, OR 97205

If Måurice isn’t Portland’s best downtown lunch spot (it might very well be), then it’s easily its most charming. Kristen D. Murray and her crew take seasonal ingredients and spin them into gold-standard versions of clafoutis, gorgeous smørrebrød, and airy quiches. No visit is complete without a few fika — the black pepper cheesecake, in particular, is an iconic Portland dish. It’s open for takeout and outdoor dining.

921 SW Oak St
Portland, OR 97205

2. Lechon

113 SW Naito Pkwy, Portland, OR 97204

Located across the street from Waterfront Park, Lechon has a patio and sprawling interior replete with aquariums filled with jellyfish. The dinner menu serves satisfying South American fare like Peruvian lomo saltado, grilled octopus with chorizo, and achiote-marinated lamb chops, but the real move is to shop up for happy hour at 4 p.m. with things like $5 piquillo pepper empanadas and $8 shrimp ceviche. It’s open for onsite dining and takeout.

113 SW Naito Pkwy
Portland, OR 97204

3. Toki Restaurant

580 SW 12th Ave, Portland, OR 97205

Peter Cho and Sun Young Park, the owner of the oft-praised Han Oak, made the jump across the river with this casual, all-day Korean spot. It’s the kind of restaurant that works in a number of different scenarios: pork belly breakfast sandwiches and raspberry sugar doughnuts for weekend brunch, steamed bao burgers for quick mid-week lunch, bibimbap and hand-pulled noodles for Friday night takeout. But when dining in, it’s best to fill the table with ssam, delicate mandu, and the crispiest dang fried chicken you can find downtown — not to mention cool rotating dishes like whole shrimp soondubu or crab-masago bucatini. Toki is open for onsite dining with proof of vaccination, as well as takeout and delivery.

580 SW 12th Ave
Portland, OR 97205

4. Abigail Hall

813 SW Alder St, Portland, OR 97205

Considering their age, both of the restaurants in the Woodlark hotel exude a vintage charm that make them feel like seasoned Portland restaurants. Abigail Hall feels like a cosmopolitan lounge, the kind of place where you’d go for high tea or shrimp cocktails (hint: Abigail offers both). At the pink swirling booths that curl through the bar, customers order martinis for the table alongside oysters on the half-shell, before a Manhattan and a burger (or maybe just a pile of chicken strips and fries). It’s open for indoor dining and drinking with proof of vaccination.

813 SW Alder St
Portland, OR 97205

5. Bullard Tavern

813 SW Alder St, Portland, OR 97205

At Bullard Tavern, which feels like an investment banker’s mountain lodge in an oddly soothing way, diners will find dishes that feel like something out of a ‘60s supper club with a Texan twist: seafood towers, ribeye fajitas, baked Alaska, smoked beef carpaccio. Plus, the restaurant’s bar is a party, with large-format margaritas, flights of picklebacks, and an assortment of boilermakers. It’s open for indoor dining with proof of vaccination, as well as takeout.

813 SW Alder St
Portland, OR 97205

6. Mucca Osteria

1022 SW Morrison St, Portland, OR 97205

This SW Morrison Italian restaurant feels well-suited for special occasions, with its white tablecloths and its attentive servers. The restaurant’s antipasti is stacked with stunners, from the globe of burrata nestled in prosciutto to the seared scallops topped with shallot relish. It’s best to finish up with a bowl of house-made pasta, be it tortelli filled with mushrooms and ricotta or bright-yellow egg yolk tagliatelle in venison ragu. It’s open for indoor dining with proof of vaccination.

1022 SW Morrison St
Portland, OR 97205

7. Stretch The Noodle

223-269 SW Washington St, Portland, OR 97204

This sweet downtown Portland food cart lives up to its name: Xuemei Simard stretches chewy noodles of various shapes and sizes each day from within the cart. Some come tossed in chile oil; others piled high with herbs and minced pork. Each noodle order, however, should also come with a set of fat shrimp dumplings. It’s open for takeout.

223-269 SW Washington St
Portland, OR 97204

8. DarSalam

320 SW Alder St, Portland, OR 97204

Portlanders who dwell in cubicles and who have to keep an eye on the clock during their lunch breaks scored a major get when DarSalam, Portland’s first Iraqi restaurant, opened its ornate downtown digs. That means that all the restaurant’s meze, mango salad, falafel (doughnut-shaped for optimal crunchy exterior), kebob, and rice plates are just steps from the office. It’s open for takeout and indoor dining.

320 SW Alder St
Portland, OR 97204

9. Luc Lac Vietnamese Kitchen

835 SW 2nd Ave, Portland, OR 97204

Back in the day, this trendy Vietnamese restaurant would be thumping music until 4 a.m., churning out bowls of late-night pho and banh mi to bar-crawlers on Saturday nights. These days, it’s a far less rowdy operation: The restaurant’s dining room remains closed to diners, and its patio shuts down at 10 p.m. Still, the lines curling around the corner don’t lie: Luc Lac is as good as ever, from the vermicelli tossed with grilled pork and herbs to the bobbing meatballs in a steamy bowl of pho. The restaurant’s namesake dish, hunks of beef tenderloin tossed in a buttery Hennessy sauce, remains a standout. Luc Lac is also open for takeout and delivery.

835 SW 2nd Ave
Portland, OR 97204

10. Behind The Museum Cafe

1229 SW 10th Ave, Portland, OR 97205

Quite literally behind the Portland Art Museum, this tea shop and cafe is a sweet respite in an unexpected locale. Sip on delicate genmaicha between bites of salmon onigiri, or simply opt for a matcha set, served alongside a handful of sweets. It’s open for indoor and outdoor dining, as well as takeout and delivery.

1229 SW 10th Ave
Portland, OR 97205

11. Higgins Restaurant & Bar

1239 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97205

Higgins is one of this town’s classic refined dining restaurants, known for its in-house charcuterie and Pacific Northwestern fare. Higgins’s cioppino contains a fishmarket’s worth of shellfish, and the coveted cheeseburger clocks in at $20 very-well-worth-it dollars. However, it’s extremely hard to beat the restaurant’s take on hearty cassoulet, with a trifecta of duck confit, Toulouse sausage, and pork shoulder. Higgins is open for indoor dining with proof of vaccination.

1239 SW Broadway
Portland, OR 97205

12. Love Belizean

1503 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97201

This restaurant serves dishes like yellow-hued coconut curry and stewed red beans, but it’s all about the Belizean chicken: saucy, braised thighs with chiles and onions, though its skin stays surprisingly crispy. It’s best complemented by the shop’s various house-made habanero sauces. Love Belizean is open for takeout and delivery.

1503 SW Broadway
Portland, OR 97201

13. Murata Restaurant

200 SW Market St, Portland, OR 97201

Murata has held its spot on Market since 1988, the epitome of an old-school Japanese restaurant in the best way. Devotees nab open tatami rooms where they tuck into homey orders of broiled mackerel or ochazuke. The real highlight at Murata, however, has to be its sushi — the restaurant’s set dinners, chef’s choice combinations served alongside miso and small snacks, epitomize why the restaurant has survived the last 30+ years. Keep an eye on the specials board, as well. It’s open for indoor dining and takeout.

200 SW Market St
Portland, OR 97201

14. Som Tum Thai Kitchen

1924 SW Broadway Second floor, Portland, OR 97201

There is plenty of fantastic Thai food in Portland, but this under-the-radar Isan restaurant on the Portland State University campus punches above its weight. Sirapob Chaiprathum, who goes by Q, pounds bright and complex papaya salads using things like field crabs and Laotian fish sauce, while pots of simmering broths waft galangal-and-lemongrass-scented steam. Those seeking the comfort of pad Thai or crab fried rice will find it here, but for the full experience, the restaurant’s sampler platters, named for Thai temples, are great for groups. Som Tum is open for indoor dining and takeout.

1924 SW Broadway Second floor
Portland, OR 97201

15. Duck House Chinese Restaurant

1968 SW 5th Ave, Portland, OR 97201

Since it opened in 2016, Duck House has been a mainstay for slick dan dan noodles, plump xiao long bao, and juicy wontons in chile oil among both Portland State University students and Chinese food aficionados. It’s hard to go wrong here — most of the noodles, Sichuan dishes, and dumplings will please a crowd — but the one thing you won’t find at Duck House, ironically, is duck. It’s open for indoor dining and takeout.

1968 SW 5th Ave
Portland, OR 97201

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