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A piece of poached salmon sits on a green sauce with peas and mint at Tercet.
Poached salmon from Tercet.
Tercet

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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Poached salmon from Tercet.
| Tercet

Downtown Portland is home to a wide variety of dining experiences, from street food to tasting menus, with everything from Isan Thai to Sichuan 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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Maurice

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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 salads, gorgeous smørrebrød, and airy quiches. No visit is complete without a few fika — the black pepper cheesecake, in particular, is an iconic Portland dish. Visit for lunch Thursday through Saturday, or pop in for the prix fixe dinner Fridays and Saturdays.

Shanghai's Best in Pine Street Market

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Pine Street Market, one of downtown’s three food halls, is home to stalls hawking ramen and burgers, but this dumpling and bao spot is one of the standouts. Shanghai’s Best specializes in sheng jian bao, pan-fried soup dumplings filled with pork, though the menu also includes house-made steamed buns and purse-like shu mai.

Located across the street from Waterfront Park, Lechon’s sprawling interior, replete with aquariums filled with jellyfish, fills up by happy hour with tourists and locals. The dinner menu serves satisfying South American fare like Peruvian lomo saltado, grilled octopus with chorizo, and achiote-marinated lamb chops, best eaten alongside the restaurant’s cocktails — non-alcoholic or otherwise.

Toki Restaurant

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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, Korean fried chicken wings for Friday night takeout, or a full-on tasting menu for celebration dinners. When dining in, it’s best to fill the table with ssam, hand-pulled noodles, and snacks like jasmine-tea-poached octopus waffles.

For a high-caliber tasting menu highlighting Oregon produce, this hidden away spot within the Morgan building is the move. The $150 tasting menu varies with the seasons, but any given visit may involve delicate wild Chinook over sorrel fumet, rabbit with charred wild onions, or morels and beef tartare — served with green onion crepes, to create little handheld wraps at the table. Reservations are a must, as is proof of vaccination.

Bullard Tavern

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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, grilled mushroom fajitas, and smoked beef carpaccio. Plus, the restaurant’s bar is a party, with large-format margaritas, flights of picklebacks, and an assortment of boilermakers. The restaurant’s beef rib, served with guac and house flour tortillas, is a fun choice for special occasions.

Mama Chow's Kitchen

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The menu at this Southwest 2nd food cart is simple, but the items on the menu are all bangers: Juicy lollipop wings lean against tangles of garlic noodles, wontons float in cups of soup, and specials like beef chow fun or lemongrass chicken catch the eyes of downtown workers and tourists. Take any of the above to eat on a bench by the waterfront.

Tokyo Sando

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Tokyo Sando has developed a cult following for its shokupan sandwiches, filled with things like crispy-fried katsu and soft-boiled egg — the best ones arrive dripping with the cart’s miso sauce. Specials rotate in and out frequently, whether it’s a mango and cream sandwich or miso Scotch egg. Any order should involve a side of the cart’s Japanese potato salad.

Mucca Osteria

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This Southwest Morrison Italian restaurant feels well-suited for anniversary dinners and celebrations, with its white tablecloths and 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.

Stretch The Noodle

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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.

Southpark Seafood

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This Salmon Street seafood restaurant is a common stop ahead of shows at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, where families splurge on Pacific Northwestern oysters or grilled whole branzino. The wine list is stocked with Oregon bottles, including many that complement the main menu; during happy hour, glasses of wine are available for $6, which means a glass of rosé and a shrimp cocktail clocks in under $20.

Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya

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Within the Portland Food Hall, this Japanese import fills bowls of creamy tonkotsu broth with jammy boiled eggs and springy noodles, with tender menma as a must-add. The food hall’s bar offers boozy complements to each of the stall’s bowls, while Bobablastic covers non-alcoholic options like bubble tea.

Luc Lac Vietnamese Kitchen

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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, with the restaurant’s dining room and patio shutting down at 11 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 favorite.

Behind The Museum Cafe

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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.

Higgins Restaurant & Bar

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Higgins is one of this town’s classic refined dining restaurants, known for its Northwestern fare. Menus regularly shift with the seasons, from winter cioppino filled with Pacific seafood to summer Oregon bay shrimp salads with salsa verde. The restaurant’s in-house charcuterie remains a constant year-round, best ordered as a part of its grand platter.

Love Belizean

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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.

Murata Restaurant

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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-plus years. Keep an eye on the specials board, as well.

Tasty Corner Chinese Restaurant

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This Southwest Portland Chinese restaurant is a prime spot for mala-tingly mapo tofu, house-made hand-shaven noodles, and cumin lamb, served alongside serviceable cocktails and Chinese American standards like General Tso’s. Anything in the Sichuan canon is particularly special, though the restaurant’s dumplings and wontons are also impressive here.

Som Tum Thai Kitchen

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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.

Duck House Chinese Restaurant

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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.

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Maurice

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 salads, gorgeous smørrebrød, and airy quiches. No visit is complete without a few fika — the black pepper cheesecake, in particular, is an iconic Portland dish. Visit for lunch Thursday through Saturday, or pop in for the prix fixe dinner Fridays and Saturdays.

Shanghai's Best in Pine Street Market

Pine Street Market, one of downtown’s three food halls, is home to stalls hawking ramen and burgers, but this dumpling and bao spot is one of the standouts. Shanghai’s Best specializes in sheng jian bao, pan-fried soup dumplings filled with pork, though the menu also includes house-made steamed buns and purse-like shu mai.

Lechon

Located across the street from Waterfront Park, Lechon’s sprawling interior, replete with aquariums filled with jellyfish, fills up by happy hour with tourists and locals. The dinner menu serves satisfying South American fare like Peruvian lomo saltado, grilled octopus with chorizo, and achiote-marinated lamb chops, best eaten alongside the restaurant’s cocktails — non-alcoholic or otherwise.

Toki Restaurant

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, Korean fried chicken wings for Friday night takeout, or a full-on tasting menu for celebration dinners. When dining in, it’s best to fill the table with ssam, hand-pulled noodles, and snacks like jasmine-tea-poached octopus waffles.

Tercet

For a high-caliber tasting menu highlighting Oregon produce, this hidden away spot within the Morgan building is the move. The $150 tasting menu varies with the seasons, but any given visit may involve delicate wild Chinook over sorrel fumet, rabbit with charred wild onions, or morels and beef tartare — served with green onion crepes, to create little handheld wraps at the table. Reservations are a must, as is proof of vaccination.

Bullard Tavern

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, grilled mushroom fajitas, and smoked beef carpaccio. Plus, the restaurant’s bar is a party, with large-format margaritas, flights of picklebacks, and an assortment of boilermakers. The restaurant’s beef rib, served with guac and house flour tortillas, is a fun choice for special occasions.

Mama Chow's Kitchen

The menu at this Southwest 2nd food cart is simple, but the items on the menu are all bangers: Juicy lollipop wings lean against tangles of garlic noodles, wontons float in cups of soup, and specials like beef chow fun or lemongrass chicken catch the eyes of downtown workers and tourists. Take any of the above to eat on a bench by the waterfront.

Tokyo Sando

Tokyo Sando has developed a cult following for its shokupan sandwiches, filled with things like crispy-fried katsu and soft-boiled egg — the best ones arrive dripping with the cart’s miso sauce. Specials rotate in and out frequently, whether it’s a mango and cream sandwich or miso Scotch egg. Any order should involve a side of the cart’s Japanese potato salad.

Mucca Osteria

This Southwest Morrison Italian restaurant feels well-suited for anniversary dinners and celebrations, with its white tablecloths and 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.

Stretch The Noodle

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.

Southpark Seafood

This Salmon Street seafood restaurant is a common stop ahead of shows at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, where families splurge on Pacific Northwestern oysters or grilled whole branzino. The wine list is stocked with Oregon bottles, including many that complement the main menu; during happy hour, glasses of wine are available for $6, which means a glass of rosé and a shrimp cocktail clocks in under $20.

Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya

Within the Portland Food Hall, this Japanese import fills bowls of creamy tonkotsu broth with jammy boiled eggs and springy noodles, with tender menma as a must-add. The food hall’s bar offers boozy complements to each of the stall’s bowls, while Bobablastic covers non-alcoholic options like bubble tea.

Luc Lac Vietnamese Kitchen

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, with the restaurant’s dining room and patio shutting down at 11 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 favorite.

Behind The Museum Cafe

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.

Higgins Restaurant & Bar

Higgins is one of this town’s classic refined dining restaurants, known for its Northwestern fare. Menus regularly shift with the seasons, from winter cioppino filled with Pacific seafood to summer Oregon bay shrimp salads with salsa verde. The restaurant’s in-house charcuterie remains a constant year-round, best ordered as a part of its grand platter.

Related Maps

Love Belizean

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.

Murata Restaurant

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-plus years. Keep an eye on the specials board, as well.

Tasty Corner Chinese Restaurant

This Southwest Portland Chinese restaurant is a prime spot for mala-tingly mapo tofu, house-made hand-shaven noodles, and cumin lamb, served alongside serviceable cocktails and Chinese American standards like General Tso’s. Anything in the Sichuan canon is particularly special, though the restaurant’s dumplings and wontons are also impressive here.

Som Tum Thai Kitchen

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.

Duck House Chinese Restaurant

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.

Related Maps