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The two glass towers of the Oregon Convention Center in Portland.
The Oregon Convention Center.
Oregon Convention Center

Where to Eat and Drink Near the Moda Center and the Oregon Convention Center

The restaurants to hit between events

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The Oregon Convention Center.
| Oregon Convention Center

Whether it’s for retro gaming expositions, psychedelic conventions, or drag pageants, the Oregon Convention Center attracts crowds from around the world to geek out over niche passions and new ideas. Just a few steps away, the Rose Quarter, home to the Moda Center and Veterans Memorial Coliseum, hosts both the NBA’s Trail Blazers and WHL’s Winterhawks, as well as hundreds of concerts from top national acts — from Lizzo to Bruce Springsteen to Carrie Underwood. While there are quick bites available from chain restaurants nearby, these two event centers are just as close to some of Portland’s best dining and drinking options.

All of the spots below are within a 15-minute walk of the convention center, though those looking for a longer stroll may make it to restaurants like the celebrated charcuterie of Olympia Provisions, the Latin American steakhouse Ox, or the beloved eastern European institution Kachka.

For those without time to walk just a few blocks, the convention center is home to its own catering company and a food court’s worth of quick options and the Moda Center has a fleet of tasty choices inside.

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.

Mumbo Gumbo PDX

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It’s hard to get much further from the Big Easy than the Pacific Northwest, but Portland has a surprisingly vibrant red beans and rice scene. Homesick Pelicans fans and okra-loving Portlanders can take the short walk north from the Moda Center to the Mumbo Gumbo cart, for servings of shrimp and grits or the namesake dish. This cart specializes in customizable gumbo: Assemble a dish with rice, a base, and choice of protein like hot links or shrimp. If that doesn’t appeal, the cart also has some strong specials, like the Nipsey Hussle — a brioche roll stuffed with remoulade-tossed shrimp. Just save room for banana pudding or sweet potato pie.

Cafe Yumm

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Quick, casual, and easy, Cafe Yumm is a hyper-local chain serving burrito-adjacent rice bowls, which arrive with a swirl of the tangy-salty, hard-to-pin-down Yumm Sauce. The sauce makes the dish, as well as the optional jalapeno-sesame salsa; Cafe Yumm is good option for those looking for something fast, vegetarian-friendly, and unique to Oregon.

Spirit of 77

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Spirit of ‘77 is one of Portland’s most popular sports bars for both its food and games. Visitors play foosball and skee-ball while they wait for platters of nachos or tacos filled with beer-battered cod; on certain nights, it’s the spot to watch games around its projector screen or tvs. The beer list has a tight list of Oregon beers, including options from Heater Allen and Fort George.

A large orange Spirit of 77 sign above a wide bar and two TV screens.
Spirit of 77.
Nathan Williams/Eater Portland

Bar Botellón

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Pouring two dozen wines, beers, and ciders by the glass alongside a savory array of tapas and conservas, BAR Botellón has a little something for almost everyone. The space is wide and inviting, with décor that combines modern and rural North Africa with little disharmony. Despite the proximity to the convention center and Moda, this is first and foremost a neighborhood hang, so anyone rooting against the Blazers on the projector screen should expect some friendly jousting.

Da Shave Ice Shack

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Da Shave Ice douses mounds of delicate and fluffy ice with an eye-popping syrup arsenal — think: mango, guava, lychee, root beer, and shark’s blood (coconut and strawberry) among them. Visitors can create flavor combos or opt for chef’s choice specials like da lava flow, with coconut and sharks blood syrup, fresh strawberries, strawberry boba, ube drizzle, condensed milk drizzle, and vanilla ice cream.

Wa Kitchen Kuu

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Even though Kuu has conceded somewhat to Portland’s seemingly unquenchable need for sushi and expanded its menu accordingly, the heart of this Japanese restaurant lies firmly in its udon and soba noodle dishes. These chewy house-made noodles have real flavor, not just serving as a delivery vehicle for other tastes, and are topped with a range of restrained-but-umami-rich vegetables, proteins, and sauces. Pair with a saké flight or hot green tea in the serenely designed dining room filled with natural light.

Matta eschews tradition and blends co-owner Richard Le’s culinary influences, inspired by his life as a Vietnamese American growing up in California. Any given visit may involve fish sauce burgers on pandan buns, catfish ceviche, or nachos smothered in curry beef chili, not to mention brunches of shrimp omelets and breakfast sandwiches with curry spiced hash browns. This popular cart is currently open for lunch only Wednesdays through Sundays, but watch the Instagram account for special events, pop-ups, and collabs.

Bao Bao

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This Couch Street Chinese restaurant is a nice spot for those hoping to grab something to eat on the way: Folks can pop by here and pick up a trio of bao, in flavors like curry chicken, spicy tofu, and sweet lotus seed. Those with a little extra time can stick around for a bowl of wonton soup or congee, ideal for chilly days.

Mirakutei

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Old school Portland legend Hiro Ikegaya opened Mirakutei in 2011, a favorite for Sapporo-style ramen and exceptional cuts of sushi; it’s now owned by longtime employees Nicolas and Job Martinez. It’s a dependable mainstay for raw fish, but the restaurant coaxes in locals for its scrambled-egg-laden genki ramen, as well. Grab takeout, dine in Mirakutei’s spacious dining room, or try to snag limited sidewalk seating.

A California sushi roll with a purple flower and a paper receipt sitting on a square stone plate.
California roll at Mirakutei.
Nathan Williams/Eater Portland

Gabriel Rucker’s Canard is the kind of spot where meals begin with yuzu-salted oysters, followed by foie gras dumplings, a pile of duck fat pancakes, and coconut cream Paris-brest. The airy bar space, with plenty of natural light, is even a fun stop for a soft-serve parfait on hot days, with things like pine cone fudge or ginger snap streusel. Big spenders can upgrade and hit Le Pigeon — Rucker’s legendary special occasion spot — next door.

Hey Love

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Located within the Jupiter Next hotel, Hey Love quickly became a stunner for its breathtaking, plant-filled bar space, where beautiful people drink fun frozen drinks garnished with pineapple and pickled sweet peppers. The cafe in the main hotel lobby isn’t a bad spot for a morning coffee, either, or one knockout weekend brunch.

Delicious Donuts

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For no-nonsense coffee and doughnuts, Delicious Donuts is the no-longer-hidden gem with bangin’ fritters and glazed doughnut breakfast sandwiches. Sure, Portland is known for other doughnuts, but Delicious is many of the locals’ favorite. Delicious is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 5 a.m. until the shop runs out of doughnuts.

Nong's Khao Man Gai

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Nong’s Khao Man Gai remains a bucket-list Portland restaurant, known as the home of Portland’s nationally celebrated Thai chicken and rice. Though the original cart is gone, the casual Ankeny restaurant still delivers the goods, as well as underrated alternatives like chicken with peanut sauce. Tourists should buy a bottle of the restaurant’s famous ginger sauce to take home. Dine elbow-to-elbow with lunch-breaking locals or stretch out on Nong’s expanded sidewalk patio.

A hand-colored paper poster for Nong’s Khao Man Gai in front of the busy kitchen.
Nong’s Khao Man Gai.
Nathan Williams/Eater Portland

Kinboshi Ramen

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Directly next to Nong’s Khao Man Gai, Kinboshi has a cult following of ramen devotees, who flock to the restaurant for its brick-red, spicy velvety tonkotsu, chilly hazelnut milk hiyashi, and and hearty miso. The red is not too spicy and decadently silken, even better with the addition of bamboo shoots.

Mumbo Gumbo PDX

It’s hard to get much further from the Big Easy than the Pacific Northwest, but Portland has a surprisingly vibrant red beans and rice scene. Homesick Pelicans fans and okra-loving Portlanders can take the short walk north from the Moda Center to the Mumbo Gumbo cart, for servings of shrimp and grits or the namesake dish. This cart specializes in customizable gumbo: Assemble a dish with rice, a base, and choice of protein like hot links or shrimp. If that doesn’t appeal, the cart also has some strong specials, like the Nipsey Hussle — a brioche roll stuffed with remoulade-tossed shrimp. Just save room for banana pudding or sweet potato pie.

Cafe Yumm

Quick, casual, and easy, Cafe Yumm is a hyper-local chain serving burrito-adjacent rice bowls, which arrive with a swirl of the tangy-salty, hard-to-pin-down Yumm Sauce. The sauce makes the dish, as well as the optional jalapeno-sesame salsa; Cafe Yumm is good option for those looking for something fast, vegetarian-friendly, and unique to Oregon.

Spirit of 77

A large orange Spirit of 77 sign above a wide bar and two TV screens.
Spirit of 77.
Nathan Williams/Eater Portland

Spirit of ‘77 is one of Portland’s most popular sports bars for both its food and games. Visitors play foosball and skee-ball while they wait for platters of nachos or tacos filled with beer-battered cod; on certain nights, it’s the spot to watch games around its projector screen or tvs. The beer list has a tight list of Oregon beers, including options from Heater Allen and Fort George.

A large orange Spirit of 77 sign above a wide bar and two TV screens.
Spirit of 77.
Nathan Williams/Eater Portland

Bar Botellón

Pouring two dozen wines, beers, and ciders by the glass alongside a savory array of tapas and conservas, BAR Botellón has a little something for almost everyone. The space is wide and inviting, with décor that combines modern and rural North Africa with little disharmony. Despite the proximity to the convention center and Moda, this is first and foremost a neighborhood hang, so anyone rooting against the Blazers on the projector screen should expect some friendly jousting.

Da Shave Ice Shack

Da Shave Ice douses mounds of delicate and fluffy ice with an eye-popping syrup arsenal — think: mango, guava, lychee, root beer, and shark’s blood (coconut and strawberry) among them. Visitors can create flavor combos or opt for chef’s choice specials like da lava flow, with coconut and sharks blood syrup, fresh strawberries, strawberry boba, ube drizzle, condensed milk drizzle, and vanilla ice cream.

Wa Kitchen Kuu

Even though Kuu has conceded somewhat to Portland’s seemingly unquenchable need for sushi and expanded its menu accordingly, the heart of this Japanese restaurant lies firmly in its udon and soba noodle dishes. These chewy house-made noodles have real flavor, not just serving as a delivery vehicle for other tastes, and are topped with a range of restrained-but-umami-rich vegetables, proteins, and sauces. Pair with a saké flight or hot green tea in the serenely designed dining room filled with natural light.

Matta

Matta eschews tradition and blends co-owner Richard Le’s culinary influences, inspired by his life as a Vietnamese American growing up in California. Any given visit may involve fish sauce burgers on pandan buns, catfish ceviche, or nachos smothered in curry beef chili, not to mention brunches of shrimp omelets and breakfast sandwiches with curry spiced hash browns. This popular cart is currently open for lunch only Wednesdays through Sundays, but watch the Instagram account for special events, pop-ups, and collabs.

Bao Bao

This Couch Street Chinese restaurant is a nice spot for those hoping to grab something to eat on the way: Folks can pop by here and pick up a trio of bao, in flavors like curry chicken, spicy tofu, and sweet lotus seed. Those with a little extra time can stick around for a bowl of wonton soup or congee, ideal for chilly days.

Mirakutei

A California sushi roll with a purple flower and a paper receipt sitting on a square stone plate.
California roll at Mirakutei.
Nathan Williams/Eater Portland

Old school Portland legend Hiro Ikegaya opened Mirakutei in 2011, a favorite for Sapporo-style ramen and exceptional cuts of sushi; it’s now owned by longtime employees Nicolas and Job Martinez. It’s a dependable mainstay for raw fish, but the restaurant coaxes in locals for its scrambled-egg-laden genki ramen, as well. Grab takeout, dine in Mirakutei’s spacious dining room, or try to snag limited sidewalk seating.

A California sushi roll with a purple flower and a paper receipt sitting on a square stone plate.
California roll at Mirakutei.
Nathan Williams/Eater Portland

Canard

Gabriel Rucker’s Canard is the kind of spot where meals begin with yuzu-salted oysters, followed by foie gras dumplings, a pile of duck fat pancakes, and coconut cream Paris-brest. The airy bar space, with plenty of natural light, is even a fun stop for a soft-serve parfait on hot days, with things like pine cone fudge or ginger snap streusel. Big spenders can upgrade and hit Le Pigeon — Rucker’s legendary special occasion spot — next door.

Hey Love

Located within the Jupiter Next hotel, Hey Love quickly became a stunner for its breathtaking, plant-filled bar space, where beautiful people drink fun frozen drinks garnished with pineapple and pickled sweet peppers. The cafe in the main hotel lobby isn’t a bad spot for a morning coffee, either, or one knockout weekend brunch.

Delicious Donuts

For no-nonsense coffee and doughnuts, Delicious Donuts is the no-longer-hidden gem with bangin’ fritters and glazed doughnut breakfast sandwiches. Sure, Portland is known for other doughnuts, but Delicious is many of the locals’ favorite. Delicious is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 5 a.m. until the shop runs out of doughnuts.

Nong's Khao Man Gai

A hand-colored paper poster for Nong’s Khao Man Gai in front of the busy kitchen.
Nong’s Khao Man Gai.
Nathan Williams/Eater Portland

Nong’s Khao Man Gai remains a bucket-list Portland restaurant, known as the home of Portland’s nationally celebrated Thai chicken and rice. Though the original cart is gone, the casual Ankeny restaurant still delivers the goods, as well as underrated alternatives like chicken with peanut sauce. Tourists should buy a bottle of the restaurant’s famous ginger sauce to take home. Dine elbow-to-elbow with lunch-breaking locals or stretch out on Nong’s expanded sidewalk patio.

A hand-colored paper poster for Nong’s Khao Man Gai in front of the busy kitchen.
Nong’s Khao Man Gai.
Nathan Williams/Eater Portland

Kinboshi Ramen

Directly next to Nong’s Khao Man Gai, Kinboshi has a cult following of ramen devotees, who flock to the restaurant for its brick-red, spicy velvety tonkotsu, chilly hazelnut milk hiyashi, and and hearty miso. The red is not too spicy and decadently silken, even better with the addition of bamboo shoots.

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