Though “soul food” as a culinary descriptor originated in the 1960s, the cuisine and its gastronomical elements, traditions, and history stretch back for centuries, with roots in the African diaspora, the transatlantic slave trade, and early Black foodways. It’s a cuisine in the world not named after a certain nation; its name evokes a feeling, and often memories going back through generations of shared meals and cooking traditions. In Portland, dishes like fried chicken and mac and cheese have long been popular, but a growing number of Black-owned restaurants and food carts have started to flesh out the city’s soul food scene, serving saucy smothered turkey legs, candied yams, and cornmeal-fried catfish.
Inside this map are the top restaurants and carts around town for crispy fried chicken and fish, smoky and saucy barbecue, loaded sides galore, cheesy grits, and sweet and biscuity desserts. Per usual, this map is not ranked; it’s organized geographically.
Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.Read More