While Southeast Division Street may be known as one of the most famous restaurant rows in Portland, a strip just south of it holds its own and then some. A short stretch of Southeast Clinton Street is home to some of the city’s favorite bites, including Scandinavian breakfast, Oregon-caught seafood, and modern Filipino cuisine. Although the neighborhood has lost a good number of its charmers — La Moule, Lokanta — a handful of destination spots remain. Whether it’s time for an ice cream break, a date night cocktail, or a pre-movie glass of natural wine, this quaint neighborhood delivers. For more options in the area, check out our Division or Ladd’s Addition maps.Read More
9 Delightful Spots to Eat and Drink on Southeast Clinton
From $1 oysters to squid ink noodles tossed with crab, these are the places to visit on one of the city’s top dining stretches
Fifty Licks Ice Cream
The original permanent location of Fifty Licks has been slinging silky ice cream on Southeast Clinton since 2013. With flavors like Vanilla AF and Chocolate AF, this shop doesn’t take itself too seriously, but flavors like mango sticky rice and coconut lemon saffron scoops remain artfully constructed. The shop’s Oregon strawberry ice cream is a beautiful showcase of the state’s spring and summer spoils.
The subtly glitzy interior of this art-lined restaurant becomes the stage for a seasonally varied tasting menu. Diners encounter dishes like oysters dotted with roe, tender rib-eyes accompanied by bordelaise, a Ralph Steadman splattering of tomatoes and nasturtium oil, discs of scallop crudo in a pool of fermented strawberry. The wine list at Quaintrelle, picked out by wine manager Chris Cooper, often includes a fun range of Pacific Northwestern wines accompanied by noteworthy European bottles.
With vintage vibes and art inspired by Wes Anderson’s “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou,” Jacqueline is the neighborhood seafood restaurant Portland deserves. Jacqueline can dress up or down: Happy hour at the restaurant includes fresh and briny $1 tide-to-table oysters, accompanied by riesling or Rainier, while dinner can be a tasting menu or a la carte smattering involving uni, hamachi crudo with mam nem, and cedar-planked McFarland Springs trout.
Yama Sushi & Izakaya
Brightly lit with a spacious dining room, Yama Sushi offers a sushi experience that is highly customizable, including various omakase options; however, the sweet and spicy honey sriracha chicken karaage is crisp and tender, and hard to skip. Throw in a variety of tonkotsu-based ramens, ranging from standard chashu to a kimchi version, and Yama becomes an easy win for a mid-week dinner.
The Houston Blacklight
This black-and-neon fever dream from the couple behind Gado Gado is less of a restaurant and more of a bar, though its food is nothing to dismiss — fries smothered in a mapo tofu gravy with a tingle of ma la; a juicy and flavorful burger, rich with bone marrow. The cocktails here are the real draw, however, ranging from a pristine martini with a vinegar hit of pickled celery or a peachy take on a mai tai. The bar’s nonalcoholic cocktails are also worth a perusal.
The minimalist, refined Nordic breakfasts coming from this cozy, narrow row of a restaurant make the occasionally long waits completely worth it. The Broder Bord is a heavenly sampler platter of cheese, pickled egg, granola, yogurt, and gravlox, while the Lost Eggs are a textural contrast of poached eggs, decadent ham, spinach, and crispy panko. As most know, the ebleskivers with lemon curd and lingonberry jam are an absolute must.
Also featured in:
Dot’s Cafe still feels like ’90s Portland in the best way. Somewhere between a diner and a dive bar, this lounge-y, old school Portland bar specializes in cheap drinks and no-frills bar food, executed well. Dot’s is an appropriate place to go get some beers and a plate of loaded fries after a night at Clinton Street Theater, especially after a late showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Carlo Lamagna’s modern Filipino restaurant has become one of the city’s destination restaurants, where visitors stir egg yolks into crispy-edged sisig or twirl squid ink noodles slick with a crab fat sauce. Sweet, sour, savory whole fish escabeche has crispy skin and tender white meat, while the tender octopus arrives crowned with alliums and herbs, encircling a not-too-sweet coconut vinaigrette. Dessert is a requirement here.
Wine maven Dana Frank’s Bar Norman is a breezy, chic ode to natural wine, and every afternoon sees locals coming in to sip wines and snack on the Japanese comfort foods provided by a variety of fun Portland food vendors (Fulamingo, Olympia Provisions, Cowbell). Its accessibility for casual wine drinkers, as well as its ability to surprise even the most consummate wine-geeks with rare finds and unusual wines, makes it one of the city’s most well-loved wine bars.
Also featured in: