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Where to Drink and Dine in Historic Montavilla

The best restaurants and bars east of Mt Tabor

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Montavilla, a sprawling neighborhood nestled in the Eastern shadow of Mount Tabor against 205, is Portland’s underdog dining hotspot on the east side. The area has historically been a neighborhood hang, but as people discover spots like the excellent Lebanese Ya Hala or the romantic Vintage Cocktail Lounge, outsiders have started trekking across town for dinner or drinks.

The bulk of bars and restaurants can be found on Stark Street between 76th and 82nd, but there are a few spots off the main drag that are well worth a visit. To avoid redundancy, this map omits the fabulous restaurants along 82nd Avenue, which can be found on this map, and nearby favorite spots like Coquine and Cheese Bar aren’t technically in the neighborhood, but are worth the jaunt.

As usual, this map is organized geographically, not ranked.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Namu Food Cart

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7600 SE Stark St
Portland, OR 97215

This friendly Korean/Hawaiian food cart pod Namu has a number of locations around town, including Montavilla. Here you can find heaping rice bowls with proteins, spinach salad, avocado, cucumber, and Namu’s own kimchi, as well as bibimbap, fried rice, pulled pork sandwiches, and more.

Namu/Facebook

2. Bipartisan Cafe

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7901 SE Stark St
Portland, OR 97215
(503) 253-1051
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As hard as it is to be bipartisan these days, it’s not hard to enjoy the pastries and coffee drinks slung at this busy, spacious, art-lined coffee shop and bakery. The main attraction at the Bipartisan Cafe is the pie, handmade fresh daily, offered by the slice or as a whole with vegan and gluten free options. For those who are not into pie (weird), there are also sandwiches, soups, salads, and other offerings at this community-focused cafe.

3. Vintage Cocktail Lounge

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7907 SE Stark St
Portland, OR 97215
(971) 242-8729
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Living up to its name, Vintage Cocktail Lounge sports a vintage aesthetic, with dark red walls, leather booths, and a glowing bar, as well as a vintage menu. Find all manner of classic cocktails made with aplomb, creative new concoctions, and wines by the glass at this dimly light, romantic lounge. The food here is more along the lines of drinking snacks than a full meal, but playful dishes like a grilled cheese sandwich or or soft pretzels with beer-cheese will still please.

Vintage Cocktail Lounge/Facebook

4. Beer Bunker

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7918 SE Stark St
Portland, OR 97215
(503) 254-8200
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A laid back tap room and bottle shop, The Beer Bunker carries what is likely the best draught list east of Mount Tabor. The stark, industrial space provides entertainment in the form of darts and pinball, and a large, pavement patio out back is strewn with red picnic tables for sunny day drinking. The bar opens early each day, and quickly fills up with regulars looking for a cool pint.

5. Hanoi Kitchen

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7925 NE Glisan St
Portland, OR 97213
(503) 252-1300
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One of the best Vietnamese restaurants in a town full of them, Hanoi Kitchen is an informal little spot with polished wood floors and a tiled ceiling. Family-owned, the restaurant offers vermicelli noodle bowls, rice-crepe wraps, and a popular bun bo hue soup, spicy and rich.

Hanoi Kitchen/Facebook

6. The Country Cat Dinner House and Bar

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7937 SE Stark St
Portland, OR 97215
(503) 408-1414
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A longstanding member the Essential 38, the husband-and-wife-owned Country Cat offers a robust menu of food from the American Heartland. Fried chicken is a mainstay here, as is the four-month-aged country ham from co-owner Adam Sappington’s whole-hog butchering, but everything off the rustically high-end menu in this warm, wood-paneled restaurant is worth a taste.

7. Ya Hala Lebanese Cuisine

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8005 SE Stark St
Portland, OR 97215
(503) 256-4484
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A stucco wall painted with faux windows adds a whimsical charm to Ya Hala, one of the city’s best Lebanese restaurants. Most nights of the week, find it full of families and couples on dates, with tables covered in baba ghanoush, shawarma, lamb sausages, rice-stuffed grape leaves, and much more. And while dinner at Ya Hala always pleases, an underrated weekend brunch should not be missed, with pecan brioche, shakshuka, and Moroccan fried chicken.   

Ya Hala/Facebook

8. East Glisan Pizza Lounge

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8001 NE Glisan St
Portland, OR 97213
(971) 279-4273
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If it’s possible for a restaurant to be both punk-rock and family friendly, than East Glisan Pizza is just that, with wood floors, stone walls, and a laid-back vibe. Smacking of old-school-Portland charm, the pizzeria offers pinball and cocktails along with its thin crust pizzas. Pizzas are only available by the full pie except during happy hours, and there are some daily specials, like lasagna on Sundays and Detroit dish on Tuesdays.

9. Hungry Heart Bakery

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414 SE 80th Ave
Portland, OR 97215
(503) 254-8487
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Hungry Heart began life as a bakery food cart before getting a brick and mortar right off of Stark in Montavilla. Today, the cute, modern cafe offers its signature line of cupcakes alongside pastries both sweet and savory, sandwiches, granola, and Stumptown coffee. Diners can grab a dozen cupcakes to go, or sit in one of the few little tables inside or out.

Hungry Heart/Facebook

10. Tanuki

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8029 SE Stark St
Portland, OR 97215

A sign on the easy-to-miss front door to Tanuki is the first indication that this is unlike any other bar: it directs guests to slap whoever who told them it was a Japanese restaurant. The interior is no less odd—cool and eclectic, it’s filled with with nudie posters, pinball machines, and smutty Japanese b-films are often screened above the bar, all lit with dim red light. Hours are awkward here, held almost at whim, but dinner service is reliable on the weekend—come in for a quick bite and some sake, or go for the full daily omakase experience, with dishes like pho-spiced bone marrow, kimchi mac and cheese, and poke.

Bone marrow luging at Tanuki's omakase tonight.

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11. Roscoe's

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8105 SE Stark St
Portland, OR 97215
(503) 255-0049
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A no-frills bar and restaurant, Roscoe’s offers a robust draught list, cheap drinks, and Southern-style pub grub including po’ boys, a selection of jambalaya, chicken and waffles, and gumbo. The vintage building feels like an old-school brewpub, with exposed brick, a wooden bar with leather stools, and comfortable wooden chairs throughout, generally filled with regulars from the neighborhood. Not into Southern food? Just order sushi from the next door Miyamoto and they’ll bring it over.

12. Trap Kitchen

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8523 SE Stark St
Portland, OR 97216
(503) 442-0748
Visit Website

It was kind of a Big Deal when Compton-based soul food service Trap Kitchen decided to expand and chose Portland for its first outpost. Founded by two friends in rival gangs as a way to change their, and others’, lives, the commissary was a favorite of celebrities like Snoop Dogg and Dave Chapelle. Now, Portlanders can enjoy the the home-smoked meats, fried chicken and the iconic pineapple bowls, hollowed out pineapples filled with grilled meats, seafood, and rice in a decked-out food cart.

A black hand holds a half of a pineapple filled with teriyaki chicken with a shrimp placed near the pineapple’s leaves Trap Kitchen/Facebook

13. Pure Spice | Chinese Restaurant

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2446 SE 87th Ave
Portland, OR 97216
(503) 772-1808
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At the very edge of Montavilla, housed in a mini strip-mall, the modest, lowbrow Chinese restaurant Pure Spice is removed from the bulk of dim sum spots along 82nd Avenue, and quietly provides some of the better dim sum in town, without the crowds at H.K. Cafe or Ocean City. Grab dumplings and peking duck bao, or come in for dinner for some of the clay pot dishes and congee.

Pure Spice/Facebook

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1. Namu Food Cart

7600 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97215
Namu/Facebook

This friendly Korean/Hawaiian food cart pod Namu has a number of locations around town, including Montavilla. Here you can find heaping rice bowls with proteins, spinach salad, avocado, cucumber, and Namu’s own kimchi, as well as bibimbap, fried rice, pulled pork sandwiches, and more.

7600 SE Stark St
Portland, OR 97215

2. Bipartisan Cafe

7901 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97215

As hard as it is to be bipartisan these days, it’s not hard to enjoy the pastries and coffee drinks slung at this busy, spacious, art-lined coffee shop and bakery. The main attraction at the Bipartisan Cafe is the pie, handmade fresh daily, offered by the slice or as a whole with vegan and gluten free options. For those who are not into pie (weird), there are also sandwiches, soups, salads, and other offerings at this community-focused cafe.

7901 SE Stark St
Portland, OR 97215

3. Vintage Cocktail Lounge

7907 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97215
Vintage Cocktail Lounge/Facebook

Living up to its name, Vintage Cocktail Lounge sports a vintage aesthetic, with dark red walls, leather booths, and a glowing bar, as well as a vintage menu. Find all manner of classic cocktails made with aplomb, creative new concoctions, and wines by the glass at this dimly light, romantic lounge. The food here is more along the lines of drinking snacks than a full meal, but playful dishes like a grilled cheese sandwich or or soft pretzels with beer-cheese will still please.

7907 SE Stark St
Portland, OR 97215

4. Beer Bunker

7918 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97215

A laid back tap room and bottle shop, The Beer Bunker carries what is likely the best draught list east of Mount Tabor. The stark, industrial space provides entertainment in the form of darts and pinball, and a large, pavement patio out back is strewn with red picnic tables for sunny day drinking. The bar opens early each day, and quickly fills up with regulars looking for a cool pint.

7918 SE Stark St
Portland, OR 97215

5. Hanoi Kitchen

7925 NE Glisan St, Portland, OR 97213
Hanoi Kitchen/Facebook

One of the best Vietnamese restaurants in a town full of them, Hanoi Kitchen is an informal little spot with polished wood floors and a tiled ceiling. Family-owned, the restaurant offers vermicelli noodle bowls, rice-crepe wraps, and a popular bun bo hue soup, spicy and rich.

7925 NE Glisan St
Portland, OR 97213

6. The Country Cat Dinner House and Bar

7937 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97215

A longstanding member the Essential 38, the husband-and-wife-owned Country Cat offers a robust menu of food from the American Heartland. Fried chicken is a mainstay here, as is the four-month-aged country ham from co-owner Adam Sappington’s whole-hog butchering, but everything off the rustically high-end menu in this warm, wood-paneled restaurant is worth a taste.

7937 SE Stark St
Portland, OR 97215

7. Ya Hala Lebanese Cuisine

8005 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97215
Ya Hala/Facebook

A stucco wall painted with faux windows adds a whimsical charm to Ya Hala, one of the city’s best Lebanese restaurants. Most nights of the week, find it full of families and couples on dates, with tables covered in baba ghanoush, shawarma, lamb sausages, rice-stuffed grape leaves, and much more. And while dinner at Ya Hala always pleases, an underrated weekend brunch should not be missed, with pecan brioche, shakshuka, and Moroccan fried chicken.   

8005 SE Stark St
Portland, OR 97215

8. East Glisan Pizza Lounge

8001 NE Glisan St, Portland, OR 97213

If it’s possible for a restaurant to be both punk-rock and family friendly, than East Glisan Pizza is just that, with wood floors, stone walls, and a laid-back vibe. Smacking of old-school-Portland charm, the pizzeria offers pinball and cocktails along with its thin crust pizzas. Pizzas are only available by the full pie except during happy hours, and there are some daily specials, like lasagna on Sundays and Detroit dish on Tuesdays.

8001 NE Glisan St
Portland, OR 97213

9. Hungry Heart Bakery

414 SE 80th Ave, Portland, OR 97215
Hungry Heart/Facebook

Hungry Heart began life as a bakery food cart before getting a brick and mortar right off of Stark in Montavilla. Today, the cute, modern cafe offers its signature line of cupcakes alongside pastries both sweet and savory, sandwiches, granola, and Stumptown coffee. Diners can grab a dozen cupcakes to go, or sit in one of the few little tables inside or out.

414 SE 80th Ave
Portland, OR 97215

10. Tanuki

8029 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97215

A sign on the easy-to-miss front door to Tanuki is the first indication that this is unlike any other bar: it directs guests to slap whoever who told them it was a Japanese restaurant. The interior is no less odd—cool and eclectic, it’s filled with with nudie posters, pinball machines, and smutty Japanese b-films are often screened above the bar, all lit with dim red light. Hours are awkward here, held almost at whim, but dinner service is reliable on the weekend—come in for a quick bite and some sake, or go for the full daily omakase experience, with dishes like pho-spiced bone marrow, kimchi mac and cheese, and poke.

8029 SE Stark St
Portland, OR 97215

11. Roscoe's

8105 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97215

A no-frills bar and restaurant, Roscoe’s offers a robust draught list, cheap drinks, and Southern-style pub grub including po’ boys, a selection of jambalaya, chicken and waffles, and gumbo. The vintage building feels like an old-school brewpub, with exposed brick, a wooden bar with leather stools, and comfortable wooden chairs throughout, generally filled with regulars from the neighborhood. Not into Southern food? Just order sushi from the next door Miyamoto and they’ll bring it over.

8105 SE Stark St
Portland, OR 97215

12. Trap Kitchen

8523 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97216
A black hand holds a half of a pineapple filled with teriyaki chicken with a shrimp placed near the pineapple’s leaves Trap Kitchen/Facebook

It was kind of a Big Deal when Compton-based soul food service Trap Kitchen decided to expand and chose Portland for its first outpost. Founded by two friends in rival gangs as a way to change their, and others’, lives, the commissary was a favorite of celebrities like Snoop Dogg and Dave Chapelle. Now, Portlanders can enjoy the the home-smoked meats, fried chicken and the iconic pineapple bowls, hollowed out pineapples filled with grilled meats, seafood, and rice in a decked-out food cart.

8523 SE Stark St
Portland, OR 97216

13. Pure Spice | Chinese Restaurant

2446 SE 87th Ave, Portland, OR 97216
Pure Spice/Facebook

At the very edge of Montavilla, housed in a mini strip-mall, the modest, lowbrow Chinese restaurant Pure Spice is removed from the bulk of dim sum spots along 82nd Avenue, and quietly provides some of the better dim sum in town, without the crowds at H.K. Cafe or Ocean City. Grab dumplings and peking duck bao, or come in for dinner for some of the clay pot dishes and congee.

2446 SE 87th Ave
Portland, OR 97216

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