It wasn’t always like this. Well sure, Portland has long loved booze and had a wicked crush on gourmet cuisine. But it’s a relatively recent phenomenon that bars and restaurants have kept their kitchens open late, serving high-quality food into the night.
Since the days when the after-hours pickings were slim, Le Bistro Montage has been a reliable favorite. Here, a moderately abusive waitstaff patrols the loud dining hall, serving up Cajun-style fare like fried gator bites, buffalo mac ‘n’ cheese with blue cheese crumbles, and jambalaya with a choice of Louisiana meats until 2 a.m. during the week and 4 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
The Original Dinerant is a welcome downtown addition that prepares early breakfast (like their veggie sausage scramble) and late dinner (including a house-made chickpea and quinoa burger) until 4 a.m. Or, if you’re looking to steam your eyelids to sleep with a big bowl of beef broth, the pho at Luc Lac Vietnamese Kitchen keeps revelers rolling in the door until 4 a.m. on weekends. Located downtown, it’s a popular destination after the bars signal last call (2:30 a.m. in Oregon), and their sugarcane shrimp will give you sweet dreams, indeed.
Sometimes, the only thing you want to eat with your drink is a toothpick full of olives. The swanky, laid-back Driftwood Room will graciously oblige, and serve up sizzling forest mushrooms, Texas shrimp skewers and a slice of Gorgonzola cheesecake, for good measure. Restaurant industry workers favor the Night Light Lounge, where the menu offers up simple fare like salads prepared just right and house-made burgers, minus the grease you’ll find elsewhere.
Then again, sometimes greasy food is exactly what you want. With locations on both East and West Burnside, Sizzle Pie brings late-night pizza relief to the masses until 3 a.m. on weekdays and 4 a.m. on weekends, with every kind of slice imaginable: cheesy, meaty, vegetarian and even vegan. If your cravings call for french fries, Potato Champion is where Portland goes for its after-dark starch fix. Specializing in gravy-drenched, cheese-curd-topped poutine, the food cart neighbors other late-night favorites like Pyro Pizza, PBJ’s Grilled and Perreira Creperies, serving up an impressive variety of delicious food in the wee hours of the morning (they’re open until 3 a.m.). But if you just can’t wait, they open at 6 p.m. weekdays and at noon on the weekends, for the early birds.