The Rose City’s famous food scene kicked it up yet another notch in 2016. Taste the year’s best new dishes at these standout Portland restaurants.
Best new Portland restaurants of 2016
Downtown & Southwest Portland restaurants
Occupying 10,000 square feet (929 sq m) of a historic Old Town building, the hotly anticipated food hall Pine Street Market opened in spring 2016. The eatery features Tokyo-born Marukin Ramen and spinoff eateries by Salt & Straw and Olympia Provisions, among others. If you love variety, you’ll also enjoy downtown’s SuperBite. Their creative dishes include tiny bites of Dungeness crab, beef tongue musubi, grilled lamb T-bone and chicken-fried quail.
Lauded Chef Naoko Tamura opened an elegant new Japanese eatery, Shizuku. The gorgeous new space was designed by world-renowned architect Kengo Kuma, also behind the Portland Japanese Garden expansion. Another favorite local chef, Vitaly Paley (of Paley’s Place and Imperial) transformed the Heathman Hotel restaurant space into Headwaters. In addition to seafood-focused eats, the establishment also offers a traditional Russian tea service.
Fans of former downtown landmark Veritable Quandary may find their favorite dishes waiting at Q. Chef Annie Cuggino, longtime executive chef at Veritable Quandary, crafts the menu at this new, hyper-seasonal eatery. For more international flavors, head south to Paiche for top-notch ceviche and other fresh, family-style Peruvian dishes.
Southeast Portland restaurants
Beloved Tokyo ramen shop Afuri chose Portland to host its first outpost outside of Japan, offering stellar noodles and sushi. Another Asian-inspired favorite, Revelry has earned a reputation as a late-night hot spot. (It’s open until midnight Monday–Thursday and until 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday). Stop by for live DJ sets and tasty Korean street snacks, like smoked oyster pancakes and mochi donuts.
Need more nighttime snacks? Head to Tusk, the latest restaurant from Ava Gene’s Joshua McFadden, open until midnight Monday–Saturday and 10 p.m. Sunday. The vegetable-focused menu sports Middle Eastern-influenced mezze and other seasonal small plates. Sample from their late-night dessert menu, featuring black lime pie, pistachio pavlova and honey barberry fritters with fenugreek butterscotch.
Elegant Jacqueline takes its name from the Wes Anderson film The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. The eatery offers oysters and other seafood specialties, as well as a daily brunch menu. Portland also gained another oyster bar, French brasserie La Moule, in 2016. (Conveniently for oyster-lovers, both eateries are located on Southeast Clinton Street).
Northeast Portland restaurants
Named after traditional Korean houses known as hanok, family-owned Han Oak offers two distinct dining experiences. Reservation-only, prix fixe dinners are offered on Fridays and Saturdays; more casual dumpling and noodle nights on Sundays and Mondays. From there, travel across Asia (or Northeast Portland) to reach Hat Yai. This eagerly anticipated counter-service eatery from Earl Ninsom of Langbaan and Alan Akwai of St. Jack features free-range fried chicken and Thai curries.
Vino-focused Dame was founded by wine pro Dana Frank (named a Sommelier of the Year by Food & Wine in 2015). The establishment offers organic, natural wines alongside an elegant, ever-changing menu of European-inspired dishes. Another date-night destination, Chesa offers a vast menu of tapas and paellas made by Spanish chef Jose Chesa (Ataula). Don’t miss a trip next door for authentic, made-to-order Spanish churros at 180 Xurros (also owned by Chesa).