While Portland hosts many fusion restaurants boasting Southern-inspired menus — including Delta Cafe and Uchu Sushi & Fried Chicken, to name a few — the city is home to an authentic soul food scene, too. Venture into North or Northeast Portland to find plates that taste as if they were flown in from the Mississippi Delta.
Kee’s Loaded Kitchen
A food cart on Northeast M.L.K. Jr. Boulevard, Kee’s Loaded Kitchen is decorated with potted flowers and other garden sundries, evoking memories of enjoying home cooking in your auntie’s backyard. While Kee changes her affordable menu daily, one enduring favorite is the “loaded entree.” This colossal plate of food comes with a choice of fried chicken, fried fish, brisket or ribs, plus several generous sides like mouth-watering collard greens, potato salad and corn on the cob. She also bakes tasty desserts, including buttery pound cake with fresh fruit, banana pudding and a delicious peach cobbler. Just keep in mind that the cart tends to sell out by mid-afternoon on weekends.
Describing its menu as “sinful Southern eats,” this vegan soul food spot is 100% plant-based, offering seitan-made barbecue ribs, fried catfish and other meaty Southern staples. And you won’t be missing the meat or dairy with Dirty Lettuce’s flavorful sides like cajun-spiced hush puppies, creamy mac and “cheeze,” and garlicky mashed potatoes. An allergen note: seitan is a wheat and sesame-based meat substitute.
My Brother’s Crawfish
Mardi Gras-themed restaurant My Brother’s Crawfish is somewhat hidden in a shopping plaza off Southeast 82nd Avenue within the vibrant Jade District. Inside, patrons feast on Cajun seafood dishes in a casual bar environment. Their expansive menu boasts various blackened fish entrees served with spicy dirty rice and cornbread. Don’t miss the fried green tomatoes with dipping aioli and the garlic-laced crawfish étouffée served over white rice.
Selena’s Custom Kitchen
Located in the Portland neighborhood of Montavilla, this soul food cart originally opened as a simple fried fish food spot. Now, Selena’s Custom Kitchen is cooking up Southern-style, smoked-turkey mustard greens, well-seasoned crawfish étouffée, cornbread and more. And if you like to end your meal with something sweet, Selena’s banana pudding and seasonal cobblers have also drawn rave reviews.
A down-home Southern café in the Mississippi neighborhood, Miss Delta prides itself on using locally sourced ingredients and original family recipes. Here, brunch isn’t limited to weekends so you can indulge in a Southern stack (a buttermilk biscuit with fried chicken, bacon, cheddar cheese, fried eggs and sausage gravy) or a plate of chicken fried chicken any day of the week. And for dinner, nothing says grandma’s home cooking like a thick slab of meatloaf book-ended by mashed potatoes and collard greens—just don’t forget to spice up your meal with a couple of dashes of their house-made hot sauces.
Savor Portland’s upscale take on soul food at the wildly popular Screen Door on East Burnside (and in the Pearl District). Known for having one of the longest weekend brunch lines in town, it’s also a must-try spot for dinner. Their specialty is buttermilk-battered fried chicken and waffles: large portions of peppery, juicy chicken atop stacks of sweet potato waffles. Whether you opt for St. Louis-style pork ribs or a plate of eggs paired with crispy bacon, be sure to add a side of creamy, cheesy grits.
Comfort Food Favorites in Portland
Get your comfort food fix — whether you’re hankering for mac and cheese, fries topped with gravy or a steaming bowl of pho, these local dishes don't disappoint.
Portland’s Best Barbecue
Sample the city’s tastiest slow-cooked meats (and more!) at these local gems — savor brisket, ribs and even vegetarian options at Portland's best barbecue spots.
Portland Soup Spots
Whether you’re craving ramen, Mexican pozole or classic chicken noodle, these local soup spots will warm you from the inside out.
Breakfast & Brunch
Every day, faithful breakfast and brunch fans file into Portland's mouthwatering morning meal hot spots. Follow the crowd and make the most of the most important meal of the day.
Doughnut Shops in Portland
Voodoo is just one of many doughnut purveyors in Portland serving zany creations, gourmet flavors and gluten-free goodies.
Portland Pizza Guide
If you're such a pizza aficionado that you've dreamed of a custom-illustrated, by-the-slice pocket guide, this zine is for you. Discover some of Portland's hidden pizza gems and read about what makes each pizzeria unique.
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