Inspired by Black Business Month and the Bay Area’s Black Restaurant Week, local organizations like Mercatus PDX and Support Black-Owned Restaurants have brought focus to the city’s diverse and delicious Black-owned food carts, restaurants and markets in Portland.
In late winter, Northwest Black Restaurant Week highlights more than 25 Black-owned restaurants in Portland. Here are some of our favorites to visit year-round.
Deadstock Coffee & Gallery
Old Town Chinatown has become a hub for creative people of color, and Deadstock Coffee brings a much-needed caffeine boost to the scene. With a dual focus on sneakers and coffee, the café was founded by former Nike employee Ian Williams as a space to showcase art and hang out with fellow “sneakerheads.” Deadstock is conveniently located near sneaker consignment store Index PDX and vintage streetwear shop Laundry, boasting an ever-changing menu.
Black Food and Culture in Portland
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Opening in 2019, Assembly Brewing is Oregon’s first Black-owned and Black-run brewery. This 15-barrel brewpub in the Foster-Powell neighborhood also serves up Detroit-style pizza, a square pie on a thick focaccia-like crust, the centerpiece to their menu full of complements to their house-made brews.
Olive or Twist
Swanky Pearl District bar Olive or Twist is a great place to grab an elegant cocktail, martini or glass of rosé. Relax on a comfortable couch inside the bar or outside on the breezy patio as you nibble on small plates and snacks such as bruschetta, curried potato wedges and rock lobster ceviche. Craving something sweet? Indulge in a molten “chocolate sinkhole” or a dessert martini made with Bend Distillery’s hazelnut espresso vodka.
Passersby are often lured into Northeast Alberta’s Bole Ethiopian after catching a whiff of their spicy lamb, beef and veggie wats (stews). Never experienced Ethiopian food before? Expect spoonfuls of several traditional dishes (including ample vegan options) served atop a large sourdough flatbread known as injera, made from gluten-free teff flour. It’s customary to use your right hand to eat your meal, and to end the evening with a cozy cup of cinnamon tea.
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Jamaican Homestyle Cuisine
One of the few of its kind in the Portland area, North Killingsworth Street’s Jamaican Homestyle Cuisine is a friendly spot to grab excellent and authentic Jamaican food such as oxtail, curry goat and jerk salmon served with rice, beans, vegetables and fried plantains. Customers can wash it all down with Jamaican ginger beer or Ting, a grapefruit-flavored carbonated beverage that’s popular in the Caribbean.
Kee’s Loaded Kitchen
A silver trailer food cart parked on Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Kee’s Loaded Kitchen has earned a loyal fan base for its full “loaded lunch,” which includes an entrée, several home-cooked sides, a drink and a dessert. Whether it’s beef enchiladas, flank steak, shrimp salad, collard greens or a slice of New York cheesecake, Kee’s cooking always has a special touch. Check the cart’s Facebook page for the current menu, which changes daily, and make sure to arrive early; the cart almost always sells out before closing time.
Husband-and-wife owners Anthony and Stephanie Brown, hailing from Los Angeles and Louisiana, respectively, meld their backgrounds in the creative menu at their Mexican-Southern fusion food cart, Nacheaux. Over-the-top menu items include Cajun fried chicken burrito, carnitas mac ‘n’ cheese and churro beignets.
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