Craving cheesy macaroni? Famished for pho? Searching for the city’s best spuds? These delicious Portland dishes make comfort food dreams come true.
The most important meal of the day is often also the coziest and most comforting — especially in Brunchtown. Local favorite Pine State Biscuits stuffs a fluffy buttermilk biscuit with fried chicken, bacon, cheese and gravy for their signature sandwich, the Reggie.
If you’re looking for a fail-safe, perfectly toasted sourdough, egg, cheese and meat creation, the pun-loving Fried Egg I’m in Love is your stop. Their most popular menu item is the Yolko Ono, a brekkie sando made up of a fried egg, homemade pesto, and a hand-pressed sausage patty. Along with other classic combinations, all three of their locations offer a variety of vegan and gluten-free options.
For a Chinese spin on the classic egg sandwich, try the authentic jian bing at downtown food cart Bing Mi, which wraps scrambled eggs, pickled veggies, black bean paste and chili sauce in a lacy grilled crepe.
Mac & Cheese
If ooey, gooey, cheesy goodness is what you crave, Portland has plenty to offer. Fromage lovers must try the gratin de macaroni at French St. Jack, a bubbling-hot crock of white cheddar, gruyere, Fourme d’Ambert and bacon.
For a nostalgic throwback, the Hamburger Helper at Nacheaux is a must-try. Their version includes five kinds of cheese and seasoned beef, topped with cotija, their trademark Nacheaux sauce and crumbled Hot Cheetos. The Mexican-Southern fusion cart is presently in residency at the cocktail lounge Swan Dive; check their Instagram to confirm their most current location before going.
Harlow wins as the healthiest indulgence with a gluten-free and vegan mac made of quinoa pasta, kale and hazelnut milk. But don’t let the ingredients fool you; this dish is inexplicably addictive. (Add pesto or chili for an extra kick.)
There’s nothing closer to a culinary hug than a Chinese soup dumpling (xiao long bao) at XLB. Each bite holds the perfect amount of delicate bone broth, ground pork and earthy aromatics. With a menu specializing in Chinese comfort food, the eatery also serves pillowy steamed buns (baozi) and an array of soul-satisfying wonton and noodle dishes.
For a more expansive menu that includes a variety of soul-warming congees (rice porridge), head to either location of Master Kong in Southeast Portland. In addition to soup dumplings, they offer handmade pork and chicken dumplings served with their in-house dipping sauces.
What’s more comforting than the pairing of potatoes and gravy? The addition of cheese. Inside the Cartopia pod, the reigning Potato Champion serves its take on poutine and its famed PBJ fries (fries topped with homemade satay sauce and smoky chipotle raspberry jam). You can also get the twice-fried Belgium-style pommes frites plain and paired with one of the many side aiolis and house-made condiments.
Olympia Provisions has created one of the most delicious pies made entirely out of potatoes. Yukon golds are precision sliced paper-thin and layered in a cast-iron pan with equally fine julienned onions and butter, baked to a crisp and then cut into wedges. Their acclaimed laser potatoes are the perfect accompaniment to any brunch table.
This Vietnamese noodle soup is a perfect meal for rainy winter days. It’s worth a trip to James Beard-nominated Ha & VL (or their sister restaurant, Rose VL Deli ) to scope out the rotating daily offerings. Ranging from classic beef pho to turmeric noodles with shrimp cakes or a decadent crab flake soup with quail eggs and shredded pork, their soup offerings tend to sell out, so early arrival is recommended. Another local favorite include the rich, flavorsome soups at Pho Oregon.
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.
Portland Ramen Restaurants
The Portland ramen scene has exploded in recent years, spurred by the arrival of two authentic eateries straight from Tokyo.
Portland’s Best Dumplings
From Polish pierogi to Japanese gyoza, nothing says comfort food like these doughy pockets of goodness — no matter when you visit Portland, enjoy a variety of dumplings at these terrific eateries.
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’s Best Pies
Every season is pie season in Portland! Sit down to a delicious slice made with Oregon-grown seasonal fillings at these favorite local pie spots.
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