Portland’s Latine community doesn’t just serve up great food, it is its own ecosystem of restaurants, food carts, grocery stores, salons, attractions and more. You can spend an entire day in Portland buying only from Latinx communities and be able to meet all your needs.
When you contribute to a whole community, rather than just its restaurant scene, you directly impact its success and witness real-life proof that Latines thrive in myriads of businesses.
Editor’s note: We use Latinx and Latine in place of Latino or Latina to remain gender-inclusive.
Latinx-Owned Breakfast and Activities
Any good day starts with breakfast, and for Latines, this can mean many things. Some enjoy a simple piece of pan de agua (water bread!), butter and strong coffee. Others favor beans, rice and hearty proteins to start their days. Whatever your appetite, the Portland Latinx community has got you covered.
Saunter over to Nossa Familia in the Pearl District and enjoy a piping hot cafezinho, a traditional Brazilian coffee that’s deep and rich in flavor. Pair with lots of sugar to beat the bitterness of coffee and Nossa’s signature Brazilian gluten-free waffles for a light but indulgent breakfast.
If you’re looking for a full spread that will carry you through a busy day, look no further than La Ositain Southeast Portland. Their Osita Burrito, a crowd favorite, is bursting with egg and chorizo. For a sweeter take, order their vegan Bear Hug bowl. True to its namesake, this bowl is comforting and nutrient-dense, with warm, fluffy quinoa, melty almond butter and fruity toppings.
Now that you’ve got a full belly, clear your head for a mid-morning wellness break at The Grotto, a 62-acre wooded park and garden atop Rocky Butte in Northeast Portland. This outdoor Roman Catholic sanctuary “transcends the boundaries of faith,” as one of our writers thoughtfully put it, to offer a tranquil respite of mossy trees and shaded flora.
The Caribbean is a crux of global flavor, due to the influence of colonialism and slavery. Around the 1500s, Spaniards invaded Latin America and began importing African slaves for forced labor, in addition to introducing new goods and spices from around the world. In many Latine-Caribbean cuisines, you’ll see traces of Spanish, African and Asian influence mixed in with indigenous Taíno foods. You might know the famed tostones, twice-fried plantain chips, but in many west African cultures, these are known as “plantain crisps.”
Whatever you call them, Cubo in Hawthorne adorns nearly every dish with complimentary tostones and maduros (sweet, soft, and slightly charred plantain pieces). Get a whole order of Cubo’s frituras or fried appetizers and try their gluten-free empanadas with an ice-cold limeade.
Let’s say around lunch, you realize you still need some snacks for the week. There are many Latino-owned grocery stores in Portland, and La Tapatia Market in East Portland near the Gresham border has a great selection. We love them for their panaderia (bakery) and their fresh fruit and treats-to-go section. This is an excellent place for a quick grocery run or a full load, but they also make custom cakes and piñatas for your special celebrations.
El Campesino PDX, closer to the SE Portland area, is a great place to find homemade dinner ingredients for a picnic at the park. Ordering is simple, and prices are family-friendly; locals are known to pick up freshly roasted meats, handmade tortillas and homemade rice and beans for a complete meal with no prep.
If you’ve had five haircuts in the last two years, and you didn’t like any of them – you’re in luck. For many Portlanders, hair is a way of expression and a direct reflection of identity. Hair texture can vary from straight as a pin to tightly coiled curls. At Paz Hair Lounge, you can rest assured that their expertise can guide you to your perfect look, no matter your texture, porosity or hair weight. We recommend them for their natural styling technique, but make sure you book in advance as this service is charged by the hour and requires at least 4 inches of hair growth at the appointment time.
Love on your hair with a care routine that’s good for you and good for the planet at one of Portland’s low-waste stores. Way of Being, a sustainability-focused business, helps patrons choose everything from personal care to kitchen and cleaning goods that minimize impact on the environment. We love their Oregon-based Consciously Curly shampoo and conditioner bars that are perfect for all hair types!
Latinx-Owned Dinner and a Show
Now that you’re looking and feeling your best, it’s time to end a day well spent. Head to Andina, where a courtship between a Portlander and a Peruvian in the late 1960s lead to a familial partnership that brought Novo Peruvian cuisine to the Pacific Northwest. With many vegan and gluten-free options, Andina surprises with a simple yet inspiring take on Peruvian classics like fried yuca, a tubular starch akin to potatoes, and fresh cebiche made with local market fish.
End your day with a night out at Milagro Theater, where Latine productions, arts and culture have graced the stage since 1985. Milagro is known for their annual Dia de los Muertos celebration every fall and monthly rotating performances conceived and directed in-house.
Follow our guide to Portland's top taquerias and find a wide variety of tasty tacos — from meaty morsels to vegetarian creations — in every part of town.
Portland is home to authentic eateries from every corner of Latin America. Feast on tacos, tlayudas, pupusas and burritos; read on for some of the best Latinx-owned restaurants and food carts in Portland.
Located in Portland’s Alberta neighborhood, Mis Tacones serves up authentic vegan Mexican food and community support for trans POC visitors and locals.
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