Mixing fresh, local ingredients with a colorful community of inventive chefs, Portland’s restaurant scene is a recipe that can’t be recreated anyplace else. So strap on some loose-fitting pants and dig into it with this three-day tour de fork.
There’s no getting around the calories on this trip, so burn them early by walking to Mother’s Bistro, located in Portland’s easy-to-traverse downtown. Reservations are recommended, but it’s worth waiting in line for their Pacific Northwest take on traditional dishes, like wild salmon hash.
After breakfast, explore downtown by foot. From Portland’s Saturday Market (open Saturdays and Sundays from March through December) to Pioneer Courthouse Square (Portland’s “living room”) and Governor Tom McCall Waterfront Park, you’ll find plenty of places to grab a bite to eat, shop for souvenirs or just sit and admire the city.
Evening fare will all be on the east side, so wrap up your downtown exploration and head to Southeast Division Street, where the original Stumptown Coffee location will fuel your eat-a-thon into the night. Hailed by critics as one of America’s best dining streets, Division is home to Ava Gene’s(owned by James Beard Award wining chef Joshua McFadden), Nuestra Cocina, Xico and many more. For dessert, choose homemade pie from Lauretta Jean’s or ice cream from Salt & Straw, where flavors like Arbequina olive oil and pear with blue cheese provide a culinary finish to a delicious day.
Stroll through the Pearl District (or to the nearest streetcar stop) to Northwest Portland, where James Beard Award winner, chef Vitaly Paley, has been delighting diners since 1995. Paley’s Place is set in a Victorian home and seats just 50 people, so reservations are recommended; if the weather is nice, try for the front porch. From every seat, the focus is on fresh, Northwest preparations of seasonal ingredients. There’s a lot to choose from, and thankfully a tasting menu is available upon request.
Try to save a little room for one of Portland’s favorite late-night treats at Voodoo Doughnut. From their bacon maple bar to their purple-licious “grape ape” doughnut, these sweet treats aren’t just for breakfast. And that’s a good thing, since the raucous location in the Old Town entertainment district is open 24 hours a day.
Start your last day with a local legend, The Original Pancake House. Located in Southwest Portland, and beloved by Portland native James Beard, this is the historic 1953 home of the national chain. Their Dutch Baby is a massive air-filled, apple pancake that’s more than big enough to share (though you won’t want to). After cashing out (and we do mean cash — this old-school eatery doesn’t take plastic), spend the rest of your morning exploring nearby Multnomah Village, home to quaint boutiques and toy and book shops.
Head back to the east side for lunch, where Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard’s Por Qué No serves up street tacos and bowls that are big on ingredients but reasonable on the wallet. Beat the lines by timing your trip before or after peak meal times.
Explore Hawthorne until it’s time for your reservation at Northeast Portland’s Beast — with only two seatings (6 p.m. or 8:45 p.m.) Wednesday through Saturday, calling ahead is a must. Chef Naomi Pomeroy’s six-course pix-fixe dinner of French-inspired dishes are all made fresh with ingredients bought at farmers’ markets that week. Served in a communal setting, this artfully prepared, fresh and local food is what dining in Portland is all about.
Know Before You Go
With such a talked-about and delicious food scene, it comes as no surprise that Portland chefs have racked up a few James Beard Awards over the years.
Portland infuses independent spirit into everything, even its restaurant chains. Discover locally owned businesses similar to your favorite national brands.
Close proximity to farms mean hyper-local offerings are nearly as common at Portland food carts as they are at fine restaurants.
Open every Saturday from March–December, Portland Saturday Market is the largest arts-and-crafts fair in the U.S.
The Portland Flea + Food is a monthly market held on the last Sunday of the month in Portland, Oregon. Every market features 80+ local artists, makers, and curators of the best vintage, handmade and locally-sourced goods in town.
Midsummer continues to be a fun, family friendly and important day with centuries-old traditions and everyone is invited! Enjoy delicious Nordic cuisine, try traditional beverages and scrumptious sweets. Spend the day making your own colorful flower crown and other crafts. Play Kubb and other fun games, take a break in the beer garden before dancing…
The Portland Night Market showcases many unique businesses that call Portland home. Blending food, culture, music, drinks and retail together for an adventurous evening in the Central Eastside. Come meet some of Portland’s best makers and creators! The Portland Night Market is a bimonthly, free event and open to all ages. See the latest health…
The 2021 festival is taking place virtually. Please visit the event website for current information. The Bloody Mary Festival scours Portland for the craftiest and most delicious Bloody Marys. Your ticket includes over two hours enjoying Portland’s most creative and innovative Bloody Marys, created by the finest restaurants, bars and bottled mix companies, along with…
Note: This festival is taking place virtually in 2021. The Good in the Neighborhood Multicultural Music & Food Festival features live music, a parade, an information Village, marketplace, beer and wine garden and a youth venue, along with a kids’ space. The mission of Good in the Hood is to promote the cultural aspects of…
Each June, do good while sipping delicious drinks during Portland’s Negroni Week, when proceeds benefit dozens of charities.
America’s LARGEST interactive comedy murder mystery dinner show is now playing at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Portland Downtown! At The Dinner Detective, you’ll tackle a challenging crime while you feast on a fantastic dinner. Just beware! The criminal is lurking somewhere in the room, and you may find yourself as a Prime Suspect before…
The Sauvie Island Farmers Market is back! Please join local farmers and makers on Sunday, June 13th from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm Come support local farmers and makers! Please visit the Sauvie Island Farmers Market’s Facebook page for full schedule and safety guidelines.
Lents International Farmers Market opens on Sunday, June 2, 2019 and is open every Sunday through November 24, 2019. The Lents International Farmers Market (LIFM) is the only one in Portland with an intentional international focus. LIFM provides fresh, affordable and culturally appropriate produce to the diverse community of Lents neighbors. Founded in 2006 by…
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