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.
Know Before You Go
To slow the spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant, effective Aug. 27, a statewide mask mandate is in place. Oregonians and visitors ages 5 and up are required to wear face coverings in all public indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status, unless actively eating or drinking in food establishments.
Additionally, some restaurants may require proof of vaccination and/or a negative COVID test for entry (see a running list from Eater Portland). Please check with individual businesses on their policies and hours of operation before visiting, and continue to be patient, flexible and kind, especially if asked to mask up or share your vaccination status. These measures are in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
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.
Taste the best food city in America for yourself at these can’t-miss culinary stops serving up some of Portland’s finest sips and nibbles.
The Portland Farmers Market at Portland State University will be open every Saturday, year-round. April through October hours are 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. November through March hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Market at PSU is located in Downtown Portland in the South Park Blocks between SW College & Montgomery Streets.
Open every Saturday from March–December, Portland Saturday Market is the largest arts-and-crafts fair in the U.S.
My People’s Market showcases local entrepreneurs and makers of color, connecting them with industry professionals and consumers.
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 FREE quarterly event and open to all ages. See the latest health…
Join us under the floating lights of Ava Gene’s dining room for trattoria nights, a bi-weekly dinner series featuring a 3-course menu of what we do best: Roman-inspired dishes highlighting the best produce, seafood and meat raised by Pacific Northwest farmers and ranchers.
A festive, open-air holiday shop, showcasing the season’s brightest amongst the greenery of Pomarius Nursery. Sip, Snack, Lunch, Sweet while you get ready and shop for the holidays,
Hotel Zags will be serving up brunch on the patio while we guide you through a step-by-step painting party. Syra St. James and Valerie Deville will be assisting…and providing hilarious critiques along the way. Your ticket price includes brunch and all painting materials, instruction, aprons and an 11×14 take-home canvas. Cancellations made between 12 to…
“A Night in Portugal” Live Fado Concert with Ramana Vieira, Authentic 5 course Portuguese meal & book signing by Anna Patuleia Ortins, Author of Authentic Portuguese Cooking.
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…
Krampus The Anti-Claus, the oft-forgotten Alpine folkloric figure known for punishing naughty children at the behest of Saint Nicholas. Featuring live music performances from Christian Bailey, Lucky Tigers, Lord Master, and Jet Black Pearl. Our Krampus event will feature Festival Dancers and an appearance by Krampus himself. Doors at 6:00pm. Seating is first come first…
Join in on the Crow Moon Market, a holiday shopping pop-up event. Two floors of local vendors, two bars, DJ, and delicious vegan comfort food from the Coffin Cart. 21+ to enter and masks required, no cover Featuring local vendors: @hellbentforglitter @alison.grayson.art @blossomandburr @blockandpressco @thewondderingalchemist @radiclepleasures @emilykocsis @serpent_alchemy @ozma.autonomy @kingshotpress @collargod @LowbrowAntics @dearlybeloved.creations Eerie Armory…
Celebrate fall’s bounty with bacchanalian nights at Ava Gene’s. The wine dinner series features seasonal six-course menus paired with Oregon wines ranging from the classic to the unexpected, plus a rotating guest list of some of the region’s most talented winemakers. October 7 — Violin Wine October 21 — Cameron Winery November 4 — Dominio…
Looking for a fun Friday night out on the town? Even better, a FREE LIVE Music event in a beautifully designed bar with artfully created cocktails? AC Hotel Portland is your spot – and is excited to feature @sherryflamenco. She fills the lounge with energy and excitement. Seating is first-come, first-served.
21+ drag brunch in the heart of North West. Doors at 10 am with the show at 12 pm. $25.00 gets you your meal, a mimosa, and the best drag show in town. The event is hosted by PDX’s best queens with a rotating cast for each event that’s sure to dazzle you with their…
The Saloon Ensemble presents The Love Ball NYE 2022 Featuring: Pink Lady’s “The Cat’s Meow” – a live jazz/burlesque experience sure to explode hearts and open new portals to a future of love… The Saloon Ensemble – performing a special live set dedicated to the powerful love we’re all experiencing being together and renewing our…
Meet Oregon’s Wine Country. People around the world have fallen in love with its premier pinot noir, and once you’re here it’s hard not to fall in love with the place too. Here you’ll find that communities are tight-knit, talented, and creative. While the country roads are quiet, the sweeping vistas, pods of old-growth forest,…
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