Explore the roots of Portland’s acclaimed dining scene as well as newer favorites along bustling Northwest 23rd and 21st avenues.
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, as well as crowded outdoor public spaces where physical distancing is not possible, regardless of vaccination status. This rule does not apply to individuals actively eating or drinking in food establishments.
Additionally, some restaurants may require proof of vaccination and/or a negative COVID test for entry. 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.
At Paley’s Place, an early proponent of the Portland ethic of local, sustainable cuisine, James Beard Award-winning chef Vitaly Paley serves upscale, French-inspired meals in a historic Victorian home. In early 2014, acclaimed French restaurant St. Jack relocated from its original home in Southeast Portland to Northwest 23rd, bringing updated Lyonnaise classics like oxtail bourguignon and lamb shoulder confit, along with an impressive selection of cheeses, to this larger dining space.
Justifiably popular for its scrumptious but affordable happy hour offerings, 23Hoyt offers redefined tavern menu (pan-roasted sockeye salmon, beer-braised beef cheeks) and sidewalk tables right on Northwest 23rd Avenue.
Romantic Italian bistro Caffe Mingo offers Old World delights like hand-cut pasta and fresh risotto, while the modest Red Onion Thai Cuisine produces inspired Asian dishes like Chinese sausage and shrimp laced with Dungeness crab chunks, and a zippy stir-fried green curry beef.
Warm and inviting light emanates from Fireside, a corner restaurant on Northwest 23rd specializing in dishes that showcase the bounty of the Pacific Northwest. Snack on small plates of fried cauliflower and beet chips while sipping craft cocktails, or tuck into a succulent plate of Carlton Farms pork loin topped with bacon jam.
Bamboo Sushi, the first certified sustainable sushi restaurant in the country, was such a hit in its original eastside location that a second branch was inevitable. The fishery-friendly menu includes standouts like house-cured wild ivory salmon and a gorgeous seafood charcuterie board.
The scent of fresh-baked bread wafting from Ken’s Artisan Bakery is irresistible, as are the hearty croque monsieurs, piled with gruyère and thick-sliced ham, and the fruit-laden pastries.
A Portland staple for homey comfort food since 1903, Besaw’s serves up classic dishes with a fine-cuisine twist, like chicken and waffles with Korean fried chicken and gochujang, or curried chickpea ragoût. Before dinner, stop by the attached Solo Club for a highball or a happy-hour negroni.
Kim Jong Smokehouse focuses on two beloved Korean street-food dishes: bibimbop and steamed buns. Top steaming bowls of scorched rice and yam noodles with galbi short ribs, salmon or mushrooms, and pair it with a cold Korean beer for a truly authentic experience.
Save Room for Dessert
Salt and Straw has been scooping out its acclaimed ice cream on Northwest 23rd since spring 2012. In addition to beloved “farm-to-cone” ice cream in flavors like honey balsamic strawberry with cracked pepper, this location also includes an on-site bakery.
Local landmark Papa Haydn offers European-inspired, Northwest-inflected dishes — but its legendary desserts elevate it to destination status.
Portland’s compact, walkable downtown offers easy access to great food, green spaces, cultural offerings and tax-free shopping. Browse the city’s most diverse mix of retail brands, see a show and grab a bite at a food cart or fine restaurant.
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