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Restaurants in Portland

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We are going to be in Portland for three days at the end of March. Anyone have any suggestions?? We like all kinds of ethnic food, but would love a 'fresh local ingredients' kind of place as well.

have yet to meet a lemon tart I didn't like!
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John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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For tapas: Patanegra

For good use of local ingredients: Park Kitchen

For amazing steak and sophisticated food: Gotham Building Tavern

For Italian: Ciao Vito or the overpriced but good Clarkelewis, Fratelli's, Balvo

For contemporary, expensive French: Hurleys

For French-Eclectic: Alberta Street Oyster Bar and Grill

For decent, normal sushi: Mio's in Northwest

For decent, monster-sized sushi: Saburro's in Northeast

For tasty urban dining/happy hour: Portland City Grill in the bank tower

For a great, honest, hole-in-the-wall place: Ken's Place, 19th and Hawthorne

For great bread: Ken's Bakery (no relation) on 21st.

For amazing, if a little weak, drinks and killer sweet potato fries: 820

For breakfast: Byways Cafe in NW

For Crepes: Le Happy in NW

For good food in a rather random, industrial location: Carlyle

And thats our show for today.

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The Delta Cafe on E. Woodstock has excellent mixed drinks, great soul food and a very interesting atmosphere.

The Wildwood in NW is usually a top example of fresh and local, but I think it's been a bit hit and miss lately.

For an out of the ordinary experience, try the Bistro Montage on SE Morrison--oyster shooters, great spicy mac n' cheese, excellent service and really good drinks too.

For breakfast, nothing beats The Tin Shed on NE Alberta. Get there early enough and you won't have to wait--but if you do, grab a mug of coffee and people watch outside.

Old Town Pizza on 4th and Couch in Chinatown is always fun, though I'm not sure their pizza is as good as it used to be.

Bridgeport Brewery just re-opened in the Pearl District. The beer is, as ever, excellent, but I think they may be trying too hard with the food. And the last time we were there, the entrees came out before we were even finished with the first course. But if beer's your thing, go there and eat upstairs in the bar.

For dessert? Papa Haydn, of course, on NW 23rd.

Have a great time, wherever you decide to go.

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  • 1 month later...
Thanks everyone for all the suggestions!  Will let you know where we tried and how we liked it.

what did you ultimately pick and how did you like those places?

i will be in portland for a few days in late may (3 lunches + 3 dinners) .... and was similarly looking for suggestions. i'm open to eating anything... and this is my first time in portland.

these are the restaurants that looked the best to me based on menus, pictures, etc. should i avoid any of these? will i have a great meal at any of these? which are good for a nice leisurely lunch (it'll hopefully be nice out since i'm travelling in may). i've read the posts above, but would still appreciate your help in determining where to eat my few meals in portland

more expensive - clarklewis, andina, wildwood, bluehour (not sure of pricing - couldn't find menu).

less expensive - lucy's table, cafe castagna, mint, filberts, grolla, fratelli, alberta street oyster, bernie's southern bistro

thanks a lot for your help.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'll also be in Portland in May. I've seen a number of recommendations for the restaurants in this thread-i.e., Park Kitchen, Lucy's Kitchen, Hurley's etc.

Haven't seen one in this thread for Higgins Restaurant and Bar, which is #3 most popular on TripAdvisor and has rave reviews from every reviewer. Is Higgins out of business or just not deemed top notch by Portland afficionados?


>"Of all the restaurants in which we've eaten across the US, we put Higgins in the "top 5"! The food is imaginative and perfectly prepared and presented, service is top notch and the ambiance of the restaurant is just right. (Relaxed elegance says my husband.) Fortunately, we now live just a few hours drive from Portland and have been able to enjoy many fine meals at Higgins; our expectations are raised with each visit and we are continually delighted. The fact that Greg Higgins, chef and owner, is committed to sustainabilty in the products that he uses is an additional "plus". A meal at Higgins always feeds our bodies and our spirits! The menu changes seasonally and focuses on regional (Northwest) food products. (If you are a fan of duck, we'd wager that you'll find none better than the various treatments at Higgins!) We've introduced many friends to Higgins and it quickly becomes one of their favorite places too. A "can't miss" and if you're feeling like something more simple than the main dining room menu, small plates and wine in the bar is always delightful."

"Yo, I want one of those!"

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Della and I were in Portland last month. We had dinner one night at Oba in Pearl district. The food was latin themed, and was just great from top to bottom. The menu read great, and the food was even better. I've got to go back to try some of the things I missed.

Another interesting place we tried was Noble Rot. I don't really recall much about the food, other than it was good but unspectacular. But concept was pretty neat. Besides a resteraunt, it is a wine retail shop, and all the wines are available at retail prices plus a $7.50 corkage fee, which is shockingly reasonable. They also sold wines by the flight, and they had some interesting flights the night we were there.

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For dessert? Papa Haydn, of course, on NW 23rd.

I would strongly disagree with this. I had heard so many recommendations for their desserts that I finally went and tried them out and was very disappointed. They remind me of what you would find in a cafeteria, HUGE slices of cake filled with a variety of creams, tons of frosting, but not really all that much flavor. Don't get me wrong, they weren't terrible but for the reputation the place has and considering how many people rave about it I was expecting much much better. They are definitely not high end desserts. Somewhere like Pix or any of the good restaurants in town will have something better to offer you.

Just my $.02


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I just got back from a five-day conference in the other Portland.

Thanks to eG, I had a plan going in but it was such a whirlwind all my plans went bust. The first night in town we hit the happy hour at the City Grill on top of the bank tower. NY strip w/roasted red peppers on bruschetta was excellent - California rolls were stuffed with good crabmeat - thai beef salad was superb.

I took full advantage of the food carts downtown (We were at the Hilton) my favorite being UGARIT Mediterranean meals, run by the jovial Mohammed - great gyros for $4. My colleagues raved about the various burrito offerings too.

We were generally frugal all week and blew the wad on a delicious dinner back at City Grille (we tried the Brazil Grille but there were no tables until very late). I've never had Dungeness Crab Cakes and these were delicious.

I made a bid for Oba but my shellfish-avoiding colleague nixed it. The beer in this part of the world is fantastic. As is the coffee: The Hilton had two big urns of killer fresh-brewed bean available at all times during our conference of community radio broadcasters. Imagine a couple hundred radio people jacked-up on high-test coffee...

My thanks to the City of Roses. I can't wait to come back. :smile:

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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  • 10 years later...

Going to Portland for a few days and would like some recommendations for cocktail bars and restaurants.  We liked Departure the last time we were there.  Would like to be able to walk to restaurants in the downtown area.


thanks .


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Tear Drop is a wonderful cocktail place in the Pearl district, walkable from downtown. Imperial and Clyde Common both have good cocktail programs and good food.    Q restaurant is a wonderful reboot of a Portland institution - good cocktails and amazing Osso Bucco and other tasty things. 


I've heard good things about Headwaters, but haven't been there yet and am looking forward to trying a new restaurant called Jackrabbit - it's run by Top Chef Masters winner Chris Cosentino. 



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  • 2 weeks later...
17 hours ago, Okanagancook said:

The Pine Street Market looks like a great place!  Thanks.

I lived in Portland for over 30 years but have been here now for 10.

I still miss all the great restaurants Portland has though there've been lots of changes over time.

There just aren't many good places to eat here.  I miss all those ethnic places.  It seemed as if there was just so much competition among restaurants that if their food wasn't really good they'd soon be out of business and replaced by something better.  Even the food carts were great!

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