I grew up in Portland, I love PDX (except for the rain) and I absolutely adore the restaurant choices! I have compiled a list of what I (and many other folks) believe to be the BEST restaurant hot spots in PTown. It’s quite a long list in one blog post (on purpose), and has website links for best coffee, best views, best Italian, best Mexican, best sushi, best brew pubs, best breakfast and lunch, best cocktails, best gelato, and best donuts. I apologize in advance for the lengthy synopsis. The list will change I am sure, and if you have new hot spots to suggest…please send my way! I wanted a place where folks can visit one site and not have to go hopping crazy on Yelp or TripAdvisor or Open Table looking for ideas. I just added a new link this year at the bottom by PDX Eater: The Essential 38 Portland Restaurants Jan 2015. Scroll down, be well, and eat well!
Clyde Common – SO good! Total hipster! Near Ace Hotel. Make a date night and go to Living Room Theater after the great food one block awa.y
Andina – Always UNREAL every meal every time! Owner Doris Rodriguez de Platt collaborates with Andina’s kitchen team to develop a menu that celebrates her family’s Andean roots, interweaving the ideas and techniques of both Criollo and Novo-Andean cuisines.
Little Bird – Always sweet and good this little French Bistro. PDX Hotspot. A tad hard to find this foodie gem in SW Portland.
Blue Hour – Cheese cart is the best in PDX. Hip cool happening chic place to feed yourself in the Pearl.
Urban Farmer – Awesome food at Nines Hotel/Great Breakfast or Brunch or try an after work libation meetup.
Le Pidgeon – Always fantastic this tiny Frenchie Pidgeon restaurant and the sister of Little Bird locale SE Portland.
Heathman Hotel – Good for any meal of the day, great place for business meeting, great bar. All around consistent and scrumptious.
Ned Ludd – Darling ambiance hip cool vibe in NE Portland. Food nice and rustic.
Jakes Grill/ Jakes Restaurant – Good for business meetings, Portland old faithful SW Downtowner food. Great breakfast spot in a pinch on the weekends.
OBA – Good spice, good bar and great happy hour meet up place. Younger vibe.
Saucebox – Sexy drink, sexy food, hot date place. Delicious!
23 Hoyt – Good place NW 23. Casual and easy. Not expensive.
Paley’s Place – Always a good perfect date night at Paley’s in NW Portland.
Genoa – AMAZING special occasion and Best Italian in Portland. Locale SE PDX. Dinner takes time, and enjoy the slow food here. Beautiful wine list. Best service.
Accanto – Perfect for small bites with good prices. Sister restaurant to Genoa. Casual.
Ava Genes – Love the vibe here. Newest Italian in the city. Get the meat plate. Eat the pasta. Love your bread and green oil.
BEST VIEW RESTAURANT
Portland City Grill – Best View in PDX! Best date night spot. Pretty bar. Good snacks.
Salty’s on the Columbia – Best Double Deck Patio on the River
Newport Bay – “Riverplace” location is perfect for the view and a walk and a drink and some talk.
Departure – Cougars and hipsters and views and Asian Fusion flare. Most excellent cocktails.
Haydens on the Lake – Tualatin man made lake with duckies galore. Outside seating and perfect for large families.
Charthouse – SW Portland Hills great view – food just okay.
Multnomah Falls Lodge – Take wonderful beautiful hikes and enjoy the view!
Salvador Mollys – Love the peanuts on the floor add the hot sauce ask for more…
Papa Haydn – Best lunch and best desserts and best NW Portland walking and window shopping. Try anything banana and chocolate. My brother loves the carrot cake.
St. Honore Boulangerie – Best breakky best lunch best bakery.
Kenny and Zukes Delicatessen – Best Pastrami hands down. Best sausage sandwiches
Jo’s Bar – Best lemon drops and best burgers and Papa Haydn right next door for treats.
Bunk Sandwiches – Best SAMMYS. Best hidden budget GEM. Breakfast if you like. Stumptown coffee.
Lauralhurst Market – Amazing restaurant and butchershop. MEATS MEATS MEATS.
Roses Deli – Oldest Deli in PDX moved downtown. Budget gem and comes in second to Kenny and Zukes Deli.
PBJ’s Grilled Best peanut butter and jam cart IN THE WORLD. Sweet oh perfect budget gem of life.
Compote – Love this place! Outdoor seating. Coffee is excellent.
St. Honore Boulangerie – Best morning cakes, best morning meetup in NW Portland or Lake Oswego.
Mothers Bistro and Bar – It’s all about the LOVE and good home cooking. Best breakfast and biscuits.
Heathman Hotel – Best at anything. Consistent delicious NW cuisine. Love the atmosphere. Love the breakky.
Zells Café – Granola hipster café best eggs benny.
Marcos Café – Multnomah best down home cooking.
Kens Artisan Bakery – Try the orange goodness, sugary coiled layers of love pastry.
Grand Central Bakery – Best gooey sweet rolls .
Besaws – YUM YUM Breakfast. Old favorite.
Bijou Café – Breakfast and JAZZ!
Tin Shed – Go early packed always/totally casual. Budget gem.
The Egg Carton – Best breakfast cart. Budget gem.
Pearl Bakery – Eat bread eat chocolate.
Fat City – Multnomah old school greasy spoon. Kids love this place!
Meriwethers – Eat on the heated patio if weather is nice, oh so nice!
Pine State Biscuits – Holy Biscuit LOVER.
VooDoo Donuts – Magical sinful best donuts on the planet.
BEST COFFEE HOUSE
Vivace – Great place for homework and a cup of something.
Stumptown – Excellent Excellent cup of JOE.
Dutch Bros. – In a pinch I go here…….not my very favorite.
Coffeehouse Northwest – Peaceful and good.
Sterling Roasters – On the need to go list friends told me about it.
Barista Coffee – Great cup of JOE.
Ristretto Roasters – Hip and cool.
Papa Hayden – Try the banana everything!
Pix Patisserie – OMG, GO HERE! Party in your mouth.
Pambiche Cocina – Royal party in your mouth.
BEST ICE CREAM, FROZEN YOGURT, GELATO
Ruby Jewel – BEST Ice cream sandwiches EVER.
Salt and Straw – BEST ICE CREAM Flavors EVER! Lines wrap around street go early.
Yo Cream Frozen Yogurt – Best toppings choices. Out by airport.
Fifty Licks – Try “stumptown” flavor it rocks.
Mio Gelato – Gelato Joy.
Roses Ice Cream – Treats and goodies.
Cool Moon Ice Cream – Slice of happy flavors.
Lucky Spoon – By the spoonful delicious.
TartBerry – Frozen yogurt bliss.
Upright Brewery – Holy hops creativity and craft.
Deschutts Brewery – Happy Beer Abyss.
Lucky Labrador – Hand crafted FRESH
Rock Bottom Brewery – Music, sports, or brew.
Horse Brass Pub – Pub and Grub.
Kells Irish Pub – Luck of the Irish.
Thirsty Lion – Music and BREW.
McMenamins – Hotel, Movies, Dining and Beer.
Henrys Tavern – Beer and hard ciders to love.
Bar Mint – One of Portland’s top mixologists. Take a class. Drink the tasty fresh fruit combos.
Departure – Great food, view, cougars and hipsters.
Kask – handcrafted cocktails and micro-brews.
Dig a Pony – Dj’s, dusty records, enticing drinks and good food.
Doug Fir Lounge – Hipster happening at Jupiter hotel. Cool bar and bites off Burnside.
Barwares – Eat it. Booze it. Book it.
Rum Club – “Philosophically and geographically between The Slammer, and Beaker and Flask.”
Sweet Hereafter – The Summer Dress
Block and Tackle – Seafood creations and amazing cocktails. Fisherman UNITE.
Riffle – One HOUSE raw bar and drama rama Drambuie spirit. Do it.
Teardrop – Loving these tasty LIBATIONS in the Pearl.
Woodsman Tavern – Old school tavern big city restaurant. Drink UP.
BEST SPANISH COFFEE
Hubers – “The Bureau Saloon” best Spanish Coffee EVER. Oldest restaurant in Portland.
BEST HOLIDAY TEA
Heathman Hotel – Great Bar. Great Food. Great TEA. Every year we have holiday tea and crumpets here. Okay, perhaps the crumpets we shared were somewere in London or Victoria BC at the Empress Hotel!
Townshends Tea Co. – Teas Underdog Status. College project at University of Oregon in 2002. Four tea house locations. Hip and cool.
Tea Chai Te – Shop by MOOD. Shop by FLAVOR. Love tea.
The Hazel Room – TEA+BOOZE+COFFEE+FOOD. What more can I say?
The Tao of Tea – (no holiday celebrating just great tea and vegetarian food). Very Special Tea People. Hidden Budget GEM SE Portland.
BEST AFTER WORK HOT SPOT
Variable Quandary (VQ’s) – Beautiful flower lined patio and after work HOT SPOT downtown Portland. Singles galore.
Pok Pok – Pandanus leaf water and eat some spice. Love this Thai hot spot.
Genoa – Five course tasting menu to croon over. Slow food. Slow drink. Spend the money for yourself or that special someone. Amazing wine list. Once or twice a year indulgence. I’ll end with: OhMyGawd.
Accanto – Lambchetta and deviled eggs YUM. Baby sister to Genoa. Brunch. Dinner. Late Night. Yummmmm.
Ava Genes – SO hip and cool SE PDX and please please savor the meat plate.
Tabla – Pasta Fresca to GO. Okay by me.
Piazza Italia – A Pearl to people watch for lunch and dinner. Hidden budget gem. Outdoor seating. I miss dancing at the Italian Festa with Gino.
Fratelli – Simple thoughtful and humbled. My daughter broke a chair here. Had to be good luck – the food is amazing every time!
ClarkLewis – Eastside industrial farm to table. Near OMSI.
Nostrana – Honest. Pure. Regional. Italian. Try the pizza.
Bastas Trattoria – Calimari alla griglia an old favorite of mine. I drank a beautiful wine here that tasted of roses. I will never forget.
Caffé Mingo – BEST simple Italian cooking. Best Italian Northwestie cuisine NW Portland.
Serratto – Bounty of the Northwest. Great place for late night, early dinner, or big groups. Nice for a family birthday evening. NW Portland.
Masu Sushi – Second story sushi haven. My favorite. I could eat here for hours. Love the flavors. Wine not so great. Beer or sake better for libations.
Saburos – Big slab nigiri old SE Portland favorite for many.
Yama Sushi and Sake – Harmony is the spirit of sushi YAMA. My friends say this is the best sushi PDX. I will try soon!
Casa Del Matador – Fresh Tex Mex NW PDX. GREAT happy hour menu. Perfect after work meetup. Great portions. Good drinks. On the cheaper side.
Cha Cha Cha – Land of Eternal Spring. Younger set. Outdoor seating. Good food. Good Drink. Good Fun.
******Nuestra Cucina – “Our Kitchen” through generations of good food. Winner in the Mexican category. Not budget, but unreal. Best Ritas.
Sandovals (Miller Road location) – Café and Cantina. Perfect for a quick taco and beer. Budget gem. Perfect family spot.
Another amazing link to The Essential 38 Portland Restaurants Jan 2015 click here. For more “Oregon Restaurants” please go to Winchester Inn Ashland.
Definition of Urban Backpacker:
1. Of, relating to, or located in a city.
2. Backpacker redefined: Artful reviews that lead you from hidden budget gems to five-star destinations helping you find palate pleasing adventure, enjoyment, and story collection.
3. Pack bag. Travel there. See city. Eat food. Respect culture. Take picture. Share story. Be thankful. Repeat.