Portland is a food-lovers paradise, a destination buzzing with energy and excitement around food. There’s a huge focus on seasonal, fresh and local produce as well as sustainable and ethical food practices. This means the food not only tastes better it’s better for you and the environment. Wonderfully, there’s a big focus on vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free food too. The huge range of great food options on offer can be overwhelming and, honestly, I only began to scratch the surface of this foodie-haven. To help you navigate Portland’s epic food scene, here’s my guide to 27 of the best places to eat in Portland, Oregon.
Need more? Peep our guide to 26 Awesome things you absolutely must do in Portland, where to stay and what to pack for a trip to Portland.
1. Explore the Saturday Market
One of the best ways to get a really good feel for a new destination is to visit a local market. I always find them to capture what the local area is really about in one small area, like a living snapshot or something. You get a really good sense of the food scene because you get to see all the local, seasonal produce, which also gives you a good feel for what you can expect to eat. You get to see locals interact, which shares insight into real life here and the arts, crafts and fashion stalls share the local flare. If you’re interested in really exploring Portland, a trip to the Portland Saturday Market is a must. Great shopping, cool things you’ve never seen before, beautiful plants, delicious food, fresh bites and so much more!
2. Pine Street Market
Take a trip to Portland’s first food hall, Pine Street Market, where you’ll find nine of Portland’s best chefs under the same roof. Your food memory bank and your taste buds will thank you for it. You’ll find Pine Street Market located Downtown, boasting a casual, open layout with a really friendly and welcoming atmosphere. It’s a chance to sink your teeth into some top-notch food, like Bless Your Heart Burgers, Kim Jong Smokehouse, Kure, Marukin Ramen, OP Wurst, Pollo Bravo, Trifecta Annex, Wiz Bang Bar and Brass Bar Barista. Seriously, the vegan ramen at Marukin is amazing!
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3. Potato Champion
The poutine from Potato Champion has been haunting my food dreams ever since I ate there. If you know me, you know I love a good spud in all its many forms, including poutine and, I gotta say, the Satay Poutine from Potato Champion may just be the best I have ever had. Perfectly cooked, golden, double fried potatoes topped with deliciously spicy satay and cheese curds = true happiness. If that doesn’t quite grab ya fancy, try the pulled pork, chilli cheese, palak paneer or PB&J fries instead. Vegetarian and vegan options available (yay!)
4. Poke Bowl at QuickFish
Love Poke Bowls? Be sure to stop in at one of the two QuickFish locations in Portland. What’s great about this place is they only use the highest quality, sustainable fish on the market. The result is a really delicious menu that’s guilt-free! You can eat at the shop, nabbing a bar-style seat inside or a table outside or grab your bowl to go and head to the park for a low-key picnic.
5. Dove Vivi
For great pizza in Portland, make a beeline for Dove Vivi. Famous for their cornmeal crust, mouthwatering toppings and cosy, laid-back setting, Dove Vivi serves really delicious pizzas. There are great options for vegans and vegetarians as well as some tasty meat-eater friendly pizzas too. Try the ‘Corn’ pizza with mozzarella, smoked mozzarella, balsamic marinated roasted red onions, fresh sweet corn and chives or the ‘goat cheese’ with mozzarella, goat cheese, marinated green peppers, fresh rosemary and marinated roast tomatoes.
6. The People’s Pig
No visit to the USA feels complete without visiting at least one BBQ joint. If you’re in Portland, make sure this visit takes place at The People’s Pig, a chilli BBQ joint famous for its smoked meat. Sink your teeth into homemade sourdough rolls stuffed with fillings like smoked fried chicken, pork shoulder, BBQ pork and beef brisket. Kick things up a notch with their dry rubbed St Louis style ribs or tackle a plate of beef brisket, pork, lamb or smoked fried chicken. Go hungry, leave happy.
If you’re looking for a memorable dining experience that’s special and fancy, Headwaters is a great option. Offering a gorgeous space and a menu packed with delectable, fresh and seasonal seafood options, you may have a tough time choosing just one or two things to try! There are oysters and clams by the half shell, poke, crudo and ceviche, chowder, crab cakes and fried calamari as well as beautifully prepared mussels, paella, scallops and so much more. For an unforgettable seafood feast, look no further than Headwaters.
8. Salt & Straw
I gotta say, I’m not usually one to join a queue and wait for food. Most of the time it’s over-hyped and more about boasting you’ve been there on Instagram, rather than actually enjoying what you’re eating. Turns out, Salt & Straw is worth the wait. There’s denying, queueing up is annoying, but they handle it really well. The line moved pretty quick and it gives you time to decide what to try (yes! samples!) I LOVED the ice cream and treated myself to TWO scoops – roasted strawberry coconut (vegan) and chocolate gooey brownie, packed atop a perfectly golden waffle cone. You guys, it was amazing.
9. Fifty Licks
If you aren’t keen to join the crowds at Salt & Straw, you may find a visit to Fifty Licks more your style. With its super cool Tin Tin wallpaper and old-school ice creamery fit-out, Fifty Licks is not just a spot selling yummy ice cream, it’s really, really cool! I loved the laid-back vibe of the place and the great range of ice cream and sorbet on offer. I can personally vouch for the blackberry sorbet (vegan) and Oregon strawberry.
If, like me, you live for Mexican food, then a visit to Chalino needs to be on your Portland bucket list. Pop in for lunch or dinner (and a few cocktails, of course) and enjoy some absolutely delicious Mexican-inspired fare in a fancy setting. You’ll love mouth-watering bites like halibut ceviche, smoked trout tostadas, fried chicken wings pibil, octopus with sweet corn and bacon and so, so much more! Go with friends and go hungry, so you can order a few different dishes and share it all.
11. Pok Pok Restaurant
The fish sauce wings at Pok Pok Restaurant are legendary, which makes it a must-visit food spot for anyone visiting PDX. Serving up creative Thai street food in a seriously understated setting, Pok Pok delivers on big flavours and memorable bites. The amazing charcoal roasted flavours coming out of this place are notorious and, if you’re vegan or vegetarian, you’ll find plenty of tasty dishes on the menu for you too.
12. Voodoo Doughnut
Another Instagram must-do and another one I wanted to try but didn’t want to get too swept up in the internet fan-fare. I won’t lie, when I saw my first Voodoo Doughnut I was a bit overwhelmed and intimidated. The amazing creations Voodoo come up with look like something out of a mad baker’s laboratory. I took one bite, expecting it to be so sickly sweet and over-the-top that I’d get an instant headache and be done, instead, I ended up eating the WHOLE thing! If you find Instagram obsessions a turn-off like me, push those thoughts out ya mind, cos a Voodoo Doughnut is delicious, worth the visit and a unique PDX experience.
13. Marukin Ramen
Ramen culture is a big deal in Portland, which is very good news for food lovers. You’ll find some fantastic restaurants dotted around town, serving up bowls of noodles and soup to soothe the soul. If you’ve got a hankering, be sure to visit Marukin Ramen. I was so happy to find vegan ramen on the menu, the first time I’ve been able to eat ramen since going vegetarian, and it did not disappoint. Perfectly plump noodles, flavourful soup and yummy veggies mixed in, it was a dream come true. If you’re a meat eater, there’s a traditional pork bone broth, miso and other options too.
14. Le Pigeon
Communal tables, a seasonal, rotating menu boasting delicious French fare and one heck of a food experience await you at Le Pigeon. The menu is incredibly tempting, offering truly divine meals like beef cheek bourguignon, grilled pigeon and truffled chicken, just to name a few. To really make the most of it and a true foodie experience, be sure to sign yourself up for the Chef’s tasting menu, either five or seven courses, paired with matching alcoholic drinks, if you so wish (you wish! you wish!)
15. Bamboo Sushi
Sustainably caught, humanely raised, naturally grown – this is the very important food philosophy underpinning the menu at Bamboo Sushi. Grab your travel companions and take your very hungry tummy’s down to Bamboo Sushi to split some share plates and sample a wide range of sushi. Tuck into steamed buns, perfectly light and crisp tempura, seared mushrooms, poke, a gorgeous range of signature rolls and, of course, some incredible sashimi. There are also plenty of options for vegetarians, vegans and gluten dodgers!
16. Case Study
Get your hands on a fantastic cup of coffee at Case Study Coffee Roasters. In addition to its kick-ass beer culture, Portland’s also famous for its coffee culture. You’ll hear a lot about third-wave coffee, a movement to create high-quality coffee. If you haven’t heard of the concept before, your basic cup of brewed coffee poured from one of those American-diner style jugs is first-wave, Starbucks is your second-wave and the rise of artisanal coffee and speciality roasts is your third-wave. Case Study is a third-wave hero and the perfect place to visit if you’re keen to dive latte first into Portland’s third-wave coffee scene.
17. Farmhouse Kitchen Thai Cuisine
You’ll think you’re on the streets of Bangkok when plates of incredible looking (and smelling) food arrive at your table at Farmhouse Kitchen. Crab fried rice, roti, vegan fresh rolls, BBQ Kai Yang, chicken wings, crispy calamari, curries and all manner of Thai street food to tempt your tastebuds. Farmhouse offers up fresh, delicious meals served beautifully and brightly, your tummy will be grumbling the second you step inside and your wallet will thank you too!
18. 180 Xurros & Xocolata
Get your sweet buns down to Portland’s only churro shop, 180 Xurros & Xocolata, and, my friends, prepare for a sensory overload. If the smell of freshly made, traditional Spanish churros doesn’t get ya, the sight of their golden, crispy goodness will. The great thing about this spot and probably what makes them sooooo good is they focus on quality, not quantity, producing in small batches and handcrafting everything in house. The proof is in the churro! Try their classic churros dusted with cinammon and sugar, nutella-stuffed bites and chocolate-covered OR go all-out and sink those fangs into a churro ice cream sandwich.
What a weekend #PortlandOR! You knocked us out! It's cool, it's cool, we'll get you next one! Thank you so much for everyone who came to visit our little shop ✌🏼 Y'all ready for the eclipse tomorrow?! We will be open 12PM-8PM A gorgeous #Repost 📸@secretstan, thanks for visiting us! ・・・ @saltandstraw roasted strawberry coconut ice cream churro sandwich from @180pdx in Portland, OR.
19. Cheese and Crack
When you’re a little kid, you flock to candy stores. When you’re a big kid, you flock to Cheese and Crack. The focus here is on cheese boards, snacks, soft serve, espresso and wine a.k.a all the good things about being an adult! You’ll be spoiled for choice gazing upon their menu of all-too-delicious cheese boards, snack plates, desserts and their drinks menus. Indulge in cheese, cheese and more cheese, wash it down with a glass (or three) of wine then finish things off with mud sundae!
20. Puffle Waffle
I make no apologies for the number of sweet treats on this list! In fact, I’m adding to it by popping Puffle Waffle in next. Perfectly nestled among 15 other food carts in the Happy Valley Station food cart pod, Puffle Waffle is the perfect way to end a meal. For anyone who loves waffles, has had the pleasure of trying Hong Kong style egg waffles or just those with a sweet tooth, the menu here is a real treat. Think toasty, freshly cooked bubble waffles wrapped around ice cream and topped with cookies, fruit, sauce and more! (P.S while ya there, try the famous sushi donuts from Wasabi Sushi!)
21. Cup and Bar
“More coffee,” you say? Well, who am I deny to you, my friend? You’ll most likely plan to spend a lot of time in and around the Downtown area so why not head over to the other side of town and visit another third-wave hero, Cup and Bar. Trailhead Coffee Roasters teamed up with Ranger Chocolate Company to create Portland’s first coffee and chocolate tasting room. Yes, heaven is real! You can grab a light bite, listen to live music or simply sip their out-of-this-world mocha.
If you’re keen to eat as much American food as possible, you best add TILT to your foodie list too. This is the spot to tuck into classic burgers like double bacon cheeseburgers or go wild and tackle their southern fried chicken burger. Get stuck into a classic Reuben, try their smoked bbq brisket, eat a giant cobb salad and finish it all off with an absolutely delicious slice of fresh, homemade pie.
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23. Coco Donuts
Another day, another doughnut. Words to live by! If you hadn’t already gotten your fix of delicious doughnuts then I suggest you visit Coco Donuts. We’re talking fantastic coffee and divine doughnuts. Get cosy with a cappuccino or your favourite type of coffee then get familiar with their doughnut selection, like chocolate glazed with sprinkles, lavender glazed, jelly or custard filled and tradititional sugar glazed. They roast their own coffee, committing wholeheartedly to the very best, top quality coffee and doughnuts possible. That’s a win for the people!
24. Upper Left Roasters
For those who really love their coffee, a visit to Upper Left Roasters is a real treat. Inside the light, airy space, among its uber-cool, soulful vibe, you’ll find them serving their very own single-origin espresso and pour over coffee. It’s the perfect spot to just sit for a while and enjoy your brew and nibble on something yummy from their menu of simple, tasty bites like avocado, radish, poached egg and mama lil’s peppers served on beautiful spelt bread.
25. DIY Food Truck Crawl
Another wonderful thing Portland is known for is its epic food truck scene. Not only do food trucks serve up delicious food, because they usually focus on one thing and do it really well, they’re also much better on the pocket, perfect for budget travellers and food lovers alike. A few must-try food carts include Potato Champion, Nong’s Khao Man Gai, the Grilled Cheese Grill, Kim Jong Grillin’, The Whole Bowl, Artigiano, Viking Soul Food, Chicken and Guns and Bing Mi.
26. Visit a few breweries
It turns out Portland has an amazing craft beer scene! You’ll find breweries dotted all around the city and outskirts, offering up a huge range of unique, interesting and delicious beers. So, it’d be rude not to visit a few and sample their goods, right? Right! You might like to plan a visit to Grixsen Brewing, Scout Beer, Wayfinder or Mt. Tabor Brewing. Consider scheduling a stop at Ancestry Brewing, Double Mountain Brewing, Zoiglhaus Brewing or a trip to Great Notion Brewing, Royale Brewing or Coin Toss Brewing.
27. Visit a few whisky distilleries
Continuing on with the booze theme, you’ll find some fantastic local distillers in Portland. Consider making a visit to Bull Run Distillery, Hopworks Urban Brewery, New Deal Distillery, Stone Barn Brandyworks, House Spirits Distillery, McMenamins Edgefield Distillery as well as the Clear Creek or Hood River Distilleries.
Watch my vlog episode from part of my trip to Portland
Phoebe Lee is a travel writer and award-winning blogger with a love for storytelling. Phoebe creates practical, fun and engaging written content designed to inspire and energise travel-lovers and dreamers. Follow her and Matt’s adventures at home and around the world, right here on Little Grey Box and through Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.