8 Best Restaurants in Portland Oregon – A Newcomer’s Guide

Are you a newbie in The City of Roses and wondering where you might go to the gym, for a walk, to a cafe or out for dinner with your special someone? Thanks to our newcomer’s guide, you can learn a few things about some of the best restaurants in Portland.

 

We’ve put together a list that includes dining spots appealing both to tourists and locals. Most of them are well-hidden gems that can provide you with excellent vibes, delicious dishes, and affordable prices.

Let’s find out why Portland is considered a foodie heaven and what specialties you can expect after relocating here – including international ones, too.

Why Are the Best Restaurants in Portland So Special Among Locals

Whether you’re looking for authentic Italian pizza, tastiest doughnut, or finger-licking burger with juicy meat, the so-called Stumptown has it all. Over the last few years, this city has become one of the most inspiring and exciting foodie places in the US due to its local, in-season premium ingredients. And chefs take a lot of pride in close relationships with local farmers, which is one of the reasons why the city is widely regarded as the best food location in the country.

This fantastic city dubbed Beervana is packed with excellent eateries open to all tastes – from fried chicken and delicious pork to seasonal salad and excellent wine list. Besides, you can enjoy great bar options with drinks from all over the world.

If you’re moving to Portland, don’t hesitate to ask the locals about the most popular dining areas and see for yourself why Oregon’s biggest city is so visible on America’s culinary map.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the prime spots where Portlanders often go to enjoy tasty meals and desserts.

# 1 Huber’s Cafe, Est 1879, Is Known as the Oldest Foodie Spot

When choosing the right venue for dinner or lunch, there’s so much more to it than tasty meat or pedigreed wine to consider. If all other criteria are fulfilled, such as pleasant service, majestic interior, and consistently good fare, then you can expect an unforgettable experience. With Portland’s oldest restaurant, formerly known as The Bureau Saloon, you can’t go wrong.

As soon as you cross the threshold, you enter a dining room included in the National Register of Historic Places. The unique atmosphere and mouth-watering traditional turkey dinner will satisfy even the pickiest eaters. And after delightful fare, Huber’s Cafe will offer you the most famous Spanish coffee outside of Spain.

After Turkey, Try the Iconic Spanish Coffee

Have you ever tried coffee-flavored liqueur from Mexico called Kahlua? At Huber’s, coffee is much more than a hot beverage – it’s almost a separate meal. If you wish to taste it, you can expect the following ingredients in this coffee order:

  • Bacardi 151 rum
  • Bols Triple Sec
  • Kahlua (rum, sugar, vanilla bean, and arabica coffee)
  • Fresh whipped cream
  • A dusting of nutmeg
PDX is well-known for its excellent coffee, but in Huber's Cafe it is a masterpiece

#2 Tasty n Alder in Downtown

This modern, family-oriented restaurant with innovative dishes has found its inspiration in chef Gorham’s travels and experiences from different countries. Traditional steakhouse plates contain meats, seafood, and salad, which are spiced up with diverse flavors.

In Tasty n Alder‘s urban and comfortable space, you can enjoy a great menu program that boasts house-made cocktails, affordable wines and beers, as well as boozy milkshakes. The added charm and value of this space is the option to sit at the bar, classic dining table, or outdoor and enjoy Portland’s downtown view.

It’s Worth Waiting

If you ask locals about this place, they will tell you to try it, and you will like it. There are several reasons why you should reserve a table here and check out the atmosphere of the place:

  • Excellent food (meat dishes, such as steak with brussels sprouts)
  • The staff is friendly and helpful
  • The food is prepared family-style
  • Great cocktails

If you come here starving, waiting for the dish to be served, there might be one drawback – it takes time to get it. Also, the tables are very close together and bolted to the floor, so you may feel like you’re having dinner with the couple next to you.

Served steak and excellent bar drinks, including wine and cocktails, are things worth checking out

#3 One of the Most Popular Brasseries in Buckman – Kachka

For all the fans of Russian culture and gastronomy, Kachka is considered a top-notch Russian restaurant in the country. And it’s not just for those who like Shashliki or Brindza&Lepoyshka, but for everyone who wishes to try something new and different. It might be especially appealing to newcomers due to its pleasant atmosphere and creative Russian fare. Kachka takes pride in plenty of accolades earned over the recent years, including:

  • “Legendary” – 2019
  • “Most iconic Portland Restaurant” – 2019
  • 2018 James Beard Award Finalist for Best Chef: Northwest
  • 2018 Food 52’s Piglet Award for Kachka: A Return to Russian Cooking

The Authentic Russian Cuisine Will Seduce You

When you hear from people and locals who had spent some period of their life in Russia that food in Kachka is “like going back to Mother Russia,” then you can rest assured that meals are nothing short of extraordinary. You can choose between lunch, dinner, happy hour, and dessert menu, while the drinks are separate from the vodka menu. A wide selection of authentic Russian dishes, including cold and hot zakuski will provide you with a unique experience and some of the most delicious specialties you’ve ever tried:

  • Baltic Sprat Buterbrodi
  • Herring “Under a Fur Coat”
  • Pickled Bay Scallops
  • Lamb Tartare
  • Salad “Tashkent”
  • Pig Head Roulet
Meals served in this eating house belong to the authentic Russian cuisine

#4 Share Your Story While Eating Ice Cream in Salt & Straw

In Salt & Straw, a community gathering place, you can spend pleasant moments with your family and friends or simply treat yourself to a nice meal or unbelievable ice cream. Everything is made by hand, and there is so much more to it than just ice cream.

Salt & Straw shops bring people together in a place where you can learn more about your community and yourself. With its motto, “If you ever stop believing in magic, eat some ice cream,” you’ll realize that this ever-evolving ice cream is a product of true artisans and gourmets.

Interesting Ingredients as Inspiration

Due to collaboration with local farmers, makers, and chefs, the ice cream has such a luxurious texture. And because of the chef’s curiosity and desire to create something unique, a list of unusual ingredients and flavors used to produce this creamy perfection is continuously updated and extended:

  • Habanero-laced goat cheese
  • Herbaceous and citrus liqueur
  • Wild nettles
  • Salted caramel
  • Smoked cherries
Salt & Straw is one of the most popular restaurants with an ice cream menu

#5 Nong’s Khao Man Gai – Portlanders Can’t Get Enough of It

Khao Man Gai is one of the most popular Thai dishes in Bangkok, and it is also known as Hainanese chicken. The chicken is served with rice and pungeon sauce made from fermented soybean puree and mixed with ginger, garlic, Thai chilies, vinegar, and sugar. A few pieces of cucumbers and cilantro are an addition to this dish.

You shouldn’t worry about your order if you’re coming here for the first time – you can’t go wrong. There’s only one thing on the menu, and the Chef Nong says he loves to keep it simple when it comes to ordering.

Insider tip: You can get a gluten-free portion and brown rice for the same price.

A Place With Fresh and Healthy Food

Ask locals where the most delicious chicken rice in PDX is. There’s no question, they will tell you at Nong’s Khao Man Gai. This is a place that serves fresh, healthy, and delicious food without French fries and fried meat. Above all, the prices are affordable. If you take care of your body, eat here often – everything is house-made, and chickens are humanely raised.

If you avoid pork and white rice, chef Nong prepares gluten-free versions with chicken

#6 Le Pigeon Serves Creative French-Inspired Fare

Who doesn’t like French cuisine? With Le Pigeon, Gascony specialties get a new dimension. Along with some classic dishes, such as beef cheek bourguignon and duck à l’orange, make sure to order pork trotter croquettes and tropical layer cake for dessert.

Everything Begins and Ends With a Talented Chef

The backbone of each extraordinary restaurant is its open-minded chef. It’s also the case with Le Pigeon – Gabriel Rucker, the two-time James Beard Award-winning chef, creates a magical menu every day. If you want to order something new and creative, consider the left side of the menu, where you can find exciting and impressive plates.

It's hard to resist French cuisine

#7 Voodoo Doughnuts

This unique place, open 24/7, attracts doughnut worshippers from all over the country and the world. In Voodoo Doughnuts, you can find quick service and new creations every day. It’s located in the city’s Old Town district, which is crammed with families and people who like to drop by with their friends and enjoy raised yeast treats. The choice is so large that you could eat a different doughnut every day without getting bored.

You Can Try More Than 50 Kinds of Doughnuts

Yes, you can enjoy more than 50 different doughnuts, and above that, skillful artisans can create unique pastry upon request. These doughnuts are hand-cut raised, fried to fluffy perfection, and filled with finger-licking cream. So, if you’re a doughnut aficionado, make sure to try some of the following:

  • Chocolate ring
  • Dirt
  • Old dirty bastard
  • Raised glazed
  • Oh captain, my captain
  • Mango tango
  • Voodoo doll
  • Almond cannolo
You can try more than 50 types of doughnuts here

#8 Lovely’s Fifty-Fifty – Northwest Style Pizza Restaurant

Have you ever tried Italian wood-fired pizza and an ice cream counter at the top? The City of Roses is well-known for its exceptional and unsurpassed pizzas, but in Lovely’s Fifty-Fifty, the pizza has gained iconic status.

Thanks to chef Sarah Minnick and her skilled techniques employed in creating unique meals, Portlanders just adore this place. And if you’re a newbie, there’s no better place to get to know Portland’s habits, people, and culture, than by dropping by here for lunch with the family.

Locals Say It’s the Best Pizza Not Only in Portland But in Entire Oregon

Most people like to taste something new, especially when it comes to well-known dishes, such as pizza, decorated and spiced up with exotic ingredients. That’s how Sarah Minnick creates magic and succeeds in providing unique pleasure and enjoyment. Who says that pizza and ice cream can’t be an excellent combination? Visit Lovely’s Fifty-Fifty and make sure that the differences are compatible.

Portland’s Food Is Exquisite

Is living in Portland your dream? Have you already found the best neighborhood in Portland to settle down? If you’re planning to order professional moving services to relocate your household to PDX, we hope that our little culinary guide will help you navigate Portland’s diverse and abundant dining scene.

 

Written By: Mila Tacon