I was in Portland, OR the other week for work and extended my trip for the weekend so I could stay with my friend who moved from Philly last year. I did SO much eating. It basically never stopped. And I loved every minute of it. I haven’t written many travel recaps on the blog (except for the one I did last year about my trip with Daniel to the Riviera Maya) and I would love to do more.
Portland is such a foodie city and has so many good restaurants that there is no way I could have gotten to everything in just a week. The city is primarily divided into five sections- NW, NE, SE, SW and downtown- each with its own main road of shops and restaurants. I started to get the feel for each neighborhood with its own personality and architecture. Many of my favorite restaurants listed below have locations in more than one neighborhood so you don’t have to travel far to hit a bunch of spots at once.
If you’re planning on visiting Portland soon, then my only advice is wear your stretchy pants!
Fireside– All I have to say about Fireside is- best baked eggs ever! I got the pork and leek cream baked eggs and wish I had gone back a second time during the week. I also tried one of their crafted sodas made with drinking vinegar and I am now officially a drinking vinegar convert. It sounds strange to pour vinegar in a drink but with seltzer water it is surprisingly refreshing. I left Portland with three bottles of drinking vinegar that I bought at a farmers’ market.
Broder Nord– This place is worth trekking to just for the Aebleskivers, which are spherical danish pancakes served with jam and lemon curd for dipping. I also ordered the soft baked eggs which were good but nothing to write home about. My friend, Auguste, ordered a baked egg scramble which looked a little overcooked . I saw a neighboring table ordered the Fruit Fritter side and I immediately regretted my sausage (even thought it was great!).
Sweedeedee– I went back to this classic Portland cafe twice with Auguste because I absolutely fell in love. Be prepared for a long wait since this joint is small, but they serve bottomless coffee while you wait. A few dishes I would recommend include: the Breakfast Plate, any of the baked goods especially the Marionberry Pie with cream, and the salad nicoise with green goddess dressing (pictured below). All the different types of bread at this place are to die for. I wish I’d had the chance to try the corncakes and the carrot cake, but I guess I’ll have to go back again! You can’t go wrong at Sweedeedee.
Smoothie Shops- There are so many smoothie/juice shops in Portland and I tried to visit as many as possible. I ordered a classic green smoothie at Greenleaf Juicing Company, had one of the best acai bowls I’ve ever had at Kure Juice Bar, and was inspired to make this Cashew Cream Parfait way back when from a visit to Prasad during my first trip to Portland three years ago (excuse the horrific blog photo).
Coffee/Tea Shops- Stumptown Coffee is Portland’s most well-known coffee brand and with good reason. I love the location inside The Ace Hotel downtown since it makes me feel like the ultimate Portland resident. The below picture was a perfect cappuccino I ordered at Barista downtown before a meeting. On the tea front, Townshend’s Tea is a pretty popular kombucha company in Portland and their cafe has such a cool menu of teas. I sipped on a homemade chai tea latte while doing work one afternoon.
Bollywood Theater– Bollywood Theater is such a fun place to get in your fix of Indian food. I shared the Paneer Thali Meal with Auguste (make sure you get extra Paratha bread) with a side of the Aloo Tikki- potato pancakes with curry chickpeas. Delish! And the best part is that there is a Salt & Straw right next door so you don’t have to walk far for dessert.
Andina– Andina is a peruvian restaurant with lots of tapas style dishes and a long cocktail list to choose from (I loved the Pineapple Mojito). A few favorites included: dipping sauces that come with the bread, stuffed yucca, stuffed sweet peppers, avocado stuffed with crab, crispy golden prawns, grilled octopus, and tuna ceviche.
Bamboo Sushi– I went to Bamboo Sushi for happy hour, which I wouldn’t recommend doing since the menu was limited. The grilled shishito peppers were the best thing we tried and I am sure there are more options on the full menu. The best part about Bamboo Sushi is that it serves sustainable seafood and is a Certified B Corporation!
The Meadow is a shop that sells every chocolate bar you could imagine, gourmet salts, and bitters.
Pok Pok– I was expecting Pok Pok to be really amazing since I had read lots of press about it. Pok Pok has a few sister restaurants and opened a location in New York City. We started with a drink at Whiskey Soda Lounge across the street which has a long cocktail list that won’t disappoint. I was underwhelmed by the food we ordered at Pok Pok but I’d like to think it’s because I ordered the wrong things. The famous chicken wings were just fine (my dining-mates thought they were great though) and the green papaya salad (Khao Man Som Tam) was way too spicy! I did like the side of pork with the papaya salad and we ordered coconut rice to go with it. The baby back ribs were by far my favorite of the items we ordered. Fun fact: the water served at Pok Pok is flavored with a leaf that makes it taste like toasted rice and vanilla. I’m glad I was warned before taking a big swig because I would have been taken off guard.
Cha Cha Cha– There are so many Mexican restaurants in Portland, but I loved this super casual taco place. You can’t really go wrong with whatever you order here!
Food Trucks- Portland is known for its food trucks (there are even some inside the airport) so don’t be scared off by all the options you’ll have. Check out this list of some of the best food truck dishes in Portland.
Blue Star Donuts explains social media. I love this!
Voodoo Doughnuts– No trip to Portland is complete without a visit to Voodoo Doughnuts. During my first trip to Portland a few years ago I waited in line for the Old Dirty Bastard Doughnut- vanilla donut with chocolate icing, crushed oreos, and peanut butter. There are some really crazy flavor combos and the funniest donut is definitely the penis shaped one!
Salt & Straw– Let’s just say I went to Salt & Straw three times in one week…it’s that good. And yes, the line is worth the wait! Every single flavor is amazing, even the ones that sound a little strange like Strawberry Honey Balsamic with Black Pepper. My favorites were the Coconut with Salted Caramel Bars (gluten free and vegan! but you wouldn’t even know it), Sea Salt with Caramel Ribbons, and Almond Brittle with Salted Ganache. Can you see a pattern? All the salted caramel for me! (Picture below of the menu is a few years old so some of the flavors have changed)
Ruby Jewel– Ruby Jewel takes second place next to Salt & Straw but I’m still glad I tried it. I got a flight of 6 flavors with my friend and loved pretty much all of them. It was a great way to try lots of flavors without having to commit to just one or two.
What are some of your favorite Portland, OR foodie spots?