Because humanity cannot live on coffee alone…here’s some recommendations for Portland consumables from your Sprudge.com editors. There’s tons of food carts, restaurants, bars, and strip clubs we’re missing, but hey man, we can’t list them all. Correct us in the comments below!
If you’re wondering how to get to these wonderful places, you can ride the MAX, take the bus, or simply call Radio Cab, Portland’s half-century old jewel of a taxi cab service. Their number is 503-227-1212.
Burgerville (1135 NE MLK) For the uninitiated, Burgerville is not your average fast food chain. A Portland mainstay since the 1960s, BVille prides themselves on serving “fresh, local and sustainably-produced food.” Talk to a Portlander-in-exile, and this is the place they pine for. Get a Tillamook cheeseburger with pepper bacon, or their standard plain-old burger with special sauce. They’re currently offering a seasonal strawberry shake, and all their ice cream comes from Sunshine Dairy, whose milk products are served in pretty much every PDX cafe. There is a location like 5 seconds from the Convention Center. Go here. Cheap.
Frank’s Noodle House (822 NE Broadway) Most of the best Asian food in Portland can be found on 82nd Avenue, which is quite a hike from the Convention Center, but Frank’s Noodle House is a solid choice. Literally a house, Frank’s is located about half-mile from the Event, and they specialize in a homey fusion of Korean and Chinese cuisine. Great house-made noodles, great kimchee, delicious soup dumplings, and a tasty pork hock salad. Cheap.
Bunk Sandwiches (621 SE Morrison Street) Hyped to the point of death (by the New York Times, the Food Network, and others), Bunk Sandwiches is still a super delicious lunch option. They’re famous for their pork belly cubano, and rightly so, but check what they’ve got on the specials board; we recently tried this like, BBQ pork bao bun sandwich thing, with spicy mustard, and it was out of control good. Cheap.
Taste Tickler (1704 NE 14th Ave) Sort of picked up wholesale out of pre-cool late 80s Portland, this is another excellent lunch option for sandwiches. Get the chicken teriyaki sandwich with spicy chili sauce and olives. Cheap.
Olympic Provisions (107 SE Washington St) Super serious charcuterie, lauded by everyone and their mom, and for good reason. Get the charcurterie plate, and the ice cream sandwich for dessert. This would be a fine place for a casual company lunch, a Portland-fancy casual expense account dinner, or a quick brunch before heading into the madness on Saturday or Sunday morning. Mid-range.
Junior’s (1742 SE 12th Ave) The perfect Portland greasy spoon, serving Stumptown coffee. Charmingly ugly yellow booths, long lines on the weekend, but open for breakfast every day! Get a scramble, or the omelette with herbs, honey, and pepper. Cheap.
Ned Ludd (3925 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd) Arguably the best weekend brunch in Portland, and there’s rarely ever a wait, which is amazing. Dinner here is awesome too; this is Pacific Northwest ur-locavore casual sneaky-good fine dining at its best. Order whatever looks good, and get a Bloody Mary. Mid-range.
Sizzle Pie (624 E Burnside) A slice of tasty pizza and a salad for $5, with lots of vegan options. This is not a pizza town, but if you need a slice something fierce, Sizzle Pie does just fine. Expect to hear metal. Cheap.
Nostrana (1401 SE Morrison St) You can go big here, if you want, but the cheap happy hour (early and late, everyday) is where it’s at: $6 pizza; Campari and soda specials; affordable house wine; that perfect Portland combination of high-end vibe with bargain basement prices. Get a pizza, skip the skimpy bar nuts. Mid-range, but the happy hour is Cheap.
Clyde Common (1014 SW Stark St) Directly adjoining the lobby of the Ace Hotel, Clyde Common is one of those places that works in like 5 different ways. An easy, classy sandwich and salad for lunch? Sure. A top-notch nightcap from their internationally fawned-over bar manager, Jeffery Morganthaler? Don’t miss it. An all-out splurge of an expense-account dinner for 5? That’s perhaps Clyde Common’s best use. 1/2 of Sprudge took his sugar plum there for Valentine’s Day dinner, and he’s still reeling from it. Clyde Common rules. Mid-range / Splurgey.
MiHo Izakaya (4057 N Interstate Ave) A gem located on Portland’s newly-less-terrifying Interstate Ave. It’s not your average sleek urban faux-Japanese izakaya; MiHo is Portland pub food, cooked by a Hawaiian guy, served by with a smile by a gregarious Southerner. It’s in a cute little house, and there’s a tatami room in the back for big groups. Get the pork belly, split an oilcan of Asahi with a friend, order the octopus salad, ask for recommendations, and tell ‘em Sprudge sent you! Mid-range.
Beaker & Flask (727 SE Washington St) Though the decor is regrettably ultra-lounge, Beaker and Flask makes a damn great cocktail, both classic (top-notch Vesper) and fancy (coconut milk ice cubes, anyone?). They are just as well-known for their food, which is at turns wildly inventive and subtle. A must for those who take their cocktails as seriously as their coffee. Splurgey.
Rum Club (720 SE Sandy Blvd) Kissing cousin to Beaker & Flask (they’re in the same building), this is the retro counterpoint to Beaker & Flasks chic schtick. Despite its name, this isn’t specifically a rum bar, although they do make a damn good mojito. Their food menu is intentionally small, and feels flown in wholesale from one of those Mad Men martini lunch scenes, all cocktail shrimp and egg salad sandwiches. A classy choice for post-competition libations. Splurgey.
Moloko Plus (3967 N Mississippi Ave) We adore this bar. Saltwater fish tanks, the best hot toddy in Portland, heated & covered back patio with plentiful outlets, cheap drinks, an exemplary embodiment of the Portland long-pour…Moloko is just the greatest. If you care, a significant portion of this website has been written from that bar in the last 15 months. We’ll meet you there. Cheap.
EaT: An Oyster Bar (3808 N Williams Ave): Mmm, oysters! EaT’s got ‘em for $1 a shuck, every day between 4-6pm. The rest of their menu is weirdly expensive, and the service is consistently meh, but who cares when there’s cheap, delicious, fresh Northwest oysters by the dozen. Yum! Cheap.
The Red Fox (5128 N Albina Ave): Bury our hearts at The Red Fox. This is the best bar food in Portland: get the steak with a wedge salad; get the tacos, two for $5; get the burger, because holy smokes, that burger, a fantasia of Painted Hills beef, blue cheese, bacon, and crisp lettuce, on just the most perfect bun. The Red Fox is the heart and soul of North Portland. If there’s a heaven, it contains the Fox’s front patio, where you can always find a seat to watch the night slink by. This place is all that’s right and good and true about our city, and we just love it. Cheap.
The Woodsman Tavern (4537 SE Division St.): Owned by Stumptown’s Duane Sorenson, though not technically affiliated with the Stump, this place is probably already on your radar as a place to visit during the USBC/SCAA Event week. The Woodsman Tavern is awesome, and it deserves its many accolades (most recently from GQ). If you go for beer or wine, you’ll be pleased with their selection, but their cocktail program is super-serious and worth more of your attention. A night here can vary pretty wildly in price, from their cheap selection of amazing bar snacks (venison sausage, fried duck wings, deviled eggs) to the glorious three-tiered $75 seafood platter. Mid-range to Splurgey.
Luc Lac (835 Sw 2nd Ave): This is your classic modern Portland story of a food cart done good, an offshoot of the long-standing Pho PDX empire given over to the family’s hipster prodigal son. The pho ga is sublime, and their cocktail program is awesome. Happy hour offers a sort of Vietnamese dim sum, with dozens of small plates prices in the $2-$3 range. Not everything about Luc Lac is perfect – we kind of resent having to grab our own soup spoons – and yet, we keep going back. Mid-range.
Original Oyster Bar (208 SW Ankeny St): Another charming shellfish stop, the Dan & Louis Original Oyster Bar is an institution, having been owned by the same family for more than 100 years. They offer a truly awesome oyster happy hour ($15.95 for a dozen top-flight shells), and the ambiance and sense of history can’t be beat. The bar doesn’t suck, either. For a real taste of old Portland, go here! Cheap.
Laurelhurst Market (3155 E Burnside St) Hands down the best steakhouse in Portland, we mostly use Laurelhurst Market for its awesome deli counter. Their steaks can’t go wrong, but they make what is perhaps the tastiest pork chop on earth, and the cocktails most assuredly do not suck. Splurgey.
Ate-Oh-Ate (2452 E Burnside St) 1/2 of Sprudge grew up in Hawaii, and upon first visit to Ate-Oh-Ate, he was taking pictures of the food and texting them to his mom. Get the saimin, get the curry katsu, get the loco moco, but whatever you do, order the daily poke special. Top quality meat and seafood from the same purveyors as Laurelhurst Market. Mid-range.
Tasty n Sons (Hub Bldg, 3808 N Williams) Also in the running for Portland’s best brunch, Tasty has the added bonus of being open for brunch service 7 days a week. This is a good thing, because trying to get a table here on Saturday or Sunday is a surefire two-hour disaster. Go for brunch on Thursday instead or something, and order whatever, it’s all really good. Their 3-5pm daily happy hour is another great use of the space, especially for their bar burger with smokey Oregon bleu cheese and bacon (only like $7). If you want to try them for dinner, do it, tables are easy to come by in the evening and the menu ranges from homey (awesome, brothy, pork-laden collard greens) to bistro-tastic (seriously tasty bouillabaisse). Mid-range.
Chop (3808 N Williams Ave) Located directly behind Tasty n Sons, Chop is another awesome Portland deli counter, with fresh sandwiches to order (lamb with harissa aioli) and daily specials (sometimes they have meatloaf!). It’s the little things that make Chop stand out: the pickled eggs; the house-made beef jerky; pre-packed Castellano olives swimming in their own oil; etc etc etc. Bring back a picnic of this stuff to the Convention Center, and watch your colleagues die of jealousy. Cheap.
Podnah’s Pit Barbecue (1625 NE Killingsworth) Very serious, nationally acclaimed Texas-style pit BBQ, recently awarded “Restaurant of the Year” by the Willamette Week. Even if you are from BBQ country, you will be impressed by Podnah’s, but don’t stray from the Texas specialties, because while they do begrudgingly offer Carolina-style pulled pork, it’s just so-so. This is what you should order: pork ribs, pickles, brisket, wings (if they have ‘em), rib tips (if they have ‘em), then whatever else you’re into (we’re not into sides, cos sides are for suckers – you realize how much time they’re putting into those ribs, right?). Great bourbon selection, too. Mid-range.
New Seasons, Whole Foods, the world’s greatest Fred Meyer, Zupan’s (all over, consult the map): Portland has plenty of grocery store options, each with their own kind of flare. Whole Foods is exactly what you’d expect. New Seasons is Portland’s quasi-locavore micro-chain, with pretty great off-the-shelf options, though frankly their prepared meals and hot counter is kind of weak. Zupan’s is like a fancier version of New Seasons, with an awesome wine selection and really good soup. Fred Meyer is a Pacific Northwest institution, sort of like a cross between Target and Safeway – their location on SE Hawthorne has a revolving sushi belt, and a make-your-own wings bar, and great produce.
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