40 Absolute Best Restaurants In Portland

One of the things we love most about the Portland dining scene is its wide array of culinary offerings. There's a restaurant to satisfy every palate, whether that's craving wood-fired pizza, classic French cuisine, Italian pasta, regional Mexican delights, Japanese sushi, or Thai flavors. Regardless of their specialty, Portland's chefs are known for their innovative spirit, following a farm-to-table approach and incorporating seasonal ingredients into their menus that showcase the local growing season. That leads to blending flavors together to craft dining experiences unique to the city.

While there are so many places to choose from, we tried to narrow down the field the best we could. Unfortunately, some beloved establishments, like Paley's Place and Beast, had to close during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we miss them dearly. However, the restaurant scene continues to evolve, with new restaurants emerging. These establishments captivate locals and visitors alike, offering everything from fancy, prix fixe meals that can never be repeated to cozy neighborhood eateries and establishments serving menu staples out of a humble food truck.

Sugarpine Drive-In

If you're looking for an excuse to explore the Gorge, head to the outer edges of Portland and grab lunch at this Troutdale drive-end. Sugarpine Drive-In fuses nostalgia of the beloved American drive-in restaurant with a Pacific Northwest farm-to-table spirit by sourcing pasture-raised meats and local, organic produce. Although the pulled pork Ruben is not-to-be-missed, you can't go wrong with any of the specials, which feature local chefs and locally-made components. Make sure to leave room for a sundae (the miso caramel topping is quite unique and tasty).

Bollywood Theater

We fell in love with Bollywood Theater's eclectic atmosphere from the moment we walked through the doors. The low-hanging lights, walls papered with movie posters, and mismatched chairs make us feel like we walked into a street market. When it comes to the menu, there's something for everyone here, from boldly spiced vegetarian vada pav (fried potato dumpling served on a roll with chutney) to the rich kati rolls (chicken, egg, pickled onion, and green chutney rolled in paratha). Come for the vibe but stay to experience India's vibrant street food scene.

Screen Door

Some Portlanders might tell you not to bother with Screen Door; it's popular with tourists, so you can wait over an hour for a table at brunch. But it's too full of Southern charm to avoid, and we've never had a bad meal there. Wait times have also improved since Screen Door opened a second location in the Pearl District, still serving up crispy fried chicken and waffles, fluffy buttermilk biscuits and gravy, and Lowcountry shrimp and grits. If brunch isn't your thing, stop by in the evening for cornmeal-crusted catfish or blackened local rockfish and crawfish etouffee.


What started as a food cart in SE Portland has expanded into a sandwich empire with four locations (including one in Las Vegas). Everything we've tried on the menu is fantastic, but we especially love the juicy porchetta sandwich and the dirty fries loaded with pork bits, Parmesan cheese, fresh herbs, and marinated peppers. Lardo is all about giving back to the Portland community, too. Every month, a rotating special Chefwich appears on the menu that's made in collaboration with local chefs. A portion of the proceeds benefits the chef's non-profit of choice.


Kalua pig, mochiko chicken, spam musubi, and mac salad — you'll find all the Hawaiian classics at this restaurant named after Hawaii's 808 area code. It's hard to choose between the classics or the menu's Asian favorites, like Korean chicken, kalbi short ribs, katsu pork, or teriyaki tofu. Ate-Oh-Ate also has one of our favorite burgers in town. The Aina burger features a hamburger patty topped with crispy pork belly, kimchi relish, shaved sweet onion, and spicy mayonnaise.

MoleMole Mexican Cuisine

It would be a mistake to overlook Portland's food truck scene when seeking out a restaurant — otherwise, you'd miss out on MoleMole Mexican Cuisine. Instead of handing over your order in styrofoam to-go boxes, you'll receive it on a gorgeous custom-made ceramic plate. The food on top is just as vibrant (including the orchid flower that's nestled on top of the smothered burritos). The menu is impossibly large; beyond the normal burritos and tacos are soups, enchiladas, chiles rellenos, and enchiladas. How they find room to prepare everything in the tiny cart is beyond us.

Duck House Chinese Restaurant

There's no shortage of affordable meal options near Portland State University, but Duck House Chinese Restaurant is more than cheap eats. It boasts enormous portions of authentic Szechuan dishes (and be careful; some are so spicy your mouth can become temporarily numb). The pork xiao long bao soup dumplings are some of the best in the city, and the beef rolls are stuffed with thinly sliced beef, scallions, and hoisin sauce — a serious upgrade to regular pancakes. For the vegetarians in the group, you'll find several fantastic noodle and vegetable dishes on the menu.

Matt's BBQ

You'll get hungry as you approach this food cart and the aroma of the burning oak wafts down the street. It's doing Texas barbecue right, serving low-and-slow meats and a solid set of side dishes on a butcher paper-lined tray. The ribs are juicy, and the pulled pork tender, but our favorites are the fatty brisket and jalapeño cheddar sausage. Those in the know order the tacos, which are so popular that Matt's opened two dedicated taco carts. The barbecue here does sell out (especially on busy weekends), so make sure to get there early.

Mama Bird

We've come to expect fantastic food from Top-Chef alums, and Gabriel Pascuzzi's wood-fired grilled chicken joint doesn't disappoint. Mama Bird's wood-fired chicken is juicy and succulent on its own, and it's made even better with the flavorful sauce options. We really don't know which is our favorite: the tangy chimichurri, smooth and creamy aji verde, smoky garlic miso, aromatic vadouvan curry, spicy pineapple habanero hot, or the funky Thai sauce. If chicken isn't your thing, swing by on the weekend for the brunch specials instead.

OK Omens

This wine-focused restaurant was a 2023 James Beard Foundation nominee for Outstanding Wine Program. It is not only one of the best places in Portland to drink wine, but its eclectic menu has a snack to pair with every varietal. Keep it casual with snacks like oysters on the half-shell, fried chicken bites, or the white cheddar beignets that we still can't stop thinking about. For a more substantial meal, you can't go wrong with the cured duck legs. The meat is so tender it literally falls off the bone.

Bar Casa Vale

Bar Casa Vale manages to merge the essence of traditional Spanish tapas with the flavors of the Pacific Northwest. It sources its seafood from the Pacific Ocean, meat from Northwest ranches, and produce from local farms. The ambiance is perfect for a cozy date night, but the family-style menu makes it equally ideal for a lively gathering with friends. It'll be a great night whether you split a paella or order a handful of pintxos and tapas to share with the table.

Cafe Olli

This employee-owned company has a seasonal focus, so don't get too attached to the specials, because they are very likely to change. In addition to making some of our favorite pizza in all of Portland, the all-day café also uses its wood-fired, brick hearth to fire off breakfast sandwiches and whipped ricotta toast in the morning. Cafe Olli is also a great supporter of the Portland community, hosting pop-up events for aspiring chefs.

Magna Kusina

Although Portland restaurants celebrate a lot of food diversity, Magna Kusina is one of the few Filipino restaurants in the city. We'd say it's doing it right: Chef Carlos Lamagna was named one of Food and Wine's best new chefs in 2021 and a 2022 James Beard best chef finalist. The menu features classic dishes like lumpia eggrolls, but we love the street food-inspired charcoal-grilled skewers (tuhog) best. In addition to meat skewers, you'll also find several seafood and vegetable options for the vegetarians in the group.


Most Mexican restaurants have tacos, burritos, and enchiladas, but Güero focuses on the torta. These traditional Mexican sandwiches feature meat or vegetables piled high on toasted bolillo buns, and they're craftily constructed to include creamy, crunchy, savory, and tangy elements. The end result is a perfect bite, whether you choose the meaty pork ahogado, eggy breakfast desayuno, or the vegetarian masa y papa that was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. For those avoiding grains or gluten, a bowl option is also available.

Lovely's Fifty Fifty

Lovely's Fifty Fifty makes some of the best pizza in Portland. We love the sourdough crust's notably tart, almost funky flavor, but the local focus is what really makes Lovely's shine. The produce is sourced exclusively from Oregon farms, and the menu is ever-changing. You'll find pizzas featuring nettles and black trumpet mushrooms in the spring, corn and tomatoes in the summer, chanterelle mushrooms and kohlrabi in the fall, and potatoes and kale in the winter. The salads are phenomenal here, too, and make sure to save some room for the homemade ice cream.


This North Portland café is one of our favorite brunch destinations, so we were ecstatic when it started serving dinner in 2021. This neighborhood gem is so cozy, it feels like you've stopped over to a friend's house for a chat. From breakfast to dinner, the menu celebrates local ingredients. While the dishes may sound simple, the utmost care is taken in preparation, and every plate is as delicious as it is gorgeous. For those with a sweet tooth, check out the pastry case; every single thing we've tried from there is phenomenal (especially the salted honey pie).


This Yucatecan-focused restaurant is a relative newcomer to the Portland food scene, but it has quickly risen to the top of our list. You won't be disappointed by the massive burritos here, but we recommend focusing on the Yucatan specialties like panuchos and salbutes. The latter features hand-made tortillas, fried to perfection, while the former is filled with beans and a variety of savory meats. The tamales here are also incredible, so you may want to bring a friend to try all three.

Master Kong

Portland has many dumpling houses, and Master Kong's two locations are among our favorites. The handmade pork dumplings are soft and savory, the texture is so crisp on the fried Chinese-style pot stickers, and the soup-filled xiao long bao come served in individual cups to catch the excess liquid. Beyond the dumplings, Master Kong has other street food favorites, like the "meat folder" (also known as rou jia mo, or a Chinese hamburger) and an incredible Jianbing, a savory crepe filled with egg, pickled radish, herbs, and a crispy wonton cracker.

Casa Zoraya

This cozy restaurant captures the spirit of Peru in so many ways, from the aroma of roasted peppers permeating the dining room to the cushion-lined chairs made from vibrant, eye-catching textiles you'll find at a South American market. The ají amarillo pepper weaves itself throughout the menu, bringing a medium heat and a unique flavor to dishes like ceviche, empanadas, and rich meat dishes. For us, the lomo saltado criollo (stir-fried top sirloin in a savory sauce) is the real standout on the menu, but we also love going family style and sharing a variety of small plates.

Nong's Khao Man Gai

When we tell friends about Nong's Khao Man Gai, we describe it as "life-changing chicken." They usually don't believe us when they realize it's a counter-service restaurant. But you'll understand the hype after a single bite of this iconic chicken and rice dish. It's simple but flavorful. The sauce it serves on the side is so popular, the restaurant started bottling it and selling it to-go. There are a few other menu items at this Thai restaurant, but we can't help but order the chicken every time.


We originally came to Jacqueline for the raw bar — we thought we'd never see $1 happy hour oysters in this economy. But we stayed for the relaxed environment and a menu filled with bold but balanced flavors. The lobster buns are a perfect example of how Jacqueline fuses classic dishes with global inspiration, brightening up a buttery lobster with yuzu aioli and adding a funky, spicy character with Thai nam jim. If everything on the menu sounds good, be bold and let the chef choose with the "Let us cook for you" family-style option.

Hat Yai

Hat Yai isn't your traditional Thai restaurant. It draws inspiration from Southern Thai street food, and the fried chicken is some of the best we've ever had. It's shatteringly crispy and infused with shallots and Thai spices in every bite. Order it as a combo so you can dip it into the side of Malayu-style curry. That also lets you try the restaurant's handmade crispy roti (Thai pan-fried bread). The two locations feature different specials, so it's worth visiting both to try out what's new in the Hat Yai kitchen.


This vegetable-focused restaurant celebrates how Mediterranean flavors come together with Pacific Northwest ingredients. It's no surprise to see seasonal specials and locally-sourced produce on the menu; Tusk is owned by Submarine Hospitality (the restaurant group responsible for other Portland greats like Ava Genes, The Woodsman Tavern, and Cicoria Pizzeria). At Tusk, our favorite way to order is by mixing and matching dishes in the mezze selection, adding on a main or two depending on the size of the group. If ordering individually is more your jam, the salads are always filled with fresh and vibrant ingredients.

Gado Gado

Gado Gado is more than just a culinary experience; between the colorful wallpaper and the screamin' floral pattern on the tablecloths, you can't help but feel as if you've been transported to a tropical island. Of course, the ambiance alone isn't enough to feel satisfied, and luckily Gado Gado makes some fantastic dishes. The menu changes frequently, from the Dutch-Indonesian-inspired Rice Dinner series to prix fixe Singaporean crab dinners. No matter what you order, you can be sure it's filled with bold flavors and fresh ingredients inspired by the chef's travels throughout Southeast Asia.

Scotch Lodge

Portland whiskey drinkers rejoiced when former Multnomah Whiskey Library curator Tommy Klus opened Scotch Lodge in 2019, and it didn't take long for it to get national recognition. By 2021, Esquire had named it on its list of best bars in the country. Beyond the rare whiskey bottles, the bar snacks are painstakingly crafted so they're bold enough to hold up to the most assertive cocktails on the menu (but light enough to keep your palate from being weighed down). Look to the soft-shell crab sandwich with white kimchi and crispy shallots for a more substantial bite.

Afuri Ramen

This Tokyo-based ramen chain has several locations worldwide, but Afuri Ramen chose to expand to Portland because of the water. CEO Taichi Ishizuki told PDX Monthly that he "went on a trip across the U.S. just looking for waters." Portland water (sourced from the Bull Run Watershed) has a similar pH to the water in Japan, making it ideal for its nuanced ramen broth. It's hard to go wrong with the delicate and subtle yuzu shoyu (the restaurant's signature dish), but we also love creamy, spicy hazelnut tantanmen (which also happens to be vegan-friendly).


Berlu has one of the best Vietnamese-inspired multi-course tasting menus in the city. The restaurant only offers two seatings a night, and you probably won't know what's on the menu until you arrive. Rest assured that Chef Vince Nguyen (a 2022 James Beard best chef Northwest semi-finalist) rarely disappoints. Former menus include exciting dishes like pâté made with wild Oregon albacore, nem lui nướng (pork belly sausage grilled with lemongrass), or tamarind sorbet with bay leaf and pineapple kombucha.


Lechon is located on the Willamette River in downtown Portland, and the waterfront views are spectacular from the patio on a sunny summer day. Don't worry if you're seated inside; you'll still have a view of the giant jellyfish fish tanks. The South American-inspired menu features several classic tapas (empanadas, ceviche, and an incredibly tender grilled octopus). It also innovates, like the Peruvian fried chicken bites tossed in fermented hot honey, or the foraged mushroom dish that's an ode to the Pacific Northwest. Both dishes are available at happy hour, which boasts a very attractive price point.

Ox Restaurant

Plan on dinner at Ox Restaurant when you're in the mood for big, bold flavors. The menu prominently features grilled meats, from steak and flanken-cut short ribs to pork and lamb chops. There are plenty of fantastic vegetable dishes on the menu, too — all infused with the same grilled, smoky essence as the meat — so the hardest part of the night will be ordering with restraint. You may think you won't have room for any appetizers, but we highly recommend the clam chowder with smoked marrow bone. It's unlike any chowder we've had.


Tercet is the perfect place to go for special events or upscale date nights. The prix fixe menu is set at $150 per person, but it's absolutely worth every penny. Every bite is a delight, playing on your imagination with textures and flavors that don't necessarily match your expectations. The courses are delicately balanced, but they're packed with fine-dining ingredients like caviar. Don't worry; this is still Portland, so you don't need to be dressed to the nines to get in. Just make sure you have a reservation — that is a must.

Han Oak

We've had plenty of table-side dining experiences, but none like Han Oak. Available by reservation only, the tasting menu features a modern version of Korean hot pot. The broth is deep and rich, and the dry-aged and koji-cured meats become so tender they melt in your mouth as you chew. Paired with flavorful dipping sauces and homemade dumplings, this is a meal you'll be thinking about for a while. If you're there late enough, you may also get to partake in a spontaneous karaoke session — an experience that brought us right back to late nights in Seoul.


When the craving for Italian food hits, head to Nostrana. The menu celebrates proven flavors prepared with a homestyle feel like your nonna prepared them. The antipasti plates are gorgeously presented, the perfectly-sauced pasta is made in-house, and the pizza has the ideal level of char around the edges. If you're hungry enough, go all in with the Bistecca alla Costata — a 2.5-pound bone-in ribeye. Make sure you have enough time, though; this dish takes 45 minutes to prepare.


When we first walked into Nimblefish, we weren't sure if we were still in Portland or if we had been transported to Tokyo. The tiny restaurant only has 12 seats, all nestled up to the counter where the sushi is prepared to order. The menu is a $95 omakase experience (omakase means "I leave it up to you," or another way to say chef's choice). Unlike most tasting menus, Nimblefish also has an a la carte menu, so you can order additional items if something specific speaks to you.


What do you get when you cross barbecue and Thai? You get Eem restaurant. The menu items are exciting, the cocktails are vibrant (and strong), and the casual vibe behind the experience will leave you with a smile on your face. Your slushy cocktail could be topped with a rubber ducky, or it might be served in a gigantic pufferfish glass. When it comes to food, the signature dish is the classic barbecue brisket burnt ends reimagined by swimming in smoky white curry, but the smoked lamb massaman curry is a sleeper favorite.

Ken's Artisan Pizza

Ken's Artisan Pizza was named the number two pizzeria in the world by Big7 Travel, for good reason. The crust is perfectly charred from the oven's open flame, the toppings are craftily chosen to accentuate the dough and sauce, and the mozzarella is hand-stretched in house. You'll also find salads made with produce from the farmers market on the menu, along with vegetables and some of the best meatballs in town roasted in the centerpiece wood-fired oven. Nothing is too over the top here, but it's not so subtle that you won't leave craving more.


This reservation-only, omakase dining experience is extremely expensive — $250 per person — so this is not a casual, everyday dinner. It couldn't be, even if you could afford it; tickets into Nodoguro are notoriously hard to get, so you have to be ready to hit the "reserve" button as soon as they're released for the month. The ever-changing, multi-course menu could include up to 25 courses over the course of about three hours, and you'll definitely leave satisfied with the knowledge that you've captured the best of Japan made with Pacific Northwest ingredients.


Kachka has been capturing our hearts with dishes from the former Soviet Union since 2014. This is the place to go if you've been meaning to try a few different vodkas — it has over 50 options, including the horseradish-infused vodka it makes in-house. It's also the ideal place to get quintessential Russian dishes like pelmeni dumplings and rich, flavorful borscht. If you're ready to branch out and try new things, order the Ruxkie Zakuski Experience. This tasting menu features a variety of cold dishes, including Kachka's iconic seven-layer herring "under a fur coat" salad.

Langbaan / Phuket Cafe

Portland gets a two-for-one in this Northwest space: an elegant Thai tasting menu in Langbaan and its more casual sister restaurant, Phuket Cafe. It's impossible to say which is "better" because both offer an immersive experience with bold Thai flavors presented in fun new ways. The fancier prix fixe Langbaan experience is available with reservations three nights a week while Phuket Cafe is open every evening. Regardless of where you dine, make sure to check out some of the creative options on the cocktail menu.

Le Pigeon

You'll find plenty of iconic French dishes on the menu at Le Pigeon, and the tasting menu experience certainly fits the bill for fine dining. But what you won't encounter is the stuffiness normally associated with this type of dining experience. The open kitchen displays tattooed chefs preparing classic dishes made with a notable Pacific Northwest spin. No matter what you do, do not leave without trying the foie gras profiteroles — a rich and decadent dessert that's filled with duck liver instead of the traditional custard or pastry cream.


Kann is not only one of Portland's best restaurants, but it's also arguably the most challenging to get into, too. Top Chef alum and James Beard award-winning chef Gregory Gourdet didn't only bring Haitian food to Portland when he opened Kann; it seems he also brought a piece of his soul. The dishes are masterfully constructed, and we love that the cocktail menu features several innovative zero-proof cocktails. The griyo (Haiti's national dish) is a must-order on the starter menu. The slow-cooked pork is so tender, and the pikliz pickled cabbage has just the right level of spice.