Portland, Oregon has many things to enjoy from outdoor activities to all kinds of tax-free shopping opportunities. The cultural offerings are expansive as well, offering people the chance to enjoy visual arts, live music, theater, museums, galleries, film festivals and much more. If you love science and animals you can enjoy the OMSI or go to the Portland Zoo and see the fascinating animals there. Outdoor lovers can enjoy parks filled with flowers and meticulously manicured gardens to waterfront activities as well including hiking trails, observing wildlife or even paddling on a secluded bay somewhere.
Nightlife opportunities for the night owls are numerous including dance clubs and comedy that will provide plenty of entertainment. There are even fun bowling venues and karaoke to enjoy as well. If you love to shop, one of the most exciting things about Portland is that everything, from designer items to handmade goods is tax-free, making this city one of the most favored places to shop and really save some money too.
Of course in a bustling city like this, it is paradise for the foodie in everyone. The area is known for its support of the local farmers, growers and ranchers and it is common practice to find tons of restaurants that feature dishes that come straight from the local farmers and ranchers. You will be able to enjoy everything from foot carts on the busy streets to incredible, fine dining restaurants that will make every occasion something special. We have provided you with a list of the best places to eat in Portland that will be the perfect Launchpad for your culinary adventure.
Portland City Grill
Visit: Portland City Grill
This award-winning restaurant provides guests with incredible views of Portland as well as the Cascade Mountains from its location on the 30th floor of the US Bancorp building. You will be able to enjoy all kinds of deliciously prepared steaks, freshly made salads and other offerings including the fresh seafood that is prepared daily by Executive Chef Amanda Sullivan and her team. The food served at Portland City is made witha distinct Asian, Island and Northwest influence. The restaurant team is super attentive to the guests’ needs, and they are dedicated to providing every guest with a memorable and special dining experience. They have a large selection of great steaks including those that come from the local Double R Ranch that has their signature program where they get their delicious New York Strips and they also serve a dry-aged Top Sirloin that is Certified Angus beef. These steaks will change the way you feel about every steak you’ve ever eaten before. Portland City Grill has several private dining rooms that offer incredible views that make any event more special. These private dining rooms can accommodate as many as 120 people seated or 175 cocktail style or as small and intimate as 6. Whatever your occasion, Portland City Grill will make sure the experience is a great one with great service and incredible food.
Visit: Andina Restaurant
Andina has become one of the area’s top Peruvian restaurants and continues to gain in popularity within this engaging city. The inspiration that Andina uses to create their dishes comes from the culinary traditions of Peru as well as the talented, leading chefs of that region as well. The Owner of Andina, Doris Rodriguez de Platt works with her team of talented chefs and cooks to create a menu that celebrates her Andean roots, combining the techniques and innovations from Novo-Andean and Criollo cuisines. The result is a menu filled with delicious dishes such as the Corderito De Los Andes, featuring local lamb chops that are grilled to order and served alongside a Peruvian potato-and-two-cheese timbale with a demi-glace of roasted pepper and a green salad, or the tasty Lomo Saltado which has Cascade beef tenders that are fried in the wok with tomatoes, onions, garlic, oyster sauce and aji Amarillo. This is served with Yukon Gold papas fritas and yummy garlic rice. The staff at Andina has a mission to provide their guests with a feast that they can gather and enjoy that exhibits the richness of the Peruvian spirit. Their hospitality and attention to detail when it comes to décor, service and every other aspect of your dining experience will leave you wanting to return again soon.
Jake’s Famous Crawfish
Visit: Jake’s Famous Crawfish
Jake’s Famous Crawfish is considered one of the top ten seafood restaurants in the United States and for good reason. It has been a Portland landmark in downtown for over 110 years. The menu is filled with a variety of fresh seafood and fish that is flown in on a daily basis, making a statement to their guests that they are dedicated to using only the freshest, Pacific Northwest products that have been carefully selected and prepared in a traditional presentation that is sure to please. A few of the delicious choices you will get to enjoy include Chinook salmon that has been stuffed with fresh crab, Oregon Dungeness crab, an excellent selection of delicious prime steaks, tasty poultry dishes, mouthwatering pasta dishes and much more. You’ll definitely have a hard time deciding which one to try. Jake’s bar is a popular place to gather and relax for the locals and the visitors love it too. You can order a variety of cocktails that are hand-shaken and made from fresh-squeezed juices or choose from their extensive wine and beer list. It is the perfect place for meeting friends, family or even business associates. Jake’s is dedicated to striving for the highest quality possible in all aspects of your dining experience including the service, food, drinks and ambience. The service they provide is based on making sure that every staff member is knowledgeable, people-oriented and friendly. No one matches Jake’s Famous Crawfish Restaurant’s commitment to service excellence.
Mother’s Bistro and Bar
Visit: Mother’s Bistro and Bar
Mother’s Bistro and Bar is all about traditional home cooking. Their goal is to create and prepare dishes that are just like “mom’s” only better. Everything is made from scratch using the best quality, freshest ingredients such as Cascade Natural Beef, Pacific Northwest wild salmon and Carlton Farms pork. Their dishes include such favorites as slow-cooked dumplings, roasts, stews and dishes that are braised as well. They use the finest European-style butter in everything they bake and cook as well. Every month, they feature a Mother of the Month (M.O.M) and bring some of the special dishes that mom prepares into the Mother’s Bistro to share with our guests. Mother’s is a labor of love, created by a working mom that wanted to provide a place where people could get home-cooked style meals even if they didn’t have time to cook. She called this kind of food “Mother food”. Mother’s has grown from a 90 seat restaurant to the Portland favorite it is today. It has won countless awards and recognition and continues to be a favorite spot for visitors to the area and locals as well.
Visit: Screen Door
Screen Door is all about the revival of regional American food that spans from Lowcountrystyle dishes from South Carolina to the soul food and one-pot Cajun cooking to the more refined French and Creole food that is found all over New Orleans. Screen Door celebrates Southern cuisine and offers it to Portland locals and visitors by serving the best in local, organic and natural foods that are gathered straight from the garden or farm. They integrate the local fresh foods that are found in the Pacific Northwest into their dishes and create something truly taste-worthy. Screen Door serves breakfast, lunch and dinner each week day as well as serving brunch and dinner on Saturday and Sunday. You’ll be able to choose from a menu that includes such delicious selections as the Lowcountry breakfast shrimp grits for breakfast or the Crispy fried catfish Po-boy for lunch. For dinner you can choose from selections that include Crispy fried buttermilk-battered chicken or the braised pork shoulder. With all of these delicious choices, the hardest part is figuring out which to try first.
Urban Farmer Steakhouse
Visit: Urban Farmer Steakhouse
Urban Farmer Steakhouse, located in the Nines Hotel, redefines the traditional steakhouse, proving guests with an ambience that honors quaint décor and mid-20th century modernism. The best description for the beautiful and unique décor used in Urban Farmer is country chic. They use reclaimed and modern materials including a communal table that is a whopping 20 feet long that was sourced from an old Douglas Fir tree. The menu is full of delicious foods that focus on sustainable ingredients that are sourced from the Northwest. They are prepared in a simple way that focuses on taste and not complicated techniques. There are a number of beef options that include corn-fed beef, grass-fed beef, and pasture-raised and grain-finished beef. Urban Farmer Steakhouse offers breakfast, lunch and dinner every day as well as a daily happy hour. There is also a popular weekend brunch on the weekends that includes a Bloody Mary bar. The Chef of Urban Farmer, Matt Christianson, is focused on redefining the modern steakhouse by supporting the use of sustainable ingredients from the NW in his dishes. The taste is incredible and the atmosphere is welcoming as well as relaxing. You will enjoy everything about Urban Farmer Steakhouse.
Pok Pok PDX
Visit: Pok Pok PDX
At Pok Pok PDX the style of food is meant to be eaten in what is known as family-style. The dishes served here are inspired by Northern and Northeast Thailand as well as some dishes from Southeast Asia. This means everyone shares all the dishes that are on the table. The dishes that Pok Pok serves are best served with rice. The Northern and Northeastern Thai dishes are best with sticky rice and the Southern Thai and Central dishes are best with jasmine rice. The Thailand method for eating this type of food is with a spoon and fork. The process is simple; just use the spoon to eat and the fork to push the food onto the spoon. It is simple and makes eating this type of cuisine easy and unique as well. Traditionally, many of the foods served at Pok Pok are meant to be eaten with your hands such as the skewers of food, the sticky rice and the grilled meat. Your servers are more than happy to explain it to you if you want to try the full Thailand dining experience. The recommended ordering amount that Pok Pok recommends for their unique, family style dining is to order one to two dishes per person that is dining along with accompanying rice. That provides plenty of food for everyone in your party to pass around and try. This is a great way to taste several different types of dishes as well. Come to Pok Pok PDX and have fun with your family and friends experiencing Thailand food the way that it is eaten and served in Thailand. It will make for a really unique and enjoyable (as well as tasty) evening.
Visit: The Original
The 50s and 60s diners were social places that people of all ages would gather for great food, great conversation and time spent together. The menus of these diners were filled with comfort foods that were brought to the country by those who came here from other worlds. The Original renews the diner spirit for the 21st century by serving fun, innovative variations on the classics in a cool, stylish atmosphere that is sure to please and delight. There are plenty of spacious booths to enjoy or you can even stretch out on the luxury, retro banquette for a more elegant dinner. The bar encourages relaxation and comfort with its candle-lit tables, making it the perfect place for an after dinner cocktail. The staff, including the chefs and the servers, love food and it is a love that shows by the carefully prepared, tasty food they offers their guests. The Original offers many different selections to choose from including such delicious options as their soup of the day which can range from New England clam chowder or the yummy tomato soup. They also offer salads, burgers, sandwiches, pastas, a large variety of breakfast entrees, milk shakes and much more. There is something for everyone at The Original.
Por Que No
Visit: Por Que No
The goal of the staff at Por Que No is to support the local community using local meats, line caught fish and other ingredients from the local areas. They even use recycled materials in their remodeling and decorating. They strive to offer their guests the best quality food that they can from local places such as Carlton Farms for pork, Draper Valley Farms for chicken, Cascade Natural for beef and Viridian Farms for produce whenever they can, including for their fresh squeezed juices. You can order from a delicious selection of carnitas, tacos, quesadillas, and salads as well as ordering a tasty cocktail like the Pomegranate margarita. They never use farmed seafood and cook in rice bran oil to provide guests with a healthier result. This oil is GMO free, low in saturated fat and is high in antioxidants as well. There is plenty to enjoy and try at Por Que No. Come try their food, their delicious cocktails and experience their friendly and welcoming service as well.
Visit: Podnah’s Barbecue
Slow-cooked barbecue can’t be beat when it comes to mouth-watering taste that will make you weak in the knees. At Podnah’s Barbecue, all of the meats they use for their menu are slow cooked over 100% oak. They never use charcoal, electric, or gas assistance to cook the meats. Every morning at 5:00 in the morning, they are there, cooking the meat that they will serve to guests that evening at dinner. The Owner of Podhah’s, Rodney, is committed to the old way of cooking barbecue that has been around for decades. You don’t mess with the Texas way of cooking barbecue. What this means for Podnah’s is that they only use high quality meats, they prepare the food fresh daily, they only use honest oak hardwood to cook with, and they never pre-cook the meat. Once the meat for the day is gone, that’s it until tomorrow. Choose from such delicious barbecue favorites as Brisket, Chicken, Pork Ribs and even Smoked Trout. They offer a number of sides and several sauces too. At Podnah’s Barbecue, you may come hungry, in fact the staff wants that, but you will never leave hungry.