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Grassa Northwest Portland
Alan Weiner

The 18 best restaurants in Portland, Oregon

Dive into dishes that feature regional produce and multicultural influences at the best restaurants in Portland

Written by
Caitlin Sakdalan
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Portland, Oregon’s penchant for artisanal extends from restaurants and bakeries to crafts, clothing and beer. The city’s location means it has a wealth of local ingredients at its disposal, plus plenty of chefs with the talent and vision to create memorable meals. The best restaurants in Portland are showcases for both local ingredients and the multitude of cultures represented within the city.

The best things to do in Portland are a little quirky, and so are the restaurants. Portland is a food truck town, where chefs can hone their skills, introduce new flavors or just get a little weird with their wares. While many food trucks remain consistent favorites, many food truck chefs have graduated to open their own restaurants. Whether you’re looking for farm-to-table, Filipino, Vietnamese or French (and anything else you can think of), Portland’s restaurants have it. From buzzy new spots to longtime favorites, fine dining to budget-friendly, here are Portland, Oregon’s top restaurants.

Best restaurants in Portland

This cozy French cafe serves up hearty, rustic fare featuring regional products and influenced by the flavors of Lyon. Get transported to a Lyonnaise bouchon in the buzzy dining area (both inside and out) as you dine from a daily menu featuring dishes like pâté en croûte, escargot, whole roasted poussin and steak frites.

Grassa is a pasta lover’s dream and true local treasure serving artisanal handmade pastas at affordable prices. Try not to drool at the options like cacio e pepe with truffle butter or pork belly mac and cheese. The food seems like it’s meant to be at an upscale Italian/New American restaurant, but the aesthetic is no frills, with fast-casual service. Be ready to be simultaneously confused and delightfully fulfilled.

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Both the dough (sourdough with Pacific Northwest grain) and cheese for Gracie's pizzas are house-made, resulting in an out-of-this-world pie. While the humble joint is understated, the pizza, sides and homemade ice creams all shine. The popular spot closes once sold out, so get there early.

Looking for amazing guisados? This market and deli is the top spot in Portland. House made tortillas are the perfect vehicle for stewy meats and other fillings. Don't miss the cactus salad. If you can't get enough, take home a pint of a guisado or two, plus some tortillas, and you'll be all set.

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Peruvian cuisine is on full display at this Piedmont spot. Fresh, cool ceviches are skillfully prepared and presented alongside crunchy fried calamari, Peruvian fried rice dishes, succulent meats and other dishes studded with peppers. Don't miss the expertly-made Pisco sours.

Tusk brings bright and beautiful Middle Eastern cuisine in an equally playful and aesthetically pleasing space. With so many delightful dishes it can be hard to decide, which is why there's a "try everything on the menu" option! Don't overlook the vegetables, and be sure to try at least one selection from the artistic cocktail menu.

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With humble beginnings as a food cart on SW 10th & Alder St., Nong’s only offered Khao Man Gai with poached chicken, chicken stock based jasmine rice, soothing soup, cucumbers, cilantro and an addictive sauce you’ll want on everything. While the original cart still stands, their newer locations have an exciting expanded menu.

Start with a classic, authentic Cuban cocktail before making your way through the menu. At this vibrant, soulful Latin spot you'll find dishes that accentuate bright, citrus qualities as well as rich heartiness. Brace your second stomach for their equally fantastic homemade dessert.

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Hat Yai captures authentic, home-cooked food from the Southern region of Thailand that borders Malaysia, beautifully mixing Thai and Malaysian cuisine. Their specialty: fried chicken with sticky rice, Malay-style curry and roti, a dish that is both hearty yet balanced with strong flavors and varying textures. Order this and their other dishes, which are all winners.

Tokyo’s popular and fantastic ramen chain made its first international outpost in Portland. Why? Afuri praises Portland’s proximity to a pure water source best for their famous yuzu shio broth. Unlike its Tokyo predecessors, the Portland locations offer other traditional Japanese dishes as well. From sushi to tsukune, Afuri puts as much thoughtfulness and precision into these dishes as they do their ramen.

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When you’re craving downright Southern Comfort food and vibes, Screen Door is your answer. Celebrated for their buttermilk fried chicken and sweet potato waffle (which is a must), they also offer other delightful dishes like the creamy, gooey Mac N Cheese. With a welcoming vibe and hearty fare, it's no wonder this spot is consistently packed.

Affordable, delicious, and with Hawaiian vibes all round, need we say more? Plates come heaped full of island goodness here, with a hint of Japanese cuisine thrown in. From kalua pig and teriyaki chicken to kal-bi ribs and loco moco, you'll be carried away to a tropical paradise, happy and full.

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This neat and friendly little café makes much of its offerings in-house. Sweedeedee is a popular hangout, so prepare for queues. Pop in for breakfast or lunch with your pals, your parents or even your pooch. Pies are the star here: made with an all-butter crust, fillings include salted honey and Marion berry, as well as the classics and seasonal options.

Go here for fantastic Mexican food with a unique and fresh Pacific Northwest twist. The Buenos Dias breakfast comes with their local, smoked bacon which is sweet, smoky, fatty, and exactly what you want for a good morning. Mexican classics fill the lunch and dinner menus. There are plenty of vegan and gluten-free options too.

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Famous for their biscuits, it’s a super casual and gratifying Southern comfort spot. From crazy, over-the-top creations to Southern classics, Pine State Biscuits is your ideal morning solution to fuel up for the day (or soak up any regrettable alcohol from the night before). With multiple locations around the city, it's easy to dive in to this fluffy delight. 

Ava Gene’s is for serious food lovers looking to indulge in authentic yet innovative Roman-Italian cuisine. The restaurant focuses on seasonally relevant ingredients from local producers and offers an ever-changing menu. Order at least one of its house-made pasta dishes and something from the extensive wine list, which is a carefully curated love letter between the West Coast and Italy.

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The extensive menu makes it easy to explore Vietnamese cuisine. The restaurant is  named for the popular dish bò lúc lắc, a French-influenced sautéed beef dish. It's definitely worth a try, but you're sure to find something flavorful and delcious among the many other offerings.

From the speciality flavors that change each month to the classics you can only get in Portland (like the subtle Arbequina olive oil), it is worth visiting where it all began. Although technically not a restaurant, you can order an ice cream tasting flight to sample various flavors and call it dinner. Two birds, one stone.

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