Portland Dining Guide: 4 Delicious Neighborhoods to Get to Know in the PDX

Portland, Oregon, is one of America’s top cities for foodies. It was an early adopter of the trends you now see everywhere: farm to table, food carts, and locally-produced beers and spirits. Travel + Leisure ranked Portland as one of their top 10 food cities – ahead of New York and Chicago. Thrillist puts it in their five best places for great grub.

The sheer volume of amazing restaurants in Portland can make it tough to choose where to go first. To make the food scene less overwhelming, we scouted four neighborhoods that are home to some of the city’s best eateries for a delicious Portland dining guide. Focus your food tourism in these areas and you can’t go wrong.


When Portland was making the transition from rough-and-tumble port town to hipster paradise, the Pearl District was one of the first neighborhoods that put it on the map. It remains a must-visit for anyone looking for quality noshes. Irving St. Kitchen combines Southern comfort food and classic French techniques with magnifique results. Peruvian food is still one of the hottest new cuisines to capture Americans’ imaginations in recent years, and Andina is the best place to get it in Portland. For more tips on the Pearl District, visit http://explorethepearl.com/. And click here to find more great restaurants near the Pearl District.

Portland Dining Guide


I lived off SE Division when I first moved to Portland in 2001, and it was tough to score a decent meal in the neighborhood. Today it’s known as Restaurant Row and is home to many of Portland’s best eateries. Ava Gene’s was named one of the country’s best new restaurants by Bon Appétit in 2013 and is still winning raves for dishes using the finest Northwest-produced veggies and meats.

If it’s fresh Pacific Northwest seafood you’re craving, B&T Oyster Bar is one of the best bets in town. You can also try to score a seat at Roe, which is located directly behind B&T. Their seven-course, prix-fixe menu is worth the splurge.

Portland Dining Guide


Another up-and-coming ‘hood in southeast Portland is the Central Eastside Industrial District. Don’t let the often-bland storefronts in this still-gritty area fool you; the food you’ll find inside these restaurants is truly special. Le Pigeon, a French-inspired restaurant with a firm commitment to sourcing from local farms, has been one of the city’s must-visit dinner spots for years. Also, Renata was voted 2015 restaurant of the year by The Oregonian newspaper. Its homey atmosphere and quality cuisine from two former French Laundry chefs are likely to help it remain a favorite. Italian restaurant Nostrana is helmed by Cathy Whims, who’s won more awards than you can shake a smoky rotisserie drumstick at and is absolutely worth a visit.

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2015 100 Best Restaurants for Foodies in America + 16 Delicious Instagrammable Dishes

The results of our most delicious annual awards are in! Work up an appetite and make a reservation at one of the OpenTable 2015 100 Best Restaurants for Foodies in America. These awards reflect the combined opinions of more than 5 million restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 20,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Showcasing both new and established restaurants in some of the nation’s most rapidly growing dining destinations, the complete list features winning restaurants in 22 states and the District of Columbia, and includes Al’s Place in San Francisco, La Vara in Brooklyn, and Parachute in Chicago. The honorees show a commitment to local, sustainable sourcing and the creation of craft cocktails, soulful plates, many of which are finished in wood-fired ovens, and warm hospitality. Check out these 16 dishes from the winning restaurants that should be on every foodie’s must-try list.

Newer restaurants proved most popular, with a quarter of the eateries having opened in 2015 alone, and the majority of honorees were founded in the last five years. Restaurants serving American fare dominate the awards; however, the list represents cuisines from every corner of the globe, including Asian, Basque, French, Israeli, Mexican, Middle Eastern, and Scandinavian. Geographically speaking, New York has 12 winning restaurants, followed by California with 11, Texas with nine, and Minnesota and Oregon with eight each. Colorado, Illinois, and Pennsylvania each have six honorees, while Washington boasts five. Arizona, Louisiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Virginia have three each. Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Tennessee, Washington, D.C., and Wisconsin all have two eateries. Connecticut, Florida, Nebraska, and Ohio are also represented.Continue Reading

New to the Network: Meet Ksandek Podbielski + Katy Millard of Portland’s Coquine

We’re excited to introduce a new Open for Business series, in which we spotlight inspiring restaurants that are new to the OpenTable network. Here, we talk to Ksandek Podbielski, who opened Coquine in Portland with his wife and business partner, Chef Katy Millard, this summer. 

coquineCoquine may have opened its doors just last month, but the brand has been thriving for the past two years, as Ksandek and Katy held pop-up dinners at farms, wineries and other locations in the Portland area. Owning a brick-and-mortar restaurant was always the ultimate goal, though, and when they finally achieved it they were armed with an already-loyal fan base. The word was out about Katy’s elegant but rustic, super seasonal, technically masterful cuisine, complemented by Ksandek’s wine and hospitality expertise in the front of house.

We talked to Ksandek all about the story behind the restaurant, how they built a brand and following, and everything they learned along the way.

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Portland, Maine Dining Guide: A Foodie Paradise By the Sea #savortheroad

Several restaurants in Portland, Maine, made our 2015 Summer Road Trip Restaurant Guide, so we were thrilled that contributor Nevin Martell was able to visit this past weekend and share his personal Portland, Maine dining guide – a city he calls a foodie paradise by the sea. Read on for delicious inspiration for your trip to the Forest City this summer. 

Walking around Portland’s charming Old Port neighborhood overlooking the picturesque Casco Bay on a simmering July afternoon, I could taste the salty tang of the Atlantic on my tongue. As the sun worked up my thirst, the sea breeze whetted my appetite with every step. Luckily, there were plenty of options for satiation nearby.

In the last few years, Portland’s food scene has undergone a stunning transformation from being staid and sleepy to an electric mix of praise-worthy culinary ventures that have rightfully earned a bounty of buzz. Much of this revolution is happening by the port. Wherever you look in its crosshatch of cobblestone streets, you’ll spot someplace to sup or sip. Don’t feel overwhelmed. Exploring the seaside district is easy to do on foot. Plus, you’ll want to walk off everything you’ve eaten, so you don’t outgrow your wardrobe by the end of your trip.

Scoring a table during the high season can be tough, so I recommend making a reservation to ensure you can eat your way through your vacation’s culinary bucket list. Case in point is Fore Street, which boasted a 45-minute wait just to dine at the bar on the Wednesday night I visited. A reservation meant skipping the hang time and digging right in. Chef Sam Hayward presides over a humming open kitchen, turning out seafood every which way, thoughtful charcuterie, offal, prime cuts, and a bounty of seasonal produce in stripped down presentations that flatter the natural flavors.


My meal began with perfectly plump wood-fired Maine mussels in a pool of almond-rich melted butter served with plenty of bread for sopping. That was followed by a decadent tartine starring roasted tomato sitting on a throne of buttery puff pastry and coronated with a puff of goat cheese mousse. A steaming hot, small cast iron pan arrived with seared pork belly, crispy on the top and buttery smooth throughout. Summer squash sautéed in lard, more-butter-than-potatoes whipped spuds, and horseradish-zested roasted cauliflower rounded out the array. Definitely one for the record books.

To kickstart myself the next morning, I made a pilgrimage to The Holy Donut. These aren’t your average rounds. The puffy bangles are made with potatoes, which adds heft without making them as dense as cake doughnuts. One regular round came glazed with Allen’s coffee brandy – a buzz times two – while a sweet potato doughnut was dipped in a redolent ginger glaze. Though they’re not as sweet as a Krispy Kreme, it was still nice to cut through the sugar rush with an icy cold brew from nearby Coffee By Design.

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