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.
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.
CENTRAL EASTSIDE INDUSTRIAL DISTRICT
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.