As almost everyone in the nation knows, Portland, Oregon, is a mecca for the artisanal, creative, and avant-garde. If you’re visiting this lush, green, and very unique city, be sure to takes breaks in between thrift store hopping and strolling through the beautiful gardens to stop in at these local-approved eateries.
All of the fish they serve at Bamboo Sushi is sustainably sourced, so you won’t have to feel bad about potentially enjoying overfished species. Local tip: go an hour before it closes and sit at the sushi bar for omakase (chef’s choice). Amazingly, this eco-friendly and delicious sushi is in an accessible price range with omakase coming in at a slim $20, traditional rolls ranging from $4-14, and house specials from $8-15. It’s also been noted by many reviewers that Bamboo hosts an impressive happy hour menu, too!
This ice cream is worth. every. bite. Salt & Straw is so popular that they’ve got four locations in the city of Portland alone, and have now branched out to include two in Los Angeles! Every Portland local will have an opinion on which flavor is the best (just check the Yelp reviews or ask the natives), but honestly…all of their flavors are the best that you’ll find. Each one is very unique both in composition and flavor. This writer’s advice is…ask an employee to surprise you with something special.
If you speak to anyone from Portland, they will tell you with a complete air of resolution (and probably a roll of the eyes) that the famous Voodoo Doughnut is vastly overrated (sorry, Voodoo). Skip the line of tourists that gather outside of Voodoo and venture over to Blue Star Donuts. For $3 apiece, these doughnuts are a bit more expensive than your average 24-hour doughnut shop, but on-par with (if not less than) anything you’ll find at Voodoo. These little delicacies come in mature flavors like blueberry bourbon, passion fruit, and PB&J with blackberry jalapeño jam and come very highly recommended from locals and tourists with more sophisticated palettes.
Everyone MUST try this waffle cart! The waffles at Smaaken are packed with out-of-this-world flavor, and the lady who makes them can help you pick out the best waffle to suit your taste buds. This writer made the mistake of finding this cart on her last day and would have eaten here daily if she had found it sooner. If you can’t decide on one (because it’s an incredibly hard decision to make), ask for a split order of two or even three. You won’t regret one single bit. To quote one 5-star Yelp review (amongst many), “This truck should hand out tissues with its waffles, they will bring tears of joy.”
If you’ve got money to spend, this is the place to experiment. From house brewed ginger beer, classy whiskey cocktails to a dinner of duck breast topped with nectarine puree, Clyde Common is sure to leave your taste buds longing for more. House drinks come in between $8-12, and dinner plates between $24-45. For those on a smaller budget with a desire to try Clyde Common’s enticing selection, the restaurant hosts a happy hour daily from 3-6 p.m. with some reasonable prices.
Carte Blanche was a mainstay food cart in Portland, however, the food cart is now closed (cue crying). However, they have only closed in order to complete plans for a restaurant and truly deserve a spot on this list. To find out when the restaurant is open, you can sign up for their email list and trust me it’s worth the wait. To quote their website, “Ingredients are organic, seasonal, and local.” If you hate brussel sprouts, Carte Blanche will change your mind, guaranteed. Their food is veggie-packed and topped with wonderfully marinated meat options (although you can opt-out and go full-veggie), and inspiration for each dish comes from places around the world. One can only imagine what delicious surprises they’ll serve up at their new, permanent location!
For those of you who are exasperated with the amount of sweet options on this list, Harlow is your not-to-miss healthy option. This health-nut approved gem is Zagat rated and has a wider menu than most health-conscious joints. To make the deal even sweeter, their plates range in price from $2-10.50, and their incredible selection of beverages, both diet, kid friendly and alcoholic, come in at the same enticing range. With nearly 400 reviews and a median score of 4.5 stars, this restaurant will leave you full without the guilt.
You can turn your time in Portland into an unforgettable adventure. Shop our selection of upscale corporate rentals in Portland, OR and spend a few months getting to know this world-class city. It has something for everyone.