The Best Restaurants in Portland

America's most experimental food city proves its worth.

13 min read
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Portland has been on the leading edge of food culture in America for decades now. One of the first cities to make a stand for diversity and sustainability in the food community as well as having chefs with an uncanny knack for launching the next big culinary trend, Portland is owed a debt by larger cities. It is progressive, inclusive, and exciting. It is progressive, inclusive, and exciting. Want proof? Check out this list of the city's best restaurants.

Luc Lac

Who are the folks at Luc Lac? According to them, they’re “just one big, pho sling’n, fish-sauce cookin', cocktail pourin', Portland lovin' family.” Yes, there’s pho and banh mi and vermicelli bowls, but go for the signature Luc Lac — cubed beef tenderloin wok-seared with Hennessy and beurre de France — to see how creative and capable the team is ten-plus years in.

luc lac


Who doesn’t love a culinary mashup — especially when it’s Thai food and barbecue. Voted Portland’s “Restaurant of the Year” by The Oregonian not long after opening its doors, Eem continues to delight. Don’t miss its unique combos like white curry with brisket burnt ends and chopped BBQ fried rice with barbecued beef, shishito peppers, scallion, garlic, and fish sauce.

Por Que No Taqueria

We’ll celebrate Taco Tuesday any day of the week. Same? Bryan Steelman’s Por Que No Taqueria, open since 2005, has a dozen tacos for every appetite at its two locations. There are all the classics, like barbacoa and al pastor, each prepared with sustainably sourced proteins. Taste of Home recently named them the best Mexican restaurant in the state(!), and management regularly supports local charities.

Nong's Khao Man Gai

Khao man gai is Thai chicken and rice. It’s flavorful, well balanced and, at Nong’s, it is served with chef Nong Poonsukwattana’s signature sauce and a side of soup. If you ever visit Bangkok, you’ll find khao man gai on every corner, but you’ll only find Nong’s signature sauce at Nong’s Khao Man Gai. And you won’t be limited to chicken alone. You can create your perfect plate with several proteins.

Thai Peacock

With an emphasis on merging Pacific Northwest tastes with homestyle Thai dishes, Thai Peacock offers a fresh take on Thai comfort food. Going strong since 1999, this spot from owner Chookiat “Ham” Saenguraiporn crafted a sweeping menu of curries, stir-fries, and noodle and rice dishes. The house curry, a panang curry with peanut sauce, lime leaf, broccoli, bell pepper, and carrot, is great for vegans and those eating gluten-free.


We’ve never met a sandwich we didn’t like, but this is a sandwich, or rather a torta, to love. Go for the ahogada, Guero’s version of the Jaliscan classic made with Carlton Farms pork, habanero slaw, and cilantro on a grilled bolillo. It’s topped with rich achiote tomato sauce for a messy, spicy experience best enjoyed at home.


PDX Sliders

PDX Sliders serves — spoiler alert! — sliders. But not just any sliders. These burgers have gathered accolades locally and nationally, earning a spot on Money magazine’s “Top 10 Burgers in America” list in 2018. You can go beyond beef here, with excellent options for chicken, pork, and vegetables, like the St. Johns, featuring marinated portabella, roasted romas, herbed goat cheese, and baby arugula on ciabatta.


You need pasta, and you need it now. Right this way to Grassa, where they serve meticulously crafted bowls of fresh pasta on the fly. From Lardo’s Rick Gencarelli, Grassa has the foundational pasta dishes you crave most: spaghetti and meatballs, carbonara, fusilli alla vodka, and beyond. They also offer several wines to go in full or half bottles.

Screen Door

Winner winner chicken dinner! You’ll find that (literally) and more at Screen Door. Serving fine Southern food since 2006, this beloved restaurant lets you put some South in your mouth, no road trip required. The large-format dinners come with all the fixings, but we can’t help but slip hushpuppies and gumbo into our carts as well.


Chef-owner Rick Gencarelli launched Lardo as a food cart, slinging next-level sandwiches with fun flourishes. Flash forward, and he’s got two brick-and-mortar locations from which to order, and the unabashed creativity continues. The Pho’French Dip is a terrific spin on the classic, with shaved beef, hoisin, sambal mayo, Thai basil, and pho broth for dunking.


Kung Pow!

This is not your traditional Chinese restaurant. Here, they create adventurous dishes and drinks for those who dig bold yet simple flavors — and like spice! You’ll find influences from all over China, including Sichuan, Shanghai, Hunan, and the streets of Hong Kong. Get their Kung Pow! Chicken and amped-up sesame beef. Sure, they serve meat, but vegans will find plenty of choices.

Hat Yai

Hat Yai was inspired by the street-side fried chicken vendors and small curry and roti shops in Southern Thailand. They serve fresh, pillowy roti made by hand every day as well as other famous Southern Thai dishes. The chef, 2022 James Beard Award finalist Akkapong “Earl” Ninsom, is known for his gluten-free fried chicken, so be sure to give it a try.

hat yai

SeaSweets Poke

Inspired by the flavors that surrounded him when he was a kid, as well as his time training under chef Alan Wong in Hawaii, chef Ian Hung makes incredibly flavorful poke marinated in the classic Hawaiian style.The bowls here are build-your-own, so you can customize them to your taste — and size — of your appetite. Vegans will enjoy having the option of a tofu bowl.


At family-owned Kati, chef Renoo Jansala serves vegan and vegetarian Thai fare, but trust us when we say you won’t miss the meat. She cooked in Thailand for 30 years before opening this spot, and the food is deeply flavorful and fresh with the perfect amount of heat. The menu is substantial and features soups, salads, snacks, stir-fries, and curries, but every time we’re compelled to get the divine drunken noodles.


Boke Bowl

There are tons of buns at Boke Bowl, but this restaurant specializes in Portland-style ramen with handmade noodles; unique, slow-simmered dashis; and seasonally changing accouterments aimed to satisfy carnivores, pescatarians, vegans, and children alike. They also offer rice, curry, and poke bowls. The kids’ menu features right-sized ramen bowls for the littles.

BAES Fried Chicken

Opened in 2019, this fast-casual spot serves fried chicken that’s hot — or not. The brainchild of restaurateur Micah Camden and former NFL player Ndamukong Suh, BAES offers organic Aurora Valley Farms chicken that is prepared in the classic manner or hot, as in Nashville hot. They offer a slew of sides that perfectly complement the crispy, juicy birds.

Baby Doll Pizza

Baby Doll Pizza trades in New York–style pizza featuring dough, sauces, and cheeses made in-house. Their premium toppings include locally sourced vegetables and housemade meats, like brisket and sausages. There are more than a dozen pies on offer here, including a build-your-own option. The white pizza with mozzarella, ricotta, Parmesan, caramelized onions, garlic, and a sesame crust is a wonder.


Can’t swing a trip to the Big Island? Let us bring its flavors to you with Ate-Oh-Ate. Here, they strive to serve the finest and most delicious Hawaiian-style food possible. Authenticity is on the menu as they use all-natural meats, fresh vegetables, Best Foods Mayonnaise, and, in their musubi, real Spam — accept no substitutions! 'A' ole palikir.


Farmhouse Kitchen


Farmhouse Kitchen’s goal is to make sure people get enough spice. Mission accomplished. Thailand native Kasem “Pop” Saengsawang’s colorful cuisine has a contemporary bent while still honoring tradition. The pad thai is excellent, but be sure to try some of Pop’s picks, like the Basil Bomb, a Thai street-food specialty of seafood with crispy pork belly.


Owner Earl Ninsom chose the name Paadee because in Thai “paa dee” means “to bring good things.” He is a firm believer that food should leave one feeling reinvigorated and content. Eleven years on, his food is doing just that. (He’s nominated for a 2022 James Beard Award!) This is Thai fare with flair. Think tempura asparagus salad with ground pork and grilled prawns, and gang ped, which is duck leg confit in red curry.


A sibling to the original Tokyo location, Afuri Izakaya opened its first international location in Portland because the Mount Hood spring water is soft, just like that of Mount Afuri spring water, and it is considered essential to the cuisine at this izakaya. They are known for their yuzu ramen, so order a bowl to experience their signature dish.

AFURI ramen + dumpling

You’ll also find the signature ramen on the menu at Afuri Izakaya’s sister spot, but you’ll also note the crunchy, juicy dumplings — and so much more. This menu was made for grazing, so you’ll want to order a bunch of dishes. Our picks? A soft-shell crab bun, a crispy ramen egg, and crispy pork gyoza, followed by an order of bracing yuzu shoyu ramen. Snag some sake in a can or bottle.



Cibo, which opened in 2012 with chef Marco Frattaroli at the helm, is quite well-known for pizzas that consistently get shout-outs from outlets like Eater — and rightfully so. But don’t overlook all the other offerings here, especially the dozen or so housemade pastas available. We’re currently obsessed with the pasta pollo — chicken breast in a sage butter sauce.

Ranch Pizza

Ranch Pizza is an ode to America’s love of ranch dressing and pizza — together. If you haven’t tried it, you’re missing out. Also, you may need cooler friends. This pop-up-turned-brick-and-mortar serves very fine square pies — choose from five — and all come with a side of ranch, but take our advice and get the large vat of ranch. You’ll be sorry if you don’t.

ranch pizza

Proud Mary

Proud Mary is an all-day cafe from the Australian team behind the Melbourne magnet for coffee and breakfast culture. It opened in 2017 and was an immediate hit among coffee connoisseurs. Order the ricotta hotcake and pair it with a caffeinated beverage. Or go for something simple like toast with preserves. There’s even Vegemite on the menu for homesick Aussies and brave Americans.

Jam on Hawthorne

Owners Gordon Feighner and Katie Prevost have created one of Portland’s hottest breakfast destinations. The Fancy Oatmeal Chai Blueberry Pancakes (gluten-free!) were named as the best pancakes in Oregon by Eat This, Not That! in 2022. If your sweet tooth is still asleep, there are savory dishes aplenty, like the Bennie Hashbrowns with ham, bacon, spinach, hollandaise sauce, and two poached eggs.


Named after the classic method for broiling proteins that ensures a flavorful, rich taste, Spitz brings a healthy, modern take on the Mediterranean food ubiquitous in the streets of Europe. The colorful, crunchy doner salad with romaine, cabbage, carrot, onion, green pepper, cucumber, olives, feta, pepperoncini, and more is an absolute winner.

Bamboo Sushi

In 2008, Bamboo Sushi became the world’s first certified sustainable sushi restaurant. So if you like eating sushi but are concerned about its impact on marine life, this is the spot for you. The signature Green Machine roll with tempura-fried green bean and green onion, topped with avocado and cilantro-sweet chili aioli is incredibly popular, and one bite will tell you why.

Din Tai Fung

Love xiao long bao? Then you’ll love Din Tai Fung. It was started by Bing-Yi Yang in Taipei in 1958 and has since grown from a humble dumping shop into a revered restaurant group, with the Hong Kong location having earned a Michelin star. Of course you must get the soup dumplings here, but their repertoire has expanded over the years, so you should expand yours.

Pizza Jerk

At Pizza Jerk, they believe pizza is nature’s most perfect food. Who are we to argue? Opened in 2014, their homage is to the great pies of the New Haven tradition: Frank Pepe’s, Sally’s, and Modern. They’ve got thin pies and cast-iron pan pizzas. For the best East Coast–style experience, order the thin Clam Jam pie.

pizza jerk


Harlow cafe and juice bar serves clean and healthy food made with love. They pretty much seduced us with all-day breakfast and the ability to transform decadent dishes into healthful creations. There are scrambles, bowls, soups, salads, juices, and elixirs, all of which will put a spring in your step. Vegan versions of meat-driven offerings like biscuits and gravy are a welcome alternative.

Siri Indian Cuisine

Another Eater darling, Siri Indian Cuisine hits all the right notes with their menu of Northern and Southern Indian dishes. Siri has been a mainstay in PDX for its consistently delicious fare for 30 years running, so to still earn accolades from the likes of new media outlets really says something. The fish goa curry is a running favorite.

Oven and Shaker

Inspired by six-time James Beard-nominated chef Cathy Whims' many trips to Italy, the kitchen at Oven and Shaker unites tradition and creativity in the arena of wood-fired Neapolitan pizza and Italian street food. The pizza here is made with a 70-year-old sourdough starter, and we typically double down with a classic Margherita and the goat cheese pizza with pecorino, kale, and pickled red onion.

The Star

Opened in 2019, The Star filled a gap this booming pizza town may not have known it needed: Chicago-style deep-dish pizza. An outpost of San Francisco’s uber-popular Little Star, The Star serves the same cornmeal-crusted ’za that Little Star made famous when they opened in 2004. There are thin-crust options as well and seemingly endless custom pies, plus a build-your-own option.

Next Level Burger

Burgers are about something bigger than your appetite at Next Level Burger. They are active warriors in the fight against climate change, using non-GMO and sustainable ingredients. What this means for you is that you can feel good about that burger. There are 20 from which to choose, plus all the sides that make burgers into an occasion.



MAC’D opened its doors or, rather, take-out window in Portland in 2019, and this build-your-own mac and cheese mini-chain has been a magnet for carb lovers ever since. You start by choosing a sauce, like the basic or the buffalo, and select your pasta shape (or cauliflower). Then the real fun begins. Choose mix-ins, like veggies, chicken, hot dogs, or chorizo, and then pick your toppings — Hot Cheetos, anyone?