Curried deep-fried lemon slices, vegan pizza, sour cherry hard cider. None of these things were on my list of must-try foods when planning a trip to Portland. Yes, the city is known for its food trucks and culinary offerings but I don’t think I really appreciated just how diverse and inventive the food culture really is.
With thousands of offerings throughout the city, plotting your Portland food itinerary might be a little overwhelming. But don’t worry, these 10 suggestions will have you exploring the city in search of affordable, creative, and most importantly, delicious eats! Most are kid-friendly and offer quick and easy service at a great price.
10 Restaurants To Try On Your Trip To Portland
Flavorful and delicious Indian food with a funky, eclectic vibe. This is different than your typical Indian buffet since they focus on street foods. We split several dishes and the menu lends itself to lots of sharing. Try the Gobi Manchurian or Lamb Samosas, plus make sure to read through the specials listed at the counter. There are two locations but we ate at the one on Alberta and I give the World-Market bazaar decor two thumbs up.
This artisanal ice cream is the poster child of Portland and you’ll find three locations around the city. Lines can get out of control so try to visit at off-peak times if you can or be prepared to wait. The samples are plentiful but use your time wisely in line to have some ideas of what you’d like to try. Salt and Straw is known for their unique flavor combos. They have regulars like Pear and Blue Cheese and Roasted Strawberry Coconut plus unique seasonal offerings. To avoid decision-making paralysis, split a scoop with two flavors in the same cone.
We found this sweet little breakfast option through Yelp as we searched for an early morning (hello, jetlag!) breakfast option near our Airbnb. Simple, homey breakfast options like a biscuit sandwich and a quiche of the day are available. Plus, plenty of baked goods and coffee. Everything hit the spot, was freshly made, and tasted delicious. Completely worth a stop in.
Giant slices of pizza in interesting flavor combos make this a quick grab-and-go option. We picked up at the Schuyler Street location and took our pie around the corner to a local cidery but there’s also a location near Powell’s Bookstore downtown. You can order a specific pizza or grab slices from a rotating selection. I did two half-slices (they’re huge!) for less than $5. Don’t overlook the vegan options, even if you don’t typically eat that way. Everything we tried was a hit.
I’m not a beer drinker which means much of Portland’s amazing craft brewery culture is totally lost on me but I do like hard cider and we were delighted to stumble upon this place. We grabbed our pizza from around the corner and ordered a flight, choosing from over a dozen options. No two brews tasted even the slightest bit alike and had unique and super interesting flavor profiles. Start with a flight to get a sense of what you like and then order a glass of your favorite. You’re welcome to bring in outside food but must be 21 or older to enter.
We visited the Schuyler Street location a few times, as it was just a couple of blocks from the hotel where my conference was being held. But there are two other locations around the city. I’m trying to keep the drool off my keyboard just thinking about these delicious biscuit sandwiches. Try the Chatfield, The Moneyball, or the Shrimp and Grits. SO Good!
This was a happy accident after our first choice for dinner had a two hour wait. Stella Tacos is affordable and delicious with lots of taco options to share. The tacos are small so order 2-3 per person and I highly recommend the green chili queso. Again, the veggie options were just as delightful as the carnivorous ones. My top pick was the Fried Avocado taco!
A European cafe in downtown Portland. Bijou Cafe offers great breakfast options near public transportation. Fluffy omelets with lots of local ingredients plus a chorizo hash that hit the spot made this a perfect stop before our day of touring. The menu is small but well curated and their coffee and morning cocktail offerings can make brunch a special treat.
We had heard lots of buzz about the famed Voodoo Donuts but several friends recommended Blue Start Donuts instead and it did NOT disappoint! A much shorter line and some of the best donuts and flavor combos I’ve every had. I still dream about the orange olive oil donut and red raspberry rosemary old fashioned I ordered. In case you need another fix on your way out of town, there’s a location at the airport before security.
Of course you can’t visit Portland without talking about coffee and Stumptown is certainly one of the most well-known coffee brands in the area but it’s well deserved. I’m a poor judge of good coffee because I put all kinds of ridiculously sweet things into it but my husband is a purist and he visited several times while we were there so I take that as a solid recommendation. Check their website for locations.
Putting Together Your Portland Food Itinerary
All of these suggestions are located either close to public transportation (for which Portland is deservedly well-known) or a short Lyft ride away from downtown. Many of these restaurants have multiple locations so it’s worth sketching out a general plan for where you might be so you can maximize your stops.
Not a planner? Don’t worry, half the fun of Portland is wandering a bit and discovering the unexpected food truck pod tucked on a neighborhood street corner or asking a fellow streetcar rider for a suggestion. With so many delicious offerings, I promise you won’t go hungry.
Have you been to Portland? Anything suggestions to add for favorite eats? Leave a comment so others have even more great suggestions!
Want to explore more of Oregon? Check out my post on Seaside, a charming beach town close to Portland.