I recently took a weekend trip, solely for fun and good eats to see some of my favorite friends in Portland, OR (PDX). I hadn’t been before but I had high expectations for the brews, the food and the scene. My expectations were definitely met. I think I’m still full.
Here are our stops [note the iPhone photos – I traveled light, no camera]:
LaurelThirst Public House | 2958 NE Glisan
As soon as I landed, we popped by Kat’s new company (we’re startup tech girls) then went across the street with some of the crew for beers around happy hour time. The space is grungy (like a good dive should be), has a plethora of beers on tap and is known for their continuous live music.
Paragon Restaurant| 1309 NW Hoyt at 13th
Paragon is in San Francisco, Berkley and Portland. It’s a classy bistro feel, with dim lighting for a sexy evening with brasserie-style cuisine. I enjoyed their bar menu where we had spicy wings and warm tomato soup with grilled cheese, perfect for a rainy Portland evening.
Teardrop Lounge | 1015 NW Everett Street
With a penchant for craft cocktails, that knock your socks off and are a bit unique, we headed to Teardrop (it’s in the shape of one). An upscale cocktail lounge where I ordered Happy Days: Tanqueray Gin, cocchi Americano, Señor Curaçao de Curaçao, lemon and peach bitters. Sultry place where they know their bitters. I liked.
Voodoo Doughnut | 22 SW 3rd Avenue
I had to visit the famed Voodoo doughnuts. We visited particularly late at night and my comrades were amazed the line wasn’t around the corner (as it usually is). I ordered a doughnut covered in chocolate and nuts and wolfed it down. They were delicious. However, I was surprised that they weren’t the best doughnuts I’ve ever had. Maybe it’s because they weren’t as fresh as when they first make them. Still, always worth going in. The selection is fun!
Genie’s Cafe | 1101 SE Division
One of the two brunch spots we visited, a Portland friend recommended we go here. So glad we took that recommendation. It’s a popular spot, for good reason. I always love when brunch has a variety of breads available (gluten free, whole wheat, pumpernickle, etc.) and a variety of breakfast meats, so I like chicken sausage or veggie sausage and they’re harder to find. They had both. I had the Garden Sausage scramble: With tomatoes, broccoli & Tillamook cheddar with vegan sausage. Finally, they’re local as can be.
Yakuza | 5411 NE 30th Avenue
Yakuza describes themselves as a Japanese pub and lounge. Inside the space is filled with long wooden, family-style tables and curtains hanging in the restaurant, separating tables to make it more intimate. I had a jalapeno-pear sushi, that was a fresh yellowtail. Also worth noting are their fun cocktails.
PBJS Grilled | 919 NW 23rd Street (food cart)
As we were strolling down the adorable 23rd street, lined with shops and restaurants we stumbled across a small food cart we couldn’t resist: exotic grilled sandwiches with peanut butter and jelly as the base. The staff was extremely friendly and fun. We went with The Oregonian: Challah bread, Marion berry jam, Rogue Creamery blue cheese, Oregon hazelnut butter. I’m drooling right now, it was perfectly grilled and the combination was unreal. Kat had the Spicy Thai: Challah bread, orange marmalade, sriracha, fresh basil, curry, PBJ’s peanut butter. Equally amazing, with a kick of savory then sweet basil and peanut butter. Go here!
Sweet Hereafter | 3326 SE Belmont St
I loved this bar (apparently they have great food, all vegan, but we were there after hours). It has a rustic feel to it and you can cozy up to the bar, or sit in wooden booths around the perimeter of the bar. It’s crowded and loud, but if you can hang, it’s a good time.
Jam on Hawthorne | 2229 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
This was my favorite place we visited food-wise all weekend. It has a neighborhood cafe feel and the waitstaff is seamless and fun. The menu is diverse and also celebrate vegetarian cuisine. I went for a savory and sweet item with a oatmeal chai blueberry gluten-free pancake and an egg and veggie chorizo wrap with cilantro and homefries. What a special place. It’s worth the wait. Plus, they put out coffee for you while you’re waiting.
This city is chalk full of incredible food. I can’t wait to go back and try my favorites and a group of new spots.
Where have you been in Portland, OR that is a food-MUST?