Portland, Oregon is a lot of towns rolled into one. It’s an art town. It’s a music town. And, possibly most importantly, it’s a food town. The chefs per capita in Portland is potentially higher than anywhere else in the US.
When you’re planning a trip to Portland and you want to decide where to eat, you’re presented with an enviable problem. Picking and choosing which spot you’re heading to is difficult to say the least. But rest easy in the knowledge that there are a few places you should highlight.
Pip’s Original Doughnuts & Chai
When you set foot in Portland, you immediately start realizing that you are not in Kansas anymore. Because you’re in Oregon. Also, it’s an odd town with some interesting taste combinations, which is exemplified by Pip’s Original Doughnuts & Chai.
Pairing fresh donuts and chai might seem strange at first, but it works at Pip’s. It has made-to-order mini donuts alongside five flavors of chai that are made in house. This is the spot to get a snack that is as delicious as it is unique.
Food can be a work of art, a common theme throughout Portland. But you will find that to be especially true at Gado Gado, a Asian fusion restaurant boasting strong Chinese and Indonesian influences. That’s not the only influences you’ll find there, though.
This is the kind of place where you’ll drive people nuts by spending a bunch of time Instagramming all the food at the table before you let them start to eat. It looks good. It smells good. It tastes good. Just eat the Spice Rubbed Grilled Albacore and let everyone enjoy their meals.
Duck House Chinese Restaurant
What makes Portland such an amazing food town is how diverse the number of food options are. And Portland has a lot of choices for some excellent Chinese food. But Duck House Chinese Restaurant boasts having the most legit Szechuan cuisine around.
It has all the classics you could possibly want, like different kinds of Bao, pot stickers, dumplings and buns. But if you’re ready to get serious about your visit, it’s time for the Szechuan Hot and Spicy Dried Pot. It will change your life.
Switching gears quite dramatically is Maurice, a French and Norwegian pastry luncheonette. Part of what makes it so interesting is how close this place is to Powell’s City of Books, one the best independent bookstores in the entire country.
Maurice does amazing things with strawberries, carrots and radishes, not necessarily in the same dish. But the star of the show is the baking. The Currant and Rosemary Scone seems like a simple concept but it’s execution is anything but.
Over the past ten years or so, Portland has become known for its barbecue scene. That wasn’t always the case, though restaurants like Matt’s BBQ are changing that one plate of delicious smoked meat at a time.
This is good ol’ fashioned Texas barbecue, plain and simple. Beef brisket. Turkey breast, Pulled pork. House made sausage. Plus, the sides are no joke, like the coleslaw, potato salad and the always epic Queso mac and cheese.