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Portland Restaurants

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23 Hoyt
529 N.W. 23rd Avenue
Portland , Oregon
Tel: 503 445 7400

23 Hoyt is many things to many people. Trendy young urbanites come to socialize at one of the most elegant happy hours in town, with One-Dollar Snacks (house-made potato chips, fried chick peas with hot pepper), Two-Dollar Snacks (bruschetta), Three-Dollar Snacks (two oysters with mignonette; grilled flatbread with leeks, goat cheese, pancetta, and thyme), and so on. After 9 pm Fridays and Saturdays, they settle in for a post-prandial drink to a backdrop of live music. Older couples and singles alike come for chef Chris Israel's legendary cuisine. He deftly blends pan-Mediterranean influences with Northwest ingredients to create unusual dishes like cardamom-spiced quail with a Turkish pistachio-parsley sauce, or grilled halibut with a Moroccan tagine of peppers, charmoula, and preserved lemon. The signature Caesar salad and the spaetzle with braised rabbit, chanterelles, bacon, and crispy shallots are other winners. The cavernous space has a slick New York look—all muted olive green and charcoal gray, with soaring windows. For maximum quiet and romance, ask to be seated upstairs. For the buzzing scene, downstairs by the bar is the place to be.

Open Tuesdays through Saturdays 4 to 10 pm.

Beaker and Flask
727 SE Washington Street
Portland , Oregon
Tel: 503 235 8180

"I've been wanting to combine Riesling and cachaça," said our intense bartender, mixing wine and liquor after a request for an on-the-spot invention. He added grapefruit and lime, tasted the concoction, and scribbled in his notebook before presenting it to the customer, who seemed very happy with the result. I was equally pleased with my Broken Shark (gin, Averna amaro, grapefruit, and absinthe). The food, frequently smoky, tart, and salty, is very cocktail-friendly: An appetizer of grilled romaine was sprinkled with smoked feta; pickled baby octopus (made in-house, of course) and tasso ham flavored a plate of sautéed green beans. The place is not as laboratory-chic as the name would imply, and when we asked the bartender to make us his favorite cocktail, it was nothing beakery or flasky: simply a classic daiquiri made with 15-year-old Guyanese rum.—Matthew Amster-Burton, first published on

Open Mondays through Wednesdays 5 pm to midnight, Thursdays through Saturdays 5 pm to 1 am.

Café Castagna
1758 S.E. Hawthorne Boulevard
Portland , Oregon
Tel: 503 231 9959

It's Sunday night. You want to go out, you want to be fed well and treated nicely, and you may even want a fancy cocktail to prolong the festive weekend. But you're not in the mood for a scene or attitude or overly pedigreed dishes, and you want something more civilized than a burrito down the street. Try Café Castagna. This friendly neighborhood spot in southeast Portland delivers upscale Mediterranean comfort dishes at lean prices: thin-crust pizzas with arugula and prosciutto, a zingy Caesar salad, flatiron steak with fries, and house-made seasonal sorbets. The spare triangular room and garden patio manage to be both chic and casual. Simple, unpretentious, and always spot-on, this is the sort of place you'll want to return to again and again. For special occasions, turn to next-door neighbor Castagna. Chef Matthew Lightner, who ranks among the country's rising culinary stars, creates elegant tasting menus that make excellent use of seasonal Pacific Northwest ingredients. The menu is a pleasant puzzle: Descriptions are generally a simple list of ingredients (perhaps green almonds, sour plum, salted black cod, dill, cream) that coyly nod toward dishes whose flavors unfold in subtle yet unexpected ways.—Updated by Colleen Clark

Open Tuesdays through Saturdays 11:30 am to 2 pm and 5 pm to close, Sundays and Mondays 5 pm to close.

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1001 S.E. Water Street
Portland , Oregon
Tel: 503 235 2294

Stepping into this converted warehouse, with little more than a few votive candles for decoration and Chet Baker tunes playing in the background, you'll feel like you've stepped into a black-and-white photograph. What could have been austere is sexy, and the unfussiness allows you to focus your attention on the top-notch Northwest cuisine with Tuscan influences. The menu changes daily depending on what the chef found at the market. You'll find experimental riffs on contrasting flavors and textures: shaved fennel with cannellini beans, roasted almonds, and pecorino; tuna with black rice, pomegranate, and mint; as well as more traditional items like flatiron steak with chanterelles. You may find a few people who've dressed for the occasion, but as this is Portland you'll blend in better with the locals if you go casually stylish. It's worth reserving ahead on Friday or Saturday nights, but otherwise you shouldn't have trouble snagging a table.

Open Tuesdays through Saturdays 5:30 pm to close.

Clyde Common
1014 S.W. Stark Street
Portland , Oregon
Tel: 503 228 3333

Upon entering Clyde Common, you'll find yourself in a sea of designer jeans, eyewear, and messenger bags, the uniform of the handsome creative professionals who have appropriated this hot spot as their home away from home. Buzzing day and night, the industrial-chic space in the Ace Hotel has several long communal tables sparkling with rows of votive candles, an open kitchen, a second-floor mezzanine with private tables, and a long bar. A European gastro pub-inspired menu features bright and simple ingredient-driven dishes such as grilled corn salad with lime, chile, and bitter greens; whole grilled fish with roasted garlic and caramelized onions; and a half chicken with chanterelles. The wine list focuses on Europe but also includes some reasonably priced regional picks. The bar is a raucous and thriving scene unto itself, and it can get seriously noisy when the place is packed—which it often is. Try the barrel-aged Negroni, which is mixed and then aged for six weeks in whiskey casks. While the service is friendly, the timing can be off and can feel a bit rushed. But the arty types who hang here don't seem to mind a bit.

Open Mondays through Thursdays 11:30 am to midnight, Fridays 11:30 am to 2 am, Saturdays 5 pm to 2 am, and Sundays 5 to 10 pm.

527 S.W. 12th Avenue
Portland , Oregon
Tel: 503 241 7163

The Pacific Northwest's produce and climate are an ideal match for the hearty, earthy fare of Germany and its surrounding regions. At least Christopher Israel, a star chef credited with helping to put Portland's food scene on the national map, thinks so. In Grüner's spare, wood-clad dining room on the first floor of downtown's slick Skylab Architecture building, Israel takes guests on a sophisticated culinary tour through German, Austrian, Hungarian, Romanian, and related fare. In true Portland fashion, produce goes from farm to table daily, in dishes such as short rib goulash and buckwheat spaetzle with rabbit, as well as house-made pretzels, rye bread, kraut, sausage, and pickles. The equally tempting bar menu includes one of the city's best burgers: a dripping indulgence of Cascadia meat with currywurst ketchup, house-made bacon, pickled onions, and cucumbers on a poppy seed bun that pairs perfectly with the German and Oregon beers on tap.—Colleen Clark

Open Mondays through Thursdays 11:30 am to 2 pm and 4:30 to 9:30 pm, Fridays 11:30 am to 2 pm and 4:30 to 10:30 pm, and Saturdays 5 to 10:30 pm.

Le Pigeon
738 E. Burnside Street
Portland , Oregon
Tel: 503 546 8796

Young, old, hipsters, politicos, and business execs all flock to Le Pigeon (via bike, skateboard, or BMW) to tuck into the seriously satisfying, soul-reviving, lick-your-plate-clean food. This tiny gem, on a major thoroughfare in a nondescript part of town, is decorated in a funky, rustic style, with pots hanging from the rack above the open kitchen, and mismatched cutlery on the tables. The communal tables lend a decidedly convivial spirit to the place, and the vibe is warm and cozy, like a French farmhouse kitchen. But ultimately the focus is on the wildly original food of young hotshot chef Gabriel Rucker. You'll find standouts like pumpkin-almond soup with rabbit rillette; truffle gnocchi with smoked pigeon; and venison with apples, chestnuts, and marrow. If you're feeling daring by dessert, try the cornbread with maple ice cream and bacon, or profiteroles with foie gras ice cream.

Open daily 5 pm to close.

1338 N.W. Hoyt Street
Portland , Oregon
Tel: 503 274 0800

Olea exudes a kind of sophisticated nonchalance that can be hard to come by in Portland. It's a polished, urban, grown-up sort of place—where you'll find women in sleek high heels and men looking dapper. Like so many restaurants these days, Olea is a versatile spot: You can perch in the bar area up front with cocktails (the rubytini really hits the spot) and small plates. But, given the quality of the food, it would be wise to head to the spare dining area in back to indulge in a full meal. The room is simply decorated in muted tones, with warm lighting that softens the austerity of the high ceilings and exposed pipes. The Mediterranean cuisine has garnered all kinds of national praise, and it's well deserved. Be prepared for some unusual twists—arugula salad with prosciutto and grilled peaches; pan-seared chicken with roasted grapes, cipollini onions, and prosciutto—alongside more traditional fare like rack of lamb and steak frites.

Open daily 5 to 11 pm.

102 N.W. Fourth Street
Portland , Oregon
Tel: 503 229 7464

Ping serves Japanese, Thai, Malaysian, Korean, and Chinese dishes, but don't you dare call it fusion: The menu doesn't stray from the real-deal Asian flavors that you can usually find only after a transoceanic flight. Witness the Thai-style steamed buns, a revelation of caramelized shredded pork tucked into an airy pocket and topped with the savory crunch of fried shallots. Hearty noodle dishes such as Singaporean laksa and rich pork ramen are an ideal complement to a rainy Pacific Northwest day. The numerous varieties of meat-on-a-stick steel the stomach for a tour of the creative cocktail menu, which includes concoctions based on house-made drinking vinegars flavored with pomegranate, tamarind, and peach. Located in the former Chinese restaurant Hung Far Low (go ahead, giggle) in Portland's Chinatown, Ping has an industrial look that pays homage to globe-trotting via tablecloths screen printed with Asian newspapers, rusted tin advertisements from Japan, and a wall of vintage radios scavenged from a shop nearby.—Colleen Clark

Open Mondays through Fridays 11 am to 10 pm, Saturdays 5 to 10 pm.

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Pok Pok
3226 S.E. Division Street
Portland , Oregon
Tel: 503 232 1387

Originally consisting of little more than a grill, a few picnic tables, and some colorful umbrellas, the unassuming all-outdoor Pok Pok Thai restaurant was big news when it burst on the Portland dining scene in 2005. Within a few short months, this scrappy little newcomer became a local institution and opened an indoor space. What is all the fuss about? Hasn't Portland ever seen Thai food before? Well, this is Thai food like most of us have never experienced. Gone is the ubiquitous pad thai. In its place is street food, like charcoal-roasted natural game hen stuffed with lemongrass, garlic, pepper, and cilantro; rich and deeply satisfying noodle soup with house-pressed coconut milk; and green papaya salad with a spicy kick. The unusual desserts, like coconut and jackfruit ice cream on a sweet bun with sticky rice, peanuts, condensed milk, and chocolate syrup, are surprisingly addictive. The word is out these days, so get there by 5 pm to avoid a wait, or just put your name down and cool your heels at Pok Pok's sister venue, Whiskey Soda Lounge, across the street. Order Thai drinking snacks like Miang Kham (an explosion of chilies, ginger, peanuts, lime, coconut, and chicken wrapped in a betel leaf) and a Beer Chang slushie or a tamarind whiskey sour, and the wait will fly by.—Updated by Colleen Clark

Open Mondays through Fridays 11:30 am to 10 pm, Saturdays 5 to 10 pm.

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Portland Farmers Market
Portland State University
Between S.W. Harrison and Montgomery
Portland , Oregon

In a city where the philosophy "buy local" is nothing short of a religion, the local farmers' market is a bit like Mecca. Starting in spring, crowds descend on the market for some of the country's finest berries, golden peaches, frilled lettuces, piles of chanterelles, and colorful sprays of peonies, sunflowers, and whatever else is in bloom. But it's not just about produce. You'll find artisanal cheeses, wild salmon, pastries, and other fare to round out your meal as well. This is also a thriving social hub, with food stalls serving lattes and prepared dishes, live music, cooking demonstrations, and so on. If you want to check out Portland's food scene in its full, bountiful glory, this is not to be missed. Smaller neighborhood farmers' markets set up around town during the summer months.

Open Saturdays 8:30 am to 2 pm, April to October; open Saturdays 9:30 am to 2 pm November and December.

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Toro Bravo
120 N.E. Russell Street
Portland , Oregon
Tel: 503 281 4464

On a cold and rainy night (alas, there are a good number of those in Portland), the casual and inviting Toro Bravo is a ray of Mediterranean sunshine. Even if there's a line—and there often is at the peak hours of 7 to 9 pm—the wait can be pleasantly passed over people-watching and fruity sangrias. The welcoming combination of the dark red walls, bustling bar, and open kitchen lends this casual place a warm ambience. But the real star is the tapas menu—from the deceptively simple Catalan tomato-rubbed bread to fried anchovies with fennel and lemon to oxtail croquettes. It's all good, but be sure to save room for the olive oil cake with roasted berries for dessert.

Open Sundays through Thursdays 5 to 10 pm, Fridays and Saturdays 5 to 11 pm.

1221 N.W. 21st Avenue
Portland , Oregon
Tel: 503 248 9663

Sometimes you don't want trendy. You don't want culinary acrobatics. You want to be able to hear your dinner partner. You want accomplished service. You want an elegant, soothing ambience. And you want seriously good food. On nights like that, Wildwood is just the ticket. A pioneer of Pacific Northwest cuisine and a longtime local favorite, Wildwood's guiding principle—using the best locally sourced ingredients in a simple, straightforward way—isn't especially radical anymore. But dishes like the perfectly executed sea bass with corona beans, fried razor clams with fennel and aioli, and duck with bitter greens and chanterelles don't have to be groundbreaking to be delicious. Like a fine cashmere sweater that you pull out year after year, Wildwood offers, if not a wild ride, an eminently refined and reliable one.

Mondays through Thursdays 11:30 am to 2:30 pm and 5:30 to 9 pm, Fridays and Saturdays 11:30 am to 2:30 pm and 5:30 to 10 pm, Sundays 5 to 8:30 pm.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.