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Portland restaurants

Portland has emerged as a culinary destination in recent years—and with good reason. Recognizing the advantages of a gorgeous local bounty and a relatively low cost of living, a number of young chefs have moved to Portland to open restaurants and experiment with new flavors and techniques. The result is a surprisingly large number of noteworthy restaurants for a city this size, from raise-the-bar Thai at Pok Pok, to Alpine fare at Grüner, to the innovative cuisine of Castagna.

Formality is all but banned in Portland restaurants: If you really want to dress up, go for designer jeans. Reservations may be necessary for new restaurants that are wildly in vogue, but as often as not, Portland's laid-back hot spots don't even take them. Be prepared to cool your heels at the bar, and remember that good things come to those who wait. You'll often spot the chef-owners toiling behind the bar, chopping locally sourced ingredients in their open kitchens, or chatting with customers. An expense account isn't needed to enjoy Portland's dining scene, either. Some of the best restaurants here are ridiculously reasonable compared with similar places in bigger cities. And throughout town, hundreds of movable feasts in the form of street carts serve everything from buttermilk biscuit sandwiches to Korean bulgogi to duck confit baguettes for as little as $4 or $5 a meal.

What makes Portland's restaurant scene fun is that it is so democratic and accessible. The city's residents really enjoy quality food, and they turn out in droves at the many farmers' markets. The Portland Farmers' Market at Portland State University is a major weekend destination for local chefs and amateurs alike. If you want to get even closer to the city's farm-to-table culture, sign up for an urban farm tour to harvest your own produce and learn to cook fresh-as-it-gets dishes. Round out your exploration of Portland's culinary riches by pairing your meal with a biodynamic Oregon wine, or a cocktail made with spirits from one of the city's many distilleries.

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Hotel Photo
23 Hoyt, Portland

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...more

Editors' Pick
Beaker and Flask, Portland

"I've been wanting to combine Riesling and cachaša," said our intense bartender, mixing wine and liquor after a request for an on-the-spot invention. He added...more

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Café Castagna, Portland

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...more

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Hotel Photo
Clarklewis, Portland

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...more

Editors' Pick
Clyde Common, Portland

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...more

Editors' Pick
Grüner, Portland

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,...more

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Le Pigeon, Portland

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,...more

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Olea, Portland

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...more

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Ping, Portland

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...more

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Hotel Photo
Pok Pok, Portland

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...more

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

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