Down to-Earth Deliciousness Dining in Portland
Discover a culinary landscape so shaped by its surroundings it is unlike any other on Earth. Like a patchwork quilt of down-to-earth deliciousness, explore everything from foraged fine dining to entire animal butchery, bacon-topped maple treats, eclectic food trucks, soul foods of every caliber, vegan dreams and everything in between. One of the city’s most beloved slogans is “Keep Portland Weird,” which shines through as it is also the home to innovative chef’s counter dining. Portland’s chefs are inspired by everything from foraging and veganism to jazz and cult-favorite authors. Low rents, loose regulations and world-class ingredients draw chefs to the area — and usually, keep them there.
Portland has something that most other cities don’t have available to them: the natural bounty of the Willamette Valley with an arsenal of fresh and natural ingredients on hand that are relatively unspoiled by pollution. This array lends extra inspiration and space to the chefs of Portland to create new and delicious dishes. Sounds so bucolic you may never want to leave. In Portland, “farm-to-table” isn’t just a dining style, it’s also a part of what makes eating and drinking in Portland so special. Despite the wide range of dining options and cuisines, what wholeheartedly unites Portland’s dining scene is that it trades flashy for focus on food creations that are nearly always made from local and seasonal ingredients.
Food on Wheels
Portland’s best, but not so secret, place to chow down is its downtown food trucks. Like a little city inside a bigger one, “pods” of Portland’s famed food trucks are arrayed along Fifth Avenue, Third Avenue, Mississippi Market and Portland University. Name a dish or cuisine and a Portland food stall will probably have it. Perhaps America’s most deliciously quirky food scene, the hundreds of food stalls are like a fertile melting pot of incubators for some of the most interesting and eclectic food options imaginable. Food cart culture has been a fixture of Portland dining culture since the 1980s, but due to progressive city planning, the scene snowballed in the 2000s into almost 600 permanent vendors, many of which eventually grew into restaurants. Though some stalls are open for breakfast or late into the night, the food trucks are best for the perfect budget lunch. Be prepared to encounter crowds or lines at the
Finer and Farmer Options
Don’t be deterred by Portland’s endearing crunchiness as Portland’s fine dining scene is impressive. Whether going on a date or just treating yourself, there are amazing fine dining options across the city that take farm-to-table to another level. Head over to the Northeast part of town for a wide variety of options, or even Central Eastside, Southwest and the Alphabet District. You are certain to find a culinary experience you will never forget.
Another foodie favorite in Portland is its massive farmers market. The Portland Farmer’s Market with its several downtown locations is dazzling. This palate-pleasing display of Oregon’s homegrown bounty brings in dozens of vendors and farmers from around the state. Portland’s answer to your generic grocery store is certainly a sight to behold and a great place for an impromptu picnic.
Another Portland dining specialty that is borderline religious is its brunch scene. Brunching has never been taken so seriously nor has felt so neighborly. Being Portland’s holiest meal of the day, brunch has evolved into one of the city’s signature attractions and favorite weekend activities. For night owls and early risers, brunch is an essential part of the city’s culture. You are certain to find something interesting and succulent in any corner of this relaxed city.
Offering a delightful mix of the abundance of a city with the influence of the great outdoors, Portland’s dining scene is one of unparalleled down-to-earth deliciousness. From the Portland-weird to the Portland-classy, there is a memorable dining option for anyone visiting this beautiful city that is sure to offer a quirky twist on any culinary normalcy. In Portland, it’s creative food scene is not for the novelty, it’s simply a way of life.
Just across the Burnside bridge in Central Eastside lies Rontoms Lounge, featuring one of Portland’s largest, most beautiful and well-appointed patios. Within the spacious modern/industrial architecture lies something for everyone. During cooler months, you can warm up with a specialty hot cocktail by one of our two fireplaces, or challenge a friend (or soon-to be friend) to a spirited game of ping-pong under our heated patio cover. However, during Portland’s gorgeous summer months, the patio transforms into an oasis in the city, abuzz with people of every social set, with towering bamboo swaying lazily among those looking to trade the bustle of the street for the joy of food, drink and conversation among friends.
On weekend nights, Rontoms transforms into one of the cities favorite spots to cut loose. With top local DJ’s on Saturdays, and 6,000 square feet of real estate serviced by two bars and attentive table service, there’s truly something for everyone. If you’re one of the fortunate souls that have the luxury of extending the weekend for one more night, then check out the legendary (and free) Rontoms’ Sunday Sessions concerts. For 14 years these shows have been the launching pad for all of Portland’s favorite and most notable bands.
Rontoms is open 11am to 2:30am weekdays and 2pm to 2:30am weekends.
Jones is Portland’s hottest retro dance club. It’s all 80s/90s/00s, all the time! A vision and dream come true for owner Nikki Jones, Jones Bar is one of Portland’s only female owned nightclubs and is a true reflection of her passion for creating downtown bars with neighborhood vibes. Jones is a sensual journey through three incredible decades; from throwback music by local and national DJ’s, loads of 80s/90s/00s memorabilia, old school arcade games, and the largest light brite on the west coast, Jones bursts with genuine awesome-ness. Jones, a 6500 square foot club, also has a huge dance floor, plenty of sparkle, disco balls galore, a VIP section with bottle service, friendly staff, and a killer outdoor patio. Some of our yelp reviews say it best…
“Portland finally has a fun, classy place to go dance and have an awesome time…This is the best dance club Portland has ever had!”- Tiffany R.
“Generation X, welcome back to some of the best years of your life…” –Melvin T.
“Jones is one of the best night clubs I've been to. Best part about it is their amazing staff…[they] serve up some awesome drinks, great energy, and probably the hottest ladies I've ever seen in 80s attire! My boyfriend and I really enjoy the great atmosphere and awesome service we get!!!” –Corwina J.
“This is probably one of the coolest places I've ever been to. I absolutely love the 80s/90s theme and the decorations all around the bar too.” –Nina H.
“Jones nails it in all the right areas.” –Kurtis B.