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Portland, Culinarily Speaking

AAA/Katie McPhee
By AAA Travel Editor Katie McPhee
October 29, 2019
Do a search for “Portland restaurants near me” while visiting the city and you’ll likely be overwhelmed—both by the diversity of cuisines represented and by the sheer number of places to eat in this Pacific Northwest destination. From brewpubs to food carts, the selection is seemingly endless. But fear not—we’ve rounded up a few of our AAA recommended restaurants and dessert spots where you can indulge in the local cuisine.
Entrance sign and a rainbow flag outside Deschutes Brewery & Public House in Portland, Oregon.
AAA/Katie McPhee

Deschutes Brewery & Public House

210 N.W. 11th Ave.
AAA Inspector Rating
(503) 296-4906
Housed in a former auto body shop in the trendy Pearl District, Deschutes Brewery & Public House is a must-try if you want to dive into the local beer scene and are wondering where to eat in Portland. The brewpub boasts more than 20 beers on tap in addition to a full menu of refined pub grub. Good options include the elk burger topped with beer-brined pickles, an East Coast–style Dungeness crab roll, house-made sausages, and the beer-infused mac ‘n’ cheese. If the dining area is packed, you can grab a drink from the bar side, which also serves the full menu.
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Gold entrance sign for Huber's restaurant in Portland, Oregon.
AAA/Katie McPhee

Huber's

411 S.W. 3rd Ave.
AAA Inspector Rating
(503) 228-5686
One of the oldest restaurants in Portland is also one of its most beloved. Established in 1879, Huber's is known for its traditional turkey dinners served with mashed potatoes, baked yams, sage stuffing and cranberry sauce, as well as for its signature Spanish coffee, prepared tableside with rum, triple sec, Kahlúa, whipped cream and some dramatic pyrotechnics. In addition to traditional turkey dishes, the menu offers steaks, seafood, salads, clam chowder and other American fare. We recommend requesting a table or booth in the old bar area, outfitted with mahogany paneling, dim lighting and arched stained-glass skylights.
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Caprese salad, basil, tomato, bocconcini, buffalo mozzarella, buffalo ricotta
AAA/Inspector 450

Piazza Italia

1129 N.W. Johnson St.
AAA Inspector Rating
(503) 478-0619
Locals rave about the authentic Italian cuisine at Piazza Italia, which has a casual, cozy atmosphere complete with soccer jerseys tacked to the ceiling and TVs tuned to international soccer games. You’ll most likely have a wait at this popular place—one of the best restaurants in Portland for Italian food—but it’s well worth it for freshly made pastas, bruschetta, baked lasagna, cheese plates and a large wine selection. If there is a wait, you can grab a drink and a snack at the restaurant’s bar located next door.
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Bowl of pork ramen with chopsticks at Marukin Ramen inside Pine Street Market in Portland, Oregon.
AAA/Katie McPhee

Pine Street Market

126 S.W. 2nd Ave.
If you’re traveling with picky eaters, serious foodies or just a large group, plan to stop at the Pine Street Market, a mainstay in the Portland food hall scene. This European-style food hall houses a handful of food and drink vendors under one roof, with an open layout and a shared seating area. Standouts include the Japanese noodle bowls at Marukin Ramen, cheeseburgers and chili-topped fries at Bless Your Heart Burgers, gourmet soft serve creations from Wiz Bang Bar and Korean-style steamed buns and bimimbap at Kim Jong Smokehouse. Hours vary inside the market, but most vendors are open from 11 a.m. to 9 or 10 p.m.
Plate of crispy Vietnamese fish sauce wings at Pok Pok restaurant in Portland, Oregon.
AAA/Katie McPhee

Pok Pok

3226 S.E. Division St.
AAA Inspector Rating
(503) 232-1387
Sample the sometimes-spicy, always-flavorful street food of Thailand at Pok Pok, one of the highly acclaimed Portland restaurants founded by James Beard Foundation Award–winning chef Andy Ricker. Food here is meant to be shared family-style; you’ll want to order one or two dishes per person, plus a side of jasmine or sticky rice. Crowd favorites include Kai Yaang, a charcoal-roasted chicken stuffed with lemongrass, cilantro and garlic; and “Ike’s Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings,” a half-dozen chicken wings marinated in sugar and fish sauce, then deep-fried and tossed in a caramelized garlic concoction.
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Wooden sign for Salt & Straw ice cream shop in Portland, Oregon.
AAA/Katie McPhee

Salt & Straw

2035 N.E. Alberta St.
(503) 208-3867
Out-the-door lines are a sign that the sweet treats at this Portland-based ice cream company are worth the wait. Everything is made from scratch at Salt & Straw, and their unique flavor combinations are sure to please: roasted strawberry coconut, pear and blue cheese, honey lavender, cinnamon snickerdoodle and rotating seasonal specialties like salted caramel Thanksgiving turkey are among the interesting options. Look for additional Salt & Straw locations in Portland’s southeast (3345 S.E. Division St.) and northwest (838 N.W. 23rd Ave.) neighborhoods.
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Fried chicken, waffles
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Screen Door

2337 E. Burnside St.
AAA Inspector Rating
(503) 542-0880
If there’s one Portland brunch spot you try, make it Screen Door. Waits can be long for their weekend brunch, but as you sink your teeth into their Southern comfort food (think praline bacon, buttermilk-battered fried chicken and sweet potato waffles), you’ll see why crowds flock here. Wait time can be 45 minutes or more on weekends, but you may have better luck on weekday mornings when breakfast is served 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. (although some specialty menu items may not be available).
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Triple Chocolate Penetration donut topped with Cocoa Puffs at Voodoo Doughnut in Portland, Oregon.
AAA/Katie McPhee

Voodoo Doughnut

26 S.W. 3rd Ave.
(503) 241-4704
Make the pilgrimage to Voodoo Doughnut for a sugar-filled start to your day. The tiny donut shop turned tourist attraction is open 24 hours and features all sorts of sweet creations with clever (and sometimes risqué) names, from the M&M-covered “Marshall Mathers” donut to the Cocoa Puff-topped “Triple Chocolate Penetration.” A few tips: long lines can form seemingly out of nowhere, so plan to arrive before 9 or 10 a.m. to avoid the crowds; it’s cash only, but there’s an ATM inside. Another popular spot for sweet treats is Blue Star Donuts, which has locations in just about every quadrant of the city.
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