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35+ Best Restaurants in Portland Oregon for Newcomers

Whether you’re moving to Portland or just visiting this Oregon city, you simply have to check the best restaurants in Portland. Every newcomer should see the finest things a place has to offer, and that, if you ask us, includes the food, service, and ambiance in best neighborhood eateries. We’ve picked out the ones you shouldn’t miss once you wind up there.

Ox Is One of the Best Restaurants in Portland

Inspired by Argentinian cuisine, this fantastic place has so many good reviews that we don’t know where to start. OX Restaurant is famous for its grilled meat and vegetables, but the chefs also make delicious salads, and they always use fresh local and seasonal produce to fix up a perfect dish. The ambiance is relaxed, but the gastronomic experience you’ll get will make you feel like you’re at the Oscars. Book a table, have a one-course meal or a five-course meal – it doesn’t matter. They open up at 5 PM, so a dinner at this place – be it a plate full of grilled meat or a salad, it’s definitely a must.

Visit Other Amazing Places That Deserve a Michelin Star

Do you know about Michelin stars? This company that produces tires for cars started to grade restaurants in 1900 to show French drivers where to eat. One star goes to a place with great dining, two stars mean that the place is worth a detour, and three stars are for a joint that’s worth a special journey. If they came to Oregon, these restaurants would get a three-star rating: Castagna Restaurant, Nomad.PDX, Le Pigeon, and Beast.

The bucket list of eateries in this city will be a long one

Most Famous Venues Downtown

The city center had a real urban development boom and became one of the best neighborhoods to live in Portland. Aside from the high-rise buildings, bridges, and parks, this part of the community is also home to incredible food. As you get hungry while walking the streets, you have to check out one of the following places.

Mother’s Bistro & Bar

They’re open from 7 AM to 10 PM, Monday to Sunday, and every kind of meal is made just for you. They are proud to say that everything is made with love, and their comfort food will make you think that you’re in your mama’s kitchen. One of the loveliest things about Mother’s Bistro is that every month they feature a Mother of the Month (or “M.o.M.”) and bring you some of her special dishes prepared in their kitchen.

Southpark Seafood

As you come near, you’ll see a big fish protruding out of the brick wall. In their lively dining room, fresh and sustainable seafood lies on ice, waiting to be prepared into a healthy and tasty dish. Slurp on some oysters, or order a steak – it will be equally good. Southpark Seafood has been there for twenty years, helping everyone create memorable moments.

Bijou Cafe

An excellent place for breakfast and brunch. Go to this light-interior place, order some French-style omelets, or check out some other things on the menu like Spanish-style pork chorizo, potatoes, poblano peppers, red onions, or cilantro with two eggs. Bijou Cafe is one of the best long-standing American-style joints.

Portland City Grill

Having lunch on a thirtieth floor and looking at the skyline already sounds good enough, but if you add an amazing meal, the experience gets even better. Some soup made from seasonal mixed greens or Asian style rice rolls – raw, cooked, or vegetarian – Portland City Grill has it all, and we know you’d love it.

The center is always in charge of having the finest lunch joints

Huber’s Cafe EST in 1879 Has the Oldest Story in Portland

Imagine eating in a place that has existed for more than 140 years! Huber’s tradition is serving turkey dinner, and Spanish coffee started when everyone who ordered a drink, got a turkey sandwich with it. Today, you get to order certified Angus beef, among all other specialties of the house like five-spice pork tenderloin. Take your time and have a good look at the long list of soups, salads, sandwiches, poultry, seafood, desserts, wine, and other beverages.

Huber’s Is Not the Only One – Visit Other Old Eateries

Dan and Louis Oyster Bar is the oldest family-owned eaterie in town, and they’ve been serving oysters for more than one hundred years! Jake’s Famous Crawfish has been a landmark of the Downtown for more than 127 years serving cooked, fried, or raw specialties. The Leaky Roof has been there since 1947, blending dining, drinks, service, and atmosphere perfectly.

Old eateries in the town always have a special charm

Nostrana in Buckman Area is Highly Rated

A mix of Italian and European kitchen with a name that means “ours” is a place with simple dishes, but made with fresh and tasty ingredients. It’s one of the highly-rated eateries in this city.  The menu in Nostrana changes daily, so you won’t find the same dish combination twice. Share a pizza with crab and scallion or spicy sausage that goes perfectly with Italian wine by the glass.

Buckman Area Has More to Offer

Screen Door is a locally-owned business known not only for delicious recipes and the food they make, but also for their amazing idea to support local farms, schools, and organizations. You’ll know that, when you pay for their tasty and crunchy buttermilk-fried chicken, your money will also go to a charitable cause.

There’s also Tasty n Adler if you’re craving a good stake. So many delicious options on their menu can get you thinking about what to order for too long, but know that there is no mistake with having a Steak Frites for brunch.

In an atmosphere resembling a Russian living room, Kachka makes flavourful dishes rooted in the Soviet era. You’ll get the chance to try something that you never have, for example – beef made Siberian way.

Another venue you shouldn’t miss is Nong’s Khao Man Gai, a Thai cart with simple chicken and rice combination – super tasty.

The dining options in this community are very diverse

Share a Meal at the Hairy Lobster in the Pearl District

A truly American place – Hairy Lobster is known for shared plates. They love the tradition of eating together on big tables and passing the dishes to one another. If you plan to have dinner with a bunch of friends or family, make sure to book a table here, and you’ll get the amazing feeling of a Christmas dinner at any time of the year!

Try Something Innovative in Pearl District

Peruvian, Mediterranean, and Lebanese cuisine are at the fingertips when you come to this community and they wait for you at Mediterranean Exploration Company, Andina Restaurant, and Zaatar Fine Lebanese Cuisine. All of them will give you an opportunity to enjoy the way of eating as it is in a country far away. The colorful menu and ingredients that you don’t usually mix will make you a true gastronome. Pearl District is one of the best neighborhoods in Portland, and these venues are part of the reason why.

Tasting something new every time you eat out is fun!

Where to Drink and Eat in Goose Hollow?

This part of the city is home to vegan Asian cuisine venue Ichiza Kitchen & Tea House, where you can have a fresh, healthy meal and some tea in an intimate atmosphere. The same applies to Vtopia Restaurant & Cheese Shop. Order a cheese plate with some soup and a vegan sandwich and enjoy it! Ling Garden Chinese Restaurant will provide you not only with delightful meals but will also meet your desire to stay healthy. Rice and noodles in various combinations or some hot and spicy garlic shrimp with crab puff would be a great lunch.

In Case You’re Not One for Healthy Snacks…

Pizza, pasta, and yummy cannoli are at Gilda’s Italian Restaurant. Grandma Gilda and her cooking made this place one of the top ones you should go to. Food made with love is always the favorite one, and we all know that Italy loves a good bite.
If you’re up for some Asian, go to Dragonwell Bistro, a Chinese upscale place with a high ceiling, friendly staff and, of course, delicious meals. They say that it’s the best Chinese in all of Portland, so you be the judge.

Maintain a balance between healthy and fried meals

Old Town-Chinatown Has More Than Just Chinese Food

Talking about Chinese, Old Town-Chinatown is well known for its eateries of all kinds. This part of the town is home to Dan and Louis Oyster Bar, the one we mentioned as one of the oldest.

There’s Thai Lily Restaurant, which is also worth visiting for a fresh and healthy meal or Kells Irish Restaurant and Pub, with its sausage rolls and beer that they brew themselves. Kells has some flavorful Irish kitchen so don’t miss it if you’re a fan. Beer also goes well with pizza, and Old Town Pizza & Brewing surely is one of the best Italian places to go to. Our tip: order a thin-crust pizza, garlic knots, or their famous Shepherd’s pie and see for yourself why this pub has so many satisfied and loyal customers.

Shepherd's pie is always a good choice in Irish joints

Northwest of This City Truly Is a Gem When It Comes to Dining

This neighborhood in one of the best areas to live in Portland, Oregon, and it has an amazing offer for all the foodies out there. The diversity of options you have when coming to this area is incredible. Forget about cooking, move to this neighborhood, and experience the advantages of moving alone to the fullest. Don’t miss out on the next few spots:

Serrato Restaurant And Bar

Once again, the Mediterranean kitchen wins the hearts of Portlanders. Serato has a variety of recipes for all occasions and everyone’s budget. By mixing sustainable and seasonal ingredients, they make delicious dishes, like the combination of smoked Bristol Bay sockeye salmon, pickled red onion, shaved radish, with buttermilk-chèvre-dill dressing. Check them out, and we’re sure this will soon become one of your favorite things to do in Portland.

Please Louise

A killer bar with fantastic bar food and oven-baked pizzas. Try the bittersweet one made from braised radicchio, smoked mozzarella, walnuts, balsamic reduction, or just ask for the specialty pizza, as they always change it, and it’s, as Please Louise would say, “always something different, always awesome.”

Ringside Steakhouse

One of the leading steakhouses in Portland continues to serve the finest meals since 1944. The legendary Pacific Northwest seafood is served in shareable dishes, making a meal enjoyable for more than one person. Dry-aged steaks are aged for a minimum of four weeks and they go perfectly with some vegetables and a glass of Ringside Steakhouse wine.

The Waiting Room

Visit or have delivered some oysters or fried chicken with grilled lemon for dinner, or try their brunch options like a duck confit with cheese curds, chicories, curly fries, and gumbo sauce. A cocktail at the Waiting Room will be perfect for a lunch break.

Lela’s

In three words: Vietnamese Grandma’s food. Vegetarian Pho is also an option, but their authentic comfort food will leave you speechless. Come and try the specialties, and Lela’s chef and friendly staff will make sure you feel welcome.

Bamboo Sushi

Portland is known as the environmentally-friendly community, but this eatery takes all of that to another level. By serving only sustainable and naturally grown ingredients and thanks to its carbon neutrality, Bamboo Sushi became the first certified sustainable sushi place in the world in 2008.

When eating sushi, it's important to eat at a place where the chef doesn't serve any endangered species

Southeast Joints Will Make Your Mouth Water

Looking for a small place to have a tasty unconventional meal? Try Langbaan, a Thai place with a great menu, and the meals are served to just twenty-four seats. Southeast is also home to Olympia Provisions, the house of meat. This charcuterie is really something. Every salami and sausage are handmade, and you can even buy some of their products as a gift! Tusk – a Middle East-inspired spot is also a must. Come here for dinner or just for something sweet, like sourdough doughnuts with huckleberry and pistachio sugar.

Try some unusual cocktails from time to time

Have We Convinced You to Relocate?

The marvelous culinary scene of the big city is sure to leave you breathless and help avoid getting relocation depression. If we’ve won you over and you decided to relocate, figure the cheapest way to move out of state, and come here. Another option is to plan your moving budget and get professional moving services, even if you’re moving into a smaller home, so pack your stuff (or get packing services), and move. In case you wish to take your four-wheeler with you, look up how car shipping works and get auto transport services.

It’s time to get down to work – research the cost of living in Portland, find the best Portland schools if you are moving with kids, and begin house-hunting. Are the costs of relocation too expensive? There’s an easy solution – choose the cheapest time of the year to relocate. If this is a last-minute move, you might want to use a storage unit before you find a place to stay. Some moving companies even offer a month of free storage, so try to find someone who does that and make Portland your new home.