Portland Food + Drinks Worth Seeking

Mural Portland

What a wonderful world! I spotted this hopeful mural during a rare Portland snow storm on another trip.


Learn about 16 places to eat and drink in Portland, Oregon, the largest, most progressive culinary center in the Pacific Northwest. I’ve enjoyed many other Portland food and drinks on past trips, but these recommendations are more current, based on a memorable visit from February 13-15, 2016. Entries appear in alphabetical order.

5. Cascade Brewing Barrel House

Beer Portland

Portland based Cascade’s second establishment specializes in “barrel aged sour beers” from Ron Gansberg, a master at balancing tart flavors and seasonal fruits in his sour beers. The Barrel House has a massive patio and 24 rotating taps, including some taps that draw “live from the barrel.” Embrace variety. Tasters ($2-$3.50) are available two per person, per time. I enjoyed all four beers, including Frite Gaulois, a blend of saison, weizen and blond brewed with white cherries, coriander, orange peel and sea salt; Strawberry, a mix of wheat and blond aged in oak barrels with strawberries and vanilla bean; Sang Noir, Imperial spiced red ale, Bourbon and wine barrel aged with Bing cherries; and Collaboration Rising Tide, a dry cider with Oregon blackberries and black currants blended with oak-aged sour triple.

MUST ORDER: Frite Gaulois, Strawberry, Sang Noir, Rising Tide (Collaboration)

6. Case Study Coffee Roasters

Coffee Portland

Case Study Coffee Roasters, an architecturally inspired coffee company from Christine Herman-Russell and husband Wes, features three locations around Portland. The couple’s Alberta Arts District coffee bar debuted in 2014 and features a prominent patio and corrugated metal facade. Inside, you’ll find a high ceilingm mezzanine, wood slat bar, gold and black 1948 Probat roaster, molecular model chandelier, custom three-group espresso machine. Espresso drinks like the Cortado are a good way to go, and you should probably consider house-made toasted hazelnut syrup featuring famed Oregon Filberts.

MUST ORDER: Espresso Drinks, Toasted Hazelnut Syrup

7. Cup & Bar

Chocolate Portland

Cup & Bar is a dual hub for Ranger Chocolate and Trailhead Coffee Roasters by the Oregon Convention Center. The former Stark Vacuum warehouse now features white concrete walls, wood furniture, and exposed rafters. Chocolate is available in bar, block and liquid form, plus ice cream. A three-group Slayer espresso machine dispenses complementary drinks, and you’ll also find taps for cold brew and beer. As always, weather dictates temperature. Single-origin chocolate and coffee are must-order, either separate or together. If you love chocolate, schedule a tour and tasting, which is available to the public on Saturdays at 1pm.

MUST ORDER: Seasonal Single-Origin Coffee, Single-Origin Chocolate

8. Heart Coffee Roasters

Coffee Portland

Wille Yli-Luoma is a native of Finland and professional snowboarder who settled in Portland. He started roasting at home and eventually started offering his beans to surrounding professionals. Heart Coffee Roasters debuted on East Burnside in 2009 and he expanded downtown in 2013. Heart’s glass-fronted downtown outpost features a honeycomb tile floor, wood tables, short wood counter facing street walkers, and black-and-white photo of pine trees. Spirit, a three-group espresso machine that Dutch craftsman Kees Van Der Western designed for La Marzocco, does heavy lifting. I enjoyed a cappuccino with Stereo espresso blend and house cashew-almond milk sweetened with Maple syrup and vanilla bean. Apparently Stereo has become more chocolaty than fruity over the years. No surprise, the WiFi Password was “lightroast,” which hits at Yli-Luoma’s preference.

MUST ORDER: Espresso Drinks, House Cashew-Almond Milk



Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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