Learn about 15 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 recs are more current, based on a visit from February 13-15, 2016.
Numbers on the map correspond to listings below and appear in alphabetical order instead of order of preference.
Tracy Olson launched her Alberta Arts District cafe in 2004, and it’s still going strong. The space houses red and grey walls, wood tables and counter, and a blackboard menu, with pie cases flanking the register. They’re also known for fried egg sandwiches and Water Avenue Coffee, but I fixated on their more than 10 types of pie and house-made vanilla bean ice cream. Shaker lemon pie incorporated organic a filling of tart, candied Meyer lemon and hosted a lid, often a key to pie pleasure for me. The pie crust was satisfyingly flaky.
MUST ORDER: Shaker Lemon Pie
The latest chapter for Stumptown Coffee founder Duane Sorenson values food over caffeine. He’s teamed with several talented culinary pros. Roman Candle is an Italian bakery and cafe down SE Division Street from sister restaurant The Woodsman Tavern. The space features a peaked red awning, long wooden King’s table that must span 30 feet, exposed wood rafters painted white, and worn wooden pizza peels for decoration on the wall. A blackboard menu resides above racks of bread, pastry cases with cookies, cannolis and more. A marble counter displays eight varieties of Pizza Bianca, crispy slabs with chewy crusts that come with scissors. I really enjoyed their special pizza with spigarello, mozzarella, Mama Lil’s pickled peppers, and tomatoes. Of course Roman Candle offers a Stumptown Coffee program with three group La Marzocco espresso machine and shelves displaying vintage coffee brewers.
MUST ORDER: Special Pizza Bianca
Chef Eloise Augustyn worked at Random Order before opening Sweedeedee in 2012 in a former kaleidoscope factory. Her north Portland cafe carries a yellow and white awning and contains wood floors and banquettes, records and pickles on shelves, a wood swan chandelier, and specials on white, butcher paper. Corncakes are a breakfast tour de force, served with bacon, braised greens, two baked eggs and a tiny maple syrup pitcher. House-smoked trout didn’t look like much, tasted juicy and light with a squeeze with lemon. Augustyn is a beekeeper, exemplified by neon honeycomb in the window, so of course I had to order salted honey pie, a gooey marvel with buttery crust and sprinkling of Maldon sea salt.
MUST ORDER: Corncakes, House Smoked Trout, Salted Honey Pie