Portland’s Top 10 Food Dishes

There are many award-winning qualities about Portland, but the word on the street is that Portland knows how to EAT!  Proudly recognized for being one of the foodie capitals of America, Portland does not disappoint when it comes to incorporating creativity, diversity, talent, and high-quality ingredients into its culinary creations. We are so thrilled that YOU are spending time with US in Portland.  As you explore this great city, we can’t wait to share the yummiest destinations and Portland’s top food dishes with you.

With so many choices to choose from, it was difficult for me to consolidate this list into 10 of my top-rated dishes.  I am excited to share with you my selection as I’ve worked hard to provide variety for all preferences and palates ranging from ethnic cuisines, Pacific Northwest-inspired, vegetarian-friendly, meat-lovers, and of course, delectable desserts to finish off a phenomenal meal!

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Best Farmer’s Markets in Portland

Majestic coastlines, luscious greenery, beautiful mountains, and friendly people are a few things Oregon’s known for. However, thanks to rain and great climate, Oregon boasts nearly 100 farmer’s markets state-wide, offering seasonal and year-round produce for everyone to enjoy. This is one of the main reasons why the Farm to Table movement has woven perfectly into the fabric of Oregon’s culture! Today, we’ll talk about a few of my favorite farmer’s markets in Portland that I frequent to get local fruits and vegetables, honey, meats and delicious eats!

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Best Hot Tubs & Spas in Portland

Is stress taking over your life and it’s time to unplug for the weekend? If so, I’ve got solutions for you! For those seeking a relaxing getaway, Portland has plenty to offer for some R&R. Hot tubs and spas in Portland provide the perfect opportunity to unwind your mind, soak in minerals, and enjoy quality time with loved ones. Whether you’re looking for a romantic retreat or simply a way to relax after a long day (like me after a fun-filled day leading food tours), Portland’s got it all! And in honor of keeping the style consistent with its reputation, Portland spa experiences provide themes for versatile preferences from an artsy feel, flower-child hippie, urban hipster, or as bougie as you’d like!

So come explore a few of my top picks for the best spas in Portland

Included with delicious eats nearby! (Of course, I’d talk about food!)

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Coolest Spots for Best Views in Portland

Being Oregon’s largest city and surrounded by buttes and mountains, would you believe me if I told you, it only sits at 50’ in elevation? Pretty crazy, huh? On the other hand, the west hills have mountain peaks as high as 1,073’ and buttes towering 636’ in elevation, creating a perfect combination of majestic mountainous beauty. Get ready as I share with you a few of my favorite and sought spots to soak in the best views of Portland!

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Best Season to Visit Portland, Oregon

Ah, Portland, Oregon. One of the greatest and trendiest cities to visit in the United States. Famously known for one of its comedic and beloved shows called Portlandia, Portland boasts gorgeous natural greenery and is a fun place to be! Come check out all the uniqueness this city has to offer! And you can decide for yourself what is the best season to visit Portland.

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9 Reasons Why You Need to take a Portland by Mouth Food Tour

  1. Where does one begin with over thousands of eateries in the city of Portland? First time in Portland? 10th time? Any new or frequent visitor would benefit from going on a food tour. The food expedition provides 5-6 stops at eateries to enjoy a progressive meal.  And you have 3 to choose from! I mean, unless you are one of those people who don’t like food, then you need to take a Portland by Mouth food tour.
  1. Take a fun stroll through a magnificent city full of life, history, and creativity! We will set forth towards our delicious destinations and enjoy storytelling of how Portland became the city it is today.
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Quirkiest Hotels in Portland, Oregon

Have you ever had a hard time deciding on where to stay? Locals and friends provide countless suggestions, but where do you even begin? Realistically, there’s really no “wrong” answer. It all depends on your personal preference, style, and to-do list when exploring a new city. Being that Portland’s slogan in Keep Portland Weird, it’s no wonder that the city has its fair share of quirky hotels.

Portland, Oregon was created with five geographical sections that locals have referred to as “quadrants.” These are known as, North, Northeast, Southeast, Northwest and Southwest. The sixth and newest quadrant which is the South quadrant was added in 2020. Technically, they’re known as sextants now, but Oregonians still call them “quadrants.” That in itself is pretty quirky!

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Food Tours in Portland During the Covid-19 Pandemic

When the pandemic first hit us in March of 2020, food tours in Portland shut down. Along with everything else in Portland.  And the world for that matter!

Here in Portland, we were slow to reopen. This was a good thing, as far as controlling the spread of the virus.  Many restaurants pivoted to take out only. While take out is not the same experience as dining onsite, it was a lifeline to keep many establishments afloat.

We adapt to the Covid-19 pandemic with outdoor dining

By late June, outdoor dining reopened and boy was that liberating!  I guess the saying “appreciate the little things” aptly applies to one of life’s greatest pleasures, dining with friends at eateries.  And in those few summer months, we learned a lot about the virus as well as a lot about how to resume living safely amidst the pandemic.  Namely, about how practicing public health measures (mask wearing, social distancing, frequent hand washing and avoiding indoor spaces with strangers). This would allow businesses to reopen, and patrons to remain safe.

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Food Carts in Portland – the Story Behind the Icon

I will admit, I hesitate to write this article, because what could I possibly say about food carts in Portland that has not already been said?  Probably nothing, but it has been fun for me to travel down some rabbit holes, learning the history of how food carts have become synonymous with Portland.

Officially, the food cart scene blew up in 2008, during the Great Recession. Although that was 95 years after the first food cart set up moveable shop in Portland.  As you can imagine, the cart was pulled by a horse back then!

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Nostrana’s Famous Radicchio Salad

Before diving deep into what makes Nostrana’s famous radicchio salad so awesome, let me mention that Nostrana has been open for fifteen years in Portland, Oregon.  In terms of the life of a restaurant, fifteen years is pretty much forever.  Which means chef Cathy Whims is doing a few things right.  Cathy and her husband David West opened Nostrana in 2005, in the heart of the Buckman neighborhood, which encompasses the Central Eastside Industrial District.  With the coziness of the wood decor and pizza oven inside and the patio seating outside, it very much has a neighborhood bistro feel to it. 

For decades, Cathy has been a frequent traveler to Italy, where she has built friendships, strengthened her relationship to Italian cooking, and studied with the famous Marcela Hazan.  Lucky for her (and us), Italian cuisine adapts very well to the Pacific Northwest.  Mainly because they both draw on the natural bounty of the region, supporting local farmers, fisherman and ranchers.  Starting with the best ingredients and creating rustic, simple dishes, can result in some of the most complex and tastiest food.  I read a quote by her that really struck a chord, “at Nostrana, the farmers and the ingredients cultivate the menu”.

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