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!
Here goes – Portland’s Top Food Dishes.
Harvest Salad at Laurelhurst Market (northeast) – A perfect combination of raw, grilled, and pickled vegetables. Each bite provides a crunch, tang, and freshness that makes my palate dance. The colors are vibrant with robust flavors of greens coated in the most exquisite roasted pepper and hazelnut romesco sauce that’ll leave you licking the plate clean!
Brussel Sprouts Dashi at King Tide Fish & Shell (south) – Not only are Brussels sprouts extremely healthy for you, but they’re also quite delicious. Slightly bitter in nature allows other spices and flavors to shine if paired with the right ingredients. Although many eateries make a mean side dish of brassicas, the Pacific Northwest takes the trophy for knowing a thing or two about bringing out all the keynotes in this delicious vegetable! This specific version is served with a soft egg as it floats in a flavor-packed umami dashi broth that will leave you yearning for more.
Eggplant Baba Ghanoush at World Foods (northwest & southwest) – Perfectly grilled eggplant leaves a classic charred flavor that compliments this dish so well! Creamy and delicate in flavor, this is one of the best dishes to get at World Foods. This stuff is the real deal. However, the entire deli is quite spectacular. They can create a beautiful platter for you to enjoy at their outside tables, or take it to-go and have a picnic if you so please.
Oeufs at Canard (east Burnside) – This is probably my FAVORITE dish in Portland and that says A LOT! These are a creative and elevated twist on the classic deviled eggs your mother used to make. This version elevates your taste buds to a whole new level of bliss you didn’t know was possible! Trout roe, bacon, perfectly roasted garlic with smoked (yep, I said it) maple syrup. The combination of these flavors gave birth to a magnificent creation that you won’t want to miss!
Flight of Fried Chicken Wings at Toki (southwest) – These are not your ordinary chicken wings, folks! Packed with so much flavor, it’s sure to leave you wondering where these wings have been all your life. These are Korean hot chicken wings and the flight consists of four flavors. Hot chili oil, sweet garlic soy glaze, spicy gochujang tamarind and essense of ramen. Cue the drooling! They’re finger-licking good that the entire family will thoroughly relish.
Mee Grob Lan Tao Huu Yee at Phuket Café (northwest) – How long did it take you to say all of that? I know, me too. But one of the great thing about Portland is that it welcomes cultural cuisines from all walks of life. These are house-made rice noodle crackers served with a specially fermented pork dip. Now, before you dismiss the possibility of this dish tasting good, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that the fermentation process brings out crazy good flavors. The umami notes will leave you speechless as you ravenously grab the menu to see what else this place has to offer.
Jianbing at Bing Mi (northwest) – We’ve got to give food carts a little love and appreciation here. Food carts are convenient and incredibly versatile, and they certainly deliver in the flavor department. The menu is kept small to ensure maximum quality in taste. This food cart showcases freshly made savory Chinese crepes with scrambled egg, chili bean sauce, green onion, cilantro, and preserved mustard with wonton crackers. The combination is out of this world and insanely good!
Dirty Fries at Big’s Chicken – If you’ve ever had and loved fried potatoes JoJo style, you’re in for a delectable treat! These dirty fries are topped off with delicious smoked chicken, creole gravy, cheese, and garnish that will make your taste buds dance with joy. They offer seven amazing sauces that you can order ala carte. So get creative and order one of each to experience a powerhouse of flavors!
Sweetbreads at Heavenly Creatures – This wine bar is the newer baby of the city, but it’s earned its spot on this list. Total disclosure: if cow thymus is not your jam, you’re welcome to skip ahead to dessert! Sweetbreads that are done just right will provide a crispy outside and soft inside. These are perfectly executed and pair exceptionally well with the pimenton dip. And ask your server which wine best pairs with these otherworldly sweetbreads!
Saffron Ice Cream at Fifty Licks – Last, but certainly not least, behold: saffron ice cream! This scrumptious option happens to be vegan and made with creamy coconut milk. The notes of saffron pairs perfectly with the coconut and transports my tastebuds to an exotic land, as I envision myself wandering through hectic markets with my sweet treat.
Well, I’ve come to realize that I am now famished after writing these for you! I can’t wait for you to try one or more of Portland’s top food dishes when you visit Portland. I know you will not be disappointed!
And I can’t wait to meet you on one of our food tours – so we can tickle our taste buds together.
Portland by Mouth