Restaurant (and more) Guide
Welcome to Portland, the home of more breweries than any other city in the world, and more hybrid and electric cars per capita than any place outside of Japan; but, unlike Japan, all indoor sections of restaurants, bars, and stores in Oregon are firmly non-smoking.
Street blocks in Portland run 20 to the mile. Although there are several “superblocks” in the area of the OryCon Lloyd Center Doubletree hotel, going from an address in the 700s to an address in the 900s will still be about 1/10th of a mile.
Buses, the streetcar and light rail trains all run on the same system, and the same ticket works for all. A two-hour ticket costs $2.50, or $5 for an all-day ticket. Exact change is required on buses, but many light rail stations have ticket machines that will (if they work) accept credit and debit cards. Some even take cash and give change. Visit www.trimet.org for more information, maps, and door-to-door trip planning.
Nearby restaurants are mostly grouped along two corridors, each consisting of a pair of one-way streets: Broadway and Weidler Streets run east/west a few blocks north of the Doubletree, and Grand Ave / Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd run north/south a few blocks west of the Doubletree. Within these corridors, you’ll find dozens of restaurants, including Ethiopian, at least four Thai (plus Chinese/Thai and Vietnamese/Thai), five sushi restaurants (not counting Newport Grill’s sushi bar and the sushi bar at Safeway) plus representatives of nearly all of the national fast food outlets. (The list below only mentions the closest of these– Starbucks, of course, are required by law to be located no more than three blocks apart in the Pacific Northwest.)
Most of the restaurants below are within walking distance (arbitrarily defined as “within one mile”). As always, hours (and the restaurant names) are subject to change. None of the restaurants listed will require dress more formal than a shirt and jeans. (Portland is a casual town.) Several of the restaurants along Broadway are in remodeled houses (including all the Thai restaurants, coincidentally), meaning there may be stairs to climb to get to the food, so please call ahead if you might have mobility problems.
All listings are subject to change—these are accurate as of late August, 2013. You can get more restaurant choices at www.wweek.com/portland/cheapeats
Note: Portland is a 10-digit dialing city, so be sure to include the area code (either “503” or “971”) when you call any of these locations.
OK, let’s start with Starbucks— the closest outlet is in Lloyd Center, across the street fro the Doubletree. The next closest is in the Safeway that’s just north of Lloyd Center (on the other side of the shopping center from the Doubletree). There’s also a standalone store just a few blocks east (towards the higher numbered streets) from Safeway.
Broadway/Weidler St Corridor (West to East—the numbers on the cross-streets will go up)
Mashita Teriyaki, 1612 NE 6th, 503-335-7185 (next to Radio Shack). Small Japanese diner, with mixed reviews. Probably not worth the walk, with so many other sushi restaurants in the area. Mon-Fri: 11AM-8PM.
Pizza Schmizza, 628 NE Broadway, 503-517-9981. Great place to stop by for a slice or two, or pick up a take-out pizza to take back to the convention. Now also serving pasta and sandwiches, Mon-Sat: 11AM-11PM; Sun: Noon-9PM.
Burger King, 632 NE Weidler (7th & Weidler). The other big burger chain. Mon-Thu: 6AM-11AM; Fri-Sat: 6AM-Midnight; Sun: 7AM-11PM; Drive-up open 24hrs.
Chipotle Mexican Grill, 704 NE Weidler, 503-287-8242. Good “fresh-Mex” style restaurant, specializing in various types of burritos. All days: 11AM-10PM
Muchas Gracias, 707 NE Weidler, 503-281-0570. A small local Mexican chain. It’s a pretty good casual/fast food Mexican category outlet. Sun-Thu: 8AM-3AM; Fri-Sat: 8AM-4AM.
Taco Bell, 725 NE Weidler. Fast food Mexican. (The third Mexican fast food outlet at the same intersection.) Sun-Wed: 8AM-4AM; Thu: 8AM-4:30AM; Fri-Sat: 8AM-5AM
Habesha, 801 NE Broadway St, 503-284-4299. There used to be four Ethiopian restaurants within a short distance of the convention– this is the one that survived. Mon-Thu: 11AM-9PM; Fri-Sat: 11AM-10PM; Sun: 11AM-6PM.
Frank’s Noodle House, 822 NE Broadway, 503-288-1007. Excellent SE Asian (mostly Thai) restaurant within walking distance of the hotel. Sometimes there’s a line, but it’s worth the wait. (The prices are great, also.) Mon-Sat: 11AM-9PM; Closed Sun.
Qdoba Grill, 825 NE Weidler, 503-688-5551. A casual Mexican chain. All days: 9-9.
Bellagio’s Pizza, 815 NE Weidler, 503-688-5551. Take out (mostly–the place is very small) pizza chain. Sun-Thu: 11AM-9:30PM; Fri-Sat: 11AM-10PM.
Pho Broadway, 835 NE Broadway, 971-230-1600. Nice Vietnamese restaurant (although it has been getting mixed reviews lately).. Mon-Fri: 9AM-10PM; Sat-Sun: 8AM-9PM.
Umi Sushi, 914 NE Broadway, 971-230-1600. This sushi restaurant seems to change their name every few years. Mon-Fri: (Lunch) 10AM-2:30PM; (Dinner) 5PM-10PM; Sat: 5PM-10PM. Closed Sun.
Village Inn, 1621 NE 10th Ave, 503-284-4141 (between Weidler & Broadway). National pancake house chain. Mon-Sat: 6AM-9PM; Sun: 7AM-8PM.
Chen’s Dynasty II, 1025 NE Broadway, 503-282-5811. Many years ago, Chen’s Dynasty was one of the more interesting Chinese restaurants in downtown Portland. They then closed the downtown location and move out to the westside suburbs. Recently, they added this new location, replaced a decidedly ho-hum Chinese eatery. Unfortunately, the reviews have been mixed at best. You can probably do better. Mon-Fri: 11AM-10PM; Sat-Sun: Noon-10PM.
Jimmy John’s, 1139 NE Broadway, 503-719-7774. “Gourmet sandwiches.” They deliver. 11AM-9PM.
Newport Seafood Grill, 1200 NE Broadway, 503-493-0100, in Hollidays Market. A sister to Stanford’s (below), this seafood restaurant opened a few years ago, and is definitely one of the better seafood restaurants in the neighborhood. The menu features a broad range of prices and a broad selection of seafood, meats and pasta. And that’s not counting their oyster and sushi bars. All days: 11AM-10PM
Subway, 1301 NE Broadway, 503-284-4782. National sandwich chain (there’s also an outlet in the Lloyd Center food court). Mon-Thu: 7AM-11PM; Fri: 7AM-Mid; Sat: 8AM-Mid; Sun: 9AM-10PM
Milo’s City Café, 1325 NE Broadway, 503-288-6456. Pleasant neighborhood dining place. Limited menu, but prepared pretty well– the breakfasts are excellent. Nice wine selection. Mon-Fri: (Breakfast) 6:30AM-11AM; (Lunch) 11AM-2:30PM; (Dinner) 4:30PM-9:30PM; Sat-Sun: (Breakfast) 7:30AM-2:30PM; (Dinner) 4:30PM-9:30PM.
Yuki Japanese Restaurant, 1337 NE Broadway, 503-281-6804. Broad selection of Japanese food (not just sushi), prepared very well. Mon-Thu: 11:30AM-10PM; Fri-Sat: 11:30AM-10:30PM; Sun: Noon-10PM.
Panda Express, 1403 NE Weidler, 503-287-1118. Fast food Chinese. Sun-Thu: 11AM-9PM; Fri-Sat: 11AM-9:30PM.
Sushi Land, 1409 NE Weidler, 503-280-0300. Small sushi café. All days: 11AM-9PM.
Chai Yo, 1411 NE Broadway. Reasonably good Thai restaurant. 503-287-0505 Mon-Thu: 11AM-9:30PM; Fri: 11AM-10PM; Sat: Noon-10PM; Sun: Noon-9PM.
Sushi Ohana, 1422 NE Broadway, 503-284-1023. Yet another sushi restaurant. Mon-Sat: 11AM-10PM; Sun: 11AM-9:30PM.
Pastini Pastaria, 1426 NE Broadway, 503-288-4300. Pleasant neighborhood Italian restaurant (a small local chain) which does a big business in take-out food. Basic menu, emphasizing various types of very good pasta, and gluten-free pasta is available. Mon-Thu: 11:30AM-9PM; Fri-Sat: 11:30AM-10PM; Sun: 4PM-9PM.
Grand Central Bakery and Café, 1444 NE Weidler. Grand Central is one of the best bread bakeries in town, and this outpost also features sandwiches and soup (and coffee, of course). A popular neighborhood gathering place on the weekends during breakfast and lunch. All days: 7AM-6PM.
Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar, 1439 NE Halsey, 503-284-8040 (around the corner from 15th & Weidler). National casual dining chain (i.e. nothing special), other than being a source for those very late dinners that tend to happen at conventions. Sun-Thu: 11AM-Mid; Fri-Sat: 11AM-1AM.
Peet’s Coffee, 1441 NE Broadway. Coffee and sandwich shop. Mon-Thu: 5:30AM-8PM; Fri: 5:30AM-9PM; Sat: 6AM-9PM; Sun: 6AM-7PM.
Aztec Willie/Jose Rose Taqueria, 1501 NE Broadway, 503-280-8900. “Fresh Mexican restaurant”. (Nothing special.) All days: 11AM-2AM.
Koji Osakaya, 1502 NE Weidler, 503-280-0992. Part of a small local chain that includes some of the better sushi restaurants in town. Sun-Thu: 11:30AM-9:30PM; Fri-Sat: 11:30AM-10PM.
McMenamins on Broadway, 1504 NE Broadway, 503-288-9498 (upstairs, but there’s an elevator – call for directions). The McMenamin brothers are local legends amongst microbrewers. Almost single-handedly, they convinced Oregon legislators in the 80s to change the law to allow brewpubs and since then, they’ve built a small empire of brewpubs and local pubs throughout Oregon and Washington. The closest outlet is only a pub, with no brewing on the premises, but it’s a good opportunity to try their Nitro Tap and Cask Conditioned specials, as well as classics such as Terminator Stout, Hammerhead, Ruby and Black Rabbit Porter, plus their locally brewed ciders and liquors. Sun-Tue: 11AM-11PM; Wed-Thu: 11AM-Mid; Fri-Sat: 11AM-1AM.
Broadway Grill & Brewery, 1700 NE Broadway, 503-284-4460. An outpost of the westside Old Market Pub (which is where their brewery is located), they’ve improved both their food and their beers over the years. It’s a good casual place for a meal and brews (we enjoyed our dinner this last August). Mon-Thu: 11AM-Midnight; Fri: 11AM-1AM; Sat: 9AM-1AM; Sun: 9AM-11PM.
Helen Bernhard Bakery, 1717 NE Broadway. For more than 80 years (starting in a house next to the current building), this bakery has been producing cakes, pies and pastries. There isn’t any on-site eating space, but it should satisfy your sweet tooth. Mon-Sat: 6AM-6PM; Sun: 8AM-3PM.
Cadillac Café, 1801 NE Broadway, 503-287-4750. One of the hotter breakfast places in Portland (a city with a lot of good places for breakfast), it’s always jammed on weekends. Highly recommended if you can get in. Mon-Fri: 6AM-2:30PM; Sat-Sun: 7AM-3PM.
Thai Pod, 2015 NE Broadway, 503-493-1122. A former sushi location is now a small Thai restaurant (because heaven knows, four Thai restaurants in a dozen blocks along Broadway isn’t nearly enough). Mon-Thu: 11AM-9PM; Fri: 11AM-10PM; Sat: Noon-10PM; Sun: Noon-9PM.
Skyline Burgers, 2200 NE Broadway. 50s style burger joint. Nothing special. Mon-Thu: 11PM-9PM; Fri-Sun: 8AM-9PM.
Costello’s Travel Caffé, 2222 NE Broadway. Coffeehouse, serving sandwiches with WiFi service. Mon-Fri: 7AM-5PM; Sat: 8AM-4PM.
Blue Nile Café, 2225 NE Broadway, 503-284-4653. Probably the best of the nearby Ethiopian restaurants, it’s nearly always full. Mon-Wed: 5PM-10PM; Thu-Sun: 11:30AM-10PM.
Rose & Thistle, 2314 NE Broadway, 503-287-8582. A Scottish-style pub with burgers and appetizing pub food (better range than the usual “British” pub). The patio outside is pleasant, but probably not practical in November for anyone but diehard smokers.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd/Grand Ave Corridor (South to North—the addresses will go up)
Nicolas, 318 SE Grand Ave. The original location of what are now several area family Lebanese restaurants. LMB’s daughter was a server here. Mon-Sat: 11am–9pm, Sun: Noon–9pm
Burgerville USA, 1135 NE MLK Blvd. Not your everyday fast food restaurant–this local chain has an emphasis on fresh local food and high quality beef that has gained it mentions in the New York Times and several national food magazines. Mon-Fri: 6AM-10PM; Sat-Sun: 7AM-10PM
Denny’s, 425 NE Hassalo at Grand. All days: 6AM-1AM
Red Robin (“America’s Gourmet Burgers & Spirits”), 1139 NE Grand Ave at Multnomah, 503-231-9223. Fancy hamburgers and “cute” drinks. Sun-Thu: 11AM-10PM; Fri-Sat: 11-11
Wendy’s Old-Fashioned Hamburgers, 1421 NE Grand Ave at Clackamas. The national burger chain that’s not McDonald’s or Burger King. All days: 7AM-11PM; drive-up open until 2AM.
McDonald’s, 1502 NE Grand (Grand & Weidler). Wherever you go, there they are. Mon-Sat: 5AM-11PM; Sun: 6AM-11PM; Drive-up open 24 hrs.
is one of the largest shopping centers in Oregon, and it’s across the street, just north of the Doubletree hotel. Over 100 stores, of nearly every type and price, a large food court–plus an ice skating rink! What more could you want?
Stanford’s, 913 Lloyd Center, NE 9th & Multnomah, 503-335-0811 (directly across the street from the NE corner of the Doubletree). Specializes in wood-grilled meats and fish. Good food, but this particular outlet tends to have slow service. Local chain, sister to Newport Grill (see above). Sun-Thu: 11AM-11PM; Fri-Sat: 11AM-Midnight; Happy Hour: 3PM-6PM (all days).
Lloyd Center Food Court, on the third floor of Lloyd Center. Good selection of fast and casual food. Most of them are open until about 10PM. The line-up changes, but here’s what we found in early September (from left to right, facing the movie theater entrance):
- Billy Heartbeats (50’s-style burger & malts joint)
- Hot Dog on a Stick (you can probably guess what they serve)
- Medi Grill (gyros and kabobs)
- Sarku Japan (mostly teriyaki, with some sushi)
- Ocean Aloha (“coming soon”)
- McDonald’s Express
- Villa Pizza (pizza and pasta)
- [movie theater]
- Tilt (video games)
- Cajun Grill (fish, chicken, shrimp)
- Orange Julius
- Chicken Connection (chicken and shrimp)
- Steamers “Asian Street Bistro” (Chinese and Thai food)
- Taco Time
- Rose City Café (salads and sandwiches)
- Lotus Express (Chinese)
- All-American Ice Cream and Yogurt
There are also some other food outlets scattered throughout the mall, including Cinnabon and Yoyumba (“A Frozen Desert Adventure”)
Nearby (a car, bus or light rail ride)
Pour, 2755 NE Broadway. Wine bar with a large wine list. Mon-Sat: Noon-2AM.
Sweet Basil Thai, 3135 NE Broadway, 503-281-8337. Surely the best of Thai restaurants along Broadway, but a very long walk (or short drive or bus ride) from the con. Reservations recommended (it’s pretty small). Lunch (Mon-Fri): 11:30AM-2:30PM; (Sat-Sun) Noon-3PM; Dinner: (Sun-Thu) 5PM-9PM; (Fri-Sat) 5PM-10PM.
Nicolas, 3223 NE Broadway, 503-445-4700. A new locale for these family Lebanese restaurants. Mon-Thurs: 11AM–9PM, Fri-Sat: 11AM-10PM, Sun: Noon–9PM.
Toro Bravo, 120 NE Russell, 503-281-4464. Judged one of the best restaurants in Portland. Excellent tapas and great drinks. (And not really expensive for the quality of food you’re getting but that overpowering temptation to get “just one more dish” can sure add up.) Expect a long wait on some nights, but it is really worth it. Not very workable for large groups, unfortunately. Sun-Thu: 5PM-10PM; Fri-Sat: 5PM-11PM.
Pok Pok, 3226 SE Division St, 503-232-1387. Award-winning, delicious Thai street-food. Always crowded, but you can wait across the street at their Whiskey Soda Lounge, to try their selection of “Som” (drinking vinegars). All days: 11:30AM-10PM
Eastburn, 1800 E Burnside, 503-236-2876. A longish walk from the hotel (about 1 ½ miles). This building was the birthplace of Portland fandom, back when it was “Carl’s Store” (The Illustrated Store) in the mid-70’s. Then it was Future Dreams, a comics and book store that got thousands of my dollars over the year. (Future Dreams is now across the street.) Now it’s an eclectic tavern, serving high-end pub food and 19 ever-changing taps of draft beers plus their Den Bar. Mon-Fri: 4PM-2AM; Sat-Sun: 10AM-2AM.
Henry’s Tavern, 10 NW 12th Ave, 503-227-5320 (downtown Portland). Combine pub food, pan-Asian cuisine, fresh seafood, pizza and traditional American comfort food (like macaroni and cheese, and meatloaf). Put it in a century-old-brewery building, formerly used by Blitz Weinhard. And, oh yes, add over 100 different beers on tap. You end up with Henry’s Tavern. This restaurant is a sister to Newport Grill and Stanford’s, but it has no more resemblance to those restaurants than actor Randy Quaid does to his actor brother Dennis. This joint has been hoppin’ from the day it opened, and well deserves a visit. Mon-Wed: 11AM-11PM; Thu: 11AM-Mid; Fri: 11AM-1AM; Sat: 10AM-1AM; Sun: 10AM-11PM.
Higgins Restaurant and Bar, 1239 SW Broadway, 503-222-9070 (downtown Portland). It’s hard to say what’s more impressive about Higgins: is it the long list of awards, the impressive list of Belgian beers, or is it the great meals prepared with Pacific Northwest ingredients? Whichever it is (probably all three), this is one of the best restaurants in Portland. Reservations strongly suggested. Mon-Fri: 11:30AM-Mid; Sat-Sun: 4PM-Mid.
Queen of Sheba, 2413 NE MLK Blvd., 503-287-6302. This Ethiopian restaurant has been getting some good reviews. Lunch: Sun-Wed (dinner only): 5PM-9PM; Thu-Sat: (lunch) Noon-2PM, (dinner) 5PM-10PM.
Wong’s King Seafood, 8733 SE Division St., 503-788-8883. This jewel of a Cantonese restaurant out in the flatlands of outer SE Portland is very likely the best Chinese restaurant in town. It specializes in seafood dishes, but also gets raves for its dim sum lunches. And you’ll be astonished on how low the bill is when you get your check. Highly recommended. (503) 788-8883. Mon-Fri: 10AM-11PM; Sat-Sun: 9:30AM-11PM; Dim Sum: 9:30AM-3PM daily.
East 28th Avenue
: From NE Glisan St to SE Ankeny St (six blocks), 28th Ave is filled with interesting restaurants, too many to list here. Cuisines include Cuban, Mexican, Italian, Chinese (and a nice gelato shop).
NE Alberta St.
: Twenty years ago, NE Alberta was a place you wouldn’t want to be caught dead at (mostly because several people were). Now, it’s a mile-long avenue of shops, galleries and great. A few blocks away is Concordia Ale House, with over 100 beers in bottles and dozens on draft (including a long list of Belgians).
: Another area of inner N/NE Portland that’s undergone a spectacular renaissance, North Mississippi is now the home to eclectic shops, interesting restaurants and (when it’s not raining) parents walking with their families. Mississippi Pizza Pub serves good pizza (and live music) and Amnesia is serving their beer. New restaurants seem to be opening weekly.
Portland has more breweries than any other city in the world (close to 50 of them). Here are a dozen nearby breweries and brewpubs that are worth the trip (all are only a 10-15 minute drive from the hotel):
Reverend Nat’s Cidery and Public Taproom, 1813 NE 2nd. Thu-Sat: 5-10PM Sun Noon-5PM.
Breakside, 820 NE Dekum. Our neighborhood brewpub—we walk over there for dinner at least once a month. Delightful, ever-changing list of beers and very good pub food. (If you really get adventurous, they have a tasting room at their production brewery in the SE Portland suburbs which features two dozen taps—but no food.) Mon-Thu: 3PM-10PM; Fri-Sat: Noon-11PM; Sun: Noon-10PM.
Deschutes Brewery, 210 NW 11th Ave., 503-296-4906 Deschutes is arguably the best large craft brewery in Oregon (which says a lot). Their home is in Bend, in Central Oregon, but they opened a Portland outlet a few years. It features an excellent range of food, and a lot of taps, many serving beers that you’ll find nowhere else (except at their other pub in Bend). With rare exceptions, all the beers they serve here are brewed on-site. The only problem with the place is that the bar area is usually pretty crowded. Sun-Thu: 11AM11PM; Fri-Sat: 11AM-Mid.
Full Sail Pilsner Room, 0307 SW Montgomery*, 503-222-5343 (on the westside riverfront, in the Riverplace Marina district). This outlet of Hood River’s famous Full Sail Brewery has its own brewing operation, and a pleasant pub for meals. (It can often be very full on Friday and Saturday nights.) All days: 11AM-9PM
* (A Portland quirk: A street number with a zero in front of it is east of the east-west dividing line for numbering, but west of the river. So, going from west to east, it’s 307… 207… 107 … 7… 007… 0107 … 0207 … 0307)
Russell Street Barbeque, 325 NE Russell St, 503-528-8224