Portland is a foodie city offering a range of cuisine, including steakhouses, Italian and French fare, and Asian dishes, to name a few. With any popular restaurant in Portland, be aware that if you don’t make reservations, you’ll likely be waiting a while to get in. Portland loves waiting in line for food!
Portland City Grill
In the heart of downtown Portland, Portland City Grill specializes in seafood and steak, but also serves some Asian dishes, salads, burgers, tapas, and more. Above all, though, diners come here for the view. The restaurant is located on the 30th floor and sports a pretty stellar view as a result. This is one of the best date spots in town, whether you go for brunch, dinner, dessert, or happy hour. Admire the view and get lost in conversation while you listen to the pianist who plays at the center of the restaurant.
Mother’s Bistro & Bar
With a light and airy interior, Mother’s Bistro & Bar aims to serve up homemade favorites made from scratch just like mom used to make. Mother’s is known for their breakfast (and Portland is obsessed with breakfast), but it stays open throughout the day. If you do come for breakfast or brunch, you can’t go wrong with dishes incorporating Northwest favorites, like the Wild Salmon Hash. For dinner, choose from seafood or bistro bowls or many other options, but when at a place called Mother’s, going classic is a strong choice. Mac and cheese, meatloaf and gravy, and pulled pork are all fine choices.
Tasty N Alder
Tasty n Alder is a John Gorham restaurant (Gorham owns and operates several Portland restaurants). The meat portion of the menu features everything from bulgogi short rib to pork chops to Wagyu coulotte to a fine lineup of steaks. You’ll also find top-notch seafood and exceptional starters. The fries are a small yet noteworthy part of the menu as they’re fried in wagyu beef fat. Tasty n Alder also serves up delicious brunch and inventive cocktails, so it’s a treat to visit any time of day.
If you like top-notch food in a low-key atmosphere, Grassa is the place for you. Order at the counter and take a seat at the long tables with fellow diners, and then when your pasta arrives, be prepared to be blown away by the fresh, homemade noodles. And don’t expect just spaghetti and meatballs. You’ll find more unusual dishes like squid ink tonnarelli, pork belly mac and cheese, and more. Best of all, prices are very affordable.
With an industrial chic interior (check out the bike chain chandelier!), and a location inside the historic Hotel Lucia, Imperial is a restaurant with unique atmosphere and cuisine with a focus on Northwest ingredients and cuisine. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the restaurant is headed up by Chef Vitaly Paley, who was the Dean of Portland Chefs for several years. Start with some oysters on the half shell, or try something unusual like radishes on toast—you will not be disappointed by the fresh salmon or halibut.
Departure Restaurant & Lounge
Where the Portland City Grill offers a bit of a retro vibe from the 30th floor, Departure at the top of The Nines hotel offers a sleek and modern restaurant and bar with a view. Asian fusion cuisine, a daily happy hour, and a rooftop bar combine to make Departure a dining destination. The menu features sushi, dim sum, bibimbap, and crispy pork belly. If you’re not sure where to start, order one of the tasting menus and let the chef take you on a tour of the best the menu has to offer.