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Feb 6, 2007 09:33 AM

Good Italian in NE Portland?

My parents don't get out much and don't have a lot of money, but are looking for a good relatively cheap Italian place that doesn't feel like a chain and serves more than just pasta. Years ago there was a fun place on Sandy Blvd called Sylvia's that they liked ... where should this San Diego boy send his parents (or take them, when he's in Portland) that's good, but easy on the budget? Thanks!

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  1. I'll try to give you an answer, but I was not really fond of the type of food Sylvia's (they closed last year) served so it might not be exactly what you're asking for. Also, I'm not sure what would qualify as relatively cheap, but you can check the websites for these places and see if they qualify.

    If I wanted to get Italian-American food, these would be some places I'd go:

    Gino's: ( there can be a long wait, and depending on your parents, it might be a little self-conciously funky, but this would be my preference for quality food.

    Mama Mia's: ( This might be a little expensive, but the portions are large enough to share.

    Sal's Famous Italian Kitchen (

    Places that I haven't been, but might fit your criteria:

    The Italian Joint (


    Amalfi's ( From the looks of it, this is closest to Sylvia's, and it's the only one I've listed that hasn't opened in the last 10 years or so--it's been around since 1959.

    1. Thanks, that should do very nicely. My parents have gotten more sophisticated over the years and I suspect Sylvia's was satisfying less lately ... !

      1. People speak very highly of Gino's in Sellwood, although I haven't been. Some say they serve the best steaks in town!

        1. Gino's in Sellwood is Amazing; The Italian Joint has great food, a so-so name...!

          1. I don't live in Portland anymore (boy do I miss it!) but my favorite Italian place was always il piato, on 28th and stark. Yummy food, small and cozy space and friendly staff. I've never had a bad meal there- and I started going in 1995 or 1996 and was last there in September of this year!