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Dec 14, 2007 06:45 AM

Portland vs Seattle

So in your opinion which city has the best dining scene overall? And what does each city do better than the other?

My wife and I are visiting the PNW soon and will be spending time between, Vancouver, BC, Portland and Seattle. We know Vancouver's dining scene very well, but want to know which city would you spend time in more based on chow?


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  1. [yawn]
    No offense, dude, but this topic has been run into the ground. You'll find numerous threads like this if you scroll down far enough.

    Go to Portland if you want to see the best use of local fresh ingredients. Service is generally rank amateurish, but the creativity, inventiveness, artistry, lack of pretention, and quality of the food will make up for this.

    For more info check out

      1. re: duckduck

        Here's a NT Times article about PDX.

        One total inaccuracy: saying there are no homegrown chefs. Not true at all.

        1. re: Leonardo

          Having lived for years in PDX and Seattle, both are shangra-las. Seattle wins on the food scene due to its luscious seafood. Portland is clueless in this arena. A case in point is Subaro, PDX's favorite sushi restaurent. I've had PDX people claim Subaro is the finest sushi in the land, and ZAGAT raves about its "generous portions" that are "big enough to slap on a grill" (PDXer feedback to be sure). A word to the wise, more is not more when Sushi is involved. My japanese wife ran screaming from that filthy place. A final observation, the NYTimes loved Mamas restaurant in downtown PDX. Enough said.

          1. re: 1703crow

            Saburo (not Subaro) is awful. Who takes Zagat seriously? No one I know.
            The best sushi in PDX is either Murata or Hiroshi. The real deal. The only places I could take a Japanese guest (and often have done so) and not be humiliated.

            1. re: 1703crow

              True enough that Seattle beats PDX in the seafood department, but please don't cite Saburo as Portland's best seafood or sushi. There are many better sushi places in town, and Southpark serves some killer seafood, as weall as some of the best raw oysters you'll find anywhere. Look, both places have enough restaurants to keep you busy for days if not weeks, so figure out which city you'd rather go to for other reasons, and then choose your restaurants.

              1. re: 1703crow

                Well, what places *do* you like in Portland?

                Personally, I prefer Hiroshi Sushi.

                1. re: SauceSupreme

                  I like Koji's on Barbur, the place next to the Uwajimaya Grocery near Beaverton, and Sin Ju in the Pearl.

          2. I think it really depends on what you're looking for. If you want the dress-for-dinner, high-end meal, Seattle's probably your place. Even the highest-end meals in PDX, places like Paley's Place, clarklewis, and Higgins, won't mind if you show up in ratty jeans. But that's what I love about Portland. I live in Portland, so I may be biased, but I find it hard to find a good low-, or even mid-priced meal in Seattle. And everything downtown closes down really early. I've found it much easier to get good food at all hours in Portland.

            Maybe I've been in the wrong parts of town in Seattle, but I've had much better pho' in Portland, and there isn't a Thai restaurant I'd recommend anywhere better than Pok Pok in PDX--super-authentic Thai street food served in a cozy brick-walled basement. For sushi, I prefer the Tokyo-style conveyor-belt places like Sushiville and Takahashi (where the sushi actually comes on a train), though if you want the really good stuff, go to Masu. Their poke is the best I've had anywhere.

            Pix Patisserie is excellent for desserts. Navarre has some stellar tapas. Mint/820 is the best place to get a lovely and complicated cocktail. Ken's Artisan Pizza and Apizza Scholls are both astounding. What kind of food do you want?