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Your top 5 favorite restaurants in Portland

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My boyfriend and I have an ongoing list of our "top 5" restaurants in Portland. With the freedom to switch one out when we find something great. I'm going to throw mine out there in hopes that I can get some good recommendations from other PDXers.

(in no particular order)

1. Toro Bravo: Great tapas, great atmosphere, food so good you want to take pictures of it and can't get it out of your head for days to come. I love the paella, the stewed butternut squash (though it's seasonal, and now I think it's a version made with zucchini or something), and the dates wrapped in bacon with warm honey. Mmmm.... (though I WANT to love the sangria and I'm just not that impressed by it).
2. Piazza Italia: Real authentic great Italian food and wine. Fun atmosphere and fun waitstaff. I like the Spaghetti Mare e Monte (Spaghetti with pesto and grilled shrimp, SO good. Their pesto in general is just GOOD). The tiramasu there is also amazing.
3. Pad Thai Kitchen: My favorite place to get thai in Portland. It's not super authentic, fancy thai like Pok Pok - but it's seriously good. Love the chicken drunken noodles and the phad thai. Plus, if you order it to go, you get about 3 x as much food and will be eating it for days. I go so often they have started identifying my voice when I call in to go orders.. "Jenny?".
4. Tin Shed: Everything here is good, with really friendly service and fresh local ingredients. You can't go wrong with anything on the menu. And the Mimosas are HUGE! They serve them in like, a beer glass.
5. A creperie toss up between Le Happy and Press Club. Both have unique atmospheres and a good banana nutella crepe. Le Happy is more of a late night place (with board games and a full bar) - but Press Club has really good sandwiches (and they show movies on the wall Sunday nights).

So there's my list. I'm curious to see yours!

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  1. 1, Toro Bravo
    2. Sel Gris
    3.Laurelhurst Tavern/ Kenny & Zuke's/Podnah's (sorry,,,can't decide)
    4. Davis Street Tavern
    5. Al Forno Ferruzza (because the calzones with the house made ricotta are crazy good)

    Also in my top ten would be Alba Osteria, Nostrana, and possibly, Clyde Common. Haven't been to ten-01 since Yoss left, but perhaps that might make the list, too.

    1. - Higgins
      - Paley's Place
      - Cafe Mingo

      I'll have to go back to Portland and eat more to come up with two more. Surprised to see Clyde Common on your top 10 list, I found it to be disappointing. Maybe they've worked it out...

      2 Replies
      1. re: waywardchef

        My first time at CC wasn't that great (like my first time at Nostrana wasn't either) but both places have hit their stride, IMO, and deserve a place on the top 10 in PDX list.

        Meat, Cheese, Bread would definitely make a top 20 list. I have had some great sandwiches there.

        And I think that Tabla would make a top 10 or 20 list too...

        1. re: JillO

          Yeah, biwa and Apizza Scholls would make that top 10-20 list too...

      2. Clyde Common
        Tanuki
        Toro Bravo
        Pok Pok
        Laurelhurst Market

        By the way, if you want "non-fancy" Thai, might I suggest Red Onion Thai on NW 23rd. The chef used to run a place in Lake Oswego that was really great, second only to Pok Pok in my mind. Luckily he's a bit closer to the city center now.

        http://pdxplate.com/forum/red-onion-thai

        1. Laurelhurst Market
          Pok Pok
          Le Pigeon
          Apizza Scholls
          Higgins

          1. In no particular order:
            Laurelhurst Market
            Tanuki
            Ten01
            Apizza scholls
            Toro Bravo

            1. Good call on Pad Thai Kitchen - truly an unsung gem with a nondescript name serving excellent food.

              1. Biwa
                Toro Bravo
                Clyde Common
                Podnah's
                La Calaca Comelona

                no set order

                2 Replies
                1. re: gal4giants

                  In no order at all:
                  Pok Pok (to the OP: it is not "fancy"; it is street food)
                  Ken's Artisan Pizza
                  Toro Bravo
                  Kenny & Zuke's
                  Tanuki

                  And I have no idea what the "Laurelhurst Tavern" is. Either it is the Laurelhurst Market or the Laurelthirst Tavern. I trust it is the former!

                  1. re: Leonardo

                    Just to clarify.. by fancy I meant to imply not really a restaurant I would go to for a quick thai fix on a weeknight; it's like a Saturday night restaurant. You're looking at an hour + wait at Pok Pok, it's a little bit more expensive than your average thai place as your ordering more than one dish per person, and half the wait staff are wearing head sets. That's what I mean by fancy.