Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Metro Portland >
Aug 19, 2013 06:12 AM

2 days in Portland, what are the must try restaurants?

I am a huge foodie and wine lover. Been to Portland before and tried places like Mother's, Andina, Ringside, Voo Doo donuts, Portland city grill (for the view) and others I can't remember. All of these were recommended. What are the must try restaurants that locals go to? Price doesn't matter but prefer not to have to dress up beyond business casual.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. OX. Roe (Only open Thurs - Sat for dinner). Little Bird and/or Le Pigeon.

    1. Portland doesn't really do the dress code thing, for better or for worse. Wear clothes. That's about it. Roe and Pigeon are definitely unique stand outs. Tanuki would be as well depending on your willingness to be open minded. I think Higgins is fantastic and way more creative than people (who often times have not eaten there in years) think. Racion has very interesting food and a casual, fun environment. Little Bird has also been exceptional as of late. For a super casual lunch give Bunk Bar a shot.

      1. I am not from there but was recently there for also only a few days... I liked Tasty n' Alder, Jake's, and Blue Star donuts! Besides the aforementioned Little bird or Le Pigeon

        2 Replies
        1. re: GraceW

          Glad you enjoyed your trip and enjoyed Jakes, but it does not fit the description of "must try restaurants that locals go to" as originally posted.

          1. re: cobpdx

            Agreed. Jake's & Voodoo both belong under the heading "Tourist Trap".

            Definitely Blue Star.

            Read some of the other recent visitor reports and you'll get a feel for what we savor here.

        2. I'm curious why Ava Gene's doesn't come up in these Portland threads. Especially since it has won Top 10 new restaurants in US in BA mag.

          Any opinion from PDX CHs?

          2 Replies
          1. re: pagesinthesun

            Ava Gene's is part of the Stumptown empire - which is a fabulous thing for coffee and growers - but this could account for the level of national press as much as the quality of the restaurant in hungry for a story food writers' eyes.

            I love the idea of A.G. and have had some fabulous dishes and some complete misses of the same dish on a subsequent visits. Inconsistency at a touch higher prices than similar well executed places has been a major disappointment.

            My two cents after four visits.

            1. re: DanielLP

              I've had some fabulous meals at Ava Gene's and love it. Like the bar/cocktails/wine program and the food - like Ox, the veggies are as good as the meats. I've had fish, steak, and pork for mains asd they were all great.

              It is pricey by Portland standards, I agree. But I think it is (or can be) a good value for what you get. The $45 ribeye on the menu now comes with a salad, and has an interesting prep (watermelon, tomato, mint and hazelnuts - YUM!) and is EASILY shared by 2 (light eaters can make it 3 meals, I'd bet). The corn veggie dish is also great right now, and at $9 for the plate, is a generous side or starter for 2-3 people. Even the scoop of plum sorbetto I had was a generous, very shareable serving (and delicious/refreshing).

              One downside - it is very warm in there, especially if you add alcohol to the mix. Do NOT sit in front of the wood-burning oven, especially this time of year. I think I would choose another place to go if it was 80+ outside, we were far from the oven at the cocktail bar and it was very hot last weekend. Just MHO.