August 7, 2019
Portland has experienced explosive growth over the last 20 years. This means some mainstays have weathered the influx of population, while new places have given us a fresh look at culinary experiences. Here is my list of top fives in the categories of donuts, dive bars, drinks, and dual-needs dining. Tell me if your favorites are missing from this list!
- Coco Donuts – Six locations in Portland where you can choose from cake or yeast. Apple fritter, hello!
- Blue Star – Known for their brioche-style donuts, Blue Star also has vegan options. Eight locations in Portland.
- Sesame Donuts – Seven locations in the Portland-metro area, with one right downtown.
- Pip’s Original – This place always has a line on weekends, so better to visit during the week. 4759 NE Fremont
- Annie’s Donuts – My personal favorite! 3449 NE 72nd (at Sandy Blvd.)
I’ve culled these selections to represent different neighborhoods across Portland. Enter at your own risk!
- Goose Hollow Inn / Southwest – Founded over 50 years ago by former Mayor Bud Clark, the Goose Hollow Inn is a cozy local watering hole serving up sandwiches with carrot sticks in lieu of French fries. 1927 SW Jefferson St.
- Rose & Thistle / Northeast – Going strong for over 25 years, the back patio of this place can easily accommodate large groups. 2341 NE Broadway
- My Father’s Place / Inner Southeast – Serving up copious amounts of grease and beer, you’ll never know you are no longer in 1978. Rumor has it, the carpet was replaced recently. 523 SE Grand Ave.
- Joe’s Cellar / Northwest – a staple for Longshoreman and industrial graveyard shift workers (opens at 7 am), Joe’s has pool tables, video lottery, cozy booths and a u-shaped bar for patrons’ easy access to drinks. 1332 NW 21st Ave.
- The Lodge Bar & Grill / Southeast – Spacious patio, occasional live music, pool table and breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 6605 SE Powell Blvd.
- Cabezon – hands down the best Old Fashioned I’ve ever had. Try the cioppino to get a taste of everything.
- Taqueria Nueve – extensive tequila and mezcal offerings in a bright, colorful, airy setting. Within walking distance to Doug Fir Lounge if you’re headed to a show.
- Matador East – speaking of extensive tequila menu, this place also has an amazing happy hour food value. The watermelon aqua fresca is a great non-alcoholic option. Choose from eastside or westside location.
- The Goose (formerly Esparza’s) – Open for happy hour!
- Teote House Café – Awesome back patio; counter service; gluten-free. 1615 SE 12th Ave.
When you’ve converted to veganism and your relatives visit:
- La Cocina – No website to show you their giant menu, but they easily and willingly (gasp) accommodate dietary specifications. Open Monday – Saturday, 11 am – 9 pm; closed Sunday. 3939 NE Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.
- Gravy – Mini iron-skillet-shaped crispy hash browns? Vegan or non-vegan namesake gravy? This breakfast joint has you covered. 3957 NE Mississippi and 3101 NE Sandy
- Harlow – Vegan by default, adding eggs is optional. Breakfast and lunch. 3632 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
- Laughing Planet – Super casual, quick lunchtime options that won’t break your diet. Ten locations in Portland!
- Shandong – Lunchtime is the best deal for this modern Chinese food joint, but dinnertime is also popular. 3724 NE Broadway
Honorable Mention goes to Eclectic Café for being a paleo-leaning casual eatery.