Little Bird Bistro
215 SW 6th Ave., Downtown
In the PDX, this little bistro is known to be the spot for fun late-night dining and lazy Sunday lunches. The menu is always on point, with the butter poached cod salad and octopus terrine being two of our favorites. If you're feeling adventurous, go for the scotch egg.
5425 N.E. 30th Ave., Concordia
This teensy restaurant in Concordia is so cozy that it feels more than a friend's dining room than an award-winning restaurant—though there's no question once your food arrives. Chef Naomi Pomeroy grew up in the area, but with a mother and grandmother who lived in France and New Orleans, her cooking style skews decidedly French. She’s also a James Beard Award-winner (she was a finalist three times), and we’ve yet to try a dish on her prix-fixe menu that wasn't worth writing home about.
Lovely’s Fifty Fifty
4039 N. Mississippi Ave., Boise
There’s a sizeable cohort of Portlandians who'll argue that Lovely Fifty-Fifty serves the best pizza in town. Their pies (each of which is big enough to serve two people) are cooked in the restaurant’s wood-fired oven, which makes the entire restaurant smell pretty great. While several of the pizzas—try the roasted potato with caramelized onions and gorgonzola—feature more adventurous toppings, it’s the kind of place that’s welcoming to the entire family. Fair warning: Kids go crazy for the homemade ice cream.
5202 N. Albina Ave., Humboldt
You’ll find Sweedeedee in a cute little pocket of North Portland, occupying a corner unit and adorned with yellow striped awning: The inside, with open shelves and mismatched stools, is just as adorable. The menu here is all about the oven; they bake their own bread (which gets turned into excellent sandwiches) and are famous in the neighborhood for delicious pies and baked goods. It’s impossible to pick favorites, but if we had to, it would be the breakfast burrito, honey cake with fruit and cream, salted honey pie, and the good buddy sandwich.
Hopworks Urban Brewery
2944 S.E. Powell Blvd., Creston-Kenilworth
In addition to serving award-winning microbrews, Hopworks is famous around town for their die-hard commitment to sustainability. They’ve been USDA-certified organic since 2002, and recently they achieved a longtime goal of officially becoming a certified B-Corp. As breweries go, it’s also remarkably kid-friendly: The menu has plenty of easy pizza and sandwich options, and things never get too rowdy.
5325 E. Burnside St., North Tabor
This spot has a definite neighborhood feel to it, but it’s famous across the city for its burger, which is served on a brioche bun with a generous helping of bacon jam (the jam can, and probably should, be ordered with any of the sandwiches on their menu). The casual vibe makes it exceptionally kid-friendly—there are plenty of high chairs to be found at weekend brunch.
3226 S.E. Division St., Richmond
Andy Ricker’s Thai food is the stuff of legend at this point (with one outpost in Brooklyn and another in Downtown Manhattan), but it’s more than worth than seeking it out in Portland where the empire first began. The original location itself is notoriously dive-y, with multicolored twinkle lights on the ceiling and brightly patterned tablecloths covering the crowded tables. As ever, the papaya salad and the chicken wings are the must-orders, though you can’t go wrong with any of the traditional dishes here.
215 S.W. 6th Ave., Downtown
While its sister restaurant, Le Pigeon, may be better known, Little Bird has the same great food with a touch more casual vibe. The interior is pleasant but not overdone, with a mezzanine that stretches out over the bar, and dramatic, rounded mirrors flanking the wall in the main dining room. The menu is all classic French comfort food from the palourdes (a French clam dish) to the double-brie burger to the crème brûlée.
738 E. Burnside St., Buckman
Le Pigeon, the sister restaurant of Little Bird, is a dinner-only French-inspired bistro opened by chef Gabe Rucker in 2006. It's become a local favorite thanks to dishes like salmon poke with curry aioli, duck breast with fava bean hummus and spicy tahini, and basil ricotta tortellini. You can also opt for the chef's five- or seven-course tasting menu.
Tasty n Alder
580 S.W. 12th Ave., Downtown
Tasty n Alder is not your typical steakhouse: after all, their Korean bulgogi strip steak is pretty much beyond. If you aren’t feeling up for a steak, you’ve got options: baja tacos, peking duck cooked on a Spanish-style plancha grill, and a variety of locally-sourced seafood. Their brunch menu is just as eclectic, offering everything from Korean bibimbap to classic steak and eggs. If you’re craving a change from the usual Bloody Mary or mimosa, indulge in their cognac-spiked chocolate milkshake.
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