• Olympic Provisions

Formerly known as Olympic Provisions -- until a certain athletic organization hilariously took issue with the name -- Olympia's wares are carried all over the west coast and beyond, and for good reason. Whether you're getting breakfast links, chorizo, brats, Italians, or fancy salumi, the Portland artisan meat-packers serve up some of the best damned sausage to hit buns and charcuterie boards in the region. But they're best enjoyed with a craft cocktail at OP's two Portland outposts, where they're also serving up sopressata, salchichon, and other wonders.

  • Pine State Biscuits

Look, we love the PDXWT with duck bologna at Portland Penny Diner and the wonderful breakfast sandwich at Bunk -- but our hearts, or what's left of them, belong to this Stumptown classic. The namesake biscuits don't stand a chance against a slab of fried chicken smothered in sausage gravy, smacked with melted cheese, and crowned with bacon and a runny egg. Is it excessive? Hell yes, it is. But this hangover isn't going to murder itself.

  • Lardo

It's a special kind of awesome when a place is named after what people will call you after you've eaten too much of its wares, but Lardo is indeed a special kind of awesome. The cart-turned-three-restaurant-chain does everything right, from the spicy grilled mortadella to the incredibly flavorful porchetta, the meatball banh mi, and, perhaps, the best Cubano this side of Havana. The secret? Every bit of pork is made in-house, from the ham and mortadella to the pig skin sprinkled in hand-cut fries. When even the tuna melt is exceptional, you're in trouble. Someday soon, Chef Rick Gencarelli will have enslaved all of Portland.

  • Blue Star Donuts

Plenty of people will still insist that Voodoo is the Portland place for donuts. Those people have never been to Blue Star, whose Facebook cover image alone is enough to make you a lifetime convert.

  • Mississippi Avenue

When Portland’s Mississippi neighborhood started transitioning into a hipster playground, the sprouting of good bars was a foregone conclusion in a city like Stumptown. But then things got intense. Basically, the main drag of this neighborhood seems to have been redesigned by a city planner who wanted to make the world’s most efficient bar crawl, and new stops seemingly pop up daily. The strip, clocking in at less than a mile, is bookended by one of the city’s best breweries, Ecliptic, and perhaps its most promising new cocktail spot, Victoria Bar. In between, it’s a drinker’s paradise that includes experimental beers and a huge patio at StormBreaker Brewing, a full Manhattan menu at Sidecar 11 (with more traditional cocktails next door at Radar), dive bars in the form of Crow Bar, and the aquarium-filled Moloko, burgers and beer at Bar Bar, formidable cocktails paired with upscale pub food at Interurban, an incredible patio at The Rambler, and gigantic German beers at the ever-popular Prost… and that’s only some of the bars that line this food cart- and retail shop-populated street. Our Portland editor, who lives in the neighborhood, often starts visitors off with a mini-crawl through Mississippi before heading to other 'hoods. They seldom make it past Prost.

  • Bang Bang

Curry and cocktails. If that combination doesn’t warm your bones, you’re doomed and should probably move back to California. Still, if you want to add a little padding to your body, go for some curry-powdered puffed tendons, chicken wings, or a pork belly skewer, then sit back and hibernate.

  • Coquine

If you haven’t noticed, pizza isn’t the only thing booming in Portland. Roasted chicken -- perhaps the simplest damned thing to put in the oven, and the easiest to eff up -- is everywhere. But few places take it to the level of this quaint French-ish newcomer in the shadow of Mt. Tabor, which spices it up with nuts, farro, and yogurt and serves it to share. The rotating roster of lunchtime sandwiches -- from porcetta to brisket and, for the traditionalists, bologna on white bread for $2 (pleb) -- is also on point (dip ‘em in Parmesan broth), but definitely save room for one of the best chocolate chip cookies you’ll ever eat. Seriously.

  • The Fireside

Come for the indoor fireplace and warm, cabin-like comfort. Stay for the pork stroganoff, lamb chops, and braised buffalo. It’s also one of the best overlooked brunches in town, offering up bone-deep warmth instead of a one-hour line in the cold.

  • Imperial

It’s been a huge year for Vitaly Paley’s Downtown spot. Chef Doug Adams was a star on Top Chef. Willamette Week named it Restaurant of the Year. Well, we’ve been all about this place from day one, deeming it one of the best spots in Portland and among the nation’s best cocktail bars. Roll in for happy hour and snag a $5 on-tap Vieux Carre and some house-made charcuterie, or go big at night, when the wood-fired rotisserie and grill churns out some of the city’s best high-end bites for non-high-end prices.

  • La Moule

St. Jack is one of our favorite PDX restaurants, and now the chef’s new venture, La Moule, is too. It’s basically the Portland equivalent of a Belgian café, with moules frites ranging from classic to Thai style. But for those with an aversion to bivalves, the place does turf just as well with steak frites, pistachio-tinted pork steaks, and one of the city’s best new burgers.

  • Milk Glass Mrkt

The tiny, criminally overlooked kitchen known as Milk Glass is a lot like Sweedeedee, minus the endless line and plus the greatest cheddar biscuit this city’s ever seen, topped with bacon or smoked salmon and paired up with incredible sweets, olive-packed focaccia, and cocktails poured all morning. Get there before the droves catch on... if there’s any justice in the world, this should someday be Portland’s most coveted breakfast counter.

  • Noraneko

Like its sister restaurant, Biwa, Noraneko is a full immersion into ramen, with some of Portland’s best shio, shoyu, and miso noodles, minus all the sashimi and other greatness that can steer you away from the bowls at Biwa. It’s pure comfort, straightforwardly presented, to ease the pain of the rainy months.

  • Old Salt Marketplace

Portland’s best damned comfort food here comes courtesy of a wood hearth that fires up everything from cod, to chicken, to whatever's floating around in the in-house butcher shop. The menu’s pretty simple, but it can be hard to choose, which is why the omakase-style “let us cook for you” option is crucial: name your price (starting at $30), grab a fantastic cocktail or beer, and bask in the warmth while the chef makes a personalized meal just for you.

  • PaaDee

Dying to get a taste of Earl Ninsom’s lauded Thai food at Langbaan? HAHAHAHA. Maybe in 2018, when reservations clear up at the deservedly booked spot. But next door at Nimson’s PaaDee, you get the next best thing at Portland’s second-best Thai restaurant, a tour of Thai comfort food that leaves pad Thai in the dust. It’s Thai food worth waiting for. Luckily, you don’t have to.

  • The People's Pig

The cult of the Pig has grown in the past year, thanks in part to the former cart’s new digs in a beat-up old BBQ joint. Actually, the cult grew because the man behind the smoker has managed to take BBQ and make his own style -- no small feat -- courtesy of spot-on ribs, pork shoulder, and smoked fried chicken that tastes like a plate of bacon had a lovechild with Colonel Sanders. Now if only the cart's legendary porchetta could finally land a home on that minimalist menu...

  • Pizza Jerk

Pizza Jerk, right across the street from Red Sauce, is the newest spot on this list, and damn did it hit the ground running. Unsurprising considering this joint’s run by the dude who started Bunk, PJ counters traditional New Haven-ish pies with craziness like a recent Sunday sauce pie with a rib in the middle. There are also noodle dishes like duck dan dan and spaghetti & meatballs, and eventually, it'll offer up the elusive Detroit-style pie in addition to slices of the Sicilian variety. Oh, and there’s beer. Lots of beer. Because, like Bunk, this place knows exactly what you want.

  • Red Sauce Pizza

So, in case you haven’t realized it, we’re kinda, sorta in a ridiculous pizza boom, with new spots sprouting up faster than zits on a Little Caesars employee. And right now, the heat’s on Cully, with two great new spots firing up pies right across from each other. Red Sauce -- run by a former Apizza Scholls manager -- occupies the old Bob’s Rocket space and churns out perfectly charred pies that combine the styles of New York, New Haven, and that place where your Little League team always went that had the Pac-Man table, with toppings including everything from salami, to house-made chorizo, to boquerones (a fancy name for anchovies)... but really, the cheese stands alone, too, making it a formidable new presence in this blessed time of pizza.

  • Rose VL Deli

The incredible soups and stews at Ha VL are the stuff of Portland legend, and have long been considered the best damn soups in Portland. But the spot's lunch only, and always runs out. “No soup for you,” though, can now leave your lexicon thanks to Rose VL, a dinner-only spot with two soups daily, sandwiches, and -- lo! -- beer. Never again will you be without a hot bowl of crabflake noodle soup.

  • Seastar Bakery

Finally, a new opening that isn’t a pizza place. Oh, wait... Seastar is also home to the brick-and-mortar of former quasi-cart Handsome Pizza. That’s fine. Let’s just focus on the other baked goods. We’d usually dog on a place with a toast menu, but here it’s just kind of a blank palate for you to load up fresh-baked bread with everything from soft-scrambled eggs to jalapeño jelly. The pastries are inventive -- yep, that’s rosemary in your cookie -- and the atmosphere is that of a rustic café. Even better? The brunch happy hour special is a slice of cold pizza and a cup of coffee. Shit. We said we weren’t gonna talk about pizza. Oh well. Deal with it.

  • Smallwares

RIP Lil’ Wares, Joanna Wares’ recent, amazing, temporary lunch place across the street. But if its flash-in-the-pan did anything (aside from transform General Tso into a sandwich), it reminded us that, right across the street, some of the best Asian-ish small plates in the region are at Smallwares (and Barwares) year-round, and some of the favorites from Lil’ Wares (what up, General?) made the cut on the menu.

  • Smokehouse Tavern

Another new addition to Portland’s growing BBQ scene, Smokehouse 21’s sister tavern offers up meat-and-twos featuring everything from burnt ends to pork cheeks and steelhead. But the real secret weapon is the 10 at 10 burger, which is only available at 10pm, and only if you’re among the first 10 people to order it. It’s got marrow. It’s got bacon. And it’s soon to be legend.

  • Tasty n Sons

Tasty’s semi-recent renovation may have shifted the menu to the (South)East Coast, but the favorites are all still here (plus crab cakes and oysters), and the breakfast remains impeccable (nobody will ever take your shakshuka away). Plus, it’s still the best damned happy hour on Williams, with the tiny cheesesteak and big ol’ bacon burger still paired up with the city’s tiniest beers.

  • Taylor Railworks

A new destination in the bustling Eastside Industrial zone, Taylor Railworks is the new venture from a Little Bird alum that takes the concept of pan-American cuisine and punches it all to hell with intense spices and imagination. And while the menu might seem schizophrenic -- some fried chicken with steamed clams here, brisket there, grilled cuttlefish on the side -- the food’s as American as apple pie... if that pie was actually made with Asian pears and spices you’ve never heard of.

  • Trifecta Tavern

Ken Forkish (whose last name we previously thought was “’Sartisanpizza”) keeps the kitchen open, with the wood grill keeping his new-ish tavern’s old, wood-laden space toasty in even the harshest cold. Also keeping you warm? A bone marrow Manhattan, which unsurprisingly pairs perfectly with wood-grilled ribeye (and marrow), the incredible double burger, and a rotating selection of flatbreads that, somehow, make you forget about the pizza, if only for a minute.

  • Woodsman Tavern

This year, we quested to find the best old-school fried chicken in Portland, and once all the bones were picked, Woodsman’s formidable bucket of salted, honey-kissed fowl won by a long shot. Oyster hour is essential, too, but the temptation of one of Portland’s best craft cocktails washing down that crispy chicken skin is hard to resist, especially when it evokes a summer picnic.

  • Kennedy Soaking Pool

For $5, you can drink cold beer while submerged in warm saltwater at the Kennedy Soaking Pool. The ceramic pool is flanked on all sides by greenery, but the chilled-out vibe can get rowdy if there are a lot of kids around. Avoid them by going between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., or after 6 p.m., when minors get kicked out.

  • New Seasons Market

Imagine Whole Foods in the halcyon days and you have New Seasons Market, a crunchy local chain. Their carefully curated home goods department has locally made socks, candles, mugs, and other souvenirs that are just as good—if not better—than anything you'd find in a gift shop. Plus, you can pick up stuff for an awesome picnic. Feel free to ask for a sample of anything; employees are happy to open a carton of yogurt or slice off a hunk of apple for you.

  • Coquine

In the time it takes to get to the front of the Pine State Biscuits line, you could drive over to Mt. Tabor, seat yourself in a cozy corner table, and be slathering Coquine's buttermilk-buckwheat biscuit with honey-thyme butter or fig-fennel jam.

  • Horsetail Falls Trail

Nearby Multnomah Falls gets all the love—and all the crowds. But Horsetail Falls Trail, an easy 2.7-mile loop a few minutes away, takes you past 176-foot Horsetail Falls, above Oneanta Falls, and behind Ponytail Falls. Tack on an optional 1.8-mile side trip to see Triple Falls, too.

  • Portland Mercado

Portlanders are obsessed with food carts; and the Portland Mercado pod is worthy of that fixation. You can eat Mexican, Colombian, Salvadoran, and Argentinian food at indoor or outdoor picnic tables, then go home with churros, chorizo, and a piñata made from recycled materials.

  • Eb & Bean

Portland is known for its ice cream, and while places like Salt & Straw have inventive flavors, the wait can be mind-numbing. Go straight to the counter at Eb & Bean, an organic frozen yogurt shop, where the flavors (which always include at least one nondairy option) change every two weeks. Even their toppings are artisanal: Think cinnamon-sugar donuts, salted vanilla caramel corn, and marionberry compote.

  • Portland Aerial Tram

You'll get unique views without feeling like a total tourist at the Portland Aerial Tram, because plenty of passengers use the tram as a means to get to work. The roughly 10-minute-roundtrip ride takes you from the south waterfront district to the top of Marquam Hill, where you can look out over the city.

  • The Alibi

Portland could be accused of taking its beer (and cider, and cocktail) culture too seriously. Avoid all pretension at The Alibi, an over-the-top tiki bar where neon tropical drinks make the nightly karaoke go down easy.

  • Elk Rock Garden

The Japanese Garden is lovely, but it's closed for construction through March 2016, and the Zen vibe is dulled a bit by all the people Instagramming the cherry blossoms. But Elk Rock Garden, a 13-acre once-private garden overlooking the Willamette River, has ponds, waterfalls, magnolias—and no entrance fee.

  • Nossa Familia Coffee

Stumptown, one of Portland's best-known exports, was recently purchased by Peet's. Skip it for beans sourced from family farms in Brazil by Nossa Familia, which offers a free weekly cupping in the Pearl District that includes a tour of the roastery. Or sign up for a brewing class and go home with a bag of beans for yourself.

  • Best new restaurant


Earlier this year, all signs pointed to pedigree-loaded Italian spot Renata as a sure bet for best new restaurant -- so much so that a certain old-school paper in town named it such after two weeks, raising the hype to a degree that didn’t even allow the kitchen to work out its kinks. Renata’s doing fine, but amid all the hullabaloo, Coquine snuck in out at the base of Tabor and managed to become the city’s new darling not via hype, but by quietly making some of the city’s best food. The shareable roasted chicken is probably the city’s best, the lamb sugo is gently kissed with star anise... hell, even something as simple as a chocolate-chip cookie is a next-level experience. Coquine’s the kind of place that elevates our city’s food scene, and that such lovingly prepared food is served without that pesky side of pretention makes it the highlight of the year.

  • Best new cocktail bar

Bit House Saloon

Take an old historic building and refurbish it into a sprawling, old-timey saloon, complete with leather lounging couches. Add a great burger and popcorn-crusted fried testicles. Serve up inventive cocktails -- including a Moscow mule reimagined through the lens of a julep -- and pitch-perfect classics. Sprinkle with whiskey. Lots of whiskey. And that’s how you become the best new bar in Portland’s most exciting emerging drinking district.

  • Best new beer bar

Loyal Legion

Take the old Portland Police Athletic Association and refurbish it into a sprawling beer hall. Install 99 taps of Oregon-only beer and cider, organized by style and temperature served. Make them all the same price. Implement a no-tipping policy where it’s included in the price, then un-do that and knock prices down a buck. Sprinkle with Olympia Provisions and sausage. And that’s how you become the best new beer bar in Portland’s most exciting emerging drinking district. And also in Oregon.

  • Best new food cart

Pig 'N a Pen

Portland food carts are often glorious hybrids of regional cuisine, which is great and all, but sometimes you need straight-up comfort food, and when it comes to comfort, the Midwest has it down. Which makes Pig ‘N a Pen’s Illinois- (some would say Iowa-) style pork tenderloin sandwich a thing of simple beauty. It’s an Americanized schnitzel, with pork pounded thin, covered in a cracker crust, deep-fried, and served on a bun approximately 1/3 the size of the porksplosion around it. It’s ridiculous, and here, you can go healthier and get it grilled. Don’t. Instead, order it with a side of pork nuggets, douse it in salt, and let the pork take over.

  • Best new brewery

Zoiglhaus Brewing Company

For a changing neighborhood heralded as one of the city’s booziest, Lents was missing the most Portlandian of all drinking establishments: a brewery. Well, they got one. A huge one, in fact. Lest you doubt Zoiglhaus’ commitment to German heritage, the place has an enormous 7,500sqft of drinking space, giving you ample room to swing glasses of Lents Lager, Kicker Kolsch, Zoigl Hefe, and more while cramming your face with pretzels and currywurst. Prost, Lents!

  • Best new brunch

Broder Soder

SW Portland (deeeeeeeeep SW) Peter Bro taketh away, but then he giveth in the form of more lefse crepes, more Swedish hash, and more morning-time meat and pastry boards, which don't really take away our sadness from the demise of All-Way, but hey, a sister to Broder Nord is a thing of beauty. Even better? You'll be rewarded for trekking all the way out to damn-near Tigard with a visit to the Scandinavian Heritage Foundation, because nothing goes better with toasted pork-shoulder confit like live Swedish music and history lessons.

  • Best new pizza

Red Sauce Pizza

Guys. Look. 9,000 pizza joints opened in Portland, and many of them are incredible. PREAM. Pizza Jerk. Fire & Stone. Blackbird. Tastebud. Sottie's. Two places called Slice (the better of the two, RIP). But we’re giving the edge to Cully’s Red Sauce, which does New Haven-ish pies without skimping on cheese, going against the new Portland Neapolitan fetish and churning out pies that are among the city’s best, new or no.

  • Best new burger

Little Bird

It was a really great year for new burgers, so, like with pizza, this was a tough call. But when the grease settled, our heart settled on Little Bird's Double Brie Burger. Or maybe the burger settled in our heart. Either way, it's an incredible mutation of In-N-Out, courtesy of one of Portland's most storied chefs, who loads two patties onto a fancy bun, then hits them with melted brie, Dijonnaise, ketchup, Mama Lil's, lettuce, and pickles. Oh, and during happy hour, the price drops from $14 to $5, which makes this choice even easier.

  • Best new BBQ

Matt's BBQ

In case you haven't noticed, Portland's BBQ scene has come a long, long way, with the People's Pig upping the ante last year, and this year introducing Smokehouse Tavern, The Coop, and more. But we can't stop thinking about a tiny little food cart plopped in the parking lot of a pawn shop on MLK, where a New York-bred, Australia-trained dude is messing with Texas and emerging with near-perfect brisket, ribs, pulled pork, and sausages that literally explode with flavor. The likelihood that something is sold out -- if not everything -- by noon is a testament to the power of Matt's pit. Which is to say, get there early, get the platter, and bring extra napkins.

  • Best cart-turned-brick & mortar

Handsome Pizza

Technically, Handsome -- one of Portland’s best new-wave pizza contenders -- wasn't a cart. It was in a little window booth outside a former gas station that sat in the middle of a bunch of other carts. But who has time for semantics when you’ve got Handsome’s glorious, wood-fired pies, equally as delicious as a whole pie, as a custom slice, or served cold with coffee as part of the pizzeria’s brunch special with cohabitant Seastar Bakery.

  • Best new Mexican

Portland Mercado

Is it a cop-out to call a cluster of carts outside Portland’s new one-stop Latin American marketplace the best new Mexican in town? No. No, it’s not. It’s also the best place for Salvadoran. And Colombian... you get the idea.

  • Best newly resurrected restaurant

Lilokoi Bakery (address and info)

Produce Row made a triumphant return this year, rising from closure to reclaim its status as the Eastside Industrial’s OG hot spot. But the re-emergence of Lilokoi went overlooked by many... mainly because the family-run business (and what a delightful family, indeed) wasn’t on most people’s radar, due in large part to being formerly located in the lower level of a house on N. Killingsworth next to a bank. But those who loved it long mourned the loss of the city’s best Hawaiian comfort food -- that succulent kalua pork, the Portuguese sausage, the sweet bread. Well, now it’s back and stronger than ever, operating a full bakery, giving turkey the kalua treatment, and even doing transcendent things with Spam. Aloha, Lilokoi. Never leave again.

  • Best new Asian

Rose VL Deli

In a year where Biwa opened up a ramen-centric sister restaurant, Boxer continued to cover Portland in noodles, and Shandong gave the NW Kung Pao, you’d have to do something pretty remarkable to stand ahead of the pack. HA VL -- Portland's legendary house of Viet soup -- does remarkable things every day. Now, so does Rose VL, which helped the problem of HA running out of soups before the lunch rush by, well, running out of soup at the dinner rush. But more VL fishballs and pho is possibly the best thing to happen to Portland bowls since weed became legal. It’s been a good year for bowls.

  • Best new concept restaurant


Cheese. Thirty-plus kinds, aged and temped perfectly. Served in the style of sushi. Imagine saying “omakase,” but in a Midwest accent. It’s as incredible as it sounds. (The accent AND the cheese.)

  • Best new concept bar


Ham. Many, many kinds, including Iberico, the world’s finest, here sawed off a bartop leg with the meticulous care by bartenders who know more about treating pigs right than Kermit. It's courtesy of the folks behind Nostrana and Oven & Shaker. It’s not a restaurant, per se, just a place to eat some salt-cured perfection paired with sherry or carefully curated cocktails.

  • Best pop-up

DaNet (at Portland Penny Diner)

Last year, Kachka was basically at the top of every "restaurant of the year" list (including our national roundup), and now we've got another destination for Russian food courtesy of Portland super-chef Vitaly Paley. DaNet, a monthly pop-up that's already sold out through March, transforms Paley's Portland Penny Diner into an full-on Ruskie experience, with four courses of old-world cuisine ranging from fish pies to assorted drinking snacks. It's one of the coolest eating experiences Portland currently has to offer. If you can get in.

  • Bit House Saloon

Portland’s Eastside Industrial district, in the past few years, has blossomed into one of the best drinking neighborhoods in one of America’s best drinking cities, with great cocktail and beer bars popping up seemingly weekly and integrating with the old-school haunts that have long been staples. Bit House Saloon, though, is its current shining star, and it only took a few short months to establish itself as one of the city’s best bars. Housed in a cavernous historic building, the place feels like walking into a pre-Prohibition saloon, with leather seats, benches that look like church pews, a backyard fire pit, exposed brick, and an enormous wall of whiskey providing the ambience. Bartenders here are on point, able to mix up classics and twists on them, including a Moscow mule served up like a julep, making it the best boozy snow-cone around. In a city that blurs the line between bar and restaurant, the joint also delivers on the latter front, with a solid burger and popcorn-crusted Rocky Mountain oysters being the highlights (those are more appealing after a few drinks). It’s a bartender’s bar through and through. But what really sets Bit House apart is the fact that it manages to be so without marginalizing the non-barkeep crowd. -- Andy Kryza, senior editor.

  • Coava Coffee Roasters

The bean: Kilenso, Ethiopia (creamy, lavender, grape jam) We admit that this list is heavy on the Portland beans (sorry Seattle!), but the Rose City is blooming with so much great coffee it's hard not to include a company like Coava. Founded in 2008, wholesaling out of the founder's garage, Coava believes that there's no magic button on the roaster that makes a crappy bean taste good. Like everyone on this list, these guys take sourcing seriously, picking each single-lot coffee only after trying beans from roughly 500 other neighboring farms. That commitment to excellence continues with next-level roasting tech like a sorting table that lets them weed out any defects that have made it past the processing stations. At any given time there are around 10 coffees on offer, ranging from natural-processed Ethiopians to washed Colombians, but blink and your favorite might be disappear -- they went through 67 different beans in 2015 alone.

  • Heart Coffee Roasters

The bean: Ethiopia Biftu Gudina (nectarine, brown sugar, honeysuckle) Portland isn't in short supply of sleekly designed coffee shops, but in addition to a design sense that would make a Scandinavian proud, Heart's coffee shop is literally built around a functioning black Probat roaster that fills the space with the smell of not-too-light, and definitely not-too-dark coffees. Heart makes a point to only sell coffees at peak season (so basically no Guatemalans), and to avoid the smokier flavors that can compromise the complexity of some of the most precious beans on the planet.

  • Stumptown

The bean: Hair Bender (cherry, chocolate, toffee) Coffee geeks might've scoffed that Stumptown was recently bought out by Peet's Coffee, and even geekier drinkers might say that the company sold out back in 2011 when a private equity group took a majority stake, but acquisition doesn't seem so bad when it's a company that founder Duane Sorenson has been calling an inspiration for years. From their home base of Portland (hence the name) these guys worked tirelessly to sing the gospel of single origins and careful brewing through wholesaling to some of the hippest hotels and restaurants in the country, and pulling shots of their famous Hair Bender blend from one of their five other outposts across the country. Also watch for their on-tap cold brew and bottles of Grand Cru iced coffee featuring ultra-rare Gesha beans.

  • Grilled Cheese Grill

We're not saying that the Grilled Cheese Grill invented the sandwich-bunned burger (we're also not saying it didn't...), but the fact of the matter is that a grilled-cheese burger is only as good as the sandwiches that bookend the patty. Luckily, GCG's Cheesus is held together by two of the best grilled cheeses in the country, served from an OG food cart and best eaten on a psychedelic bus parked next to the mini kitchen. Not into burgers? No problem. Gourmet grilled cheeses here also include one made to taste like a jalapeño popper, another with Brie and roasted peppers, and an Italian variation stacked with cured meats known as the Shocker. Miraculously, the simple American cheese version manages to still stand out. Especially when there's a burger on top of it.

  • Circa 33

Touted as a neighborhood haunt, Circa 33 is a Portland bar with a welcoming speakeasy vibe. Head here if you’re looking for bartenders who know the history behind the cocktails they lovingly make and an ambience that anywhere besides Portland wouldn’t be as sweet.

  • Great Notion
nov 17 2015 ∞
mar 14 2019 +