Did you catch yesterday’s post about my recent jaunt to Portland?? I was so inspired by all the gorgeous design I saw in just 36 hours in the city. In fact, I saw so much I saved all the beautiful (and delicious) places to eat in Portland for today’s post. Think of this an install of my Delicious Spaces series on overdrive.
Obviously, Portland is quite the food mecca – it’s virtually impossible to eat (or drink) poorly there. However, I am particularly fond of eating in places whose spaces also inspire. I visited some gorgeous spots during my stay, but I suspect they’re only a drop in the beautiful Portland restaurant bucket. Travel Portland, might you have me back just for a restaurant-focused visit? I’d gladly eat seven meals a day!
Without further ado, pretty and yummy spots to eat in Portland.
CAFFEINATE: COAVA COFFEE
1300 Southeast Grand Avenue
Open weekdays 6am – 6pm, weekends 7am to 6pm
Coava Coffee is a well known Portland-based coffee roaster with multiple locations in the city. However, their space on Grand Ave was formerly the original roastery that they’ve since turned into a cool industrial-style coffee house. While it offers a more typically Portland industrial vibe, I loved the beautiful wood-wrapped espresso bar.
Coava serves selections of hand poured coffee using their self-designed coffee cone filter – it was quite pretty – as well as espresso. If you’re headed to Spartan Shop (click here if you don’t know what I’m talking about), this is a great space to grab a yummy coffee either before or after your browsing session.
EAT: PROUD MARY
2012 NE Alberta St
open 7am – 4pm, kitchen closes at 3pm
As soon as I heard Proud Mary was an Australia-based cafe, I knew I had to check it out. I loved both the food and the coffee in Australia so much. The Flat White is a genius coffee invention. I would hop a plane back to Sydney for the perfect cup. Or now, just hop a plane back to Portland!
Proud Mary is in Northeast on well-known Alberta Street, but if you aren’t looking carefully you might miss her. She’s on a block with just a couple of other little shops, but she’s worth searching out. The space itself is light-filled thanks to a bevy of skylights. Polished concrete floors juxtapose Muuto pendants and simple picnic table-style seating. I sat at the bar and was able to watch the nonstop coffee making in action.
Proud Mary offers all-day breakfast, delicious lunch, specialty coffee (roasted in-house), specialty tea, fresh juice, smoothies, cakes, and pastries. You can order at the counter or sit and enjoy table service. There was many an Aussie working there when I visited and I totally felt that genuine, warm, fun and sometimes a little bit cheeky Australian vibe. I had the most amazing hot cake (below!) while there. It was stunning and definitely the most decadent (cream cheese is involved) yet beautiful pancake meal I’ve ever had. If you love breakfast food at any time of the day, I highly recommend this Proud Mary.
EAT: MILK GLASS MRKT
2150 N Killingsworth St
open 9am – 3pm daily
Milk Glass Mrkt is a darling gem of a lunch spot tucked into the Overlook neighborhood of North Portland. What started out as a food-truck years ago has turned into an order-at-the-counter cafe that serves amazingly delicious, fresh, seasonal dishes that put your sandwich-from-the-corner-store to shame.
TREAT: BLUE STAR DONUTS
921 NW 23rd Ave, among multiple locations
open 7:30am – 8pm, or until they run out
While I’m not typically a donut person, when I heard that Blue Star bills themselves as donuts for grownups, I was intrigued. Flavors include Meyer Lemon and Key Lime Curd, Orange Pistachio and Buttermilk Old Fashioned. Definitely more interesting then your grocery store variety. I appreciated that my donut was not a total sugar bomb, wasn’t overly fried or squishy. This donut definitely knew how to adult. With Blue Star locations dotted throughout Portland, I think I’d probably succumb to a donut craving more often than not.
921 SW Oak Street
Open Tuesday through Saturday, 10am to 4pm
One of my favorite things about dining in Europe is enjoying a glass of wine with lunch. It’s a very typical habit. Scandanavian-inspired luncheonette Måurice in the West End of downtown Portland seemed like the perfect place to practice that lovely European tradition. With only a smattering of seats all painted a bright white, a mix of antique flatware and a lovingly handwritten daily menu, everything about Måurice is picture perfect.
Opened by well-known Portland pastry chef Kelly Murray, Måurice offers what’s called fika, the traditional Scandinavian coffee-break that often features beautiful baked goods starting at 10am. At lunch deliciously pretty light fare comes from the kitchen. While there I enjoyed everything from oysters and mussels to a gorgeous risotto and of course a few tasty desserts. I could have stayed all day. Well at least until they close at 3pm.
575 NE 24th Ave
open 5pm – 12am
Last but not least, I present you Nomad PDX. It’s rare that I have a dining experience that I know will stick with me for a long time. But the dinner I enjoyed at Nomad, a gorgeous yet unassuming space in Northeast Portland was truly special. Nomad features a multi-course tasting menu – which I know sounds super fancy. But Nomad’s genius is the delivery of sophisticated, truly creative dishes in a really accessible environment. There’s no need for fancy outfits or stuffy white tablecloths. This is modern elevated dining at its very best.
Nomads’ executive chef Ryan Fox knows his stuff. He trained for five years at Robuchon in Las Vegas. But Ryan diverts from all the traditional French recipes for dishes with a decidedly Asian influence. Every dish is conceptual, presented with artful expertise, but most importantly seriously delicious. I particularly loved a trio of duck, prepared and presented three ways, a dashi-based broth and a modern take on a tradition asian custard dish. The single shigoku oyster brought to me over a bed of smoking rocks was awe-inspiring. If I sound overly poetic – well, this type of meal deserves it. It’s truly that special.
Nomad also features Ash Bar – this really cool space tucked into a super an awesome cave-like room. The bar is now open seven days a week and serves bar bites like a stellar burger and lobster rolls. While you’ll probably want to save Nomad’s tasting menu for a special occasion – multi-course meals aren’t typically random Tuesday fare – I would gladly hit up the Ash bar any time the desire strikes for a really tasty cocktail and a super good meal.
I can’t remember the last time I ate better than my day and half in Portland. And I know I missed so many other amazing restaurants. I guess it just means I have to go back sooner rather than later.
Are there are Portland faves you care to share? I’d love for you to leave recommendations in the comments below. I’m always adding to my must-try-restaurant list. For all of Travel Portland’s recommended restaurants, CLICK HERE.
For the entire recap of my Portland trip, CLICK HERE.
For more travel ideas, CLICK HERE.
original photography for apartment 34 by Carly Diaz
This post is in partnership with Travel Portland. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. Thanks for supporting collaborations I’m super excited about and that have kept apartment 34’s doors open.