“Hey! I’m in Portland, any food recommends?” Messages like this come over to me all of the time…and I love it! It gives me the inspiration to write blog posts. A few months ago, I went to Portland and took my parents around to a bunch of our favorite Portland food locations. We tried a couple of new places too! These were some of our stops.
Tasty n’ Sons – Brunch
This place is amazing and it’s definitely my favorite brunch spot in the Pacific Northwest.
We ending up ordering:
- Burmese Pork Stew. This is a MUST GET! You won’t regret it.
- Tasty Steak and Eggs with Cornmeal Pancakes – The cornmeal pancakes were so much more amazing than I was anticipating.
- Dutch Baby Pancake – a nice balance of sweet to all of the savory.
Wailua Shaved Ice
I initially went to this place when it was a little window stand out by Lardo’s patio. I heard they opened up a storefront and oh my lines for days. We stood in line for about 45 minutes. I ended up ordering the Love Potion #9 and adding on coconut foam. Next time, I’ll also add ice cream! Doesn’t that sound amazing?
We weren’t super hungry after we had Wailua, but it was starting to get late and our options would soon be limited. We decided to head over to Lardo, it’s another classic spot whenever we’re in town. We ordered (and I tried):
- Pork Meatball Banh Mi – my usual order. It’s such a nice flavor and not as heavy as some of their other options since it’s packed with typical banh mi toppings such as cilantro, carrots, and daikon.
- Tomato Soup w/ Grilled Cheese – we treated this like an appetizer, it may have been too much, but it was sooo good. Something so basic, but hard to find a good one sometimes!
- Dirty Fries – I hear so many people raving about these, but I’m not really a fan.
Side note: They have their Pho’rench Dip as a seasonal menu item (typically in the colder months) and this is another MUST get. It’s pho beef and mix-ins with a pho broth to dip into. Yup, this is real life!
The next day, we started out by going to Waffle Window. We wanted something a little bit lighter and not as heavy because we knew that we had an afternoon tea appointment at 3 PM and we’d get extremely full. Things to order:
- Blueberry Cheesecake – Now, I must warn you, this is pretty sweet but so good.
- Chicken & Waffle – This is a seasonal menu item, but if they have it, get it. This is definitely the best savory option that they have.
This is a cute Japanese bakery that we stopped in. Upon entering, grab a tray and some tongs and you’re free to wander and fill up your tray with any of the goodies from the bins. The banana one (pictured) is tasty!
Gracie’s at Hotel deluxe
Gracie’s was amazing. I’m always on the lookout for a good afternoon tea place. Since my trip to London last year, I fell in love with it. I haven’t been able to find a good place in Seattle so I wanted to try out this one in Portland. It had so many raving reviews online. Following the typical Portland foodie scene, of course, it was delicious!
I’d recommend putting in a reservation in advance. I ordered the provenance black tea. What made this place stand out so much from many other locations, is that they offered clotted cream from Britain. So many places don’t have clotted cream and I think it makes the experience feel more authentic. Also, the sweets options that were brought out weren’t as basic as many other places that are local to the Northwest and on Yelp. Best Afternoon Tea experience I’ve had in the Northwest so far!
Nong’s Khao Man Gai
Dinner was fast approaching and it ended up being another one of those things where we ate at an awkward time so we knew we would get hungry pretty late when our options were limited. So, we went out to get Nong’s Khao Man Gai and brought it back to the hotel to eat later. Now, there’s only really one thing that they serve at Nong’s and that is… their khao man gai (the chicken and rice). I’d recommend:
- Nong’s Khao Man Gai – It sounds basic, but trust me… it’s greatness! Since this is pretty much their only menu item, they definitely master it!
- Thai Ice Tea w/ Coconut Ice Cream – This is one of those “you won’t want to miss” items. It was my first time having it during this trip. I expected it to be a basic Thai ice tea with regular ice cream, but Hung ordered it and I couldn’t stop drinking it! (Yes, I basically stole it from him).
Pine State Biscuit
We literally stood in line for about an hour. It was a Monday so I didn’t expect the lines to be that bad, however, it was a holiday weekend. This is another one that I try to frequent every time I’m in Portland. We ordered:
- The Reggie – I always get this, without question. It’s biscuit, chicken, sausage gravy (with an option for mushroom gravy if you want), and cheese. Order extra gravy!
- Chicken Pot Pie – This was our first time trying this item. They say it takes another 20 minutes of wait time, but it came out at the same time as our other items. It’s made with mushroom gravy and it’s REALLY flavorful.
- Pop Tart – They apparently offer up seasonal pop tarts. This one was strawberry rhubarb with goat cheese. I was so close to not ordering this item, simply because I don’t like goat cheese, but the strawberry rhubarb sounded too amazing to pass up. We gave it a try and it was so good!
- ½ Dozen Biscuits with Marionberry Jam – The biscuits here are to die for. I ended up splitting it with my mom and we brought it back to Seattle where it became my breakfast for the next few days. My mouth is watering just thinking of these!
Salt & Straw
I cannot wait for this place to be up in the Seattle area. I’ve been waiting and wishing for years! I was excited to try out the July flavors. I ended up ordering:
- Birthday Cakes & Blackberries
- Ancient Heritage’s Fresh Cheese & Strawberry
- Strawberry Honey Balsamic with Black Pepper – this one isn’t seasonal and I usually get it. I didn’t get it this time, but this flavor by Salt & Straw is definitely my favorite strawberry flavor ice cream that I’ve ever had (so far).
You may be thinking by now, how do you have all of these sweets? Okay, so we came here just to pick some up for Hung’s boss and to let my dad try it out. We ordered a couple for us to bring back to Seattle and eat later. If you haven’t had Toadstool get it. They are mini cupcakes, but so much more. Hung isn’t even that big into sweets and he loves this place. The cake part is super moist and the “frosting” is mild and creamy – ie: not too sweet! They’re super fun looking too. My favorite is the cookies and cream and Hung likes the orange creamsicle.
Well, those are 10 places that I’d recommend trying out in Portland and some of my favorite menu items from each of them. Try them out and let me know your favorite Portland eats in the comments below! Thanks for reading and happy wandering, millennials.