Downtown Portland Restaurants: 9 Must-try Spots for Tasty Cuisine

Ranked among the best foodie cities in the U.S., Portland knows what it takes to please hungry visitors. Not only that, but area chefs and aspiring talents aim to use fresh ingredients to make every dish. For a small sample of what to expect, here are the top downtown Portland restaurants travelers can’t miss.

Downtown Portland Restaurants Visitors Should Try Asap

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Mother’s Bistro and Bar

At Mother’s Bistro, it’s all about the love. The restaurant uses locally sourced ingredients to make down-home favorites like mom used to make. In fact, they even highlight a mom of the month and feature her special dishes.

Mother’s Bistro and Bar serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. For breakfast, try egg and potato scramblers, omelets, hash, pancakes, waffles, and healthy options. Lunch serves up soups, salads, hot and cold sandwiches, bowels, and signature mac and cheese. For dinner, try a house specialty such as pot roast or chicken and dumplings. This menu also has seafood, steaks and chicken.

Little Bird Bistro

Little Bird ranks among the top downtown Portland restaurants for its European charm paired with Portland flair. The bistro is part of a family of restaurants, including Le Pigeon.

Visit here for lunch, dinner and late-night cocktails. During lunch, select from salads, seafood, pasta and small plates. For dinner, try favorites such as baked cod, bone-in pork chops, seared duck breast and double brie burger. Appetizers range from mushrooms, oysters and marinated olives.

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Portland City Grill

Looking for a great view? Portland City Grill ranks among the best downtown Portland restaurants because it towers 30 floors above the city. Guests also enjoy an upscale atmosphere paired with locally sourced cuisine.

Portland City Grill opens for brunch, lunch and dinner. Select from Asian specialties, burgers, sandwiches, steak and seafood. Popular options include rainbow trout, lamb burger, sushi rolls and top sirloin. Signature entrees range from beef short ribs, rack of lamb, veggie plates and stuffed chicken.

Huber’s Cafe

Established in 1879, Huber’s Cafe is Portland’s oldest restaurant. Today, it continues to draw big crowds who love American favorites paired with history. Visitors will enjoy both during lunch, dinner and late-night hours.

Huber’s Cafe has long been known for turkey. That’s right – think Thanksgiving turkey. Or select from sandwiches, specialties made with ham and turkey, Angus beef steaks, seafood, and pasta. The house specialty is a roasted tom turkey served with sage dressing, potatoes or yams, gravy and cranberry sauce. Regardless of the meal, customers recommend pairing it with a Spanish coffee cocktail.

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Jake’s Famous Crawfish

Jake’s Famous Crawfish has been a Portland staple for over 110 years. The secret to success is Jake’s has fresh seafood flown in daily and uses northwest ingredients and products.

This hot spot welcomes hungry guests for lunch, dinner and late-night. If visiting during lunchtime, sample petrale sole from Oregon, trout from Idaho or steelhead from Washington. Dinner offers king salmon from Oregon and sturgeon from California. In addition, seafood specialties include halibut, crab, Alaska cod and swordfish from Hawaii.

Not into seafood? No problem. Jake’s Famous Crawfish serves soups, salads, steak, chicken and pasta dishes as well.

Tasty n Alder

Tasty n Alder is an affordable steakhouse in Portland. The restaurant offers a modern setting with a diverse menu that showcases international flavors. Additionally, each item represents cultural traditions that have shaped American dining.

Come here for brunch, lunch or dinner. Select from small plates such as a cast-iron frittata. Or sample meat and cheese boards, large entrees, seafood, steaks, ribs, and chops. Additionally, many items are supplied by area farmers and growers, which supports local agriculture. Popular menu items include rockfish, t-bones and skirt steak. Don’t leave without trying one of the milkshakes.

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Ranked among the best downtown Portland restaurants, Shigezo offers Izakaya-style service. This means there are no courses, appetizers or entrees. Each dish comes out when it’s ready. To enjoy Shigezo best, prepare to order several items and share with others.

Lunch and dinner menus offer a large selection of Japanese shareable dishes. For lunch, find sushi rolls, Ramen, salads and tapas. Dinner brings skewers, small cold and hot plates, rice bowls, grilled favorites, and curry specialties.

Luc Lac Vietnamese Kitchen

Luc Lac Vietnamese Kitchen offers Vietnamese and other Asian cuisine at an affordable price. However, this spot stays busy – especially at night. It even ranks as a local must for quick bites.

When visiting Luc Lac, order at the counter prior to seating for lunch or dinner. Small plates range from spring rolls and wontons. For the main meal, try homemade pho, rice plates, vermicelli bowls or chef specialties. For example, the Luc Lac is a beef tenderloin served with greens and fried rice. Other favorites include stir-fry, crispy rolls and coconut curry.

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Voodoo Doughnut

Need something sweet? Head to Voodoo Doughnut in Old Town Portland. This iconic gem ranks among the best downtown Portland restaurants for its innovative treats and special ingredients.

While the restaurant serves traditional glazed, the star here is the variety of doughnuts. Each is hand-cut, raised and fried. Yeast favorites include the Homer, Portland cream and voodoo doll. For something denser, try a cake doughnut such as powered sugar, blueberry or old fashioned. To take it to the next level, try pot hole with Bavarian cream or school daze with peanut butter and jelly.

Hungry? Don’t wait. Book a Portland vacation rental and experience some of the best dining in the northwest. Then check out the top Portland live music venues.