When it comes to NW Portland food, this city knows how to deliver options.
Dubbed the best food city in America by The Washington Post in 2015, there are foods to explore on almost every corner. I especially love the NW Portland food options. From the heart of the Pearl up to Nob Hill, here are five of my best kept secrets:
Home to Portland Center Stage and and The Armory Café and Bar, The Armory is recognized world-over as the first historical renovation of a performing arts venue in the world to achieve Platinum LEED certification. The U.S considers it one of the greenest buildings in the country. I love this gorgeous building. It’s also one of my favorites because I used to work here serving wine before shows and during intermission. Their café and bar is definitely worth a stop, especially if you’re headed down to see their new shows Astoria or KodaChrome.
Isabel Pearl is a delightful cozy little spot on 330 NW 10th Avenue. This restaurant is fantastic and the building it’s in is goooooor-geous. A creative fusion of Latin and Asian, you’ll find things healthy, fresh, and intimate. Go for breakfast, go for dinner — either way you’ll love the area, love the vibe, and find the food incredibly delicious.
If French food and American food had a baby in the Pacific Northwest, you’d find it playing in Café Nell’s kitchen. I guarantee you’ll love this place, even if you don’t know the difference between Aïoli and Aligot. At 1987 NW Kearney Street, you can choose between Brunch, Lunch, Happy Hour and Dinner menus. Personally, I think they have the best Bloody’s in the entire city. I love the swank yet welcoming atmosphere of the place, and the fireplace is perfect for winter dining.
I gotta admit, I’ve been hard pressed to find really good Chinese food in Portland. Which sounds crazy, but it’s true. I finally finally found a place at Kung Pow. Ironically, the locals thought the location was cursed, only because no business stayed there very long. At 500 NW 21st Avenue, it’s open every single day. And they have both gluten free and vegan options, too! After a long day at work, this is a great stop for dinner.
Also, GUESS WHAT! My favorite Coffee Roaster and coffee shop literally just moved to the space next to Kung Pow. Amazing really considering how much I love both. Sterling Coffee started as a little pop up type (It seemed) operation outside the Trader Joes. They expanded into a very small brick and mortar just around the corner on 21st between Hoyt and Glisan, and now have moved one block and across the street into an even bigger space. It’s awesome to see them grow slowly and successfully.
City Market NW
While City Market NW on NW 21st and NW Johnson isn’t technically a restaurant, the deli counter is a little bit like heaven on earth. Wine, pasta, fish, meat… you won’t want anything else after you’ve gazed through the glass. I could run on half a sandwich all.day.long. You’ll find the best local things as well as the finest products from all around the world. You’ll be grabbing the freshest of everything for a cook-at-home dinner, plus your wine and flowers as well. There’s not another market better in Portland.
I love that this is just scratching the surface of what’s available as NW Portland food options. Share some of your own favorite discoveries!