Dining and Drinking: 48 Hours in… Portland

The city of roses, bridges, and Stumptown…

Oh, Portland. After two decades, you’re finally starting to grow on me. Your rivers, your bridges, your fickle weather. The food and drink selection, however, continues to be one of your shiny bits. When friends come into town – whether for business or pleasure – they always want to know where to eat and drink, and I’m happy to share. Some classics, some newbies – here are a few of my favorites from around the city!

Tin Shed (best for breakfast, brunch)
1438 NE Alberta
Tin Shed has been a dog-friendly go-to for many in the NE Portland area for over two decades. Though it’s evolved from its tiny collection of indoor tables to a more spacious open (and heated) patio area, you’ll still hit a standard brunch line on a weekend morning (it’s a little easier to grab a seat mid-week) but the coffee is always flowing. My fave breakfast choice is the Everything Nice, offering both sweet and savory on the plate.

Nong’s Khao Man Gai (best for lunch, dinner)
Multiple locations
The bright smile of chef/owner Nong Poonsukwattana burst onto the scene in 2016 when she first opeend her chicken & rice cart. From food cart to brick and mortar, her chicken and rice remains the very best chicken and rice you’ve ever had. Now in two locations, the menu has a few more items, but Nong’s staple dish remains a staple! Be sure to pick up yourself a bottle of the sought-after Nong’s Khao Man Gai Sauce while you’re there!

Pacific Standard (best for lunch, happy hour, dinner, drinks)
100 NE MLK Way
While we all mourned the loss of the great Clyde Common, we were thrilled to see former Clyde Common bartenders Banjo Amberg and Jeffrey Morgenthaler open their own bar, Pacific Standard, in the KEX Hotel. It’s been a popular place since its arrival, with the duo recently opening Pacific Standard Salem for those staying just south of the city. Stop in, hang out in the lovely loungey lobby, snap a few pics in the branded photo booth, or venture up to the rooftop Sunset Room during spring and summer seasons!

Magna Kusina (best for lunch, drinks, dinner)
2525 SE Clinton
Lovers of Filipino food will truly enjoy this modern take on home-cooked classics, like pancit and lumpia. Helmed by former Clyde Common chef, Carlo Lamagna, Magna Kusina has been revered by many since opening in 2019, winning the title of Portland’s “Restaurant of the Year” from The Oregonian in 2021.

The Love Shack (best for dinner, drinks)
1645 NW 21st Ave
From the playful mind of chef Garrett Benedict, already revered for his G-Love restaurant next door, comes this classy tropical cocktail bar in Portland’s Slabtown. Delightful decor and a stellar selection of cocktails, but what sells this hot spot is the food distribution system – perfect little snacks rolled out via bar cart with a corresponding Bingo-like card keeping track of your choices! Though a reservation system is forthcoming, folks are often lined up before open just to snag a seat.

Scotch Lodge (best for dinner, drinks)
215 SE 9th
With whisky master Tommy Klus at the helm, Scotch Lodge hit the ground running when it arrived, and it hasn’t stopped since! Every dish by chef Tim Artale is a work of art, with cocktails and vibe to match. Great for a cozy evening with your favorite people.

Kachka (best for dinner, drinks)
960 SE 11th
There’s no place like Kachka, with its perfect little pelminis, bits of caviar, and housemade horseradish vodka. Owners Bonnie and Israel Morales have done an incredible job of moving with the ebb and flow of the restaurant business over the years, changing locations, expanding into local markets, collaborating with visiting chefs, supporting staff through lockdown and increased cost-of-living. An evolution of continued success, Kachka remains a tried-and-true restaurant choice.

5 & Dime (best for dinner, drinks)
6535 SE Foster
Hot dogs, hot dogs, hot dogs! The hip and happenin’ current food trend is hip and happenin’ at the 5 & Dime, my most recent new favorite. Such a cozy little dive on SE Foster, be sure to bring your furry friends along as well – this place is doggie dog and hot dog friendly! Bar bonus – follow on social to get details on their night market pop-ups!

Fifty Licks (best for anytime!)
Multiple locations
Skip that other PR-heavy ice cream spot, and head to this homegrown hole-in-the-wall for luscious licks.


~Jennifer Matthewson

*Photo Credit: Jennifer Matthewson / Daily Blender

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[Editor’s note: This article was originally published in 2014 and updated in 2024.]

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