There’s no city quite like Portland, Oregon.
This hip and eclectic city has beckoned hundreds of thousands of travelers, even if they aren’t sure why. Here’s one reason: You could spend days eating and drinking your way through Portland’s countless delicious spots.
Here are seven places in Portland you can’t miss on your next visit.
This downtown favorite for South American cuisine is located in a beautifully restored building near the waterfront of the Willamette River. At Lechon, you will find inventive shareable bites and deliciously crafted cocktails.
Its convenient location makes it a great jumping off point for the rest of your evening in downtown Portland. And with tapas $10 to $15, ceviches under $11 and entrees mostly under $25, it’s one of the most affordable downtown options if you’re looking for a nice sit-down experience.
Thrifty Tip #1: If you don’t want to splurge for dinner, come for happy hour and order a bunch of small plates. Some are the same as the dinner menu for a fraction of the price.
Pok Pok Wing
Pok Pok is famous in Portland and beyond for Thai and Southeast Asian food. But this small offshoot, Pok Pok Wing, has developed a cult following for its Vietnamese fish sauce wings.
Pok Pok’s wings are marinated in fish sauce and sugar, deep fried, and then tossed in more fish sauce and garlic. A half order will run you $6.50, making them the perfect for a mid-day pick me up.
Ken’s Artisan Pizza
This pizza shop is located in Portland’s lively Kerns neighborhood just east of downtown.
Ken’s Artisan Pizza has the feel of a small mom and pop shop with fresh ingredients and friendly service. The pizza menu is limited to what they know they can do well – and the soppressata with spicy salami is to die for. In the summer, grab a seat on the street outside and watch people pass by. After your incredible meal, wander the nearby streets to explore the nearby bars and shops.
It’s a classic for a reason.
Start your morning with a visit to Portland’s staple doughnut shop: VooDoo Doughnut. This cash-only establishment has slowly expanded over the years to six locations but will always call Portland home. Here you will find unconventional flavors and hilariously named treats. Check out the Old Dirty Bastard, with Oreos, chocolate and a peanut butter drizzle. Or grab the Oh Captain, My Captain, a doughnut covered in – you guessed it – Captain Crunch cereal.
Thrifty Tip #2: Skip the line downtown and head for the East Side location where you can find the same great doughnuts without the wait.
Fifty Licks Ice Cream
Confession: We got ice cream here almost every day we were in Portland.
If you are open to unique ice cream flavors, this small shop can’t be missed. Fifty Licks specializes in off-the-wall flavors to off the wall flavors that, luckily, you can try before buying. Coconut Lemon Saffron, Lavender Mint Chip, and Butter Scotch Whisky are just a few of the concoctions they offer. For those feeling less adventurous, the French Toast and Chocolate AF are both safe choices that are still amazing!
We accidentally stumbled upon this quirky bar and are so happy that we did.
Angel Face doesn’t have a drink menu and instead operates as a classic cocktail bar. First, you’ll pick a spirit. Then describe your palate and flavors you enjoy to your mixologist who will whip you up a craft drink of their choice. Start to finish, the service and presentation of the beverages was pure perfection. Angel Face forces you to consider what you like, but keeps you away from the old standbys that you order out of habit
The Tao of Tea
This delightful teahouse serves up some authentic Asian teas at $5 per person. The Tao of Tea’s menu is expansive and the servers are very knowledgeable and happy to provide recommendations.
The tea is served loose leaf with as much hot water as you’d like to keep filling the pot. Shareable snacks such as dumplings and steamed buns range from $3 to $7, perfect for a light lunch. We enjoyed just relaxing and passing about 90 minutes sipping on tea and enjoying some snacks.
Thrifty Tip #3: Visit the Belmont location. Not only is this the original location but you’ll also avoid the steep admission price of the Lan Su Chinese Garden, which is located downtown.
It’s hard to go wrong eating and drinking your way through any city, let alone Portland. Give some of these places a try – you won’t regret it.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.