Ever wonder what the hottest new Portland restaurants are? If you want to go somewhere that’s guaranteed to be delicious, pick a spot from this list and enjoy!
Ready to enjoy Parisian food in downtown Portland’s west end? Bistro Agnes is the chic, contemporary answer to that desire. Greg and Gabi Denton were 2017 James Beard Award winners, so there’s no doubt about the food being fantastic. They’ve brought food back to the basics with classic French food.
Try the onion soup gratinée with melted gruyere or the beef tenderloin tartare to start out with. The coq au vin with fingerling potatoes and wild mushrooms is a must-try for your entrée. Finish off your French meal with riz au lait (a creamy vanilla pudding) or crème brûlée. From the drink menu, enjoy pinot noir from Burgundy and from local Willamette Valley vineyards. If you’re interested in cognac, absinthe, or Armagnac, Bistro Agnes has excellent selections that work well with menu flavors.
Address: 527 S.W. 12th Ave
Hours: Sunday–Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily; Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Canard is another Paris-inspired spot. It’s casual and fairly inexpensive (nothing is more than $20). It has a comfortable, warm, casual atmosphere. It was also just named PDX’s restaurant of the year. Chef Gabriel Rucker is a two-time James Beard Award winner. You may be familiar with Canard’s sister restaurants, Le Pigeon and Little Bird.
The most popular item on the menu is the ducketta, a short stack of pancakes complete with a duck egg and duck gravy (seared foie gras is optional). If you’re a fan of foie gras, don’t miss the decadent foie gras dumplings. The oysters are also a very popular choice.
Address: 734 E. Burnside Street
Hours: Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. to midnight; Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to midnight
Arden Wine Bar + Kitchen
There’s a bit of a wine bar craze going through Portland right now, and Arden is one of the best. It’s a more formal one, too, if that’s your sort of thing. This high-end spot has a fun, hip atmosphere with great music.
The food is inspired by the season and by ingredients indigenous to the Pacific Northwest. Arden focuses on a four-course tasting menu ($64), which has dishes that change nightly. This goes perfectly with curated wine pairings. You can also select your own food and wine and create your own experience.
Address: 417 NW 10th Ave
Hours: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily
Deadshot is a cocktail lounge. It was originally a once-a-week pop-up that partnered with the restaurant Holdfast. This sleek, industrial spot is now open a full seven days a week. It’s right next door to the fine-dining restaurant Holdfast.
Deadshot’s drinks are inspired by flavors from around the world. Casper’s Ghost is a much-loved drink that includes rhum, mezcal, bitter melon, citrus, pineapple, and tarragon. There are plenty of unique cocktails, batch beers, and expertly curated wines to choose from. You’ll also love the elevated bar food with a twist, including pig ear nachos and buffalo chicken dogs.
Address: 2133 SE 11th Ave
Hours: 4:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. daily
Nimblefish is the brick and mortar version of the popular Fukami pop-up. This sushi hotspot focuses on top quality, raw seafood treated the right way. Nimblefish focuses on Edomae sushi, which was a preparation style developed in the 19th century. It uses fermentation, smoking, and vinegar rice (this prevented the sushi from spoiling in the days before electricity).
The sushi is all good, but people especially love the tuna, eel, and salmon. The menu also includes a short list of sakes and white wines to accompany your sushi selections.
Also, Nimblefish was just named one of Bon Appétit’s top 10 restaurants of 2018.
Address: 1524 SE 20th Ave.
Hours: 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily
This cheerful new wine bar is as revamped version of the high-end Castagna’s sister restaurant, Café Castagna. OK Omens has a playful, fun menu and excellent wine list. The décor is fresh and clean, with minimalist white walls and décor. There are also two walls of windows.
OK Omens’ wine list is reasonably priced, with a few high-end, rare bottles of wine. There are 20 wines by the glass (between $9 and $20) and more than a hundred bottles to choose from (starting around $35). Don’t forget the incredibly delicious food: everyone loves the Torito salad, crab pasta, fried chicken, and cheese-filled beignets.
Address: 1758 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Hours: 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. daily
Kargi Gogo used to be a food cart but is now a full-blown restaurant serving delicious Georgian cuisine (yes, Georgia as in the European country). Think small, quaint, and cozy. This place serves some serious homestyle comfort food.
Don’t miss the cheese boat (bread with a rich, delicious cheese dip right in the middle). Their large, chewy soup dumplings are also excellent—try the ones filled with potatoes, leeks, and cheese. The khachapuri flatbread is also a favorite (it’s stuffed with tangy cheese). The menu has phenomenal vegetarian selection, too.
Address: 3039 NE Alberta Street
Hours: Wednesday–Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Master Kong is Chinese comfort food from the Tianjin and Guangdong regions of China. The small but modern restaurant has lovely hardwood floors and Douglas fir countertops with a warm, open kitchen.
Try the steamed buns (the gingery pork is a good choice for filling). Both the buns and dumplings are made fresh daily. And don’t miss the caramelized garlic-peanut dipping sauce, which goes well with pretty much everything. The jianbing are a customer favorite—they come filled with soy bean sauce, bean paste, cilantro, scallions, ginger, crackers and optional pork belly or brisket. And if congee is your thing, don’t miss the salted pork version here, prepared in a traditional clay pot.
Address: 8435 SE Division St
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday, 9:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
I hope this gives you some ideas for the next time you want to eat a truly delicious meal out. Did I miss any new, must-try restaurants? Let me know!