Taste the West: Portland
From food carts to microbrews, here are the super-stars of the Portland dining and drinking scene
Choosing among Portland’s fleet of 600 food trucks and carts is a tall order, but standouts include Lardo (pictured), a meat-lover’s paradise with perfectly crisp fries cooked in rendered pork lard, and the Big Egg Breakfast Cart, which serves up farm-fresh egg sammies and breakfast burritos.
Nestled along “Distillery Row,” socially-conscious New Deal Distillery crafts vodka and other spirits from organic and local ingredients—including water drawn from the Bull Run watershed.
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Baristas at Stumptown Roasters talk of coffee beans the way the rest of the left coast talks about wine. Credited for spurring the movement of direct-trade and socially responsible roasters, Stumptown offers masterfully brewed cups of coffee at nine Portland locations.
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The Bacon-Maple bar, the Voodoo Doughnut (pictured, in the shape of a doll with raspberry filling and a pretzel stick), and the city’s official donut, the Portland Crème, are among Voodoo Doughnut’s 50+ fried and glazed creations.
There are dozens of microbreweries in Portland, but we like the intimacy of the tiny Upright Tasting Room, wedged into the corner of the brewery, where your arm might rest on a barrel as you sample trays of seasonal brews.
Where the four-course menu changes weekly based on fresh and seasonal deliveries from local farms, Natural Selection serves vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free meals so innovative, it even tempts enthusiastic meat eaters.
At the lofty-rustic Meadow, one wall is lined with hundreds of hard-to-find chocolate bars, while another has floor-to-ceiling shelves stocked with every kind of salt you can imagine—chunky white flakes, rosy pink blocks, dark charcoal grains. Vases of lush flowers and a thoughtful collection of wines and bitters round out the mix.
Bunk calls its yummy Oregon albacore tuna melt the Ultimate Oregon Sandwich because everything except the condiments comes from local sources, including the ciabatta rolls, sourced from Fleur de Lis Bakery.
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Inside the Pearl District’s Ace Hotel, in place of ordinary continental breakfasts and a drab hotel bar, you’ll find Portland icons like Stumptown for perfectly brewed coffee and Clyde Common for an impeccable old-fashioned.
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