Top 6 Lunch Spots in Portland You Need to Add to Your Bucket List

January 26, 2021
Food & Drink
jason wolfe
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The quirky and fun city of Portland is home to hundreds of vibrant and lively restaurants. Whether you’re craving a fresh plate of sushi or a hearty dish of pasta, you can find all of this and more in the City of Roses. While dining options are a bit limited right now from the pandemic, you can still enjoy some of your favorite cuisine. So the next time you’re on the hunt for a new lunch spot, try out one of our top picks below! 

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1. Il Solito

Upscale Italian restaurant in Downtown Portland known for its classic dishes

Treat yourself to a fine course of Italian classics. Image courtesy of Yelp

627 SW Washington St. | Downtown Portland |

Il Solito offers an enticing selection of Italian dishes, craft cocktails, and fine wine. Classic Italian dishes including the handmade pasta, chicken parmesan, and meatballs are some of the restaurant’s most popular dishes. Made from the owner’s secret family recipes, their unique plates will delight your taste buds. Inside, you’ll find a rustic and contemporary atmosphere perfect for enjoying a nice dinner with loved ones. While Il Solito has temporarily closed down due to COVID-19, you can bet we’ve already added it to our post-pandemic restaurant bucket list. 

“I am officially obsessed with the batter on their fried calamari. I want to put it on other foods: chicken, shrimp, fish, just have some by itself. It is so crunchy and seasoned with whatever good stuff is on their spice rack. The buttered noodles are creamy and of course buttery with a sprinkle of cheese.” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Il Solito.

2. Olympia Provisions Public House

Lively lunch spot where you can find loaded hot dogs and a wide variety of drinks

Craving some classic American staples? Sit down and order some fries, a hot dog with custom toppings, and a glass of beer. Image courtesy of Yelp

3384 SE Division St. | Clinton, Richmond |

Want to kick back and enjoy a cold one with some friends? Head to Olympia Provisions Public House. This bustling lunch spot is home to some of the best draft beer in San Antonio. 

The food is pretty good too. Delicious, really. Its menu is inspired by classic Swiss Alps dishes and cuisine from parts of Germany, Austria, and Italy. So you’ll find plenty of classic dishes such as bratwurst and frankfurter. Olympia Provisions also offers simple pub food like pretzels, burgers, and fries. 

Right now, Olympia Provisions is open for patio seating. However, if you prefer to stay at home, you can order through Postmates or Grubhub. They even offer retail beer to-go!

“OP Wurst is a relaxed place to have a dog, or a wurst, or a sausage, along with imaginative toppings, and, fortunately, beer.  On my most recent visit, they were serving german style beers from an extremely local neighborhood brewery. As for recommendations, I'm torn between suggesting their platters...or to try a specialty dog of some sort, to see how it goes with a quality roll and comfort food accompaniments.” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Olympia Provisions Public House. 

3. Canard

Popular venue that successfully blends the classic quality of a cafe with the sophistication of a wine restaurant

Want to try something fresh and savory? Try the Shrimp Toast. This unique dish features cucumber, avocado, and chili mayo. Image courtesy of Yelp

734 E Burnside | Lower Burnside, Industrial District |

Canard is another vibrant restaurant that has earned a top spot on our list. Situated in the Industrial District, Canard seamlessly blends the laid back atmosphere of a cafe with the sophisticated cuisine of an upscale restaurant. This may be attributed to the fact that Canard operates as a cafe during the day and a wine restaurant at night. On the menu, you’ll find delicious brunch options like the Duck Stack, Steam Burger, and Foie Gras Dumplings. Canard is another restaurant that has temporarily closed due to the pandemic. But when it opens again, you will find that the wait was well worth it. 

“The food was excellent and exceeded my expectations by far. We shared the dish with artichoke and kale and the duck pancake with foie gras. The duck pancakes with foie gras has made my list of the top 5 best things I've ever eaten. Funny thing is that another dish on my list also consists of foie gras. Notice a trend? With that said, do yourself a favor and elevate the dish with foie gras. It's worth the splurge.” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Canard. 

4. Nicholas Restaurant

Family-owned Lebanese restaurant offering a wide selection of fresh and organic dishes

The Meat Mezze Platter, Stuffed Grape Leaves, Baba Famous, and Lamb Kebab Platter are all great lunch options. Image courtesy of Yelp.

318 SE Grand Ave. | Industrial District, Buckman |

Known for its friendly staff and fresh Mediterranean dishes, this family-owned Lebanese restaurant will not disappoint you. Nicholas Restaurant offers an enticing selection of lunch dishes. Their lunch bowls, in particular, are a favorite among guests. All of the bowls, from the Chicken Breast Kabob Bowl to the Roasted Veggie Bowl, are gluten-free! 

Like many other restaurants, Nicholas has also started offering special family packs. Guests can order options for three, four, five, or six people. Assorted kabobs, saffron jasmine rice, hummus, and more are included in these huge packages. 

“The food was excellent. They served bread with an awesome za'atar oil, (which I saved the remainder of and cooked with later!). We also ordered mujaddara and my fiancé's meal of lamb kebabs (but, the chicken kebabs won). The buttery rice served with the rice was delicious as was the taziki.” - Yelp Review 

Purchase a GiftYa card for Nicholas Restaurant. 

5. Paley's Place Bistro & Bar

Pacific Northwest fare awaits you inside Paley’s gorgeous Victorian-style home

Looking to try something new and exciting? Order the Kulebyaka Sbornaya. Image courtesy of Yelp

1204 NW 21st Ave. | Alphabet District, Northwest |

If you’re looking for something a little different, visit Paley's Place Bistro & Bar. Situated inside an old Victorian house, Paley’s offers a unique dining experience for guests. 

Of course, if you want to enjoy your food at home, you can order some “Paley’s at your place.” Its special menu features a seasonal appetizer, main course, side dish, and dessert. For indoor dining, Paley’s serves a Prix Fixe menu with an optional wine pairing. Shrimp cocktail, foraged mushroom and truffled housemade ricotta lasagna, and creme brulee all make up one possible combination. A la carte options are also available. 

“Just tried this place for the first time and I just have to say it was amazing, a new Portland fave. While the menu is expensive it is definitely worth the price. The mussels were perfect, the appetizer with grilled peaches and figs also great. And the creme brûlée - to die for. Just wish I wasn't so full from the other food to finish it. On top of the food quality the staff was awesome as well. Highly recommended!” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Paley's Place Bistro & Bar. 

6. Matt’s BBQ

Local food truck that serves up Texas-style BBQ on NE MLK Blvd.

Want to grab a quick bite? Stop by Matt’s BBQ. Image courtesy of Yelp

4233 N Mississippi Ave. | North Portland |

If you’re searching for the best BBQ in Portland, you can stop now. Matt’s BBQ is one of the most popular food trucks in the city. Located on 4233 N Mississippi Ave, Matt’s always has a long line training from the truck’s entrance. While things might look a little different now due to COVID, Matt’s still offers the delicious and savory BBQ it has always been known for. From its BBQ tacos to its pulled pork, Matt’s offers everything you could ever want in a BBQ restaurant. 

“We got a variety of meats including: sliced brisket, sausages, pulled brisket, and beef ribs. We also got sides of the queso mac n cheese and baked beans. They also gave us 4 different kinds of sauces which were all great; I loved getting a variety. We preferred the sliced brisket over the shredded. I absolutely loved the mac n cheese and am contemplating returning just for that!” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Matt’s BBQ. 

Portland has a vibrant and diverse restaurant scene. Whether you want some classic Swiss food or just want a quick bite of a BBQ sandwich you won’t be disappointed by the city’s growing businesses. What restaurant do you plant to visit for your next lunch?


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