We all know Portland's a great restaurant town. We've been told as much by The New York Times, Gourmet and countless spiky-haired Food Network celebrity gluttons. But what really sets Portland apart isn't the inventiveness of our menus or the degree of our chefs' obsession with entrails. Our real treasure lies in the quality and diversity of ingredients available to cooks from the city's network of farmers markets, food artisans, import stores and specialty shops. It's an uncommon bounty for a town of our size, and one that has never been adequately cataloged—until now.
In these pages you'll find more than 80 of our favorite places to shop for all sorts of food, from farm-fresh mustard greens to frozen bull pizzle. We left out markets we figured everyone already knew about (Fred Meyer, New Seasons and Zupan's) in favor of little-known gems, organized into five categories: greengrocers and general grocery stores, butchers and fishmongers; specialty shops (bakers, chocolatiers and other stores with a specific focus); ethnic markets (shops catering to Portland's immigrant populations); and vendors of wine, beer and tea. There's even a suggested grocery list after each shop. We've also cataloged all the farmers markets in the metro area, with dates and hours. And you can search for markets in your neighborhood, by category or by A to Z with the handy guide to the right. If you like, you can even download the guide as a printer-friendly PDF. This year's list isn't comprehensive; we plan to expand it next year. If you know of a great market we missed, email us and we'll check it out. Now get cookin'!
CHERRY SPROUT PRODUCE MARKET, IMAGE: CHRISRYANPHOTO.COM
Local writers Deeda Schroeder and Leigh van der Werff contributed to this story.