Our Restaurant Guide picks the best restaurants in Portland every October. We hem and haw and fuss to recommend 100 restaurants we think best represent the city.
This is not that list.
Rather, these are five spots we're excited about right now. Maybe that's a taqueria we've loved forever, maybe that's a seafood spot with a special menu this week or a new burger joint we stumbled on Friday night. It's designed to answer that age-old question: Where should we go out to dinner tonight?
1. Fireside (pictured)
801 NW 23rd Ave., 477-9505, pdxfireside.com.
Those familiar with new Fireside chef Jake Martin’s cooking at Genoa, Fenouil and the first incarnation of Central in Old Town will notice a familiar mastery of texture and a penchant for throwing salty, savory flavors in stark relief against the brightness of fresh fruit or greens.
2. St. Jack
1610 NW 23rd Ave., 360-1281, stjackpdx.com.
We’ve grown quite fond of the bouchon’s bar-side-only boudin noir pigs in a blanket, a bloodied-up answer to the Coney dog, and to its perfect frites.
3. BTU Brasserie
5846 NE Sandy Blvd., 971-407-3429, btupdx.com.
The first brews are just now on tap at Portland’s first Szechuan restaurant and brewery. The food is ready for prime time, especially the spicy Szechuan chicken and the vegetarian-friendly dish of smoky, crispy seitan called “Buddah’s beef.”
720 SE Grand Ave., 235-0059, kachkapdx.com.
Chef Bonnie Morales won the judge’s choice at the Feast festival’s sandwich invitational with smoked sprats, egg and smetana on brown toast. Look for similar treats on her restaurant’s zakuski menu.
2880 SE Division St., 206-669-9008, facebook.com/bukipdx.
A Taiwanese family makes Japanese street food—from tea eggs to octopus bits to little fish-shaped cookies—at the Tidbit food-cart pod.
Previous Hot Plates:
Sept 24: 1. Pyro Pizza 2. St. Jack 3. BTU Brasserie 4. Kachka 5. The Blue Goose
Sept. 17: 1. St. Jack 2. BTU Brasserie 3. Kachka 4. Kim Jong Grillin’ 5. Pizza Maria
August 27: 1. Ración 2. Pizza Maria 3. Old Salt 4. The Blue Goose 5. Love Belizean
August 20: 1. Pizza Maria 2. Kachka 3. Taqueria Portland 4. The Blue Goose 5. Grant’s Philly Cheesesteaks
August 13: 1. Grant’s Philly Cheesesteaks 2. Pizza Maria 3. Taqueria Portland 4. Local Ocean 5. C’est Si Bon! Crepes + Vins
August 6: 1.Grant’s Philly Cheesesteaks 2. Local Ocean 3. Luce 4. Son of a Biscuit 5. C’est Si Bon! Crepes
July 30: 1. Kachka 2. Stammtisch 3. Luce 4. Firehouse 5. C'est Si Bon! Crepes + Vins
July 23: 1. Kachka 2. Stammtisch 3. Albatross & Co. 4. Bun Bo Hue 5. C'est Si Bon! Crepes + Vins
July 16: 1. Stammtisch 2. Kachka 3. Albatross & Co. 4. Smokehouse 21 5. Taqueria Nueve