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. Ración (pictured above)
1205 SW Washington St., 971-276-8008, racionpdx.com.
Anthony Cafiero at Ración feeds his light-as-air serrano ham with peanut puree and dandelions—as if the pigs could still graze in the afterlife. The casual-as-you-like modernismo of Ración’s small plates still feels like fresh air. In Restaurant Guide 2013.
2. Pizza Maria
3060 SE Division St., 971-303-7000, pizzamariapdx.com.
Division Street now has pizza on almost every block. Maria’s delightfully simple marinara pie is the best, with leopard-spotted crust, bright sauce, thin-sliced garlic and a sprinkle of oregano. Full Review.
3. Old Salt
5027 NE 42nd Ave., 971-255-0167, oldsaltpdx.com.
The Cully neighborhood’s answer to Laurelhurst Market looks meaty from a distance—check out the beef porn at the butcher counter. But when you dig a little deeper, you see it’s actually very much veggie-forward, with in-season produce taking center stage on recent menus. The cocktails remain problematic, but the beer list has greatly improved in the last year. In Restaurant Guide 2013.
4. The Blue Goose
2725 SE Ankeny St., 235-2222.
Old and busted: Tex-Mex. The new hotness: New Mexican from the Blue Goose, which takes over the Esparza’s space with a killer green chile cheeseburger and magnifico tacos of pasilla y butternut squash. More.
5. Love Belizean
Tidbit cart pod, SE 28th Avenue and Division Street, 752-7333.
Love Belizean is back in action at the new Tidbit pod, serving its namesake Central American country’s cuisine of roasted, peppery chicken alongside beans and dirty rice. Thank God. More.
Previous Hot Plates:
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