1. MONTELUPO ITALIAN MARKET–EASTSIDE
1613 SE Bybee Blvd., 503-954-3275, montelupo.co/sellwood. 11 am–7 pm Monday-Thursday, 11 am–8 pm Friday-Sunday.
We’re all about cacio e pepe season. And now Sellwood-Moreland residents have another source for adult mac and cheese: Montelupo, which boldly opened in Northeast Portland the summer of 2020, has spun off an eastside location. The intimate space offers take-home pasta that’s handmade daily as well as sauces, sandwiches and half-a-dozen focaccias—with toppings like Italian sausage, potato and guanciale, and goat cheese, you might just make a meal out of the bread and call it a night.
2. Vegan Dining Month
Various locations, vegansbaby.com/about/vegan-dining-month. Through Jan. 31.
If you’ve been toying with the idea of going vegan, either by joining the Meatless Monday movement or by adopting a completely plant-based diet, January is the perfect time to give it a shot; and no, this has nothing to do with resolutions. Two dozen Portland restaurants are participating in Vegan Dining Month, which, sure, was dreamed up by some lifestyle business, but results in a slew of creative, limited-time dishes on local menus. Examples include a carrot “osso bucco” with foraged mushrooms from Clarklewis, a tempeh and house cashew ricotta pizza at Oakshire Beer Hall, and a rustic vegetable-bean stew at Blossoming Lotus that sounds like the perfect meal to ward off winter’s chill.
2005 SE 11th Ave., 503-880-5682, lorangepdx.com. 5–10 pm Tuesday–Saturday.
Behind an easy-to-miss orange door in a 1905 home lies one of Portland’s best new restaurants. L’Orange feels cozy and well suited for a bohemian dinner party thanks to its fantastical wallpapers, white lace curtains and colors of each room. Meanwhile, the menu is focused and hyperseasonal and—perhaps most importantly—won’t break the bank. You can work your way through much of it if you’re willing to share. On our visits, we were impressed with a deviously indulgent riff on French onion soup with a gravylike broth and Gruyère cheese skirt, the Lyonnaise salad with smoky pork morsels, and the supremely underrated sturgeon that was kissed by smoke and served over a bed of vegetables.
4. Fuller’s Burger Shack Pioneer Place
700 SW 5th Ave., Suite 1113, 971-415-6480, fullersburgershack.com. 11 am–7 pm Monday–Saturday, 11 am–6 pm Sunday.
Just a few weeks after the reopening of Fuller’s Coffee Shop following a fire that caused its temporary closure, the heart of downtown Portland welcomed the diner’s spinoff that pays tribute to its hamburger. Urban Restaurant Group (Bartini, Swine, Brix Tavern) launched Fuller’s Burger Shack in the former BurgerFi space at Pioneer Place in November. The star of the lineup is, of course, the titular burger, made the exact same way (21-day aged beef patty, secret sauce, fresh bun) as it has been since Fuller’s Coffee Shop began serving customers in 1947. The price is also welcomingly retro: The classic goes for $6.95.
5. Boxer Cedar Hills
3205 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Suite 24, Beaverton, 503-747-3507, boxerramen.com. 11 am–9 pm daily.
Beaverton’s Cedar Hills Crossing (looking more and more like the “Peak Portland” you might remember from before the pandemic but tucked conveniently into a very walkable outdoor mall) added Boxer to its directory in early December. This is great news for ramen lovers in the suburbs, but Portlanders may want to check it out because it’s the chain’s only location serving bento. Four protein options (teriyaki chicken, ahi tuna poke, pork katsu and kalbi teriyaki) come with rice and a side of your choice. We’ll warn you now: It’ll be hard to choose between the macaroni salad and the togarashi tots.