Best of Portland 2014: Best of the Year

A survey of other things WW formally declared "The Best" in the past 12 months.

Clockwise from top left: Amy Miller, Pyro Pizza, Enso Urban Winery

The best thing about being high:
“When every bite of food feels as if it was prepared and gingerly placed on your tongue by Selaphiel, Chef King of the Angel Babies.”

"This Bud's for You," Jan. 29, 2014

The best longshoremen's bar in Portland: Nicolai Street Clubhouse. "Situated in a gritty section of Northwest, its tides ebb and flow with the shift changes of the union men who work the docks at the Port of Portland and come here for free popcorn, a turn on the shuffleboard table and a loud argument about who was the best defensive end ever to play the game."

Bar Guide, April 9, 2014

Beer of the Year: Pfriem Belgian Strong Dark, "a rabbit hole of structured complexity. It unfolds like a well-written mystery novel—dark, spicy and sweet characters deceive in one chapter then reveal in the next."

Portland Beer Guide, Feb. 5, 2014

Best comedian: Amy Miller, as determined by a vote of her peers. "With her round face and blunt strawberry-blond bangs, she knows she's both cute and non-threatening, and she milks this to her advantage.” 

"The Funniest 5," Nov. 20, 2013

Food Cart of the Year: Burrasca, which "doesn't really feel like a cart so much as a fine open-air restaurant—or maybe a home windowsill one might as well be stealing from."

Cheap Eats, Feb. 19, 2014

Best New Band: Ural Thomas, "a powerhouse performer who once shared stages with James Brown, Otis Redding and Stevie Wonder" and who, in the last year, went from "being an artifact in a record collector's crate to a local living legend, headlining sold-out gigs at Doug Fir Lounge and Mississippi Studios."

"Best New Band," May 14, 2014

Bar of the Year: Enso Urban Winery, "a new model for what the wine bar can be."

Bar Guide, April 9, 2014

Best pita: TarBoush, which "does pita—and pretty much everything else—right."

Restaurant Guide, Oct. 16, 2013

Best Iraqi restaurant: Dar Salam.

Restaurant Guide, Oct. 16, 2013

Best Middle Eastern restaurant, period: Dar Salam.

Restaurant Guide, Oct. 16, 2013

Best cronut: Joe's Donuts of Sandy, "tastier than any doughnut-type breakfast pastry in this city."

Blog post, May 27, 2014

Best strip-club steak: Sassy's, "the Mercedes of strip-club steak…that it was served during a dance by a woman named Mercedes was just a happy coincidence."

Strip Club Guide, March 12, 2014

The best pizza in town, "and arguably for 1,000 miles around Portland": Apizza Scholls.

Restaurant Guide, Oct. 16, 2013

Best new cafes and coffee roasters: Cathedral Coffee, Din Din, Either/Or, Heart Roasters-West End, Kenilworth Coffeehouse, Nossa Familia, Olé Latte, Portland Roasting Co. tasting room, Ristretto Roasters-Couch, Stumptown Annex and Rose City Coffee.

"Hook It to My Veins," Dec. 4, 2013

Best single-serving pizza: Pyro, where "pizzaiolos aren't afraid to walk the razor's edge, firing foot-wide pies until the thinnest bubbles turn black and pop, leaving the rest of the crust at ideal crispness."

"Pizza for One," Feb. 19, 2014

The last, best burger cart: Burger Guild (RIP, Burgatroyd).

Cheap Eats, Feb. 19, 2014

The best 9-plus-ABV imperial stout in bottles priced under $9: Gigantic Most Premium Russian Imperial Stout. "Like hazelnut hot cocoa—big and a little crunchy."

Drank, Dec. 4, 2013

The "best onion rings you will ever have": Lincoln's crunchy cornmeal onion rings.

Restaurant Guide, Oct. 16, 2013

Two best IPAs in Oregon: Laurelwood Workhorse and Boneyard RPM.

Portland Beer Guide, Feb. 5, 2014

Best macaron: Farina, "as pretty as anything on the market, and tastier than the rest."

"Macaromania," March 12, 2014

Best Hawaiian plate lunch: L&L Hawaiian Barbecue, "voted best plate lunch on the island in 2008 by The Honolulu Advertiser. There really is no reason to get plate lunch anywhere else in Portland."

"Hang Ten," Feb. 5, 2014

Best drinking movie of 2013: The World's End, which "runs through all the motions of a drunken night out—excitement, nostalgia, sadness, the urge to punch somebody in the face."

"The AP Film Awards," Dec. 24, 2013

“The best songwriter ever to emerge from this city,” according to many critics: 

Elliott Smith. "A few years ago, Paste magazine ranked Smith the very best thing about Portland—above Powell's, Mount Hood, the book Geek Love and Gus Van Sant's entire oeuvre."

"The Last of the Sad Bastards," Oct. 16, 2013

The best westside Spanish joint in a generation: Ataula, which "brings a renewed focus on top-quality tapas that has been missing in Portland for more than a decade."

"Bravo Barcelona," Nov. 6, 2013

The best surprise party ever: “Every day” in the life of the band Haim, according to Haim, which headlines MusicfestNW next month. 

"Sister Lovers," Oct. 16, 2013

Best honey:  Bee Local Portland Farmland, which comes from Pleasant Valley and is "the color of grade-A maple syrup and has a nice, strong blueberry flavor."

"The Portland of Milk and Honey," Sept. 18, 2013

Best milk: Garry's Meadow Fresh, "sold in glass bottles with little globs of white fat stuck to the cap…even in a blind tasting, this milk stands out for its thickness and freshness."

"The Portland of Milk and Honey," Sept. 18, 2013

Best performance of the Portland International Film Festival: Luminita Gheorghiu as the mother in Child's Pose, who is "restrained but powerful, breathing life and credibility into what could have been an overwrought role."

"PIFF Into Darkness," Feb. 5, 2015

Best micro-budget movie about writers on motorcycles you'll see this year: 

The Best Bar in America, about "a world-weary writer scouring the Southwest for the prototypical pub."

"The Best Bar in America," June 4, 2014

Best pumpkin beer: Elysian's The Great Pumpkin.

"The Greatest Pumpkin," Oct. 9, 2013

Best pumpkin cider: Doc's Draft. 

"The Greatest Pumpkin," Oct. 9, 2013

Best Oregon sparkling wine: 2010 Argyle Vintage Brut. “Beautifully dry, like an old farmhouse cider but with thousands of tiny bubbles.” 

"Sparkle Party," Dec. 24, 2013

The best $5 burrito in Portland: Lindo Michoacan, which "starts with the stretchy handmade flour tortillas, which have the same surprising strength as super high-end paper towels."

Cheap Eats, Feb. 19, 2014

The best New Mexican food in town: La Panza.

"New, the Noun," May 7, 2014

The best commercial pitchman at Pickathon, which is "the best li'l roots-ish music festival in town": Dale Watson. "At his raucous Galaxy Barn show on Saturday, his band would break into a faux-bossa-nova swing, while Watson flashed a pearly grin, extolling the virtues of Lone Star."

"The Best of Pickathon," Aug. 7, 2013

Best damn chile verde you'll ever have cooked by a Dutch woman: The Standard.

Bar Guide, April 9, 2014

The best criticism any WW staffer could level at anything in a $26 box of treats from the newish Sugar Cube bakery: "Lack of contrast between the citrus almond cake's hyper-lemony curd center and extremely lemony zest-heavy cake."

Sugar Cube review, Oct. 2, 2013 

Best of Portland 2014 

Best Listens | Best Buys | Best Moves | Best Animals | Best Civic Life 

Best People | Best Reads | Best Looks | Best Bests

WWeek 2015

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