Counter Attack: Latin

Angel Food & Fun

5135 NE 60th Ave., 287-7909.

Former Bluehour sous chef Manuel Lopez offers rich, surprising Yucatecan meats and stews. Get the smoky relleno negro ($10)—midnight-black from burnt chilies—or a cochinita pibil ($10) with phenomenally flavorful cuts of pork wrapped in banana leaves and roasted for hours.

¿Por Que No?

4635 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 954-3138; 3524 N Mississippi Ave., 467-4149;

Nouveau-Portland comfort Mexican food grounded as much in margaritas ($6.50) as slow-braised barbacoa tacos and hefty meat salads. Why not, indeed.

Tienda Santa Cruz

8630 N Lombard St., 289-2005.

Past a marketplace filled with chicharones and piñatas, a counter in the tienda's spacious adobe-orange back room serves some of the best taqueria fare in Portland, from carne asada to chile relleno to a 17-ingredient torta Cubana that comes in at $5.35.

El Cubo de Cuba

3106 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 971-544-7801.

Faithful versions of Cuban standbys—pork, chicken, rice, beans, Cubano sandwiches—most from rich ingredients buoyed by a heavy spritz of citrus. The standout is the mojo pork with rice, black beans and your either fried plantains, yuca fries, sweet-potato fries or avocado salad.


1615 SE 12th Ave., 971-888-5281,

Teote is a meat temple mixing South American grilling traditions and Pacific Northwest sensibilities, from the El Diablo bowl—crisped pork belly in chili maple—to its Mas Comida meat slabs, in particular a thick habanero-soaked pork chop.

Mi Mero Mole

5026 SE Division St., 232-8226; 32 NW 5th Ave., 971-266-8575;

The newish Chinatown location of Nick Zukin's guisado-centric taqueria is bigger and boozier than the first. The guisados—traditional stewy taco fillings—are basically the same, but the new menu of drinking snacks makes an impact, especially a killer basket of duritos.

 The Directory: Our 100 Favorite Restaurants in Portland

By Neighborhood: Southeast | North/Northeast | Westside | Suburbs 

 2014 Restaurant of the Year: Kachka 

Top Five: Old Salt, AtaulaAmerican LocalExpatriate

Counter Service Spots: Latin | Asian | Italian | Sandwiches | Burgers 

Wine Bars | Beer Lists | Veg-Friendly | Gluten-free | Elsewhere in Oregon 

Willamette Week’s reporting has concrete impacts that change laws, force action from civic leaders, and drive compromised politicians from public office. Support WW’s journalism through our Give!Guide Fundraising page.