Our Restaurant Guide picks the best restaurants in Portland every October. We hem and haw and fuss to recommend 50 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. Stoopid Burger

2329 NE Glisan St., 503-477-5779, pdxstoopidburger.com. $-$$.

If you haven't figured it out yet, Stoopid Burger is now the best damn burger in Kerns, instead of being the best damn burger in North Portland.

2. Departure

525 SW Morrison St., 503-802-5370, departureportland.com. $$$.

The excellent seven-spice Peking duck is departing, but if you're out late downtown, check in for a cocktail and one of the insanely good sweets. Departure's caramel apple custard cake might be one of our favorite new desserts we've tried this year. Sooo much apple. So much.

3. Bark City BBQ

1331 N Killingsworth St., 971-227-9707, barkcitybbq.com. $$.

There's some seriously good new 'cue in town: Split a pit master platter for some seriously good pulled pork and ribs, plus a banana pudding milkshake studded with Nilla wafer and garnished with a crème brûlée banana.

4. Kingsland Kitchen

301 SW Pine St., 971-300-3118, kingslandkitchen.com. $.

Kingsland is devoted to one of the world's underrated comforts: the bean, pork and toast-happy experience of a good English breakfast, served to patrons on plush seats made of near-distressingly soft cowhide.

5. Bottle Rocket

(Christine Dong)
(Christine Dong)

1207 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 971-279-4663. $.

Club 21's burger chef is back at this cart serving up great old-school burgers, with a side of new-school fish sauce tots or flash-fried Brussels sprouts.