1. Bar Casa Vale

215 SE 9th Ave., 503-477-9081, barcasavale.com. $$.

(Thomas Teal)
(Thomas Teal)

Our 2017 Bar of the Year has expanded to brunch on weekends, with some seriously good house-fermented yogurt with apricots, chocolate toast loaded with pistachio, and seriously excellent cazuela dishes—particularly the lamb.

2. Afuri

50 SW 3rd Ave., 971-288-5510, afuriramenanddumpling.com. $$.

(Thomas Teal)
(Thomas Teal)

The poke tacos at the westside Afuri are a flavor bomb of umami, citrus and spice—a Latin-Asian carnival alongside lovely shrimp ramen and whitefish shinjo-age dumplings that are like fish bonbons wrapped in a pinwheel of fried noodle.

3. Clay's Smokehouse

2865 SE Division St., 503-327-8534, clayssmokehouse.com. $-$$.

Clay's makes some of the best saucy barbecue in town alongside killer wings, pulled-pork nachos and maybe homestyle desserts like pineapple upside-down cake, baked each day by Grandma Jean Slyman.

4. Pot and Spicy

8230 SE Harrison St., No. 345, 503-788-7267, potnspicy.com. $.

Pot and Spicy is making deep-fried skewers, jja jiang mian noodles, spicy Szechuan classics and hot pots both dry and brothy in Portland's best Asian food strip mall.

5. Tapalaya

28 NE 28th Ave., 503-232-6652, tapalaya.com. $$.


Even after Mardi Gras, Tapalaya will continue serving King Cake beignets all February to those too afraid of crowds to catch them during the holy week.