Akadi serves plates from countries throughout West Africa, with a focus on the Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso. Chef-owner Fatou Ouattara's cooking is transportive, thanks to a deft ability to build flavor, using smoked vegetable mixes in place of spices as the foundation of many of her dishes.
720 SE Grand Ave., 503-235-0059, kachkapdx.com.
As Russian cuisine icon Kachka transitions to its new digs, its original location on Grand spins up a more casual, happy hour-focused service. The abbreviated menu features not only Kachka's beloved dumplings but more recent entries, like the lamb- and pork-meatball-festooned Red October sub.
3. La Luna
La Luna is the front-runner for Portland's best new brunch of 2018. Opened in the former Simpatica space, the cafe offers a menu that runs deep, mixing Southern-tinged comfort foods with West Coast-style superfoods: creative fresh-squeezed juice blends, pastries, waffles and the amazing Fat Biscuit breakfast sandwich.
4. Master Kong
8435 SE Division St., 971-373-8248
Master Kong is Portland's new Chinese food destination for a singular reason—sister-and-brother team Amy and Kang Zhu offer a concise menu of regional Chinese breakfast and lunch hits, including congee, juicy goubuli buns and roujiamo, aka Chinese burgers.
5. Happy Bibimbap House 2
A Salem favorite, the new Portland Korean spot doesn't have any flashy pan-Asian fusion nonsense—just traditional Korean and Seoul-Chinatown-style grub with a little sushi on the side.