1. Fish & Rice

332 NW Westover Road, 503-954-1270, fishnrice.com.

Not all affordable sushi in Portland arrives via conveyor belt. Nestled on the backside of Northwest 23rd Avenue, Fish & Rice boasts not only a formidable $13, two-roll lunch plate but a superlative cute factor that will tempt a visit long after the combination special expires at 3 pm.

(Christine Dong)
(Christine Dong)

2. Heim

7137 NE Fremont St., 503-206-5537, heimbakery.com.

After honing her craft over the past few years selling breads and pastries at farmers markets, Jennifer Plitzko opened Heim with the intention of using hearty brunch standards to get Portland hooked on her bread. With a pillowy texture that's still taut and chewy in all the right places, it is bound to give the city's big shots a run for their dough.

Squid at OK Omens. (Sam Gehrke)
Squid at OK Omens. (Sam Gehrke)

3. OK Omens

1758 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-231-9939, okomens.com.

Castagna's delightful new casual dining sibling has a menu full of shareable, value-priced gems. The vegetable dishes are the highlight, but don't stop there—grilled squid hits that hard-to-achieve textural happy place, and the burger is like In-N-Out gone to Harvard.

(Abby Gordon)
(Abby Gordon)

4. Kargi Gogo

3039 NE Alberta St., 503-764-9552, kargigogo.com.

Georgian khachapuri cheese breads have been trending across America for several years, and they've arrived in Portland thanks to Kargi Gogo. Rip off a piece of bread and drag it through the liquid cheese—it's like pizza and fondue had a baby.

Tuna tataki at Smallwares. (Abby Gordon)
Tuna tataki at Smallwares. (Abby Gordon)

5. Smallwares

25 N Fremont St., 503-206-6421, smallwarespdx.com.

Johanna Ware's pan-fusion playground of zoomingly intense flavors has returned to North Fremont, along with old favorites like the candied kale and new offerings such as the deceptively complex tuna tataki—and Smallwares just started offering brunch, which includes breakfast congee and a kimchi bloody mary.