1. Bake on the Run
1122 SE Tacoma St., 503-877-8602.
You probably wouldn't expect to find chow mein on the menu at Portland's only Guyanese food cart. But then, given the rarity of the cuisine at Bake on the Run, just about everything is unexpected. The titular bake is a soft, fried, semi-sweet puff bread that came to Guyana by way of Trinidad and Barbados. Think of it as a homemade Hot Pocket. It's an addictively savory snack versatile enough to eat for brunch or dinner.
Read the full review: Bake on the Run Introduces Portland to the Eclectic Tastes of Guyana
8727 N Lombard St., 503-283-0494.
When fried-chicken utopia Dub's closed (for the third time) last year, Portland soul-food lovers mourned hard. Three months later, the business is again resurfacing—albeit temporarily, and not in its own spot. For now through spring, chef William "Dub" Travis will be acting as chef-in-residence at St. Johns tavern Marie's, serving brisket, ribs and his world-beating fried chicken. Get it while you can.
970 SE Madison St., 971-229-1492.
The menu here is a classic Vietnamese-American deli/soup-shop hybrid, with a range of banh mi, pho and vermicelli bowl offerings accompanied by varying broths and proteins. There are surprises, however—the Crunchy Salad is a pre-dressed bowl of cabbage in a wonderful fish sauce and honey vinaigrette. Crunchy, savory and sweet all at once, it's the best dish here.
4. Little Bird
215 SW 6th Ave., 503-688-5952, littlebirdbistro.com.
Gabe Rucker's iconic downtown bistro recently rebooted, with a new chef de cuisine in Xan Gilmartin and a revamped menu taking cues from Rucker's more recent venture, Canard, giving traditional, high-class French cuisine a lowbrow American twist. New offerings include a chicken cobb salad dressed with "ranch de Provence" and a sandwich combining a French dip and French onion soup. Whaaa?
5. Din Tai Fung
Washington Square Mall, 9585 Washington Square Road, dintaifungusa.com.
After Oregon legalized weed, the only good reason to go to Washington was to devour some of the best soup dumplings on the West Coast, courtesy of this world-famous franchise. Well, that's all over now, because we've finally got one of our own, which opened last month in the Washington Square Mall and just lifted its initial reservations-only restriction. See y'all whenever Vancouver gets an In-N-Out!