1.  Farm Spirit

1403 SE Belmont St., farmspiritpdx.com.

Portland has no shortage of vegan junk food. But vegan fine dining is a rarity. So when Farm Spirit opened its prix fixe brick-and-mortar at the beginning of this year, it filled one of the few voids left in the area's plant-based dining scene. Chef Aaron Adams' seasonal, constantly changing menu puts local produce to clever and surprising uses, like caramelized black garlic as a convincing chocolate ganache, or "ravioli" made with chard for noodles.

(Thomas Teal)
(Thomas Teal)

2.  Dame

2930 NE Killingsworth St., 503-227-2669, damerestaurant.com.

Formerly home to Maya Lovelace's pop-up Mae, Dame has opened its own bottle shop in the private dining room behind the restaurant. That's where you can snag some of this spring's most sought-after local wine releases from labels like Maloof and Fossil & Fawn. While you're there, grab a bite at the newly launched Dame Collective featuring chefs-in-residence and collaborations with the business's natural wine program.

Matt’s BBQ Tacos. IMAGE: Reid Kille.
Matt’s BBQ Tacos. IMAGE: Reid Kille.

3.  Matt’s BBQ Tacos

3207 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-956-7455.

Breakfast tacos are one of the few major food trends Portland has yet to successfully pilfer. Leave it to Matt Vicedomini to change that. The new venture from the pitmaster behind the city's best Texas barbecue and 2019 Restaurant of the Year contender Eem is almost comically perfunctory, but nothing much matters beyond the namesake chef's magical experiments in smoky-sweet protein. Our top pick is the brisket, which is packed with Vicedomini's trademark notes of brassy, woody flavors with a melt-in-your-mouth texture and just the perfect amount of char on the edges.

(Christine Dong)
(Christine Dong)

4.  Eem

3808 N Williams Ave., Suite 127, 971-295-1645, eemportland.com

The restaurant from the superstar trio behind Hat Yai, Matt's BBQ and the Shipwreck cocktail pop-up has finally arrived, and it somehow manages to exceed all expectations. The white curry with brisket burnt ends is a dish so rich and nuanced it's almost without precedent, while the chopped barbecue fried rice is another mashup that's bafflingly simple yet unbeatable in flavor.

5.  La Osita

1515-A SE 122nd Ave., 503-358-3364.

Located in the parking lot of Plaza 122, La Osita is a delightfully understated Mexican breakfast and coffee cart. Alongside a selection of breakfast bowls is the brunch taco ($3.50), a small but mighty mix of Tillamook pepper jack, fried egg, colorful veggies and a long slab of applewood bacon that's a good 2 inches longer than the flour tortilla it's wrapped in.