1. Little Bean
1241 NW Johnson St., littlebean.com.
If the point is just to prove that chickpea ice cream can be done, Little Bean is a success. The ice cream—or bean cream or ice bean or whatever—has a texture so thick and creamy, it could almost be mistaken for gelato. The cherry chai is sharply spiced. The blackberry basil tastes as if it could have come from your garden. The strong cold brew coffee is the most traditional offering, and the orange caramel, which tastes like a creamsicle, is the most likely to satisfy a severe sweet tooth.
Read the full review: Little Bean Proves Chickpea Ice Cream Isn't as Weird as It Sounds.
2. 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.
Read the full review: Upscale Vegan Restaurant Farm Spirit Puts Produce to Surprising, Unorthodox Use.
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.
4. 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 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.
Read the full review: Two Food Carts Are Finally Making Portland Players in the Breakfast Taco Game.
5. Burger Stevens
6238 SW Capitol Highway, 971-279-7252, burgerstevens.com.
Serving near-perfect Shake Shack-style burgers and trays full of crisp fries, the key to Burger Stevens' success is the simplicity: nicely charred patties, melty cheese, crisp veggies and a gloriously buttered Franz bun. The cart now has three locations, but the original—in the Hillsdale Food Park adjacent to the parking lot of Wilson High School—is the only one where you can challenge your dining partner to a game of cornhole.
Related: Where to Eat Cheap in Southwest Portland.