Best for: A boilermaker and an eggs Benedict made by a real chef to keep you raging into the wee hours.
For aging punk-rockers who loathe the bougie and time-consuming nature of New Portland brunch spots, the arrival of Blackheart is big news. The tavern aims to create a safe space for Star Bar and Conquistador regulars who'd rather die than be seen waiting in line for Screen Door, with an all-hours menu of booze-infused brunch staples and cocktails christened with names that wink at the Clash and Bad Brains. Chef Brian McKnight hits the mark with the chicken and waffles ($11), a generous heap of juicy boneless bird perched atop a Four Roses Bourbon syrup-drenched waffle. The syrup is a bona fide stroke of genius that owner Justin King is absolutely correct in adding to as many menu items as possible. It appears on the cocktail list in the Agent Orange, paired with a chaser of OJ and a garnish of bacon and a waffle wedge. Right there you've got all the hangover cures covered regardless of what time you decide to stumble in. PETE COTTELL.
Best for: Nordic comfort classics you didn't know you needed.
Do not leave Broder without a warm belly full of aebleskiver. The spherical, powdered sugar-dusted Danish pancakes ($7-$11), which come with sides of tart lemon curd and lingonberry jam, exemplify the most enduring quirks of Peter Bro's family of Scandanavian brunch restaurants. They're sweet, novel and taste freshly prepared by a rosy-cheeked Swedish baker. Charming aesthetics are just part of what makes Broder—with three locations in Portland and one in Hood River—such a popular breakfast destination. But don't be deterred by the long weekend lines. The substantial dishes are well worth the wait. A Swedish hash of potatoes, beets, beer-braised beef, ham and eggs ($12) arrives in a steaming cast-iron skillet, and decadent cream-poached eggs are served under a Parmesan-panko crust ($13-$15). When at Broder, opt for the more adventurous sides, like the delicate pickled herring ($4.50), and don't be shy about scooping the accompaniments of pickled veggies into every bite. Slurp everything down with the spicy Danish Mary ($9-$10), made with dill aquavit, and let yourself melt into a stew of comforting flavors. ELISE HERRON.
Eatery at the Grant House
Best for: Avocado toast and mimosas in an 1849 commanding officer's
quarters at Fort Vancouver.
Pink grapefruit mimosas and avocado toast may not be the first things that come to mind when admiring the flag-bedecked, 19th century army headquarters named after Ulysses S. Grant. But in addition to its status as a popular wedding venue and romantic dinner destination (especially in summer, with dining on the wraparound, plantation-style porch), the French colonial-style Grant House—the oldest property at Fort Vancouver's Officers Row—serves a fairly cosmopolitan brunch in a warren of rooms amid leaded-glass windows and narrow Victorian hallways. The menu, with selections like Bourbon Anglaise French toast ($14), free-range fried chicken and waffles ($17), a McGrant Muffin sandwich with Tillamook cheddar ($14), and, of course, avocado toast topped with egg, bacon or smoked trout ($8-$13), emphasizes local ingredients as much as possible, including seasonal herbs from the house's own garden. Served weekends only. KAT MERCK.
Heim Bakery & Cafe
Best for: Fermented dough that's molded into toast and waffles.
Of all its oddities, perhaps the most unique trait of the German language is its brevity. A lot is said with a little. Consider the word "heim," which refers to the emotions one attaches to the concept of "home." It's a fitting designation for Heim, the German bakery that looks like a Belle and Sebastian song come to life, with its hodgepodge furniture and thrift store finds. But don't count on everything at Heim being so precious. After honing her craft selling breads and pastries at farmers markets, as well as a stint at King bakery Bushel and Peck, proprietor Jennifer Plitzko opened Heim with the intention of using hearty brunch standards to get Portland hooked on her bread. Plitzko's sourdough comes as an accompaniment to the vegetable hash ($12), which consists of a fried egg perched atop roasted potatoes, bacon and seasonal veggies, like steamed broccoli on our visit. But what's most notable is the side of toast. With a pillowy texture that's taut and chewy, it's bound to give big shots like Ken's and Lovejoy Bakers a run for their money. That same sourdough appears in a waffle Plitzko refers to as "Herman" ($6-$12.50). Available with both savory and sweet toppings, it's likely to become Heim's flagship menu item. PETE COTTELL.
Best for: Stretching brunch into a multihour affair.
From solo brunchgoers hiding behind a book or a laptop to an excited group toasting their birthday tiara-wearing friend with mimosas, HunnyMilk seats anyone comfortably. The original weekend-only pop-up inside La Buca remains, but you can now get a tangerine tequila sunrise and buttermilk biscuits and gravy five days a week at the newer brick-and-mortar on West Burnside. HunnyMilk has a fairly strict—and unique—ordering system: Customers get one drink, one sweet dish and one savory dish for a fixed price of $23. Any sides and more alcohol can be tacked on for an extra charge. While ribs and cheesy grits or a Dutch baby beckon, the vegetarian dish is the standout in the savory column. Once you try the two eggs baked to a perfect over-medium with a medley of zucchini, squash, mushrooms, onions and potatoes covered with warm truffled hollandaise, you can't imagine ordering anything else. For your dessert-for-breakfast, the fortune cookie waffle is light and crispy, topped with vanilla bean mascarpone mousse so thick it could be ice cream, as well as a fruit drizzle. It'll satisfy your sweet tooth and your Instagram followers. KIANA PONTRELLI.
La Luna Cafe
Best for: Fresh, seasonal, brunch classics, served cheerfully and quickly.
La Luna Cafe is now my favorite brunch place, both for its fresh, inspired breakfast classics and the brisk, cheerful service. Put your name on the list, grab a menu, order at the counter, and find a table to sit at. Within minutes, your food arrives! In this brunch-crazed town, it's such a welcome surprise to simply eat without spending 30 minutes silently brooding and imagining hangry-murdering all of your dining companions. Picking a favorite dish is really hard, but if you decide against the Irish Benny ($15), served with Laurelhurst Market bacon on a housemade English muffin, I recommend the waffle ($10). It's light and airy, served in a haphazard pile and heaped liberally with syrup, sliced fresh fruit (peaches, in my case) and chantilly cream that is rich enough to scoop up with a finger. The buttermilk biscuit ($4) with jam and honey butter is big enough to satisfy a daintier appetite, or grab an aҫaí smoothie ($8) with strawberries and almond butter to go. ADRIENNE SO.
Best for: Beloved neo-soul dishes that marry Southern flavors with Portland style.
Screen Door won't punish you if you decide not to order its cult-status chicken and waffles—the quality of the menu runs too deep to make any wrong turns. For those looking to try something different, Portland's favorite Southern-style brunch offers comfort on comfort with bananas Foster French toast ($10.50, $13.50) and a fried oyster Benedict ($15.50). Of course, if you do go with the bandwagon, expect to enjoy what feels like your weight in crispy buttermilk fried chicken served on a mild sweet potato waffle ($13-$19). The brunch menu isn't trying to mimic the grease-and-go of your favorite diner south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Instead, Screen Door offers exactly what you want from a classic Portland joint: an earnest regional interpretation that doesn't skimp on taste or portion size. Pair your meal with the stone-ground cheddar grits ($3.75), served soft and sharp, or a buttermilk biscuit ($2) made short in the Eastern Carolina tradition. SCOUT BROBST.
Best for: Freshly prepared treats in the baked goods case and a highly popular breakfast nook.
Named for a song by under-the-radar folk legend and longtime Oregonian Michael Hurley, this diminutive brunch spot has attracted a loyal following and the attendant out-the-door lines. In Portland-perfect fashion, patrons patiently wait their turn to order cafeteria-style from a trim list of breakfast dishes plus soups, salads and sandwiches. Some regulars swear by the trout plate ($14), featuring the smoked fish, egg, potatoes and greens, or you could go with the more traditional Sweedeedee Breakfast Plate ($12), featuring a baked egg, a few slices of bacon, sharp cheddar, seasonal fruit and made-in-house cornmeal molasses toast. Baked goods, including pie, cookies and pastries, are a highlight across the board, so don't settle on your order before you've examined the bakery case where that day's goodies reside. Coffee flows freely, cushioning the wait for a table and the small kitchen's deliberate pace. MICHAEL C. ZUSMAN.