503 W Burnside St., 971-373-8287, zapapizzapdx.com.
Blazing new trails in the pizza world is tricky, but Portland is one of the best places to try. And if veteran restaurateur Nick Zukin has his way, Mexican-style deep dish is the next big thing. At Zapapizza, the pies are topped with everything from taquitos to chilaquiles. But underneath the novelty, it's just damn good pizza—some of the best seen on the west side of the river in a long time.
813 SW Alder St., 503-222-1670, bullardpdx.com.
Top Chef made Doug Adams into a celebrity, but until Bullard's opening last December, his ability to conceive a credible menu and run a restaurant of his own awaited proof. Well, here it is. For an admirer of Texas barbecue, the most impressive offering is Bullard's beef rib, a Flinstonian affair that arrives with the spoon-tender rib meat, no-bullshit "fresh flour tortillas," pickled jalapeños and mild roasted tomatillo-lime salsa—one taste and you'll know why WW named Adams 2019's Chef of the Year.
100 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
The Portland outpost of Reykjavík hotel Kex is now open, and its ground-floor restaurant should be, if nothing else, a welcome respite from the avalanche of new pizzerias and chicken shacks we've seen lately. The menu blends Pacific Northwest and Icelandic influences, with items like chicken liver toast and open-faced beet root smorrebrod. Beers from the hotel's own brewery will also be on tap.
1615 NW 21st Ave., 971-229-1043, g-lovepdx.com.
Portland's first "reverse steakhouse" puts veggies in the spotlight and relegates meat to sideshow status, which isn't the novel idea around these parts owner and chef Garrett Benedict seems to think it is—but items like the craveable Ensalata Bomba are delicious enough to justify the restaurant's existence, regardless of the concept.
225 SW Ash St.
Micah Camden is giving chicken another go. After failing the first time around with Son of a Biscuit, Portland's master of fast casual has teamed with homegrown NFL star Ndamukong Suh to turn the old Ash Street Saloon into a house of poultry, serving birds both fried and grilled, in basically every configuration, along with Southern-inspired sides.