1. Tokyo Sando

1927 SW 4th Ave., 971-254-3744, tokyosando.com.

This food cart operated by Taiki and Andrea Nakajima specializes in the Japanese-style convenience store sandwiches once raved over by Anthony Bourdain. The pork katsu is the biggest winner here. It's almost more like a Midwestern pork loin sandwich, with a huge hunk of meat between two pieces of milk bread and dressed with sweetish, housemade katsu sauce.

(Mick Hangland-Skill)
(Mick Hangland-Skill)

2. Snappy’s

609 SE Ankeny St., Suite B, 503-265-8710, makeitsnappys.com.

The sandwiches at this bodega-themed deli are as unfussy and understated as the retro aesthetic. Of the old-school standbys, the turkey club is the standout. Everyone knows what a turkey club is, so there's no sense in explaining what Snappy's does with it. Just know that it costs $9, and it is very good.

IMAGE: Courtesy of Sari.
IMAGE: Courtesy of Sari.

3. Sari Ramyun

2713 NE Sandy Blvd., 503-841-5149.

Typically, the phrase "ramyun" refers in Korea to instant noodles, the peninsular answer to Top Ramen. But chef Tommy Shin's new stall in the Zipper food court specializes in a chicken noodle soup—well, technically chicken and beef broth, with melt-in-your-mouth brisket slices floating on top. This is a heretical opinion, given the proximity of Basilisk, but Sari makes the best chicken in the Zipper.

4. Masia

601 SW 11th Ave., 503-595-1234.

Tapas spot Ataula has been one of Northwest Portland's slightly off-the-radar gems for years now, but chef Jose Chesa's new project has a significantly higher profile: a Spanish restaurant inside downtown's Hyatt Centric hotel. Masia got up and running on Valentine's Day, serving flautas, patatas bravas and churros in a sleek space at once rural and thoroughly modern.

(Wesley Lapointe)
(Wesley Lapointe)

5. Hapa PDX Ramen and Whiskey

3848 SE Gladstone St., 503-376-9246, hapapdx.us.

Lots of food carts make the leap to brick-and-mortar. But rarely is the effect quite so sexy as it is at Hapa. The soup here is a blend of two beloved cuisines: In the "G-Special" ramen, you'll recognize elements of a Hawaiian plate lunch and a Tokyo ramen. But this is very much an izakaya, and drinks are as much the attraction as the soup: The ginger ale-sake highball is worth traveling across town for.