1. Galactic Grapes
5800 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 213-246-7993, instagram.com/ galacticgrapespdx.
One of the only places in the country where you can purchase a candy-encrusted grape is a splatter-painted food truck in Northeast Portland. Galactic Grapes co-owners Vicky Carmichael and Andre Montgomery call the titular product "the fruit of the future," but the individual elements are straight out of the '80s: Smashed Lemonheads and Fun Dip powder congeal into puckery geodes to make "Blue Raspberry Lemonade," while "Poppin' Skittle-Berry" uses Pop Rocks. Biting into any of them quenches like chugging an artificial sports drink—crisp, juicy, electrolyte-forward.
Read more: Galactic Grapes Is Portland's New Candy Crush.
2. La Moule
2500 SE Clinton St., 971-339-2822, lamoulepdx.com. 4-9 pm Wednesday-Sunday.
Going from Paris to Portland may seem an odd career move for a chef. But for John Denison, it made perfect sense. Having started his career at St. Jack before bouncing around some of Europe's finest kitchens, he's back at Aaron Barnett's other French-inspired restaurant, moving the menu in an even more Gallic direction. Denison's tour de force? An ultra-rustic pâté en croûte, a mixture of ground pork and other ingredients cloaked in pastry, baked, then chilled and sliced for service. For all its seeming simplicity, it is a three- to four-day production.
3. Dimo’s Apizza
701 E Burnside St., 503-327-8968, dimosapizza.com. 4-9 pm Wednesday-Sunday.
The menu at Dimo's Apizza is loaded with variations of the New Haven-style pies chef Doug Miriello grew up eating in Connecticut. But his new spot—locatedt in the old Burnside Brewing space—is aiming for a place in Portland's sandwich pantheon, too. The most recent addition to the menu is maybe the most impressive. It's called The Beast: whole top sirloin seasoned like brisket, cave-aged Gruyère and slathered-on aioli. You can barely close the damn thing, which is how you know it's good.
4. Charlie’s Hot Chicken
Instagram.com/ charlieshotchicken. 11 am-8 pm
Tuesday-Sunday. Available through Postmates and Uber Eats.
Speaking of Doug Miriello, he's also partnered with ChefStable Catering to bring Portland yet another option for chicken—one he swears stands out from the others thanks to a double-brine method and a seven-herb spice blend that remains a secret recipe. The catch? It's delivery only. But with winter weather about to hamper al fresco dining season, that gives it an even better chance to thrive.
5. Rough Draft Burger Shop
Inside Uptown Beer Co. at 6620 SW Scholls Ferry Road, rdburgershop.com. 4-9 pm Wednesday-Thursday,
noon-9 pm Friday-Saturday.
Rough Draft's idea of the perfect burger is fatty, simple and crispy-smashed—just meat, cheese and condiments. There are no tomatoes or lettuce, only raw onion, pickle slices and "RD Sauce." The dark horse menu item, though? Vegetables. There's one plate that's sort of good for you—a daily selection of crudites with ranch ($4)—and another that does not feel virtuous at all but at least delivers cruciferous vitamins and fiber: fried broccoli with hot cheese, pickled peppers, scallion and crispy jalapeños.