1. Birrieria PDX
16544 SE Division St., 971-336-6804. 11 am-9 pm Tuesday-Thursday, 9:30 am-9 pm Friday-Sunday.
The birria boom has reached Portland, and this cart in deep Southeast is one of its main purveyors. Birria de res, like its sibling, barbacoa de res, has a long tradition in many parts of Mexico, but Birrieria PDX's menu goes beyond classic applications: Other inventive options include the keto taco, made with crispy melted cheese instead of a tortilla, and birria ramen, the Japanese noodle soup made with the broth of the birria, resulting in something that tastes more like pho or Thai boat noodles.
2. 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 out of a splatter-painted food truck in Northeast Portland. 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, Fun Dip powder and Pop Rocks act as seasoning, and biting into any of them quenches like chugging an artificial sports drink—crisp, juicy, electrolyte-forward.
3. Rock Paper Fish
2605 SE Burnside St., rockpaperfishandchips.com. 11 am-9 pm Wednesday-Sunday.
Rock Paper Fish is yet another fast-casual Micah Camden restaurant, and yet another quick pandemic pivot. Open since mid-August, it's a pickup- and delivery-only fish-and-chips window, operating out of what used to be Boxer Ramen in the Burnside 26 building. The seafood may be mostly local or regional, but the style is New England: double-battered, double-fried, with thick fries reminiscent of Belgian frites.
4. Han Oak
511 NE 24th Ave., 971-255-0032, hanoakpdx.com. 5-8 pm Friday-Sunday. Takeout only.
Peter Cho's Han Oak wows diners nightly with its modern, progressive take on Korean cuisine—at least, it did until, well, y'know. But the restaurant—one of Portland's best, regardless of cuisine—has revved back up again, offering Cho's world-beating dumplings and what on paper sounds like it will soon be the city's favorite new obsession: a steamed bao burger.
5. Sunshine Noodles
3560 N Mississippi Ave., 971-220-1997, sunshinenoodles.com. 11 am-3 pm Thursday-Saturday.
Sunshine Noodles is an avowedly irreverent, none too serious take on contemporary Cambodian food by Revelry vet Diane Lam. The corn pudding is a candidate for the city's best new dessert, but the lime pepper wings are the breakout hit—spicy and complex, they want for nothing except a beer, and perhaps a napkin.