1. GrindWitTryz

2017 NE Alberta St., 971-865-5160, grindwittryz.square.site. Instagram: @grindwittryz. Noon-8 pm Tuesday-Saturday.

As a food cart, GrindWitTryz was a near-instant sensation, its crowds and wait times harking back to the early days of Salt & Straw or Apizza Scholls, and the lines have only grown longer since owner Tryzen Patricio moved into the former Bunk space on Alberta. The most popular dish by far is the ono chicken: 12 pieces of crispy, sweet-glazed fried chicken thighs—more than a pound of meat— piled onto a double-portion bed of furikake-topped rice.

(Trevor Gagnier)
(Trevor Gagnier)

2. Lottie & Zula’s

120-A NE Russell St., 503-333-6923, lottieandzulas.com. 8 am-4 pm Tuesday-Saturday. Breakfast all day, lunch 10:30 am to close. Takeout and delivery only.

Toro Bravo is gone, replaced by a punky sandwich window with New England roots. The heart of Lottie & Zula's breakfast menu are bolo levedos, or "Portuguese muffins"—something like a cross between an English muffin and a King's Hawaiian roll, which makes their version of a McGriddle extra satisfying.

Malka’s Important Helmet for Outer Space ($16) (Thomas Teal)
Malka’s Important Helmet for Outer Space ($16) (Thomas Teal)

3. Malka

4546 SE Division St., 503-984-1580, malkapdx.com.

The long-awaited Malka is the restaurant version of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. Each dish is a madcap mélange of a dozen or more ingredients that, on paper, couldn't possibly work together, yet invariably do. While its visually engrossing dining room is shut down, many of chef Jessie Aron's highlight meals are still available for takeout, including creative creations like the Important Helmet for Outer Space, a rice bowl with too many ingredients to list here.

(Liz Allan)
(Liz Allan)

4. Nak Won

4600 Watson Ave., Beaverton, 503-646-9382. 11:30 am-2 pm and 5-8:30 pm Monday-Thursday, 11:30 am-2 pm and 5-8 pm Friday-Saturday.

One of the area's best Korean spots is back—finally. After a prolonged reopening process following the initial statewide pandemic lockdown, Nak Won has returned, now just a pot sticker's throw from Old Town Beaverton's impressive new outdoor dining hall that features several Portland standouts. Despite the new neighbors, though, Nak Won remains the king of the 'hood, serving authentic, tasty bites, along with the best soup names in town: Comfort Buttercup, When Miss Piggy Met Hot Potato, etc.

iMAGE: Courtesy of Aybendito.
iMAGE: Courtesy of Aybendito.

5. Aybendito

Order at aybenditopdx.com.

Ataula co-owner Cristina Baez's tiendita is designed with the pandemic in mind, operating on a family-friendly take-and-make model. The online marketplace is stocked with the street food Baez grew up with in Puerto Rico: sofrito canéles to replace your stale bouillon, chimichurri, limited-availability pernil and pollo guisado, flan, and the staple pastelillo.