1. Kimura Toast Bar
3808 N Williams Ave., 971-266 8087, kimuratoast.com. 9 am-2 pm Tuesday-Sunday.
At Kimura Toast Bar, thick slices of shokupan, or Japanese milk bread, can be the stuff of a light breakfast, a savory lunch or a meticulously composed dessert. You can get your toast simply, with French Isigny St.-Mere butter, including such flavors as bacon-cheese or yuzu. You can get a cheese toast, with white cheddar or brie. You can even get it under a hot dog. And yes, you can get it with avocado—a straight-up concession to the Portland market.
8220 Denver Ave., 503-719-7976, derbypdx.com. 9 am-midnight Wednesday-Sunday.
Judith Stokes’ Derby is both a work in progress and an act of imagination: an all-in-one restaurant, bar, cafe and market with a patio for outdoor dining and events like live music and drag bingo. For now, Derby is first and foremost a brunch restaurant offering up the classic paralyzing choice: sweet or savory. If you’re dining in a group of four, no problem: You can split the cardamom custard French toast, mini macadamia nut waffles, massive (20-ounce) breakfast burrito, and the white cheddar, arugula and mustard aioli breakfast sandwich. You may also want some sides like pandesal sweet rolls—not unlike a Hawaiian sweet roll, but with a more substantial crust and crumb—and longanisa sausage are a nod to Stokes’ Filipino heritage.
3. Matt’s BBQ Tacos
4233 N Mississippi Ave., 503-504-0870, mattsbbqtacos.com. Noon-8 pm Monday-Thursday, 11 am-8 pm Friday-Sunday.
Another outlet for Matt Vicedomini’s smoked meats—and much easier to get into your mouth right now than his regular barbecue offerings—Matt’s BBQ Tacos successfully pilfers Austin’s greatest cultural export: the breakfast taco. Smoky-sweet proteins are crammed into a flour tortilla on a bed of fried potatoes, cheddar and scrambled eggs. Our top pick is the brisket, which is packed with the pitmaster’s trademark notes of brass and wood, with a melt-in-your-mouth texture and just the perfect amount of char on the edges.
4. Produce Row
204 SE Oak St., 503-232-8355, producerowcafe.com. 11 am-11 pm Monday-Saturday, 11 am-9 pm Sunday.
Produce Row was doing patios right long before the pandemic made them essential. The 44-year-old inner Southeast stalwart’s is 2,500 square feet, and it’s fenced, covered and heated. The Row has always exuded a perfect balance of comfort and chic—famous for its beer-cheese macaroni and cheese, but also willing to play with carrot juice, egg whites and blueberry basil peppercorn shrub as drink ingredients. With such a huge outdoor space, it’s a slam dunk to find a seat for weekend brunches or after-work (from home) drinks.
5. Lottie & Zula’s
120-A NE Russell St., 503-333-6923, lottieandzulas.com. 9 am-5 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 the 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.