Our Restaurant Guide picks the best restaurants in Portland every October. We hem and haw and fuss to recommend 100 restaurants we think best represent the city.
This is not that list.
Rather, these are five spots we're excited about right now. Maybe that's a taqueria we've loved forever, maybe that's a seafood spot with a special menu this week or a new burger joint we stumbled on Friday night. It's designed to answer that age-old question: Where should we go out to dinner tonight?
1. Kachka (pictured)
720 SE Grand Ave., 235-0059, kachkapdx.com.
You get the idea with one dish, “herring under a fur coat,” a pink-tinged stratified butte of a salad that is Russian coffee-table fare rendered jaw-gapingly tasty. It's also our restaurant of the year.
2. Old Salt
5027 NE 42nd Ave., 971-255-0167, oldsaltpdx.com.
This Cully neighborhood butcher shop and restaurant takes sustainability-focused, whole-animal butchery to a new level in town, doing what they can with two cows and three or four pigs, then freestyling the rest.
1818 NW 23rd Place, 894-8904, ataulapdx.com.
Those sous-vide patatas bravas say everything about Jose Chesa’s meticulous approach to food: crisp on the outside, then meltingly tender within. Perfect.
3003 SE Division St., 954-2687, theamericanlocal.com.
Take a cross-country road trip—with an extended stop in the Asian conclaves of Los Angeles—and you have the bones of this Division Street “American izakaya,” which serves salad-topped frybread and a burger loosely based on In-N-Out’s Double-Double.
5424 NE 30th Ave., expatriatepdx.com.
When they eulogize the housemade bitters craze, the named killer will be Kyle Webster, whose antique cocktails use Angostura and Regan’s to perfection. The bar bites are damned good, too, especially the Chinese corn dog and James Beard’s onion sandwich.
Previous Hot Plates:
Oct. 8: 1. The American Local 2. Expatriate 3. Kachka 4. Old Salt 5. St. Jack
Oct. 1: 1. Fireside 2. St. Jack 3. BTU Brasserie 4. Kachka 5. Buki
Sept 24: 1. Pyro Pizza 2. St. Jack 3. BTU Brasserie 4. Kachka 5. The Blue Goose
Sept. 17: 1. St. Jack 2. BTU Brasserie 3. Kachka 4. Kim Jong Grillin’ 5. Pizza Maria
August 27: 1. Ración 2. Pizza Maria 3. Old Salt 4. The Blue Goose 5. Love Belizean
August 20: 1. Pizza Maria 2. Kachka 3. Taqueria Portland 4. The Blue Goose 5. Grant’s Philly Cheesesteaks
August 13: 1. Grant’s Philly Cheesesteaks 2. Pizza Maria 3. Taqueria Portland 4. Local Ocean 5. C’est Si Bon! Crepes + Vins
August 6: 1.Grant’s Philly Cheesesteaks 2. Local Ocean 3. Luce 4. Son of a Biscuit 5. C’est Si Bon! Crepes
July 30: 1. Kachka 2. Stammtisch 3. Luce 4. Firehouse 5. C'est Si Bon! Crepes + Vins
July 23: 1. Kachka 2. Stammtisch 3. Albatross & Co. 4. Bun Bo Hue 5. C'est Si Bon! Crepes + Vins
July 16: 1. Stammtisch 2. Kachka 3. Albatross & Co. 4. Smokehouse 21 5. Taqueria Nueve