The culinary scene of Portland has grown extensively in recent years and largely under the motto of sustainable and local cuisine. James Beard Award winning chef and local sustainable food pioneer Greg Higgins of Higgins Restaurant has shared some of his favorite places to experience the vast culinary culture of Portland. From the best restaurants, cocktail bars, chocolate shops, distilleries, and more, follow this four day trip through Portland and experience the city through the eyes of a local food expert.
With chocolates from every corner of the globe, and salt from equally as far-flung places (like Nepal, Slovenia, Cyprus, and Bali), while you probably won’t end up getting one of everything, you’ll probably find something that you can take back with you—or something to much on your way back home.
Few places in Stumptown embrace this chocolate culture more than Cacao, an all-things-chocolate store that serves some absurdly delicious fare. Specializing in American craft chocolate and making some of their own drinking chocolates, you’re sure to find something to sooth your soul.
After James Beard Award Winning Chef/owner Vitaly and his wife/co-owner Kimberly worked around the world in restaurants, they settled on Portland as the ideal location for their unique restaurant. As one of the key players in Portland’s local/sustainable culinary movement, Paley’s Place Bistro & Bar offers a dining experience that’s much more intimate and community-minded than so many restaurants that typify the American dining scene.
Portland is a leader in the artisan coffee industry. Local Expert Greg Higgins recommends trying Coava Roastery on 1300 Grand Ave.
If you’re at all interested in the craft of distilling and want to see how they do it in Portland, swing into Southeast Stumptown and check out “Distillery Row.” Featuring three of Portland’s best distilleries—Eastside, New Deal, and House Spirits—you won’t be strapped for options.
If you’re looking to take a little piece of the Northwest cooking scene back with you, you’ll probably want to tack on Powell’s Books for Home and Garden onto your Portland trip plan.
Local chef Kevin Gibson features the finest ingredients on a seasonal menu—with each item only lasting a few days. On top of the cuisine, their unique take on the fine dining scene will also be worth a sample, too: “not-quite-small” plates enable you to share a little and eat most of what you’ve ordered, and provide ample room for variety at your meal.
Offering classic pub fare done up with class (like their double cheeseburger and oysters) and a palate of mixed drinks, you’ll be stuffed with scrumptious options.
No trip to Portland would be complete without exploring it’s abundant coffee culture. Greg Higgins recommends checking out Sterling Coffee Roasters.
Culinary mastermind Gabriel Rucker’s French-inspired cuisine is not to be missed on a foodie trip to Portland. Famous for his first restaurant, Le Pigeon, and a 2011 winner of the James Beard Rising Star Chef Award for the best chef aged 30 or younger, Rucker brings the same quality to this sister restaurant.
Each beer carries with it its own name personality, and as one the first breweries in the States to specialize in bottle-conditioned beers, it’s pretty safe to say that this character runs deep in the identity of the company, too.
Ataula is all about having several small plates, some excellent drink, and a ball of a time. It’s one of Portland’s best takes on the tapas culture.
Whether or not you’re looking for fresh fruits, veggies, and other food stuffs, spending a little time at the local farmer’s market is an awesome addition to any trip plan, and a great way to spend a few hours soaking up Portland’s local culture—and maybe grabbing a few snacks for later, too.
Chef Greg Higgins is a bit of a genius when it comes to infusing the best of the Willamette Valley’s offerings into some truly spectacular cuisine. It’s even won him a James Beard Award. Tapping into the abundance of the Northwest, he and the folks at Higgins Restaurant can craft some of the best food in the Northwest.