38 Essential Portland Restaurants


It's time to update the Eater 38, the list of highly elite restaurants that define what it means to eat in Portland. The Eater 38 encompasses the entire city, spans myriad cuisines, and collectively satisfies all of your restaurant needs, whether you're looking to drop serious cash or to magically transform a few bucks into a meal.

As happens every three months, a few places must depart and a few restaurants must be added to the 38; here they are with a brief explanation of why:

  • Kayo's Ramen Bar makes the list for leading the current ramen-splosion, and Biwa steps down after its recent change in venue and narrowed focus on omakase (the new Biwa is really new, which puts it on the current heatmap)
  • Likewise, Chef Naoko leaves the list for the moment, after its beautiful expansion, as it dials in its new seasonal bento offerings
  • The Appalachian supper club Mae joins the 38 for many obvious reasons centering on that fried chicken
  • And Davenport makes its return to the list for veteran chef Kevin Gibson's upscale small plates, while Clyde Common steps down. Gibson is a pioneer in farmer-driven cuisine in Portland and the Pacific Northwest

A recent update brought a big shake-up, and the list now only includes one restaurant by any one owner, chef, or restaurant group, for the most part. Additionally, it highlights outstanding restaurants in a variety of dining genres, whether Mexican restaurants, Pacific Northwest cooking, or sandwiches. Finally, because many Portland restaurants are opening further away from city center, the Eater 38 includes restaurants across the city's many neighborhoods.

Susan Moray

Susan has lived in Portland's Ladd's Addition neighborhood for over 23 years originally hailing from L.A. and living for a few years each in NYC, Maui and the eastern Sierra Mountains. Hospitality is in her DNA, having previously managed vacation rentals in Nicaragua and on Maui. She's a passionate backpacker, fly fisher and cyclist and gardener, growing perennials and organic vegetables.  Susan loves to eat and seek out new fine dining opportunities as well as unique food trucks and she's happy to share them with you. During your stay, she can lay low, offering privacy or be a resource for your intro to Portland's many interesting offerings. For inspiration, these evocative words speak volumes to Susan. " Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray"......Rumi