I spent the last 4 days in Portland, Oregon – a sweet, relaxed city with a small town vibe. It’s well-known for being a foodie city with famous stops such as Voodoo Donuts and Stumptown Coffee. I did not go to any of those places (haha) but tried many other good spots.
This Portland trip was less for adventuring and more for visiting my dear friend and old college roommate, Kim, and her fiancee, Armando (who is a chef!). She is currently pregnant and I went to visit her and help her a little bit before the little one comes. Kim and Armando were super accommodating to my foodie ways and took me to a ton of great spots.
Jam on HawthorneUpon my early arrival (9AM), we all decided to get breakfast at Jam on Hawthorne. This spot has a really cool vibe and is actually huge despite how small it seemed from the outside. It was pretty busy so it seems like a solid local spot. Apparently they are known for their corned beef so I went with their corned beef hash. Honestly, I was underwhelmed. I am a huge corned beef fan and make some really good corned beef. This was a little dry and it was in huge chunks which made it hard to get it mixed with the hashbrowns in bites. This dish was also so heavy on hashbrowns so it was a little bland and too filling. I do, however, LOVE their jam. It’s super sweet but one of the best jams I’ve had. I would go back solely for that reason and try something else (their menu is super extensive).
Jam on Hawthorne is located in South East Portland/Hawthorne.
SipIf you are not aware, Portland has a huge food cart scene and is the home of an endless amount of food trucks and carts. They are parked everywhere which is really convenient and cute! We drank a lot of smoothies on this trip and the ones from Sip were especially good. Everything tasted super fresh and was not overly sweet. It was super hot when I was in Portland (in the 90’s) so I opted for a fruity, refreshing smoothie called the Sabana. I would definitely go back here.
Sip is located in Southeast Portland/Clinton.
The Angry UnicornAside from solo food carts/trucks outside of stores, there are also permanent blocks or collections of trucks. We stopped by one of these, Carts on Foster, and grabbed burgers from The Angry Unicorn per someone’s recommendation. Their patties are a mix of ground beef and ground bacon. I got the BBQ bacon burger which is topped with more bacon, cheddar cheese, and crispy onions with a side of waffle fries. I’ve definitely had better burgers (something similar that I like better is Slater’s 50/50) so I probably wouldn’t go back.
The Angry Unicorn is located at the Carts on Foster in Southeast Portland.
I’ve had both Voodoo and Blue Star donuts so I wanted to try a different shop since I was sort of underwhelmed with both. Pip’s Original Doughnuts & Chai is such a stylish shop and their donuts are so small and cute. The donuts are all the same, cake donuts. They are crispy on the outside and super soft and warm on the inside – pure perfection. They have different flavors that they put on the donuts and these are the ones I tried: cinnamon sugar, honey & sea salt (my favorite), Nutella & sea salt, apricot & habanero salt. I would definitely come back here.
I also was not in a chai mood, although I love chai and they are known for their chai (they even offer a chai flight), so I went with a matcha latte. This was probably one of the best matcha latte’s I’ve had. The consistency was perfect and it was flavorful but not overly sweet.
Pip’s Original Doughnuts is located in Northeast Portland/Cully.
Bluefin Sushi Bar
I didn’t take a photo of the food but Bluefin Sushi is a small sushi and Japanese food joint. It was very low key and all the food we had was great – sushi and a katsu dinner set. The fish was really good quality and the katsu was so soft and juicy. I would definitely go back.
Bluefin Sushi Bar is located in Northeast Portland/Hollywood.
Tasty n SonsMy favorite brunch stop (or probably one of my favorite food stops on the whole trip) was Tasty n Sons. I loved the modern, warehouse layout of the restaurant. We went with the chicken fried chicken & biscuit, french toast, and potatoes bravas. The chicken fried chicken was so juicy and crispy, the biscuit was perfectly flaky, and it had a venison gravy that was perfect in every way (not too heavy but so much flavor). I was craving french toast and theirs definitely hit the spot. What I loved about it was instead of maple syrup, they put on a thin jam over everything. The potatoes bravas were also packed with flavor and perfectly cooked. I would definitely go back here over and over if I lived close by!
Tasty n Sons is located in Northeast Portland/Boise.
Elephant’s Ear @ Portland Saturday Market
I love outdoor markets and Portland’s Saturday Market did not disappoint. Tons of local vendors, art, crafts, jewelry, food – it was so much fun (except it was 99 degrees and I thought I would spontaneously combust). We tried their famous (and huge) elephant’s ear that one of the carts sells. It’s basically a big sheet of dough that is fried and doused in cinnamon and sugar. It was good for a little bit but it was just too big and too sweet for me (and we shared this between three girls).
Portland Saturday Market is located in Old Town/Chinatown.
Our last meal before leaving at 5AM was an Italian tapas dinner at Navarre. It looked so low key from the outside but the inside was full of activity. It was rustic and cozy and had all sorts of wines and jams on shelves. The food was really good and it was perfect for a meal that I was sharing with two of my closest girlfriends. The braised lamb was one of the best dishes we got and I’m not even much of a lamb person. It was so soft and the flavor was so savory. The salami charcuterie was also of really good quality (I definitely could’ve had the whole plate for myself) and the Italian cheeses on the cheese board were perfect matches with the flavors of the rest of the dishes. The potato pancake was so-so as it’s literally a simple potato pancake. The yellowtail was sprinkled with rock salt and paired with pickled veggies which was super delicious and was served cold which made it really refreshing after a hot day. I would definitely stop by again.
Navarre is located in Northeast Portland/Kerns.
Our final stop was Ruby Jewel, an ice cream shop. I got their fresh mint flake ice cream which was super minty (a little too much) and very refreshing. Jenny got the same but sandwiched between two chocolate cookies. She said the cookies weren’t good (stale) and the ice cream was decent. Not my favorite ice cream shop so I’ll probably just go back to Salt & Straw next time.
Ruby Jewel can be found in Downtown or North Portland/Boise.
I can’t wait to come back up to Portland and try more food places and adventure around even more. You can see more images from the trip on Instagram at the hashtag #SLYxPDX. Please leave recommendations in the comments so I can try new places next time!