This epicurean carnival combines a restaurant, meat shop, deli, cooking school, and bakery in one building. Standing as a beacon of culinary ambition in the Concordia neighborhood, Old Salt thrives on seasonal cooking and excellent farm sourcing—don’t miss the thick, meaty ragù over fluffy ricotta gnocchi or the slick steak tartare. 5027 NE 42nd Ave; 971-255-0167
Part urban winery, part cheese emporium, this Central Eastside gem always feels like home. Opt for the dairy-fueled dishes: a “cheese monger’s” mac, crispy brussels sprouts in a bubbling ramekin of stilton, or a savory grilled halloumi-watermelon salad. Wash it all down with wines made in the neighborhood, like Jan-Marc, Enso, or Cyril’s own house crush. 815 SE Oak St;
Sandwiched between Country Cat and Bipartisan Café, Redwood— from chef Susie Blue, who formerly ran the kitchens at Broder and Savoy—is the newest addition to the Montavilla strip. Expect fresh, seasonal plates of crinkled brussels sprouts dusted with cumin and a squeeze of lemon, or chilaquiles piled with fried strips of crunchy tortilla, roasted green chile sauce, and two sunny-side-up eggs. 7915 SE Stark St; 503-841-5118
One of the hottest happy hour spots for Northwest Portlanders in the know, Fish Sauce dabbles in advanced mixology and Vietnamese bites, from plates of sweet, grilled Korean short ribs to banana leaf–wrapped banh tet rice cakes stuffed with mung beans and pork belly. 407 NW 17th Ave; 503-227-8000
Relish brings seasonal know-how, house-cut tagliatelle, and, not least, a killer burger to Westmoreland’s hungry hood. It’s charming enough for your grandmother, but also stocks a local tap list to impress the most discerning beer geek. 6637 SE Milwaukie Ave; 503-208-3442;
This article appeared in the November 2013 issue of Portland Monthly.