Food Editor & Critic

Karen Brooks eats, drinks and thinks about food for Portland Monthly, where she continues her journey as Portland’s opinionated, trend-spotting food critic. She pens monthly restaurant reviews, writes and photographs the print magazine’s Word of Mouth column (aka: what I’m obsessing over now), drives the annual Best Restaurants issue, contributes to various food-cover packages, and breaks news for the magazine’s food blog, Eat Beat.

Karen began her journalism career at alt-weekly Willamette Week, doubling as food critic and Arts & Culture editor. Then she jumped ship to the Oregonian, doing double-duty again as Arts czarina and Food Critic while creating two of the daily’s most enduring sections: the weekly A&E and the annual Diner guide. At Portland Monthly since 2010, she’s continued her mission of ferreting out new restaurant models and maverick thinkers defining Portland’s food voice.

In her spare time, Karen is rabid NBA baller, film/TV junkie, and food author. She’s written nine books to date, most recently a book on Portland’s punk-rock food scene, The Mighty Gastropolis: A Journey Through America’s New Food Culture. 

Displaying articles 1 - 20 of 439 in total

Breaking News

Appalachian Hot Spot Mae to Launch Southern Brunch

Beginning September 4, rising chef Maya Lovelace will enter her vaunted fried chicken, serious baking, and farmer finds into Portland’s Sunday brunch ring.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 07/26/2016

EAT THIS NOW

Where to Eat This Week: July 20-27

Al pastor tacos at Tight Tacos, boozy Sloshy Pops at New Deal, and playful cocktails at Tastebud are your required eating and drinking for the week.

  • By Eat Beat Team
  • Published 07/20/2016

WORD OF MOUTH

What to Eat at Hat Yai, Langbaan’s Spin-Off Southern Thai Joint

Critic Karen Brooks gives (at least) one good reason southern Thai fried chicken is better than southern American fried chicken.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 07/12/2016

REVIEW

A Chef From Lima Unites Peru and Portland, Electric-Yellow Chile Swoops to Top-Notch Cebiche

Jose Luis de Cossio’s dishes are never boring.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 07/12/2016

BEST OF THE CITY 2016

Best of the City 2016: Celebrating Portland’s Greatest People, Places, and Things

Essential outdoor escapes. Favorite eats. Killer skyline views. Top cultural picks. Here are some of the things that make Portland awesome.

  • By Rebecca Jacobson, Fiona McCann, Molly Woodstock, Marty Patail, Ramona DeNies, Benjamin Tepler, Eden Dawn, Karen Brooks, and Zach Dundas
  • Published 06/13/2016

BEST OF THE CITY 2016

Best of the City 2016: 11 Portland Eats, Spots, and Sips We Can’t Resist Right Now

Iced matcha-chai lattes to killer pastrami sandwiches, here are some of our city’s most delicious things.

  • By Marty Patail, Kelly Clarke, Benjamin Tepler, Eden Dawn, Karen Brooks, and Rachel Ritchie
  • Published 06/13/2016

BEST OF THE CITY 2016

PDX Essentials: Quadrant by Quadrant, All the Things We Can’t Live Without

Secret beaches to art deco splendor to OG dive bars, here are some of our favorite things in every corner of Portland.

  • By Portland Monthly Staff
  • Published 06/13/2016

WORD OF MOUTH

These Are Four of Portland’s Most Delicious Lunch Destinations

From Kim Jong Grillin’s Korean short ribs to Maurice’s gorgeous sandwiches, here are our some of our city’s greatest midday meals.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 06/13/2016

FARM FUNDING

Prairie Creek Farm Needs Our Help

The legendary organic farm from Joseph feeds some of the best kitchens in the city. Now, it’s on the ropes. Here’s how we can all pitch in.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 05/25/2016

REVIEW

Everyman’s Michelin: Why Coquine Matters

Ten months after earning our tag as Portland’s Next Rising Star, a bistro on SE Belmont comes into its own.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 05/24/2016

WORD OF MOUTH

Here’s Your Pine Street Market Cheat Sheet

Food critic Karen Brooks shares picks from Portland’s first food hall, packed with eats from eight celebrated local restaurateurs and counting.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 05/19/2016

REVIEW

Three Unexpected, Certifiably Excellent Portland Brunches to Devour Right Now

Han Oak's farm-fresh Korean, Thali's Indian feast, and Expatriate's highbrow stoner waffles reboot brunch.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 05/19/2016

FIRST LOOK

Nodoguro’s Lauded Japanese Dinners Begin New Chapter on SE Belmont

Portland Monthly’s 2015 Restaurant of the Year reopens May 18 in the former Genoa space. Eat Beat has the first peek inside.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 05/18/2016

BREAKING NEWS

Longtime Le Pigeon Chef Andrew Mace Leaves His Post for Sustainable Seafood Project

The talented chef de cuisine will sell subscriptions to a sustainable restaurant fishery and man a fresh-from-the-docks seafood cart, Local Fish, opening soon at NE Eighth and Couch.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 05/09/2016

BREAKING NEWS

Nomad.PDX Moving to New Location with Dinners in the Kitchen—Literally

As PoMo’s “Rising Star" modernist pop-up closes in on a brick-and-mortar lease, chefs Ryan Fox and Ali Matteis begin a new chapter inside the former Bowery Bagels kitchen.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 05/03/2016

BREAKING NEWS

Pok Pok’s Andy Ricker Closing Sen Yai; Nate Tilden of Olympia Provisions to Open Honky Tonk Taco in Its SE Division Space

Ricker will consolidate territory and expands his Whiskey Soda Lounge, while Tilden adds another charm to his fast-casual food bracelet.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 04/28/2016

BREAKING NEWS

Rose VL to Launch New Vietnamese “Plate Lunch” Menu

Beginning May 2, lunch is on at SE Powell’s tasty soup shop, from the founders of 82nd Avenue’s famed HA VL.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 04/27/2016

THE NEXT ROUND

Portland’s Best Bars 2016

We’ve got the city’s best new bars, 11 essential new cocktails, a watering hole for (nearly) every neighborhood, and a tasting room decision tree.

  • By Rebecca Jacobson, Fiona McCann, Marty Patail, Kelly Clarke, Bart Blasengame, Margaret Seiler, Ramona DeNies, Benjamin Tepler, Eden Dawn, Karen Brooks, Zach Dundas, and Brian Barker
  • Published 04/22/2016

REVIEW

Xurros and Xocolata Make Chesa and 180 This Year’s Dining Destination

José Chesa cooks up his own private Barcelona, soulful but modern.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 04/22/2016

MOCKTAILS

Hot Tips for Teetotalers

What to drink if you don’t drink.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 04/22/2016
Displaying articles 1 - 20 of 439 in total