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Uno Mas

Your favorite local chef does have a life outside their own kitchens. In fact, the city's finest foodmakers hightail it to a mindbogglingly diverse range of spots when they get hungry. Check out their recommendations below.

Alex Yoder, chef at Olympia Provisions: “On my own time I like to eat at the Northeast Portland's Uno Mas— everyone always seems really happy to be there,” says Yoder. “I get barbacoa tacos along with one or two of their delightful vegetarian offerings.”

Josh McFadden’s, Ava Genes: He heads to Kachka, for the “Ruskie Zakuski Experience”—infused vodkas to dumplings and khachapuri. “It’s such a special place,” he says. “Every time I go I love it more and more.” 

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Pono Soul Kitchen

Image: Allison Jones

Naomi Pomeroy, Beast/Expatriate: Portland’s kitchen queen’s neighborhood hangout is Hollywood’s Pono Farm Soul Kitchen. “The New York strip steak is to die for and the sashimi is the freshest I’ve had in PDX,” says the chef.

John Taboada, Navarre, Luce, and Angel Face: Taboada calls PoMo’s Rising Star 2015 Coquine his favorite restaurant in town. “What a wonderful place. It is so personable, with great wines, and the food has subtlety,” he raves. “We eat the duck wings, but it’s all so good.”

Ben Bettinger, Laurelhurst Market: The meat man’s go-to spot is old school Chinese downtowner Good Taste. “I get a giant plate of salt and pepper squid with onions and jalapeños and some General Tso’s chicken. I always tell people that anything wok-fried there is a winner.”

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Coquine.

Image: Karen Brooks

Kristen Murray, Maurice: Navarre brunch is one of the sweets-master’s favorite haunts, but, post-work, look for her at Navarre’s sister spot Angel Face: “I go for a fish board or some tartare and a gin martini after a long day—it’s always a good nightcap spot.” Bonus: “I really adore Coquine. There’s not an ounce of pomp and circumstance, just love and delicious food. And their chocolate chip cookie is pretty addictive.”

Troy MacLarty, Bollywood Theater: MacLarty is a regular at Nong’s, but another one of his haunts that gets less attention is Alberta’s Euro cafe Swiss Hibiscus. “It’s in our neighborhood, the food is comforting and rich and they are the nicest people. My wife and I generally get take-out and they treat us with the same care and respect as the folks that dine there. The salad is good, the rosti is perfect, and I really like their goulash."

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Scottie's Pizza

Bonnie Morales, Kachka: What does the Kachka crew crave? “A slice of pepperoni with green chiles from Scottie’s Pizza,” says Bonnie. “Best pizza by the slice around.”

Jason French, Ned Ludd: “We love Luce,” says French, name-dropping John Taboada’s East Burnside Italian kitchen. “The space is small and intimate, simple and clean. The food follows much of the same ethos and we usually order a number of antipasti, a salad, and two pastas. I also love it for a quick lunch. The cabbage with garlic oil is amazing.”

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Davenport; Kevin Gibson in the kitchen.

Image: Allison Jones

Elias Cairo, Olympia Provisions: For new spots, the cured meats king spotlights Coquine. “This place gets me so excited for the next wave of Portland restaurants,” he gushes. “So delicious, charming, and a lot of great thought put into the wine list.” His longtime crush? “It’s Davenport. Kevin Gibson is the cook I wish I could cook like. So effortlessly and undeniably delicious and that WINE LIST. Also, for a cheap eats standby—Pho Van. The crispy fried seafood crepe has made me so happy on so many different occasions.” 

Gabe Rosen, Biwa: Rosen has a laundry list of under the radar spots: NE Sandy’s Pho An for crispy rolls and meatballs (“I love the funny little building.”); date night rosti, potato salad, and wienerschnitzel with partner Kina at Swiss Hibiscus (“lots of Swiss charm/alpine nostalgia.”). Still hungry? Rosen also heads to Cyril’s for “delicious vegetables," munches carnitas tacos at Uno Mas, or pops by Grassa to carbo-load: “I can actually get a little buzz from eating pasta,” he says.

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Hokusei.

Image: Allison Jones

Greg Denton & Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton, Ox: Greg says to get the burger at Imperial: “We think it is the best burger in town, plus, they have great drinks, and the service is always super friendly.”

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Editor’s Pick

Nong's Khao Man Gai

Thai SW Alder St & SW 11th Ave

Recommended: Nong’s Khao Man Gai ($6) There’s only one entrée at this bustling cart—and in this case one is plenty. Khao man gai is nothing more than poache...

Editor’s Pick

Angel Face

Recommended Menu, Specialty Cocktails 14 NE 28th Ave

Navarre's sister bar on Northeast 28th Ave offers romantic craft cocktails and petit French cuisine.

Editor’s Pick

Imperial

$$$ New American 410 SW Broadway

At last, Vitaly Paley’s Imperial has found some swagger thanks to a surge of energy from newly promoted chef de cuisine Doug Adams, who emerged out of nowher...

Editor’s Pick

Ox

$$$ Latin American, Steakhouse 2225 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton’s meaty love story is told over flames erupting from a hand-cranked grill. Don’t miss their Uruguayan beef rib eye ...

Editor’s Pick

Grassa

$ Italian 1205 SW Washington St

Squeezed inside ChefStable’s mini restaurant row in the West End, this pasta joint from Lardo’s Rick Gencarelli falls into a category of its own. Lunchers li...

Editor’s Pick

Cyril's at Clay Pigeon Winery

$$ 815 SE Oak St

With a highly curated wine list, a room full of fermenting barrels in the back, a case of hard-to-find cheeses, and a simple lineup of flavorful comfort snac...

Editor’s Pick

Pho An

$ Vietnamese 6236 NE Sandy Blvd

You know what’s good? Hearty French beef stew. You know what’s even better? Bo Kho, a rich Vietnamese beef stew swimming with carrots and stalks of lemongras...

Editor’s Pick

Biwa

$$ Japanese 215 SE Ninth Ave

Biwa mashes up indie Portland and the izakaya, a Japanese bar where customers can drink beer and sake while nibbling on small plates of, say, Korean beef tar...

Pho Van

$ Vietnamese Multiple Locations

A veritable Rose City titan with three locations across Portland, Pho Van sports a lighter, less-assertive broth with hints of anise and clove that flick the...

Editor’s Pick

Davenport

$$$ Mediterranean, Pacific Northwest 2215 E Burnside St

At Davenport, you’ll find two guys doing what they love and hoping someone will show up. In the kitchen, Kevin Gibson, veteran of Castagna and cult diner Evo...

Editor’s Pick

Ned Ludd

$$ Pacific Northwest 3925 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd 

With his I-did-it-my-way bluster and locavore intensity, Jason French embodies everything to love about Portland’s food scene. The playful depth of his homes...

Editor’s Pick

Scottie's Pizza Parlor

$ Pizza 2128 SE Division St

Scottie's house style is hodgepodge of pizza ideology: poofy-rimmed, leopard-spotted Neapolitan pies, cooked in a 900-degree Swedish electric deck oven but s...

Swiss Hibiscus

$$ German 4950 NE 14th Avenue

This small, intimate cafe on NE 14th is full of Euro charm with a Swiss bent, serving classics like Wiener Schnitzel, Spätzle, and goulash.

Editor’s Pick

Bollywood Theater

$$ Indian Multiple Locations

Chef Troy MacLarty directs an edible journey through India complete with collaged ephemera, Gandhi shrines, and real-deal flavors. The MO is casual, and the ...

Editor’s Pick

Måurice

$$ Bakery, Scandinavian 921 SW Oak St

Kristen Murray curates every molecule of flavor at her strange and delightful French-Scandinavian “pastry luncheonette,” where the experience veers from twee...

Good Taste Noodle House

$ Chinese 8220 SE Harrison St

The strip-mall façade and shabby interior may deter some, but those looking for consistent Chinese food won’t be disappointed. The barbecued pork and duck se...

Editor’s Pick

Laurelhurst Market

$$$ New American, Steakhouse 3155 E Burnside St.

When Laurelhurst Market opened in 2009, it veered as far from Morton’s as you could get: affordable cuts, next-level sides, and a butcher counter to rival an...

Editor’s Pick

Coquine

$$$ New American, Pacific Northwest 6839 SE Belmont Street

Coquine's talented young Katy Millard crafts thoughtful, everyday food and drink, day and night. Vegetables get top billing: a salad that digs into squash (w...

Editor’s Pick

Luce

$$ Italian 2140 E Burnside St

Chef John Taboada’s Luce is not easily defined. Candlelit shelves stretch from the floor clear to the ceiling, inviting a treasure hunt for imported foods an...

Editor’s Pick

Navarre

$$ Mediterranean 10 NE 28th Ave

John Taboada pioneered a new east-side indie food style with this 33-seat eatery in 2002, filled with local-farm gestalt, scholarly European village recipes,...

Editor’s Pick

Expatriate

$$ Asian, Breakfast / Brunch 5424 NE 30th Ave

Candlelight spotlights what matters here: two turntables spinning vintage moods, outsized images of old European movies projected on the wall, drinks balance...

Editor’s Pick

Beast

$$$$ French, Pacific Northwest 5425 NE 30th Ave

Feel the girl power at Naomi Pomeroy's no-holds-barred, female run eatery on NE 30th, where the Top Chef Masters contenders serves up prix-fixe meals of foie gras bonbons, pork belly, and daring seasonal fare.

Kachka

$$ Eastern European Multiple Locations

Portland is surveying a new frontier: Russia. Kachka’s boisterous take on the country’s traditional cuisine, as reimagined by chef Bonnie Morales and her hus...

Editor’s Pick

Ava Gene's

$$$ Italian 3377 SE Division St

In the neighborhood that birthed Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Duane Sorenson’s ode to Italy, Brooklyn, and the People’s Republic of Portland swings like an ind...

Editor’s Pick

Uno Mas Taquiza

$ Mexican Multiple Locations

Chef Oswaldo Bibiano’s cramped kitchen churns out an impressive lineup singing inside tiny, house-pressed corn tortillas. A collection of well calibrated sal...

Editor’s Pick

Olympia Provisions

$$ Mediterranean, Pacific Northwest, Sandwiches 107 SE Washington St.

Since 2009, salumist Elias Cairo has been forging the resurgence of American charcuterie, spreading his pork-proud gospel to the epicurean edges of the count...