1. Go East Coast at Bacchi’s Italian Delicatessen
MUST TRY: The meatball parm: A pillowy Italian roll packed with a lineup of herby, juicy meatballs each the size of a grade schooler’s fist; blanketed in bright, spicy marinara and oozy provolone and parmesan—all courtesy of Jersey-native Mark Caso. One bite on a cold day is more warming than a Snuggie.
2. Slurp Portland’s best take-out pho at Pho An
MUST TRY: The pho dac biet—our favorite beef noodle soup in a blind taste-test. It was the perfect balance of baker’s spices (clove, star anise, cardamom), with an even-keeled salty-sweet ratio. Coupled with fat-laced brisket, flank, tripe, and generous greenery (including herbaceous culantro), Pho An’s broth was the ultimate rainy day respite.
3. Flip winter the bird at Chicken and Guns
MUST TRY: The titular dish. It’s a smoky-good Latin-spiced and oak-fired half bird with a side of seriously amazing (baked then fried) spuds drizzled in garlicky, neon green aji sauce.
4. Try Tastebud’s new wood-fired eats
MUST TRY: Farmers Market star Mark Doxtader is known for his flame-kissed pizzas, but an early visit to his just-opened Multnomah Village restaurant revealed two new essentials: a Caesar-style kale salad, beautifully tossed in creamy garlic dressing, Tastebud’s bagel croutons, and a blizzard of Parmesan. Finish with the terrific apple galette, with a chunk of soft ricotta for smearing.
5. Start T-Day early at Olympia Provisions Southeast
MUST TRY: Resist the urge to dive headfirst into the pile of pork in the display case, and instead order the smoked turkey sandwich. Under a griddled ciabatta roll, you’ll uncover a melty, pimento cheese-smeared wonderland with tangy collard greens, thick-cut OP bacon, and tender slices of turkey stacked high.