1. Get a salad at Imperial
Vitaly Paley and Doug Adams’ winter salad doesn’t pull punches. Suckle and Bartlett pears tent up against watermelon radishes like like a teepee, full of creaminess and crunch, tossed with big meaty hazelnuts and black sesame. An out-of-left-field dressing of fish sauce and ginger lends a bold, spicy heat.
2. Sip a champurrado at Sandino Coffee Roasters
Tuck into a foamy cup of masa-steeped champurrado, a pale Nicaraguan hot chocolate with an earthy creaminess and just a hint of cacao at Portland Mercado’s family-run Nicaraguan coffee shop.
3. Sidle up to St. Jack's bar for mac n’ cheese
Macaroni tastes 100% percent fancier if you eat it from a still-bubbling crock packed with white cheddar, gruyere, and lardons and paired with a solid bottle of Grenache and some truly epic drippy candles. St. Jack, you’re my cold weather hero.
4. Brunch at Levant…while you still can
Levant, East Burnside’s dip into contemporary Israeli cooking, is closing after two years on New Years Eve. Its greatest contribution to Portland’s food scene, a playful weekend brunch, offers sesame seed halvah inside a flakey croissant, harissa-spiced Bloody Mary’s, and a la cart eats from shakshuka to freekah porridge. Get your fill while you still can.
5. Indulge in a chocolatey dessert at Ataula
With rain-pocalypse in full force, you need a double dose of comfort. Ataula chef Jose Chesa finds cozy goodness in his Pa amb Xocolata, or chocolate bread: a plush scoop of chocolate ganache set over buttery house made brioche, slicked in olive oil, and topped with Jacobsen sea salt. It’s like seeing chocolate with 3D glasses.