Like many of our favorite local stalwarts, Northwest-inspired Mexican operation Verde Cocina won our hearts years ago as a scrappy farmers market booth, gathering ultra-fresh produce from adjacent vendors and transforming it into mouthwatering mole plates. These days, the eatery still hand-presses tortillas in the South Park Blocks on market days, with lines often snaking around the corner. But folks looking to satisfy their carne asada cravings pronto can also get their fix at one of the restaurant’s brick-and-mortar locations in the Pearl District, Hillsdale, Sylvan Highlands, and now, North Mississippi Avenue.
“We’ve been looking for a place on the east side for a long time—since right after we opened our first location five years ago,” says Anna Garnica, who founded the business with husband Noé in 2008. “The opportunity and timing were finally right. We are very excited to be in the heart of such a fabulous neighborhood!"
The newest Verde Cocina café will replace Mississippi’s North Light, snagging a space that boasts both a full bar and an outdoor patio that seats 60. Expect the same healthful menu as the restaurant’s other locations: pasture-fed proteins, chunky housemade guac, dusky mole, and colorful heaps of flavorful vegetables. Vegan options abound, and the kitchen is 100 percent gluten-free. (The classic gringas con mole even landed a spot on our list of the city’s best healthy dishes.)
The new North Portland outpost is ambitiously planned to open later this month, leaving Portlanders all summer to enjoy that sunny patio with several rounds of seasonal sangria and tequila cocktails. Until then, we'll see you at the market.
3746 N Mississippi Ave
Opening Date TBD