1. Explore the city’s poke carts
Your new favorite poke destination? The south end of downtown. Hawaiian cart Braddah Bowls, parked next to Nong’s PSU location on SW College, offers plush piles of shoyu ahi poke, spicy ahi poke, and whatever else is fresh. Directly across the street, Phat Cart’s brand-new, ever-so-cozy brick-and-mortar location offers a simple tuna poke bowl alongside the bento staples. Wash it down with Phat’s Mekhong Fire, a spicy, invigorating Thai whiskey cocktail made with bitters, vermouth, and a whole Thai chiles.
2. Snarf sausages and sauerkraut at Occidental’s Wursthaus
At Occidental Brewing’s new spacious, sedum-hemmed rooftop in the shadow of the St. Johns Bridge, the fare is hearty and well-crafted: warm potato salad savory with stock to toothsome, creamy spätzle, and paprika bierwurst with serious snap. Wash it all down with clean, crisp pints of Occidental pilsner.
3. Brunch at Accanto
Once Genoa’s casual little sister, Accanto is now its own entity, with a neighborhood-friendly brunch for every kind of eater. Straight-up eggs and bacon or French toast with hazelnuts and blackberries the size of a golf ball for the kids; simple Italian dishes like rigatoni carbonara or corona beans and kale for the less ambitious; and smoked halibut with beets, skordalia, dill lavosh, and poached eggs for brunch thrill-seekers looking for Mediterranean flavor. Don’t miss the excellent Belmont Bloody with a ricotta salata-fried prosciutto garnish.
4. …and at Americano
You have to give Americano credit for righting their ship after a rocky start on East Burnside. Things still feel a little bit like conceptual overload at this Italian Futurist-themed coffee shop and bar, but food and drink are more dialed in. The brunch menu is anchored by potato waffles, essentially hash browns jammed into a waffle-maker. Sweet, crispy, and paprika-spiced, the waffles come in several iterations, from hot browns to croque madams. Pair with a brunch cocktail from the eclectic list, amaro-spiked shakerato to a spritzer with Campari, vermouth, and coffee bitters.