Wayfinder's sun-drenched patio

Image: Michael Novak

Every month, we dig through our restaurant listings to bring you a themed (and non-comprehensive!) roundup of places to eat out in Portland. Here, we highlight 27 destinations for blissed-out patio dining. (Want more? Our cover package spotlights 11 additional spots to savor summer.)

Bar Casa Vale

In the past two years, BCV has gone from being an exciting Spanish bar with an ambitious wood-fired side hustle to a bona fide restaurant. A recent hit? seafood fideos, made with chewy, sauce-grabbing cavatelli, steeped in a rich, deep tomato sauce with heaps of fresh Monterey Bay squid and savory clams, and a healthy dollop of garlicky aioli at the center. But the bar still rules: geek out over cider, sip low-proof aperitifs, sample clever “Pan-Latin” cocktails, or get wise to Spain’s robust gin-and-tonic tradition: giant goblets brimming with rotating botanicals and citrus. It’s best enjoyed at the turquoise-arabesque tiled bar, or, in warmer months, on the light-strung Barcelona-in-spirit patio. 

Beeswing

On a weekend morning, Beeswing looks more like a community meet-up than a restaurant— neighbors crowd its blond wood tables, juggling toddlers with mimosas or micheladas. There’s a standout sourdough waffle—a Belgian liège-style checkerboard of tart goodness, slathered with fruit compote—and little Dutch babies often show up on special, their toasty, furled edges holding pools of berry juice and islands of mascarpone. Packed with house-baked, smoked, and roasted comfort, the cheerful breakfast and lunch spot is as cozy as your own kitchen table—if you don’t mind happy kid shrieks soundtracking your refills of Stumptown.

Bit House Saloon

In a city of craft bars and unconventional thinking, the key ingredient to a great drink is something elusive. It’s called “fun.” No one’s embracing the idea more than Bit House Saloon’s posse of fine barfolk, dreaming up ideas in near darkness in a labyrinthine saloon that could be an extra in Ken Burns’s Civil War. Find single-barrel whiskeys, barrel-aged beers, boisterous cocktails, and conversation with customers (favorite topics: ’90s hip-hop, philosophy, and ring flair). Sure, Clint Eastwood would shoot holes in the sous vide machine behind the bar, but even Old Squint Eyes couldn’t resist a Quentáo cocktail, bursting with fresh, tart cider, rich with cinnamon syrup, capped with amaro Chantilly cream, and waiting warm for us in a circulator. This is how the West was won.

Broder Söder’s signature aebleskiver

Image: Kelly Clarke

Broder Söder

At Broder’s Southwest outpost inside evergreen-fringed Scandinavian Nordia House, Söder wisely builds on brunch dishes that made the original Clinton café a local love affair. The æbleskiver—powdered-sugar-dusted Danish pancakes: the crisp-skinned, doughnutty balls layered with homey Scan baking spices are perfect for dunking in creamy house lemon curd. Buttery-perfect squares of sunny baked eggs lounge with diced spuds, soft peppers, and smoky fish. The star of Söder’s expanded Swedish coffee break pastry menu is the kanelbullar, cinnamon knots baked fresh each morning, liberally flavored with cardamom and showered with little balls of pearl sugar. Order two.

Bollywood Theater

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 format (counter orders, bus-your-own dishes) keeps prices low. Classic thali platters—sambar, raita, dal, saffron rice, curry, and paratha—are full-meal steals at $12–15.50. But the kitchen really excels at Mumbai street snacks (bhel puri, dahi papri chaat), seasonal vegetable sides, and Goan-style pork vindaloo that tastes like barbecue from another planet. You polish it off with animal sounds and sweet, buttery, crumpet-like rolls. But order carefully, or face a garbanzo bean assault.

Garden dining at Burrasca

Burrasca

In winter 2013, an east-side food cart stole our hearts with authentic Florentine comfort food, serving thick stews of wine-braised squid and gossamer ribbons of handmade pappardelle with wild boar. Nowadays, Burrasca has a brick-and-mortar home, with the same Big Night charm as its previous incarnation—an airy Clinton neighborhood space filled with personal touches from owners Paolo Calamai and his partner, Elizabeth Petrosian (a bull’s skull from Tuscan cowboy country, included). Burrasca’s greatest strengths are its pasta, best demonstrated by the tender ricotta gnudi, soaking up a pool of sage butter, and the velvety cuts of tagliatelle in thick beef ragù. Equally great: Calamai’s garlicky, slow-cooked dishes, like the dark, braised squid, and the palombo, a dish of thresher shark cloaked in rich tomato sauce and a melted pile of Swiss chard. This is food that would make anybody proud to be an Italian. 

ChickPeaDX

In 2015, fresh-made falafel cart ChickPeaDX was reborn inside microrestaurant cluster the Zipper. Israel native Yair Maidan expands beyond the falafel sandwich with salads, bowls, and combo platters that mix and match wickedly spicy fried cauliflower drizzled with basil-mint-tahini sauce alongside a warm freekeh with braised leeks, puréed black futsu squash, and a glug of garlic-cilantro zhug. Inspired dips, from super-fresh, creamy hummus to lemony, whipped labneh yogurt, boost the main attraction: fluffy, fresh-ground Washington chickpeas fried to achieve a thick, lusciously textured shell. It’s some of the best falafel in the city, hands down. 

Grain & Gristle

At this rustic neigborhood nose-to-tail pub, timely patrons are rewarded with a generous “2-fer Dinner Special,” a double portion of whatever hearty delight is on offer that day—steaks to roasted chickens, plus veg and beers. (Upright Brewing co-owner Alex Ganum keeps a seasonal cast of his award-winning brews on rotation at the bar.) On a recent visit, duos tucked into tender grilled pork with a potato, beet, and carrot hash zinging with harissa paste—clinking their brewskies with the aplomb of those with full bellies and wallets. 

Han Oak’s mentaiko spaghetti, with cured pollack roe, shiro dashi, butter, parmesan, and nori

Han Oak

Every once in a while, a place rewrites the rules, charms hearts, and dominates the conversation. Since 2016, that honor has gone to Han Oak, behind a hidden door off of NE Sandy Boulevard. The website calls it a “non-traditional Korean restaurant.” Consider those words a mere starting point for an experience: landmark dumplings, spicy wings, and joyful chaos. Personal? The space doubles as the home of Peter Cho, Han Oak’s magnetic center of gravity, where he holds court with Korean moms, seemingly every off-duty cook in town, and anyone else who wanders in for an evening of chill magic.

Interurban

This dusky North Mississippi watering hole lures the hungover and hungry on weekend mornings with balanced cocktails and burly breakfast fare, often soundtracked by ’80s rock. The menu runs from biscuits with boar sausage gravy to super puffy buttermilk poppy seed pancakes that taste like Costco muffins drizzled with zingy lemon curd (in the best way possible). It’s best enjoyed from the shady back patio with an Interurban Bloody in hand. Or, if you deserve it, the Walk of Shame (Rainier with a shot of bourbon). 

Kiosko

Six seats, one skinny counter, and Chemex “vases” sprouting flowers fill this Latin-proud coffee shop, which highlights Mexican growers and gives coffee nomenclature a Latin American twist. Kiosko’s next-level “ahogados” (that’s Spanish for affogato, or espresso-drowned ice cream) are key for summer walks along the waterfront: three flavors dreamed up using Beaverton’s Mexican ice cream and paletas operation Ome Calli. Recently, that included a spicy chocolate mole number covered in cocoa nibs, freeze-dried raspberry, and pepitas, as well as a sweet, creamy horchata with almonds and a wafer for dipping.

Sun and sandwiches at Lardo

Image: Allison Jones

Lardo

From a homegrown sandwich shop with national ambitions comes accessible adventure, big-boy portions, friendly ethnic spins (hello, smoked coppa Cubano), and touches of danger (pork scraps and pepper heat roaming the “dirty fries”). The outpost squeezed inside ChefStable’s mini restaurant row in the West End also boasts well-chosen taps, cocktails, counter service, a lovely escarole Caesar, and the optional heap of homemade chicharrones. Owned by Grassa’s Rick Gencarelli, Lardo is consistently solid—and the option to turn any sandwich into a salad should become an Oregon statute.

Noble Rot

On the fourth floor of Lower Burnside’s Rocket Building, Leather Storrs cooks comfort food from his rooftop garden to pair with Noble Rot’s wine program. The outdoor patio offers unparalleled views of downtown Portland, no matter the season. Diner staples top the list: extra-sharp mac and cheese with a spike of Dijon mustard and a crunch of bread crumbs; crisp, airy onion rings; a respectable flatiron steak with creamy romesco sauce. The evergreen list of small-plate favorites, like the caramelized onion tart on a flaky pastry shell, make Noble Rot more than just a room with a view. 

Nostrana

Local food legend Cathy Whims presents Italian home cooking as it should be—stripped down, honest, powered by wood fire. No place in Portland is better suited to please a diverse crowd: foodies, kids, wine lovers, your adventure-fearing relatives. The mandatory preamble is the Caesar-esque insalata Nostrana. Pasta with tomato butter embodies simple purity, but desserts—hot-from-the-oven fruit crisps and intensive chocolate bodino—can make you gasp. The bistecca alla Fiorentina is arguably the city’s best steak: 2.5 pounds, cooked over oak fire, and big enough for four. 

Paley’s Place

In 1995, Kimberly and Vitaly Paley bailed from New York’s restaurant world for Portland, where they invested in farmers, not décor, and helped jump-start a new Northwest cuisine in a Victorian house perched over a nail salon. Over the years they’ve won a coveted James Beard Award, penned a coffee-table cookbook, and ushered in nightly packed houses for food that can be earthy, whimsical, or decadent. The kitchen still juggles house classics—perfect Manila clams with chorizo, hand-cut fries, exquisite bone marrow towers knee-deep in red wine sauce and escargot—and mad creativity. 

An ice cream sandwich from Pix’s dessert display

Pix Pâtisserie/Bar Vivant

At dessert hero Cheryl Wakerhauser’s Pix Pâtisserie/Bar Vivant, napkins litter the floor, scarlet damask lines the walls, and Champagne enthusiasts play a game of pétanque in the courtyard. Portland seems miles away in this world of wacky European vitality and sparkling wine obsession. Wakerhauser has been baking bonbons and French macarons since she opened in 2001, but in 2012 Pix moved to East Burnside, bringing savory Spanish tapas, an expanded cocktail menu, and a beautiful outdoor space to the sweet equation. 

→  Check out Pix’s Movies at Dusk every Wednesday night through September. Pix spins up a giant projector and serves tapas, beer, and cider inside its Euro-style courtyard. July's lineup includes Bend It Like Beckham, Mary Poppins, and Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Pizza Jerk

In a former neighborhood bar on the edge of Cully, Bunk Sandwiches’ Tommy Habetz has remixed the family pizza parlor for a new generation—punk rock, Sichuan chile oil, and a vintage Japanese Space Invaders arcade game included. The menu runs irreverent to homey, pizza to spaghetti. You can order a first-rate pepperoni here, or bliss out on a Hawaiian pie reborn with fresh-pickled pineapple and candied pork. Don’t miss the Dan Dan pie, a welcome mat of chile paste hot enough to Jheri-curl your hair, sweet char siu pork shreds, and waves of bitter, crackling mustard greens. This is no Wolfgang Puck designer spicy chicken pizza. Order it.

→  Pizza Jerk now has a second location at 621 SE Morrison St, inside the original Bunk Sandwiches, with an expanded slice menu.

The bustling Portland Mercado

Portland Mercado

The east side’s vibrant Latino marketplace is 7,000 square feet of authentic street food and south-of-the-border shopping. Hunker on the patio with one of Tierra del Sol’s massive Oaxacan tlayuda, a pizza-like crispy corn round layered with black beans, queso, avocado, and chicharron, or standout banana leaf-wrapped, pumpkin hot sauce-drizzled Tamal Oaxaqueño at Mixteca. Steps away, Kaah Market brims with Latin American finds, from fresh epazote to flash-fried blue and white corn tortillas. 

¿Por Qué No?

Take one bite of the tacos here—especially the seafood versions, with cornmeal-crusted, line-caught Alaskan cod or chile-spiked wild shrimp—and you’ll be transported to Baja. The tacos are so good, it can sometimes be hard to try anything else, but they’re small enough that a couple of fried flautas over fresh greens with guajillo vinaigrette won’t hurt. If you still feel like you’re in Portland, a margarita or fresh-squeezed agua fresca should send you south of the border. 

Skyway Bar & Grill has the mac 'n' cheese of your dreams.

Skyway Bar & Grill

Restaurant mac and cheese rarely lives up to the dish lodged in our memory banks. That is, unless you’re enjoying a dish of molten noodledom at Skyway, a tin-ceilinged warren of Americana eats and roaring fire pits just 15 minutes from the slopes of Mount Hood. This is the mac you’ve been looking for. The deceptively humble casserole tastes more fundamentally mac-y than other macs: plump pasta shellacked in sticky sauce, deeply cheesy (like some up-jumped descendant of Velveeta shells), and laced with chile fire, crowned with toasty shards and a corona of frizzles, all for $7. It is awesome; especially when devoured alongside a smoky barbecue sampler plate and a pint in the tavern’s sprawling yard, surrounded by junk sculptures and live music.

Spielman Bagels

Spielman Bagels is the dominant force in Portland’s quiet, ever-raging bagel wars. After 15 years in the coffee-roasting trenches, Rick Spielman made an impressive leap into his own, self-made bagel world. He stakes his brand on the little-known sourdough bagel, putting its tart flavor at the center of a dozen variations, from sweet golden raisin and fennel to the “Seedy,” collaged with the gold, black, and green seeds of flax, watermelon, and pumpkin. Sandwiches—from an archetypal egg, ham, and cheese to bacon, cream cheese, arugula, and jam—make the growing DIY bagel upstart an indispensable breakfast player. 

Stammtisch's Schweinshax’n (aka slow-roasted Bavarian pork shoulder)

Stammtisch

This beer hall from the folks behind North Portland’s Prost lures bierstube enthusiasts deeper into the world of German brews while raising the bar for the country’s comforting cuisine. The airy space and sidewalk beer garden boast an impressive, rotating 18-tap beer list that ranges from a rare, malty maibock to a smoked helles lager—the kind of craft beers one might find only in tiny towns in Bavaria—while the full-length menu flaunts classic schnitzels and a Bavarian pretzel, along with less common maultaschen (big Germanic rolled pasta) and obatzda (a paprika-spiced Camembert cheese spread). You will devour the addictively smoky roasted chicken with thick-sliced, fat-soaked potatoes. And the slow-roasted Bavarian pork shoulder, roasted golden-brown on a bed of spätzle and red cabbage—the pigskin fried to crispy, snackable perfection—is criminally comforting. 

Teote

Aromatic cornmeal arepas, flavor-packed grilled meats, and a bar dispensing mezcals and chocolates form a haven of vibrant flavors at this reincarnation of food cart Fuego de Lotus. Ten varieties of arepas—perfectly golden, with a crackling exterior and fluffy masa center—anchor the menu, alongside a cast of grilled chops and ribs, fried snacks, and family-style dinners for large parties. In back at the SE 12th location, an 80-seat patio fans out from a giant fire pit. 

Uno Mas Taquiza

Chef Oswaldo Bibiano’s cramped kitchen churns out an impressive lineup singing inside tiny, house-pressed corn tortillas. Tender barbacoa brisket gains extra flavor from avocado leaves, and juicy endiablado prawns live up to their devilish billing. The best choices are also the most daring: dark burgundy crumbles of Bibiano’s signature moronga (blood sausage) or charred curls of pulpo (octopus) in a magnificence of red chile powder, epazote, and lime. Meanwhile, Uno Mas's west-side outpost crafts some of the best breakfast tacos in the city. The chile capeado is hard to beat: shredded pork, cooked with chipotle and guajillo peppers, stuffed into an egg-battered jalapeño, deep-fried, and drizzled with crema.

Wayfinder Beer

The ambitious 9,000-square-foot gastro-brewery turns the beer-first paradigm on its head. Rodney Muirhead of Podnah’s Pit and La Taq captains the “slightly refined” food program, steak frites to smoked prime rib. Set against the backdrop of a fragrant blond fir deck with a flickering fire pit, there’s plenty to enjoy at Wayfinder. Sip hard-to-find pints of Weihenstephan Original Helles and Flensburger Pilsener, or try some of the brewery’s own lagers and ales, from a classic Bavarian-style amber weizen to a hazy IPA.

Whiskey Soda Lounge

Drawing from what the Thais call aahaan kap klaem, or food made for eating with whiskey, Pok Pok’s Andy Ricker re-creates Asian pub snacks without compromising for Western palates: stewed pork, frog legs, and a bamboo-shoot salad, all designed to be washed down with drinking vinegars, cocktails, and ice-cold bia wun, or “jelly beer.” Begin your education with kai saam yang (toasted peanuts, minced shallots, lemongrass, and salt flecks) and neua sawan (deep-fried beef shreds served with lime leaves). The pad Thai, served only after 10 p.m., is Portland’s best.

Verde Cocina

Mexican in spicing, farm-forward in spirit, this Portland chainlet boasts specials like local salmon tacos with crisped skins, fresh tomatoes, and avocado-tomatillo dressing. Vegetables are the main event, but meat is taken seriously: gringas (soft, rolled tacos) come hot off the press, puffing and steaming with maize perfume, rolled with braised Sweet Briar Farm pork and dark, musky mole.

Filed under
Show Comments