Chef’s Choice

Portland chefs weigh in on their favorite cheap eats.

Edited by Rachel Ritchie and Karen Brooks February 22, 2013

Kim Malek (Salt & Straw)

Hanoi Kitchen

“I love the all-in-the-family service and hearty soups, especially bun bo gio cua (spicy beef noodle soup with house-made crab patties). Don’t miss the steamed crêpes with slices of homemade pork loaf. The fresh chile jam is amazing on everything.”  

Gabrielle Quiñonez Denton (Ox)


“It’s inexpensive, without compromising quality ingredients or ambience. Soups are perfectly balanced. I love the gra prao muu grob (tender pork belly withThai basil and chiles). My husband is a total slut for the crispy chicken with cashews.” 

Jenn Louis (Lincoln)

Chen’s Good Taste

“I always order the same thing at this Chinatown veteran: the dumpling soup. Tender and meaty dumplings, earthy stock, and gently cooked bok choy makes for a stellar meal—warm, hearty, and flavorful. Load it up with the toasted chiles on the table.”   

David Padberg (Raven & Rose)


“Classic izakaya fare at fair prices.The young couple that runs the joint is precious and sincere, and it’s the kind of grubbin’ Japanese food you rarely find in America. It reminds me of the food I ate when traveling through Japan.”  

Trent Pierce (Roe)

Mojo Crepes

“I usually get the Tokyo Sundae crêpe with matcha, red bean, and mango.The red bean may not be for everyone, but at least you get a little fiber and protein with your confection. Any of the dogs are just down-and-dirty good. Honestly, just get one of each and you’re good to go.”  

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