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Sterling's hot caramel apple cider

Image: Karen Brooks

Inhale a hot caramel apple cider at Sterling Coffee Roasters 

Everything you love about a caramel apple, in liquid form. There’s a quiet burst of bright-tart fruit flavor, an undertone of soft caramel, and lots of warm creaminess. It’s a seasonal special, so get it while it lasts. 417 NW 21st Ave., www.sterling.coffee

Order Thien Hong's salt & pepper squid

There are few constants in our world, but the perfection of the addictive fried squid bites at this long-standing Viet-Chinese dining room on NE Sandy Boulevard comes close. Flash fried so lightly that their sweet-salty-peppery coating practically fizzles on contact with your tongue, you'll battle for every last teeny tentacle and sweet onion shard. 6749 NE Sandy Blvd, facebook.com/ThienHong 

Fork into Portland’s best stuffed mussels at Headwaters

Vitaly Paley’s new hotel restaurant—a swanky makeover of the Heathman’s downtown dining room—has its first bona-fide signature. Meet the “Ligurian-style stuffed mussels,” swathed in a sauce you’d be happy to drink (or at least spoon over pasta). The mussels are meaty and plump, packed with bright tomato sauce, textured with bread crumbs and flavored with a little mortadella for good measure. 1001 SW Broadway, Heathman Hotel, headwaterspdx.com

Eat your vegetables at Milk Glass Mrkt

Overlook’s cute little café is best-known for biscuit power sandwiches and baking glories. But heads up: beautiful farm-fresh greens, healthy approaches, and special touches are everywhere. Look no further than the Eggs & Greens, a little-known morning glory stacked with seasonal vegetables, smoked trout, pumpkin seeds, radish spouts, and a spot-on fried egg. Feel righteous, then dig into the café’s wonderful pies, cookies, and weekly treats. 2150 N Killingsworth St., milkglassmrkt.com

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