15 Places to Grab Lunch in Portland

Trouble finding the perfect place to “do lunch”? Here’s a list of some of our favorite lunch spots across the city.

By Matthew Trueherz

Lemon chicken at Ya Hala in Montavilla 

We tend to breeze through lunch. More often than not it’s a grab-and-go snack, a smoothie, something handheld and quick. Or we work through our lunches. Make a business meeting of them. A date, perhaps. We’re notoriously big on brunch in Portland—our wealth of creative jobs making it a seven-days-per-week affair.  

Restaurants, similarly, aren’t always enthusiastic about lunch. With its low check averages and casual nature, lunch is traditionally the least profitable service for restaurants. In reconfiguring post-COVID operations, it’s the least attractive service to bring back. 

But the need remains. Where can you take that business lunch? What if you want to grab a casual midday bite with someone you met on Bumble, or you need a place to log a few hours clacking away on your keyboard that’s not your apartment. All the better if it involves a crunchy baguette sandwich, a melty slice of pizza, or the time machine of a shrimp cocktail to get you through the middle of the day.  



A devout luncheonette. If there’s a place to wine and dine on a downtown afternoon, it’s Måurice. The menu is pastry-forward, but pastry doesn’t always mean sweet. Think lox-garnished savory Danishes and delicate potato lefse filled with chanterelle mushrooms—not to mention the cloud-like, poached egg–topped polenta clafoutis.  

Måurice doesn’t have to be a romantic date spot, but it is best as a planned occasion. The handwritten menus and delicate smørrebrøds make for a classy business lunch, a memorable afternoon catching up with an out-of-town friend, and, yes, also a romantic date spot. After a few pandemic turns, Måurice settled on a mostly by-reservation lunch service to dole out its Norwegian and French fare, but walking in is possible and the menu is a la carte.  

11 a.m–4 p.m. Wed–Sat, 921 SW Oak St  


Shrimp cocktail and a martini at Jake's Famous Crawfish (a.k.a. the perfect lunch)

Jake’s Famous Crawfish  


Jake’s hasn’t changed much in its 127 years of business, and you can feel it. This is the spot for a midday martini. If you’re after a time machine of a restaurant, stumble through the richly patinaed doors say hey to the bow-tied bartenders. There is a full Cajun-leaning menu of stuffed salmon and crawfish étouffée, but time-honored seafood dishes like shrimp cocktail and oysters on the half shell are the way to go.  

11:30 a.m.–9 p.m. Sun–Thu; 11:30 a.m.–10 p.m. Sat & Sun, 401 SW 12th Ave


Madison South 

From former Angel Food and Fun chef Manuel “Manny” Lopez, this brand-new Yucatan spot brings back the storied panuchos, rellenos, and burritos Portland fell in love with, then longed for in Lopez’s five-year absence from the scene. Simply and accurately, Ki’ikibáa translates from Mayan as “delicious food.” 

11 a.m.–9 p.m. Tue–Sat, 11 a.m–5 p.m. Sun, closed Mon, 3244 NE 82nd Ave 

Meat Cheese Bread 


A no-frills sandwich, the kind of thing you’d expect from a place called Meat Cheese Bread, is a surprisingly hard thing to track down. If you’re after a solid BLT (available only in the summer here) or nostalgic, deli-style turkey on sourdough, this is the place. Picture a “sandwich shop” and you have a pretty good idea of the aesthetic: an open kitchen, a pile of cookies on the counter, the day’s soup written on a roll of butcher paper hanging from the wall, fresh-baked bread in the air. A few tables inside and a run of picnic tables on the sidewalk make for plenty of room for you and your friends and their dog.

7 a.m.–3 p.m. daily 1406 SE Stark St 

Citrus salad at Café Olli 

Café Olli


As one of the city’s few truly all-day cafés, Olli is the current de facto Portland lunch spot. Come for the loaded pastry case (morning buns, fancy chocolate chip cookies, savory Danishes), the crusty baguette and focaccia sandwiches, some of Portland’s best pizza, and religiously vegetal salads. The space is clean, minimally decorated, and flooded with natural light. Sit at the comfortable, blond-wood banquettes or the slew of covered, communal tables outside. There are also 10 or so chef-counter barstools if you want to huddle around the open kitchen’s wood-fired oven.  

9 a.m.–9 p.m. Tue–Sat, closed Sun evenings and Mon, 3925 NE MLK Jr. Blvd 

Pizza Thief's "Kevin Pepperoni" 

Pizza Thief  


This New York–style sourdough pizza spot made a big splash when it opened in 2021. After cutting his teeth as executive chef of Nancy Silverton’s Triple Beam Pizza in Los Angeles, chef-partner Darby Aldaco brought his talents to Portland. Pizza Thief’s pies are naturally leavened, made with whole grains and the slightest touch of rye for a nuanced and nutty flavor. That said, popping in for lunch and grabbing a perfectly greasy slice with a delicate crunch and dreamy chew doesn’t require much thinking. The atmosphere is well-put-together-casual, and there’s plenty of indoor and covered outdoor seating. Scarf down a slice or two. Pretend you’re in New York.  

Noon–9 p.m. Wed–Mon, closed Tue, 2610 NW Vaughn St 


Jojo's plant-filled, Pearl District dining room 

Image: Michael Novak



Jojo is named for its fried potato wedges, but it’s the fried chicken those jojos are sidled up to that really gets the attention. It’s turned into perfectly crisp, lightly spiced “popcorn” nuggets; it features in several towering sandwich iterations, spiced with Crystal hot sauce and Alabama white mustard; it’s even grilled, if that’s your thing. Jojo branched out from its food cart roots to open a brick-and-mortar Pearl District location last year. In doing so, it didn’t leave behind any of its Americana charm. But the restaurant’s plant-filled dining room, with its floor to ceiling windows and dark-stained wood accents, is a curious and fun mix of high and low. The back of the menu mirrors the front, except everything is turned vegan and gluten free, swapping thick slabs of breaded and fried tofu for chicken. 

Open 11 a.m.–2 p.m. daily, brunch 9 a.m.–2 p.m. Fri–Sun, 902 NW 13th Ave; food truck at 3582 SE Powell Blvd 

Kinboshi Ramen  


In 2016, what was then called Marukin Ramen brought straight-from-Japan Hakata ramen (a subgenre of tonkostu-style) to Portland. The broth was distinctly rich and porky, and the noodles were thin but with remarkable slurp and chew. Portland dug in; nearly seven years later, there’s often a line for karaage bites and bowls of spicy-creamy, chicken-based paitan red and miso vegan ramens. A few years ago, the company separated from its parent brand in Japan, changing the name to Kinboshi and leaning a bit into the local influence (read: embracing that half of the ramens on offer are vegan).  

11 a.m.–8 p.m. daily, 609 SE Ankeny St, Suite A  

Fuller's Coffee Shop 


Maybe Portland’s closest thing to an iconic diner. The hash browns are always crispy, the eggs are how you like ’em, and the pancakes are always fluffy. The vintage coffee pots are always full and chances are the people sitting next to you at the bar are on a first-name basis with the wait staff—but the servers will probably call you “honey.” Breakfast, of course, is available all day, but missing the burger—sesame bun, classic fixings, offered “double decker” if you like, unchanged for going on 70 years—would be a mistake. There’s no Impossible meat here, but there are “garden” burgers. We would never tell you how to order your diner meal, but they might, honey. (Fuller’s Coffee Shop in the Pearl is temporarily closed as of March 2023 due to a fire, but its Cascade Station, burger-specific outpost, Fuller’s Burger Shack, is open in the meantime.)  

7 a.m.–2 p.m. Mon–Sat; 8 a.m.–2 p.m. Sun, 136 NW Ninth Ave  


Ya Hala's lemon chicken meal 

Ya Hala 


Ya Hala has been quietly serving some of Portland's best Lebanese food for 24 years and counting. If at all possible, share the lemon chicken meal. The perfectly charred, bone-in whole, half, or quarter birds are served with pita, cabbage salad, hummus, potatoes, and loum, a garlicky cousin of aioli. You can do a quarter bird on your own, but a half or whole is more fun. Don’t miss the awesome grab-and-go section on your way out to stock up on stuffed grape leaves, zaatar humus, and labneh for the house.  

Noon–8 p.m. daily, 8005 SE Stark St  


Hummus and pita at Bluto's 

Image: Karen Brooks



Bluto’s is kind of a Greek restaurant—the food leans more everything-that-can-be-served-with-pita than a specific cuisine. Though it’s named for John Belushi’s character from Animal House, the vibe here isn’t that casual. The counter-service, modern dining room centers on a wood-fired hearth. Cooks pull skewers (souvlaki) of spiced lamb, vegetables, or Olympia Provisions Greek loukaniko sausage out of the live fire and serve them up on enameled metal plates next to what the menu calls “stuff”: haloumi-scattered “Greek fries,” handheld spanakopita, or tangy house pickles. Everything is a la carte, and best shared as a spread. Vegetables like charred cauliflower with green tahini and a chicory and citrus salad get more attention than you might expect from a fast-casual-presenting place; they’re not to be missed. Most important is the heavenly pita, as the menu reminds you in a boldface all caps: “DON’T FORGET BREAD.” 

11 a.m.–10 p.m. daily, 2838 SE Belmont St 


The lunch spread at Canard Oregon City

Canard Oregon City 

Oregon City 

Where family-friendly and foie gras mingle. The now-legendary, White Castle–inspired steam burgers lead the charge of Gabriel Rucker’s first suburban outpost. But, like the original Canard on E Burnside, the menu is full of playful high/low dishes. Think flat top diner meets French-ish wine bar. There is a classic goat cheese omelet to be had (listed on the menu with an ironic l’apostrophe) but also a (broccoli) Cobb salad. There are foie gras dumplings with an optional black truffle supplement (add $20) and there’s mac ’n’ cheese, garnished only with fried onions—not to mention the kids'-menu version sans Funyuns. Canard is whatever you want it to be—post-soccer practice funfetti pancakes or a dozen flawless oysters on the half shell, or even both at the same time, if you’d like. Bring the family or woo a client. 

11 a.m.–2 p.m. & 4–9 p.m. daily, 1500 Washington St, Oregon City  



How many places still have a soup of the day? Not a phony seasonally rotating cast of purées, but a real, inspired seasonal special? The same goes for the house-made charcuterie at Higgins: duck liver moussette with port gelée, two terrines, too many salami options to even list on their menu—same for the cheese. For lunch (available Wednesday through Friday 'til 2 p.m.), we love the worn-wood, anachronistic bar, where the bistro menu is served all day (lunch in the dining room ends at 2 p.m.). If you’re after a more substantial lunch, the burger is one of the few remaining non-smash burgers around. Feeling especially fancy? Higgins can do that, too, with the likes of Carnaroli risotto with Dungeness crab and preserved lemon.  

11:30 a.m.–2 p.m. & 5 p.m.–close Wed–Fri; 5 p.m.-close Sat; 4 p.m.–close Sun, 1239 SW Broadway 



Murata might be the only place in Portland where we recommend the valet. It’s a fitting way to kick off your Financial District power lunch, which comes at a surprisingly affordable price. Sit at the sushi counter, or, if you really want to pull out all the stops, call ahead to reserve one of the private tatami rooms. Specific to the lunch menu (available weekdays 'til 2 p.m.) is Murata’s teishoku, a traditional Japanese meal set. You choose a protein option—everything from assorted sashimi to broiled beef rib eye to hakata-age (fried chicken)—that is served with cucumber salad, steamed rice, and pickles.   

11:30 a.m.–2 p.m. & 5–9 p.m. Mon-Fri; 5–9 p.m. Sat; closed Sun, 200 SW Market St   



For its second life postpandemic, this beloved North Portland café turned full-on restaurant, adding dinner service and a fun list of mostly local natural wines. In doing so, it didn’t lose its neighborhood charm, or wealth of homestyle pastries. Breakfast and lunch run all the way to 3 p.m. Grab a sticky morning bun or a slice of seasonally rotating layer cake, or tuck into a bowl casarecci pasta simply dressed in a spicy tomato sauce with parmesan and bread crumbs. The focaccia-like “olive oil rolls” (emphasis on the olive oil) make sandwiches from the heavens. Served cold, fillings rotate but always include a sigh-inducing vegetarian option (often loaded with fresh mozzarella) and a sparingly garnished charcuterie option, maybe mortadella with grain mustard and a few pickles. Less is more. Don’t leave without something sweet.  

9 a.m.–3 p.m. Wed; 9 a.m.–9 p.m. THu-Sat; 11 a.m.–sold out Sun, 5202 N Albina Ave

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