Karen Brooks eats, drinks and thinks about food for Portland Monthly, as the magazine's trend-spotting food critic. Karen's reviews and think pieces ferret out the restaurants, food carts, and maverick thinkers defining Portland's food voice. In 2017, Karen won one of the food world's most prestigious titles: the James Beard Craig Claiborne Distinguished Restaurant Reviewer Award. She's penned nine books on food and drink, and in 2020 guest-starred on Hulu's food series, Eater's Guide to the World 

Food News

A Grilled Cheese Classic Returns to Alberta

Plus, the Oregon Brewers Festival celebrates its 33rd year, three Filipino chefs collaborate, and try shokupan beer

07/21/2022 By Katherine Chew Hamilton

Dining Picks

Portland’s Essential Outdoor Dining Spots

Behold: a wine-lovers' patio den carpeted in Astroturf, a hidden spot for sashimi and next-level cocktails, and a strip-mall A-frame with one table only.

06/30/2022 By Karen Brooks

Best Restaurants

Portland’s Top 50 Restaurants

The legends, new voices, and mad scientist ideas that make Portland a strange and wonderful food city.

06/27/2022 By Karen Brooks and Katherine Chew Hamilton

Flour Power

The 8 Best Pastries to Make Your Morning

From classic cinnamon rolls to raspberry rose cruffins, pair these numbers with coffee for an excellent start to the day.

06/15/2022 By Karen Brooks and Katherine Chew Hamilton

Taste Test

We Put Top Chef Alum Sara Hauman’s Tinned Seafood to the Test

Known for their in-your-face spices and sustainability, we tried and ranked Portland's Tiny Fish Co.'s first four flavors–which are available at Wellspent Market.

06/09/2022 By Karen Brooks

Breakfasts of Champions

The 12 Best Breakfasts in Portland

From classics to newcomers, these are the defining morning meals in Portland right now, including French toast, dim sum, tacos, and breakfast sandwiches.

05/31/2022 By Katherine Chew Hamilton, Karen Brooks, and Conner Reed

Review

A Secret Well Fuels Wondrous Japanese Shaved Ice at Portland’s Soen

Step inside downtown DIY gem Courier Coffee to find the city's best kakigori.

05/19/2022 By Karen Brooks

Bakeries

10 Asian American and Pacific Islander-Owned Bakeries You Should Try Right Now

Where to get sweet and savory treats, from ensaymadas to mochi doughnuts to barbecue pork buns.

05/17/2022 By Katherine Chew Hamilton

Grocery Stores

The Cult Snacks and Secret Chef Ingredients We Found at Hidden Japanese Market Fulamingo

Plus: Ride-or-die favorites from the underground grocer inside the bumping Wellspent Market

05/12/2022 By Karen Brooks

Restaurant Openings

First Look: Star Chef Gregory Gourdet’s Kann, a Wood-Fired Haitian Restaurant, Opening in July

From menu to design, we have the details on Portland's most anticipated opening of 2022 from the 'Top Chef' fan favorite.

05/05/2022 By Karen Brooks

Food News & Events

Taste Two Top Chef Contestants’ Cooking, Cloudforest Chocolate Temporarily Closes, and Street Disco Announces Brick-and-Mortar

Taste two 'Top Chef' contestants’ cooking, Cloudforest Chocolate temporarily closes, Street Disco announces brick-and-mortar, and much more!

04/28/2022 By Katherine Chew Hamilton

Interview

Chef Kristen D. Murray's Last Stand at Måurice

The iconic downtown Portland pastry luncheonette has endured vandalism and financial pandemic-era blows. Now, it's banking on tasting menus for survival and sanity.

04/28/2022 By Karen Brooks

Food News

Portland Chefs Gregory Gourdet and Joshua McFadden Nab James Beard Cookbook Award Nominations

Gregory Gourdet's Haitian-healthy 'Everyone's Table' and Joshua McFadden's 'Grains for Every Season' are in the running for the coveted awards.

04/27/2022 By Karen Brooks

Review

The Minds Behind Eem and Langbaan Ignite a New Thai Food Experience with Phuket Café

Find curry puffs, cocktails, shaved ice, brunch, and Portland’s best new bar

04/27/2022 By Karen Brooks

Food News

Two Famed Burger Spots Get New Restaurants, and Mitate Sushi Will Close

Canard and Hit the Spot get new restaurants, and Mitate sushi will close. Plus, a pop-up rec, and a solid rainy day activity idea complete with milkshakes.

04/21/2022 By Katherine Chew Hamilton

Breaking Food News

Two-Michelin Star Chef Matthew Lightner Will Open ōkta and Tributary Hotel in McMinnville This Summer

The two-Michelin Star chef's restaurant and boutique hotel aspires to be a destination game-changer for Oregon wine country.

04/07/2022 By Karen Brooks

Dining Picks

An Opinionated Guide to Portland's Best Bakeries

An opinionated guide to the city's defining croissants and essential morning baked goods.

04/04/2022 By Karen Brooks and Katherine Chew Hamilton

Midday Meal

Let’s Do Lunch

In the new world—and especially in Portland—lunch refuses to be typecast.

03/23/2022 Edited by Katherine Chew Hamilton Photography by Thomas Teal By Karen Brooks, Fiona McCann, Michael Novak, and Conner Reed

Let's Do Lunch

Portland Lunch Locator: Pick a Quadrant and Eat!

Jianbing in Northwest, Hmong sausages in Southwest, an Indian food cart in North Portland, and more!

03/23/2022 By Katherine Chew Hamilton

Restaurant Openings

Is Phuket Cafe Portland's Next Great Thai Restaurant?

A first look at the latest project from Thai food hitmaker Akkapong “Earl” Ninsom. Phuket will share a space with his acclaimed Langbaan, opening soon with live-fire charcoal pot stoves.

03/15/2022 By Karen Brooks