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

Restaurants Can Now Reopen for Indoor Dining at 50% Capacity. But Will They?

As Multnomah County moves into the moderate risk category, restaurant owners face tough decisions.

03/12/2021 By Katherine Chew Hamilton and Karen Brooks

Breaking News

The Country’s Best Handmade Matzah Is Hiding in Portland, Oregon

1503 Matzah unites an unorthodox rabbi, the great Bakeshop bakery, and a crypto-Jewish recipe from the Spanish Inquisition, buzzed with pepper and honey.

03/10/2021 By Karen Brooks

Food News

Park Avenue Chef Karl Holl to Launch Ambitious Food Foraging Company

With the everyday kitchen grind in the rear view, Portland's premiere farmer-chef is embracing his inner woodsman with foods found in the wild.

03/05/2021 By Karen Brooks

Food News

Honey Bagel Is Portland’s Next Great Boiled Ring

Yes, food critic Karen Brooks is dying on the hill of a pepper-cheese bagel.

03/02/2021 By Karen Brooks

Food Review

Heaven Is Alive and Well at Cloudforest’s Reborn Chocolate Shop

Ecuadoran chocolate maker Sebastian Cisneros reprises his ungodly hot chocolates and cookies in Southeast Portland.

02/25/2021 By Karen Brooks

Where to Live Now

Neighborhood Guide: Irvington and the Lloyd District

A namesake mall, classic Americana diners, and artisanal frozen yogurt

02/25/2021 By Riley Blake

Eat Beat

Chef Gregory Gourdet Cooks Up a Bold Black History Month Celebration in 10 Private Yurts

At his Kann Winter Village in SE Portland, the Top Chef star will honor the African roots of Haitian cooking and raise awareness of 20 small BIPOC bus...

01/25/2021 By Karen Brooks

Food Review

10 Portland Dishes Not to Miss in 2021

Even in a pandemic, Portland chefs, bakers, and food cart cooks are feeding our minds and souls, deliciously.

01/05/2021 By Karen Brooks and Katherine Chew Hamilton

Year in Review

"We're Not Backing Down."

Portland chef Naomi Pomeroy on reinventing herself and the future of independent restaurants.

12/30/2020 By Karen Brooks

Year in Review

Best Chef Interviews of 2020

In raw conversations with PoMo's Karen Brooks, Portland chefs Andy Ricker, Vitaly Paley, Gregory Gourdet, and Ghaith Sahib grappled with fear, loss, r...

12/30/2020 By Karen Brooks

Year in Review

The Departed: Sorrowful for Portland's Restaurant Scene

Portland tragically lost nearly 100 food and drink spots this year. For PoMo's food critic, some felt like old friends.

12/29/2020 By Karen Brooks

Holiday Guide

Gifts for the Food Lovers on Your List

Embrace the spirit of giving—all while supporting local food businesses.

12/10/2020 By Katherine Chew Hamilton

Food Review

Portland’s 20 Best Cheeseburgers, Exhaustively Argued and Ranked

Yes, we’re dropping 5,032 words on the city’s classic burger revival. Meet the Burger Cabal.

12/04/2020 By Karen Brooks, Bill Oakley, Gary Okazaki, Pauline Lewis, and Drew Lewis

Light a Fire

This Portland-Based Organization Is Helping Kids Get the Healthy Meals They Need

Since 2017, Our Giving Table has been cooking and delivering nutritious, mom-made meals for food-insecure kids.

12/02/2020 By Karen Brooks

Breaking News

Chef Naomi Pomeroy Reveals Her Next Project: Ripe Cooperative

In late November, Portland's iconic Beast will morph into a new kind of market—boutique deli meets Mister Rogers factory tours.

10/30/2020 By Karen Brooks

Food Interview

Vitaly Paley on the Death of Imperial and Life at Paley’s Place

An icon of local eating returns to his original kitchen in a do-or-die food world.

10/28/2020 By Karen Brooks

Food News

Every Doughnut at Fills, Ranked

What you need to know about Portland's first Berliner shop (yes, you want the maple bacon butterscotch).

10/15/2020 By Karen Brooks

Food News

Andina Is Ready to Be a Game Changer Again

The Peruvian dining institution, reopening Oct. 26, sees its future as a cultural hub under a younger generation.

10/15/2020 By Karen Brooks

Food Listings

Put These New Portland Food Spots on Your Radar

Bring some delicious diversion into your life with these new eateries.

10/10/2020 By Karen Brooks, Katherine Chew Hamilton, and Marty Patail

Food Fighters

Best Restaurants 2020

Amid the coronavirus, cooks and places are digging into self and spirit, backed by cheerfully good eats.

10/06/2020 By Karen Brooks, Katherine Chew Hamilton, and Jenni Moore