Karen Brooks holds one of the most prestigious titles in the food world: winner of the James Beard Craig Claiborne Distinguished Restaurant Review Award for 2017. This was her second time as a national finalist. After this, it’s all gravy.

Brooks eats, drinks and thinks about food for Portland Monthly, where she continues her journey as Portland’s opinionated, trend-spotting food critic. She pens monthly restaurant reviews, writes and photographs the print magazine’s Word of Mouth column (aka: what I’m obsessing over now), drives the annual Best Restaurants issue, contributes to various food-cover packages, and breaks news for the magazine’s food blog, Eat Beat.

Karen began her journalism career at alt-weekly Willamette Week, doubling as food critic and Arts & Culture editor. Then she jumped ship to The Oregonian, doing double-duty again as Arts czarina and Food Critic while creating two of the daily’s most enduring sections: the weekly A&E and the annual Diner guide. At Portland Monthly since 2010, she’s continued her mission of ferreting out new restaurant models and maverick thinkers defining Portland’s food voice.

In her spare time, Karen is rabid NBA baller and film/TV junkie and author. She’s penned nine books to date, most recently a deep dive into Portland’s punk-rock food scene, The Mighty Gastropolis: A Journey Through America’s New Food Culture. 

63 Things Every Portlander Must Do

Must Do: Eat & Drink

Take a walk on the wild side: Justin Oswald's guide on where to get good, fresh meat in Portland. Don't like meat? How about Paige Powell's guide to going vegan? If you'd rather eat out, there's Robert More's recommendations for dining with strangers. Or

07/14/2010 By Karen Brooks

63 Things Every Portlander Must Do

Must Do: Culture

Recommendations by Christina Sells, Sarah Dougher, Nate Overmeyer, Thomas Lauderdale, and Matt Zaffino on how to get down with Portland culture. Sneak peak must-do's: listen to folk music, learn how to dance, and get retired.

07/14/2010 By Karen Brooks

Article

63 Things Every Portlander Must Do

The people's guide to Portland now!

07/14/2010 By Karen Brooks

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Good Morning, Portland

A few thoughts on breakfast from our Editor in Chief

05/19/2009 By Paige Williams