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 

BREAKING FOOD NEWS

Corazon: RIP

After three months of misfires, ChefStable’s Kurt Huffman pulls the plug on his high-profile Mexican eatery.

08/05/2012 By Karen Brooks

EAT HERE NOW

D Street Noshery Rises

Behind righteous Israeli falafel and big flavors from Guam, SE Division’s playful pod is now a noteworthy food destination.

08/01/2012 By Karen Brooks

Article

Cult of the Cannelé

Courier Coffee Roasters and Ken's Artisan Bakery conquer France's most finicky pastry.

07/18/2012 By Karen Brooks

Review

Blurring the Borders

Smallwares and Aviary think global—without the boundaries.

06/22/2012 By Karen Brooks

BREAKING FOOD NEWS

Sterling Coffee’s New Brew

Sterling Coffee Roasters spearheads a quality-first union and unveils what is surely the world’s first nano coffee shop/wine bar.

06/06/2012 By Karen Brooks

BREAKING FOOD NEWS

Lauro Kitchen to Reopen as a New Duane Sorenson Restaurant

At the end of May, the pioneering SE Division Street restaurant will shutter to make way for a new project from Portland’s indie coffee king and buddin...

05/11/2012 By Karen Brooks

BREAKING FOOD NEWS

Lardo and the Sugar Cube Come to Hawthorne

In a new culinary experiment from ChefStable, two food carts will pool resources for an indoor/outdoor sandwich shop and dessert truck, opening in June.

05/08/2012 By Karen Brooks

BREAKING FOOD NEWS

Xico Coming to Division

This summer, a pair of food-savvy Nostrana vets will unleash a love of chiles, chocolate, and fresh-ground cornmeal on Portland’s thriving “Eat Street.”

05/02/2012 By Karen Brooks

Food & Drink Events

Serious Eats and Trash Talk

Yamhill Valley battles Riverbend Landfill/Waste Management with world-class snacks and sips in McMinnville.

04/10/2012 By Karen Brooks

Restaurant Review

Decadence Returns

Behind artistic French compositions and towering soufflés, Noisette brings a taste of luxury to casual Portland.

03/23/2012 By Karen Brooks

BEST OF THE CITY

Portland's Best Breakfast Spots

In Portland, land of the food-crazy, nothing trumps breakfast. Consider this your wake-up call: the city’s best dishes, biscuits, Bloody Marys, and more. Dig in!

03/01/2012

RISE & DINE!

Portland's Best Baked Goods

If your breakfast joint doesn't smell like fresh-baked bread and tantalizing pastry, then you're eating in the wrong place. We've got some better ideas.

02/23/2012 Edited by Rachel Ritchie By Karen Brooks

Rise & Dine!

Portland’s Battle for the Best Fried Chicken & Waffles

Culinary pundits Zach Dundas and Marty Patail go fork-to-fork over their favorite spots for chicken and waffles, the true breakfast of champions.

02/23/2012 By Zach Dundas and Martin Patail Edited by Rachel Ritchie and Karen Brooks Illustrations by Dan Gay

RISE & DINE!

Best Family Breakfast Spots

Hey, your kids have to eat breakfast too. We've rounded up a roster of eateries that will make the whole family feel welcome (and full).

02/23/2012 By Zach Dundas and Karen Brooks Edited by Rachel Ritchie Illustrations by Dan Gay

Rise & Dine!

Portland’s Best Biscuits

We've got a bounty of biscuits that don't need gravy to make 'em special.

02/23/2012 Edited by Rachel Ritchie and Karen Brooks By Benjamin Tepler

Rise & Dine!

Portland's Best Breakfast Sandwiches

The trusty breakfast sandwich has evolved from an on-the-go necessity to a morning meal worth savoring slowly. Here are five winning combos.

02/23/2012 By Kasey Cordell, Rachel Ritchie, and Benjamin Tepler Edited by Karen Brooks Illustrations by Dan Gay

RISE & DINE!

Portland’s Best Bloody Marys

Sometimes you need an eye-opener on top of your morning java. For those occasions we've whittled down a roster of Portland's best Bloody Marys. Cheers!

02/23/2012 Edited by Rachel Ritchie and Karen Brooks By Allison Jones

Rise & Dine!

Portland’s Best Breakfasts

Just like mom said: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And after weeks stuffing ourselves silly while exploring the city’s myriad breakfast joints, we can attest that it also happens to be the most delicious.

02/23/2012 Edited by Rachel Ritchie and Karen Brooks

FOOD NEWS

Portland’s 2012 James Beard Contenders

Six Portland chefs vie in a pool of 20 regional hopefuls for Best Chef Northwest, and four other talents compete in four national categories.

02/21/2012 By Karen Brooks

BREAKING FOOD NEWS

Navarre to Expand

Owner John Taboada’s unnamed project will rise this summer in the former Chin Yen space on Northeast 28th Avenue

02/08/2012 By Karen Brooks