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 

Best Restaurants 2011

Best Restaurants 2011: The Best of the Rest

Our 30 other favorite restaurants in and around Portland.

10/14/2011 Edited by Rachel Ritchie and Karen Brooks

Best Restaurants 2011

Best Restaurants 2011: The Comforts

Everyone's got a go-to comfort food that they simply must have. Check out our favorites and add them to your list.

10/14/2011 By Kasey Cordell, Karen Brooks, and Benjamin Tepler

Best Restaurants 2011

Best Restaurants 2011: Asian Adventures

If you're only experience with Asian cuisine is an occasional plate of microwave pad Thai, then you need to read up on our best bets.

10/14/2011 By Karen Brooks and Benjamin Tepler

Best Restaurants 2011

Best Restaurants 2011: The Ultimate Feast

Skip the yard work for one weekend. Instead, take our eating tour of Portland for round-the-clock satisfaction.

10/14/2011 By Karen Brooks

Best Restaurants 2011

Best Restaurants 2011: Best New Restaurants

What's up in the Portland restaurant realm? Get the scoop on the best new places and the whereabouts of familiar faces.

10/14/2011 By Karen Brooks

EAT HERE NOW

The New Nuvrei

The Pearl District’s Nuvrei Patisserie and Café brings breakfast and lunch upstairs.

10/12/2011 By Benjamin Tepler

FOOD CART WATCH

Garden State’s Last Stand

The pioneering food cart will close out its stellar four-year food run this Sunday at Mississippi Marketplace

10/05/2011 By Karen Brooks

EAT HERE NOW

Café Velo + Lauretta Jean’s = Pie Heaven

Coffee-loving Café Velo reopens with another farmers market star at the oven. Say hello to Portland’s best pie, biscuits, and quiche.

09/14/2011 By Eat Beat Team

BREAKING FOOD NEWS

Boke Bowl to Open a Restaurant

The roving ramen sensation has a new home next to Bunk Bar on the industrial East Side.

08/22/2011 By Karen Brooks

Expansion Plans

Little Big Burger in SE!

Micah Camden’s rapidly expanding edible empire hits SE Division

08/10/2011 By Karen Brooks

Review

Field Studies

Rural feasting on Sauvie Island is as good it gets.

07/22/2011 By Karen Brooks

BREAKING FOOD NEWS

Castagna’s Matt Lightner Moving to New York

Portland’s modernist pioneer, the first to rethink local cuisine since the farm-to-table movement in the 1990s, will open a restaurant in Tribeca this ...

07/01/2011 By Karen Brooks

INTRODUCING

Wild Goose Farm: Hot Homestead Feasts

An architect and designer open up their Sauvie Island home to a new kind of farm-to-table supper club featuring a delicious lineup off-the-radar chefs.

06/22/2011 By Karen Brooks

BREAKING FOOD NEWS

Bluehour Hires Spago Alum Thomas Boyce

Bruce Carey’s Pearl District charmer adds a missing ingredient: a power player in the kitchen.

06/22/2011 By Karen Brooks

BREAKING FOOD NEWS

Cathy Whims and ChefStable Team Up at New Oven & Shaker

Nostrana’s Cathy Whims, Aviation Gin’s Ryan Magarian, and ChefStable’s Kurt Huffman head to the Pearl with a powerhouse plan for pizza and drinks.

06/13/2011 By Karen Brooks

FOOD NEWS

Café Castagna’s Lunch Finds

Behind a lovable burger and quietly chic comforts, one of Portland’s classic restaurants shouts: Let’s do lunch.

06/08/2011 By Karen Brooks

BREAKING FOOD NEWS

Little Big Burger Gets Bigger

Budding indie burger mogel Micah Camden inks a deal for a third location in student-happy Eugene.

06/01/2011 By Karen Brooks

EAT HERE NOW

Wings of Victory

How good is the food at Pok Pok and Le Pigeon post Beard awards? In a word: soaring.

06/01/2011 By Karen Brooks

BREAKING FOOD NEWS

Bamboo Sushi to Open NW Branch

With a second location planned for fall, the chic Laurelhurst eatery plans to to take its sustainable ethos to the next level.

05/25/2011 By Karen Brooks

Review

The Rise of the Small

Good things come in small packages—especially when it comes to local baked goods.

05/20/2011 By Karen Brooks