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 

Eat This Now

At Meat Cheese Bread, a Frontier Grows

With bold imagination, SE Stark Street’s quirky storefront helps define Portland as a new kind of sandwich city.

01/26/2011 By Karen Brooks


Artfully Uncool

Bar Mingo chef Jerry Huisinga serves up some creative Italian dishes at affordable prices.

01/19/2011 By Karen Brooks

First Impressions

St. Jack Puts the Portland in Paris

A new patisserie blends Clinton Street vibes with chic éclairs and made-to-order madeleines.

01/19/2011 By Karen Brooks

Breaking Food News


The daring Southeast Portland seafood restaurant tanks itself after a promising six-month run.

01/17/2011 By Karen Brooks

Eat This Now

The Best Cubano, Ever. Really.

Bunk Sandwiches’ pork belly cubano just might change your life.

01/12/2011 By Karen Brooks

Eat Here Now

Building a Better Biwa

Southeast Portland’s cozy Japanese den of delights bolts down the formulas to make a lasting impression.

01/05/2011 By Karen Brooks

Stocking Stuffers

The Year’s Sweetest Spot: Alma Chocolate

Northeast Portland’s outstanding chocolate shop is now a stronghold of hot chocolates and edible art—and the gift that keeps on giving.

12/22/2010 By Karen Brooks


Ocean's Heaven

Fin takes advantage of our proximity to two rivers and an ocean.

12/21/2010 By Karen Brooks

The Year in Food

Dining 2010: Picks and Pans

Portland’s top tastemakers dish on this year’s defining restaurants, addictive dishes, and trends best left in the recycle bin. Pull up a chair a...

12/15/2010 By Karen Brooks

First Impressions

Little Bird’s Landing

Le Pigeon’s bistro spin-off blends Paris and indie Portland with some low-flying food.

12/08/2010 By Karen Brooks

Food News

Charcuterie Wars Coming!

The owners of Chop Butchery and Nick’s Italian Café will show off their meat-curing prowess in new projects opening next spring.

12/08/2010 By Karen Brooks

Breaking Food News

Olympic Provisions Shake-Up

Jason Barwikowski departs while Clyde Common’s Alex Yoder is tapped for kitchen duty at Portland’s charcuterie haven.

12/02/2010 By Karen Brooks

Eat This Now

A Taste of Pig Heaven

Tastebud’s roasted pork comes straight from the wood fire: get it while it lasts.

12/01/2010 By Karen Brooks


Courier Coffee Roasters

An intimate den of coffee cool, Courier Coffee roasts some of the best beans in the city, turning those smooth roasts into pour-over coffee and lovely lattes.

11/17/2010 By Karen Brooks


Little Big Buzz

If Ray Kroc went to the Rhode Island School of Design, with a semester in Tokyo, history may have looked like Little Big Burger, the Pearl District’s first independent fast-food joint.

11/17/2010 By Karen Brooks

Eat Here Now

The Secret Thanksgiving Potluck

…and some other reasons to give thanks at Coffeehouse Northwest.

11/16/2010 By Karen Brooks

Eat Here Now

Hoop Dreams

Spirit of 77: slam dunks and flagrant fouls at Portland’s new bohemian sports bar

11/10/2010 By Karen Brooks


Perfect Pies – To Go

Holiday desserts, without the performance anxiety

11/03/2010 By Karen Brooks

Food News

Wine Country Dinners

Thistle announces its 2nd Annual Guest Chef & Winemaker Dinner Series

10/27/2010 By Karen Brooks

Eat This Now

Boffo Baked Goods at Ristretto Roasters

Kim Boyce arrived in Portland this year with one of the year’s best books under her baking belt and a collection of treats ready-made for a local coffee shop.

10/27/2010 By Karen Brooks