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 

Restaurant Review

Freaky Tiki

A trio of Portland talents bring Thai cooking, Texas ‘cue, and tropical vibes to the table.

08/27/2019 By Karen Brooks Photography by Stuart Mullenberg

Entertaining Guide

17 Bars and Restaurants That Will Host Your Next Bash

These sweet local spots cook the eats, serve the drinks, and—most importantly—clean up.

08/27/2019 By Karen Brooks, Kelly Clarke, Monica Juárez, and Conner Reed

FIRST LOOK

G-Love is Poised to Be Portland’s Next-Level Farm-Fresh Restaurant

Everything you need to know as the San Francisco vet chef readies to open his “reverse steakhouse” on August 28.

08/23/2019 By Karen Brooks

Breaking News

Ava Gene’s New Brunch has an Opening Date: Labor Day Weekend

All the deets on Portland’s most anticipated new brunch from star chef Joshua McFadden, babka waffles to English muffin burgers.

08/19/2019 By Karen Brooks

Breaking News

Standout Coffee and Chocolate Bar Cloudforest is Closing

The vaunted Cloudforest chocolate line will live on, but Sebastian Cisneros’ ambitious chocolate factory and espresso bar will shutter Monday.

08/05/2019 By Karen Brooks

Word of Mouth

JinJu Is Your Neighborhood Master Patisserie

“People don’t give a shit what other people do in Portland. You don’t have to look a certain way here."

07/24/2019 By Karen Brooks

Restaurant Review

The Next Whiskey Bar

Tommy Klus brings world class whiskey to the people.

07/24/2019 By Karen Brooks Photography by Stuart Mullenberg

Cowabunga 2019

Cowabunga Q&A: Kim Jong Grillin’s Han Ly Hwang

The Korean cart competitor talks kimchi, '90s salads, and the pitfalls of trying to re-create fast food.

06/25/2019 By Karen Brooks

Word of Mouth

Marshall’s Haute Sauce Bottles the Farmers Market

The first week of every month the Marshalls offer a new, fresh condiment of uncommon deliciousness.

06/25/2019 By Karen Brooks

Sweet Spot

Don’t Have a Cow, Man

Portland makes a serious case for #1.

06/25/2019 By Karen Brooks

Breaking News

Iconic Northwest Grocer City Market to Close August 18

The collective home of Pastaworks, Chop Butchery, and Newman’s Fish Market will soon end its esteemed run on Northwest 21st Avenue.

06/18/2019 By Karen Brooks

Feast 2019

A Sneak Peek of Feast Portland’s Hottest Dinner Series

Tickets drop June 7, but we’ve got the jump. This year’s best seats? A star-packed night of African roots cooking, a high-end (and spice-packed) Thai menu, and some very mod Turkish food.

06/03/2019 By Karen Brooks

EAT WITH YOUR EYES

First Look: Modernist Berlu Opens June 13

Chef Vince Nguyen’s tiny, hard-core locavore Belmont restaurant has big ambitions.

06/03/2019 By Karen Brooks

Word of Mouth

Chef José Chesa’s Ataula Is Making a Quiet Comeback

With special paellas and modernist bread and chocolate, the Spanish spot is firing on all cylinders.

05/28/2019 By Karen Brooks

Breaking News

Departure Chef Gregory Gourdet Inks Major Cookbook Deal

With help from cookbook wiz JJ Goode, the new tome will explore the Top Chef star’s lifelong culinary influences.

05/21/2019 By Karen Brooks

The Oregon Woman 2019

Meet the Portland Woman Penning the Words for Nike’s LeBron James Commercials

She's a comics nerd, marketing whiz, and possible superhero.

04/23/2019 By Karen Brooks

Best Breakfasts 2019: Legends

5 All-Time Portland Breakfast Greats

Go. Order anything. Leave happy.

04/23/2019 By Kelly Clarke

Best Breakfasts 2019

12 Breakfast Dishes You’ve Got to Eat Right Now

From fancy Australian eggs and bacon to chilaquiles and the city’s first great babka, this is what you need come sunup.

04/23/2019 By Karen Brooks, Benjamin Tepler, and Kelly Clarke

Word of Mouth

Wild Salads to Elaborate Cocktails, Quaintrelle Is Ready for Its Close-Up

Come for the drinks. Stay for the... brussels sprouts?

04/23/2019 By Karen Brooks

Gift Guide

From Hot Sauce to CBD Lotion, 5 Gifts for Mom That Aren't Macaroni Art

Forget the earrings and perfume. Here's what Portland moms really need.

04/22/2019 By Portland Monthly Staff