Openings this year had two speeds: slow and crawl. Restaurant projects (the cheese-focused Chizu to the ham-lovin' Hamlet) became more niche than Amazon Prime subcategories. And by June, people wondered aloud whether Portland’s food scene was screeching to a halt. Not to worry (well, okay, there’s plenty to worry about): even on a slow year, the Washington Post’s food critic still felt no other place stacked up quite like the Rose City. (Check out our Best New Restaurants for essential Portland eating experiences). The city’s best food has always turned up in unexpected places, quirky pop-ups to obsessive sandwich shops, and Portland chefs are admirable risk-takers. 2015 was no exception.

These are the dishes I can’t wait to eat again. 

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