The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Going to Portland Or

slaughlin's picture

Going to Portland Or

I've been away from the Fresh Loaf for awhile but have started baking bread again.  My wife has a workshop in Portland at the end of this month and I'm going to tag along and see the sites.   I'm looking for suggestions for bakeries, pizza places, places to eat and also places to buy supplies (couche's, scrapers etc....) Thanks in advance


Spearfish, SD

dmsnyder's picture

Hi, Slaughlin. 

Portland is one of the great restaurant cities. "Northwest cuisine" is inventive, healthy and delicious. There are some Portland residents here who will likely respond, but, as a frequent visitor, some of my favorites are: 

Clark Lewis - Fabulous food of many ethnicities. They specialize in small plates. Most fun with a large group so you can sample lots of dishes. They serve family style. 

Heathman Hotel - Northwest cuisine but with a strong French influence. Pricey but worth it. Wonderful breakfasts. 

Higgens - On Broadway, downtown 2-3 blocks from the Heathman. Maybe the best restaurant in Portland, and that's saying something. Northwest cuisine with French and Italian influence. Wonderful wine list. 

You would do well to reserve tables well in advance for the above 3. 

Jake's Famous Crawfish - A Portland landmark. Old-fashioned fish house. Excellent food and service. Moderate prices.  

Portland does have some terrific bakeries. One I love is the Pearl Bakery, in the Pearl District, for both breads and pastries. Another which I have not visited but has an excellent reputation is "Ken's Artisan Bakery" at NW 21st & Everett. 

So many more ...

 Portland is also believed by many to be the best coffee city in the USA. This is particularly true for espresso. Stumptown is the benchmark roaster. Unbelievably wonderful coffees. Their downtown coffee bar is next door to another restaurant I love for big breakfasts, The Bijou Cafe. They specialize in scrambles. If you like oysters and have never had "hangtown fry," The Bijou Cafe is where to go!  

Have a great time in Portland!


Floydm's picture

Hey Slaughlin,

David lists a number of good places. I listed a few others a while back.

David's list leans toward foodie type of places, the places you might see mentioned in the New York Times, mine more casual, less expensive, the type of the place where I can take my whole family out for no more than 30 or 40 bucks, and that is with a glass of wine and the tip.

To his list I'd add Le Pigeon, Beast (former chef from Clarklewis), Pok Pok, and 23 Hoyt. Those are the places causing buzz these days. To mine I'd add a pho joint (Pho Hung or Pho Oregon), Cha Cha Cha (cheap burritos), Hoda's (a great falafel place), and Wong’s King Seafood Restaurant (dim sum).

More restaurant reviews here.

Supplies? Hmm... Kitchen Kaboodle is a local chain that has nice stuff, but it is priced in the William Sonoma range. Bob's Red Mill is about 10 miles south of downtown, but they have a store with lots of grains and baking supplies. I think their prices are better.

Yes, everyone likes Stumptown. Good coffee, reasonable prices, good ethics.

Finally, even more than coffee, Portland is a beer town. Check out a local brewpub like one of the McMenamins' (for the beer, not the food), the Lucky Lab, or the Laurelwood Brewpub.

dmsnyder's picture

Oh, and if you are significantly calorie depleted, go to Papa Haydn for some of the most incredible desserts. 715 NW 23rd Ave. 

Man, how could I have forgotten the brews? And there's even a brewpub that is also a pretty good, inexpensive and kid friendly pizzaria - The Lucky Labrador on SW Capitol Hwy.


Floydm's picture

Papa Haydn does have great desserts. There is a Southeast Portland Papa Haydn too, in Sellwood. There is also an Eastside Lucky Lab on Hawthorne.

It amuses me, David, that you list the same restaurants that I do but we go to different locations. I've never been to the Westside Papa Haydn or Lucky Lab, and I'd forgotten that there is a Westside Stumptown too: I've only been to the SE Division and SE Belmont locations. Areas like NW 23rd and the Pearl District just aren't on the mental map of the city I live in, as I imagine SE 82nd isn't on yours.

dmsnyder's picture

Well, Portland does have distinct neighborhoods. I would guess where you tend to go depends on where you live and work or where you have family and friends.

My family in Portland live near Multnomah Village and Hillsdale. My wife and I usually stay downtown within walking distance of the restaurants and other places we most often visit, for example, Powells. My main destination on the other side of the river would be Reed College, if there's an event I'm in town for. When I lived there, I couldn't afford to go to any of the places I named, except when parents were visiting.


Floydm's picture

When I lived there, I couldn't afford to go to any of the places I named, except when parents were visiting.

Bingo. The times I've been to Jake's, Higgins, and Papa Haydn either when we were dating or when the in-laws are in town visiting. Now that we are married and have kids, we stick with places that either have crayons on the table, very fast service, or children of the proprietors hanging about.

rainbowbrown's picture

When I stayed in Portland a couple summers ago my favorite place was, by far, the Red Wing Cafe. They have great baked goods and great coffee that they roast. They have the absolute best brans muffins I've ever had and I'm a big bran muffin fan, and I've had a lot of good ones. They also have a really great atmoshephere; it's a small, independent bakery and coffee shop and it feels that way. They are located on 1700 SE 6th (cross street: SE Market). It's on the corner of a sort of industrial area on the SE side of the city. I highly recommend checking them out. Here's a link to their website:

Have fun in Portland, it's an amazing city.

bluesbread's picture

Welcome to Portland. I live here. For pizza, go to Apizza Scholls on SE Hawthorne. New York-style and terrific. Also Pizza Schmizza, a local chain, is pretty good and offers a great slice-and-microbrew deal! Speaking of microbrews...Alameda and Laurelwood are great brewpubs; Hair of the Dog is a fabulous brewery (look for it in bottles at stores and pubs, unless you are here on April 26 for their open house, that's a great event); Belmont Station (not far from Pizza Schmizza) is a great place to buy bottled beers. Bob's Red Mill you probably know for their grains if you're a baker, however their store is way out of town and the meals are not good there; unless you want to buy sacks of grains or flours to take home you can skip that trip. Let me know if you have specific requests about cuisines or anything. And have fun!

Dhaus's picture

Well, I live in Florida, but I am currently in the Portland area doing a three week apprenticeship at Pearl Bakery which Dan Griffin offered me after much pestering, begging and pleading on my part.

As a pizza nut, I have been trying some different places during my downtime from the bakery and have found for the most part the pizza a little over priced in this neck of the woods.  I have yet to try Apizza Scholls due to their policy on no takeout, but I hear that they are worth trying out.

I also like Chinese noodles.  If anybody has any places to suggest, (I'm staying in the Lake Oswego area), I would greatly appreciate it.

Let me finish by saying that Pearl Bakery and its people are fantastic!!  They have been very open, warm and helpful in me achieving what I am trying to get out of this apprenticeship.

I am attaching a few photos of the crew and me taking a break.  Baker's hours are tough for the old body to get used to.

The crew

Baguettes out of the oven.

More loaves.

Tired, but very happy.

I would be happy to post some more pics as the days go by if anybody is interested.  Let me know.