With zero PR presence and little online recognition, these are restaurants loved by locals, but non-existent on your Yelp app. Here’s our list of Portand’s hidden-gems you don’t want to miss.
EaT: An Oyster Bar
Inspired by neighborhood eateries in New Orleans’s French Quarter, EaT serves Spanish-style jambalaya with house-made Andouille sausage, a spicy-rich shrimp étouffeé, and of course, oysters from the Oregon and Washington coasts. Be sure to also check out EaT’s variety of small plates such as tasty pork rinds, collard greens, and turtle soup.
Old Salt Marketplace
Butchered in-house using whole animals from Oregon farms and ranches, you’ll find some of the freshest meats in Portland at the Old Salt Marketplace. In it’s supperhouse, the menu includes Old Salt’s meats served alongside seasonal produce. Don’t miss their Happy Hour and late night menu featuring $2 to $15 plates and $6 cocktails.
Making savory and sweet crepes since 2000, Le Happy is Portland’s original French creperie. Local favorites include the Faux Vegan and Salad Crepe, as well as the Spectac, a sweet crepe filled with Nutella, Grand Marnier liqueur, and banana frame.
We didn’t know Swiss-Hawaiian was a thing, but apparently at Swiss Hibiscus it is – and it’s damn good. You’ll find island decor and the aloha vibe throughout, but with classic Swiss dishes like cheese fondue, schnitzel, goulash, wienerschnitzel, and rösti, a Swiss-style hash brown.
El Pato Feliz
Sorry food bloggers, you probably won’t be able to get any Instagram shots at this fluorescent-lighted neighborhood favorite – but you aren’t going to El Pato Feliz for the glamour. Instead you’ll find delicious, quick Mexican cuisine at affordable prices. Order a steaming bowl of pasole, followed by a tamale – you won’t be disappointed.
Chameleon Restaurant & Bar
The aptly named restaurant in NE Portland serves everything from Thai and Mexican dishes to French and Italian – and they do it surprisingly well. Celebrating over 20 years of business this year, Chameleon rarely gets media attention, yet you’ll find it buzzing with locals on any given night. Be sure to try their seared cod with mushrooms, asparagus, mango and garlic-ginger sauce.
John’s Coffee Shop
Don’t expect any frills at this downtown staple. For more than 40 years the husband and wife team behind John’s has been serving up tasty food and hot coffee at crazy affordable prices. He cooks and she pours coffee, while demanding that you finish every last bite of food on your plate. Open until noon; cash-only.