Portland Restaurants: 8 Signature Downtown Dining Spots

Portland Restaurants: 8 Signature Downtown Dining Spots

Finding yourself hungry in Portland, Oregon? How about checking out one of these great downtown dining spots for a variety of delicious foods?

Portland is one of the hot tourist spots of the Northwestern part of the United States. Its nightlife and sights are a few of its intriguing aspects, but Portland doesn’t run short on restaurants and bars. If you’re worried about visiting Portland because maybe their food will not fit your liking, you do not need to worry. Portland has a wide variety of styles when it comes to their culinary establishments, ranging from great American cuisine to the furthest reaches of International tastes. It’s the perfect place to find something you’ll like, but it’s also the perfect place to try something new. So, if you’re in Portland, Oregon any time soon, make sure to check out one of these eight signature dining spots.


This may not look like an Italian restaurant when you first come in. Usually, Italian restaurants love to set the mood during your initial intake of their low-key lighting, wonderful smells, and cultural music. You’ll get the same tastes and smells when you come to Grassa, but the establishment has a contemporary/coffee-shop feel that is both charming and comfortable.

The menu consists of a small selection of handmade pastas and salads. There may not be too many options on the menu, but they make up for it in delicious tastes that are handcrafted with care and love.

Plus, it’s a fairly inexpensive experience, and they have a good selection of wines, cocktails, and draft beer that will go perfectly with your bowl of pasta.

Address: 1205 SW Washington Street, Portland, Oregon 97205
Phone: (503) 241-1133

Tasty n Alder

What you get from this place fits the name of the restaurant very well. Here you’ll have one of the tastiest experiences in all of Portland. Their style, which has been dubbed as “New American,” will invigorate your taste buds in new and old ways. There are selections for brunch, mid-day, and dinner, all with options that you’ll find in many American restaurants, but there are several options for the more adventurous types.

One of the unique options Tasty n Alder offers you are their meal boards. Various assortments of meats, cheeses, and seafood come out to you on a wooden cutting board that you can eat right off of. It adds a touch of class you do not see in a generic American restaurant.

When you come to Portland, makes sure to experience the rich and mellow atmosphere Tasty n Alder gives you while you enjoy a satisfying meal either during brunch, lunch, or dinner.

Address: 580 SW 12th Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97205
Phone: (503) 621-9251


This restaurant chain used to deliver tasty sandwiches from food trucks, but now they have three restaurant locations throughout Portland.

This hip restaurant chain will fill you up with absolute satisfaction. They have a small menu that consists of mainly pork sandwiches, but they do have a few burgers, meatball subs, and pastas you can choose from. But just like the menu at Grassa, don’t let the minimal options distract you from how good this place really is. Plus, they have some unique side options that you will not want to miss.

Each establishment is small and friendly, making you feel safe and accepted while you enjoy a delicious sandwich or an order of “Dirty Fries,” which look amazing by the way. Each establishment also has a variety of choices of beers, but each separate location has a different beer menu. So, if you want some different tastes, make sure to check out one of the other locations.

Address: 1205 SW Washington Street, Portland, Oregon 97205
Phone: (503) 241-2490

Address: 1212 SE Hawthorne Boulevard, Portland, Oregon 97214
Phone: (503) 234-7786

Address: 4090 N Williams Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97227
Phone: (503) 841-5373

Clyde Comon

Portland does have lots of options for food, but when it comes to drinks, no place is going to satisfy you more than Clyde Comon. Their menu of handcrafted cocktails, beer, and wine will make you roam through the options because there are too many good choices. This is the perfect kind of tavern to stop in as you roam the city of Portland. You can grab a quick drink or two and then be on your way, but make sure to come back for their food options as well.

With menus for Brunch, Lunch, and Dinner, Clyde Comon’s food variety doesn’t stretch to the lengths that the drink menu does. With a mixture of domestic & foreign cooking, a lot of these portions are good for nibbling on while you sip your drinks, but have no fear, there are bigger portions for the heartier eaters, including “Feasts” which will overload you with satisfaction.

It’s the type of neutral, somber tavern that is just great to go in, relax for an hour or so with a drink and some food, and then continue your day/night in Portland.

Address: 1014 SW Stark Street, Portland, Oregon 97205
Phone: (503) 229-3333

Little Bird

Little Bird is best for those looking for atmosphere and fine French dining. This bistro has one of the most extensive wine lists you’ll find in Portland, so if you’re a wine-lover and want your taste buds satisfied, this is the place you should go.

Little Bird does offer food menus for Lunch & Dinner, with Early & Late menus for those of you who come when the kitchen has just started up or after it has started to settle down. The menus do have many favorites when it comes to French cuisine, offering options like Duck Confit á L’Orange and Baguette Jambon de Paris. If you’re not really into the French food thing, then you should try the Double Brie Burger, at least. It’s the closest thing you’ll get to “American” cuisine here.

The restaurant's atmosphere is a high point of the experience. With modern and homey styles mixing together with harmonious colors, you’ll catch yourself admiring the organic and colorful décor. So, with great wine, great food, and a great setting, you won’t be disappointed with the experience from this French Bistro.

Address: 219 SW 6th Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97204
Phone: (503) 688-5952

Nel Centro

If you’re staying in Hotel Modera, then you’re already close to this Italian eatery. This place fits the Hotel scene because they offer menus for Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, and Dinner, and each menu has selections of starters, entrees, and sides that fit the time of day. Breakfast has things like eggs, yogurt, and potatoes. Lunch includes soup, sandwiches, and salad options. Dinner offers pastas, chicken, steaks, and starters as well. So, whether you’re an Early Bird or a Night Owl, you’ll be able to fill your belly with excellent food.

Nel Centro does it right when it comes to separating the bar from the dining area. If you’re eating dinner, lunch, or breakfast, you can still get some good vibes coming from the bar, but there’s enough separation so you feel secluded. Since there are no real disruptions from this set up, you can enjoy your meal with your date, family, or just yourself in excellent fashion.

This establishment also offers seating out on their patio, so make sure to check that out along with their fire pits!

Address: 1408 SW 6th Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97201
Phone: (503) 484-1099

Portland City Grill

This is another New American restaurant, but this has a slight Asian touch to it. The Asian tastes are implemented in some of the entrees and starters, but they are mainly encompassed in the specialty rice rolls. Spicy Yellowfin Tuna, Crispy Shrimp & Crab, and Charred Vegetable & Avacado are a few of the rice roll selections. So, if you want to try something fresh and tasty that might be slightly new to you, then I highly recommend ordering a rice roll or two. If not, try the Raw Bar they have available, which can be just as fun.

Portland City Grill offers Brunch, Lunch, and Dinner menus. Brunch consists of small appetizers, salads, and omelets. Lunch moves onto burgers, sandwiches, fish & chips, and soups & salads. Dinner has their main variety that stretches from rice rolls to shared plates of artisan cheeses and Kung Pao calamari to perfectly cooked steaks and chicken.

Like I said before, the Asian zing influences a lot of these dishes, but when it comes to the bar, you’ll have the option to get some of American favorites, including a 44 Collins and an Old Fashioned.

I’d say give this place a try if you want a little oriental thrown in your dining experience. Its rich and lavish décor is easy on the eyes and most definitely sets the perfect mood for a great romantic date. Plus, they have a Happy Hour, which always makes after work drinks taste much better.

Address: 111 5th Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97204
Phone: (503) 450-0030

Mother's Bistro and Bar

Mother’s is a great place to bring the family. Maybe not so much for its bar and delicious cocktails, unless everyone is over the legal drinking age, but Mother’s offers options that will satisfy everyone, plus they have a kid’s menu. The design and décor for Mother’s is very homey and chic with an added layer that gives the place a “country” kind of feeling.

With several homemade classics, Mother’s offers options like hearty meatloaf, chicken & dumplings, mac & cheese, chicken fried chicken, and pulled pork varieties. You’ll have to loosen your belt after a meal at this place, because you will most definitely be full afterwards.

There are a few healthier options that range from hummus dishes to grilled portabella mushrooms, but a really cool feature Mother’s has is the “Mother of the Month” dishes offered on their menu. Each month they find a dish a local mother prepares for her family and bring the recipe to the restaurant, making it available to all patrons. It’s a cool feature, and adds an extra homeyness that’s so great.

Address: 212 SW Stark Street, Portland, Oregon 97204
Phone: (503) 464-1122

Portland has a lot of restaurants, so these 8 aren’t even close to the entire dining experience you can obtain, but they are some good selections to start out with. I suggest checking them out when you’re in Portland, but do not forget to also check out Oregon’s best city’s nightlife and sights as well—you won’t be disappointed.

Thanks for reading,


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