Famous for its restaurants, galleries and fabulous shopping, the Pearl District should be part of every trip to Portland, but with so many restaurants to choose from, it’s hard to know where to start. Whether you are looking to grab a bite as you explore this fascinating part of Portland, looking for a relaxed brunch after some retail therapy or are looking for a special dining experience at the end of a long day, the Pearl District has something to offer. Here are our 15 best restaurants in the Pearl District, Portland, Oregon (in no particular order)…
1. Kure – nibbles, smoothies & juices with vegan ingredients
The Kure Juice Bar in the Pearl District is a bright, open space that is a fantastic place to take a step back and relax with something healthy. Perhaps best known for their healthy, delicious smoothies, Kure also offers incredible coffee and both breakfast and lunch menus.
The focus is always natural, healthy food, with an open and modern space that is built for relaxing. Whatever the day has brought you, Kore is a fantastic option to stop, recharge and get ready to go again. For life on the go, nothing beats the meal in a cup shake, healthy and delicious, Kore will always put a smile on your face.
2. Andina – a taste of Peru in the pacific northwest
Blending traditional Peruvian cuisine with contemporary cooking, Andina is a true dining experience. Fantastic food, a great wine list and wonderful cocktails make for a great evening, with excellent service a happy addition.
The restaurant itself is understated, unlike some on this list, but the warm, friendly feel and excellent quality of the food is what you come here for. A truly special menu that will take you to new places with its taste and innovation, Andina in the Pearl District is a must visit while you are in Portland. A wonderful experience, and for food quality few can match, Andina is the perfect choice.
4. Pastini – specializing in classic & contemporary pastas, great at all times of day.
With its wonderful pasta menu and delicious desserts, Pastini is a great option any time of day. Food is consistently excellent, with superb service and a great ambience. An interesting menu gives some new takes on traditional pasta dishes, with options for all tastes. This is a restaurant you should never skip dessert with though, every one is a work of art.
Of all the restaurants on this list, Pastini have embraced the idea of food delivery most enthusiastically, and with Uber eats, GrubHub, DoorDash and PostMates to choose from, Pastini is the ideal delivery option for your hotel room if you don’t want to go out.
5. Butterfly Belly Asian Cuisine – a Gluten-free Asian cuisine for all the family also MSG, Preservatives free with soy free options
A comprehensive menu full of exquisite, gluten and MSG free Asian cuisine that taste as good as they look. Plenty of choice means there is always something for everyone, and it is undoubtedly one of the best traditional Asian restaurants in the city.
However, it is the impeccable, friendly service and general feel of the restaurant that set Butterfly Belly apart as a dining experience. Joyous, welcoming and fun, Butterfly Belly is definitely one to try on any trip to Portland.
6. Tanner Creek Tavern – fresh, locally-sourced ingredients and refined recipes
Service is fantastic too, and with indoor and outdoor seating that lets you make the most of its fantastic location, you can enjoy fine food in the summer sun and watch the world go by, or get coze inside in the worst of the winter.
7. Verde Cocina en la Perla – locally sourced Pacific Northwest and Mexico Gluten-free, paleo and vegan friendly cusine
A gluten-free, paleo and vegan-friendly Café that offers a wide variety of cuisines to suit your mood, Verde Cocina en la Perla offers fantastic food in a warm and welcoming atmosphere. It’s a great location too, in the heart of the Pearl District.
A wide range of cocktails and extensive wine menu coupled with excellent service make it a fantastic choice for dining, whether an evening meal or grabbing brunch while exploring the Pearl District. With dedicated Vegan and Paleo options, if you are dedicated to a specific diet this is a great option, with a simple menu structure that makes it easy to enjoy the food you want.
8. Arden Restaurant Portland – seasonal Pacific Northwest cuisine with a thorough wine menu
With an ever-evolving seasonal menu, Arden offers something different, with innovative approaches to traditional and seafood dishes that always surprise, but also remain consistent in their impressive quality. Service here is great too, with knowledgeable staff help create a friendly, enjoyable atmosphere that makes dining here such a pleasure.
In addition to the fabulous food and great service, Arden also boasts one of the best wine lists in Portland, making Arden Restaurant a must-visit for any connoisseur.
9. Hotlips Pizza – excellent seasonal, local pies with gluten-free and vegan options
Eat in, eat out on the patio, grab a slice for lunch or a meal at the end of your long day. No matter how you want your pizza, Hotlips has you covered. Cool, easy-going and always excellent, Hotlips is everything you want in a Pizza restaurant and then some.
For a treat, try the ice cream sandwiches, you’ll love them! The best pizza in Portland from friendly, enthusiastic staff and great surroundings, no visit to Portland is complete without a Hotlips Pizza.
10. Mediterranean Exploration Company – Mediterranean-Middle Eastern cuisine and cocktails for all tastes
A fantastic blend of Mediterranean cuisines delivered with panache and enthusiasm. While the menu includes a variety of styles, everything is delivered with the same excellence, this is exceptional dining in a wonderful atmosphere and as the name suggests, a great way to explore the diversity of Mediterranean cuisine.
Menu highlights include Lamb Kebab and Persian Chicken, while the service is always superb. Reservations are essential as this is a relatively small restaurant, but with a wildly varied menu, there is something for every taste.
11. Rabbits Café – flavorful vegan bowls, salads, and smoothies
Whether grabbing breakfast before you start exploring, enjoying lunch in the heart of Pearl District or enjoying a lovely evening meal, Rabbits Café is a fantastic vegan dining option for anyone visiting Portland. The café is definitely compact, with limited seating, and because there is no separate seating, you see all the food prepared right in front of you.
It has a cheap $5 snack menu, grate for a bite on the go, and the menu offers both variety and quality in every meal.
12. Carlitas – a popular and fun taco, tequila and whisky bar with rustic vintage style decor
The best Tacos in Portland, with delicious salsa and more. If you love tacos Carlita is an essential part of your Portland experience, not just for the food quality but wonderful service and the relaxing atmosphere. Whatever the day brought, you will end it with a smile if you visit Carlita.
It’s a great place to spend time too, with a relaxed vibe and great, friendly service. Chips are always warm and crunchy, definitely something of a hidden gem and one of the best overall dining experiences you will find in the area.
13. Khao San PDX – delicious traditional Thai street food for all tastes
Enjoy Thai Street Food in a beautiful restaurant with excellent service. A simple menu takes you on a journey through traditional Thai cuisine, with an array flavors, colors and aromas. Service is always excellent, with knowledgeable staff who create a relaxed and friendly space to enjoy quality food.
Inside, you will find the traditional Tuk Tuk from the streets of Thailand converted into a table in the middle of the restaurant, this is definitely a unique dining experience, from the delicious food to the restaurant itself.
14. Eleni’s Philoxenia – beautiful fresh Greek cuisine for all the family
Wonderful Greek food in a fabulous setting. Choose from small plates for individuals or large family sharing plates on the long tables for a more traditional Greek dining experience.
The food is of extremely high quality, with a great wine list and fabulous service making this a wonderful place to spend time in an evening.
15. Meriwethers – from home farm to table, using the freshest ingredients
Meriwether’s grows its own ingredients on a self-owned farm just 12 miles from the restaurant. That dedication to quality ingredients shines in every plate, with wonderful, delicious food that you will love. From traditional brunch omelets to farm-raised chicken main meals, the seasonal, traditional menu is full of flavor and tradition.
Service is always superb too, with a friendly, relaxed atmosphere that allows you to simply enjoy great food. The menu is seasonal, but always designed to give you the best selection of produce from the farm any time of year. It’s traditional dining with a twist, and an experience to savor.
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Scott started his travelling life back in 1999, when he headed off on a solo jaunt to South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia with just a backpack, a camera and a spirit for adventure. After that, the travel bug bit hard and now he is always seeking to head off somewhere new. Over the years he has lived in Italy, Qatar, Ireland, UK and the US but his spiritual home will always be Rome as this is the city which most satisfies his unrelenting craving for culture, good food and great football. Scott loves nothing better than to be behind the camera and also runs his own blog and Instagram page. He also counts Melbourne, Cape Town and Tel Aviv among his favourite places. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @scottbalaam