Portland’s Nob Hill area, a boutique shopping and dining district which encompasses the environs surrounding NW 23rd and 21st Avenues, is considered one of the most adorable--and enjoyable--areas in town. This is a good place to take advantage of Oregon’s tax-free shopping, or to relish some of our most celebrated treats, such as Salt & Straw’s Salted Caramel Ice Cream as well as other Pacific Northwest flavors, Blue Star Donuts and Moonstruck Chocolates. Washington Park, home of the Oregon Zoo and the International Rose Test Garden, is a short walk away, as is Forest Park, which includes a fantastic hiking trail. But the dining scene in Northwest Portland is probably the best part--so many choices, such a variety of cuisine and such incredibly high quality. Here are some Where To Eat Guide picks to add to your Portland #DiningBucketList:
Brussels Salad with Citrus and a Fried Chicken Add On. Photo: Boke Bowl Facebook
Korean Ramen superstar Boke Bowl’s Eastside (featuring Korean Fried Chicken Thursdays) and Westside (featuring Dim Sum Weekend Brunch) locations have taken Portland by storm. You can slurp fragrant bowls of noodles right on the Portland Streetcar line, with additions like Pork Belly, a Slow-poached Egg or House-Brined and Smoked Tofu. Broth flavors (dashi) include Pork, Shrimp or Caramelized Fennel. There are plenty of options for vegan and gluten-free diners. Enjoy Dim Sum every Saturday and Sunday from 11 am - 3 pm, try items like Black Bean Spare Ribs, Banana Leaf Sweet Rice with honey and Jacobsen sea salt, and Hum Bao with curried squash or pork jam with kimchi. Afterwards, ask about Profiteroles (Banana Cream or Tamarind Caramel) and Tarts (Bee Local honey, green tea, chai, almond coconut and ginger).
Eat this: Steam Buns (fried chicken, miso mushroom, peanut butter and jelly), Warm Brussels Sprout Salad, Cold Ramen Noodles Salad with pork tenderloin or smoked tofu, Rice Bowls with pickles, kimchi and veggies, Boke Twinkies (coconut kaffir lemongrass tapioca or chocolate five-spice pot de crème).
Drink this: Soft beverages, wine, beer, sake and spirits.
1200 NW 18th Ave
Café Nell prepares French-inspired American classics with Northwest ingredients from suppliers who are committed to sustainable practices. You can enjoy a fine Brunch (even on weekdays!), Lunch, Happy Hour or Dinner on the patio or by the glowing fireplace. Ask about Date Night Thursday or Sunday Supper! Be sure to try The Mary Nell, the Bloody Mary piled high with skewers of shrimp, chorizo, cheddar and pickled vegetables (you can have it with house-infused pepper vodka, if you like). There are seven types of Benedict, all served with buttermilk biscuits, home fries and house made hollandaise, as well as a Wild Mushroom Omelet and Lemon Mascarpone Pancakes. Fun fact: Café Nell was a location on the Portland-set television show Grimm.
Eat this: Spring Pea, Asparagus and Mushroom Risotto, Chicken Paillard, Pork Porterhouse with goat cheese polenta, grilled asparagus and cider vinaigrette, Roasted Apple Tart, Oregon Three Berry Cobbler.
Drink this: Oregon Royale with Clear Creek Distillery cranberry liqueur, sparkling wine and an orange twist, or the Hemingway Daiquiri with rum, maraschino, lime juice and grapefruit juice.
1987 NW Kearney St
An extensive list of cheese fondues and dessert fondues, as well as satisfying entrées, an encyclopedia-length martini menu (100+) and a fun outdoor dining area make Urban Fondue and adjacent Bartini a neighborhood favorite. Start with Smoked Local Farm House Cheddar Fondue or swirled Brie and Gorgonzola Fondue topped with roasted hazelnuts. Add additional morsels such as sausage, pears, apples, grapes, sautéed button mushrooms and grilled asparagus spears, to submerge. Then move on to entrées such as Steak and Lobster, Northwest Chicken or Tofu and Vegetables, served with your choice of two dipping sauces (select from over a dozen) such as Lime Chili, Meyer Lemon Hollandaise or Wild Mushroom Demi-Glace. Finally, select a sweet fondue like Rocky Road, Marionberry Cheesecake or Bananas Foster, accompanied by a platter of seasonal fruit, cheesecake, cookie dough and poundcake to dunk. Isn’t dipping your dinner more fun?
Eat this: The Fondue Experience (minimum two people) includes one entree selection per person and one cheese fondue, dessert fondue and a side to be shared by two.
Drink this: Classic Martinis (Blueberry, Violet, or Tuscan Rosemary)
Martinis (Fresh and Fruity, Clean and Serene, Aromatic, Herbaceous, Spicy, Bold or Decadent)
2114 NW Glisan Street
The Bloody Mary is a favorite at Fireside's weekend brunch. Photo: Stephanie Forrer
This NW 23rd Ave gem features “outdoor cuisine” which can be savored by the fire, in the open air seating or on the patio where you will be right in the thick of it all! Locally sourced ingredients are used in Fireside’s Brunch, Lunch, Happy Hour, Dinner and Late Night menus. You can satisfy your craving for sweets with a decadent Butterscotch Trifle, Rhubarb Galette or--get ready--Fireside S’mores! Where else can you enjoy Smoked Trout or a House Bratwurst?
Eat this: The Fireside Skillet with shredded potato, braised beef and an “easy egg”, the Ploughman’s Lunch with chicken liver mousse, pickles, cheese and a soft-boiled egg, the Steak Salad with Belgian endive, arugula and orange chili vinaigrette.
Drink this: Shaken cocktails, stirred cocktails, beer, wine and crafted sodas.
801 NW 23rd Ave
Photo: Ringside Steakhouse Facebook
Prepare yourself for a peerless experience at RingSide Steakhouse. The featured USDA Prime and Certified Angus Natural Beef has been hand-carved and dry-aged on the premises. James Beard once said that the famous onion rings were “the best he’s had ever had.” The Three Course Supper Menu includes Mixed Greens or Baked Onion Soup, your choice of main course accompanied by garlic mashed potatoes, baked potato, French fries, wild rice pilaf or cottage cheese, and house made Crème Brûlée. RingSide Steakhouse has received Wine Spectator’s "Best of Award of Excellence" and the DiRoNA Award of Excellence from Distinguished Restaurants of North America.
Eat this: Surf and Turf (Certified Angus Beef ®, Roasted Shoulder Tender and Fried Prawns),
Oregon Free Range “Brick” Chicken or Mediterranean Sea Bass.
Drink this: Wine (sparkling, white, rosé or red), whiskey, cognac, the RingSide Old Fashioned or Coffee Nudge.
2165 W Burnside