Dan & Louis Oyster Bar. Photo: Natalie Migliarini
Old Town Chinatown has a rich multicultural heritage and a thriving creative culture. If you love learning about how a city got its start, a trip to this neighborhood is bound to be satisfying. An astounding number of attractions are tucked into this district, including Lan Su Chinese Garden, Portland Walking Tours, Darcelle XV, Voodoo Doughnut and Portland Saturday Market. On Fridays and Saturdays, Old Town Chinatown is downtown Portland’s nightlife hot spot. The dining scene in Old Town Chinatown is a goldmine, with a variety of traditional international cuisines and many independent and family-owned businesses. Here are some Where To Eat Guide favorites to check out:
Photo: Davis Street Tavern Facebook
Davis Street Tavern honors the history of the neighborhood by preserving the gorgeous original elements of the space, including Douglas Fir beams and exposed brick. The menu showcases the best of Pacific Northwest ingredients, bringing fine dining to a cozy tavern setting. Ask about renting the space for your private events! The drink menu boasts an extensive wine list, as well as an international selection of beers and ciders. And did we mention that Davis Street Tavern’s Velvety Mac ‘N’ Cheese with three cheese béchamel is a strong contender for best macaroni and cheese in Portland? The simple things make a difference here – starting your meal with an excellent oyster, and finishing it with a house made truffle.
Eat this: Dungeness Crab Bisque, Albacore Tuna Niçoise, Steak Frites, Davis Street Lamb Burger
Drink this: House made cocktails, like the Daily Bartender’s Special, or the Squeezy B (bourbon, elderflower and ginger beer). Teetotalers will enjoy the Ginger Peach Iced Tea or Fresh Squeezed Lemonade
500 NW Davis Street
Theo’s casual, friendly neighborhood vibe makes it as beloved as the tasty menu of burgers, salads, hot dogs, panini and Philly cheesesteaks. Theo’s House Breakfast (served until 11 am) with two eggs, hash browns, thick-sliced bacon or sausage, toast and coffee is one of the best deals in town at just $5.. The hand-held “Wafflewiches” are fantastic, too. Swing by for a quick work lunch or call ahead to inquire about catered Box Lunches. Theo’s Late Night menu (served until 4 am on Friday and Saturday) will hit the spot. Dig into Theo’s Aussie Steak Sandwich and share a basket of hand-cut fries with your friends, with some of Theo’s scrumptious house-made dipping sauces!
Eat this: Chicago Dog - ¼ lb Hebrew National Kosher Dog, Caprese Panini, BBQ Bacon Burger, Mouth of Fire Burger
Drink this: Draft beer, now on tap!
121 SW 5th Avenue
Photo: LeChon Facebook
Situated adjacent to Portland Saturday Market’s site, this fairly recent addition to the neighborhood adds a bit of playful zest. Le Chon offers delectable South American cuisine, in adventurous settings both indoors and out. If you sit outside, you can enjoy a delightful view of Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Try some tapas and a cocktail from the Happy Hour menu, or enjoy wood-fired meats and cazuelas (hot pots) at dinner. Ask in advance about the “What The Chef Is Eating” menu, which is served family-style, and about the Sunday Supper Series.
Eat this: Fried Smoked Butternut Squash Empanadas, Shrimp Ceviche, Crab Stuffed Fire-Roasted Piquillo Peppers, Chocolate Molten Lava Cake
Drink this: Digestivos, espresso, Café de Patagonia
113 SW Naito Parkway
Baked Oysters Parmesan at Dan & Louis Oyster Bar. Photo: Colin Krum
You will be delighted by the cozy ambiance of this historic Portland favorite, tucked into Ankeny Alley, as well as the heartwarming story of this five-generation family-owned business. Treat your own family to platters full of fried fish and chips and steaming bowls of oyster stew. Can you believe that it’s all naturally gluten-free? Or that they’ve been there for over a hundred years? Afterwards, you can head down the alley to Voodoo Doughnut and check that one off your Dining Bucket List! Dan and Louis Oyster Bar also has an impressive bar program, with an undisputed Bloody Mary champion.
Eat this: Oysters Rockefeller, Baked Oysters Parmesan, Fish Tacos, Bay Shrimp Cocktail, Alpenrose Ice Cream
Drink this: Cocktails, Café Vita Coffee, Rishi Loose Leaf Tea, or for kids – milk, chocolate milk or fruit juice
208 SW Ankeny
Thirsty Lion is one of close-in Portland’s best spots for cheering on your favorite sports team with your mates. This British-feeling gastropub serves up an international menu and a variety of craft beers and ciders on tap – try a flight! Wine, bubbly and signature cocktails are also available. Thirsty Lion is a fantastic place for a private event. Ask about the gluten-free menu items. Thirsty Lion’s outdoor dining game is pretty sweet, too. At the end of the game, take home a growler for later.
Eat this: IPA Beer Battered Fish & Chips, Sonoran Chicken Enchilada Stack, Kung Pao Chicken, Traditional Scotch Eggs, Bacon Wrapped BBQ Prawns, ANY of the burgers
Drink this: Ask about seasonal tap selections, or try a porter or stout. Or maybe a Blood Orange Margarita or Huckleberry Lemon Drop
71 SW 2nd Avenue
Photo: Kells' Facebook
Kells is a rousing setting for cheering on soccer or rugby, dancing a jig to live Irish music, digging into house made potato chip nachos, enjoying a cigar in the cigar room, or tossing a couple of quarters wrapped in a dollar up to the ceiling (Yes, it sticks! Can you guess how?) And you know Kell’s is THE place to be on St. Patrick’s Day (or a weekend).
Eat this: Kale and Quinoa Salad, Ballycastle Sausage Roll, Irish Lamb Stew, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Jameson Chocolate Pot
Drink this: Guinness, of course! Or lager, stout or IPA. Flights are available, as well.
112 SW 2nd Avenue