A charming, airy bistro that caters to those of discerning tastes. Mother's makes everything on their impressive menu of classic "mom food" from scratch, and the accolades keep rolling in. The adjoining bar is plush and cozy, offering a limited version of their menu and some stiff drinks. It can get pretty busy during dinner and their weekend brunch so reservations might be a good idea.
Tucked into the most unlikely of areas, Justa Pasta is a surprise along NW 19th. The airy space is somewhat bare-bones but manages to be quite beautiful. Their emphasis is on fresh. The pasta is fresh made to order, ingredients are often locally/sustainably sourced and everything on their menu is made in their kitchen from scratch; from the delicate, garlicky ravioli to the savory soups to the decadent chocolate cake. It’s always good and best of all, it’s easy on the pocketbook. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!
Small but nicely appointed, Le Pigeon is one of the most-hyped restaurants on the East side, and for good reason: Chef Gabriel Rucker has a knack for unusual recipes and polished execution. You can even watch him and the other chefs do their thing as the kitchen is completely open. The meat-heavy menu will deter some vegetarians and vegans, but everyone else is in for a treat. If the cornbread with bacon, apricot and maple syrup ice cream is on the dessert menu, order it.
Authentic Thai street food, served from a glorified shack. The menu is somewhat limited, but already the stuff of legend: Chef Andy Ricker has earned a cult of followers who are devoted to dishes like roasted game hen and shredded pork with papaya salad. There's a tiny outdoor seating area, but the shack is mostly geared toward takeout—check out Ricker's adjacent Whiskey Soda Lounge
if you want to sit and eat.
Bridges is a tiny breakfast place, and like most good ones in this town, it gets packed on the weekends. Their eggs benedict is delicious, as is their breakfast burrito, and the potatoes come loaded with flavorful garlic. Most of their ingredients are organic and/or local. Also of note, they serve one of the best mimosas (orange or grapefruit) in town.
Helser's has made a lot of fans with it's breakfasts (served all day). From potato hashes to pancakes (German, potato and buttermilk) and a number of egg dishes all served up with a gourmet flair. It doesn't end there though. Lunch is served from 11:30 on and features salad, soup of the day and a variety of creative sandwiches. Everything is made from scratch and they're nice enough to make substitutions for non meat/egg eaters. In other words: plan on a bit of a wait on weekends.
The Stepping Stone motto reads: "You Eat Here Because We Let You". Oooh feisty!! They've got the sweet factor too though.. this little diner that looks just the way diners are supposed to look. They dish up some fine breakfast grub, from scrambles and omelets to hotcakes. Also serving lunch with sandwiches, burgers, soups and salads, and late night food Thursday through Saturday.