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.
Por Que No offers some of the most unique Mexican cuisine in this city. Their fresh handmade tortillas are made on the spot, as are fruity juicy beverages including sangria. They serve Mexican brunch on the weekends with offerings like pancakes topped with plantains and huevos rancheros. The place is practically the size of a walk-in closet (albeit a cute closet), so you might not want to take the extended family.
A pizza joint in the location of a former pizza joint. Dove Vivi gave the space a major face lift, and have a take on pizza different than any other in town; their pies feature a slightly chewy/crunchy, deep-dish style cornmeal crust. A slew of regular pizzas from a house-made fennel sausage to the pesto, to the corn & cashew "cheese" vegan, are joined by rotating specials every evening. Add one of their tasty salads and a big slice of housemade zuccotto for dessert and you will be rubbing you belly in contentment all night long. All pies are also available "par-baked" so you can take them home and heat them at your leisure.
The burritos come in one size at Don Pancho: gigante (and they don't cost much). This little taco shop on NE Alberta knows the art of fast Mexican cuisine. Be sure to stop into the mercado next door for some take-home goodies as well.
This East side wine bar just off Burnside is a great place to go with a small group as you can order a small or large portion of every dish, all a la carte. Pate, mushrooms, delicate flaky savories, rosemary trout... the list goes on and on not to mention the wines. Located on the NE 28th's wine alley, it's easy to catch a movie at the Laurelhurst and make it a date night.
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.
One of the first art-deco buildings in Portland, the Laurelhurst is a popular second-run movie theater that serves pizza from the New Deal cafe and beer along with the usual movie snacks.
This tiny café is the little sister to downtown's hip-a-riffic Half & Half. They serve an ever-changing menu of creative sandwiches and pies and they may be the only place in the Pearl where you can get local, French pressed coffee.
North Lombard can be know for long stretches of nothing but there are oases here and there and this awesome little bike-themed café is a shining example of that. Besides the usual coffee/espresso drinks, Little Red Bike offers a small but drool-inducing menu of breakfasty goodies, and lunchable treats complete with "sandwiches w/ training wheels for the tykes. They'll substitute vegetarian menu items and soy milk at no extra charge! -something a lot of other places should take heed of. To top it all off, they make and serve homemade ice cream and will even serve it out of the Bike Up window after they close at 3 .