Some of the city’s best restaurants are located in NE Portland. From hand-pulled, northern Chinese noodles and fresh tortillas to Detroit-style, pan pizza and the tastiest fried chicken sandwich you’ve ever had, NE Portland has it all—and at unbeatable prices. Eat your heart out for under $15 at these hidden Rose City gems.
Crispy fried chicken thighs, house pickled cucumbers, and cabbage slaw cradled between two toasted buns is Basilisk’s signature sandwich. For those who prefer to maintain a cordial relationship with their arteries, Basilisk offers the Fried Tofu Sandwich, the younger, more responsible sibling of the Fried Chicken Sandwich. Pair your main with one of their lovely salads if you’re still feeling guilty. And share a bowl of Dan Dan fries covered in Szechuan peanut sauce or their super spicy Nashville-inspired chicken plate if you’re with a crew.
820 NE 27th Avene
South of the border
Tortilleria y Tienda De Leon’s, a top-rated Mexican restaurant and specialty grocery will have you coming back for more tacos, hot plates, and tamales—again and again. Head inside to find the main attraction: a long deli case filled with a dozen stews bubbling in metal trays. Having a party? Check out their rotating stock of tongue-in-cheek piñatas. Past papier-mâché, candy-filled creations include: Donald Trump, Stormy Daniels, Darth Vader, The Oregon Duck, and Benny the Beaver. Go on, get the bat and have Tortilleria y Tienda De Leon’s cater your next event.
16223 NE Glisan Street
Offering meaty, veggie, and make your own pies–East Glisan Pizza Lounge is a NE establishment that has it all and more. Every day of the week you can enjoy their traditional, thin-crust pizza. And on Tuesdays and Saturdays, this Montavilla neighborhood pizzeria serves up deep-dish, Detroit style ‘za. Expect a deep red sauce, thick mozzarella, and crispy cupped pepperoni baked on top of a thick, square-shaped crust.
8001 NE Glisan Street
Calling all vegetarians! ChickPeaDX, a food-cart-cum-micro-restaurant makes the best falafel in the city. Enjoy fried spheres of freshly ground Washington chickpeas blended with a secret spice concoction and adorned with carrot ribbons, eggplant, tomato, and cucumber served over your choice of pita bread, rice or salad. Splurge on the piquant mango sauce known as amba (50 cents).
2707 NE Sandy Boulevard
Skip the infamous Portlandia brunch lines and head to Beeswing, a favorite NE Cully neighborhood breakfast joint with plenty of seating and affordable prices. Satisfy your sweet tooth with the restaurant’s tangy sourdough waffles loaded with fruit, whipped cream, butter and syrup. Or try their savory buttermilk biscuits and gravy served with house sausage gravy, poached eggs, and creamed kale. And yes, for the truly gluttonous, “Chicken N Waffles” makes an appearance on their menu.
4318 NE Cully Boulevard
A NE Broadway restaurant that won’t break the bank
You don’t have to travel to northwestern China to enjoy authentic hand-pulled noodles. Frank’s Noodle House on NE Broadway stretches, folds and boils their own doughy strands, which are then stir-fried with shredded cabbage, bell peppers, sliced onions, chopped celery and your choice of protein. Frank’s also offers classic Chinese dishes like Kung Pao Chicken and Szechuan Style String Beans. Kimchi and Korean-style barbecue find their way onto the menu too.
822 N.E. Broadway
An affordable restaurant near NE Fremont
Get a taste of Vietnam without the flight! Pho Oregon specializes in Vietnam’s unofficial national dish: phở bò, or beef noodle soup to the rest of us. Load your piping hot bowl of phở with mung bean sprouts, leafy Southeast Asian herbs, and chilis. Then, savor the anise-infused bone-broth goodness. (There’s a veggie version too!) In spite of the name, Pho Oregon features nearly 100 Vietnamese classics so there’s a dish for everyone. Don’t miss the spring rolls with the peanut dipping sauce!
2518 NE 82nd Avenue (a few blocks south of NE Fremont)
If you’re looking for an equally affordable place to stay while you’re in Portland, check out Nordic Inn and Suites—low-cost rooms for singles, couples, and families conveniently located near all of these outstanding NE restaurants.