- Andina (www.andinarestaurant.com; tel. 503/621-9251): Who knew Peruvian food could be so multifaceted and so loaded with flavor? Peruvians did, of course, and now Portland knows, too. This is a perennially popular scene restaurant at dinner time, so reserve a table and join the happy crowd.
- Ava Gene’s (www.avagenes.com; tel. 971/229-0571): If you want to see what’s cooking over on SE Division, one of Portland’s hottest new haute spots, pay a visit to this attractive trattoria, and order some food to share family-style with the whole table. Super-fresh local ingredients and sophisticatedly simple Italian cooking techniques make for a memorable meal on all fronts.
- Le Pigeon (www.lepigeon.com; tel. 503/546-8796): Some people aren’t entirely comfortable with the shared-table scheme, but most people find it part of the congenial and mouth-watering culinary experience found at this top-ranked Portland bistro.
- Pok Pok: This Thai restaurant on what is now SE Division’s restaurant row helped jump-start the Portland food scene. Forget glamor: you’ll be eating at a picnic table. Forget reservations: they don’t take ‘em. But don’t forget to bring your appetite, because the sizzling, spicy delicacies are wonderful, and great for sharing.
- St. Jack (www.stjackpdx.com; tel. 503/360-1281): They left their cozy old digs and moved across the river to a sleek new spot on NW 23rd, and thank goodness they brought their kitchen and cooking techniques with them, because St. Jack offers some of the best French food in Portland.
- Tasty n Alder (www.tastyntasty.com; tel. 503/621-9251): It’s a kind of casual steakhouse, albeit on the nontraditional side, where in addition to grilled meats you can get fresh grilled seafood and dishes that can be shared.
- Toro Bravo (www.torobravopdx.com; tel. 503/281-4464): Portland has many restaurants that serve small plates, but few that serve Spanish tapas of this superb quality. Every taste here is revelatory, which may account for the long lines. Any wait, however, is worth it.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.