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Portland as a Food Destination: Pearl of the West Coast

"Desirable destinations & global food journeys"

Portland, Oregon, affectionately known by its nickname ‘the city of roses’ has emerged perhaps unexpectedly as the culinary city to visit on the west coast. A thriving constellation of farmers’ markets, city farms and artisanal producers provide the blossoming restaurant scene with an abundance of fresh produce reflective of the local terrain. With close connections to the Pacific and its proximity to local farms producing a variety of vegetables, notably the famed Oregonian marionberry, the bounty of fresh ingredients are certainly reflected in the quality of dining found here. 

Sign of portland oregon over the city skyline at sunset
Food Trucks of Portland in Black & White

The unique aspect of Portland as a food destination lies in its sense of community and its ability to create a narrative that winds itself through the history of the city, gastronomical collaborations and local figures alike. ‘Le pigeon burger’ by Gabriel Rucker used to be something of a local institution with only five being sold on any given evening and whilst the cap on this iconic dish has now gone it exemplifies the strong innovative identity of the city and the extent to which the food scene remains loyal to its roots and values. 

Whilst in Portland, Conte recommends a number of experiences to while away an evening, luxuriating in the abundance of options at your fingertips. A guided food tour on foot will allow you to witness the incredible amount of diversity present in the food scene here whilst learning about the people behind the establishments that make it famous. Equally, there are recognisable fine dining restaurants which offer forward-thinking menus and concepts; Greg Higgins himself would be proud of the growth Portland has experienced since the early days of his farm-to-table venture. 

Food carts, in particular, have become synonymous with Portland’s dining culture, and have offered many chefs a low-risk opportunity to test out their culinary ideas before investing in restaurants. Paired with an interesting artisanal scene, often credited to chefs like James Beard and the duo behind Noble Rot, Kimberly Bernosky and Courtney Storrs. This same entrepreneurial energy has also extended to Portland’s thriving craft beverage industry, found throughout craft breweries, distilleries and artisanal coffee roasters alike.

Portland as a Food Destination

With culinary offerings like no other city, Conte hopes one can see why it has often been voted the best food city in America. Perfect for a weekend break or as a destination for Thanksgiving, we recommend it as a trip for both family and friends, and definitely for a romantic long weekend getaway. With food, wine and culture on the cards, Portland leaves no stone unturned in its quest to remain the most interesting culinary city on the west coast.


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