Whatever you have heard about Portland, Oregon, is probably true; with its unofficial motto being “Keep Portland Weird,” this town embraces its quirky people. And quirky people like quirky food. Needless to say, if you want to take a date out in this city, you’re bound to find some interesting places to eat.
With some help from Yelp.com, here are some places that aren’t too spendy but will definitely be the jumping off point for a unique and memorable dinner date with that special someone.
at Pine Street Market
126 SW 2nd Ave
If you want to taste a little bit of Japan right here in Portland, check out Marukin Ramen. With 9 locations in Japan, and two locations in the Portland area, they know their ramen. The nice thing about bringing a date here is that there are lots of options, and it’s all reasonably priced. Some options are available every day, and others just certain days of the week. One popular every day option is Tonkotsu Shoyu, which is a pork bone broth filled with spinach, kikurage mushrooms, bamboo shoots, leeks, green onion, chashu pork, and a soft boiled egg. There are also plenty of sides, such as pickled vegetables or pork dumplings, that would be fun for you and your date to share.
The Waiting Room
2327 NW Kearney St
With so many great reviews, you know this place has gotta be good. If you like Southern cooking with a Pacific Northwest flair, this place is for you. Fried chicken, oysters, steamed clams, cornmeal hushpuppies, ginger BBQ shrimp, and more from local farmers and ranchers—meaning fresh and supporting Portland businesses. Your date will definitely love this place.
4950 NE 14th Ave
Do you even know what Swiss cuisine is? Why don’t you and your date find out? Check out this Portland find with its amazing wines, escargots, fondue, goolash, winderschnitzel, and an amazing array of desserts.
2337 E Burnside St
Over 4,000 reviews can’t be wrong. This is the place to tantalize your taste buds as you impress your date. Praline bacon, warm bread pudding, chicken and waffles, hearty breakfast food, soups, pork shoulder… chances are, you’ll want to come back to try something else on the menu.
2935 NE Glisan
If you’re looking for some good, cheap Mexican food in the city, look no further. Polle Norte has amazing rotisserie chicken with Mexican/Northwest inspired sides. Check it out!
Mama’s Chow Kitchen
300 SW 2nd Ave
Portland is known for its plentiful food trucks—and this is one of them. While this place is only open for lunch, but is well worth it if you have a daytime date. We recommend you try the fried wings and wontons, garlic noodles, soup, and more. There is plenty of fresh stuff on the side of your fried stuff, so you’ll feel satisfied and know why there is usually a line.
1216 SW Morrison
If you and your date are all about authentic Italian, check out this place. You can try the gnocchi, lamb ravioli, and every kind of pasta you can imagine. Visitors love the bread and wine!
Shut Up and Eat
3848 SE Gladstone St
The name really says it all. At this place, you can stuff your face with an awesome sandwich. Better yet, have your date order something completely different, and you can both share. They have breakfast sandwiches, a meatball sandwich, eggplant parm, and much, much more.
1986 NW Pettygrove St
If you are in the mood for Greek food, this place has got what you want. You’ll probably want to try out every kind of gyro they have here. Talk about authentic! Your date will be impressed.
2039 NE Alberta St
You’ve got your curry, of course, but don’t forget about the street food. Just one example: Vada Pav or the “Poor Man’s Burger” or Mumbai. It is a spicy potato dumpling dipped in chickpea batter and fried. Served on a roll with chutneys. What could be better?