Where Tom went:
Sarah Hart got her start selling fanciful chocolate icons dressed in gold leaf at the big Portland Farmers Market. Eight years ago, she opened a shop, named for her grandmother, to show off the rest of her repertoire: bonbons whose fillings change with the season, Thai peanut bars and shots of melted dark chocolate. Coming this summer: a second location in Southeast Portland at Alma’s manufacturing site.
140 NE 28th Ave.
A rare taste of Spain in Stumptown, from Barcelona native Jose Chesa. He’s the skill behind braised veal on house-baked brioche, salt cod fritters and white gazpacho — sparkling with pineapple granita — and the smile that lights up the wood-beamed dining room. (Ataula is a Catalan phrase Chesa’s parents used back home; it means “To the table.”)
1818 NW 23rd Pl.
Blue Star Donuts
Forget Voodoo Doughnuts. Discerning sweet tooths will steer you to the refined rings at Blue Star, which relies on a French brioche recipe and local butter, milk, flour and cage-free eggs for its glorious creations: doughnuts in such flavors as Mexican hot chocolate and blueberry-bourbon-basil.
3549 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
A stage set of a self-serve restaurant that evokes the colors and flavors of Mumbai. Snack on julienned fried okra hit with chilies, samosas crammed with lamb and spiced potatoes, and roasted beets tossed with curry leaves and coconut milk.
2039 NE Alberta St.
Some of the most sophisticated food in town, from chef Justin Woodward. His summer tasting menu is informed by his time at the late WD-50 in New York. Highlights: Oregon shrimp with toasted jalapeño, green strawberries and kohlrabi; brined, smoked pork with blood orange-tinted hollandaise; French meringue, frozen in liquid nitrogen and served with goat milk ice cream.
1752 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
This downtown tavern — “the living room of the city,” says writer Karen Brooks — hosts the most international happy hour. Knock back the $4 beers and $6 wines and cocktails with grilled duck hearts, saganaki and lumpia. Spring for the refreshing Spelling Bee: tequila, agave, absinthe and grapefruit peel.
1014 SW Stark St.
The vibe is so relaxed that when you call to say you're running late, you hear, “Oh, we don’t care.” Yet every taste — agnolotti floating with spring peas and porcinis in chicken broth, golden sand dabs with shaved asparagus — reveals a stickler’s attention. The care taken by chef Kevin Gibson extends to the wine service by Kurt Heilemann.
2215 E. Burnside St.
A moody, candlelit, classics-focused drinking den by husband-and-wife team Kyle Webster (the bar ace) and Naomi Pomeroy (chef-owner of Beast, across the street). The snacks — shrimp toast, Burmese tea leaf salad, Korean fried game hen — tilt Asian, with a nostalgic exception: Portland native James Beard’s crazy-simple onion-and-butter sandwich.
5424 NE 30th Ave.
Ken’s Artisan Bakery
Master baker Ken Forkish, a former software engineer, makes a French walnut bread that will whisk you to Poilâne in Paris; his pretty macarons rise with the fruit of the moment. His award-winning cookbook, “Flour Water Salt Yeast,” spills secrets for the home cook. One bite of his buttery croissants, and you'll be glad he ditched the tech world for the dough scene.
338 NW 21st Ave.
This dusky restaurant-within-a-restaurant is the city's toughest reservation and its premiere Thai tour, led by Bangkok native Akkapong “Earl” Ninsom. His evolving tasting menu recently stopped in Chiang Mai for scallops, galangal and coconut cream in a tiny crispy-rice cup; fiery lamb tartare with mint, avocado and rice powder; and robust curry with pork belly, hanger steak, peanuts and ginger.
6 SE 28th Ave.
Lovely's Fifty Fifty
Portland’s three-branch Salt & Straw gets more attention, but superior scoops can be had at this ice cream and pizza parlor, where the flavors of the former run to fig leaf-vanilla and anise-hyssop. “I like steeping herbs,” says Sarah Minnick, one of two sisters who own the treasure.
4039 N. Mississippi Ave.
New Seasons Market
Ask a question about a mango, and the produce guy cuts you a slice. Inquire about what look like bullet-shaped blueberries, and another tells you about honeysuckle from Siberia. Upscale labels appear alongside common brands, which means the dozen-plus coffee choices include the best of what’s local -- and also Folgers.
6400 N. Interstate Ave.
What began as a pop-up morphed last year into a captivating Japanese restaurant inside a grocery store. Chef Ryan Roadhouse’s tasting menus spring from a kaiseki obsession that permits delicious rule-bending, such as kelp-wrapped, sake-kissed abalone and sweet Dungeness crab draped in an egg dressing atop buckwheat.
3735 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
The almond croissant will spoil you for any other, and the flaky Danish, sweetened with berries that owner Marius Pop might have picked himself, may be the best you've ever had. A veteran of Payard Patisserie in New York, Pop presides over a display that includes a rainbow of macarons sold in the underground Mac Bar. Pop says "nu vrei" is Romanian for “Would you like some?” Of course you would.
404 NW 10th Ave.
The heart of this Argentine-inspired restaurant by Greg and Gabrielle Denton is the massive wood grill, from which emerge mouthwatering dishes. A few favorites: smoked beef tongue with sweetbread “croutons,” clam chowder with jalapeños and bone marrow, roseate ribeye from Uruguay, and artichokes cooked in coals.
2225 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Pepe Le Moko
In the tiny foyer: an oyster shucker. A flight of stairs down: a bunker of a bar, so dark you’re tempted to ask for a flashlight. On the menu: drinks that tend to get no respect — grasshoppers, espresso martinis — remade for modern tastes. Try the smooth amaretto sour with a brandied cherry. Sip, sip away!
407 SW 10th Ave.
Andy Ricker snagged attention for Portland and Thai cooking 10 years ago when he opened a shack to serve the street food he had fallen hard for overseas. Not to be missed is the sticky, smoky game hen served with an eyelash-curling dipping sauce. Homemade drinking vinegars help fuel the cocktails and stanch any flames.
3226 SE Division St.
PSU Portland Farmers Market
One of the top farmers markets in the country, this year-round, 140-stall draw unfolds on Saturdays on the lush grounds of Portland State University. Buy hazelnuts from Freddy Guys, charcuterie from Chop Butchery & Charcuterie, corn tortillas from Three Sisters Nixtamal and mushrooms — porcinis, morels, lion's mane — from Springwater Farm.
SW Park & SW Montgomery (approx. 1717 SW Park Ave.)
Powell's City of Books
Among the city’s most beloved institutions is Powell’s, whose flagship store counts more than 1 million books on its shelves. Gravitate to the epic Orange Room, home to overstocked cookbooks from around the world, vintage copies of “The Joy of Cooking” and “Larousse Gastronomique” and even “The Portlandia Cookbook.”
1005 W. Burnside St.
Powell's Books for Home and Garden
This new Italian restaurant is awash with reasons to visit: The owner is a former frontman at the acclaimed French Laundry, the chef previously worked at the starry Quince in San Francisco and the cheese plate features fromage made by the creamery next door. Ace drinks, dewy geoduck crudo and a wood oven (pizza!) forecast a hot spot in the making.
626 SE Main St.
If you have time for only one breakfast, make it this convivial Southern charmer, easy to spot due to the inevitable line out the door. The rewards are cayenne-spiked hush puppies; tender omelets packed with smoked mushrooms, goat cheese and kale; and buttermilk fried chicken stacked on a sweet potato waffle.
2337 E. Burnside St.
Ten bucks buys a breakfast plate for the memory books: a perfect fried egg, a raft of brioche, crisp bacon, seasonal fruit and lightly dressed lettuce leaves. Pies, such as the custardy honey pie made with a crackle of salt, are divine. Throw in overhead vines, strong coffee and service that’s all smiles, and you’ve got a full house every a.m.
5202 N. Albina Ave.