Ethnic Cuisine in Portland: Top Picks


Listen up, taste explorers and flavor adventurers! We're about to embark on a culinary quest through the vibrant food scene of Portland, Oregon, where the melting pot of cultures has cooked up a storm of mouthwatering delights. Forget your passport because we're about to travel the world, one delicious dish at a time, right here in the City of Roses!

Portland isn't just about hipster food trucks and food carts, baby (although they have those, too); it's a treasure trove of old and new restaurants that will transport your taste buds to far-flung corners of the globe. From sizzling Chinese and Japanese street food to cozy family-owned Italian gems, this city has it all. So buckle up, loosen your belt a notch, and get ready for a culinary adventure that will make your palate dance!

We're about to dive into a world where tacos reign supreme, pho bowls warm the soul, and chickpea curries pack a punch. From the streets of Bangkok to the flavors of Oaxaca, these ethnic restaurants in Portland will take your taste buds on the journey of a lifetime.

So grab your foodie passport, pack your appetite, and join us as we uncover the best ethnic eateries in Portland. Get ready to feast your way around the globe because this is where flavor meets fabulous!

Le Pigeon

Prepare to be whisked away on a culinary escapade at Le Pigeon, a gem of a restaurant nestled in Portland that will make you say, “Ooh-la-la!” With its playful and hip approach to French-inspired cuisine, Le Pigeon has become a must-visit destination for food enthusiasts seeking a combination of elegance and whimsy.

Led by the talented chef Gabriel Rucker, Le Pigeon offers a menu that pushes the boundaries of traditional French cooking. Prepare to be dazzled by their ever-changing tasting menus that showcase a fusion of flavors, unexpected ingredient combinations, and meticulous attention to detail. It’s a party that keeps getting better with every visit!

The intimate and inviting atmosphere sets the stage for an extraordinary dining experience. Each plate that arrives at your table is a work of art, beautifully presented and bursting with flavors that will take your taste buds on a wild journey. From foie gras to perfectly cooked game meats, the menu at Le Pigeon is a trendy French party — and you’re on the guest list.

Nong's Khao Man Gai

The first standout stop on our global Portland restaurant adventure is a tiny Thai gem causing a stir in Portland – Nong's Khao Man Gai. Don't let its humble appearance fool you because when it comes to authentic Thai comfort food, Nong's is the real deal.

Led by the legendary Nong Poonsukwattana, this dine-in and takeout spot is known for one thing and one thing only – their signature entree, Khao Man Gai. Picture tender poached chicken served on a bed of fragrant jasmine rice, accompanied by a savory sauce that will have you screaming, “YAS!” It's simple, it's comforting, and it's a flavor explosion in every bite.

But don't stop at the classic! Nong's also offers mouthwatering vegan and vegetarian options, so everyone can get a taste of Thai goodness. Plus, their soups and salads are the perfect accompaniment to the star of this Thai food show.

Our pick: Don't miss the iconic Khao Man Gai, but if you're feeling adventurous, try their Vegan Khao Man Gai — you won't believe it's plant-based! Nong's Khao Man Gai is a Thai street food sensation that will transport you straight to the bustling markets of Bangkok. Get ready to fall head over heels for these tantalizing flavors!

Tienda Santa Cruz

Hold onto your sombreros, darlings, because our next stop takes us to Tienda Santa Cruz, a vibrant Mexican taqueria that will have you shouting "¡Ay, caramba!" in delight. This family-owned gem nestled in Portland's bustling streets brings the flavors of Mexico to your table with a fiesta of colors, spices, and mouthwatering dishes, from tapas to tacos.

Tienda Santa Cruz is your passport to authentic Mexican cuisine. From their sizzling fajitas to their succulent carnitas, every bite is a celebration of traditional flavors and homemade goodness. Get ready to salsa your way through a menu bursting with tacos, enchiladas, and tostadas that will transport you straight to the streets of Mexico City.

And let's not forget about their thirst-quenching margaritas and refreshing horchata because a fiesta isn't complete without a little liquid indulgence, hon. So grab a seat, soak in the lively atmosphere, and prepare for a Mexican feast that will have you saying "¡Olé!" to your besties.

Our pick: Sink your teeth into the Carnitas Tacos, bursting with tender, juicy pork, and top it off with a refreshing Horchata to cool things down. Tienda Santa Cruz is where fiesta meets flavor, so put on your sombrero and get ready for a taste of Mexico right here in Portland!


Alright, foodie darlings, about to embark on a culinary journey to the vibrant streets of Thailand and beyond, courtesy of Eem. This funky fusion bistro in Portland is where East meets West in a flavor explosion that will leave you craving more.

Eem is the brainchild of a trio of culinary wizards who have taken the traditional flavors of Thai cuisine and given them a modern, innovative twist. With influences from Texas BBQ and the American South, this is Thai barbecue with a sassy, smoky twist that will have your taste buds doing the happy dance.

Get ready to feast on tantalizing dishes like their famous smoked brisket curry, bursting with bold spices and tender meat. Or dive into their flavorful Thai-inspired tacos that bring together the best of both worlds. The combination of smoky, savory, and spicy will have your taste buds singing in harmony and turn any hour into happy hour!

And don't forget to wash it all down with one of their creative craft cocktails. From Thai-inspired margaritas to refreshing lemongrass-infused concoctions, the libations at Eem are as vibrant as the flavors on your plate, and we’re loving it, baby.

Our pick: Indulge in the Smoked Brisket Curry, a fusion masterpiece that will leave you in awe. And make sure to pair it with one of their signature cocktails, like the Thai Basil Margarita, for the perfect harmony of flavors. Eem is where East meets West in a culinary explosion that will take your taste buds on a wild ride. Get ready to savor the bold and the beautiful!

Hat Yai

Get ready to spice up your life, flavor adventurers, because we're diving into the vibrant world of Thai cuisine at Hat Yai. This lively eatery in Portland brings the bold and fiery flavors of Southern Thailand to your plate with a twist.

At Hat Yai, it's all about the authentic Thai street food experience. From the moment you step inside, the aroma of sizzling spices and fragrant herbs will transport you to the bustling markets of Hat Yai, Thailand. The menu is a tantalizing journey of vibrant curries, aromatic noodles, and succulent grilled meats.

Indulge in their signature Hat Yai Fried Chicken, a crispy and juicy masterpiece that will have you licking your fingers in delight. Or dive into their flavorful curries, where the rich, complex spices will have your taste buds dancing with joy. And don't forget to cool down with a refreshing Thai iced tea or a zesty lemongrass-infused beverage.

Our pick: Don't miss the Hat Yai Fried Chicken, perfectly crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, served with a side of tangy dipping sauce. And for curry lovers, the Massaman Curry with its aromatic blend of spices is a must-try. Hat Yai brings the vibrant flavors of Southern Thailand right to your plate, so get ready to ignite your taste buds with a Thai explosion!

Luc Lac Vietnamese Kitchen

We're about to take a flavorful detour to Vietnam at Luc Lac Vietnamese Kitchen, a vibrant hotspot in the heart of Portland. This trendy and bustling restaurant brings the authentic Asian flavors of Vietnam to the Pacific Northwest with a modern twist that will leave you craving more.

Luc Lac is where tradition meets innovation, darling, and they’re offering a menu that showcases the vibrant and fragrant dishes of Vietnamese cuisine in the heart of PDX. From the iconic house-made pho, a flavorful noodle soup that warms the soul, to the aromatic banh mi sandwiches bursting with fresh herbs and savory fillings, each bite is a culinary journey you’ll want to bring your besties on.

Prepare to be dazzled by their innovative takes on traditional favorites, like their refreshing green papaya salad or their succulent shaking beef. The combination of vibrant flavors, fresh ingredients, and expert craftsmanship will transport your taste buds straight to Vietnam.

Pair your meal with one of their signature cocktails or a traditional Vietnamese iced coffee, and let the fusion of flavors take you on a whirlwind adventure.

Our pick: Indulge in the Pho Tai, a classic beef noodle soup that will warm your heart and tantalize your taste buds. And don't miss out on the Banh Xeo, a savory Vietnamese pancake filled with shrimp, pork, and bean sprouts. Luc Lac Vietnamese Kitchen is where tradition meets trendiness, offering a taste of Vietnam right in the heart of Portland. So grab your chopsticks, get ready to slurp, and embark on a Vietnamese flavor adventure like no other!

Wrapping Up

From trendy hangouts to hidden gems, each of these restaurants is a gateway to a different world where culture, community, and culinary expertise collide. So go forth, explore, and let your taste buds be transported to far-off lands without leaving the city limits.

Portland's ethnic food scene is a vibrant tapestry that reflects the diversity and creativity of the city itself. Embrace the flavors, soak in the atmosphere, and relish in the joy of discovering new tastes and experiences.

So, foodies, it's time to hit the town and embark on your own gastronomic adventure. Portland is calling, and it's ready to delight your senses and satisfy your cravings. Bon appétit, buen provecho, iyi iştahlar, and happy exploring!

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