With a name that spells fun, Cha! Cha! Cha! takes you on a journey through Northern and Southern Mexico's flavorful culinary landscapes for a delightful experience. Choose from the extensive menu of specialties ranging from the classics like enchiladas and quesadillas to the more elaborate meat and seafood preparations. Tacos and burritos are the perennial favorites with a surprisingly large amount of choices on the menu. Try the Burrito Mojado or the Pacifico Ceviche, both of which are menu favorites. Vegetarians have a suitable amount of choices. The wine list is diverse and has choices ranging from local Oregon wines to California as well as South American countries. The large selection of tequilas are a specialty not to be missed. Apart from this, there's also a selection of cocktails. The restaurant interiors are done up in a vivid palette and the atmosphere is suitably casual. The relaxed outdoor patio is a good bet for people watching.
250 North Tomahawk Island Drive Slip 22 on the water Portland, OR 97217
Portland's very own tropical paradise, Island Cafe, offers all the holiday prerequisites. From an unbeatable location on the Columbian shores to hearty meals to colorfully concocted cocktails with umbrellas, its easy to figure out why the place is so popular. While it is a good drive up from downtown Portland, this restaurant on Hayden Island, is a great place to escape from the city and enjoy a picnicking day out with family and friends. Specials on the menu include the Californian burger, cups of clam chowder and the lobster roll. So for a pleasant day out on the waterfront, head on down to the Island Cafe.
For your favorite curries to go, head to one of Portland's favorite food trucks, Fiji Indian Curry. The name itself dictates whats on their menu with specials combining Indian food with Fijian influences. For those looking for a budgeted lunch, they offer curried Fried Rice with protein options and samosas as appetizers. Their curry options come with basmati rice and chutney and include Dal Bhat, Spinach Rourou and Pumpkin Curry. Vegan and vegetarian items help expand their clientele and even kids have choices of their own. So for a flavorful yet moderately priced meal, drop by the Fiji Indian Curry food cart.
Dar Salam is one of the few eateries in the city to treat you to the delights of Iraqi cuisine, a much ignored aspect from the extensive Middle-Eastern palate. The restaurant is housed in a pretty little wooden building which seems fairly normal until you get to know that it is actually a cart (a rather large one at that) with the atmosphere of a restaurant and seating inside. The interiors with wooden roofs, bright walls and contrasting dark hues on the floor and seating add a comfortable vibe to the place. The hanging lanterns add a nice touch. The menu offers a great selection of typically Iraqi entrees and sides, and has the potential to invoke nostalgia among Iraqi immigrants. Middle-Eastern mainstays like hummus, shawarma and kabob also have a prominent presence on the menu. Stop by for delightfully different Middle-Eastern fare.
When it comes to Thai food, there may be many options in Portland but none as unique as Nong's Khao Man Gai. A one dish wonder, the cart offers the Hainanese staple of Khao Man Gai, which is essentially poached chicken served with flavored rice punctuated with the pungeon sauce and a few fresh veggies that achieve the infamous Thai balance. Nong keeps it simple wrapping up the meal in Butcher paper and the side of soup in a paper cup. To keep it from getting too mundane, choices include different cuts of protein, varying degrees of spicy sauce and Khao Man Gai Piset that simply up sizes the staple and adds bits of chicken liver. Wholesome, flavorful and at a great price making this food cart, a must stop by while in the city.
Adding an interesting twist to the already flourishing and star-studded pizza scene in the city, Dove Vivi offers a superb selection of pizzas, but with an innovative cornmeal crust. The idea was picked up by the owners when working in the kitchens of a Los Angeles restaurant, and the instant appeal led them to incorporating it in their own venture years later. The hand made pizza crust is the pride of the restaurant and uses some of the freshest organic ingredients. Almost all of the ingredients used in the kitchen from veggies to the meat, are sourced from local farms with ethical practices. Further, their toppings are also made fresh in-house resulting in superior tasting pizzas. Accompanying the excellent pizza selection is a choice of wines, beers and sodas. Zuccotto cake and cookies make up the dessert selection. The intimate pizzeria has a wait on most days, and with reservations not taken, heading out as early as possible is recommended.
Taking the concept of vegan food and dining to the next level, the award-winning Blossoming Lotus has made such an impact on Portland's dining scene, that making the lifestyle shift for Portlanders has become a much easier and even an enticing affair. The nationally acclaimed restaurant firmly believes in the virtues of healthy cooking and offers an all-organic menu of world fusion specialties. The menu spans global specialties and has influences from every region from Europe to Asia. There's also a selection of raw food preparations. Dietary requirements are exceptionally well catered to. The restaurant offers a well-stocked bar with organic beers, wines as well as a selection of cocktails. Food has received critical acclaim and has changed many perceptions about good tasting vegan food. The restaurant has also released a series of books on vegan cooking and lifestyle that have become an instant hit. Food is available to go and the catering service is perennially popular. Check website for more.
Bringing the tradition of Indian street food to Portland, Bombay Chaat House stands tall amidst the city's excellent food cart scene. Chaat can be described as an assortment of snacks and small plates bursting with spices and flavor, that are usually sold on food carts in India. The chaat selection at Bombay Chaat House is praiseworthy and has excellent variety. From the light and airy bhel puri and the flavorful sev puri to the slightly more filling samosa chaat and alu tikki chana, there's something for everybody. Eating the spicy water-filled paani puri is an experience in itself and worth a try. The menu doesn't end at just chaat though. Bombay Chaat House serves up an excellent selection of vegetable mains served along with aromatic basmati rice. You can also choose to eat them with the assortment of naans and other breads on offer. People who love rice preparations can choose from the Rice Phalow and Vegetable Biryani. Standing at the corner of Southwest 12th and Yamhill, Bombay Chaat House is a firm fixture for Portland's street food lovers.
11137 Southwest Capitol Highway Portland, OR 97219
Adding superb diversity to the already flourishing vegetarian restaurant scene in Portland, Green Wok serves up mouthwatering vegetarian Chinese meals with such flair, that it even has the meat-eaters rooting for it. The menu sports an excellent variety with primarily Chinese specialties with other Asian favorites like sushi thrown in for good measure. Don't be aghast if you come across beef, chicken and seafood dishes on the menu. The preparations are made using some excellent vegetarian substitutes, and to an extent, are successful in tricking your taste buds. These are a specialty at Green Wok and should not be missed. The vegetarian 'seafood' entrees and sushi are particularly popular. The lunch buffet offers good value. Groups are accommodated with reservations and take away service is available. Check website for more.
Southeast 102nd Avenue Corner of Stark Avenue Portland, OR 97216
Mexican food stands are in abundance in Portland with every major street food hot spot having at least one respectable option. But the city has some clear favorites when it comes to repeat value. The brightly colored food truck that sits on Southeast 102nd is decorated in a beach theme and is hard to miss. Choose from a varied choice of Mexican favorites, from the perpetually ordered tacos to the carnitas. Tortillas are made fresh when you order, and it's this commitment that has made them so popular. Burritos are another specialty which regular just can't seem to have enough of. Try the chicken burrito. The cart offers little covered seating area right out in the front or you can simply grab your food on the go.
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