Let’s consider where to eat a great brunch in Portland, which unassisted can be an overwhelming task. As you may know, Portland, perhaps more than any city in the U.S., has claimed brunch-as-blood sport status, and in fact just choosing 25 of the best brunch spots in Portland is dangerous. There are so many great places to eat brunch in Portland that it’s hard to arrive at 15 “best” spots, and judging from the wait at nearly all of them, you’d never guess that restauranteuring is a fickle endeavor.
A Short History of Brunch
If you’ve seen the brunch village episodes in Portlandia, consider that an accurate, if somewhat ridiculous, portrayal of what it’s like to eat brunch in Portland at one of the many popular and delicious restaurants in town. But it hasn’t always been so. Historically the mid-morning meal that came to be known as brunch was borne of humble family origins and often enjoyed at the family table after worship services or, in the case of indulgence or special occasion, at a local restaurant on holidays. With shifting cultural, economic and demographics at play over the years, modern brunch is more of an Urban Millenial zeitgeist marker, a preferred means to spend disposable income, a more viable budgetary option for dining out as compared with dinner, a time for socializing and often a time to ease out of hangover and into a civilized weekend. We now have brunch metropolises and Portland is one of them.
Therefore if you are on the hunt for a delicious brunch in Portland, you’ll need this guide to our 15 top spots. We’ve compiled it to save you from overwhelm when searching and to help you navigate according to your cravings and transportation options.
Brunch in Portland Disclaimer
When deciding where to eat brunch in Portland, for this guide we’ve not included some of our favorite breakfast spots in town (sorry Proud Mary, Broder, Sweedeedee, Podnah’s, Pepper Box, and more) or restaurants that do not offer a specific “Brunch” menu but rather “All-Day Breakfast and Lunch” menus. We’ll highlight those in our upcoming post on Portland breakfasts. Now, if a restaurant is open during breakfast and lunch hours with no defined menu, we have included it as a brunch restaurant. We sampled the popular spots, including the mob-scene brunch places, the formal and casual restaurants, and everything in between. There are so darn many places to eat brunch in Portland that are very popular and serve delicious morning fare that aren’t on this guide, solely because we didn’t think the food was as good as that of the restaurant that we did include in its same category (in other words, we’ve only included one restaurant per “category”). Phew, now onward!
SEE ALSO: THE 33 BEST RESTAURANTS IN PORTLAND
15. Best Downtown Brunch: Kingsland Kitchen
We are huge fans of Kingsland Kitchen for their proper English breakfast dishes as well as solid and creative takes thereon, and its convenient downtown location (across the street from the newly remodeled Stumptown Coffee). It’s one of the most solid and accessible places to eat brunch in Portland. Kingsland has an open and spacious feeling with plenty of seats to feed your crowd or just you, if you’re in the mood for the full English of bangers, eggs, roasted tomatoes and mushrooms, baked beans and HP Sauce (veggie option too). Also available on their large menu are a Pub Biscuits and Gravy, Guinness Braised Beef Brisket Hash, a million breakfast sandwiches, fun open-faced toasts such as the Avocado, the Eggy and the Veggie Full English Breakfast Toast. Or how about a nice Tandoori Naan Sandwich with back bacon, over-medium eggs cream cheese, tomato chutney, cilantro; perhaps a Boozy Double Brunch Burger; or a Three-Cheese Grilled Cheese with onion and mushroom with tomato soup?
$$ British, Breakfast & Brunch, Bars
301 SW Pine St, Portland, OR 97204
14. Best OG Brunch: The Original Pancake House
The ORIGINAL Original Pancake House (yes, the first of now over 100 franchised locations) is actually pretty dang good. It’s the perfect place for a simple, consistent breakfast with nostalgic, comforting menu items like buttermilk pancakes, giant omelets, Dutch baby pancakes, and their signature apple pancake (not for the faint of heart). Good news: they now take credit and debit cards. Plan for a wait during the weekend.
The Original Pancake House- Portland
$$ Pancakes, Breakfast, Cafe
8601 SW 24th Ave, Portland, OR 97219
13. Best Brunch With Pie: Lauretta Jean’s
Lauretta Jean’s may be a popular spot for some of the best pie in PDX, but their succinct brunch menu is not to be overlooked. The goal here is to get your savory fix with the biscuits and gravy, quiche, or classic egg & bacon breakfast, and wash it all down with a slice of pie (or two). The pie is truly to die for. Get a slice of the dutch apple or salted honey and thank us later!
$ Bakery, Pie, Breakfast
3402 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97202
SEE ALSO: 12 BEST PLACES FOR SUMMER DINING IN PORTLAND
12. Best Brunch On The Go: Fried Egg I’m In Love
There’s the slow, lazy brunch that we’re all accustomed to (cue the biscuits and gravy, eggs benedict, and brioche french toast), and then there’s a practical, much quicker version of brunch on the other side of the spectrum. Fried Egg I’m In Love serves the best egg sandwiches you’ll ever have, and lucky you, they serve their eggtastic creations daily at both their Pioneer Courthouse Square food cart, and their relatively new brick & mortar on Hawthorne. First time at Fried Egg? Get the signature Yolko Ono: fried egg, homemade pesto, parmesan, and a hand-pressed house sausage patty.
Fried Egg I’m In Love
$ Sandwiches, Breakfast & Brunch
3549 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97214
11. Best Cold Weather Brunch: Rose VL Deli
Rose VL is a Portland treasure, a true family-run authentic Vietnamese spot slinging out soup 6 days a week. Rose is the one outlier in our guide of choices for brunch in Portland because they don’t have a “brunch” or even a “breakfast” menu, they do not serve what many of us would consider traditional morning or brunch fare, and they are closed on Sundays. Yet many OG Portlanders consider the Pho at Rose VL an essential Portland brunch experience. The soup is phenomenal and really hard to describe in words. It’s satisfying in a way that no chicken and biscuits or order of pancakes or eggs can be. Warming down to your bones. You have to go for yourself and see — the menu is different each day but stays the same – go on Saturday for the Special Vietnamese Yellow Turmeric Noodle Soup, or try the local favorite VL Special Soup that includes shrimp, fish balls, ground pork, sliced pork liver, and sliced bbq pork with rice noodles and more pork broth on the side. Bonus points for extra cleanliness and super friendly service.
Rose VL Deli
$$ Vietnamese, Noodles
6424 SE Powell Blvd, Portland, OR 97206
10. Best Understated Brunch: Navarre
Navarre may go hidden in your Portland brunch searches and that’s why we’re including it in our guide. It’s the quiet, unassuming place, an essentialist’s dream, where you go for brunch in Portland good food and not a lot of noise or commotion. The food is perfect with no frills and nothing to prove. Navarre’s ordering concept is one of our favorites – everything is treated as a “side” and you order sushi-style, by marking on a sheet of paper.
Dishes are simple and restrained. Omelet; Carrots and Dill; Bread and Butter with Homemade Jam; Liver Pate; Fish en Papillote. Always try the special fish served in parchment, and anything preserved or pickled, as well as any of seasonal vegetable dishes, and the bread with any choice of accompaniments whether meat and cheese, or butter and jam.
$$ Spanish, Basque, Italian
10 NE 28th Ave, Portland, OR 97232
9. Best Dim Sum Brunch: HK Cafe
Are you looking to eat Dim Sum for brunch in Portland? Well, Portland’s best in this category is the happy, fast-paced and boisterous rolling-cart emporium, HK Cafe. HK sits in a giant strip mall deep into southeast Portland. HK is a great option if you’ve got a large party because they’re equipped to seat and feed a lot of people quickly. Once you’re seated, that is. Getting seated is another matter, for HK rivals many of our other best Portland brunch spots in terms of waiting in lines. You will wait. But it will be worth it. Order one of everything, from the Har Gow and Shu Mai to the Duck and Chicken Feet and drink plenty of tea.
$$ Dim Sum, Cantonese, Noodles
4410 SE 82nd Ave, Portland, OR 97266
SEE ALSO: 28 BEST BURGERS IN PORTLAND
8. Best Biscuit Brunch: Pine State Biscuits
Pine State Biscuits is one of the several places tourists will always end up because it is so well known and loved, easily a best Portland brunch qualifier. With three locations (Division, Schuyler and Alberta), Pine State still sports huge lines on the weekends so arrive at opening time (bonus: 7 a.m. Monday through Sunday) and you won’t have a problem; arrive at 10 a.m. and you’ll wait a long time. But the biscuits are worth it. Pine State serves up mostly biscuit sandwiches but if you’re not in the mood for a biscuit you can also get extraordinarily good pancakes, hash browns, pie and cinnamon rolls.
Pine State Biscuits
$ Breakfast & Brunch, Southern, Sandwiches
1100 SE Division St #100, Portland, OR 97202
7. Best Pop-Up Turned Brick-and-Mortar Brunch: HunnyMilk
Hunnymilk was born as a pop-up brunch restaurant inside of La Buca, just steps north of Navarre on 28th Street which is one of Portland’s best dining streets. It quickly became a favorite spot for brunch in Portland, so much so that just this past month they opened a brick-and-mortar place on Burnside and 19th between Goose Hollow and the Alphabet District where they’re serving up a price-fixe brunch of one drink, and one savory and sweet entree for a very reasonable price. If you have to wait at Hunnymilk, often they’ll carry around a tray of goodies to nibble on while you sit or stand. We love the fixed order concept here with savory options like the Crispy Pork Ribs with cheesy garlic grits, soft egg, avocado and parsley-hazelnut pesto or Buttermilk Biscuits and chorizo gravy with a sunny fried egg, spicy maple syrup, and bacon fat wilted spinach; for sweets try either the Fortune Cookie Waffle dipped in honey butter with vanilla bean mascarpone mousse, raspberry, banana and strawberry puree or the Poppy Seed Crêpe with key lime curd, coconut-yogurt semifreddo, white chocolate magic shell, blueberries and brûléed kiwi. Menus change with the seasons and whims of the chef but you’ll always be assured a best quality Portland Brunch at Hunnymilk.
$$ Breakfast & Brunch, Coffee & Tea, Juice Bars & Smoothies
1981 W Burnside St, Portland, OR 97209
6. Best Cuban Brunch: Pambiche
Pambiche is a cheery and festive high-ceilinged Cuban restaurant on Glisan St. (near 28th) between the Kerns and Laurelhurst neighborhoods. If you’re looking for a best Portland brunch, Pambiche is where you should go for atypical morning fare like the “Typical Cuban Breakfast” of pan tostado (buttered, grilled Cuban bread) and café con leche. Cubans typically dunk the pan tostado into the café con leche, as Americans would dunk doughnuts into coffee, so that’s what you should do. Feeling hungrier? Try the Cuban French Toast made from bread drenched in custard and grilled in sweet butter served with spiced sugar cane syrup and tropical fruit salad. Or try the Rice & Eggs, the Cuban Style Eggs with ham, codfish and potato croquetas or fried plantains, the Cuban Steak and Eggs, the Cuban Hash and Eggs, or order an empanada from the pastry case. Our favorite is the Basque Omelette with parsley peppered eggs, bacon sofrito, Gulf Shrimp, green peas and yuca root. Truly a local favorite, Pambiche is one of our top recommendations for brunch in Portland.
$$ Cuban, Desserts, Latin American
2811 NE Glisan St, Portland, OR 97232
5. Most Epic Lines at a Brunch: Screen Door
Screen Door is the place your Uber driver will tell you to go for brunch in Portland. Everybody knows about it and chances are most have braved the legendary lines to eat there. Screen Door serves up refined Southern specialties such as biscuits and everything, as well as their famous Fried Chicken and Waffles. Also noteworthy at Screen Door are the Lowcountry Shrimp and Grits, Po Boys, Fried Oyster Benedict, Bananas Foster French Toast.
$$ Cajun/Creole, Breakfast & Brunch, Southern
2337 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214
4. Best Finer Dining Brunch: Coquine
Coquine is one of the five to ten places that will always pop up when you ask a Portlander where they should go for brunch. And lunch and dinner for that matter. But back to brunch. You can have a famous buckwheat biscuit with homemade butter to start. They always have a seasonal pancake. And their cookies are world famous and available for pre-order. Coquine has a changing menu, but for brunch you can expect things like their Cacao Nib Hazlenut Granola, Seasonal Veggie Hash, Breakfast Sandwich with Fried Egg on Brioche, Croque Madame, and Seasonal Sourdough Pancakes.
For snacks you can get Oysters, Griddled Cornbread, the famous Chickpea Socca (above), seasonal salads and soups, and our favorite, the Bologna and White Bread with Yellow Mustard and No Crusts!!! Do yourself a favor and peruse next-door Mt. Tabor park, one of Portland’s greatest treasures, after your meal.
$$$ American (New)
6839 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR 97215
SEE ALSO: TOP 27 PIZZA SPOTS IN PORTLAND
3. Best Italian Brunch: Ava Gene’s
Ava Gene’s simply serves some of the best brunch in Portland. First and foremost, you’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t buckle at their knees when they take a glance at this brunch menu: pasta, fritattas, and burgers just to name a few. Consistent with their dinner menu, the food is truly delectable. Must order items include the babka waffle, topped with poppy seeds and maple butter, and the “AG Burger” (one of the very best burgers in town), prepared with 30 day dry-aged beef, cheddar, secret sauce, and crunchy iceberg lettuce. Don’t miss this one.
$$$ Italian, Brunch
3377 SE Division St Portland, OR 97202
2. So Haute Right Now Brunch: Canard
Portlanders have Verdigris, included in our Top 40 Restaurant list, Bergerac, Petit Provence, and Chez Marin for french food brunch options, but we are loving the very hot Canard on Burnside, which is not only open for weekend brunch, but also during the week every day for breakfast (and many of those same brunch menu items).
Canard sits next door to its sister restaurant Le Pigeon (also on our top 40 list and our best burger list) from the same owner and chef, two-time James Beard award winner Gabriel Rucker (Best Chef Northwest 2013 and Rising Star Chef of the Year 2011) and not only hit our best 40 Portland restaurants, but is one of our best Portland brunch spots for sophisticated yet playful French morning fare. Definitely try the perfect omelet with goat cheese and fine herbs, the Oeufs en Mayonnaise with trout roe, bacon, roasted garlic, and smoky maple or, if you’re feeling wild, go for the Duck Stack with pancakes, duck gravy, tabasco onions, a duck egg and do add seared foie gras.
$$ Wine Bars, Cocktail Bars, Breakfast & Brunch
734 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214
1. Best Meat Lover’s Brunch: Olympia Provisions
And now for a little something different for brunch in Portland. Where to even begin? Olympia Provisions is where you should go for a mid-morning meal built around their glorious meats and most notably, their sausages. Try the Bratwurst Hash with delicata squash, savoy cabbage, crispy purple potato, caraway butter and poached egg; a Grilled Kaserkraner sausage with potatoes and eggs; or the Yukon Potato Pancakes with breakfast sausage, pear chutney, chive sour cream and salad. If you’re with a crowd, order a Charcuterie Board of 5, 8 or 11 meats, and throw in a 3 Cheese plate as well, with jam, pickle, fruit and toast. Start with some oysters or their Spicy Capicola Lox with pickled apple and fennel slaw with a few housemade everything bagels. Craving something more traditional? Try any of the 3 Eggs Benedict iterations with killer hollondaise and OP’s famous “laser potatoes” or the Omelette with bacon lardon, brie and non-hot habanero (“habanada”) pepper. For dessert throw in a couple of Baird Apple Cider Donuts and you’re done, and finally, shop for your weekday lunchmeats on your way out the door – they’ve got everything from mortadella to frankfurters and they’re all fantastic.
Olympia Provisions Southeast
$$ American (New), Breakfast & Brunch, Bars
107 SE Washington St, Portland, OR 97214