Now that it’s officially chilly out, I’ve been on the mad hunt for some foods to warm me up and leave me full and satisfied. Thankfully Portland is such a diverse place, especially as far as food is concerned, I had no problem finding five of the best spots to indulge in some ramen and pho action. You can thank me later, people.
As far as ramen goes, this food cart in SE is everything. The location is great for meeting friends and family for a meal because there is plenty of outdoor seating as well as a diverse selection of food carts to choose from. That being said, I strongly recommend Hapa. Not only is it delicious, but the prices are very reasonable and you get a pretty decent serving of whatever you order. The service is fast and friendly and in no time, you’ll be chowing down on some amazing ramen. I recommend the Tonkotsu with pork bone broth, pork, boiled egg, bamboo and negi. If you’re craving something a bit fishier, I’d go with the Shoyu: pork, boiled egg, spinach, negi and nori, all swimming in an awesome chicken and fish broth. Trust me, if you forfeit all the other selections on this list, at least do yourself the favor of stopping by Hapa.
Location: SE Division and 28th
Hours: Mon-Fri 11:30am-2:30pm and 5pm-8:30pm, Sat 12am-9pm, Sun 12am-8pm
Don’t be intimidated by the monstrous line that often spills out the doors of Luc Lac because trust me, the wait is well worth it. Truthfully, I’ve never had to wait very long for my food- the service is fast and efficient as long as you know what you want by the time you get to the counter. They have an order-before-you-sit policy that keeps things flowing quite nicely. This place is quite special because they’re open until 4am on Friday and Saturday nights, something that most every other restaurant in PDX can’t brag about. Give their beef or chicken Pho a try that comes with rice noodles, beef broth, cilantro, green onions, and a side of sprouts, basil, jalapenos and lime. If you’re craving something with a kick, I highly recommend their Tom Yum that comes with lemongrass, shrimp, avocados, bell pepper, mushrooms and tomatoes. Portions are generous, so you may want to consider splitting an order with a friend.
Location: 835 SW 2
Hours: Lunch – Mon-Fri 11:00-2:30; Dinner – Daily 4pm-12am; Late Night – Fri and Sat 12am-4amnd Ave.
Ok, Biwa isn’t the cheapest place to eat on this list, but the quality of food makes it well worth it. That being said, their happy hours are reasonably priced if you don’t mind a late lunch/ early dinner. It’s also a great spot for a date night- the restaurant is super cute and cozy inside. Just to be safe, try to make a reservation as it tends to get busy, especially on the weekends. The menu has a diverse assortment of Japanese inspired items such as fried rice balls and grilled skewers that are amazing. Their ramen and udon noodles are both delicious, but the ramen definitely takes the cake. It consists of noodles, seaweed, eggs and pork, all simmered in a slightly spicy and flavorful chili oil broth.
Location: 215 SE 9th Ave.
Hours: Daily 5pm-12am
This is a great place to go if you’re craving ramen because not only is the food pretty tasty, but there are two locations scattered around Portland, making it far more accessible to all. I especially enjoy Boxer Ramen because they have some diverse ramen options to choose from. For something a little bit different, try the Spicy Red Miso or the Vegetarian Curry. Both these ramen dishes are filled with flavor and originality.
Location: 2032 NE Alberta & 1025 SW Stark.
The online reviews for Pho Hung boast that this is best place to get pho in Oregon. It’s affordable, consistent and truly authentic, as far as Vietnamese food goes. The staff is amazingly accommodating and friendly. Their menu is a bit extensive, so try not to get overwhelmed. This of course means you’ll have plenty of choices and can change up your order to try something new every time you step foot in the place. I recommend #28: Mi Bo Kho, which is a flavorful beef and egg noodle pho, topped with green onions and cilantro. You’ll want to keep going back for more.
Location: 4717 SE Powell Blvd.