Portland, Oregon gained national recognition in the last decade as a hipster mecca and foodie haven. Having grown up in Portland, I can’t argue with that. The city has certainly changed; however, one could argue it hasn’t changed fast enough.
Not many people know that Oregon is dubbed one of the whitest states in America, with a roughly 75% white population. As of 2017, the Black population accounts for only 3% of the city’s population. Fast forward to 2020, and Portland has been at the center of news cycles during the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement. While Portland’s historic relationship to Black people is not a pleasant one–requiring significant reparations–the city’s Black community is still standing strong. Today we’re highlighting that strength with a list of twelve incredible Black-owned eateries in Portland.

It’s never been more important to support Black-owned businesses. This list includes some of the most creative and iconic eateries in town. Below are some of the most definitive, Black-owned eateries in Portland, Oregon.

Eat

1. Plant Based Papi

 

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Location: Various Locations

COVID-19 Update: Operating as usual.

An Instagram famous vegan chef turned beloved food pop-up, in Portland. This is a success story that could only exist in the new digital age. Plant-Based Papi recently celebrated his one year anniversary. Currently, he partners with local restaurants, carts, and venues to bring his own vegan creations to his adoring followers. He does inventive and impressive vegan comfort food, all made from scratch. I mean, how many places have you seen calamari or sea scallops made vegan?

To stay up to date on just where Plant-Based Papi will pop up next, you’ll need to follow him on his Instagram. Your mouth will water by looking at his photos alone.

2. Dirty Lettuce

 

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Location: 5240 NE 42nd Ave

COVID-19 Update: Takeout and delivery available. Check Instagram for updated hours.

We might as well continue with the best vegan eateries, since this is a staple in the Portland food scene. Fusing Cajun, Creole & Southern flavors, Dirty Lettuce is all things delicious.

The staff at Dirty Lettuce is almost as loved as their food; created and run by a Mississippi born and bred chef. What makes his cooking extra special is that he makes all the “meats” from scratch — something few vegan spots can honestly say. That’s right — everything. From seitan ribs, to “shrimp” and grits, to fried “catfish.” If you’re not already drooling, you will be when you get there.

3. Fuel Cafe

 

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Location: 1452 Northeast Alberta Street

COVID-19 Update: Takeout, delivery and dine-in allowed, with limited seating.

If you’re looking for a solid central brunch spot with a healthier twist, then welcome to Fuel Cafe. Fuel, located on trendy Alberta St., offers something for everyone. With gluten free, vegan and veg options for most things on the menu, this is a crowd pleaser.

Everything they make is organic, and from scratch. Fuel has your brunch classics paired with more unique options. Think bacon waffle benedicts, cheesy grits, piña colada mimosas and ice cream sundaes all on the same menu. Once you try it, you’ll make Fuel your brunch staple.

4. Po’Shines Cafe De La Soul

 

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Location: 8139 N Denver Ave

COVID-19 Update: Takeout and contactless delivery available.

Po’Shines is what you would call an institution in Portland. This iconic spot has brought true Southern cooking to the Northwest and few can get enough of it. Self described as a “contemporary soul food restaurant with cajun flair,” Po’Shines is more than a restaurant. With private dining, catering, concession services and even a non-profit, they are truly change-makers.

Founded by activist and author Pastor E.D. Mondaine, Po’Shines has done more for the community than serve meals. That doesn’t mean their food doesn’t also change lives. Catfish omelets, cornmeal waffles, and true shrimp Po’boys, are just a few of the worthwhile offerings you’ll find.

5. Atlas Pizza

 

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Location: 3 locations: SE Division, NE Killingsworth, and SE Foster

COVID-19 Update: Takeout and Pick-up only. Please call ahead.

With three locations throughout Portland, this pizza joint has been a local favorite since it opened in 2013. Their pizza is classic and plentiful, with a truly extensive menu. Not to mention, gluten free and vegan pies are available in true Portland style.
With their popular Mario Kart Mondays, craft nights, and various events, Atlas fosters a lively community. That’s not all, though. They continuously give back, by donating their food waste nightly and giving regular donations to local schools. They make it pretty easy to feel good about eating pizza, and who doesn’t want that?

6. Sugar Street Bakery

Location: 1430 SE Water Ave, 1405 NE Alberta St

COVID-19 Operating Update: The owners now give free lunches to those in need. They are open for takeout, dine-in and contact-free delivery.

This bakery is a sweet spot in the continuously changing Southeast Industrial district, and Alberta St. You can get custom cakes, full catering services, or just enjoy their daily bakery.

There is always a crowd at lunch time, which is when they serve their savory bistro menu. Hearty sandwiches, paninis, and fresh salads–all served with homemade bread– are real winners here.

Their website proudly states,“Female and Minority Owned,” which they can now say after the bakery changed hands in 2019. The new owners gave Sugar Street major updates, with a new focus on giving back to the community.

7. Akadi PDX

 

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Location: 3601 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd

COVID-19 Update: Open for takeout and delivery.

Akadi, meaning “tasty” in Bambara, was created by Fatou Ouattara. She grew up in Côte D’Ivoire, learning traditional African cooking from her grandmother. When Fatou opened Akadi in 2017, she wanted to “mimic the ambiance and community” she had growing up on the Ivory Coast. She has definitely succeeded.

This popular Northeast restaurant is one of the few places in Portland one can find West African cuisine, and Akadi is a true celebration of it. The love and care put into these meals is pretty hard to beat. Not to mention the extensive menu.

Drink

8. Abbey Creek Winery


Location: 31441 NW Commercial St, 912 SW Morrison St

COVID-19 Update: Reservations required. Pickup available. They ship to 35 states.

Abbey Creek Winery started as a vineyard just outside of Portland, and has grown to a second location in downtown Portland. If you’re wanting a truly unique wine tasting experience, then this is the spot.

The owner, Bertony Faustin, has nabbed a lot of firsts. He is the first Black winemaker in Oregon, and the only hip-hop winery in the northwest. What is a hip-hop winery you ask? Think curated beats with a curated tasting menu.

Bertony is an inspiration, as well as a talented winemaker. He’s an advocate for stepping into your power, and owning your differences. Not every winemaker self produces their own award-winning documentary like Bertony. This is a place, and a person, you do not want to miss out on.

9. Rose + Lincoln Juicery

 

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Location: 3340 SE Hawthorne Blvd.

Covid-19 Operating Update: Takeout available. One party inside at a time.

I’ve never heard people rave so much about juice and about the sensational owner. Don’t believe me? Check the reviews. It’s almost hard to believe how much people love her–until you go. Then you understand the obsession.

A bright, inviting space on the bustling Hawthorne St, Rose+Lincoln is a must try. With names like, ‘Do Your Thing,’ and ‘Call It Magic,’ the extensive juice menu is almost impossible to choose from. It’s not just juice though. They provide cold brews, matchas, and a local pantry filled with artful nut butters and offerings from a local Japanese bakery. Every item is thoughtfully placed and curated.

10. Olive or Twist

 

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Location: 925 NW 11th Ave

COVID-19 Update: Operating as usual.

One of Portland’s longest standing martini bars, this sleek and upscale bar has been a part of the Pearl neighborhood for over 10 years. Known for inventive cocktails and martinis, with a luxe yet still approachable ambiance. It’s the classic spot for pre or post dinner drinks.

During the summer, the large outdoor patio is a huge bonus, something not many Portland restaurants can offer in the area. Olive or Twist serves a full menu as well, with baked brie, ceviche, and fondue. If you’re thirsty at any point, then this is your go-to.

11. Assembly Brewing

 

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Location: 6112 SE Foster Rd

COVID-19 Update: Contact-free takeout only.

The Southeast Foster area has changed dramatically in recent years. This Detroit-style pizzeria and brewery is one of the best and newest additions. Co-owner George Johnson began his pizza making and brewing career at home, before studying professionally.

In 2019, he was able to open this popular locale in his own neighborhood. With accessible price points for good quality brews, booze, and pub grub, Assembly quickly became not just a neighborhood favorite, but a city-wide one as well.

12. KISS Coffee

 

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Location: 3016 Northeast Ainsworth Street, Portland, OR

Covid-19 Operating Update: Takeout available.

KISS Coffee is a simple yet innovative twist on the daily morning coffee stop. KISS, according to the owners, stands for “keep it sweet and simple.” Which they definitely do at this quaint little cafe.

The drink menu centers around types of espresso, with beans they source from local roastery Seven Virtues. The food menu is small but satisfying, with bagel sandwiches, pastries, and a lunch option.

New to the Northeast neighborhood, this gem opened in June of 2019. With affordable prices for exceptional coffee and welcoming service, they’ve become a neighborhood staple.

 

For a full list of Black-owned eateries and other Black-owned businesses in Portland, check out this directory.

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Alicia Briggs
A full time traveler, Alicia has been traveling since 2018, writing as much as possible along the way. A self described extroverted introvert trying to balance her love of a great happy hour with her love of an isolated mountain top. You can find her on Instagram and on her travel blog.