Eclectic Foods on Portland’s North Williams Avenue

by Carrie Uffindell | Photo © David Reamer

Situated in the vibrant Mississippi/Williams neighborhood just a few miles from downtown, North Williams Avenue in Portland, Oregon, is home to a bustling bike corridor, unique shops, eco-friendly offices and acclaimed restaurants. Fortunately, many of the avenue’s inspired eateries are located within strolling distance of one another, on the two blocks between NE Beech Street and NE Shaver Street.

One of Portland’s most popular brunch spots, Tasty n Sons serves flavorful American fare on small plates and savory boards in a festive, family-style atmosphere. Not to miss are Chef John Gorham’s fantastic biscuits or the bacon wrapped dates. (Note: The restaurant will be closed the first two weeks of November while the interior is refreshed and the dinner menu revamped.)
A few doors north, Eat: Cajun Kitchen & Oyster Bar cooks up Creole cuisine and Cajun classics in a bright, funky space inspired by neighborhood eateries in New Orleans’ French Quarter. Highlights include a Spanish-style jambalaya studded with house-made andouille sausage, a spicy-rich shrimp étouffeé and oysters (served raw or baked) from the Oregon and Washington coasts.

For a sophisticated supper head to Lincoln Restaurant where Chef Jenn Louis dishes up Northwest-centric cuisine with artisan flare. The simple yet scrumptious menu changes regularly, inviting diners to come back again and again to sample new creations. Memorable dishes include the grilled octopus appetizer and the baked eggs.

An offshoot of Kenny & Zuke’s Delicatessen in downtown Portland, Kenny & Zuke’s Deli Bar is like a cozy, neighborhood deli with cocktails. The menu is filled with chewy bagels, carving board sandwiches and veggie-filled salads. Nearly everything on the menu is house-made, from their smoked and cured pastramis to the rye bread and pickles they’re served with.

Handcrafted microbrews, upscale pub grub and a soccer match on the tellie are always in supply at Lompoc Brewing’s Fifth Quadrant. Dig into juicy burgers, sandwiches, soups and salads in a comfortable, pub-like atmosphere. Around the corner from the restaurant is the Sidebar, Lompoc’s tasting room, where you can sample their limited-release brews while noshing on small plates.
At Las Primas Peruvian Kitchen, cousins Catalina Acuña and Sadie Morrison bring Peru’s urban street food scene to Portland. Signature dishes include fresh quinoa salad, house-made empanadas and butifarra, a standard Peruvian sandwich filled with pepper-rubbed pork and salsa criolla, a garnish of lime-marinated red onion and cilantro.

North Williams Avenue is accessible by car, bus and bike. For more information on Portland and the Mississippi/Williams neighborhood or to plan your visit, see travelportland.com.