Aside from kombucha and açaí bowls, there are few things foodies in Portland, Oregon love more than brunch. It’s an occasion that encourages indulgence in every way possible; spending money on overpriced eggs, drinking every kind of mimosa under the sun, and eating two or three plates of food—all of which are completely acceptable decisions. Why? Because you just woke up, you’re wearing sunglasses indoors, and its brunch time.
In my humble opinion, Portland is one of the country’s best destinations to enjoy exceptional brunches. I have practically eaten my way through this city, and am somehow still hungry for more. There are quite a few impressive brunch spots worth visiting in Portland, but these are the 12 best.
Located in the Southwest corner of Portland—an area known as Multnomah Village—Fat City Café is a place many locals hold close to their heart. The small diner offers a certain charm that is unassuming, yet nostalgic. The interior walls of the restaurant are plastered with everything from photos to license plates, and the round rubber stools at the bar give the dining room a retro-diner feel. Their entire brunch menu is mouth-watering, although my all-time favorite item to order is the Cinnamon Roll French Toast. It’s warm, flavorful, and decadent in the best kind of way.
2. Byways Café
One of the many hidden gems in Portland’s Pearl District, Byways Café is a spot seasoned brunch-lovers flock to. It has similar décor to that of Fat City Café, although with a slightly more sophisticated diner feel. The folks at Byways are doing it right serving Portland’s favorite Stumptown coffee as well as a range of delicious scrambles. I recommend ordering a Stumptown cup of joe alongside the El Dorado Scramble. You’ll want to start your morning this way every day.
One of my go-to brunch spots, Vivace serves some of the most pristine, photogenic-looking crepes in all of Portland. The inside of the establishment is warm and inviting, with a gorgeous interior reminiscent of classic Parisian cafés. Both sweet and savory crepes at Vivace are delicate and stuffed abundantly with delicious fillings. My favorite Vivace sweet crêpe includes Nutella, banana, toasted almonds, and whipped cream. You can even top off your crêpe with a scoop of ice cream. Why not? Treat yo self.
If you’re looking for a classic French-inspired bakery to meet all of your croissant and baguette needs, look no further than St. Honoré. This local-chain has several locations in Portland, although its Southeast café is my personal favorite. It has so many delicious pastries on its shelves that you’ll want to order at least a dozen different items. When I’m in the mood for a lighter meal, I order an almond croissant and a latté. However, I recommend the Croquet Monsieur to anyone who is a lover of all things cheesy and savory.
If you’re looking for an old school brunch spot, check out Fuller’s Coffee Shop. The seating inside is entirely counter-style with bright red stools, where there’s always a full cup of coffee and a friendly neighbor waiting to chat with you. Fuller’s is one of the best places to go downtown for a classic brunch. The food they serve is straightforward but flavorful, no frills or gimmicks are among their menu items. My favorite is the veggie omelet with a side of hash browns and toast made of bread they make in-house daily. Yum.
Fat Albert’s Breakfast Café is a brunch spot that’s filled with Portland spirit and tasty food worth driving across town for. If you find yourself in Southeast Portland, you have to give this place a try. When I dined at this lovely hole-in-the-wall café, I encountered locals who swore by the brunch at Fat Albert’s and had been coming regularly for years. I recommend ordering the strawberry or marion berry French toast.
7. Bijou Café
If you’re looking for a fantastic omelet and a fresh squeezed glass of OJ, head over to the Bijou Café. It has a sophisticated ambiance, which one can enjoy along with a high-quality brunch that tastes as good as it looks. Each plate has a substantial portion of food and is delivered to the table piping hot. Any item you order on the menu at Bijou will likely indulge your appetite, although my favorite item to order is the farmer’s omelet with bacon, bravo cheddar, onions, and potatoes.
This brunch place is the definition of classy. Imperial is a staple for high-end cuisine in Portland, and is known equally for its food as it is for its lively dining environment. The brunch food and cocktail menu is seriously amazing; with items like pastrami hash and homemade pop-tarts, it’s no wonder that Imperial is a highly regarded restaurant in the Portland foodie scene. When I dined at this eatery, I brunched on the latkes with salmon paired with a no-proof ginger mule. People, this is pure brunch bliss.
Tasty n Alder holds a special place in my heart. Every time I go to brunch at this wonderful spot, I enjoy a great meal that satisfies all of my cravings. They have everything from sweet delicacies to rich, savory dishes that will make you feel like the brunch king/queen you are. The atmosphere is fast-paced and filled with people who clearly know how to brunch the right way. My go-to’s are the radicchio salad and the chocolate-potato doughnuts.
10. Tasty n Sons
Tasty n Sons—which, as you may have guessed, is the sister restaurant of Tasty n Alder in Southwest—brings flavorful brunch dishes to the community of Northeast Portland. This place shares some of dishes with Tasty n Alder (such as my favorite chocolate potato doughnut) although it also has many unique menu items of its own. The atmosphere is slightly more cozy in comparison to Tasty n Sons, and is situated in a neighborhood filled with wonderful coffee shops and locally-run boutiques. My favorite dish to order here is their mind-blowing shakshouka (baked eggs in tomato stew) and my all-time favorite kind of pancake: the Dutch baby.
11. Screen Door
Screen Door is one of Portland’s best and most authentic Southern restaurants that also just so happens to serve a killer brunch. Anyone who has patiently waited through the 20+ minute line for brunch knows that their phenomenal food is well worth the wait. The atmosphere is homey yet with a high-end edge. The main room of the restaurant is centered around an elegant bar, and seems to set the energy level for the entire meal. I ordered their famous chicken and sweet potato waffles with a sweet tea, and immediately felt as though I was transported across the country to the heart of the South. Go here if you want all your brunch standards surpassed.
12. The Hazel Room
Last but certainly not least, the Hazel Room is my absolute favorite brunch spot in Portland. Located in a popular area on Southeast Hawthorne, The Hazel Room is serving up some of the best brunch dishes in the whole city. What truly make The Hazel Room so special is that they have something for everyone. Whether you are vegan, gluten-free, vegetarian, or just downright picky, the menu at The Hazel Room has scrumptious dishes to delight just about everyone. My all-time faves here include the Bacon is My Jam biscuit sandwich and the breakfast caprese with bacon. Both of them will rock your world.
And there you have it my fellow brunch lovers and Portland foodies. My top 12 brunch spots in Portland to explore and devour. Go forth and brunch.