Ever wondered what America's finest food city is all about? This past spring break, I joined my friends on a trip to Portland to find out. Less than five days and 10 meals later, I fell head over heels in love with the city, and you can probably guess why (hint: it was the food). Read on to see how I ate my way through Portland...and how you should too.  

Warning: you're about to hop on the tourist train. All aboard!

Day 1

Breakfast: Pip's Original Donuts 

Our food journey began the moment we landed in Portland. We were greeted by a friend with hugs...and a fresh batch of mini donuts from Pip's Original Donuts. I can't quite think of a better way to kickstart a trip. 

Lunch: Portland Fish Market  

fish, potato, chicken, fish and chips, chips, french fries
Liyi Straly

After a morning of doing nothing except sitting on a plane, we were exhausted. Our stomachs yearned for something, anything, more filling than mid-flight pretzels. Luckily, Portland Fish Market was nearby and had just the right fix. Their fresh halibut, served on a bed of crispy chips, contained enough calories to carry us through the rest of the day. 

Day 2

Breakfast: Stumptown Coffee & Voodoo Doughnut

mocha, espresso, cappuccino, milk, coffee
Liyi Straly

Our first full day in Portland was spent downtown, so it was only fitting that we had what it was most famous for: coffee and donuts.

Stumptown Coffee was our first stop. To test the waters, I opted for a regular latte and was not disappointed. But I was far more intrigued by the foam design than anything else.

chocolate, coffee, wine
Liyi Straly

Voodoo Doughnut was conveniently located just a block away, making it an imperative post-coffee stop. I've never waited in such a long line for donuts, but then again, I've never had a Mango Tango or Voodoo Doll donut before. 

Lunch: Food Trucks  

meat, vegetable, chicken
Erin Sungelo

In true Portland style, we perused the endless blocks of food trucks in search of our next meal. After nearly an hour of pacing back and forth, deciding what to eat, and changing our minds for the fifth time (it's hard when you have so many options), we shared an assortment of American, Thai and Egyptian halal dishes. 

Dessert: Ruby Jewel

espresso, ice, ice cream, cream, coffee, chocolate
Liyi Straly

A day in Portland wouldn't be complete without ice cream. We made our first such run at Ruby Jewel and opted for the 6-piece flight. My favorite flavors included Honey Lavender and Brown Butter Bourbon Pecan, both lightyears away from the Safeway selection I'm used to.

Dinner: Lardo's 

tea, coffee
Liyi Straly

Dinner at Lardo's, a well-renowned sandwich shop, could not be forgotten. Regretfully, I ate my pho-rench sandwich (think: bowl of pho encased in bread) way too fast to get a picture of it, but here's me with a relevant sign from the restaurant. This may or may not be my life motto.

Day 3

Breakfast: Henry Higgins Broiled Bagels 

cream cheese, doughnut, cheese, bread, bagel
Liyi Straly

To prepare for a long day of hiking, we ate what any other mindful group of hikers would: bagels. Give it up to Henry Higgins Broiled Bagels for supporting us on this day. In anticipation, I quickly devoured every last bit of my cream cheese-filled concoction.

Lunch: Kenny's Noodle House 

A hefty hike called for a hearty reward, and that's exactly what we got at Kenny's Noodle House. The richly-strung noodles and tender beef flanks made every last mile worth it.

Dinner: Clyde's Prime Rib Restaurant and Bar 

pork, pepper, sirloin, asparagus, fillet, beef, barbecue, meat, steak
Joyce Zhan

We decided to switch things up and take the fancy route for dinner. Clyde's Prime Rib Restaurant and Bar provided the perfect venue for a group candlelit dinner and had even better steak at that. Some of us got 32 oz. steaks because why not.

Dessert: Salt & Straw

candy, ice cream, sweet, wafer, chocolate, cream, waffle, ice
Liyi Straly

We ended the day in an even classier manner by having--you guessed it--ice cream. That's round two, folks. I'd like to give a special shout-out to Salt & Straw for producing the most absurd yet exquisite flavors out there, such as Arbequina Olive Oil. It's far better than it sounds, trust me. 

Day 4

Breakfast: Blue Star 

bagel, cake, chocolate, doughnut
Liyi Straly

Okay, so we had donuts for breakfast again. Is anyone even surprised? We had to work hard to get these--nearly half of the flavors were sold out by 9 am.

#SpoonTip: Go early to get first dibs on popular flavors such as Raspberry Rosemary Buttermilk and Blueberry Bourbon. 


Helena Lin

After a long day of shopping (we took full advantage of the no sales tax deals), we wanted nothing more than to settle down and have a home-cooked meal.  Our friend graciously invited us over to his place and prepared a full-fledged course of meat and vegetable entrees. Talk about five-star dining.

Day 5

Brunch: Tasty n Adler 

Liyi Straly

We chose to conclude our trip the Portland way--with brunch. There was no better route to go than Tasty n Alder. The best thing about this place? It was family style, so we all got to try bits and pieces of nearly 10 dishes.

Dessert: Xurroland 

bread, churros, chocolate
Liyi Straly

Stopping by Xurroland before heading to the airport was the churro on top of everything. Think freshly-baked churros dipped in decadent hot chocolate...oh how I can't wait to go back. And I'm sure you're begging to join me now too. 

So there you have it: five days worth of reasons why you should go to Portland, and zero for why you shouldn't.  Be sure to check out some of my favorites when you make your trip over.