10 Best Restaurants to Enjoy During Portland's Spectacular Fall

By Meagan Wristen, Portland Local Expert

In Portland the leaves are changing colors and the temperatures are dropping as fall season descends all around.

 It may be chilly and rainy outside, but it's warm and inviting in many of Portland's best restaurants. Warm yourself up with a comforting meal at one of the most delicious restaurants in Portland.

Many of Portland's top chefs are taking the bountiful fall harvest and creating heartwarming dishes that are sure to delight you featuring seasonal squash, apples, kale, currants, persimmons, hazelnuts, and more. At 10Best we have scoured the city and found some of the most inviting restaurants to enjoy this fall.

In North Portland both Quaintrelle and Radar are spinning the best of the fall harvest into beautiful dishes.

In downtown Portland Q Restaurant is warming up bellies with gourmet grill cheese sandwiches and exception tomato soup. Also downtown are Imperial and Red Star Tavern both always excellent choices on a cool day. 

Wherever you choose to dine, we recommend sticking with restaurants like these that change their menu in the fall to reflect the season's best offerings. 

10. Beast
Photo courtesy of Beast

Beast is the adventurous carnivore's delight. One six-course dinner is offered each week, Wednesday through Sunday. Price is per person and the small dining room offers two seatings per night, at 6 and 8:45. The menu each week is the invention of the two women who own Beast, and they are inspired by what they find in the market. As the name suggests, the dinners are heavy on meats of all kinds. Vegetarians should not despair as Beast is now periodically offering a vegetarian meal series on some Tuesdays. Though one of Portland's more expensive restaurants, Beast offers a completely unique dining experience with dishes that cannot be found anywhere else. Hand-selected wine parings for each course are available. Sunday brunch offers a different menu with the same creative flare.

9. Red Star Tavern
Photo courtesy of Red Star Tavern & Roast House

Amber tones and polished woodwork characterize this restaurant, which also features expressive murals and a warm ambience. Located at the corner of SW Fifth Avenue, the upscale tavern is known for its skill with meats. Thanks to a grill, rotisserie, and wood-burning oven, many of the entrees boast a rustic, smoky flavor that seems appropriate to the area. Local ingredients boost the quality of the cuisine, which includes everything from cedar-planked salmon to prime rib, roast game, spit-roasted pork loin, and wood-fired goat cheese ravioli. The restaurant also sports a terrific lounge, where you can find specialty bourbons, local microbrews, and a great list of regional wines.

8. Ox
Photo courtesy of Meagan Shamy

Ox is delightful Argentine restaurant in North East Portland with a focus on grilled meats locally sourced, cooked over an open fire like Grilled Short Ribs, House Chorizo & Morcilla Sausages, Skirt Steak, and Sweetbreads. All meat orders come with complimentary bread with chimichurri dipping sauce. They also have seasonal fish available. The menu provides many options for vegetarians including salads, fried potatoes, cauliflower soup, and more. The desserts are just as good as their meats. From the warm hazelnut brown butter torte to the Lemon Brioche bread pudding to their assorted cheese boards it's all wonderful.

7. Laurelhurst Market
Photo courtesy of H.L.I.T.

Discover bliss in a butcher shop at Laurelhurst Market in east Portland. During the day, the market sells quality cuts of meat as well as sensational steak sandwiches. By night, Laurelhurst transforms into a bustling steakhouse where diners sip handcrafted cocktails before diving into phenomenal entrees like the steak and spring greens with smoky ancho romesco or tender grilled ribeye with blue cheese butter. Scrumptious sides include creamy macaroni and cheese, smoked oyster mushrooms, and pommes frites with Dijon creme fraiche. Everything Laurelhurst Market serves is delicious, even their radicchio salad will blow you away, because they take food to another level.

6. Ava Gene's
Photo courtesy of Meagan Wristen

Ava Gene's features a Roman inspired menu is simple and rustic with an emphasis on the best local produce and meats grown and raised by Pacific Northwest farmers and ranchers. That is why they feature a seasonal always changing menu. They take a great deal of pride in everything they prepare. Each item is hand made one at a time. From their custom breads to their delectable pastas everything they create is beautiful and delicious. For an entertaining evening sit at the chef's table where you can watch them create each dish. They also have a regional Italian wine list that complements the cuisine as well as craft cocktails.

5. Rue
Photo courtesy of Meagan Wristen

Rue a small cocktail bar and French bistro is known for their delicious cocktails and their seasonally fresh, flavorful food. Their grilled octopus with new potatoes and romesco verde is superb, the foie gras torchon with grapes, hazelnuts, and brown butter perfection and local oysters always enjoyable. For those that enjoy sampling a variety of items they offer a French inspired Chef's menu for $60 per person. Rue has a fantastic happy hour on Tuesday – Thursday from 5 – 6 p.m. and again from 9 – 11 p.m. and Friday - Saturday 4 – 6 p.m. and again from 9 p.m. until midnight.

4. Imperial
Photo courtesy of Meagan Shamy

Imperial is owned by one of the most acclaimed chefs in Portland, Vitaly Paley. This cozy restaurant is located in the historic Hotel Lucia. They are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. During dinner time you can enjoy meats cooked to perfection over a wood fire grill, including seafood caught here in the Pacific Northwest. From pig's tail to octopus they have a little bit of everything on their ever changing menu. Happy Hour is everyday 2pm to 6pm in the bar only and again late at night Sunday - Thursday 10pm to 11pm and Friday & Saturday 11pm to 12am.

3. Q Restaurant
Photo courtesy of Mommy Travels

On a fall day there is almost nothing better than a gourmet grilled cheese and bowl of tomato soup at Q Restaurant. Q Restaurant prides itself on sourcing food locally and providing the freshest meal possible. On the weekends they open early for brunch. Here you will find savory selections like their chilaquiles made with tortillas covered in chorizo, red chile sauce, eggs, queso, guacamole, and creme fraiche. And sweeter options like the Pugliese French Toast topped with fresh bananas, whipped mascarpone, and candied walnuts. If you are unsure what to get ask your server for advice they have worked with the chef a long time and have specific knowledge on each and every dish. No matter what you get if they are serving coffee cake order some to split because it is divine.

2. Radar
Photo courtesy of Meagan Wristen

Radar is a one of a kind neighborhood candle lit restaurant run by a husband and wife team. They've created a warm and inviting place to dine, especially enjoyable on a crisp fall day. The menu is ideal for sharing with a variety small plate and larger plate options. Small plates offer selections like deviled eggs, three ways. Large plates like the chicken fried McFarland Springs trout with celeriac remoulade, lettuce, radish, shallots, tarragon aioli, and trout chicharrones are a heaping portion. Pair your dinner with a cocktail like the Night Owl made with bourbon, Coconib Ramazzootti, and toasted pecan bitters. Savor it, as it gets better with each sip. An indulgent brunch is available on weekends only.

1. Quaintrelle
Photo courtesy of Meagan Wristen

Quaintrelle is a cozy restaurant with exquisite food perfect for a fall day. The menu changes seasonally and the ingredients are locally sourced as much as possible. Chef Bill is an absolutely wiz with salads and vegetables. He takes all the best offerings of the fall season and turns them into exquisite plates like the apples, celery, pine nuts, currants, shiso, and breadcrumbs. Even the appetizers highlight falls harvest with choices like sweet potato and broccoli tempura, chili honey, smoked pecorino. The cocktails like the "Path to Fortitude" featuring Dystopia Vodka are inventive and fresh, created by Camille Cavan. Happy hour is available every day 5-6:30 PM in the bar.