Where to Find Cheap, Delicious Eats in Portland, Oregon
By Meagan Shamy
Portland Local Expert
Portland, Oregon has grown into a foodie destination over the last few years with every type of food available throughout the city. Despite it's growing popularity as a food destination, Portland has maintained extremely reasonable prices. With so much available trying to narrow down restaurants with words like frugal, value, and deal can be exasperating because there are endless choices. For 10Best, the range is broad and we've included something for everyone's tastes, including a wide variety of cuisines. Our lists includes Mexican, Lebanese, Cuban, Italian, American, Southern, Australian, and Thai cuisines. Our list has you covered for any meal, breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner. We include impossibly cheap eateries with some of the most creative menus like the Beez Neez, Pacific Pie Company and Pine State Biscuits. If you're looking for Best Value restaurants in Portland, let us introduce you to a few of our favorites, starting with Nicholas Restaurant where one plate can feed at least two people if not three or four and Cha Cha Cha where everything on the menu is cheap and tasty. They're low in expenditures and high in appeal. We also included several local favorites like Chaba Thai and Lardo. All the restaurants we included are family friendly.
Nicholas Restaurant makes incredible Lebanese and Middle Eastern food and their prices are extremely affordable, especially for families. They have been serving authentic Lebanese food in Portland since 1986 after the original family members came to America from Lebanon. The portions are large and meant for sharing. The portions are so large a family of five can easily dine on a couple of entrees and an appetizer and actually be full. No matter what you order unlimited pita bread fresh from the oven is included and a garden salad is always served with an entree. Nicholas has two other locations, one on Broadway and one in Gresham. ((503) 235-5123)
An extremely popular, one of a kind sandwich shop in the Hawthorne district. Lardo's originally started out as a food cart and has grown to two permanent locations in Portland on in the Hawthorne district and one in Downtown Portland on Washington Street. The sandwiches are enormous. Most of the sandwiches offered here are Italian creations like the rapini and grilled mortadella. Their most popular sandwich is the pork belly, egg and cheese. Lardo also offer salads and fries, including their famous dirty fries made with pork and herbs. Lardo's drinks are cheap too. All beers here are just $5 a pint. (503-234-7786)
Pine State Biscuits
Meet Reggie, your new best friend: a life-changing breakfast sandwich made with perfectly fried chicken, crisp bacon, melted cheese and rich sausage gravy, held together by a perfect buttermilk biscuit. Or, take it up a notch (yes, it's possible) with the Reggie Deluxe, topped with a fried egg. In addition to soul-satisfying sandwiches crafted with fresh, local ingredients on famous homemade biscuits, this friendly eatery also offers scrumptious sides like collard greens, coleslaw, blackeye peas, and fried green tomatoes. They also serve Stumptown coffee, sweet tea, freshly squeezed orange juice and fantastic sweets like pecan pie and butternut squash bread. ((503) 477-6605)
Pambiche is a popular Cuban restaurant serving authentic Cuban cuisine. Although their food is wonderful they are best known for their desserts. Pambiche's desserts are crafted by an in-house pastry chef, are sinful but unavoidable. Their postres (desserts) selections include traditional Cuban desserts and some of their own creations. Pambiche uses quality ingredients from Bob's Red Mill, Wessels Family Raw honey, and Vencedora pure Mexican vanilla. Here you can enjoy Panetela Borracha a Cuban sponge cake, Pudin a Cuban bread pudding, or Tres Leches cake. They even have gluten free desserts. Be sure to try their special Cafe Cubano blend of coffee made by Stumptown Coffee Roasters just for Pambiche. (503-233-0511)
Cha ba Thai is a great Thai restaurant near Sandy and Fremont that serves authentic Thai dishes at reasonable lunch and dinner prices. Many Portlanders consider this to be the best Thai food in Portland. They can make any of the dishes as spicy as you like. Their curries and pad thai are a lunch favorite. They offer a wide variety of Thai food including grilled beef salad, crab fried rice, corn fritters, eggplant stir fry, Tom Yum soup, and sausage salad rolls. They also serve Thai tea and Thai coffee. They are open for lunch and dinner everyday, except on Sundays when they only serve dinner. Chaba Thai has another location on Alberta Street. ((503) 282-3970)
Cha Cha Cha
Cha Cha Cha serves fresh delicious, high quality, authentic Mexican food. They do this at low prices in a fun, casual environment at 9 different locations around the Portland metro. The most expensive item on their menu is still under eleven dollars. Their enormous burritos are only $6.50 making it one of the most affordable dining options in Portland. They offer massive burritos, enchiladas, tacos, nachos, tamales, soups, fajitas, and salads all made with organic local ingredients. Some popular dishes here are the chili verde burrito, spicy Tinga tacos, and Cha Mole enchiladas. Cha Cha Cha offers a wide selection of tequilas, margaritas and other cocktails. (503-221-2111)
Teote Areperia is a Latin American street food experience celebrating gluten-free arepas (a flatbread made of ground maize dough or cooked flour) in a beautiful restaurant with a killer patio. The patio has a fire pit, benches, a bar and a great vibe. Their menu has an exciting cross-cultural flavors, with a focus on Venezuelan cuisine. They serve an gluten free and allergen free meal in an open environment that champions a sustainable lifestyle. They also serve some truly tasty Latin cocktails. Happy Hour is from 3-6pm and 9-11pm. Great food and the cool atmosphere is quickly making this new restaurant a local favorite. ((971) 888-5281)
With specialty ales like Spring Rose Doppelbock (made with fresh rose petals) and Brickhouse Brown Ale (a seasonal English style Nut Brown Ale), this Alameda brewhouse is garnering quite a reputation for its finely crafted brews. The interior space of this pub is spare and comfortable with high ceilings and a welcoming feel. All beers are created on-site in their 5.5 BBL brewhouse, and different seasonal beers are generally on tap, pointing up the ever changing nature of the Pacific Northwest. The food menu offers traditional Northwest eats. Including amazing sandwiches and seafood, like salmon tacos. They also have vegetarian options. All menu items are made in-house. (503-460-9025)
Pacific Pie Company
Pacific Pie Company specializes in handmade sweet and savory pies. One of the owners is from Australia and it shows throughout the menu. For just $7 you cay enjoy one of their meat pies with small side salad. Meat pies include steak and cheese, traditional chicken pot pie, and many other. They even have a green curry chicken pot pie. They also serve an extensive list of dessert pies including an delicious hazelnut chocolate Bourbon pie. They offer happy hour Monday through Fridays from 3 to 6 PM during which you can eat for even less, while enjoying a $3 draft beer. ((503) 381-6157)
Beez Neez Gourmet Sausages is the top hotdog food cart in Portland, Oregon. Here you will find choices like Alaskan reindeer sausages, German bratwurst, Polish dogs, and even vegan hotdogs. All for $6 or less and served in a perfectly toasted bun with grilled jalapeños and caramelized onions. They offer an array of toppings including chipotle ketchup, apple sauerkraut, assorted mustards and hotsauces. Their desserts are also pretty amazing like the smores brownies. Portlanders will especially enjoy their drip coffee. Besides their location at third and Washington they also have A street cart. Check their website on the weekend to see where street cart will be serving their hotdogs. (503-547-7213)
About Meagan Shamy
Meagan Shamy is an Oregon resident by choice and thinks Portland is a tremendous city that everyone should visit. Originally a Texas girl. She has lived all around the United States, compliments of the US Air Force. After living in Texas, Mississippi, Oregon, Idaho, Florida, and Nevada, she chose to return to Portland, OR and make it home. Meagan graduated with a History and English degree from the University of Texas. Being a military wife has led her on adventures around the world, including two of her favorite places Honduras and Scotland. Her work can be found on several websites including 10Best.com and TravelingMom.com.
Read more about Meagan Shamy here.