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 Cajun, Mexican, Lebanese, Cuban, Italian, American, Southern, 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 Waffle Window and Pine State Biscuits. We share really nice restaurants that have perks like a terrifically affordable prix fixe menu like Acadia, a New Orleans Bistro and Accanto. If you're looking for Best Value restaurants in Portland, let us introduce you to a few of our favorites, starting with Nicholas Restaurant and Cha Cha Cha. 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.
Accanto is a lively Italian cafe located next to it's sister restaurant Genoa, in Southeast Portland. This casual dining spot serves up some of the best Italian food in Portland. They have a menu on a sliding scale, making it affordable for anyone's budget. If your on a tight budget you can enjoy some of their small plates like the soup of the day for $8 or their cheap appetizers only $4 each. They serve favorites like Risotto, Capellini, Lasagna lamb bolognese, and Potato Gnocchi. The have local microbrews on tap and an extensive cocktail menu. Accanto is open for lunch and dinner, and offers brunch on the weekends at extremely affordable prices. (5032354900)
9 Bijou Cafe
Bijou Cafe, the eatery of choice for Portland's power brokers, serves creative American cuisine that's whipped up using fresh, local ingredients. During breakfast and brunch, corn-flour pancakes are served with a side of oyster or snapper hash, and the super health-conscious can even get a bowl of steamed brown rice. Lunchtime offers up a roster of soups, salads, sandwiches, and special entrees. Organic products are frequently incorporated, and you can also find tofu dishes. As is typical with popular eateries, Bijou can get crowded at times and could demand a wait. They are not open for dinner except on Fridays when you can enjoy a gourmet dinner while a live jazz band performs. (503-222-3187)
8 The Waffle Window
Think you know waffles? Think again. This adorable and affordable eatery, housed in the Bread and Ink cafe, serves homemade Belgian waffles like you've never had before. If you prefer savory sensations, try the Farm Fusion waffle, topped with fresh veggies and chevre, or the beloved Three B's: bacon, brie and basil with house-made peach jam. Or, if your sweet tooth wakes up early, go for the blissful blueberry cheesecake, the Nutella and banana or the chocolate peanut butter waffle. The Waffle Window uses fresh seasonal ingredients from local sources. The Waffle Window has a second location on Alberta street. (503-239-4756)
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)
6 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)
4 Chaba Thai
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)
3 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)
A taste of New Orleans in the Pacific Northwest. That's what you'll find at this intimate bistro located in the northeastern section of the city. From classic Cajun and Creole favorites like seafood gumbo jambalaya and shrimp Creole, the menu is sure to please. You'll find a mix of meat, pasta and vegetable dishes as well as down home desserts that seem to come right from a homey, Southern kitchen, including bread pudding, butter cake and Creole pecan pie. Visit on Monday's and enjoy special discounts from their Mardi Gras Mondays Cheap Eats Menu including a 3 course dinner for only $20. (503-249-5001)
1 Nicholas Restaurant
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)
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.