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THE BEST PLACE TO EAT IN THE USA

It’s famous for its laid-back hipster culture, but with amazing produce from land and sea, world-class wineries and no fewer than 65 breweries, the West Coast city of Portland and its surrounds have become a haven for in-the-know food lovers. Daniel Tapper takes a flavoursome road trip, from downtown to the Oregon coast
Sunrise over misty Portland

As inhabitants of a city regularly touted as the best place to eat in North America, you might well expect Portlanders to boast of regional celebrity chefs and flashy awardwinning restaurants. But ask a true local to name what really sets their city apart and they’ll probably point east towards the Hood River Valley, or west in the direction of the Pacific Ocean. Portland’s food reputation is built not on brands but on access to fresh, flavourful ingredients. It’s enviably situated at the northern end of the Willamette Valley, which has soils and a climate suited to growing a dizzying array of crops, from hops and grapes to peppermint and pears. Meanwhile, local rivers, lakes and coast yield fabulous fish and seafood.

And if that’s not enough, eastern Oregon’s rugged high-desert plains are ideal for raising livestock and growing grains. With inexpensive and easy access to ingredients such as these, Portland has given rise to a flourishing food scene, which now includes 20 farmers’ markets and 500 street food stalls, not to mention countless artisan producers and adventurous neighbourhood restaurants. The result: a bona fide gastronome’s Eden.

DOUGHNUTS FOR GROWN-UPS

With its boutiques, art galleries and handsome red brick warehouse conversions, the Pearl District is Portland’s answer to London’s Shoreditch. But there’s more to this hip neighbourhood than art and fashion. You guessed it: doughnuts. I’d been tipped off that Blue Star Donuts (bluestardonuts.com) is one of the best places to eat in Portland, a must-visit for any culinary tourist. I wasn’t disappointed. Trays of buttery, yeasty brioche doughnuts awaited, adorned with dozens of crazily good toppings. I opted for a bucket of filter coffee paired with a maple syrup doughnut, which arrived sprinkled with crunchy pieces of sweet, smoky bacon. It was simply the best doughnut I’d ever eaten – until I ordered another made with basil, blueberries and bourbon whiskey.

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About Delicious Magazine

The May issue of delicious. has everything you need for the best bank holiday feasting, with a laid-back brunch, juicy tarragon roast chicken, proper lemon curd sponges and more. If you’re planning a walk, be sure to pack the brilliant picnic dishes from River Cottage’s Gill Meller. You’ll also find homemade scampi, duck ragù, good-for-you veggie ideas and easy midweek meals, plus the rules and recipes guaranteed to lift your cooking to the next level.
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