It is no secret that Portland, Oregon, is a food-lover's dream destination. This city has it all from juicy burgers and fries slapped between a grilled cheese sandwich to handcrafted ice cream, monster breakfasts and beer pairing menus. There are plenty of places to go on date nights, but what about when you have your kids? Can you still eat well and avoid that clown with bright red hair? Yes. Yes, you can. Just in case you aren't convinced, here are a few of our favorites that cover every meal of the day.
Mother's Bistro and Bar is great for visitors staying downtown. They serve up hearty breakfasts and a crunchy French toast dipped in corn flakes that your kids will find fascinating. Eggs are available in any style and the Omelet de Jour is ever changing, making it a great option if you want to try something fresh and new. If you want to get out of downtown, head to Tasty & Sons. Their small plates make it easy to try multiple dishes without spending a fortune. If the kids start to complain that all they see are bacon-wrapped dates, fried green tomato BLTs and North African sausage with an over easy egg, steer them to the dessert menu. Allow them to indulge in Auntie Paula's French Toast sundae. It may be the quietest breakfast you ever tasted.
The noon meal is all about speed and on the go eating when traveling with kids, but that doesn't mean you have to sacrifice taste. Kenny and Zuke's Delicatessen offers a huge menu that the kids can dive into while you ponder which item featuring their pastrami you will devour that day. Double decker sandwiches allow you to load on the meat. Just make sure you leave room for a float or shake to wash it all down. If gluten is not your thing, have no fear. Mama Leo's has got you covered. This restaurant serves up Venezuelan and Columbian inspired gluten-free dishes. Dive into the coconut rice, arepas, empanadas and even pizza for the picky eaters in your family.
You really can't go to Portland and not sample a few of the local brews. Deschutes Brewery Portland Public House is a large family-friendly restaurant with plenty of American classics like fried chicken, burgers and steaks, but it is their more unique items you will want to try. The Washington Pear and Goat Cheese entre, Obsidian Stout Mac and Cheese, and the Elk Burger are definitely worth a taste. Oven and Shaker shows off the classy side of pizza with toppings like ghost chili salami, duck egg and pork belly. Tell the kids to calm down after they read the specials. They always offer a basic cheese pizza and mozzarella sticks available.
The most important meal of the day has to be dessert. I'm sure someone important has claimed that. Salt and Straw, a local ice cream shop, is doing something wild with its flavor combinations. There is a Double Fold Vanilla and a Chocolate Gooey Brownie, but that is about as classic as it gets in the shop. Dive into the Pear and Blue Cheese, Plum Sangria Sorbet or Oregon Peaches with Toasted Walnuts. Some flavors are seasonal so make sure you check the board before you make up your mind. If you still can't decide, ask for a sample. They don't mind letting you try a few. When it is too cold for ice cream or you just want something a little different, head to The Pie Spot. S'mores pie, marionberry pie, brown butter pecan, blueberry ginger- if you read the menu your head will be spinning with choices. I won't even share their savory pie offerings.
You can't talk about food in Portland without mentioning the food carts. Basically here is the deal - if you are in Portland eat at a food cart at least once per day. You can find groups of food carts downtown and even out in the neighborhoods. Set a budget for the kids and let them pick which carts they want to eat at while you grab food from the spots you think look tasty. You can't go wrong. If you need help deciding check Yelp.com in a pinch, but FoodCartsPortland.com is the site that is really in the know.
Which of these delicious choices sounds perfect for your family?