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Portland Food Writers’ Favorite New Restaurants and Pop-Ups in 2022

Each December, Eater Portland ends the year by reflecting on the last twelve months of dining in a series we call Year in Eater. We reach out to Portland food writers and influencers for their perspectives on major trends, impressive newcomers, and standout meals, and share their responses in a single package.

Portland diners once again filled restaurants in 2022, and chefs opened new spots at a weekly clip. From years-long anticipated restaurants to surprise openings, these are the places we were most excited to see come on the scene.

“The heatmap and the Eater Awards are stocked with places that I really love — Kann, Rangoon Bistro, Cafe Olli, etc. Pasture was so close to getting an Eater Award this year. For those who missed it, this is a butcher shop and restaurant from two fine dining vets; they source their meats from regenerative farms, which they butcher and cure in house. I think its pastrami may be one of the best in the city, if not the best. It’s so tender! So delicate! There’s one sandwich that kind of takes a banh mi approach with the pastrami, pairing it with house pickles and herbs; I think about that sandwich all the time.”
-Brooke Jackson-Glidden, Eater Portland editor

“Cafe Olli — there’s so many components to what they do and you gotta love a spot that’s open all day. And Gabbiano’s! There’s such a warm atmosphere in there and it’s just a *chef’s kiss* red sauce joint.”
-Janey Wong, Eater Portland reporter

Surong is hands down the most exciting addition to the vegan scene. From start to finish, the autumnal tasting menu was a beautiful melding of traditional Chinese medicine and Pacific Northwest seasonal produce. I can’t stop thinking about the herbal broth-brined tofu skin nori rolls from that dinner. Not exactly newcomers, but I adore Rangoon Bistro’s masterful layering of textures, as well as Akadi’s tasty reboot of stews and fufu. And of course, there’s Kann, which totally lives up to the hype if you’re able to score a reservation. I adore the plantain brioche and peanut-creamed collards.”
-Waz Wu, Eater Portland contributor

“One of the many things I love about the national success of Kann is that I suspect it’s going to play the same role that Slanted Door did in San Francisco for Vietnamese American cooks and that NYC’s Jeepney and DC’s Bad Saint did for Filipino American cooks — give the next generation of Haitian American chefs the inspiration to create brilliant, personally resonant food. On a personal note, at the new Excellent Cuisine, I over ordered from carts stacked high with steamed dumplings, sticky rice, and steamed meats for the first time since March 2020, and a piece of my soul returned.”
-Jonathan Kauffman, Portland-based food writer and author of A Place Is a Gift newsletter

“Brad Dodson’s Portuguese food cart Bolo. The best fried chicken sandwich in town, great salads, and the bolos themselves are lil works of heart and art.”
-Thom Hilton, Eater Portland contributor

“Absolutely Kann. One hundred percent. I’ve been there soooo many times since they’ve opened, and I can’t get enough. Not only is the food some of the best I’ve ever had, but chef Gregory Gourdet’s vision for hospitality is where I hope we can move more toward. His kitchen and front-of-house are beautifully diverse, he’s centering Haitian cuisine in the way no one else has, and it feels safe and welcoming for a diverse dining clientele (as long as we’re quick/lucky enough to snag a reservation!).”
-Nori de Vega (@nomnom_nori), influencer

“The Companatico pop-ups out of Dame have been a nice treat for early in the week. The Italian-style hoagies and desserts are beautifully crafted and simply delicious. And don’t get me started on their next Piatti nights: I didn’t think I needed stuffed pappardelle in my life, but here we are.”
-Ehow Chen (@ehow.eats), influencer

“Like many, I was really excited for Kann and Sousòl and Phuket Cafe, and lovely wine bars like Nil and Company. I used to live in Chile and miss Chilean food, so I was extremely excited to discover the new PKS PDX Chilean and Colombian food cart at the Barley Pod, which has many of my favorites like empanadas, churrasco sandwiches, and chorrillana. It’s great to see even more cuisines from around the world being represented here.”
-Zoe Baillargeon, Eater Portland contributor

“It seems like splashy restaurants are back, but I’m more excited to have a solid option for Cantonese roast meats: Fortune BBQ Noodle House. Nothing beats a Hong Kong-style bowl of soup full of egg noodles and dumplings stuffed with shrimp, topped with perfectly burnished slices of roast duck on top. I also like the char siu over rice or by the pound to take home for snacking.”
-Krista Garcia, Eater Portland contributor

“We’ve been excited about Kann ever since watching the Restaurant Wars episode on Top Chef season 17. After having a taste of it at the Kann Winter Village pop-up, we were anxious to see how the brick-and-mortar could top that experience, and it’s safe to say they definitely lived up to the hype! We are so lucky that Gregory chose to open up this special restaurant here in Portland. It feels like the Kann team have not just redefined, but set a new bar (and high!), for how diversity, equity and inclusion in restaurants can be in this day and age.”
-Vicki and Vanessa Ng (@foodbellypdx), influencers

Grassa on the Vancouver waterfront. Their pastas are all great, but I have a special fondness for the Italian chopped salad with a glass of the house red. I like how the salt and vinegar mixes with the brightness of the wine.”
-Rachel Pinsky, Eater Portland contributor

“I can’t think of a PDX restaurant opening quite like Kann; the buzz has been resounding both locally and nationally. Cafe Olli’s pizzas, pastries, and breakfast sandwiches are among the best in the city. Gabbiano’s is a warm and welcoming neighborhood Italian spot that is fast becoming a destination restaurant. My go-to dish is the spaghetti and meatballs. Matt Lightner’s Okta opening in McMinnville could be a seminal culinary moment for Oregon’s wine country. I am so excited to see how Okta evolves over time.”
-Gary Okazaki (@garythefoodie), renowned globe-trotting eater