This post is part of my Guide to Portland series. Click here to check out the rest.
Dove Vivi (2727 NE Glisan) – A mountain of flavor in a city full of flat greasy pies. Dove Vivi specializes in cornmeal crust pizzas with fresh ingredients in balanced combinations. If you had offered me a slice of vegan pizza before Dove Vivi, I would have laughed condescendingly and offered you a firm backhand. Blasphemy! However, the Della Salute with grilled eggplant and tofu ricotta changed all that. No need to stop there, all of their pies are amazing with thick, chewy crust. The daily special board always has some appealing new combinations but be warned, they aren’t crazy about making substitutions.
La Buca (40 NE 28th Ave) – An entire dinner (wine and dessert included) for under $40? Yes We Can! La Buca has intentionally kept their prices low and the quality high making it one my favorite restaurants in Portland. We absolutely lose it for the Penne al Forno and Caprese bruchetta and still have enough money leftover for dessert and wine. I’m not sure what the secret ingredient in their tomato sauce is (unicorn blood??) but its pure magic. I’d drink it by the bucket full (if I had a bucket full… and no shame).
Mint/820 (816 N Russell) – The atmosphere at mint is posh but not intimidating and the food upscale without being alienating (especially for those of us not apt to eat pork kidneys). Though I don’t often eat meat, I’ve got a permanent green light for the the lamb burger with mint chimichurri and garlic aioli; perfectly cooked and seasoned. Stop by for happy hour and try one of their delicious house cocktails and that burger I was telling you about on the cheap.