Our Choices For The Best Brunch In Portland: Top 10 Spots

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Written By John @ The Portlandist

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Everybody loves a good portmanteau and perhaps the most common one we all know is “brunch”, the blend of the words breakfast and lunch. Traditionally brunch is served on a weekend, after regular breakfast hours and through lunch, so on paper, something like 10am through 1pm, but never let the rules of tradition inhibit your brunch plans.

Many places are known for opening their brunch menus as early as 8am and that’s a good thing as many of the best brunch spots in Portland will have long lines wrapping around the building as reputation of their hospitality and the diversity on their menus grows, Portlanders line up early for a great brunch.

This popular mid-morning meal always feels like a special occasion as it doesn’t always fit into our schedule of breakfast, lunch, dinner… Brunch has a way of feeling a little more relaxed and special. This can be a fantastic way to take some time and enjoy an elegant meal with friends and family. Or this could be a great way to grab something to eat after staying out all night and sleeping in the next morning.

Whether you treat it as a dress-up celebration wearing your Sunday best, or if you treat it as a hair-of-the-dog while wearing dark sunglasses and last night’s jeans, brunch menus here in Portland can be found as varied as your reasons are for why you’re looking for a restaurant at 10:30am

Portland being a city full of diversity and transplants from all across the country, and around the globe, a little searching will have you perusing menus that range from the quaint old-fashioned, the hearty and savory, or the highly unusual and novel breakfast foods.

Every spot on our list has a reason to visit, and we recommend you try each and every one of them. From the finest coffee, crispiest bacon, the spiciest Bloody Mary, to perfect Hollandaise Sauce… pull up a chair, pour your favorite drink and dig into some of the best brunches in Portland.

The Best Brunch in Portland Oregon

Below is our picks for the top 10 best Brunch in Portland Oregon. To snap directly to a specific location, please click the corresponding link in the list below.

  1. Tusk
  2. Hunnymilk
  3. Lauretta Jean’s
  4. Radar Restaurant
  5. Mother’s Bistro & Bar
  6. Proud Mary Cafe
  7. Cafe Rowan
  8. Pine State Biscuits
  9. Screen Door
  10. Kimura Toast Bar

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10. Tusk

portland brunch tusk

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East Burnside is full of fantastic coffee shops, restaurants and more than a few options for a nice brunch. But if you’re looking for the very best brunch on Portland, make sure you pay a visit to Tusk, the spot where you’ll find many other Portlanders with the same opinion of Tusk.

Right on the menu they explain that the bill of fare is “aggressively seasonal” so while there is always a great selection of locally sourced foods, the menu rotates because of Tusk’s dedication to bringing the freshest and finest ingredients available.

What the chefs at Tusk do with these ingredients has to be seen (and tasted!) to be believed. There is a farm and field focus on the food here with plenty of vegetables and grains. If you insist on traditional brunch proteins, you can get perfectly poached eggs or a good lean lamb sausage, but you won’t need them after trying all the other delicious and innovative dishes on the rest of the menu.

The Mediterranean inspired menu and well-rounded cocktail and wine menu makes for one of the best brunches in Portland and one we’re holding our breath waiting on its inevitable return once we can finally get back to some semblance of normal dining out.

Email | Instagram | Web | (503)-894-8082
2448 E Burnside Street, Portland, Oregon 97214


9. Hunnymilk

portland brunch hunnymilk

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While you’re out for a walk on West Burnside, just north of Providence Park stop in at one of the best brunches in Portland, a restaurant dedicated to brunch itself and nothing more than a great dining experience. The atmosphere is bright and cheerful and the food reflects this light-hearted approach to brunch. You won’t find dark quiet corners and fine china here, at Hunnymilk you’ll find a diverse menu full of breakfast foods that almost seem like they were put together on a dare, but it’s oh so tasty!

Brunch is a set price, you order from the menu, get your drink and await delivery of your savory and sweet selections. The cocktail list is everything you’d expect at one of the best brunch in Portland, and the tea list goes on seemingly forever. The savory entrees include options such as hazelnut pesto, spicy maple syrup, and green pepper marmalade.

All of which sound unusual until you try them, and suddenly they will become your regular favorites. The sweet menu has pancake donuts, apple pie churros, and possibly the best strawberry shortcake to be made into bars. Hunnymilk is one of those places that when you try it, you’ll return often, and you’ll be bringing friends!

Email | Instagram | Web | (503)-719-7349
1981 W Burnside Street, Portland, Oregon 97209


8. Lauretta Jean’s

portland brunch lauretta jean’s

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What is a brunch if you don’t have a solid plan for dessert? Here at Lauretta Jean’s on Southeast Division, you can have your pie and eat it too! Beginning as a farmer’s market booth and then setting up a brick and mortar, you can get the best brunch in Portland at Lauretta Jean’s Bakery. The menu isn’t the grand spread you may find at rooftop five star hotel occasions, but the brunch menu is everything you want in a late breakfast or early lunch, and… pie!

Simple soups and salads, light sandwiches, large three-egg omelets, and other breakfast favorites await you at Lauretta Jean’s, the Eggs Benedict Biscuit is a delight and the Gravlox Biscuit is a great twist on an old classic.

Once you finish the light brunch fare, order up a slice of the multitude of pies offered by the baker-in-chief and owner, Kate McMillen, who named her restaurant after her grandmother who taught and inspired her to create the best pies anywhere and to bring an amazing brunch option to Portland. And if anyone ever wonders why you’re eating brunch at a pie bakery, first remind them that technically, quiche is a pie, and secondly, that a great brunch can be served anywhere!

Email | Instagram | Web | (503)-235-3119
3402 SE Division Street, Portland, Oregon 97202


7. Radar Restaurant

portland brunch radar restaurant

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Brunch can be a quick occasion where you just want to pop in and out to enjoy some good breakfast and lunch options, and brunch can also be a more reserved affair where you plan ahead and decide you want more of a “brunch experience” from your restaurant choices. Radar Restaurant on Mississippi Avenue has you covered either way, but prepare yourself for one of the best brunches in Portland.

The menu is sizable and filled with all the traditional “modern brunch” entrees, and if you’re feeling a little more experimental, give in and order one of the less common meals, not always available at the average brunch spot. Radar specializes in those hearty options such as Chanterelle and Lobster Mushrooms with perfect hint of tartness from the granny smith apples, Croque Madame, or Braised Brisket Pancakes.

You can get biscuits and gravy, or you can get a swordfish fillet, oysters on the half shell, escargot, or deviled eggs. The menu is is as robust and the food, and can accommodate mixed parties where someone may want something as simple as bacon and eggs and another may want to experience bone marrow bordelaise with their steak and eggs. Radar Restaurant will fill your bellies and your spirits with one of the best brunches available in Portland.

Email | Instagram | Web | (503)-841-6948
3951 N Mississippi Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97227


6. Mother’s Bistro & Bar

portland brunch mother's bistro & bar

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Some restaurants exude the feeling of warmth and comfort, but none so much as Mother’s Bistro and Bar. When you come in to this restaurant, you suddenly feel as if you’ve walked into one of any kitchen’s that we all grew up in where the icon of family dinners were made. Mother’s Bistro and Bar made sure to retain that sense of a welcoming hearth when they upgraded their location from the original Stark Street location to the Embassy Suites.

Every meal at Mother’s is a sensation but they serve the best brunch in Portland and is one of those places that you make plans in advance to meet at Mother’s from an occasion. The scrambles and frittatas are filled with fresh local ingredients, the corned beef hash is hearty and rich, every dish at brunch is a highlight in and of itself but the real draw that makes this place so unique is the rotating menu featuring the Mother of the Month.

Nominations are selected and an entire multi-course menu is designed by those countless mothers around the world that keep us fed and keep our hearts full of love. You’ll want to return to Mother’s Bistro and Bar every month not only for the best brunch on Portland, but to sample what next month’s mom brings to the table.

Email | Instagram | Web | (503)-464-1122
121 SW 3rd Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97204


5. Proud Mary Cafe

portland brunch proud mary cafe

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In the search for the best brunch in Portland, you’ll undoubtedly come across Proud Mary Cafe and that is where the search should begin and end. You may have come into Proud Mary for the coffee, but once you sample the brunch menu, you’ll see this as far more than an upscale coffee house, or even a restaurant, Proud Mary Cafe is a fast becoming a Portland icon, known for the dedication to the sustainability of their ingredients and the pioneering spirit of doing as much of the work in-house as possible.

Originally an Australian restaurant, this Portland expansion serves up the best avocado toast with or without the poached egg. The squash bowl has an international flair with hazelnut humus, or try the Banh Mi for a meaty brunch. You can even get Vegamite on your toast if you want to try the notorious Australian staple.

One thing is for sure, no matter which amazing entree you order, the service at Proud Mary Cafe is superb and the food will assuredly be served picture perfect as this is one of the regular comments on their menu beside the fantastic tastes, every meal is a snapshot worthy of its very own social media post. Make sure to snap that picture before diving into the best brunch on Portland.

Email | Instagram | Web | (503)-208-3475
2012 NE Alberta Street, Portland, Oregon 97211


4. Cafe Rowan

portland brunch cafe rowan

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The neighborhoods in Portland are never lacking in great spots to dine but the southeast seems to have been missing out in the best brunch spots until Cafe Rowan set up camp along Cesar E. Chavez. Far from the hustle and bustle of downtown or tourist districts, this more relaxed atmosphere neighborhood has Cafe Rowan available for the best brunch in Portland.

You have got to love any place where the owners name the restaurant after their dog, after all, if they love their dog this much, they’ll create your food with as much love as well.

New York culinary delights and education come home to Portland where the Cafe Rowan offers up the tastiest blue crab French toast we’ve ever sampled! The cocktails are strong and balanced with a hint of that “prohibition flair” being served in a mason jar and some of them being flavored with apple pie moonshine. The high end appearance of the cafe shouldn’t dissuade you from stepping inside and ordering a simple breakfast burrito. As any of their regulars will gladly tell you, dishes don’t have to be fancy or refined to be the ultimate in taste and experience. Get yourself to Cafe Rowan to sample the best brunch on Portland.

Email | Instagram | Web | (503)-841-5072
4437 SE Cesar Estrada Chavez Boulevard, Portland, Oregon 97202


3. Pine State Biscuits

portland brunch pine state biscuits

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MMMmm those good flaky and buttery biscuits you’ll only find in the south, those things are the food of many childhoods and you just can’t get them anywhere except places like North Carolina. So why are we discussing them as we search out the best brunch in Portland, Oregon? Because Pine State Biscuits has these biscuits of perfection, available at three locations here in our town, and they contribute to the most fantastic brunch you’ll find.

Having grew up on these staples of southern cuisine, the creators of Pine State Biscuits relocated from Carolina to Portland and after a while, recreated the perfect biscuit recipe to replicate the taste of their southern childhood. You can get pancakes, shrimp and grits, even a corn dog or chicken-pot-pie, but the true star of the show is the biscuit, however you top it, and they do top them with the finest ingredients.

Steak, chicken, pulled pork, and of course a vegan option as well. The Reggie is the local favorite, fried chicken, bacon, cheese and slathered in gravy but our go-to biscuit when we visit is the Wedgie; topped with fried chicken, fried green tomato, lettuce and blue cheese dressing. You won’t know how much you need this in your life until you taste it.

Email | Instagram | Web | (503)-236-3346
1100 SE Division Street #100, Portland, Oregon 97202


2. Screen Door

portland brunch screen door

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Brunch is not a regional meal, everyone across the country has been to a brunch before, from the slower paced American Southwest to the fast and chaotic northeast, brunch is a great meal to enjoy a slower paced meal.

So if brunch is so universal, why is it that so many of the best brunch spot in Portland are offering southern foods on their menu and in their theming? That may have something to do with the idea that brunch is a perfect way to slow down and enjoy the finer things in life, and there are few things finer than a southern brunch, right here in Portland.

When you walk into Screen Door, you’ll see jars of canned vegetables and you’ll smell the fried chicken. You’ll know you’ve been transported to a spot beyond the front porch and into fine southern dining. Reservations are suggested as the lines are legendary, a great way to know the restaurant is superb, no one stands in line for mediocre food, and the wait time at Screen Door often rivals theme park lines so you know the food is well worth the wait. We loved the Praline Bacon, but the truth is, everything on the menu is some of the best brunch foods you’ll find in Portland.

Email | Instagram | Web | (503)-542-0880
2337 E Burnside Street, Portland, Oregon 97214


1. Kimura Toast Bar

portland brunch kimura toast bar

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You’ve been to many brunches before, you’ve had the Eggs Benedict, you’ve had Chicken and Waffles, you’ve had Bagels and Lox. Now it’s time to have the best brunch on Portland and the menu consists of toast. Oh you read that right, we’re recommending toast, specifically Kimura Toast Bar, and we know you’re going to love it.

 We admit we were slightly skeptical as well, but set aside any preconceived notion of what to expect for brunch and allow th exquisite delicacy of Kimura feed you in a way you didn’t know you needed.

Traditional Japanese Shokupan is a fluffy milk bread that is baked in-house daily and cut into thick slices as a non-traditional base for your traditional brunch toppings. There is a quiche, a German sausage plate, and even a beef curry toast. For those looking for a sweeter brunch, try the Boston Cream Banana, the Caramelized Apple Creme Brulee, or the Strawberry Shortcake.

They offer a variety of avocado toast and some excellent Japanese pizza toasts. And if you’re still on the fence about Shokupan, Kimura will make the best French Toast Waffles for weekend brunches. We’ve always liked the hearty traditional brunch menu at the many places we’ve been, but now that we’ve enjoyed Kimura, we say it is hands down the best brunch in Portland.

Email | Instagram | Web | (971)-266-8087
3808 N Williams Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97227


Our Final Thoughts: The Best Brunch in Portland Oregon

Not to “nerd out” too much but the term “Second Breakfast” as made popular by hobbits is actually a real term used for a light meal between breakfast and lunch in some eastern European countries. This may bring some levity to your next brunch, where we often skip breakfast and lunch and replace them with a single brunch, it seems eating second breakfast has become wildly popular here in Portland. The menus have everything on them and whatever you are looking for in a brunch, you’ll find it right here in Portland.

Heavy fare filled with traditional meats and eggs can be found at many dining establishments, and an equally diverse number of lighter fare restaurants offer fruit or vegetable based brunch foods. And when you begin looking around Portland for the best brunch, you’ll find even more locations that offer their unique twist on the idea of a mid-morning meal.

Our city has some of the best restaurants around and those that have a brunch menu are always looking to develop a friendly and welcoming brunch atmosphere because they know brunch of a special meal. Everyone has breakfast lunch and dinner, but you make plans to go to brunch, and that is why some of the best brunch places in Portland are wildly popular.

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