Afuri Ramen + Dumpling
Named after the Afuri Mountain in Kanagawa, this acclaimed ramen mecca built a noodle empire in Tokyo before opening up its first U.S. location in Portland back in 2016. With a knack for balancing traditional Japanese dishes with surprising and exciting flavors, they’ve received international recognition for their shio ramen with yuzu citrus. But it doesn’t stop there. Now, vegan friends, I’m going to need you to lean in a little closer because I have three words for you: Miso Cashew Gyoza. These dumplings are filled with kimchi and have tons of nutty flavor! The menu also features three different types of succulent pork gyoza. Suffering from the seemingly never-ending cold and dark winter months? Get toasty with the gyoza soup with yuzu and chili threads. Whatever you order, we promise, you can do no wrong.
It is not unusual to see lines forming around the block indicating in traditional Portland fashion that dank food awaits behind the doors of this hotspot that resides in the Lents district. With an extensive menu of Chinese staples, tea, and dim sum, you have entered dumpling heaven! There are deep-fried pork dumplings, shrimp dumplings, pork and shrimp dumplings, fried taro dumplings, chive & shrimp dumplings, and steamed shrimp & taro dumplings. The best way to enjoy dim sum is among friends in a communal style, tasting a bit of each and every dish. Mix and match dumplings with many of their other tantalizing plates. Satisfaction awaits.
This casual, cool Japanese eatery is a staple for handmade ramen noodles, slowly-simmered dashis, and bountiful buns (filled with fried chicken). But, don’t you dare sleep on their dumplings! The Szechuan-style spicy pork and garlic chive dumplings marinate in a bath of fragrant chili oil. Don’t stop there. Treat your taste buds to steamy pork and shrimp siu mai or juicy pork and cabbage potstickers. No, this isn't a dream, but these dumplings sure are dreamy! Up your happy hour game and fill out a get started form to set up a catering order for your Boke Bowl dumplings, and don’t forget the orange dot sauce (ODS)!
This unassuming hole-in-the-wall is home to some seriously delicious and authentic Chinese cuisine. Their menu highlights include noodles, congee, and, of course, handmade dumplings, mouth-watering potstickers, Chinese-style potstickers, and succulent Xiao Long Bao. All served alongside a glorious garlic dipping sauce. Not sure which one to try first? Get them all and have a tasting party. You won’t be disappointed.
Gado Gado hit the food scene by storm in 2019 with what Willamette Week calls “high-end-cuisine-meets-junk-food Asian fusion” and Portlanders were instantly hooked. With Dutch and Indonesian influences, their menu features curious ingredients and exciting flavor blends. Take, for instance, their sweet potato dumplings, which incorporate fermented turnip, apple soubise, and an X.O. vinaigrette. The Chinese sausage and shrimp siu mai are a must-try with black fungus, sweet radish, seasoned trout roe, spicy anchovy, and shrimp sambal. Their menu does change, so be sure to check out any new offerings. Chase everything down with one of their curated cocktails and let the good times roll.
This family-owned Taiwanese restaurant tucked away in Sellwood sells some of the best pork pan-fried bao this city has to offer! Now, cue the great debate of whether bao is a type of dumpling or a separate category. The internet seems split on this issue. But, what can’t be contested is how delicious these perfect mounds of umami joy are. Juicy pork flavors mingle with ginger and garlic inside a soft doughy exterior with a perfectly crispy golden bottom and topped with black sesame seeds and sliced green onions. If I had to choose one meal to eat for the rest of my life, this would be it.
With the belief that food is political, Chef Shen and Chef Tran intentionally hold space for everyone at this casual Chinese-comfort food destination that slings phenomenal mouth-watering dumplings. Don’t want to get the dreaded FOMO? Then take it from us and order the chili shrimp and bamboo wontons, tossed in spicy chili oil. Save some room for explosive Xiao Long Bao soup dumplings, which are filled with succulent pork, ginger, cabbage, and flavor-packed warm broth. Craving something comforting for your next all-day staff meeting? We’ve got you covered from start to finish. Fill out our get started form and give your coworkers dumpling to talk a bao.
Khao Moo Dang
This laid-back eatery, which discreetly opened its doors on the SE Hawthorne strip in 2019, is home to some outstanding Thai-style wonton soups. Complete with soft egg noodles, crispy pork belly, five-spice pork loin, yu-choy, and a soft-boiled egg, these soups are available in a variety of broth options. My favorite is the Ba-Mhee Tom Yum which nestles ingredients in a spicy hot and sour soup, topped with crushed peanuts. The best way to warm up on a cold, winter night, I reckon. Can’t get enough? Add three additional wontons to any dish for $2.50. Now, that’s a great deal!
My life forever changed with one bite of the delectable Russian dumplings from Kachka. Each dumpling is available in the traditional steamed fashion or pan-fried to crispy perfection. The Siberian pelmeni are flavor packed with a meat medley of beef, pork, veal and onion. In the tvorog vareniki, zingy scallions and creamy farmers’ cheese harmonize. Feeling boujee? Order potato vareniki, which combine chives, potatoes, and caviar beurre blanc for a whopping price of $40. Just more proof that money can buy happiness. Save room for their sour cherry vareniki, a Ukrainian specialty, topped with sour cream and thin strips of basil. I highly recommend ordering these pan-fried! Already in love with Kachka’s dumplings? Did you know you can also purchase frozen dumplings from Kachka Lavka, their deli and grocery market? Keep an eye out for their dumplings in the frozen section of your local New Seasons, too. Happy munching!
While slurping pints at Zoiglhaus Brewing Company, be sure to check out the tasty food cart slinging Momos, steamed dumplings traditional to the regions of Nepal, Ladakhi, and Tibet. Available in three different varieties, beef, pork, and veggie, these dumplings are extremely juicy with a thick and chewy exterior and served alongside a finger-licking spicy sauce. The veggie option features a medley of tofu, peas, and onions. Offering a large portion at an affordable cost, one order of dumplings is sure to fill you right up! If you haven’t tried these yet, what are you waiting for?
Hopefully, this list inspires you to go out and fill your bellies with delicious dumplings. Don’t forget to check out Dumpling Week by Travel Portland!
Feel free to reach out if you have any questions and please give us a follow on social media @sporkbytes.
Happy dumpling hunting!
The Spork Bytes Team
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