Khao San, Thai for “milled rice” is the name of a very famous street in Bangkok that once served as the location for one of the country’s largest rice markets. World famous for backpackers all over the world, this area offers cheap accommodations, entertainment, clothes, handcrafts, and of course, delicious local Thai cuisine. You’ll feel a sense of that experience when you step into Khao San PDX. In 2014, after returning from a visit to Thailand, Nong and her husband at the time took a leap of faith and opened up their very own Thai street food restaurant in the Pearl District of Portland. Much of the furniture, equipment, and staff uniforms were made and shipped directly from Thailand. You can even enjoy your meal in an authentic Tuk Tuk dining booth. A three-wheeled motorcycle taxi, Tuk Tuks are one of the main forms of transportation in Thailand. And you better buckle up, because Khao San is about to take you on a flavor ride. With close ties to suppliers in the area, Khao San sources the best local ingredients, and whenever possible, serves their guests sustainably and responsibly. Menu favorites include the Summer Rolls, Hoy Joh, Chicken Ping, and Pad Kee Mao. It’s the Spicy Crispy Chicken Basil for us - chicken lightly battered in rice flour and deep fried then stir fried in a special sauce with bell peppers and Thai basil. This dish is also available for catering through Spork Bytes! Their entire menu is gluten-free and they have a wide variety of vegan and vegetarian options. On those cold rainy Portland days, cozy up with the Pumpkin Curry, cooked with house-made red curry paste with Thai pumpkin, coconut milk, bell peppers, and Thai basil. Curry me timbers! It’s very likely that you’ll see Nong in the kitchen when you visit, so be sure to tell her hello for us!
Addy’s Sandwich Bar
In 2009, Addy Bittner started slinging sandwiches out of a food cart right in the heart of downtown Portland, Oregon. Locals were instantly hooked on her quality, yet simple sandwich varieties served on Little T American Baker baguettes. By 2013, Bittner expanded the menu and upgraded into the adorable brick and mortar space we know and love today. Now residing under charming black-and-white striped awnings, her cozy storefront serves an array of European-style sandwiches, soups, salads, smoothies and beyond that are so tasty they’ll keep you coming back for more. There are three different bread types (baguette, panini, and house-made wheat pita), with a curated selection of sandwiches for each. Be sure to try the ever-satisfying Duck Confit Baguette with house-made duck confit, tangy cranberry relish and fresh shredded cabbage, a standby carried over from the original cart menu. Another must-try is the Chocolate Baguette, topped with a sprinkle of sea salt and a drizzle of artisanal olive oil, resulting in the perfect blend of carbs and rich dessert-y goodness that you simply must taste, as words cannot fully describe just how delightful this sandwich is. As for the paninis, do not pass up the chance to indulge in the Pesto Chicken Sandwich, with vibrant herby pesto, tender chicken, creamy whole milk mozzarella and sweet cherry tomatoes. No meal is complete without the dark Chocolate Almond Truffle, a decadent bite-sized dessert that will truly change your life. If Julie Andrews lived in Portland, she would confidently state that these are a few of her favorite things. The secret behind these delicious creations comes down to the ingredients. Opting for all-natural, organic, and locally-sourced ingredients, the elevated quality of these offerings is palpable. Many of the ingredient sources are listed in plain sight on the website, so you can be confident about the fuel you are putting into your body. So, what are you waiting for? Head over to Addy’s today and start working your way through their mouth-watering menu. Or order a catered spread for the office through Spork Bytes. You only have one life, better spend it eating delicious sandwiches.
An instant upgrade to any sweltering day, Cheryl Lisowski’s refreshing boozy popsicles are the warm weather treat you have been searching for your entire life. Seriously, these are life-changing! It all started one summer evening in 2015 when Cheryl, in a desperate attempt to beat, combined the potent powers of a cocktail with the playful, refreshing wonder of a popsicle. Her first ever flavors were Peach Bourbon Basil and Salted Watermelon. With one bite, she knew this magical treat was too delicious not to be shared, and Sloshy Pops was born. The menu offers a wide range of alcoholic popsicles, which are paired with either wine or spirits, as well as a non-alcoholic variety. All the pops are made with fresh, local ingredients. The boozy pops, which are essentially cocktails in popsicle form, playfully pair fruits, herbs, and bitters with traditional liquor selections. The Strawberry Margarita, a unique and elevated spin on the Mexican classic, blends strawberries and tequila with fresh squeezed citrus, orange liqueur, and decadent tequila soaked berries. The wine pops, on the other hand, feature curious combinations with either red or white wines, like in the Raspberry Sangria pop, which contains sweet raspberries, pinot noir, fresh citrus, and brandied cherries. Keep watch for the monthly rotating flavors with enticing seasonal ingredients like mango, lychee, and passion fruit. Want to make an event truly unforgettable? Surprise your guests with Sloshy Pops, served out of an adorably decked out push-cart to retain total icey refreshness. Now, that’s what we call a celebration!
While driving down NE Glisan, you will undoubtedly notice the brightly painted Apambichao apartment building, showcasing vivid canary yellow, royal blue, fuschia, and cyan, standing tall amongst the other buildings on the block. On the East facing wall a massive, 50-by-35-foot mural painted by artists Emily Beeks and Rachel Oleson stands tribute to the rich history and culture of Cuba with depictions of important figures, like musical artists Benny Moré, Celia Cruz, and Our Lady of Charity (La Caridad del Cobre), the patron saint beloved by the island. Just inside is Pambiche, a bustling restaurant, which serves large portions of enticing Caribbean fare and cocktails that are as vibrant as the Victorian building in which it resides. Previously named “Restaurant of the Year” by Willamette Week and “Chef’s Choice” for best Latin American restaurant by The Portland Mercury, Pambiche is well-regarded for their authentic Cuban cuisine. The expansive menu features family recipes that have been passed down for generations. Everything is made from scratch using high quality ingredients. With one bite, you will be transported into Old Havana! The empanadas are baked fresh daily and stuffed with potent flavor combinations. The platos are massive and include an exciting mix of flavors and textures. Seafood lovers must try the Pescado con Coco, a dynamic dish of tender red snapper in a savory coconut pepper sauce, topped with lime, fresh herbs, and Carta de Oro rum, and served alongside caribbean coleslaw and choice of black beans and rice or congrí oriental. Pambiche’s dishes are satisfying and comforting, and pair perfectly with the featured assortment of fruity rum-filled cocktails. Each visit is a tasty and exciting experience; it is no wonder that locals have been flocking here for over 20 years! Treat your guests to a Caribbean spread with catering options through Spork Bytes.
Cheryl’s on 12th
Since 2012, Cheryl and Ed Casey have been tickling the tummies of Portlanders with their gourmet cafe and market. “Cherly’s on 12th” reads the large sign that hovers over the corner of SW Washington and 12th while brightly colored umbrellas decorate the sidewalk, beckoning you to enter the warm and welcoming space. Inside you’ll find a bustling cafe and charming marketplace with an extensive selection of artisanal foods and gourmet imports such as fine cheeses, wine, and other specialty beverages. The cafe menu is quite impressive, featuring all the New American classics - and we mean all. We are talking pancakes, burritos, French toast, Benedicts, omelettes, salads, sandwiches… The list goes on and on. They even offer a selection of fresh pastries made in-house daily. With seemingly endless options, selecting the perfect brunch item may seem daunting, but fear not! The friendly and helpful staff will surely point you in the right direction. One of our top choices is the Portuguese Fried Rice, which features linguica sausage mixed into umami bacon-and-egg fried rice and topped with green onion and avocado. The Croque Madame, another highlight, layers decadent slices of ham and gruyère on grilled French bread, brushed with mornay sauce, topped with a fresh egg and served with a side of cheesy hashbrowns or roasted red pepper. Yum! Treat your team to a nourishing breakfast spread by placing a catering request today. It’s no wonder this place has been a local standby for almost a decade.
Everyone needs a tasty treat now and again. Next time the mood for sugary goodness strikes, head to this charming donut shop, located on bustling Southeast Grand. Not only are the donuts absolutely delicious (as the name suggests), but the origin story is as sweet as cinnamon sugar. It all started in 2005, when Penny and Boun Nguyen decided to open a business together. These high school sweethearts set out with one mission in mind - to make delicious food and treat every customer like family. And they are known for just that, serving up seriously mouth watering delights accompanied by some of the friendliest customer service you’ve ever encountered. Each day, donuts are freshly made in small batches using quality ingredients and classic pastry techniques. There are three different categories of donuts; Delicious Big (cinnamon rolls, apple fritters, and apple bear claws), Delicious Regular (twists and filled variety), and Delicious Round (the classic O shaped donuts in raised, old fashioned, and cake). Stand out selections include the soft and fluffy Maple Bar, the rich and buttery blueberry cake donut, and the delectable apple fritter, which is sweet and fruity with a crispy, caramelized exterior. Balance out the sweetness with something warm and caffeinated, like one of their espresso drinks or teas. But it doesn’t stop there. The menu also features fruit smoothies and an array of savory breakfast options including scrambles, omelets, sandwiches, bagels, and the ever-popular and oh-so-satisfying breakfast burritos. Avid breakfast go-ers know the key to a sensational morning meal is to order both a savory dish and a sweet dish, and this shop does it all! These donuts are so scrumptious that they are highly coveted by locals, and even earned recognition by the Oregonian in 2018 as Portland's best donut shop. Often selling out before closing time, it is recommended that you reserve your donuts in advance by calling or placing an order online. Or have Spork Bytes deliver a few dozen directly to you. Be prepared to fall in love with just one bite.
Born and raised in Haiti, Mathilde Wilson and her family set off on a new adventure in 2013 exploring the PNW. She soon noticed that Portland lacked authentic Haitian cuisine, the delicious meals that her mother would cook for her as a child. Inspiration took hold and within a couple years, Mathilde opened up a food cart focused on serving just that. Her cart received praise from those who visited and was recognized in 2017 as the 2nd Best New Food Truck by the Oregonian. Mathilde’s journey was just beginning, and shortly after she closed the food cart and narrowed her focus into something new, bottled Hibiscus brews. These colorful, artisanal brews reflect a long history of cultural heritage, with recipes that have been passed down by ancient ancestors. The key ingredient is the dried calyx of the Hibiscus Sabdariffa, a flowering shrub of bright crimson color, native to African and Caribbean regions. Rich in antioxidants, Vitamin C and anti-inflammatory properties, for generations this plant has been used for a multitude of medicinal purposes, curing ailments such as toothaches, urinary tract infections, digestive issues, and colds, along with alleviating muscle weakness, improving digestion, and promoting immunity. Using authentic West African flowers and seeds, Caribbean spice bark, and Asian roots, Mathilde crafts three different variations of Hibiscus flower brews. Our personal favorite is the Hibiscus Flower and Caribbean Punch, where hibiscus flower, guava, apricot, and passionfruit combine with Caribbean spices to create a refreshing explosion of fruity tropical flavors. Another variation combines hibiscus flower with ginger brew, and one with passionfruit. These bottled brews really pack a punch and there are a multitude of ways to enjoy, like pouring over a tall glass of ice, adding to a seltzer, creating a craft cocktail, or swirling into ice cream for a unique dessert. Keep an eye out for her colorful bottles at your local grocery store or co-op, as these products can be found at New Seasons, Green Zebra, Food Fight!, Alberta co-op, People’s Food Co-Op, and more. Or order as an add-on with a catering meal through Spork Bytes!
Offering a contemporary, wholesome spin on authentic Indian cuisine, this friendly SE Hawthorne eatery serves up some seriously crave-worthy vegan and vegetarian fare. With a focus on holistic health, Maruti transforms traditional homemade recipes into nutritiously balanced dishes, suitable for vegan, gluten-free, and paleo palates alike. The Garlic Naan, which is slow cooked in a clay oven then smothered in Earth Balance, is pillowy soft with perfectly crisped edges. Mushrooms and potatoes marinate in Indian spices and a coconut cream-based tomato sauce for their decadent Tikka Masala. The Paneer Biryani features a medley of basmati rice, garbanzo beans, onions, peas, green beans, and cubes paneer cheese, all cooked in an enticing blend of Indian spices and garnished with fresh cilantro and almonds, served with your choice of sauce. The menu was designed with consideration of the Ayurvedic tradition, an ancient medicinal practice originating in India more than 3,000 years ago, which centers around a holistic approach to physical and mental health. It is no surprise that co-owner Falguni Khanna is deeply passionate about health and wellbeing. Originally born in India, Khanna moved to the U.S. in 1994. Her vision was to create an uplifting and rewarding experience for the local community byway of delicious and nourishing foods. Khanna takes inspiration from her mother’s home-cooked recipes when designing the menu for Maruti. Thanks to her, you can now enjoy hearty and appetizing fare in a fun and welcoming space, and you don’t have to feel guilty about ordering an extra dish… or two. Having trouble choosing? Spork Bytes will curate a menu of Maruti’s best for your next group meal.
Cubo de Cuba
Back in 2010, Emily Blythe (formerly Emily Roskam) and Milko Vigil Escalera began serving authentic Cuban cuisine out of a tiny 7 by 11 foot food cart in downtown Portland. Quickly growing in popularity, it didn’t take long for Cubo de Cuba to transform into the playful, can’t-miss Southeast eatery we know and love today. The vibrantly painted exterior is the first indication that colorful, flavor-packed food awaits just beyond the doors. Inside, the walls are decorated with doodles and scribbles, momentos left by visitors throughout the years. Nestled in the back is a spacious and lively patio - the perfect place for you to enjoy a tasty meal on a hot, sunny day. Bring along your pup, as this patio is dog friendly too! Navigate to the counter to find a tasty menu with a wide selection of protein options for bowls and plates, hot pressed Cuban-style sandwiches, fresh salads, snackable sides, and indulgent empanadas. Try the ever-popular Pollito Bowl - a medley of fluffy rice, seasoned black beans, juicy mango, and creamy avocado, combined with shredded baked chicken in a sweet and tangy house-made guava marinade. Also included are sides of tostones and maduros, staple dishes throughout the Caribbean and Latin America. Plantains are the main ingredient for both these tasty sides, but the flavors couldn’t be more different. While tostones are earthy, savory, salty, and crunchy, made with flattened plantains picked while they are still green, their counterpart, maduros, meaning “ripe” in Spanish, are made with fried yellow plantains and taste sweet with a soft, gooey texture. Both pair perfectly with their fruity house-made sauces, like the zesty Spicy Mojo or the Banana Sauce. No visit is complete without indulging in one of their tropical rum cocktails, like the Guava Colada - a refreshing blended concoction of coconut cream, guava puree, and Bacardi Superior. Elevate your next team meeting with this delightful Cuban fare available for catering with Spork Bytes! Trust us, you will leave with a big ol’ smile on your face.
Is your body in need of a nourishing, nutrient-dense meal? Look no further than this friendly eatery known for its satisfying and hearty, fresh chopped salads. Their mission is simple - “make flavorful, whole foods more accessible in the Northwest by providing fresh food fast, one neighborhood at a time.” With three locations around the Portland metro area, including one in Happy Valley, we’d say they are succeeding. As a part of their noble objective, they also prioritize sourcing ingredients from local partners and farmers and work avidly to minimize their carbon footprint. Green on the outside, and on the inside, their salads are packed with nutritious veggies and toppings. Choose between a selection of chef-designed salads with inventive ingredient combinations, like the Hail to the Kale with crunchy kale, organic tempeh, vegan parmesan, and crispy chickpeas, tossed in a vegan caesar dressing. Not only is it super tasty but also vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free! If your stomach is growling for a protein-packed carnivorous option, try the ever-popular Chopped Cobb, which combines romaine lettuce, field greens, seared chicken, bacon, avocado, tomato, and cage-free egg with a tangy blue cheese dressing. Or put your own creativity to the test and elect for the build your own option, where you can choose between over 50 fresh, locally sourced ingredients to craft the salad of your dreams. With so many fresh items to choose from, it is easy to find options for every diet whether you are plant-based, dairy-free, gluten-free, or even keto. In addition to extensive salad options, the menu also features a variety of soups and warm bowls. Plus, every salad is available as a wrap! Fast, convenient, and delicious, this will be your new go-to stop for a nutritious midday meal. Crisp is also a great way to feed your team a quick, nutritious meal at work!
So you want high quality cuisine without the wait? Well, you are in luck my friend, because this iconic eatery is the answer you’ve been waiting for. Redefining the concept of fast food, Aprisa offers exceptional Mexican fare with a classic drive-through or walk up service window. Convenient and speedy, this is nothing like your typical greasy taco depot. Here, the food is served fresh and prepared using healthy, high quality ingredients. In fact, there isn’t even a freezer or microwave onsite. The menu is simple and easily customizable. Choose between tasty options like burritos, bowls, tacos, tortas and more. Then build-your-own adventure by selecting one of their tempting protein options and adding any delicious topping like shredded Monterey and Jack cheese, sautéed peppers and onions, zesty green chili sauce, tangy Baja sour cream, fresh guacamole and three flavor-packed salsas, which vary in heat. A favorite amongst our team at Spork Bytes is the breakfast burrito, a satisfying combination of fluffy scrambled eggs, grilled potatoes, savory protein (spicy chorizo, sage sausage, crispy bacon, or grilled veggies), and any toppings of choice, tightly rolled into a golden tortilla. Each burrito is branded with their name, Aprisa, on the side, which not only looks cool but adds an extra crunch to the tortilla. Better yet, they open early in the morning, making this the perfect breakfast pit stop on the way into the office. You can also share Aprisa with the entire team, with a burrito bar catered by Spork Bytes. Alongside serving delicious food, their team also focuses on creating a socially and environmentally responsible culture, making company decisions that have smaller impacts on the environment like opting for 100% sustainable and compostable boxes and serving materials. Even the restaurant itself is made out of a recycled shipping container, which would normally be considered industrial waste! This is exactly the type of out-of-the-box thinking that our community needs as the impacts of global warming become more and more devastating. Tasty burritos with a side of sustainability - we say yes, please!
Located in the Hillsdale neighborhood just off Capitol Highway, City Thai might be one of Portland’s best kept secrets. It’s like the place you only hear about through word of mouth because people want to keep it for themselves. Well, we’re letting you in on the secret now. City Thai Portland brings an authentic taste of Thailand served hot to your table. They want to be your guide to traditional and authentic made to order Thai food and we say, show us the way! Crowd favorites include the Pad Thai, Massaman Curry, and Mango Sticky Rice. Our team’s favorite time and again are the Chicken Golden Sacks. They’re as delicious as they are cute. City Thai boasts an extensive menu of flavorful Thai food including 13 curries, loads of chef specials and a wide variety of crispy appetizers. Several customer reviews mention consistency, which is incredibly important in the restaurant industry. With so much awry in the world today, we could all use a little consistency. Plus, their dishes are made to order, so City Thai is able to accommodate a variety of dietary preferences. With the new cocktails to-go program, you can now even get their signature cocktails like a Tamarind Whiskey Sour added to your takeout order. And when it comes to catering, City Thai is dressed to impress. They go above and beyond with their presentation, crinkle cutting vegetables into beautiful food flowers and lining each pan with a Thai newspaper. Give them a try for your next team happy hour or corporate event!
Established in 2009, Via Chicago brought Chicago-style deep-dish pizzas to Portland. In 2013 and after 3 years at the Farmers Market developing recipes and a strong local following, they upgraded to an airy, high-ceilinged spot on NE Alberta. Their roots are still alive, however, and you’ll still see Via Chicago pop up at the Portland Farmers Market seasonally. Owner Tonya Mayhew, a native Midwesterner who has been living in Portland for more than 10 years developed most of the recipes and according to co-founder Kevin Reynolds is “the heart and soul” of Via Chicago. “The interesting thing about Chicago style is that it’s kind of upside down. The meat and the veggies are on the bottom, then you put the cheese and the sauce on top.” - said Tonya in this OPB interview. Baking made-to-order deep-dish pizza requires a lot of time and patience. Completing a single pie can take up to 40 minutes. Luckily this is a great spot for a beverage with 8 rotating taps, over 20 canned or bottled options, and a healthy wine list. So order your pie, have a drink and kick back while the magic happens. Via Chicago has great vegan and vegetarian options and they always have at least one gluten-free pie available with a crust made from almond meal. In fact, any pie can be made vegan with house made tofu ricotta for FREE. Don’t forget to add their soft, buttery garlic knots and pick up a few homemade cannoli. "I think we really satisfy that niche for people who are from the Midwest who are looking for it. A lot of times it's not going to be like your UNO's or Lou Malnati's or whatever you're looking for, but it's unique to Portland" Tonya told the EastOregonian. Fan favorites are the Meaty, featuring hot sausage, pepperoni and giardiniera peppers and the Prosciutto & Arugula. Spork Bytes staff absolutely love the Artichoke & Parmesan, which is available for catering through our website. Midwesterners, this might not be the exact style of pizza you’re used to, but with a thick flaky crust, locally-sourced toppings, and delicious tangy sauce, we feel the spirit of Chicago is alive and well in Portland thanks to Tonya and Via Chicago.
We are grateful for this opportunity to showcase all of our amazing women-owned / co-owned restaurant and business partners. Hopefully we have convinced you by now that not only does supporting women-owned businesses feel great, it tastes great too! With Spork Bytes, you can enjoy any of these outstanding restaurants and more at your next corporate meeting or special event. Get started today to receive a custom proposal.
Ready for more delicious foodie finds? Give us a follow on social media @sporkbytes and feel free to reach out if you have any questions.
The Spork Bytes Team
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