Portland’s Best Brunches: Get Up and Eat!

Get your clothes on and get going—the coffee is ready. Portland offers no shortage of ways to start your day off right.

1155 SW Morrison St #102, Portland, OR 97205, USA
Doughnuts are to Portland what coffee is to David Lynch, both essential fuel and calling card. While there are many pretenders to the title of the city’s best doughnuts—Voodoo Doughnuts certainly sells the most Instagrammable food products—Blue Star, from ubiquitous local restaurateur Micah Camden, is the most consistent. Flavors range from powdered sugar to maple bacon to passion fruit cocoa nibs, sold fresh daily until no more remain. The downtown location gets crowded early on weekends, so plan ahead. In a pinch, grab them at Blue Star’s airport location—which makes asking a friend to pick you up at the airport a sweet request indeed.
1022 SW Stark St, Portland, OR 97205, USA
The second Ace Hotel and the first step in the oh-so-cool brand’s expansion, the Ace Hotel Portland can arguably claim to have launched the current boutique hotel craze. Though it sounds like a cliché in this age of thoughtfully designed hotels, the contemporary icon—opened in 2007 in the 1912 building that long housed the Clyde Hotel—was one of the first hotels designed to feel like a cool, culturally savvy friend’s home. It’s decorated with works by acclaimed local artists, outfitted with vintage furnishings and handcrafted decor (including signature Pendleton blankets), and staffed by trendy hipsters who point guests to the hottest underground music shows.

Hometown hero Stumptown Coffee Roasters opened one of its first cafés here, starting a partnership that has since taken the coffee halfway around the world to the Ace Hotel London. In Portland, the café simply helped define the Ace as the epitome of cool, a reputation that has only been further cemented by the opening of a popular farm-to-table restaurant and a subterranean cocktail bar. The true measure of the Ace’s cool factor, however, is that the hotel was parodied on an episode of Portlandia.
1100 SE Division St #100, Portland, OR 97202, USA
If you have a hankering for southern food, the buck stops here. With a to-die-for biscuit served with to-die-for gravy and to-die-for fried chicken (add an egg too!), you will be in Southern heaven! This spot only has five tables, so come early or wait in line, and no dallying!
1801 NE Broadway St, Portland, OR 97232, USA
This east-side eatery is a breakfast/brunch haunt for me, and it’s always busy on the weekends. No problem cleaning plates on Sunday morning after a full complement of Saturday night rambling. The waffles are always top heavy with fresh fruit. The Mexi dishes are done to perfection—for not being a Mexi place. Taters are tops. Coffee is pleasant and plentiful. Parking a pain. It’s on the rotation, and unlikely to be dropped anytime soon. Stop, you’re making me hungry.
1438 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211, USA
The Tin Shed is probably nowhere near wherever you might be in Portland but that matters not. Get a cab and go over there because the biscuits are so good they’ll make you wanna slap yo mama! You serve yourself coffee while you wait under the covered patio seating, they welcome dogs and their bloody mary is spectacular. This place rocks. Go check it out.
2335 NW Thurman St, Portland, OR 97210, USA
Finding fine French bakery goods beyond the borders of France would seem unlikely in this NW corner of the United States. St. Honoré has transformed a little shop in NW Portland into a cultural escapade you’d normally have to get on a plane to experience. This bakery has been a mainstay for the French community in PDX for years and now has a fanatic following that has forged two other locations. The original is a cozy cafe with French influences that make it impossible to drive by when the fresh bread aromas drift out onto Thurman Street. The space is open and inviting with a staff that loves to share their expertise about the whole St Honoré process. This was one of the only places open early for live Tour de France coverage accompanied with fine coffee and pastries. Rolling up in the dark on my bike back in the days of Lance (c’est dommage) to find the place already packed was Franco-fantastic. The restaurant is designed to get patrons to be part of the scene. With the baking close and the big banquet vibe, you instantly feel part of the Honoré table. The menu goes beyond pastries and desserts. Lunch or dinner at Honoré is a trip to Paris or Provence for under $20. Try the panini or manager’s special to light things up. Hang around for sweets with a tart or gateau, and wash it down with a cafe au lait. Don’t forget something for the home front—a baguette at the very least. C’est somptueux!
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