I’m always in search of the best breakfast in Portland! Here are 21 of my favorite brunch spots and what to order. Plus, the important stuff, like if you get to have coffee while waiting in the brunch line! Things are still a little different because of COVID. Some Portland brunch spots are only seating outside, some have covered patios, or a mix of indoor/outdoor or takeout only. While others are taking a break while they sort things out. So here’s what’s currently open in fall 2021.
21 Best Breakfast Spots & Brunch in Portland:
And since it’s impossible for me to tell you my hands-down favorite Portland breakfast, I’ve ranked them by what they’re best for. Did you ask for my favorite or my favorite top 20? Enjoy!
- Best biscuits and gravy: Screen Door and Pine State Biscuits
- Best breakfast served in a skillet: Broder
- Best old-school Portland breakfast: Besaw’s, Tin Shed, and Zell’s
- Best breakfast with kids: Jam and Waffle Window
- Best pastries = breakfast: Petite Provence and Jinju Patisserie
- Best unassuming, hiding in a neighborhood, breakfast spot: Bar Carlo, Grain & Gristle, and Milk Glass Mrkt
- Best food cart breakfast: Fried Egg I’m In Love, and Matt’s BBQ
- Best coffee shop that also serves Brunch: Proud Mary and Cathedral Coffee
- Best non-traditional breakfast: Pambiche and EEM Thai BBQ
- Best downtown breakfast: Mother’s Bistro and Cheryl’s on 12th
- Best greasy spoon diner: Fuller’s Cafe and Nitehawk Cafe
- Best bagel breakfast: Bernstein Bagels and Henry Higgins Boiled Bagels
- Best breakfast burrito: Meat Cheese Bread
- Best hangover and bloody mary breakfast: Genie’s
- Best Portland airport breakfast: The Country Cat
- Best brunch with a side of pie: Sweedeedee
- Best fine dining (“wait, they do brunch?”) breakfast: Ava Gene’s or Radar
- Best trendy breakfast concept: Kimura Toast Bar and Waffle Window
Two of the most popular Portland breakfast experiences are the classic Mother’s Bistro and Screen Door. It’s where the guidebooks tell you to go and where other visitors tell you to go. And it’s also where strangers who find out you’re from Portland will mention (“Oh Portland! Voodoo Donuts, breakfast at Mothers/Screen Door, Powell’s Books!”). They’re both, agreeably fantastic brunch spots, but I argue that there are dozens of equally as tasty places to get your morning fix. So if you still want “the Portland brunch experience”, try one of the following spots. Don’t worry, you’ll still have to wait in line. We love our brunch.
1. Broder – Original, Nord, or Suder
A little taste of Scandinavia right here in Portland. What started as the tiniest cafe on SE Clinton, now has four locations, including North Portland, SW Portland, and Hood River. If you’re craving aebleskivers (Danish pancakes) or lefse (Norwegian potato crepe) Broder is your spot.
Broder Cafe 2508 SE Clinton St, Portland, OR 97202 (+ Mississippi, SW Oleson, Hood River)
What to order at Broder: aebelskivers with lingonberry jam and lemon curd and the swedish hash (pytt i panna).
2. Screen Door – eastside or Pearl
Portland’s biggest “not a secret” brunch spot. Come for the fried chicken piled on top of your waffles and the bloody mary. While they don’t get as much attention as the chicken and waffles, I’d argue that the biscuits and gravy are the best in Portland. Screen Door will also give you that classic Portland experience of waiting in line for brunch… and wait, and wait, and wait. Thankfully, they now have a second location downtown in the Pearl district. This new spot is huge and has outdoor seating as well!
Screen Door 2337 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214 (+ Pearl District)
What to order at Screen Door: chicken and waffles, biscuit and gravy, bloody mary.
3. Tin Shed
Up on Alberta, Tin Shed has excellent scrambles and bowls. And there’s a cool patio area, which is great year round, especially in COVID times. Plus, they’re dog friendly. You can pretend you have a dog, without the commitment. While Portland used to be a town with no breakfast reservations accepted, reservations are now strongly encouraged for Tin Shed. Oh how times have changed!
Tin Shed Garden Cafe 1438 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211
What to order at Tin Shed: Fetch or Stay egg scramble with potato cake and biscuit w/jam.
4. Besaw’s (temporarily paused)
An original Portland landmark – Besaw’s was an old saloon for the timber workers in the early 1900s. They even have an original mahogany bar. You can read more about their history here. Besaw’s is one of those restaurants that just makes everything delicious. They don’t just have one great dish! Unfortunately, Besaw’s is taking a short break as of fall 2021 and we can’t wait for them to reopen!
Besaw’s 1545 NW 21st Ave, Portland, OR 97209
What to order at Besaw’s: hash, eggs benedict, french toast, huevos rancheros, mimosas.
5. Jam on Hawthorne
This seriously charming and quirky spot on… Hawthorne, finally expanded half a decade ago into Big Jam and Little Jam. Gone are the days of intimate and quirky service of the original Jam, but this is a great spot for families with kiddos! And now that we’re in the era of COVID, they’re finally able to offer an outdoor seating area! SE 23rd Ave is now closed to vehicle traffic and Jam has popup tents and picnic tables out.
6. Pine State Biscuits – Alberta, NW 23rd, Division
Pine State is known for their biscuits and gravy in Portland. With several locations and a farmers market outpost, you’d think Pine State would be a short line. This is definitely not the case, but it’s worth the wait. Order the biscuits (hash browns are massive if you’re craving a side) or a breakfast sandwich. And the veggie gravy is actually good here.
Pine State Biscuits 2204 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211 (+ NW 23rd, SE Division)
What to order at Pine State Biscuits: Reggie deluxe breakfast sandwich or the biscuits and gravy with hashbrowns.
7. Petite Provence – Division, Alberta, Sandy
On the Portland breakfast scene longer than most of the other places on this list combined, Petite Provence is like a Parisian bakery mixed with Portland brunch. Go for the omelette and chocolate muffin or just about anything from the pastry side. Skip the standard coffee here and go straight for a massive and cheery yellow mug of caffe au lei. They now have additional locations on Alberta and Sandy.
Petite Provence Boulangerie & Patisserie 4834 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97206 (+ Alberta, NE Sandy)
What to order at Petite Provence: omelette, hash, pastries
8. Waffle Window
Attached to Bread & Ink cafe off Hawthorne, Waffle Window is a great chance to go 1/2 cart 1/2 restaurant by ordering your liege waffle from a walk up window. Specializing in Belgian waffles, the Waffle Window has all kinds of creative toppings in both savory and sweet options. If it’s summer, treat yourself to dessert with a seasonal berry waffle. Outdoor seating and indoor seating inside Bread & Ink cafe.
Waffle Window 610 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97214
What to order at the Waffle Window: Three B’s (Bacon Brie Basil) or Tomato B (Tomato, brie, basil) and the Strawberry Nutella waffle.
9. Bar Carlo
If you’re looking to get out of the downtown/inner SE core of Portland, check out Bar Carlo out on Halsey and 72nd in the Foster Powell neighborhood. Great mexican breakfast offerings and seasonal options. Service has always been known to be spotty, but still a great brunch spot.
Bar Carlo Mexi Cafe 6433 SE Foster Rd, Portland, OR 97206
What to order at Bar Carlo: chilaquiles, huevos a la Mexicana and the grilled pear sandwich
10. Fried Egg, I’m In Love – Mississippi, Hawthorne, Downtown
If you’re looking to hit Portland’s food cart and breakfast scene in one go, check out Fried Egg, I’m In Love. They have multiple locations now, including a food truck at Portland first food cart pod on N Mississippi. Consider it breakfast with a side of punny menu.
Fried Egg, I’m In Love 4237 N Mississippi Ave, Portland, OR 97217
What to order at Fried Egg I’m In Love: Yolko Ono breakfast sandwich
11. Proud Mary – (Dine-in is back open!)
Proud Mary is a more recent Australian import to the Portland breakfast and coffee scene. They made waves when they first arrived by announcing they were going to teach Portlanders how to do coffee. Oh snap, got our attention Aussies. Yes, they make good Australian coffee drinks, but they also have outstanding brunch offerings. They reopened for indoor dining this fall, but require proof of vaccination or negative covid test. Or you can order takeout and sit on the outdoor patio.
Proud Mary Cafe 2012 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211
What to order at Proud Mary: ricotta hotcake, avo toast, flat white coffee
Feeling like a Cuban morning? Head over to NE 28th for huevos a la Cubana and the best cafe con leche in town! Pambiche has been serving up their family’s Cuban dishes for over two decades. And although this spot gets wildly busy, it still feels like a special spot.
Pambiche 2811 NE Glisan St, Portland, OR 97232
What to order at Pambiche: huevos a la Cubana or ropa vieja, cafe con leche, tres leches cake
13. Mother’s Bistro
And then there’s always Mothers. Some of the best classic comfort food in Portland. Still going strong!
Mother’s Bistro & Bar 121 SW 3rd Ave, Portland, OR 97204
What to order at Mothers: biscuits and gravy, hash, bloody mary
14. Fuller’s Coffee
Fuller’s Coffee Shop is a legit old school diner. Established in 1947, Fuller’s is like a step back in time into 1950s Portland. On NW 9th and Davis in the Pearl district, Fuller’s is a tiny diner with counter service. And where you can find things like “bacon, 2 eggs, hashbrown, toast” as a menu item – with no cutesy names.
Fuller’s Coffee Shop 136 NW 9th Ave, Portland, OR 97209
What to order at Fullers: pancakes, eggs, bacon, hashbrowns, omelettes
15. Bernstein Bagels
Arguably the best bagels in Portland. And you can call it breakfast if you order one as a breakfast bagel sandwich! Pair it with Nossa Familia coffee that they serve and it’s one of the best on-the-go breakfasts around.
Bernstein Bagels 816 N Russell St, Portland, OR 97227
What to order at Bernstein Bagels: The Breakfast Sandwich or The Peter
16. Meat Cheese Bread
Meat Cheese Bread is thought of as a sandwich shop. And yes, they’re a fantastic lunch spot. But they also make one of my favorite breakfast burritos in Portland! Sometimes it’s hard to find a breakfast spot that opens before 9. Meat Cheese Bread opens at 7am, so this a great place for early breakfast.
Meat Cheese Bread 1406 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97214
What to order at Meat, Cheese, Bread: breakfast burrito (+ add on: avocado and bacon)
17. Genie’s Cafe (temporarily closed)
Genies is one of those classic Portland hangover breakfasts. They opened in 2004, so definitely have that old school Portland vibe. Plus, they serve some of the best bloody mary’s in Portland.
Genie’s Cafe 1101 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97202
What to order at Genies: eggs Benedict and bloody mary or french toast
18. The Country Cat at PDX Airport
The Country Cat was once one of Portland’s best restaurants, and helped revitalize the Montavilla neighborhood restaurant scene. They closed in 2019, but as luck would have it for Portland travelers – they still have their PDX airport location in Concourse D/E, where they also have a grab and go market.
The Country Cat Dinnerhouse & Bar 7000 NE Airport Way, Portland, OR 97218
What to order at The Country Cat: once known for fried chicken, waffles, and bloody Mary, now order whatever is on the more-limited PDX menu!
A North Portland favorite, Sweedeedee hopped into the breakfast scene in the early-2010s with their twee menu, decor, and record player sound system. What makes Sweedeedee unique in a sea of great Portland breakfasts is their knack for making some seriously yummy honey pie and other pastries and cakes alongside classic brunch offerings like eggs and french toast.
Sweedeedee 5202 N Albina Ave, Portland, OR 97217
What to order at Sweedeedee: sourdough toast plate or egg special and honey pie
20. Ava Gene’s (currently closed)
Ava Gene’s is one of Portland’s favorite Italian fine dining restaurants – specializing in small plates and family style with the best, fresh seasonal ingredients. It’s a great date night spot or place for a special celebratory meal. So it might come as a surprise that they also serve a delicious brunch! It often feels like a hidden gem on the Portland breakfast scene. There’s often no wait, because I think we all overlook it as a fine dining Italian spot.
Ava Gene’s 377 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97202
What to order at Ava Gene’s: frittata with prosciutto (duh!), babka waffles
21. Kimura Toast Bar
A more recent 2020 addition to the Portland breakfast scene, Kimura took over the old Ristretto Roasters space on N Williams. They serve up open-faced sandwiches and specialty toast on Japanese milk bread (called Shokupan) like toast with matcha butter, or strawberry toast, and yes, you’ll also find an avocado toast on the menu.
Kimura Toast Bar 3808 N Williams Ave, Portland, OR 97227
What to order at Kimura Toast Bar: strawberry toast, toast with matcha butter, avocado toast with bacon butter, Vietnamese coffee
Looking for more food tips? One of the best foodie resources for Portland is Eater PDX. All they write about is food! So they have some of the most up-to-date maps and news about new restaurant openings etc.
What’s your favorite breakfast place in Portland?
Originally written 2013, updated October 2021.