The 10 Best Restaurants of 2013

The 10 Best Restaurants of 2013

Photo of Margot Mazur

A guide to the delicious spots writing Portland's next food chapter.

10 Places
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    Lardo, founded three years ago as another over-the-top food cart, has become a mini-empire of sandwich shops with national ambitions.
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    Menus are small, but tiny gestures loom large. Sproule’s brand of “only what we love” cooking is deployed with French techniques, farm-fresh obsession, and more enthusiasm than the entire cast of Glee.
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    Toast plates emerge as buttery slabs of bread heaped with changing toppings, from homemade Nutella etched with good olive oil to almond butter and bruléed bananas. If Mom weren’t looking, this is what you’d eat every day.
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    You may find yourself howling for a crispy skin. Then comes a vision of lobster pho with beefy broth, handmade cuttlefish noodles, habanero heat, Thai herbs, and a lifetime of pleasure. You’re hooked.
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    I’d return just for sweet-and-sour yen ta fo soup, or the wildly charred kuaytiaw khua kai noodles. But I’m a fool for that breakfast—it tastes like a revelation.
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    Sweedeedee proudly serves “pie, breakfast and lunch.” Outside, jars of tea “cook” in the sun. Inside, mason jars double as wall art and napkins arrive clasped in kitchen-bag ties.
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    Ambience aside, what really caught my attention were Pomeroy’s corn dogs—corn dogs!—remodeled as super-delicious cylinders of dainty corn bread and spicy Chinese sausage, with hot mustard and sweet chile sauce on the side for dunking.
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    Holdfast holds court several times a month at Northwest Portland’s KitchenCru, a well-equipped kitchen rented to culinary dreamers by the hour. Preisch has unleashed some of the best food to be found in Portland.
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    One night I landed on the world’s first mash-up of Asian bubble tea and Downton Abbey: a glass of lemon verbena iced tea and “sweet tea pearls” sipped through a candied straw fashioned from puréed peaches
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    Joyful simplicity, great ingredients, the acuity of intention: this is Ava Gene’s stand. Come with friends, plan to laugh, order wide and deep.
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