Food & Drink

Our Favorite AANHPI-Owned Restaurants in Portland

Friendship Kitchen, Kulfi, and More Restaurants for May and Beyond
May 10, 2023
Enjoy Vietnamese cuisine and convivial vibes at Friendship Kitchen. (Friendship Kitchen)
May has been designated as Asian, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month, which highlights the AANHPI community's many contributions to American culture. One way to show your gratitude is to support AANHPI-owned businesses during May and all year long. To get you started, we've curated this list of some of our all-time favorites. For more ideas, check out our food and drink guide.

Berlu List
Chef Vince Nguyen earned acclaim for his unpretentious, Pacific Northwest-influenced tasting menus when he opened Berlu in 2018. Rather than close during the advent of the pandemic, he used the opportunity to delve deeper into his Vietnamese roots, running a takeout-only bakery and turning out irresistibly chewy treats like bành bò nướng and pandan waffles. The James Beard-nominated restaurant has since reopened for dine-in with an innovative Vietnamese street food-inspired tasting menu.
Pickup, dine-in

Bing Mi List and Bing Mi Dumpling and Noodle Bar List
The popular cart Bing Mi slings Chinese street food-style crepes folded into quarters and stuffed with fillings. The Portland Mercury's Suzette Smith writes, "There's no real need for meat on the jianbing, but bacon, smoked sausage, or Chinese sausage all work on it—in a breakfast burrito sort of way. There's also duck on the menu, if you have a taste for such a rich delight. Probably finding the right jianbing combination—for you—calls for a little trial and error, so you'll want to start putting these delightful crepes in your mouth as soon as possible." The cart also launched a Northern Chinese-focused dumpling and noodle bar last year.
Nob Hill
Pickup, dine-in

Butterfly Belly Asian Cuisine List
Suzette Smith writes, "Hidden pho gem Butterfly Belly possesses an eccentric charm one finds at many family-owned neighborhood cafes...Though they're most proud of their bone broth beef pho—their bone broth is cooked for 48-hours to get all that delicious flavor—Butterfly Belly is also an underground hit with gluten-free eaters, vegetarians, and vegans. Butterfly advertises a dedicated gluten-free menu, and their menu is vast—everything from sweet potato fries to Vietnamese fusion tofu tacos! If you're a meat-eater, I heartily recommend their OMG Pho, which comes with delicious cuts of brisket and steak. The broth is everything they promised and more."
Pearl District
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

DesiPDX List and Masala Lab PDX List
Deepak Saxena's restaurant DesiPDX specializes in Indian food with Western and international influences, made with locally sourced ingredients. His brunch spinoff Masala Lab PDX List also offers Indian-inspired brunch and pastries, with comforting dishes like pakora waffles and a reimagined BLT (ghee-toasted New Cascadia sourdough, tomato chutney, house spiced bacon, ghee fried egg, and arugula).
Boise, King
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

Hat Yai, Langbaan, Lazy Susan List , Paadee List , and Phuket Cafe List
James Beard-nominated chef and restaurateur Akkapong “Earl” Ninsom is the unstoppable force behind the highly praised fried chicken joint Hat Yai, the family-friendly charcoal grill restaurant Lazy Susan, the acclaimed Thai tasting menu restaurant Langbaan, the Thai comfort food destination Paadee, and the Bangkok-inspired Phuket Cafe, all of them very much worth your time.
Kerns, Vernon, Montavilla, Nob Hill
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

Friendship Kitchen List
This warm, welcoming Vietnamese restaurant from Trang Nguyen serves chicken wings, garden rolls, bún bò Huế, cơm tấm, bánh mì, and lemongrass chicken bowls, in addition to cocktails like the "Lychee Is For Lovers" (rosewater, gin, Giffard Lichi-Li, lemon, simple syrup, crushed rose sugar, and a rosebud garnish) and the "Pho-jito" (described as if "pho and a mojito had a baby"). 
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

GrindWitTryz List
The buzz-worthy Hawaiian cart-turned-restaurant GrindWitTryz quickly gained an ardent following for its Oahu-style cuisine, with dishes like fried chicken, kalua pig, spicy ahi poke, "Hawaiian nachos," and loco moco.
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

Kim Jong Grillin' List
This Korean favorite has earned a reputation as one of the city's most iconic food carts. Chef and food truck owner Han Hwang has even appeared on the Food Network's The Great Food Truck Race: All Stars.
Pickup, delivery, dinepin

Kulfi List
Married couple Kiran Cheema and Gagan Aulakh serve up Indian ice cream pops with signature flavors like Vietnamese coffee and rosewater alongside treats like falooda (a cold Indian dessert made with vermicelli noodles) and soda floats with vanilla pops. The business recently opened a new location in Boise in early April.
Boise, Vernon

Magna Kusina List
The Portland Mercury's Andrea Damewood wrote in 2019, "It’s never easy to open a restaurant, but the opening of Magna Kusina—the new intensely personal restaurant from Carlo Lamagna celebrating his Filipino heritage—is a particular triumph. Filipino food, long difficult to find outside major cities and often disregarded by mainstream food media, is coming into its own nationwide—as a result, Lamagna’s restaurant was making the most-anticipated lists across the country." Lamagna also plans to open List a new restaurant called Magna Kubo, inspired by the lechonerías of the Philippines, on Southwest Broadway Street in Beaverton this spring.
Pickup, dine-in

Mama Chow's Kitchen List
In 2014, Andrea Damewood wrote, "I HAVE NO PATIENCE for people who say Portland has crappy Chinese food. Sure, we're no New York or San Fran, but there are a few mighty fine Szechuan joints, some very decent dim sum, and chewy handmade noodles in each quadrant. And now, rolling straight out of the Bay Area, we have Mama Chow's Kitchen, with some seriously soulful wonton soup and wings with a hard punch of umami. Mama Chow's is one of those gems that you can tell is going to make it, good press or not. It may not be the most traditional, but there are some well-balanced flavors coming out of Mama Chow's Kitchen—only adding to an ever-growing club of truly good Chinese restaurants in the area. So, haters, put that in your chopsticks and chew on it."
Pickup, dine-in

Mirisata List
The smash-hit Sri Lankan pop-up-turned-restaurant Mirisata is entirely BIPOC worker-owned and serves an all-vegan menu. One of the most popular dishes is a rice and curry plate with a variety of curries served over banana leaves. They also have a vegan version of kottu roti (a famous Sri Lankan street food typically made with godhamba roti and vegetables, egg and/or meat, and spice), made with meatless Chick'n or polos (jackfruit).
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

Mama Đút List  
Thuy Pham's Vietnamese pop-up, which she started at the beginning of the pandemic while unable to continue her job as a hairdresser, specializes in vegan Vietnamese food, with remarkably realistic plant-based versions of crispy pork belly, chicken wings, and other meats. Pham opened a brick-and-mortar restaurant, serving delights like mushroom bao buns, jackfruit bánh mì, and turmeric waffles, in November 2020, and the spot has grown into a huge sensation.
Pickup, dine-in

Matta List
Owner Richard Le serves excellent việt kiều food inspired by his upbringing in San Jose, California, which is currently home to the largest Vietnamese population outside of Vietnam. That could mean a nem nuong (Vietnamese grilled pork sausage) burger, fried catfish sandwich, or green pandan doughnuts.
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

Nong's Khao Man Gai
Andrea Damewood wrote of James Beard-nominated chef and owner Nong Poonsukwattana's iconic restaurant, "Anyone who cares about food in this town has likely eaten Nong's Khao Man Gai dozens of times: an $8 bundle of joy wrapped in butcher paper with chicken (white or dark meat, or a blend), rice, a few cucumbers, and soup. Extras include the mandatory chicken skins or the less-required chicken-fat poached livers, each $1. Nong has clearly mastered the art of specialization. She set out to make top-notch chicken and rice, and that's been done."
Downtown, Buckman
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

Pot N Spicy List
When you're in the mood for a simmering cauldron full of spicy Sichuan soup, look no further than this affordable 82nd Avenue spot. The restaurant offers a delightful range of skewers and noodles to supplement your broth of choice.
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

The Sudra List
This vegan Indian restaurant has won over herbivores and omnivores alike with its inventive plant-based dishes, such as soy curl tikka masala, kale saag paneer, and jackfruit vindaloo.
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

Yoko's List
Andrea Damewood wrote, "The seared albacore sashimi or nigiri are perfect bites of local fish spiked with pepper. The scallops on the nigiri are always soft and light, and the poki roll is a flavorful rainbow of ahi and albacore draped atop a roll with avocado and cucumber inside. But the real secret of Yoko’s is the most iconic sushi dish in town: Taka’s tuna. I could wax poetic for hours if you let me. It’s a mountain of spicy ahi tuna piled atop avocado and a patty of rice fried into the shape and texture of a McDonald’s hash brown. I love seeing the face of anyone I bring for the first time as they first poke gingerly at the massive construction with chopsticks, before abandoning utensil and pretense and using their hands. Rife with texture, sesame, chili oil flavors, and overall wonder, it’s by far the most popular dish the restaurant sells."

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