Food & Drink

The Best Places for Girl Dinners in Portland

Charcuterie, Cheese, and More
August 3, 2023
Partake in girl dinner at the snack shop Cheese & Crack. (Cheese & Crack)
If you've spent any amount of time on TikTok recently, you're probably already aware of the phenomenon that is "girl dinner." For the uninitiated, girl dinner is a near-effortless meal composed entirely of snacks, such as bread, cheese, fruit, veggies, salami, olives, and crackers—and it even has its own catchy theme song to boot. The trend is divisive, to say the least—some people love it, while others have justifiably criticized it for promoting disordered eating or being an unnecessarily gendered rebranding of the already-perfectly-fine phrase "snack dinner." Personally, as long as the portions are sufficient, we're down with what the girl dinner represents at its core—a playful and easy way to put together a nourishing repast at the end of a long day, regardless of gender. If you'd rather take it one step further and have someone else do the work for you, we've gathered a list of places in Portland where you can secure your very own girl dinner below.

Cheese & Crack Snack Shop List
Devoutly dedicated to all things dairy, this snack shop offers "sampler plates" complete with Beecher's cheddar, Hook's Bleu, brie brûlée, caña de oveja (sheep's milk cheese), house-made rustic butter crackers, sliced baguette, olives, cornichons, marionberry jam, Dijon mustard, and honey. Each platter feeds two to four people, making it an ideal option for sharing with a few friends. If your group is feeling particularly hungry, there's also a "deluxe" option with salami, capicola, and extra baguette slices.

Grape Ape List
Industry alum Morgan Schick opened this laidback natural wine bar and bottle shop in the Central Eastside neighborhood in May. Named for a strain of weed, the chic, colorful space features a selection of low-intervention wines from around the country and around the world, as well as house-made vermouth and low-alcohol cocktails on tap. The food menu from former G-Love List chef Jose Sabas is full of cheeky bites perfectly suited for a girl dinner, including cured meats or cheese with bread and pickles; whitefish roe with shallots, crème fraîche, and potato chips; and marinated white beans with Duke's mayo on toast.
Central Eastside

Kachka Lavka List
Kachka's cafe and deli has plenty of options for Slavic snacking, including breads, caviar, cheeses, meat, tinned fish, pickles, preserves, and condiments. Choose your own adventure, or check out the "Baltic Picnic" (smoked sprats served with parsley mayo, a hard-boiled egg, pickled onions, herbs, and pumpernickel toasts).

OK Omens List
Piece together a meal with starters like warm white cheddar beignets, oysters, Castelvetrano olives, French cheeses, fried chicken bites, and fries with harissa ranch at this lovely wine-focused restaurant. Save room for the aptly named "Kinda Like a McFlurry" (vanilla ice cream, peanut butter cups, Butterfingers, Heath bar, and chocolate) for dessert.
Ladd's Addition

Olympia Provisions
What better place to acquire a girl dinner than Portland's very own charcuterie specialist? Choose from an array of boards and snacks at their restaurants, or simply purchase meaty delights like salami and pâté to create your own masterpiece. Plus, check out their recently opened Little Bitter Bar List inside the Grand Stark Hotel for all things antipasti and spritzes—marinated olives, fontina arancini, and a salumi platter with a fizzy cocktail sound like the makings of a perfect summer evening.
Buckman, Richmond

P's and Q's Market List
Like a Lunchable, but better: The beloved upscale grocer will pack up a "picnic plate" for you, complete with turkey, Swiss cheese, apples, sweet potatoes, house pickles, and grilled bread.

Sebastiano's List
Stock up on freshly baked focaccia, muffuletta, Sicilian pizza, salads, cheese, crackers, olives, tinned fish, and baked goods at this Italian deli and take your moveable feast over to Montavilla Park.

Urdaneta List
Spain and the Basque country have been channeling the spirit of "girl dinner" with their tapas and pintxos since long before it was a TikTok trend. This romantic Spanish-Basque dining destination from chef-owner Javier Canteras features a mix of modern and traditional bites on its ever-changing menu.

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