Portland Real Estate Fun Tips: Favorite Cheap Eats in Portland

While Portland’s reputation as a fine dining destination is quickly growing, there are so many places to grab an inexpensive meal that the gourmets won’t be pushing out the cheap-eating lunch crowd any time soon. Even the fanciest places in town offer great happy hours and lunch specials, so no matter your budget you’ll be able to feed your appetite for great food in this great city. We certainly deserve the attention as an upcoming foodie city, but that doesn’t stop us from serving up great, local food at ridiculously low prices. Just like the Portland Real Estate market is full of deals on houses that would cost three times as much in other metropolitan areas, the Portland food scene is packed with great deals that would exhaust your budget in Manhattan or San Fransisco. Here are some of our favorite cheap eats in Portland – check them out when you’re touring homes for sale in Portland and you’ll feel very much at home.

Fire on the Mountain: 1706 E Burnside St. portlandwings.com – After one visit, you’ll find yourself dreaming about the crunchy hot wings at Portland’s only native wing joint. This little fry house has the freshest wings around, and over ten different homemade sauces to slather them in. Don’t fear bringing your veggie friends here: “Portland Wings,” AKA vegetarian “chicken” wings, or the “Vegeterranean” sandwich will fill them up. And if you happen to have a hankering for some old-fashioned sweet tea or state-fair-inspired deep-fried pickles or Twinkies, this would be your place. Get your wings with bourbon-chipotle sauce, and prepare to get hooked. This is a great place to watch big sports games or meet up with friends, and at under six bucks for a plate of wings, your wallet will be as full as your stomach.

Nicholas: 318 Southeast Grand Avenue – One of the Central Eastside’s finest cheap-eats restaurant is also one of the most popular Middle Eastern/Lebanese eateries in town, and for good reason: fresh ingredients fill an extensive menu that’s as easy on your budget as it is delicious. Plan for a little extra wait time during the lunch and dinner hours, as the small space fills up fast. You’ll find huge sandwiches in the $5 range, with kebabs and other good stuff around $7-8. They bring the huge handmade pita out still steaming, and place it on a pedestal on the table.

Saburo’s Sushi House Restaurant: 1667 Southeast Bybee Boulevard – This Sellwood sushi star is known for cheap, gigantic sushi. It’s probably not the best place for groups or quick dining as Portlanders from high and low flock to this sushi house for its good deals, and the lines to sit down are notorious. But once you get in, you’ll understand why. Where else can you get an entire platter of sushi for less than you’d spend on an entree anywhere else?

Bonnie’s Burger: 1111 NW 21st Ave., 224-8438 – Sometimes good things come in plastic containers. The Curry Rice at Bonnie’s Burger, a Northwest Portland institution that serves burgers and teriyaki chicken out of what both looks and feels like a gas station convenience store, is a hearty, stick-to-your-guts stew that serves two normal appetites or one really hungry lumberjack.

La Sirenita: 2817 NE Alberta St. – You have to try the $5.00 Super Burrito: pick a meat to be rolled up with rice, pico de gallo, the eggy crunch of petite rellenos and refried beans and grab a box for leftovers. This burrito is two meals even for the biggest appetites. Sure it’s a hole-in the wall but they make a good super-big, super-cheap burrito. What more could you ask for? You can also find amazing, high-quality Mexican food at many of the city’s wonderful taco trucks, part of Portland’s fantastic food cart culture.

Food Carts: Portland’s food cart scene has gotten a lot of attention from the New York Times, Bon Appetite, and Sunset Magazine, so you’ve probably heard all about the rebellious chefs leaving the restaurant world and taking on a micro-eatery in an old bus, truck, trailer, or train car. Any visit to Portland is incomplete without a visit to one (or six) of our food cart “pods,” what we call clusters of food carts that provide eats and drinks on the cheap. There are literally hundreds of carts around town–in parking lots, parks, front yards, college campuses–and each area offers its own distinct approach to small square-footage gourmet food. Many food carts are clustered in parking lots downtown, occupying the blocks around SW 4th and SW Hall, SW 5th and SW Stark, SW 9th and SW Yamhill, and SW 3rd and SW Washington, and there are other popular pods scattered all over the city. Whether you’re craving Baked Potatoes, Fish and Chips, Ice Cream & Gelato, Falafel, or Venezuelan food, you’ll find what you’re looking for. Need a guide? If you’re thinking of relocating to Portland, ask Kristie to drive you by the food carts. She can show you the best cheap meals closest to your next home!


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