Northeast Portland’s breakfast hot spot is the Cadillac Cafe (1801 NE Broadway, 503/287-4750, 6 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 7 a.m.–3 p.m. Sat.–Sun., $6–15), an always-jammed café with a ’61 pink-Caddy fixation. Simple, honest American fare with lots of flavor is what draws the crowds.
With a name like Gravy (3957 N. Mississippi Ave., 503/287-8800, 7:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. and 5–9 p.m. Tues.–Thurs., 7:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.–midnight Fri., 8 a.m.–3 p.m. and 5 p.m.–midnight Sat., 8 a.m.–3 p.m. Sun., $6–17), you’d rightly expect home cooking. This is the place for biscuits and gravy for breakfast, “double-wide” slices of bacon, or a massive chicken fried steak for dinner. The decor is Portland thrift store, but all the meats, eggs, and veggies are organic and the crowd is young, tattooed, and artistic.
Alberta Street is especially blessed with friendly and informal places for breakfast and lunch. The Tin Shed (1438 NE Alberta St., 503/288-6966, 7 a.m.–3 p.m. Mon.–Tues., 7 a.m.–10 p.m. Wed.–Sun., $8–13) has a comfortable and pet-friendly dining room that opens onto a large outdoor patio with a fireplace and a herb garden. Come here for breakfast, where creative egg scrambles—combinations of veggies and sausage, ham, or tofu served with a buttermilk biscuit and potato pancakes or cheese grits—are legendary. Breakfast is also the star at Helsers (1538 NE Alberta St., 503/281-1477, 7 a.m.–3 p.m. daily, $6–9), where you can get egg and homemade crumpet sandwiches, Scotch eggs, potato pancake torta, or spinach, tomato, and mushroom eggs Benedict in a sunny and bustling dining room.
For all these popular breakfast joints, expect an hour’s wait for tables on weekend mornings.
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel