Laid-back Southeast Portland is a perfect habitat for breakfast joints, and one of the favorites is Cup and Saucer Cafe (3566 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503/236-6001, 7 a.m.–9 p.m. daily, $7–9), at the heart of the funky Hawthorne neighborhood. The decor is Formica chic, but the hearty breakfasts—mostly organic and many vegetarian—are served all day. Get there early on weekends. The tofu scramble is worth the wait.
The Bread and Ink (3610 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503/239-4756, 8 a.m.–9 p.m. Sun.–Thurs., 8 a.m.–10 p.m. Fri.–Sat., $10–25) is known as the gathering place in the Hawthorne neighborhood. For breakfast, an assortment of homemade breads and imaginative omelets will sustain you. Lunchtime diners line up for a massive burger topped with Gruyère cheese and Bermuda onion as well as locally esteemed salmon sandwiches. Dinner is a primer on local cuisine—whatever’s in season, the freshest ingredients are creatively prepared.
Step into tradition at Zell’s (1300 SE Morrison St., 503/239-0196, 7 a.m.–2 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 8 a.m.–2 p.m. Sat.–Sun., $7–14), a longtime eastside favorite for hearty breakfasts and lunch. The setting is a historic pharmacy, complete with an antique soda fountain, and the food is outstanding: The complimentary scones with homemade jam served at breakfast are amazing.
Heartland American comfort food has never tasted so good as at Savoy Tavern and Bistro (2500 SE Clinton St., 503/808-9999, 5–10 p.m. daily, $8–18). The Savoy doesn’t seek to update or transform classics of home cooking as much as to replicate them gloriously with top-notch ingredients and savvy of modern cooking techniques. Unless you’re from Wisconsin, you probably didn’t know that fried cheese curds existed. Start you’re meal with these molten dairy-product wonders and move on to excellent meatloaf, smoked trout, or grilled hanger steak. On Sundays, come for the fried-chicken dinner.
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel