Post overview: Best tasting menus in Portland, Oregon
Perhaps you finally got the promotion you’ve been grinding for or maybe your special someone (finally) said yes. Hell, maybe it’s just Tuesday and that’s reason enough to celebrate.
Whatever the occasion, there’s no shortage of great Portland tasting menus worthy of commemorating special occasions. The hardest part is choosing the restaurant, but that’s where I come in.
There’s nothing worse than shelling out for a meal you’ve forgotten by the time you get to the car (or bike). So I’d like to help you out by offering my personal list of the best tasting menus in Portland.
Best Tasting Menus Portland, Oregon
Ask any Portlander about the best tasting menus in Portland and the honest ones will name Le Pigeon first, the dishonest ones will keep it a secret. Opened in 2006 by (then 25-year old) Chef Gabriel Rucker, Le Pigeon is credited for single-handedly putting Portland on the national culinary map. I’m not exaggerating.
Since opening, the restaurant garnered praise from food critics and notable chefs across the nation. Naturally, Chef Rucker pocketed not one, but two prestigious James Beard awards. To this day, serious foodies make pilgrimages to Portland specifically for this gem.
Let’s talk about the food. Le Pigeon focuses on seasonal French-inspired cuisine using ingredients sourced from the bounty of the Pacific Northwest.
Offering two exceptional 5-course tasting menus (one for vegetarians) in a relaxed setting, I recommend opting for the brilliant wine pairing to cap off your experience.
Brace yourself for five unforgettable dishes that look deceptively small but deliver an unforgettable experience en masse — you can’t leave hungry. Everything on the plate is intentional and nothing vies for attention at the expense of something else. Harmony is the name of the game at Le Pigeon.
The attentive waitstaff are eager to share their knowledge to ensure you get the most from your evening. The entire tasting menu affair feels inviting and approachable, largely thanks to the pretension-free service.
My take: Of all the tantalizing tasting menus in Portland I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying, I can honestly say that none has been more memorable than Le Pigeon. The foie gras profiteroles haunt me to this day.
The service is top-notch, the food is unforgettable and the price-to-quality ratio is perfectly fair. Trust me, this is a Portland tasting menu experience you can’t forget.
- Cost of tasting menu, per person: $125 + 20% gratuity
- Address: 738 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214, United States
“Food can be very transformational, and it can be more than just about a dish. That’s what happened to me when I first went to France. I fell in love. And if you fall in love, well, then everything is easy.”Alice Waters
Han Oak (the best “comfort food” tasting menu in Portland)
What first attracted me to Han Oak was an episode of the Netflix show Ugly Delicious. The episode focused on notable Portland restaurants and shone a light on Han Oak. As I watched the chef’s 4-year old son dart past the dangling legs of happy diners, I was intrigued by the chef’s keen instance on work/life balance.
Well, it turns out this venerable Korean restaurant is located right next door (literally) to Chef Peter Cho’s home. If you’re lucky enough to get reservations for the tasting menu at Han Oak, the first thing you notice upon arrival is how homey the restaurant feels.
The half-outdoor, half-indoor restaurant consists of long communal tables and makes you feel like an invited guest, which you technically are.
Eager to leave the City that Never Sleeps, Cho and his partner, Sun Young Park, opened Han Oak in 2016 in Portland — a city known for easy-going locals and a speedometer forever stuck in the cruise position. The result? Nothing short of instant success.
Focusing predominantly on Korean cuisine, Chef Cho likes to change things up with the seasons. But fret not, quality is never compromised. After closing down for 21 months due to COVID, Han Oak re-opened with a new concept, Han Oak Hot Pot.
Diners get a set menu of shaved meats to dip into a satisfyingly rich bone broth, with a side of the much-beloved hand-pulled noodles and signature dumplings. If you’re looking for a great Portland tasting menu more akin to a comfort meal, made a beeline for Han Oak.
Cost of tasting menu, per person: $65
Address: 511 NE 24th Ave, Portland, OR 97232, United States
Langbaan (the best Thai-inspired tasting menu in Portland)
The aptly named Langbaan restaurant comes from the Thai word for “back of the house,” a reference to the area in a Thai home where the dinning room is located and meals are lovingly shared.
True to its name, the dining experience at this tiny restaurant seats 24 people and feels like being warmly welcomed to sit at the table in someone’s home.
Opened by Earl Ninsom, a beloved Portland chef with several award-winning Thai restaurants under his belt, Langbann is a tasting-menu only restaurant that feels exclusive for one reason alone – the notoriously long wait-list is up to 6 months long at times.
Inspired by the energetic buzz of Thai kitchens, Langbann serves authentic and traditional Thai cuisine in the form of a mouth-watering tasting menu curated using local ingredients. Rest assured, you can feel the love poured into every dish — a perfect harmony between old-world recipes and this morning’s farmers market score.
Langbaan offers one of the most popular tasting menus in Portland which is why reservations are hard to come by. If you’d like to enjoy a meal at this restaurant, plan to book well in advance.
Also worth mention, there’s no official dress code, but patrons are asked to dress for a celebration. Open Friday, Saturdays and Sundays.
Cost of tasting menu, per person: $105
Address (NEW location): 1818 NW 23rd Place, Portland, OR 97209, United States
Coquine is an award-winning Portland restaurant best known for their toothsome farm-to-table French-inspired tasting menus. In fact, many seasoned Portland chefs turn to this very restaurant when they’re in need of a good meal and some inspiration.
Helmed by Katy Millard, a well-regarded chef that trained in multiple Michelin-starred French kitchens, Coquine was welcomed with open arms when it opened in 2015. The restaurant was named Restaurant of the Year by Eater Portland that same year.
It’s not hard to see why Coquine is laden with praise. The seasonal dishes are thoughtfully cooked to perfection using masterful techniques. Effectively resulting in one of the most delightful tasting menus in Portland. Complete your meal with the optional wine pairing (considered one of the best in Portland) or opulent supplements like oysters and caviar.
There’s two tasting menus to choose from:
- The 4-course tasting menu (omnivore & vegetarian options available).
- The 7-course tasting menu (includes vegetable, seafood, & meat dishes. This is a set menu; no modifications can be accommodated).
Cost of tasting menu, per person: $75 (4-course), $135 (7-course, non-vegetarian menu)
Address: 6839 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR 97215, United States
Best tasting menu in Portland for pescatarians: Jacqueline
One of the best seafood tasting menus in Portland is Jacqueline (a personal favorite of mine). This chic seafood-forward restaurant is dressed to impress and exudes a welcoming vibe. Between the quirky decor (shout-out to the Bill Murray portrait) and the knowledgeable staff, you’ll feel right at home.
The easy-going vibe is not to be misunderstood, the folks that run this joint take seafood very seriously. Every dish is thoughtfully prepared with ingredients scored the morning of, ensuring the meal is as fresh as possible.
If you’re unsure what to order, the 8-course tasting menu can’t be beat. The portions are generous without overwhelming. Perfectly spaced, you can take in the intricate flavors of each respective dish and leave completely satisfied at the end of the meal.
I’ve visited Jacqueline on two separate occasions and found myself impressed both times. A dish worth calling out is the decadent Dungeness Crab toast, which is best-described as arrestingly delicious. Seriously, the thing could launch a thousand ships and might (might) turn the most platonic relationship into something more — but no guarantees.
Also worth mention, at $75 per person for seafood, this is one of the most affordable tasting menus in Portland. I can’t recommend it enough.
Cost of tasting menu, per person: $90
Address: 2039 SE Clinton St, Portland, OR 97202, United States
Tercet (formally Roe)
Tercet, formally called Roe, has long-graced the top of Portland’s fine dining scene in the seafood category. The restaurant used the long lock-down during the pandemic to reset and reflect before reopening under a new name, but keeping most of the same team.
The restaurant’s commitment to excellence shines through in the 8-course tasting menu, which is well-curated and guarantees to satisfy just as it has in the past.
Using Japanese, French and Peruvian techniques, the focus remains on high-quality seafood, but the flavorful seasonal vegetables and satisfying meat courses will have you tossing coins for your favorite part of the meal.
Cost of tasting menu, per person: $150
Address: 515 SW Broadway # 26, Portland, OR 97205, United States
Castagna is lauded as a progressive fine-dining restaurant that have been serving Portland for more than twenty years. Most admired for giving Portlanders a chance to go neck-and-neck with fine dining restaurants in bigger cities like NYC but without the steep price tags, waitlists or crowds.
The executive chef, Justin Woodward was nominated for the James Beard Foundation’s Rising Star Chef award in 2013, and Best Chef Northwest award in 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018. He was also awarded a ‘Rising Star’ award by Starchefs in 2018. All this to say, the man knows his craft.
Focusing on seasonal and local ingredients prepared with exceptional skill and impressive techniques, the restaurant offers two knock-out tasting menus.
The well-curated 6-course dinner ($100) covers all the basics, while the exciting chef’s tasting menu ($165) might leave you booking a second reservation before you walk out the door.
You can add a wine pairing to both options and I highly recommend doing so, it completely changes the tasting menu experience.
Note: Castagna has temporarily suspended indoor dining for the time being. I will update when their tasting menu and dine in options return.
The best tasting menus in Portland (Post Summary)
In sum, here’s best tasting menus in Portland, Oregon based on firsthand experience.
- Le Pigeon
- Han Oak
- Tercet (formally Roe)
Map of the best Portland, Oregon tasting menus
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Portland lost a lot of strong contenders to the COVID pandemic, which left a glaring void in the fine-dining scene. But not all is lost, the Portland tasting menus that pulled through did so for a reason.