Gastronomic bliss: The tasty, affordable food in SW Portland

Killer Burger, located on 3rd and Washington, home of some of downtown Portland's largest burgers. Christian Profeta/PSU Vanguard

Welcome, new students, to Portland State! I have been honored with providing you a general guide for something all Portlanders take seriously: food. With PSU being planted right in the heart of downtown, you’ll have access to some of the most delicious, innovative and culturally diverse dishes the Rose City has to offer. Whether you’re looking for breakfast, a quick grab-and-go lunch or a late-night munchies run (toke responsibly), Portland’s got it. Not only will your stomach thank you, but your wallet will, too. So take some time off from looking through the nooks and crannies of campus and prepare your taste buds, ’cause we sure do have a hell of a lot of grub.

Let’s start with breakfast. Park Avenue Cafe is your ideal hub for delicious meals and exquisite coffee. Their variety of bagel sandwiches, croissants, breakfast wraps and omelettes are appetizing, with an affordable price of around $5–6. The staff is always outgoing, there’s almost always a soccer match playing on the TV inside, and their coffee is nothing to joke about. If you need something quick to eat or somewhere to grab a coffee and cram the last of your notes before an exam, Park Avenue is your niche.

After the most important meal of the day, it’s time to really get going. Lunch is by far one of my favorite meals, and we are blessed with a wide variety of food carts around Southwest Portland. Walk on down to Southwest Fourth and College and there’s a whole street of them. Nong’s Khao Man Gai has been featured in various publications for their delicious eats, Portland Soup Company has some of the best mixes of soups and sandwiches, and the chicken tikka masala from New Taste of India has never failed to impress me.

If you have some time, the food carts on Southwest Ninth and Alder are also amazing. They have almost anything you can think of, whether it be kofta, mici, burritos, crepes, bento or even grilled cheese. The quality of the food is almost as awesome as the portions and prices themselves.

Craving a burger? Go to Killer Burger. These burgers are by far some of the best I’ve had (and I come from the land of In-N-Out, so that should say something). Their different types of burgers, mixed with some great beer and an epic rock playlist, will leave you more than satisfied.

So now we’re getting to dinner, and if you’re someone like me whose dinnertime can range from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., we have to talk about the late-night food scene. Pizza? Off to Sizzle Pie you go. Slices are generously sized, and they’re open until around 3 or 4 a.m. Want something healthier? Try Luc Lac Vietnamese Kitchen. They’re normally open until midnight, and their stylish aesthetic complements their amazing pho and banh mi.

Overall, food will not be a problem for you when going to PSU. We have options for early birds, night owls, stoners, vegans, vegetarians and every other class of eater there is. With over 500 food carts, and an endless array of brick-and-mortar restaurants in this city, you better start eating away.


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