Best Snacks in Portland

By Kate Donnelly and Katie Chang |
PORTLAND COUNTRY CAT PIMENTO CHEESE FWX

Perfect pimento cheese at the Country Cat Courtesy of Country Cat

While there’s nothing wrong with pretzels and hummus, we think the best snacks are (and should be) far more delicious and memorable. Whether you like them sweet or savory, here are the 8 best things you should be nosh on during your next visit to The City of Roses.

Pizza Jerk’s Pepperoni Pizza

It’s the East Coast-style pizza locals can’t stop talking about, and here’s why: The foldable crust pays respect to owner Tommy Habetz’s (from Bunk Sandwiches) Connecticut roots, with its balance of crisp, char and chew. The tomato sauce is vibrant and tangy. The cheese pleasingly stretches with each bite, and the suction cup-like Molinari pepperoni provide salt and spice. In short? Pizza perfection.

Related: Portland City Guide

Olympia Provisions’ Hot Dog

This extra-long, all-pork frankfurter is topped with onions, sweet relish, ketchup, and mustard – and tucked into a squishy white bun. (It’s like having all the nostalgic flavors you loved as a kid, but with a slightly grown-up twist.) To recreate the legendary snap at home, OP owner and salumist Elias Cairo says to boil the dog first, then crisp up the casing on a skillet for a few minutes.

Salt & Straw’s Sea Salt with Caramel Ribbons Ice Cream

Sure, it’s cool and creamy – actually, make that extra creamy with the help of 17-percent butterfat – but this sweet-salty flavor takes the cake with its indulgent blend of Guatemala-sourced Fleur de Sel and swirls of hand-burned caramel. Request a homemade waffle cone for the ultimate sweet treat.

RingSide Steakhouse’s Onion Rings

They almost upstage the chops at the beloved steakhouse, because they’re that good. So good, in fact, that James Beard once proclaimed they were “the best I’ve ever had.” Thickly-sliced and lightly battered, they arrive golden brown and piping hot table side, accompanied by gravy boats filled with ketchup and house dressing (a blend of French and Blue Cheese).

Pok Pok’s Fish Sauce Wings

Even after all these years, the wings are still the most popular item at Andy Ricker’s shrine to Southeast Asian cooking. Their hauntingly rich flavor is the result of marinating in fish sauce, sugar and garlic for several hours, crisping up in the fryer, and a glaze of extra marinade as the finishing touch. Did you know can make them at home now?

Related: The Secret to Making the Crispiest Chicken Wings Ever

Country Cat’s Potted "Judy" Cheese 

The pimento cheese that the family of owner and chef Adam Sappington served while he was growing up in the Midwest, it features Tabasco sauce, canned olive juice, and Budweiser, which is then “aged” for several days to deepen the flavors. From crudite to burgers, there’s little that doesn’t taste better with a healthy smear.

Blue Star’s Blueberry Basil Donut

All of the offerings at here are mini masterpieces – the buttery Brioche dough takes 18 hours to make – but this one, with its shockingly bright purple shiny glaze, is impossible to ignore. Made from fresh blueberries, basil, confectioner’s sugar, and Bulleit bourbon, it lends the pillowy, stretchy donuts a bright, tangy punch.

Masala Pop’s Savory Masala Popcorn

Inspired by the treats her mother would pack in her care packages as a kid, Masala Pop founder Neha Patel creates popcorn with the same care and love. Each batch of air-popped organic corn is tossed with turmeric, garlic, chili flakes, and sea salt. Crushed papadum (spiced lentil crackers) and cane sugar provide more crunch and a welcome hit of sweetness. It’s a seemingly simple snack you’ll find craving, no matter the time of day

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