The leaves are turning colors, the days are getting shorter, and fall cravings are in full force here in PDX. Between hitting up pumpkin patches and taking full advantage of harvest season at the vineyards, you’re bound to get hungry and thirsty along the way.
So, where should you go this year to fulfill those cravings? This list will help you answer the call for seasonal ciders, pumpkin spice lattes, fall cocktails, fresh autumn dishes with seasonal vegetables, and desserts.
These specials are great for date nights, family days out, and catching up with friends. And many of these offerings can be picked up and enjoyed at home, which makes it easy to enjoy fall treats in today’s very upside-down times.
So, without further ado, here is the fall bucket list for Portland foodies. Check out the linked Instagram pages for the latest updates and new specials throughout the fall.
Bergerac’s festive fall martinis
When you want some decadent French food – made by a French native chef – Bergerac in SE Portland is where you want to go. A few years ago, I did a behind-the-scenes interview with the chef who then shared a cooking demonstration of duck confit and a few other French dishes.
For family take-out, try their new Italian pastas to-go.
And for date night, try a fall cocktail special. The new fall pear martini is made of pear-infused vodka, cinnamon simple syrup, and lemon juice. If you’re in a pumpkin mood, try the spiced pumpkin martini. It hits all the notes for pumpkin fanatics.
Nicholas Restaurant’s Halloween treats
First, a disclosure: I have been a longtime fan of their Lebanese food, and in recent years, I’ve also been their social media manager. Nicholas Restaurant is a great place to take the whole family for a meal out. Keeping the family-friendly vibe going strong, this year they are inviting diners to celebrate Halloween weekend with them.
Kids will be treated to a free bag of candy on both Friday 10/30 and Saturday 10/31. So, you can skip a night of cooking PLUS get treats for the little ones. Win-win.
Blue Star Donuts is serving cidermosas and fall donuts
Well here’s some fun news: Blue Star serves mimosas! And any day, they’ll launch a new cidermosa (yes, that’s a cider mimosa – – genius!) along with some festival fall donuts in their shops. Plus, they just launched a few new flavors, including a marionberry donut.
The great news is that you can try the donuts right from the grocery store. That’s right – ALL Portland-area New Seasons will carry Blue Star Donuts by the end of October. Plus, you can find them at some other grocers including Market Of Choice (West Linn, Belmont, Cedar Mill locations) and Green Zebra (Division, Kenton).
Pumpkin spice cider from Portland Cider
Catch up with friends or pick up drinks to go from Portland Cider. While they serve delicious varieties of ciders all year long, they have some new fall specials, including a pumpkin spice cider.
The pumpkin spice cider is semi-dry and tastes like your favorite holiday pie. Yup, all of the spices are in there including cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and ginger. It is made from the fruit of 100% Northwest apples. This cider is a hit, but it is almost sold out, so swing by a taproom to grab a crowler while it’s still on tap.
Another cider to get excited about is the 2020 PDX Community. This cider is now on tap in both taprooms and will be available to local Portland retailers very soon. This cider is unique because 10 percent of sales will be donated to Hunger-Free Schools, a segment of Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon.
Fall Sushi Burritos at Rollin’ Fresh NW
First, huge congrats to Rollin’ Fresh NW for opening a new brick and mortar location this year (in addition to running three fabulous food carts). I met the owner, Ryan, years ago when filming an interview on his sushiritto food cart. They’ve also recently been featured on Food Network.
Anyway, if you haven’t tried a sushiritto yet (sushi + burrito = sushiritto), then you must be living under a rock. Get out and try one! Basically, it is a generous amount of sushi rolled into a giant burrito served with amazing sauces and dips. You can also get them in poke bowls and as salads.
On the side, try one of their new fall specials, the salmon kama. It’s the meaty and fattier collar of the salmon, fried and served with a side of poke sauce.
There are also a few specials you can get at the new Glisan location including the soft shell crab salad and wheel of fortune sushi burrito.
While you’re there, try a side of the sea-v-chay pictured below (himachi and shrimp marinated in lime juice with avocado, pico, and seasonings served with a side of crispy chips).
Outdoor Dining and Ciders At Food Cart Pods
Local Portland cook and mom to two teenagers, LaRae Burk, suggests visiting food cart pods with the family during those sunny fall days. It’s a great way for everyone to get exactly what they’re craving for lunch or dinner. Plus, since we’re in Portland, many of the pods serve adult beverages in fall flavors.
LaRae says, “Cartopia and Hawthorne Asylum are pods in SE Portland that serve incredible fall ciders.” Follow along as she makes seasonal food and checks out local establishments on Instagram @chezlarae.
Gourmet fall coffee at Caffe Umbria
Bringing some serious flavor to the fall coffee lineup is Caffe Umbria. I’ve had the opportunity to work with the friendly folks behind this brand while promoting my cookbook and was so excited to hear about their fall drinks.
When my husband was working in downtown Portland (you know, when working in an office was a thing), we would meet up at the end of the day Caffe Umbria for a coffee served with a perfect chocolate square on the side. The shops are cozy and great for catching up with friends or grabbing a coffee to go for a walk in the park.
They have a number of locations in the PNW, and some exciting fall flavors… caffè al pepe, lavender latte, and pumpkin spice latte.
Now I know PSL (pumpkin spice latte) is all the rage during October-November, but I’m head over heels for the idea of that lavender latte. While you’re there, pick up a bag of coffee beans to go. May I suggest gusto… it’s a really creamy coffee my husband and I love.
Pie, milkshakes, and ribs at Bark City BBQ
Even local BBQ joint, Bark City BBQ is getting in on the fall flavor action! This food cart has some tasty things heading your way
Enjoy a side of pumpkin cornbread with your apple cinnamon baby back ribs and finish the meal with a pumpkin pie or pecan pie milkshake.
Grand Central Bakery’s fall pies, drinks and sandwiches
One of the best places to get crusty breads and U-bake pies is helping Portland celebrate fall, starting with breakfast. Grand Central Bakery is a great spot to grab a coffee with a friend and head out for a socially distanced walk.
For a warm beverage, try the new pumpkin spice lattes – they’re just right and not “too sweet”. Enjoy it with a pumpkin oat muffin filled with warm fall spices and dried currants, and topped with heirloom pumpkin seeds and streusel.
For lunch, try their seasonal Bristol Bay salmon sandwich with scallion cream cheese and crisp fennel slaw. Or go for the new vegetarian happy goat sandwich which has chèvre, roasted veg, chimichurri, and more.
Plus, don’t forget to pick up pre-made u-bake apple pies featuring juicy fall apples. You’ll thank yourself later!
Fall Golden Valley Brewery drinks
This brew pub is one of my family’s favorite spots for burgers. The Beaverton brewery is connected to an Oregon ranch that supplies seriously delicious beef.
For fall, Golden Valley Brewery has the Oktoberfest brew featured in the photo above. They are also celebrating the change of seasons with some tasty cocktails including The Autumn n’ Rum. It’s made with spiced rum, cinnamon simple, lemon, cranberry, egg white and spice.
And then there is a new earthy, savory drink to try. The Beet Goes On has organic arugula, farm beets, fennel, spiced fall squash, whipped feta, sunflower seed brittle, pomegranate vinaigrette.
Treat your sweet tooth with Nacheaux Foodcart
It’s a food cart that’s mystical and magical – with colorful, flavorful treats based around a unicorn. Nacheaux Foodcart is definitely giving us something to smile about in 2020!
As fellow PDX foodie and dad, Fernando Amaro puts it, “One of our fam’s favorite spots is Nacheaux Foodcart, a Mexican-Southern fusion food Cart in SE Portland!”
“Chef Anthony has already whipped up some mind-blowing creations this fall like a pumpkin cake donut French toast, pumpkin Oreo pancakes and pumpkin spice beignets with pumpkin spice caramel!” (follow Fernando for his latest PDX explorations @amaroeats)
Visit this fun food cart with the family, or go on a foodie day date with your S.O.
S’mores, to go…
And for one last suggestion, Fernando Amaro says, “The pumpkin s’mores kits from @1927smores give us those cozy fall feels! This seasonal kit features handcrafted cinnamon grahams, pumpkin-infused marshmallows, and fresh whipped cream cheese spread. Perfect way to enjoy a fall evening!”
So, where are you headed?
Now you have a complete list of fall food specials around Portland to go check out. While you’re out at a local Portland eatery, don’t forget to take a picture and tag them on social media. Getting the love and support is keeping all of our favorite Portland establishments open during this time.
Have suggestions for Fall specials to add to the list?? Share below.
See where I’m headed next @sipbitego.