A world-inspired progressive food crawl on Division Street in Portland, OR


Portland is well known as a bit of foodie heaven. From food carts to 5 stars, the possibilities are nearly endless. The true dilemma lies in how to sample as many options as possible during your visit. Truly, you don't want to go back home and be asked "you ate at XXX right?" and have to say no. Imagine the scorn at missing out on someone else's favorite haunt. For this purpose, we bring you a world inspired progressive food crawl on Division St., one of the many neighborhoods in Portland worth an entire day.

The challenge? How on earth do you manage to eat at 5 or 6 of the city's best spots without exploding from the sheer volume? The answer? Well, you should already know the answer for goodness sake. This is Portland, home of the uber-hikers and die-hard bikers. The answer is that you walk from place to place and force yourself to just order one appetizer or small plate at each spot. Sound easy? Trust us, it isn't. This day is all about the food and you want to fully embrace each stop so sharing is highly encouraged. Below are the picks for getting the most bang for your buck.

Pine State Biscuits~
Start your day at Pine State Biscuits. Yes, you will have to stand in line but seriously, no grumping. These biscuits are absolutely worth it. And yes, we mean even if it's raining. For the true breakfast fiend there is, of course, the traditional biscuits and gravy. But you are on a progressive, world-inspired, food crawl so you mean business and channeling the Deep South of the United States is first up. For you, try the Reggie. Imagine it now, a perfect piece of fried chicken topped with bacon, cheese and gravy and served between two of the best biscuits you will ever encounter. If you are one of those types who really need an egg at breakfast fine, the Reggie Deluxe is acceptable. Yes, it's big. Yes, it puts you one step closer to the grave. Maybe best to share with a friend. There is much more eating ahead!

Bar Avignon~
Next up it's time to up your game and head to Europe in the form of Bar Avignon. This beautiful little bistro is an easy walk from Pine State but take your time. Maybe even take a detour or do some window shopping along the way because that Reggie breakfast leaves its mark. Elegance awaits as you take a place an order of the daily selection of oysters served with champagne mignonette and lemon. Oysters not your thing? Too bad. You are in the Pacific Northwest and its time you learned to love this local favorite served with European flair.

*** TIME OUT~ Time for a drink after all of this amazing food. Sure it's still early but Bar Avignon has a delightful list of wine by the glass while your stomach takes a breather***

Nuestra Cocina~
Hopefully you took our advice and didn't overindulge at your first two stops. Mere feet away from Bar Avignon you head south of the border to Nuestra Cocina. Multiple antojito (small plate) options will tempt your taste buds but we recommend the sopes. These crisp masa cakes are loaded with chorizo, black beans, chili, and cheese and absolutely addicting. They look small. You will be tempted to want your very own. Do NOT do it. Remember, caring is sharing and hey, you still have three more stops to go.

william.neuheisel / Flickr
william.neuheisel/Flickr

Bollywood Theater~
The Indian sub-continent offers up some of the most amazing food on the planet. Time to do justice to the street food of the country at Bollywood Theater. Specializing in the traditional street foods throughout the country, Bollywood will intrigue you with offerings you have perhaps never before seen on an Indian menu. Our pick is a Kati roll. These flatbread rolls are India's version of a burrito. Filled with paneer, egg, pickled onion, and green chutney you can add some chicken or beef or stick with the traditional vegetarian option. Like nothing you have ever eaten, the Kati Roll is Calcutta on a plate.

***TIME OUT~ Check out Imperial Bottle Shop & Taproom for 16 local craft beers on tap to quench your thirst from the rigors of the day.***

Pok Pok ~
This one is a no-brainer. It doesn't matter if you think you don't like wings. You will like these. It doesn't matter if you aren't a fan of fish sauce. You will be. Ike's Fish Sauce Wings are sticky and fragrant and spicy enough to wake up your pallet, which may be in a food induced stupor by this time. These wings put Pok Pok on the world stage and continue to bring in loyal customers night after night. The crunchy vinegar veg on the side is the perfect accompaniment to tamper the heat of the wings.

T.Tseng/ Flickr

Salt & Straw~
It is time to draw on your reserves. This is it, the final stop in a day well-eaten. You might think you'll pass. That Salt & Straw is simply just another ice cream shop and you have ice cream at home. Well not like this you don't. The flavors are as unique as they are explosive. Give the Missionary's chocolate & Lemongrass curry sorbet a try. Or maybe go for all out adventure with Pear & Blue Cheese. Believe us, you have NOT tasted flavors like this before.

Victory Bar~
How about a nightcap to top off an amazing day eating the world down Division St. Victory Bar is a local favorite, features cheap cocktails and is open late. End your night with a Corpse Reviver # 4, much needed after this day.

Rhonda Delameter is a freelance travel writer, longtime Portland resident, and blogger at thenextbigadventure.net.