Where to find the best spot for brunch in Portland?

This is Guest post from John from the Hangry Backpackerwhere he shares his popular spot for brunch in Portland.

Portland, Oregon has reinvented itself in the last several years as a foodie destination. Locals enjoy a tremendous variety of food from all corners of the world. Visitors enjoy food carts and fancy doughnuts. Perhaps nothing, though, is more precious to local Portlanders than weekend brunch.

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Brunch in Portland

Brunch in Portland is a big deal. It’s an event Portlanders look forward to throughout their work week and reminisce over for days after. For foodies, people seeking some weekend socializing and for those who want an excuse to drink way too much on a Saturday morning, there are hundreds of places from which to choose.

The most popular brunch spots in Portland are often on the precipice of some cutting-edge culinary excursion or belong to a specific niche cuisine, with Scandinavian, American Southern, Asian fusion and many more restaurants all getting into the brunch game. Others are well-known mainstays, popular from years of consistency and quality.

Find out more about Portland Recipes!


Simple, cheap names that evoke ideas of breakfast attract brunchers en masse. It is not uncommon to see long lines of people – often times 50 or more people – waiting outside a Portland brunch spot (around the corner, down the block) on a cold, rainy morning.

If that’s not for you, no one can blame you. In between the long lines and blandly-named trendy Portland brunch restaurants, there are a few regular choices. Fun, regular and tasty – no frills.

There is no doubt the popular brunch places in Portland are good, but how about a Portland brunch that is cheaper, has no lines and probably tastes better, all in a very Portland atmosphere?

It’s an easy choice.

brunch in portlandBrunch in Dots Cafe

Dots Cafe is my favourite place for brunch, and it receives my highest recommendation. There are rarely lines, and it’s a good place to meet friends and start your Saturday morning off right.

brunch in portlandDots is located in Southeast Portland at a regular, calm neighbourhood intersection. Upon walking inside, it takes a moment for your eyes to adjust as to the always-dark scene.

Dots feels very much like a Portland setting – it’s weird. The atmosphere is a cross between neighbourhood dive, old and hipster. The walls are decorated with funky prints, oil paintings and velvet Elvis, all sitting on top of a wild, retro wallpaper. And the waiters usually have the snappy Portland attitude that comes with many local restaurants. Dots Cafe is a real Portland experience.

The best part about Dots Cafe is the food, specifically brunch, although the rest of the menu is also good. Late nights are a particularly attractive time to go to Dots for post-bar salvation of grease.

The brunch menu consists of popular American standbys with a Portland twist. The fried chicken and tempura batter waffles – the long lost cure for the hangover – is impeccable. There is not a better combination of fluffy, sweet, crispy and savoury in Portland than the fried chicken and waffles at Dots Cafe.

brunch in portland

The pulled pork benedict is a true Portland brunch benedict. Pulled pork, a local favourite, with cornbread, salsa verde and braised kale comes together for the perfect Portland brunch option.

For the army of vegetarians and vegans in Portland, the B.o.C – breakfast of champions – is a bowl of organic vegan goodness. In true Dots fashion, it is served with a splash of Jim Beam in the bowl.

Other delicious brunch options include an excellent rendition of huevos rancheros, the country fried steak and the (very Portland) varieties of scrambles. The house-made sausage patties make for the perfect addition of extra protein to a Dots brunch.

brunch in portlandTo make Dots an even more attractive brunching option, bottomless mimosas are only 10 USD.

In Portland, a growing city that also grows more expensive by the hour, this is one of the best brunch deals in town. The food is also very cheap, especially considering the quality. Diners can have a full fancy brunch at Dots for half the price incurred at other Portland options.

Dots Cafe is the Portland brunch spot so many hungry Saturday morning brunchers are seeking. Fortunately, it remains a relative secret. Even while lines at restaurants across the street stretch out the door, Dots has open tables. The prices for a delicious Portland brunch beat most comparable establishments, and the atmosphere is the most authentic – or stereotypical, depending on how you look at it – of all Portland brunch settings. And affordable bottomless mimosas at Dots make it the obvious choice for weekend foodies.

Instead of Dots Cafe, Portland brunchers are lining up at the typical top-ten-list restaurants for a bougie breakfast. But that’s okay. While everyone else waits in the cold for expensive brunch, you can head to Dots Cafe for great food in a Portland setting.

What else you can do in Portland? Check this Travel Guide!

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Hangry Backpacker

I’m John Paul from the Hangry Backpacker. I travel solo with a goal of eating the best local food on the cheap and getting off the beaten path. The goal at the Hangry Backpacker is to present travel information and stories in an honest, unfiltered way so readers have a better understanding of the world and what to expect for themselves. I have Southeast Asia, North America and much of Europe. The next stop in Central Asia.
Facebook: The Hangry Backpacker
Instagram: @HangryBackpacker
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1 Comment

Portland, Oregon Travel Guide: From a Local - The Hangry Backpacker · June 4, 2019 at 10:15 pm

[…] great brunch and a slice of authentic Portlandia. It is dark, quirky and has great food. Check out this article I wrote for Fun Food and Travelling on Dot’s for more […]

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