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3 Top Hole-in-the-Wall Restaurants in Portland

These 3 Top Hole-in-the-Wall Restaurants in Portland are known for their vibrant food scene, and these three top restaurants in Portland certainly don’t disappoint. Luc Lac is a Vietnamese restaurant that offers delicious pho and banh mi sandwiches in a casual and trendy atmosphere. Screen Door Eastside is a Southern-style restaurant that serves up classic dishes like chicken and waffles and shrimp and grits in a cozy and charming space. Finally, Podnah’s Pit Barbecue is a popular barbecue joint that offers slow-smoked meats and a lively atmosphere that draws in locals and visitors alike. Here is why they are the best restaurants in Portland for you to discover.

1. Luc Lac – Luc Lac, included as one of the top hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Portland, is a Vietnamese restaurant that is located in downtown Portland. It has received high ratings and positive customer reviews for its flavorful and authentic Vietnamese cuisine. The restaurant is small and unassuming, but the quality of the food is what draws people in. Many customers praise the pho and banh mi sandwiches as must-try dishes, and the service is reportedly friendly and efficient.

2. Screen Door Eastside – Screen Door Eastside, one of the popular hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Portland, is a southern-style restaurant that is known for its breakfast and brunch offerings. The restaurant is situated in a converted warehouse and has a relaxed and inviting atmosphere. The menu features classic southern dishes like fried chicken and waffles, biscuits and gravy, and shrimp and grits. Customers rave about the generous portions and the quality of the food. The restaurant is very popular, and long wait times are common, but customers say that the food is worth it.

3. Podnah’s Pit Barbecue – Podnah’s Pit Barbecue, another of the top hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Portland, is a small and unassuming restaurant that is located in the Northeast Portland neighborhood. The restaurant specializes in Texas-style barbecue, and customers rave about the tender and flavorful brisket, ribs, and pulled pork. The restaurant has a casual and welcoming atmosphere, and the staff is reportedly knowledgeable and passionate about their craft. Customers recommend trying the meat platter, which allows you to sample a variety of meats.

In summary, Luc Lac, Screen Door Eastside, and Podnah’s Pit Barbecue are all top hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Portland. They each offer unique and flavorful cuisine in a casual and unassuming setting, and they have all received high ratings and positive customer reviews. Whether you’re in the mood for Vietnamese, southern-style breakfast, or Texas-style barbecue, you can’t go wrong with any of these options.

3 Top Hole-in-the-Wall Restaurants in Portland

1. Luc Lac - Hole-in-the-Wall Restaurants in Portland

Luc Lac

Address: 835 SW 2nd Ave, Portland, OR 97204
Hours: Monday-Sunday 11am-9pm
Phone Number: (503) 222-0047

Luc Lac, included as one of the top hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Portland, is a Vietnamese restaurant located in downtown Portland. The restaurant is small and unassuming, with a casual and cozy interior that features simple wooden tables and chairs, exposed brick walls, and dim lighting. The atmosphere is relaxed, and the staff is friendly and welcoming.

The menu at Luc Lac features a variety of traditional Vietnamese dishes, including pho, banh mi sandwiches, noodle bowls, and rice dishes. Their signature dish is the pho, which is made with a rich and flavorful beef broth and served with fresh herbs, bean sprouts, and lime wedges. Customers can choose from a variety of protein options, including rare steak, brisket, and meatballs. The banh mi sandwiches are also a popular choice, with fillings like lemongrass pork, grilled chicken, and tofu.

One unique aspect of Luc Lac is their late-night menu, which is served until 2am on weekends. This menu features small plates and snacks like pork and shrimp dumplings, crispy tofu, and pork belly buns, making it a popular spot for late-night eats.

The service at Luc Lac is reportedly friendly and efficient, with servers who are knowledgeable about the menu and happy to make recommendations. The restaurant can get busy during peak hours, but customers say that the wait times are usually reasonable.

Main Menu Items:

1. Pho Tai – This is Luc Lac’s signature dish and features a rich and flavorful beef broth with thin slices of rare steak. It is served with fresh herbs, bean sprouts, and lime wedges, and customers can add condiments like Sriracha and hoisin sauce to taste.

2. Grilled Lemongrass Pork Banh Mi – This classic Vietnamese sandwich is filled with tender, marinated pork that has been grilled to perfection. It is topped with pickled veggies, fresh herbs, and spicy mayo, and served on a soft baguette.

3. Vegetarian Rice Bowl – This is a hearty and healthy option for vegetarians, featuring a bed of jasmine rice topped with a variety of fresh vegetables, tofu, and a fried egg. It is served with a side of nuoc cham sauce, which adds a sweet and tangy flavor to the dish.

4. Bun Cha Gio Thit Nuong – This dish is a popular choice for meat lovers and features grilled pork, crispy egg rolls, and a bed of vermicelli noodles. It is topped with fresh herbs, pickled veggies, and a side of nuoc cham sauce for dipping.

5. Com Suon Bi Cha – This is a classic Vietnamese rice plate that features a marinated pork chop, shredded pork skin, and a steamed egg cake. It is served with a side of jasmine rice, fresh lettuce, and a side of nuoc cham sauce. Customers can mix and match the different components to create their own unique flavor combinations.

Customer Reviews:

“I ordered the rare steak pho, and it was absolutely delicious! The broth was rich and flavorful, and the steak was tender and cooked perfectly. The service was also great, and the atmosphere was cozy and inviting.”

“The banh mi sandwiches here are to die for! I had the lemongrass pork, and it was so flavorful and perfectly balanced with the pickled veggies and spicy mayo. The staff was also super friendly and helpful.”

“Luc Lac is my go-to spot for late-night eats in downtown Portland. The pork belly buns are my favorite, and they pair perfectly with a cold beer. The service is always quick and friendly, even when it’s busy.”

In summary, Luc Lac is a cozy and unassuming Vietnamese restaurant in downtown Portland that serves delicious and authentic cuisine, with a focus on their signature pho and banh mi sandwiches. Their late-night menu and friendly service make them a popular spot for both locals and tourists alike. They rank amid the top hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Portland for good reasons.


2. Screen Door Eastside - Hole-in-the-Wall Restaurants in Portland

Screen Door Eastside

Address: 2337 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214
Hours: Sunday-Thursday: 8 am – 9 pm, Friday-Saturday: 8 am – 10 pm
Phone Number: (503) 542-0880

Screen Door Eastside, one of the popular hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Portland, is a Southern-style restaurant located in Portland’s Eastside neighborhood. The restaurant offers a cozy and charming atmosphere with wooden floors, exposed brick walls, and a warm, welcoming decor. The menu features classic Southern dishes with a modern twist, such as chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits, and gumbo.

One of Screen Door Eastside’s signature dishes is their chicken and waffles. The dish features a perfectly fried chicken breast served on top of a fluffy Belgian waffle, drizzled with maple syrup and hot sauce. It’s a classic Southern comfort food that’s both savory and sweet, and a must-try for anyone visiting the restaurant.

Screen Door Eastside has a unique vibe that combines Southern hospitality with Portland’s laid-back culture. The restaurant offers a cozy and welcoming atmosphere that makes you feel right at home. Additionally, the restaurant offers a vegan and gluten-free menu with plenty of options for those with dietary restrictions.

The service at Screen Door Eastside is friendly and attentive. The staff is knowledgeable about the menu and happy to offer recommendations or answer any questions. The restaurant can get busy, especially during peak hours, but the staff does an excellent job of keeping up with the demand.

Main Menu Items:

1. Chicken and Waffles – A classic Southern dish that features a perfectly fried chicken breast served on top of a fluffy Belgian waffle, drizzled with maple syrup and hot sauce.

2. Shrimp and Grits – A hearty and flavorful dish that features plump and juicy shrimp served on top of creamy, buttery grits with a spicy andouille sausage and tomato gravy.

3. Fried Catfish Po’ Boy – A New Orleans classic sandwich that features crispy fried catfish served on a French roll with lettuce, tomato, and a spicy remoulade sauce.

4. Vegan Gumbo – A hearty vegan version of the classic Southern dish, made with a rich and flavorful roux, okra, bell peppers, onions, and spices, served with rice.

5. Crawfish Étouffée – A rich and savory dish made with tender crawfish tails, smothered in a flavorful roux with onions, bell peppers, and celery, served over rice.

Customer Reviews:

“I had the shrimp and grits, and it was amazing! The shrimp was cooked perfectly, and the grits were so creamy and delicious. The service was excellent too – our server was friendly and attentive. I can’t wait to come back!”

“I’ve been coming to Screen Door for years, and it never disappoints. The chicken and waffles are my go-to, but everything on the menu is delicious. The atmosphere is cozy and welcoming, and the service is always great.”

“I was pleasantly surprised by the vegan menu at Screen Door Eastside. I ordered the vegan gumbo, and it was so flavorful and satisfying. The staff was accommodating and made sure to let me know what options were vegan. I highly recommend this place!”

Screen Door Eastside is a top restaurant in Portland that offers classic Southern dishes with a modern twist in a cozy and charming atmosphere. Their signature chicken and waffles dish is a must-try, and the restaurant’s vegan and gluten-free options make it accessible to all diners. The friendly and attentive service adds to the overall dining experience, making it a great choice for anyone looking for delicious comfort food in a welcoming environment. They stand out among the top hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Portland.


3. Podnah's Pit Barbecue - Hole-in-the-Wall Restaurants in Portland

Podnah’s Pit Barbecue

Address: 1625 NE Killingsworth St, Portland, OR 97211
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 11am-8pm
Phone Number: (503) 281-3700

Podnah’s Pit Barbecue, another of the top hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Portland, is a popular barbecue restaurant located in the Northeast Portland neighborhood of Eliot. The interior of the restaurant is casual and welcoming, with a rustic decor that features wooden tables and chairs, exposed brick walls, and a large bar area. The atmosphere is lively and bustling, with a constant flow of customers coming in to enjoy their delicious barbecue dishes.

The menu at Podnah’s Pit Barbecue features a variety of classic Southern-style barbecue dishes, including brisket, pulled pork, ribs, and sausage. Their signature dish is the beef brisket, which is slow-smoked over oak wood for up to 14 hours, resulting in tender and flavorful meat that practically melts in your mouth. Customers can choose from different cuts and sizes, depending on their appetite.

One unique aspect of Podnah’s Pit Barbecue is their focus on locally sourced and sustainably raised meats, which are prepared using traditional smoking techniques that have been passed down through generations. They also offer a variety of vegetarian and gluten-free options for those with dietary restrictions.

The service at Podnah’s Pit Barbecue is reportedly friendly and efficient, with servers who are knowledgeable about the menu and happy to make recommendations. Customers say that the wait times can be long during peak hours, but that the food is well worth the wait.

Main Menu Items:

1. Beef Brisket – This is Podnah’s signature dish and features slow-smoked beef brisket that has been cooked for up to 14 hours over oak wood. The meat is tender and flavorful, with a smoky flavor that is simply delicious. Customers can order the brisket by weight or choose from different cuts.

2. Pulled Pork – This classic Southern dish features slow-smoked pork that has been pulled apart into tender, juicy shreds. It is served with a side of barbecue sauce and customers can choose to add extra toppings like pickles, onions, and coleslaw.

3. Smoked Sausage – This dish features spicy and flavorful sausage that has been slow-smoked over oak wood. It is served with a side of mustard sauce and customers can choose to add toppings like pickles, onions, and sauerkraut.

4. Beef Rib – This dish features a massive beef rib that has been slow-smoked over oak wood for up to 14 hours. The meat is tender and juicy, with a rich and smoky flavor that is simply mouthwatering. Customers can order the rib by weight or choose from different cuts.

5. Chicken Plate – This dish features tender and juicy chicken that has been smoked over oak wood. It is served with a side of barbecue sauce and customers can choose from different cuts like leg and thigh or breast and wing. The plate also comes with a side of beans, coleslaw, and cornbread.

Customer Reviews:

“I ordered the beef brisket and it was hands down the best barbecue I’ve ever had! The meat was so tender and flavorful, and the smoky flavor was just perfect. The sides were also great, especially the mac and cheese.”

“I love that Podnah’s Pit Barbecue offers vegetarian options! I had the smoked tofu sandwich and it was amazing. The tofu was perfectly seasoned and smoky, and the slaw on top added a nice crunch. I also loved the sweet potato fries.”

“The ribs at Podnah’s Pit Barbecue are seriously amazing! They fall off the bone and are so tender and juicy. The sides are also delicious, especially the collard greens and the cornbread. The service can be a bit slow when it’s busy, but the food is totally worth it.”

In summary, Podnah’s Pit Barbecue is a popular and casual restaurant in Portland that serves delicious Southern-style barbecue dishes, with a focus on locally sourced and sustainably raised meats. Their beef brisket is a must-try, but they also offer vegetarian and gluten-free options. The service is friendly and knowledgeable, and the atmosphere is lively and welcoming. They deserve to be ranked among the top hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Portland.


Each of these top hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Portland has something unique to offer and is well worth a visit for anyone looking for delicious food and a memorable dining experience in Portland. This is why they are the best restaurants in Portland for you to discover.



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