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slides: Gardens of Eating: Ten Great Outdoor Brunch Spots in Portland

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


Breakfast sandwich from Lovejoy Bakers.

Recent transplants to Portland know the feeling: You get up around 11 on a Sunday, look at your partner and declare, “Hey, we should be like the natives and get brunch! I hear there is this really great spot down the street with fried chicken placed over a waffle!” Then you and your partner mosey down the street only to encounter a line representative of the population of China. Clearly, you didn’t watch Portlandia.

Welcome to Portland. There’s a reason why devout locals refer to their kingdom as “Brunchtown, USA.” The Portland brunch industry is so impressive that it’s competitive. Some of us have decided to rebel and get back into lunch. Though many of us can’t deny the cold, hard truth that there are just too many attractive brunch options worth attempting to try (hour wait included).  

With summer here and visibly present, many Portlanders want to sit in the sun and wolf down a bloody Mary. Here are ten brunch spots around Portland that have accommodating patios, stellar menus, reasonable wait times, and unique flares from all four corners of our beloved city.

And for all those who do actually prefer lunch, just remember: mimosas are found on the brunch menu. 


Related Slideshow: Gardens of Eating: Ten Great Outside Brunch Spots

Want to find something worth eating, somewhere worth eating? Enjoy these patios this summer!

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Isabel Restaurant

With an Asian fusion twist, Isabel Restaurant is an aesthetically sophisticated Pearl restaurant that resembles a cement compound. The ticker: there’s outside seating with views of the blossoming Pearl and of rare historical Portland landmarks. The patio at Isabel is not just serene, but it is also accessible. The weekend wait time here even during the winter (sans a patio) is often nonexistent. Suggestion: the coconut French toast is this restaurant’s staple item. Side-note: this is an ideal dish to split. 

330 NW 10th Ave.

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Lovejoy Bakers

Lovejoy Bakers is a modern, Pacific Northwest crack at a French boulangerie and truthfully, the bread and baked goods are up to snuff. Though not technically a brunch spot, Lovejoy Bakers has outside seating that is strategically located to the side of the streetcar and is somewhat empty. Lovejoy Bakers is a great bet for weekend brunch food – with breakfast sandwiches that are both rich and inexpensive. Expect to see many attractive joggers accompanied by adorable dogs while you relax in a glossy lawn chair, absorbing the stunning views of incoming high-rises. 

939 NW 10th Ave.

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The Hazel Room

Strangely, The Hazel Room is possibly the only brunch restaurant on Hawthorne with outside seating. Its patio is located directly on the front porch of the restaurant, which recalls the signature craftsman romance of southeast Portland. The Hazel Room is full of items both for omnivores and herbivores: here you can order delectable vegan (and gluten free) French toast or if you’re into animals, you can grab the breakfast bruschetta with bacon. The wait here might be a bit longer than the suggestions listed in NW Portland, but the wait is still tame compared to local brunch strongholds like Screen Door or Mother’s Bistro. 

3279 SE Hawthorne Blvd.

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Tin Shed

If you are a bloody Mary fan interested in an exhaustive drink menu, Tin Shed has got your back. Located along the heart of northeast Alberta and nicknamed the "garden café ," Tin Shed looks pretty much as you would expect: but within the walls of this metal craftsman, there lies culinary mastery. With a happy even of brunch, lunch, and dinner options, Tin Shed is great for all customers who possess diverse taste buds. Still, if you’re looking to get a little feisty midday, try one of Tin Shed’s cocktails. After all, what brunch enthusiast doesn’t want to try a bacon-infused bloody Mary or the “tin toddy,” with cinnamon-infused whiskey? Though these drinks are strong, it is likely you’ll memorize the taste and yearn for more.  

1438 NE Alberta St.

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Because who doesn’t love breakfast in a gazebo? Meriwether’s Restaurant & Skyline Farm has one of the most impressive outdoor patios in all of Portland with a sentimental garden theme wrought with iron tables, fresh bouquets, and even a sparkling fountain. It’s like Valentine’s Day all year round. The brunch menu is also striking: try an amenable type of eggs benedict or perhaps the brioche French toast. Also, Meriwether’s hosts a marionberry-flavored lemonade. Yum. 

2601 NW Vaughn St.

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Fried Egg I’m In Love

As the food cart with one of the catchiest titles, Fried Egg I’m In Love is also a fan favorite among locals for its character as well as its taste. With a cute connecting patio enveloped by wooden beams, Fried Egg I’m In Love mostly specializes in breakfast sandwiches. But these things are good: really good. And the names of the items are also fun, like you might expect (e.g. the “Smells Like Protein Spirit”). Surprisingly, this food cart also possesses some mimosa options. Most Portlanders can respect a food cart with booze: this is a rare as well as a hot commodity. Also, in typical food cart fashion, the lines for this place are not long. At least, they're shorter than a sit-down restaurant. However, beware: due to the sheer size of the food cart and the number of cooks, you might still end up waiting thirty minutes for your food. 

3207 SE Hawthorne Blvd.

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Radio Room

Looking for a brunch spot located on a rooftop? Look no further. Radio Room is one of northeast Alberta’s trendy bar elite, but it also extends an expansive food menu that satisfies all portions of the day. In particular, the weekend brunch menu includes foods that incorporate Radio Room’s nighttime attitude (e.g. alcohol). Try the “Flap Jack Kerouac,” for example, which is a short stack of pancakes topped with mixed berries and bourbon maple syrup. Also, you can buy one mimosa for $5 or a pint of mimosa for $12. Decisions, decisions.

1101 NE Alberta St. 

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John Street Café

Many eyes are beginning to fixate on developing North Portland. Still, “No Po” (as it is aptly named) has its own charm and also its own brunch notoriety. Its main draw: John Street Café. Why? Garden patio. John Street Café possesses fluffy and flavorful omelettes, made in-house jam fresh from the vine, and an all-day breakfast menu (making brunch possible even into the evening). Also, outside seating here is adorable. Escape from your apartment and dine in the garden. Fresh flowers next to your orange juice make for classy Instagram photos. 

8338 N Lombard St.

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North Light

Want to try French toast stuffed with farmers’ cheese, shaved ham, pear compote, and maple syrup? What about gingerbread pancakes? North Light on Mississippi is brunch-centric and it's good at it. Don’t worry: there is a lunch menu too for the non-believers. The patio is new and slightly Scandinavian: perfect for those looking for something inviting and sunny, even in the rain. 

3746 N Mississippi Ave.

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Veritable Quandary

Though many people view Veritable Quandary as a dinner joint where you can really only afford drinks, Veritable Quandary also hosts an impressive brunch menu. Though the prices are high, Veritable Quandary has an outdoor garden patio overgrown with ivy that is reminiscent of old New York. However, the patio won’t be around for long, so you should visit while it's present. The city plans on building over part of it. 

1220 SW 1st Ave.


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