PORTLAND, Ore.
I dare to say that Portland may be the culinary destination of the Pacific Northwest (in the United States, not considering Canada’s Vancouver, B.C.). In the last few years, this sleepy lumber town of a city has exploded with a food scene that’s keeping up with the likes of Los Angeles and the Bay Area.

I’ve visited Portland often because my sister lives here, and I’m back this Memorial Day holiday weekend for another taste of what Portland has to offer.

One end of the open dining area near Barista Coffee stand and Shalom Y'All, a Jewish deli focusing on vegetable dishes.

One end of the open dining area near Barista Coffee stand and Shalom Y’All, a Jewish deli focusing on vegetable dishes.

When I first arrived, one of the first thing I checked out was the new Pine Street Market, which opened earlier this month in the historic Baggage and Carriage Building in downtown near the waterfront.

The 10,000-square-foot space (which looks smaller when you’re strolling through all the crowds) only features eateries, among them some of the city’s most famous purveyors or restauranteurs such as Olympia Provisions, Salt and Straw, Ken’s Artisan Bakery (through its Trifecta Annex) and Pollo Bravo.

Then there are newcomers like Common Law, serving up Asian-inspired bites from new popular chef Earl Ninsom of Langbaan, and the one non-Oregon stand, Tokyo’s second location of Marukin Ramen.

Marukin is the popular Tokyo ramen chain, which opened its first U.S. location in Portland (they now have two spots including this one inside Pine Street Market).

Marukin is the popular Tokyo ramen chain, which opened its first U.S. location in Portland (they now have two spots including this one inside Pine Street Market).

Some treats to create sundaes at the Wizbangbar, from the people behind the extremely popular Salt and Straw ice cream store.

Some treats to create sundaes at the Wizbangbar, from the people behind the extremely popular Salt and Straw ice cream store.

The space is intimate and a bit cave-like, helped only by the strings of exposed bulbs in the seating area. I have to confess, I’ve been eating non-stop since I landed so when I visited Pine Street Market, I was “in between” meals and was too full to really test any of the food. But it’s not like they lost out on my money because even on a weekday, the downtown crowds (and tourists) packed the place (it’s reportedly even more frenzy on the weekends).

Pine Street Market can’t compare to San Francisco’s Ferry Building, but it’s a nice addition to the food scene in this city and a great recognition of the local stars that have been players for a very long time.

The deets: Pine Street Market, 126 SW 2nd St. (at Pine), Portland. www.pinestreetpdx.com

Take a mini-tour of the new Pine Street Market by clicking through my Flickr album in the below slideshow.

Pine Street Market

One Response to Exploring the New Pine Street Market in Portland

  1. Carolyn Jung says:

    What a fun new marketplace. Portland always has so much going on. Can’t wait to check this out on my next trip there.