Remember back in the good ol’ days when going to downtown Chinatown for food was an amazing experience? It was the place to go in Portland for dim sum and authentic Chinese family style. Then all the owners grew old, died off and left the Chinatown restaurants to the kids. As you can tell they do a terrible job. Also, commercial leasing expenses have increased, so authentic Chinese restaurants moved out to 82nd.
Portlanders now get their fix by eating “Taco Bell” Chinese. Panda express and Safeway, are perfect examples of this. Anything with a combo meal is not really Chinese. When you see other Asian people eating there*, you’ve found a good Chinese restaurant . Have you ever seen an Asian person order Chinese from Safeway, PF Chang or Panda Express? Come on!
This can be attributed to the Caucasians who don’t know what to order. Most authentic Chinese restaurants have menus with no pictures and in Chinese. Their menus are in Chinese or Vietnamese characters. I only know of two with picture menus.
TAPTS Top Chinese Restaurants in Oregon (In no particular order):
- Wong Kings (Great dim sum, on SE 86th and division, packed for lunch hour, expect to wait an hour during lunch)
- Jin Wah (There is one on SE 82nd/Powell and one in Beaverton. White people friendly. Picture menus included)
- Good Taste (Great noodle house even though it looks scummy. One downtown/Chinatown and one on SE 82nd/Harrison)
- Gold Coin (Awesome place for dinner, on SE 82nd between Division and Powell)
- China Town (Great dim sum, near Nike Campus)
Honestly if you want the best stuff, head to Richmond, Canada. By far the closest thing you’ll find next to Hong Kong, but better because its cleaner.
*I’m Chinese/Asian… NOT Oriental.