Eight Great Waffles in Portland

Waffles are big right now in this city. Cooks are turning out yeasted Liège-style waffles with bits of caramelized pearl sugar baked inside; classic versions with maple syrup; and fun new combos like bacon, Brie, and basil. Here’s where to find eight of our favorites.


Step back in time at this legendary spot (it won a James Beard “America’s Classic” award in 1999). Regulars have been breakfasting in the knotty-pine dining room for 50 years. Some never explore the menu beyond the pancakes, but that’s a mistake; the waffles are no slouches. Consider the pecan waffle ($9.25): Filled with chopped pecans and topped with powdered sugar and about a cup of pecan halves for good measure, it's served with a delicious homemade orange-and-lemon syrup. 8601 SW 24th Ave. (503-246-9007; originalpancakehouse.com)



What sets this cart apart from the waffle crowd is its extensive list of toppings. It has standards like bacon or fresh fruit, but also more unexpected offerings: crumbled gingersnaps; lemon curd; and (best of all) vanilla ginger pear compote, topped with a tangy cream cheese whip ($6.50). Delivered in a blue-and-white checked paper with a piece of tape that says, appropriately, "EAT." SE 33rd Ave. and SE Division St. (503-756-9339)


Okay, I’ll say it: This place is adorable. It’s really a waffle Dutch door—a bright blue one in the red brick wall of longtime Portland restaurant Bread and Ink, which opened the waffle shop in 2007. The Liège-style waffles come plain or with creative topping combinations, and the Three Bs (pepper bacon, Brie, and basil, with a spoonful of homemade peach jam; $4) is a crowd favorite. I’m more partial to the scoop of quivering lemon panna cotta with a thick drizzle of huckleberry jam and whipped cream ($4). They’ve set aside a small seating area inside the restaurant for rainy-day waffle eaters. 3610 SE Hawthorne Blvd. (503-239-4756; wafflewindow.com)


Made with buckwheat and white flour, the waffle at this homey cart has a wonderfully yeasty, nutty flavor ($5.50). Served with banana slices, a dollop of yogurt, and maple syrup that settles into the waffle’s big divots. N. Mississippi Ave. at N. Shaver St. (503-285-0701; moxierx.blogspot.com)


At this popular waffle cart you don’t have to choose between sweet and savory fillings: The most popular waffles (aka “Dutch Tacos”) combine the two. Take the MB9, filled with maple spread (less messy than syrup), bacon strips, and Canadian bacon ($6). Want a more traditional combo? The ham and cheese waffle (in this case, smoked Gouda) makes a fine lunch ($4.50). For dessert, try the S’more ($3.50) with marshmallow fluff and Nutella; or go for the maple pecan ($4.50), with maple spread and roasted salted pecans. 2310 N. Lombard St. (503-289-9866) and N. Mississippi Ave. and N. Fremont St. (503-282-9866; flavourspot.com)


Every item on Simpatica’s weekend brunch menu is tempting—and since it changes weekly, that’s no small feat. Luckily, the fried chicken and waffles ($12) is a regular offering. As if the combination of beautifully fried local, free-range chicken and crisp waffles wasn’t already perfection, the kitchen pours what it humbly calls "dried-fruit syrup" on top. Really it’s a jewel-like compote of raisins, dried apricots, prunes, and sour cherries. 828 SE Ash St. (503-235-1600; simpaticacatering.com)


Tucked into the quietly trendy Clinton neighborhood, this contemporary Swedish café might make you want to change zip codes so you can drop in for breakfast anytime. The streamlined furnishings—cheery blue chairs and yellow metal Marais stools—prepare you for the clean flavors on the menu. The waffle is a perfect example: Delicately scented with cardamom, it’s served under a few pink slices of Duroc ham, with a sunny baked egg on top ($9). 2508 SE Clinton St. (503-736-3333; broderpdx.com)


You’ll want to bring a friend—or two—for brunch at this shrine to southern cuisine. Screen Door offers yeasted ($6.95) or praline bacon waffles ($7.95), but clearly its down-home version of chicken and waffles ($12.95) is the real draw. At least three pieces of peppery buttermilk fried chicken perch atop the cinnamon-scented sweet potato waffle. 2337 E Burnside St. (503-542-0880; screendoorrestaurant.com)

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