When you’re stuck at a painful group dinner with your friend’s brother who’s telling you all about his can’t-fail bitcoin strategy, Empire is where you’ll wish you were instead. Not only do they make some of the best dim sum north of Boston, but they also pull off the balance of being somewhere that’s perfect for a lively group and intimate enough for a date. Also, between their great cocktails, attached music venue, and multiple table options (which you can reserve in advance for groups of four or more), you can basically have a whole night out here without having to switch locations. In terms of food, there’s everything from soup dumplings and pork buns to lobster rangoon and bacon fried rice, all of which are meant to be shared.
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Boda in the West End serves some of the best Thai food in Portland, and serves food until 1am everyday.
Pai Men Miyake
When it’s 10 degrees and all you can possibly think about is sticking your face in the steam of a big bowl of soup, head to Pai Men Miyake for ramen.
Otto Pizza might have some interesting pies, like one with mashed potatoes, but we promise it will become your go-to pizza place regardless.
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The Honey Paw
Head to The Honey Paw for vinyl, cocktails, and a mix of noodle and rice dishes from across Asia.
Izakaya Minato on Washington Ave.’s menu includes sashimi, fried chicken, and udon for when you want Japanese food and are also being indecisive.
The Holy Donut
The Holy Donut serves 30 different flavors of potato donuts everyday, each of which is worth the inevitable wait.
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