Kelly Rae here, and I'm a proud Portlander. I've lived in a few cities all over the U.S., but I can honestly say there's no other city that I call home more than Portland. I moved here a few years ago after spending four years in the Bay Area, and prior to that, lived in New York where I studied culinary arts at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. As a professional cook and food blogger, the city's exceptional food scene is what brought me here, but the amazing people I've met here, and the city's close proximity to the coast, mountains, wine country, and countless breweries (Oregon is quite famous for its craft beers!), are what have made this my permanent home.

One of my absolute favorite spots to hang out on my days off is the Portland Mercado (portlandmercado.org). Located in the deep Southeast area of the city, this food cart mega-pod is home to a dizzying array of Latin American fare. Enjoy an ice-cold cerveza or a tangy-sweet sangriaat the Barrio Beer and Wine Shop and then peruse all the yummy carts, which include Cuban, Mexican, Oaxacan, Colombian, and El Salvadorian cuisines.
Tierra del Sol

Tierra del Sol's Oaxacan cuisine–located in the Portland Mercado–has locals (and travelers) vying over their traditional dish, the Tlayuda, a large 14-inch corn tortilla baked with meat, cheese, beans, and veggies. You MUST try it.
Que Bola

This ropa vieja is soooo good. Que Bola (also located at the Portland Mercado) offers amazing Cuban fare at unbeatable prices. Also try the Cuban Sandwich.
Toro Bravo

All hands on deck! Toro Bravo (torobravopdx.com) is arguably one of my favorite restaurants in the city. This Spanish restaurant with a Pacific Northwest twist offers dishes made with fresh, seasonal and local farmer's market produce. Everything shines at this tapas spot, but their paella is absolutely incredible.

As a professional cook when I get home from a long day at work, strangely enough, I'm actually never too tired to cook myself a meal. But there are days when I want a nice bowl of fresh pasta but just don't have the energy to do it. That's when I go to Accanto (accantopdx.com), which has the best and freshest pasta offerings in town.
Angel Food & Fun

One night I was having serious cravings for crispy tacos. And unfortunately I couldn't find any restaurants or taquerias that offered exactly what I wanted. Then I discovered Angel Food & Fun, a small cash-only Mexican restaurant that focuses on Yucatan fare. Their panuchos (fresh corn tortillas filled with black bean puree and deep-fried to perfection and topped with meat, lettuce and tomato had me wishing I ordered more than six. I also recommend the salbutes which is a pan-fried fresh tortilla topped with meat, lettuce and tomato. You must try their cochinita pibil which is damn tasty.
Chicken and Guns

I'm a bit partial to this food cart because many of my friends work here, but this Latin American-style oak-fired chicken and fried potato spot is quite impressive. Chicken and Guns (chickenandguns.com) has the fanciest food cart in the city–with its chicken shack-style layout with barstool seating and views of the kitchen. Ask for extra ají (Peruvian green chile dipping sauce), you'll definitely be asking for more.
Opaline's Cafe

One of Ankeny Alley's newest spots located in downtown Portland, Opaline's is a no-frills and chill brunch café offering yummy boozy breakfast drinks (helloooo Irish coffee! helloooo Mimosas!) and this French toast. (opalinescafe.com)
K-Town Korean BBQ

All-you-can-eat Korean barbecue? Yes, please! I recently discovered K-Town Korean BBQ and have been salivating over it ever since. Come here with a hungry belly and stretchy pants, and satisfy your tastebuds one bulgogi and pork belly bite at a time. (ktownkoreanbbq.com)

For a truly Portland doughnut experience, come here. Pip's (pipsmobile.com) offers the best house-made chai lattes in town, and their perfectly deep-fried cake doughnuts (Nutella and sea salt, cinnamon and sugar, and raw honey and sea salt flavors) are equally mouthwatering.
Nicholas Restaurant

Your Portland gastronomy tour is not complete without trying Nicholas (nicholasrestaurant.com) a Portland institution, this 31-year-old family-owned and operated Lebanese restaurant offers the best Mediterranean food in town. Their giant (and I mean GIANT) house-made and fresh-from-the-oven pita bread with hummus, tahziki and tabouli salad is a must-try.
Seastar Bakery.

True story: I once came here three times in one week. This highly addictive bakery and breakfast stop offers unbelievably crave-worthy breads, muffins and cakes as well as breakfast items like this egg and kale toast treat (seastarbakery.com).
Churros Locos

Churro sundaes, churro ice cream sandwiches, churro cakes, and good ole original Mexican-style churros. Need I say more? Churros Locos is one food truck worth following (churroslocos.com).
Portland Roller Derby

Wanna see a bunch of badass women kick some major ass? Go check out a roller derby bout and see the Roller City Rollers skate in this truly entertaining sport (wftda.com/leagues/rose-city).