written by Julie Lee | photo by John Valls
If Portland is the colony of a burgeoning food and culture scene, Lake Oswego is rapidly becoming a sub-colony. Just 10 miles south of Portland, Lake Oswego has a mix of newly opened and established restaurants, a good selection of boutique shops and a decades-old arts festival in early summer. If you live there, you already know this. If you don’t, it’s worth checking out the next time you are day-tripping. When you do, put these five restaurants on your agenda.
Pine Shed Ribs
In the summer of 2001, Matt Ramey launched his BBQ enterprise with one open pit at Old Wizer’s Grocery, dusting off a smoker he’d acquired years before. Lines formed as word got out about his unique Santa Maria-style BBQ, and he relocated to B Avenue, opening Logan’s Backyard Barbecue (named after his son). A decade later, a charming shed off Lower Boones Ferry inspired Ramey to expand again and open Pine Shed Ribs. The secrets to his success lie at the intersection of a house-blended dry rub and a scratch-built smoker, using locally sourced wood from Sherwood to nail the perfect smoke ring.
17730 Pilkington Road | pineshedribs.com
Nicoletta’s Table and Marketplace
Nicoletta’s Table and Marketplace is one of the breakthrough newcomers on the Lake Oswego restaurant scene, capitalizing on the rising European trend of one-stop shopping for all entertaining needs. Similar to Providore Fine Foods or Elephant’s Delicatessen in Portland, it’s a place where you can have a nice lunch and glass of wine, then pick up dinner fixings and a bottle of vino to go. The house-made pastas and insalatas on the trattoria menu are molto bene.
333 South State Street| nicolettastable.com
Our favorite in the established restaurant category, Riccardo’s has been owned and operated by Riccardo and Georgette Spaccarelli since 1980. This is real deal Italian, with a menu that rotates daily and features delectable combinations of pasta and meats, such as a penne with boar sausage or a tagliatelle Ragu with stewed rabbit. The outdoor patio is worth noting as summer months approach—it’s spacious, seats seventy-five and inspires an Italian village feel.
16035 Boones Ferry Road | riccardoslo.com
Kyra’s Bake Shop
Gluten free loyalists discovered Kyra’s Bake Shop years ago and have been seeking out Kyra’s incredible cupcakes and pastries ever since. This little bake shop on A Avenue is a three-time winner of the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, and the only gluten-free champion to date. Along with sweets, Kyra’s churns out delicious breakfast and lunch entrées daily. You won’t regret indulging in the gluten-free mac and cheese.
599 A Avenue | kyrasbakeshop.com
Hungry for fresh, modern Mexican fare and a solid margarita? Jefe delivers, with made-to-order guacamole, healthy bowls with grilled fish and tons of veggies, and delicious, unique tacos. We love the Almejas Pacificas tacos.
16360 Boones Ferry Road | jefemex.com
Really, this should/could be a top twenty list. Aside from Gubancs, Abicca, how about Tucci, Zeppo, Baird’s, and Giant Burger ….oh yea, newest arrival: Tavern on Kruse ! NE 23rd has nothing on us!!!!
Add Gubanc’s and Babaca Hen and this list would be perfect!