8 Portland, Ore., Meals for $8 or Under

Clockwise from top left: Meatballs and polenta at 24th and Meatballs; the Maple at Meat Cheese Bread; the Chatfield at Pine State Biscuits; tacos de canasta at Uno Más; and Kao-Pune soup at Mekong Bistro.  Credit Seth Kugel for The New York Times; Meat Cheese Bread (the Maple)

Portland, Ore. — bike-friendly and, to this New Yorker, shockingly affordable — might also be the most delicious small city in America. So, finding myself there with about 30 hours to spare at the end of a West Coast trip earlier this week, I didn’t have to think too hard about a plan: rent a bike and look for a few cheap meals around the city.

Make that really cheap meals. And even avoiding the food carts and trucks that have been famous around town (and are old news for Frugal Traveler readers), my options were seemingly unlimited. I zoomed around on a rental from Everybody’s Bike Rentals ($25 flat, since there’s no Oregon sales tax), roaming about 40 miles and having (tastes of) 15 meals or meal-size dishes, all recommended by friends and colleagues. All were $8 or less, not including tip, and were as satisfying as they were eclectic.

I’d no sooner try to define the “best” cheap meals in Portland than I would chime in on the city’s much-commented-on process of gentrification, in which the Portland food scene is very much entwined. So instead of a “best of” ranking, here’s just a plain old list of eight high-value examples of the city’s uniquely energetic frugal food scene.

(Lest I look like more of a pig than I actually am, note that I only ate portions of each meal, giving the rest away to Portland’s homeless when I could find them, and friends when I could not.)

 To read the rest of story Seth Kugel, follow this link.  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/04/travel/8-portland-ore-meals-for-8-or-under.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&region=CColumn&module=MostEmailed&version=Full&src=me&WT.nav=MostEmailed&_r=0

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