The Saddest Portland Restaurant and Food Cart Closures of 2022


Each December, Eater Portland ends the year by reflecting on the last twelve months of dining in a series we call Year in Eater. We reach out to Portland food writers and influencers for their perspectives on major trends, impressive newcomers, and standout meals, and share their responses in a single package.

Responses are edited and condensed for clarity.

“This is another really difficult question to answer. Acadia comes to mind, as well as Ripe Cooperative; really, though, my answer to this question has to be the Roxy. When I was growing up in Eugene, we would come up to Portland for birthdays and concerts, and a stop at the Roxy was an absolute requirement. It’s where I met my first drag queen. As a young, (poorly) closeted queer person who grew up in the woods, it was my only real exposure to other queer people, a place to see what it looked like to be a queer adult. That was so, so important to me, especially before I came out.”
-Brooke Jackson-Glidden, Eater Portland editor

“One of the stars of 82nd’s CORE food cart pod, all-vegan sushi cart Mitate, was just starting to build citywide word of mouth when it closed in April. The Mountain roll — spinach, kale, mushrooms, black truffle sauce — leaves a void in my heart.”
-Nathan Williams, Eater Portland contributor

“Too many to name, but at the top of that list, the Roxy. That’s the type of ‘Old Portland’ that’s just irreplaceable, not to mention the loss to the queer community. And the death of its owner, the Lovely Suzanne, mere months later was devastating as well. Also, not a physical restaurant, but floral dessert maven Sweetheart St. Johns retired this month and I’m going to miss seeing and eating her gorgeous creations.”
-Janey Wong, Eater Portland reporter

“For me, Baby Blue’s closing was a sad start to the new year. Friends have joked that I eat enough pizza that I should have been able to keep the cart in business. I really miss the char-blistered rosemary pie with mushrooms. It was in 2021, but I’m still sad about Alley Mezza and what led to that closure. How much have we as a city and community grown since then?”
-Waz Wu, Eater Portland contributor

“The closure of Acadia started my year with heartache. Since I moved to Portland a decade ago this year, Acadia’s New Orleans-style BBQ Shrimp had me in a chokehold. Chef Seamus made some of the best New Orleans-style food I’ve ever had outside of the Crescent City. Chef Naomi Pomeroy having to close Ripe Cooperative meant the closure of the place that was also Beast. It was the end of an era, closing the doors of a Portland icon.”
-Nori de Vega (@nomnom_nori), influencer

“I’m still upset that Brasa Haya closed before it found its footing, and not just because I was a fan of Ian Muntzert’s food at Commonwealth in San Francisco for almost a decade before we both moved to Portland. Every meal there surpassed the last — smart, complex, unfussy food that I loved introducing to friends who hadn’t yet eaten there.”
-Jonathan Kauffman, Portland-based food writer and author of A Place Is a Gift newsletter

“I was heartbroken when Mitate announced their food cart closure at Core PDX. Summer and Nino brought such a unique take on sushi to Portland that was outstanding, but I completely empathize with their decision to choose health and sustainability in their lives over the stresses of a growing business.”
-Ehow Chen (@ehow.eats), influencer

“The Roxy. I’ve said enough! I wrote about it a lot! But I really, really miss those chicken strips.”
-Thom Hilton, Eater Portland contributor

“Alan Maniscalco and Shan Wickham of Rally Pizza announced that they’re closing after six years. I’m so sad to lose this excellent spot. Rally Pizza was more than just a pizza and frozen custard spot; they sourced ingredients from local farms and had amazing specials like their yearly Persian New Year meal and paczkis on Fat Tuesday. I wish them the best of luck with whatever is next. I’ll really miss Rally. Yoobies and WanSook Thai Food Cart. These uptown village food carts both served excellent food and were gone too soon.”
-Rachel Pinsky, Eater Portland contributor

“Honestly, any restaurant that had to close this year is a really sad occasion, especially given all that restaurant owners and workers have had to weather and endure up until this point. One closure that particularly hit our heartstrings was Cooperativa. Portland so badly needed a beautiful, multifaceted space like that. We are excited to see what chef Sarah Schafer and Anna Caporael do next.”
-Vicki and Vanessa Ng (@foodbellypdx), influencers

“Two downtown closures stand out: Clyde Common seemed so peak Portland it would be a fixture, but I suppose it’s not 2012 anymore. Also, Bistro Agnes was always solid and felt a little special even for just a quick bite at the bar. It’s not like I ever hung out at Gustav’s in Clackamas, but it was a descendant of sentimental fave, Rheinlander, so it’s kind of sad that this particular era in Portland is coming to a close. (Yes, I realize Gustav’s lives on in Vancouver.)”
-Krista Garcia, Eater Portland contributor

“I was sad to see Rotigo go (such good sandwiches), Drink Mamey (absolutely delicious juices and smoothies; stocking up on juices there always felt like the epitome of health and self-care), and Ripe Cooperative. But really, there were so many.”
-Zoe Baillargeon, Eater Portland contributor

“I am going to miss Naomi Pomeroy’s Ripe Cooperative. That space has so many memories for me because (as most people know) prior to Ripe, it was Beast. Naomi is such an integral figure in Portland’s culinary history. But there is always her food at Expatriate (hello nachos!).”
-Gary Okazaki (@garythefoodie), renowned globe-trotting eater

For a full list of Portland restaurant and food cart closures, check out this guide.

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