EL CAMPESINO PDX
6611 SE POWELL BLVD. PORTLAND 97206
Hours: 8am-9pm daily
Bus Lines: 2, 9, 14
Seeing that opportunity paid off. That’s why shoppers will find more than the usual supermarket suspects. El Campesino stocks sodas from Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, plus countless brands of Peruvian packaged goods like dulce de pechiche, jarred chochos, and aji amarillo paste, which draws shoppers from outside of the Portland area and even out of state.
4516 NE 42ND AVE. PORTLAND 97218
Phone: (503) 493-2737
Hours: 10:30am-8pm Tue-Sat, 11am-5:30pm Sun, 12-8pm Mon
Bus Lines: 75, 72
Caribbean Spice’s condiment game is also on point. Shelves are filled with a vast array of Marie Sharp’s Belizean hot sauces, as well as Costa Rican Lizano salsa and jerk seasonings and marinades. Grapefruit-flavored Jamaican Ting and ginger beer peacefully coexist with malta beverages from Cuba and Puerto Rico in the soda section.
Notable items: Dried herbs like sorrel, Irish sea moss, and hibiscus. Boxes of frozen Jamaican patties. Oxtails and goat meat.
COME THRU MARKET
831 SE SALMON ST. PORTLAND 97214
May – October 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month, 12pm-4pm
Bus Lines: 15, 70
Visitors to the market might not find all the 30+ vendors involved present every Monday, but they will find sellers like Lukas Angus, a Nez Perce tribal fisherman and farmer, representing 7 Waters Canoe Family with smoked chinook and coho salmon for sale.
Produce options are often available from farms like Xast Sqit (Good Rain Farm) run by a founder with Sinixt ancestry, and Lomita, operated by Gonzalo Garcia Reyes who has Zapoteco heritage. Both grow mixed vegetables and participate in local CSAs.
The wellness arena is covered by vendors like Mariquita Medicinals, an herbal remedy business owned by Flynne Olivarez, a queer Latinx herbal medicine and flower farmer, and Sinensis Tea, which offers teas and elixirs made by Annette Aispuro, a Mexican and Native American who wants to share her tea blends with a more diverse community.
18929 E BURNSIDE ST. PORTLAND 97233
Phone: (503) 667-4444
Hours: 8am-10pm daily
Bus Lines: MAX Blue Line, 20, 87
Nobec also punches above its weight in the beverage department. Anyone who’s ever craved familiar fizzy flavors will have their homesickness cured in an instant with Colombian Postobon, Peruvian Inca Cola, Parrot brand fruit juices, and Cuban soft drinks like pineapple-flavored Jupiña, Materva, and Iron Beer. It’s not unusual to see customers walking out with cases of malta stacked in their arms.
Naturally, the shop offers plenty of Mexican staples, including bulk dispensers filled with black and pinto beans and rice. Nobec also sells bags of its private-label dried chiles and corn, plus piloncillo, tamarind pods, and assorted spices.
DOS HERMANOS BAKERY
4082 N WILLIAMS AVE. PORTLAND 97227
Phone: (971) 266-8348
Hours: 7am-2pm daily
Bus Lines: 44, 6, 4
While Dos Hermanos is a great source for sturdy sesame sourdough loaves, they’ve also become known for delicious hybrid baked goods like habanero and black bean batards and Yucatecan hojaldras, flaky, sweet-and-savory squares of puff pastry stuffed with ham, jalapeño rings, and cheese. The golden delights get dusted with sugar before going in the oven, which results in a brown caramelized top. This popular item is a regional nod to Merida, Mexico, where the brothers grew up.
Their Mexican heritage is also apparent in the conchas they make in Instagrammable neon and tie-dyed hues, as well as soft telera rolls and seasonal specials like the rosca de reyes.
FAVELA BRAZILIAN CAFE
5300 FOSTER RD.
Phone: (503) 789-1291
Hours: 10am – 4pm, closed Tuesdays
Bus Lines: 14, 71
In addition to offerings like fresh cashew and sugarcane juices, savory Brazilian baked goods, and occasional specials like the cachorro quente (a.k.a. Brazilian hotdog), Favela also makes dessert-like specialty coffees, one of which approximates the flavor of fudgy brigadeiros.
The shop also carries a small, curated selection of Brazilian groceries and packaged goods. Shoppers might find bags of farofa and feijão carioca or bottles of Xingu beer and cans of Guarana, the best-selling soft drink in Brazil.
7238 SE FOSTER RD. PORTLAND 97206
Phone: (503) 523-9747
Hours: 10am-8pm Sun-Thu | 10am-9pm Fri-Sat
Bus Lines: 14, 17, 72
One of Kaah’s biggest draws is its large selection of freshly made salsas. The shop sells as many as ten varieties on any given day, which is why they’re often set out for sampling with tortilla chips. Popular varieties include the pineapple mango salsa spiked with habanero and the smoky roasted tomatillo morita salsa.
Shoppers can also find Guatemalan brands of spices and seasonings like Malher and fresh produce like tomatillos, purple potatoes, and chiles, including poblanos and habaneros. The meat counter offers chicharrones and chorizos made in-house and popular Mexican cuts of meat like arrachera.
LA PERLITA / REFORMA ROASTERS
721 NW 9TH AVE.
Hours: 9am-3pm daily
Bus Lines: MAX Blue Line, 20
Matutina, helmed by Gabriella Martinez, was one of the bakeries involved with the series of pop-ups and now regularly supplies goodies like funfetti conchas for the cafe. Seasonal treats like bolillo con cajeta and empanadas filled with candied sweet potatoes are on the horizon.
People have been known to come from outside the Portland area just for the cafe’s True Mexican mocha, an espresso-based take on cafe de olla, topped with cocoa nibs. La Perlita’s signature drink is also a counterpoint to local cafes calling any spiced coffee drink a “Mexican mocha.”
THREE SISTERS NIXTAMAL
7475 SE 72ND AVE. PORTLAND 97206
Corn tortillas are the company’s core offering, but they’re not just any tortilla. Most commercial corn tortillas are made with masa harina (a.k.a. Mexican Bisquick,) but here they source heritage corn grown in Mexico, which is steeped and cooked in an alkaline solution, i.e. nixtamalized, and ground on site. The process brings out the natural corn flavor and makes all the difference taste-wise.
Depending on availability, the tortillas are sold in versions made with yellow, white, or blue corn (and sometimes even green) at the PSU farmer’s market and local supermarkets, but the Lents-area production facility also sells bulk masa, hominy, whole corn, tamale husks, and packaged tortillas for pick up, if ordered online.
TORTILLERIA Y TIENDA DE LEON
16223 NE GLISAN ST.
Phone: (503) 255-4356
Hours: 10am-6pm daily
Bus Lines: MAX Blue Line, 74, 77, 20
Located in a strip mall right on the border between Portland and Gresham, the store staked its claim when there was still a dearth of options for Mexican food and groceries in the area. Competition has heated up over the past two decades, but thanks to Lucy’s entrepreneurial spirit, Tortilleria Y Tienda De Leon has been able to differentiate itself.
Spurred by a class at Portland State University, she decided to start the family’s salsa business, and Salsas Locas was born. A handful are usually available in the refrigerated case, from larger tubs of pico de gallo to smaller containers filled with crimson salsa de chile de árbol en aceite.
Behind the counter, more than half the space is devoted to tortilla production. These corn tortillas are bagged up and sold in massive bags in the store–the smallest size available for purchase is three pounds, so it’s worth stocking up and freezing some for later.