We see them all over the place when we are our driving. Little hold in the wall places that never seem to look that great on the outside, but for those in the know and even some of the adventurous, it can be a great place to find somewhere new “off the grid” and maybe even try something different then you normally would eat in a standard outing to Red Robin. Here is my list of the Top 7 Little-Heard of or hole-in-the-wall restaurants that you should check out in the Hillsboro area…
#7: Earth Oven Pizza Main Taste: Pizza Address: 337 N. Main Street Hillsboro OR 97123 Located in the heart of downtown Hillsboro, Earth Oven Pizza is the place to go for pizza that is not like the normal dominos, pizza hut, or other standard pizza chains. A wood fired pizza just tastes a little different in the good sense and with live music almost every night; there is always something to see at Earth Oven Pizza. Get there early though as the place is not too large, so seating can be difficult on a Friday or Saturday night. It’s worth the wait though.
#6: Venetian Theatre & Bistro Main Taste: Italian Address: 253 East Main Street, Hillsboro 97123 For many Hillsboro residents, this is a place you can pass by almost every day thinking to yourself… oh yea they serve food and they also have a theatre for live performances. You do not have to see a live show to have a good meal though and not to mention some good desserts as well. A good happy hour menu and plenty of wine for all you wine drinkers out there. On a decent night, take advantage of sitting outside on Main Street and people watch while you eat and drink in peace.
#5: Country Cruise In Diner Main Taste: Burgers Address: 9785 SW River Rd, Hillsboro 97123 Take a little short drive out into the country… only about a mile or so from Sunset Esplanade. At the intersection, you will see the Cruise In Dinner. If you are a health nut and still love burgers – this is the place for you. You won’t find any tainted meat here… everything comes local, like grass-fed beef. This is not your ordinary Red Robin burger… the taste is great and YES, there is a difference between Grass-fed beef and what you buy at McDonalds and Red Robin. If you are an old car-nut this place is even better as the entire place is decked out with memorabilia from the old days. Take a step back in time, chat with the owner (who is a retired Intel employee) that makes his rounds to every booth to talk to people and make sure they enjoy their meal.
#4: Primrose & Tumbleweeds Main Taste: Wine, wine, and more wine… and some general food. Address: 248 E. Main St. Hillsboro 97123 If you like wine, this is the place for you in downtown Hillsboro. It is a low key place to hang out, have a couple glasses of wine, and enjoy the night with life music on the weekends usually too. They have a decent but simple variety of food for lunch or dinner. It is a nice little hidden gem in downtown that many folks may not know about… until now.
#3: Hawaiian Kine Bar-B-Q Main Taste: Hawaiian BBQ Address: 6551 SE Tualatin Valley Hwy This place is probably one of the best kept secrets in Hillsboro. If you ever drive by it, you probably saw the outside, which is located in the same parking lot of a low-key local bar and said… no way… not going in there. That is exactly what fans of this place want you to think… because it is the true definition of a little hole-in-the-wall place. Believe me though… it is one of THE BEST Hawaiian BBQ places I have ever eaten at. Do not be fooled by the outside, take a chance, take your pick of a meal, and sit back to enjoy. You will not be disappointed.
#2: Rock-N-Wingz Main Taste: Wings Address: 2020 NE Cornell Rd Hillsboro OR 97124 No need to drive through traffic to Buffalo Wild Wings or go to Little Caesars… take a chance and roll the dice by checking out Rock-N-Wingz near the Hillsboro Airport. With a variety of wings, sauces, beer, and a decent happy hour… it is all you need for a good hang out with friends or place to get away for a few hours. If you feel adventurous, try the Tap Out Wing Challenge… don’t forget to sign the waiver though…
#1: Toshi Resaurant Main Taste: Sushi Address: 745 SW 185th Hillsboro OR 97006 If you want good, authentic sushi… get there RIGHT when they open or you might be waiting a while. This little gem located in a small shopping complex on the corner of 185th and Baseline. It is a little shopping mix of a bunch of small little stores with Goodwill as their anchor store. Did I mention this place was small… well… it is. There are only about 9-10 tables in the place and the place is almost always packed within a few minutes of opening. Toshi is a great place with great sushi and their patrons would agree… STAY AWAY, WE DON’T WANT THIS PLACE TO BE EVEN BUSIER… It’s worth the wait though.
Let me know if you have a favorite hole in the wall joint by commenting below…
Matt Brown – PortlandMetroLive.com Contributor
Born and raised in Portland Oregon, Matt Brown is Sports & Business Management Consultant with experience working with everyone from small and local Mom & Pop shops to working with professional sport league’s on business development. He brings a wealth of knowledge on the business side of sports, a side that many fans don’t get to see too often when they watch their favorite team battle each week.