PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A newcomer to Portland’s expanding food scene has been recognized as one of this year’s top new restaurants nationwide.

Eater, the national media brand that also publishes city-specific content across 23 locations, released its list of 2023’s Best New Restaurants on Tuesday morning.

The magazine said each of the 12 businesses highlighted this year offers an original experience to diners.

“Each restaurant on this list does more than offer an exceptional meal, it also reflects something larger about the way we eat,” Eater said. “It might set one trend in motion, or subvert another. It might bring attention to a previously unheralded cuisine or neighborhood, or revisit familiar genres in unexpected ways.”

The selected eateries opened anytime from October of last year through September of this year.

Portland’s Astral, founded by business and life partners John Boisse and Lauren Breneman, was one of the restaurants highlighted in the food magazine’s latest list — despite not actually being a restaurant.

According to Eater Portland Editor Brooke Jackson-Glidden, Astral is somewhere between a restaurant and a pop-up.

The business solely operated as a pop-up for years, before officially opening a brick-and-mortar space in collaboration with Duality Brewing in early May. Since then, the brewpub has offered beer, wine and coffee that pairs with food courtesy of Astral co-chefs Boisse and Breneman.

Inside Astral and Duality Brewing
Inside Astral and Duality Brewing (Courtesy John Boisse)

The owners primarily serve Mexican dishes such as tamales, tostadas and quesadillas.

Jackson-Glidden wrote that Boisse focuses on fusing Pacific Northwest flavors with Mexican techniques, while Breneman manages the pastry program that churns out classic and creative dishes like chocolate chip cookies and coconut tres leches cakes.

In a statement, one-half of the dining duo told KOIN 6 that Astral was “excited, honored and humbled” by the recognition from Eater magazine.

“At the moment we are an extremely small team, myself, my partner, Lauren, and one other cook,” Boisse said. “As excited as we are, we are also aware that with press like this, it could mean a spike in business. We hope people come in with open hearts and patience. We are so excited to share our food with everyone!”

The brick-and-mortar space can be found in the Kerns neighborhood at 715 NE Lawrence Ave. Astral will also continue to host pop-up food events across Portland.

Thattu in Chicago, Honeysuckle Provisions in Philadelphia and La Semilla in Atlanta were among the other businesses mentioned by Eater. Find the full list of eateries — and bars — here.

Philadelphia was the only city with two entries on the list.