Hopworks Urban Brewery

The Experience: Dinnertime is an ongoing and universal family challenge. Rise to it at Hopworks Urban Brewery, where the scene, the food and the staff are equally welcoming to adults and kids.

Hopworks, recently named as one of Portland’s top family restaurants in our 2011 Readers Survey, is an organic microbrewery, a hip pizza joint, and a sustainably-minded family food haven all in one. Kids love the two inviting play areas; parents love getting a chance to speak three or four uninterrupted sentences to each other while kids play.

The real draw for families is the food. I love the hearty salads you can supplement with Draper Valley chicken, Painted Hills tri-tip or marinated and grilled portabellas. The kid’s menu has all the kid favorites but with a healthier twist (whole wheat bread, organic fruits and veggies as side options). They even have organic baby food.

Yummy appetizers like the Pint O Pretzels, Warrier Wings or Nachofied Organic French Fries start off a menu filled with creative, healthy and hearty soups, sandwiches and burgers, plus a good mix of standard and more adventurous pizzas and calzones. Hopworks GF pizza crust is a must try – it’s the best we’ve found in the city so far, and we’ve eaten a lot. And vegans have plenty of options too, like the Tofu Po Boy and the Portland Bella.

Prices are reasonable, the vibe is lively yet relaxed, and the back patio is sublime on a warm fall evening. The next time you’re struggling with the “What’s for dinner?” dilemma, Hopworks is an answer the whole family will love.

Inside information: Hopworks is usually hopping, but the space is large so we’ve never had to wait long. Reservations are only accepted for parties of 10 or more and only Mon. through Wed. Other times are first-come, first served. We like the downstairs play area best, but the upstairs seating area is warmer which can be extra cozy as evenings cool off. If you’re gluten-intolerant, note that the kitchen isn’t certified GF, but they’ll do their best to avoid cross-contamination, and the gluten-free menu is substantial.

The 411

Open 7 days from 11 am to 11 pm (midnight weekends) Price range: Appetizers $4-$9; burgers/sandwiches $9-$11; salads $5-7 for individual sizes (add $3 for meat or portabellas); pizza/calzone $11-$28 Location: 2944 SE Powell Blvd.
Contact information: 503-232-HOPS (4677); hopworksbeer.com.

— Sarah Pagliasotti

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