South Tabor Neighborhood Guide
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South Tabor Neighborhood Features
As a neighborhood, South Tabor packs a lot into a relatively small area. At around 25 blocks long, this is one of the smallest neighborhoods in Portland. However, despite its size, this is also one of the few neighborhoods that has its own complete set of schools. Residents can send their children to preschool, elementary, middle, and high school without ever leaving South Tabor’s borders.
Other than that, most of South Tabor is residential, with some businesses sprinkled in. The area is quiet and homey unless you live alongside Powell Blvd, which marks its southern border. Otherwise, South Tabor kind of blends into Mount Tabor with a family-friendly and community-conscious atmosphere.
South Tabor Businesses of Note
While 90 percent of South Tabor is residential, it does have two of the biggest thoroughfares in Southeast Portland marking its borders. To the east is 82nd avenue, and to the south is Powell Blvd. While most of the businesses are chains, there are a few gems mixed in. Here are the spots to try whenever you’re in the neighborhood.
These days, more and more Mexican places are trying to shed the image of the old, American-style restaurant. However, if you still enjoy seeing sombreros as decorations, earthen tile and plates, and mariachi music in the background, you’ll love El Tapatio. This is one of the oldest operating Mexican eateries in Portland, so it still has that old-fashioned charm. The original Tapatio was started in 1980 in Milwaukie, Oregon, and this location sprang up in the late 90s. Just in case you’re curious, “Tapatio” is a name that refers to people from Guadalajara, Mexico. This is also where the famous hot sauce gets its name.
The food is as good as the atmosphere, and El Tapatio has all of your favorites. Burritos, enchiladas, tostadas, shrimp cocktails, tacos plates, chalupas, chimichangas, and tamales. You can get as little or as much as you like, thanks to the “Big Boy Platters” that deliver more food than you could (or should) eat in one sitting. Overall, El Tapatio is more than just a meal, it’s an experience.
El Tapatio – 2627 SE 82nd Ave.
Kkoki Korean BBQ
Since this part of 82nd is technically within the “Jade District,” there are multiple Asian restaurants and boutiques within South Tabor. In fact, if you appreciate Korean cuisine, you’ll be pleased to discover that there are two eateries within the same shopping complex. Kkoki is the first, and it’s a traditional Korean barbecue joint. This means that you and your friends (or family) sit around a hot grill, cooking your own meats and vegetables from scratch.
There are several K-BBQ places in the Southeast, and each one delivers a supreme dining experience. If you haven’t done Korean barbecue before, you are in for a real treat. It is all-you-can-eat, and the selection is as mouthwatering as you can imagine. Meats range from beef brisket to marinated pork (bulgogi) to teriyaki pineapple chicken. You can also get pork belly, cajun-style shrimp, and Hawaiian beef. One of our favorite options is the red-wine thick-cut pork belly. However, because it is so tasty and so rich, we recommend starting off with some other meats first so that you get a chance to sample something else. Otherwise, that’s all you’ll be eating.
Kkoki Korean BBQ – 8001 SE Powell Blvd. Ste O
Chungdam Korean Fusion
While Korean barbecue is always a delight, sometimes you don’t want such an intense experience. For those who want more variety of Korean cuisine, there is Chungdam, which is on the opposite end of Powell Station. Although it’s billed as Korean Fusion, most of the menu is about as authentic as you can find. One element that makes this place a little better than Kkoki is that it’s open late – until 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. This is the perfect pit stop when you’re out on the town and need some delicious food to keep you going. Just be aware that there is K-Pop music in the background at all times.
Some highlights from the menu include bibimbap (a traditional Korean dish), tofu soup, kimchi stew, yakisoba noodles, and sizzling beef Galbi (short ribs). We also recommend the dumplings as an appetizer, as they are divine. Plates are perfect for sharing, so feel free to mix and match your orders so that everyone can get a sample.
Chungdam Korean Fusion – 7901 SE Powell Blvd. Ste A1
Next on our culinary tour of South Tabor is this unassuming sandwich shop. While places like Chungdam and Kkoki are lively experiences, Steakadelphia is the perfect place to grab a quick bite for lunch or dinner. Sandwich lovers will appreciate the sizeable portions and the freshly-baked bread. When compared to other similar places, Steakadelphia clearly leads the pack.
As the name implies, Philly-style cheesesteak sandwiches are the priority here. Best of all, you can choose from beef or chicken, or get half-and-half if you so desire. Why not add extra meat and make it a full-sized meal? Every sub is loaded high with fresh ingredients, including peppers, mushrooms, cheese, and Steakadelphia’s proprietary sauce. You’ll almost definitely need a fork to finish the whole thing, and that’s a compliment. For those who aren’t into cheesesteaks, they do offer a chicken salad or fresh-made burgers. However, why stop at a place called Steakadelphia if you aren’t looking for a cheesesteak sandwich?
Steakadelphia – 5835 SE Powell Blvd.
South Tabor Neighborhood Parks
South Tabor Neighborhood Community Resources
South Tabor Neighborhood Vibe
This is a great neighborhood of families, singles, and urbanites. This area feels community-conscious, eco-friendly, and very family-friendly. Dog walkers, babes in strollers, and cyclists are a constant on the streets of South Tabor.
South Tabor Neighborhood Stats
South Tabor Zip Code 97206
South Tabor Neighborhood Real Estate
South Tabor homes are old-style Portland homes such as Foursquares, Old Portland, Tudor, Colonial, Bungalow, and more.
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