Go Now: Café Allora

There’s a plethora of restaurant choices in the Pearl. You can get it all: Italian, Peruvian, Cuban, American Bistro, Chinese, Mexican… You get the point. But among all the different choices one thing pretty much remains the same: big price tags. It’s tough to go on a special date night without spending a small fortune. You can always skimp out on your appetizer or glasses of wine, but that’s what makes those nights out exciting- indulging in all the good stuff.

At Café Allora you get an intimate, romantic setting, the best olive oil you’ll find this side of the Atlantic (seriously.), authentic Italian dishes and wait staff and a great selection of all Italian wines—no Napa cabernet on this menu—all for an affordable price. I’ve heard it called a “microcosm of Italy”. That’s a pretty bold statement. I don’t fully agree as you cannot recreate the charm of Italy in Portland, but this small, hidden gem comes pretty darn close. And this date night won’t break the bank.

The outdoor seating is an added bonus, but be warned that 9th street is no stranger to large trucks passing through, which can be a brash interruption in conversation.

Dinner aside, Café Allora is also great for a lazy Sunday morning to enjoy the paper, a pastry and a delicious espresso.

Pros: Intimate atmosphere, food, wine selection

Cons: Limited cocktail selection, not good for large parties of 6 or more

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