• 'A Big, Warm Hug' at Portland's Andina

    FROM THE Fall 2022 ISSUE
    Photo credit: Anna Caitlin

Comfortable, familiar, and adorned with the color tones and tapestries of Peru, Portland’s Andina restaurant, housed in a historic onetime abattoir and warehouse in the city’s Pearl District, serves up modern Peruvian cuisine. 

The longtime Pacific Northwest eatery sources ingredients locally (including from the restaurant’s garden) and in direct trade with organic farmers in the Chincha Province of Peru. Many of the ingredients, including ají amarillo (a traditional yellow Peruvian hot pepper flavoring 80% of Andina’s dishes), are grown only in Peru, a country known for the original cultivation of numerous ajíen (hot peppers), potatoes, and many other tubers thousands of years ago.

“[Andina’s cuisine] is specifically focused on what is known as cocina Criolla [Creole cooking from the coast of Lima] and updates that with modern influences,” says Peter Platt, the founder and owner of Andina. “It reflects accurately the way Peruvians are cooking now and also tries to imagine how Peruvian chefs who we have worked with over the years would approach cooking in the Pacific Northwest with all the fresh ingredients and bounty that we have here.”

For those looking to gather, the restaurant has four private dining and event spaces, including three on the bottom floor that seat 16 to 35 people and a larger top-story space with room for 60 seated and 100 for cocktails. A three-story atrium topped with a skylight brings natural light into the restaurant’s many spaces. But it is Andina’s staff that really sets the restaurant apart.

“We pride ourselves on warmth and the polish of our service,” Platt notes. “That’s what we’re known for as much as for our food. It really feels like Latin-style hospitality. … Many customers have said, ‘When it comes to Andina, it really feels like I’m getting a big, warm hug.’”

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