Bijou Cafe

Review by: Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle

They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and we suspect “they” are from Portland. Portland is a breakfast-hound’s paradise, filled with restaurants that open in the early AM, and close after lunch. One of our favorites is a high-energy, stylish but casual place called the Bijou Cafe.

You will likely wait for a table at the Bijou; this place is no secret, and locals and tourists alike fill the airy dining room. Young couples read the morning paper over good coffee at the counter. The personable host and helpful waitstaff add much to the whole scene. All comers, regulars or not, are made to feel welcome. They all come for generous breakfasts built around top-notch ingredients, beginning with fresh-squeezed OJ with an uncommon intensity of fresh orange flavor. Hash is a specialty here, although this is no hash house. The Bijou is famed for their oyster hash, which we haven’t tried, but we very much enjoy the roast beef hash and halibut hash. It seems hash in these parts is not like the finely-chopped, crusty versions we’re more familiar with. This hash is based on chunky homefries combined with chunks of the named meat or seafood. The halibut tastes remarkably fresh, and the roast beef is, in fact, like “roasted beef.”

Lunch is also served, and we understand that they make a first class burger from something called Painted Hills beef, which as far as we can gather, is a locally-prized organically produced beef. It’s a lovely name, and if it’s the same beef as is used in the hash, it’s surely worth a try.

What To Eat

Oyster Hash


Bijou Cafe Recipes


What do you think of Bijou Cafe?

One Response to “Bijou Cafe”

Deborah Pastor

November 19th, 2010

I visited the Bijou Cafe for breakfast in search of the perfect hash and I was not disappointed. I ordered the oyster hash; the potatoes were perfectly cooked and were fabulous, crunchy and brown on the outside, creamy on the inside, with plenty of caramelized onions and a wonderful herby seasoning. The oysters were a tad over-floured but they were also perfectly cooked and piping hot. Only one thing kept it from absolute perfection: the oyster flavor did not permeate the hash. It was as if they had been cooked separately and combined at the last moment. The potatoes should have had some oyster liquor thrown over them while cooking… but I am quibbling.

The roast beef hash was quite good (a bit too rough cut), the mushroom hash was flavorful, and the cornmeal pancake was merely pleasant. Go for the oyster hash. They didn’t have the halibut or I would have tried that too.

The restaurant itself has a nice, upscale ambience, with a great selection of hot sauces (essential for hash) and even organic ketchup (which was definitely not needed)!


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