Get to Know: Lake Oswego

Featured image sourced from Curtis Gregory Perry (CC)


Flashback! Lake Oswego is one of the oldest inhabited areas of the Willamette Valley, with records of prehistoric people as far back as 4,000 BCE! In modern history, the town was renamed Lake Oswego in 1850 by settlers who journeyed here from New York. In the 1930s (and going forward) Lake Oswego was renowned as a suburban, family hub. In fact, in the 1930s, cheap costs of labor and building materials combined with well-off community members brought an influx of family housing. Lake Oswego is still known for its beautiful homes, outdoor recreation, and elevated lifestyle. 

Our Lake Oswego Favorites

Lake Oswego is packed with history but has recently seen an influx of exciting new businesses. Especially in the restaurant realm. Check it out!
File:Lake Oswego from north side near east end of Lakewood Bay with ducks in flight - Oregon.JPG
Image sourced from M. O. Stevens (CC)

Snacks and Sips

Lake Oswego has added some epic additions to their restaurant scene. Some of Portland’s most notable restaurants are coming soon or have recently opened in Lake O’s Mercato Grove, including TastyOven and ShakerLardo, and Grassa!

Before venturing into Mercato Grove, you have to start your morning off with a kolache from Happy Sparrow Cafe. The owners moved from Austin, Texas in 2016 and brought their passion for Czech-Texan pastries with them! The shop sells sweet (Nutella, coconut, and almond) and savory (pulled pork, Texas hotlink, and vegan) kolaches… YUM!

Tasty — that’s right, of Tasty n’ Alder fame — recently opened in June! Following the closing of a few of their restaurants during the pandemic, and now under new leadership, the Toro Bravo restaurant group was bought and re-branded by two former restaurant employees. Faye Crosswhite and Mike Kessler have brought Portland’s beloved brunch spot back and the community is celebrating!

Tasty is also welcoming Katherine Benvenuti — former baker at Bar King — as their pastry chef. Benvenuti is seemingly making Lake Oswego her new stomping ground, splitting time between Tasty and Fills, next door. We are dying to try her raspberry-matcha-filled donut.

Driving down SE Hawthorne, heading west, you’ve likely noticed Lardo — a beautifully designed sandwich shop, with floor-to-ceiling glass walls. The shop is always packed with patrons, often with a line out the door. If the name wasn’t enough of an indicator, the restaurant is renowned for outrageously indulgent, meat-stacked sandwiches. Lardo has officially opened a location in Lake Oswego’s Mercato Grove, right next to Lac St. Jack. Patrik is especially excited to try their “NO MEATball sub” (hold the cheese, please)!

Head next door to Lac St. Jack for authentic French food and an incredible wine list. The menu features fresh ingredients from local farms and Oregon coast fisheries. Chef Aaron Barnett has made it his mission to dismantle the stereotypical fussiness of French food, while maintaining authenticity.

In the mood for comfort food? Grassa and Oven & Shaker are yet another two Portland staples, brand new to Lake Oswego. Grassa’s menu features hearty pasta dishes from pork belly mac to lamb sausage mafaldine that WILL send you into a carb-coma. Oven & Shaker is famous for their artisan pizzas (arguably the best margarita pizza in the Portland metro) and killer cocktails.