I don't know about you but I LOVE food. Being in college I also tend to miss the homemade food my family makes. Although cooking for myself or going to the dining hall can be fun and all, sometimes it is refreshing to go out to dinner. A lot less work too if you are used to cooking all of your meals for yourself, like I am.
Portland is a wonderful place for those who love food. There there blocks upon blocks of food carts with any type of food you can imagine. To give you some examples there is a Greek food cart, Polish, German, Mexican, Thai and one called SIP dedicated solely to making smoothies. I definitely recommend that you go check out the food carts whenever you come into Portland, whether it be to visit or if you end up attending Lewis & Clark!
Here is a whole website dedicated to the food carts! I would definitely check it out if I were you.
Now as far as actual sit down restaurants go I have two favorites here in Portland. One is a Thai food restaurant (The Thai Peacock) located in Southwest right near Powell's bookstore and the other is a Mexican taqueria (¿Por qué no?) on North Mississippi Avenue. Both have absolutely wonderful food.
I love ¿Por qué no? because after having lived in Mexico for a year I always crave that authentic mexican food. This is the place to get it. The most expensive thing on the menu is $11 but most items are between $3 and $6, perfect prices for a college student like me. They have tacos, tamales, flautas, ceviche and my personal favorite Horchata (a mexican rice-milk drink). For when it isn't raining they have many places to sit outside on the sidewalk but there are also some tables inside, where you can watch the chefs cook your food right in front of you.
The Thai Peacock is a bit more expensive than ¿Por qué no? but I always have extras that I can take home with me so it really ends up to be about the same amount. They have curries, noodle dishes, rice dishes and stir fries. Anything you can think of really. The spicy level always seems to be just right too!
You can really find any kind of food you are looking for in Portland and usually for a pretty cheap price.
JUST BECAUSE IT's CUTE :