Can Font – Catalan dishes in Pearl District

Can Font was my first Spanish restaurant to try in Portland and the experience was beyond my expectation. After searching for a while where to eat with some girl friends on a Saturday night, Can Font caught my eyes; and a reservation thru OpenTable was made immediately.

The restaurant opened back in the summer of 2017 and is located in the heart of Pearl District, a culinary corner of Portland. The original Can Font restaurant is located few miles out of Barcelona in Spain and this is their second branch, right in our backyard. This is a place to find modern and authentic Spanish cuisine where the chef himself is from Barcelona. With a Catalonia root, the main focus of this place is paella, seafood, and Mediterranean flavors.

Inside Can Font in Pearl District, Oregon
Inside Can Font in Pearl District, Oregon

The table was ready as soon as we got there and our server, who was very professional and knowledgeable about the dishes, sat us down and went over all the specials and some of their best items in the menu. As soon as you walk in a big mural of Gaudi’s edifice on one of the walls. From the lightnings to furniture to overall character of this restaurant…I felt like I was sitting in a restaurant in Barcelona. If you have a reservation, try to come a bit early, since street parking and garage are the only options if you drive here…you may have to drive around a bit.

Ok, so…for dinner, we had to get some tapas and the main course. But don’t get scared looking at the prices here…you are paying for fresh and local Pacific Northwest produce. We decided to try few of their tapas and order one paella for all of us to share. Here are three tapas that we ordered: Filet a L’Allet Amb Patates Braves (filet mignon, potatoes, brava sauce, garlic chips), beef tenderloin tartare with chips (which was slightly cooked, I first thought it was raw beef paste, and octopus with beef tongue in tomato sauce (forgot the name). I don’t know what you are thinking of these dishes where we ate almost raw beef and beef tongue…but this is where you know the chef really knows what he/she is doing when they can bring these uncommon and rare food with such delicacy and flavors. I loved them all, especially the beef tartare…it melts in your mouth. 

Top left - octopus and beef tongue, top right - potato bravas, and bottom - beef tenderloin tartare in Can Font, Oregon
Top left – octopus and beef tongue, top right – potato bravas, and bottom – beef tenderloin tartare in Can Font, Oregon

For paella, we had Arros Negre which was cooked in squid ink with fish of the day, cuttlefish, clams, mussels, shrimps and a side of alioli. This is one of the signature dish of Barcelona and was made to perfection in Can Font. With squid ink, the dish may not look all appealing, but couple of my friends who aren’t big fan of seafood…they even liked it. By the time we came to desserts, all of their items were gone, except for Crema Catalan…a Spanish Crème brûlée…another delightful item.

Paella in Squid ink with seafood in Can Font, Pearl District, Oregon
Paella in Squid ink with seafood in Can Font, Pearl District, Oregon

There you go…I’ve just dined in one of the top Spanish restaurants in Portland (and Barcelona) and if you love food adventure, this restaurant should be in your bucket list. If you are ready to spend some good money, bring in your loved ones and enjoy an evening here.


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