Rùa @ The Zipper PDX

Joey Richards Here I am holding my hot bowl of pho at Rua in Portland.
Here I am holding my hot bowl of pho at Rua in Portland.

We all know that there are lots of Vietnamese restaurants out there in Portland. But this one was truly fantastic with a local flare that only Oregonians know.

The Zipper at 27th and NE Sandy in Portland looks small but is actually quite big!
The Zipper at 27th and NE Sandy looks small but is actually quite big!

Today we went to The Zipper, an 8000 square foot building that houses several micro- restaurants on NE 27th and Sandy Blvd. The Zipper sits on a triangular lot so when we first walked up to it thought it was tiny, but as I walked around the building to check out the restaurants I realized that it was huge! Along with a coffee shop and a nail salon, there are four micro-restaurants housed in the zipper with a common eating area in the center.

My mom and I went to a Vietnamese restaurant called Rùa. The menu is simple and filled with favorites such as Banh Mi (Vietnamese Sandwich). I ordered the Vietnamese noodle soup with steak, otherwise known as pho, for $10. My pho was savory and delicious. My mom got the rice noodle bowl with chicken for $8. Filled with organic lettuce, noodles and a light fish sauce dressing, it was delicious and fresh like it came straight from the garden.

After we slowly ate our meals in the common eating area, we stopped at Seven Virtues Coffee Roasters where I got a hot chocolate with homemade caramel sauce. I drank it as we walked the 12 minutes (we timed it!) back to our house. It was so good and creamy and perfect for a fall day in Portland!


820 NE 27th Ave

(503) 236-6960

Common Eating Area at The ZIpper
Common Eating Area at The Zipper

Carrot Rating: 4 out of 5 (short one carrot because I wish it had more steak!)

5 Words to Describe this Food Trip: delicious, fresh, savory, great, not a waste of time

Sounds Made While Eating: crunch, smack, slurp

The Menu at Rua
The Menu at Rua

Mom’s note: This is definitely a friendly family place where you can select food from five micro-restaurants: ChickPeaDX, Slice Pizza Co, Bywater Grocery A Taste of New Orleans, and Rua.


Add yours →

  1. Hi Joey, I really enjoyed your assessment. Thank you so much for describing your experience and recommendation in such detail. Not only does it make my hungry, but you’ve helped me identify a great, affordable, family-friendly place in Portland that I might not have ever known about.
    Keep writing! You have a talent. I will be back to read your next adventure.
    Best wishes,


  2. Joey, I haven’t had a chance to try Rua yet…but after reading your post I definitely want to go! I, have, however been to the Zipper and I agree…it’s much larger than meets the eye. Seven Virtues and Slice Pizza are great! Keep up the good blogging!


  3. Christi Gallagher October 22, 2015 — 10:59 pm

    I am thoroughly impressed with your food blog! Your perspective and writing style is very insightful and mature, not to mention fun to read!
    I’ve never had Pho, but after reading your blog , I want to try it and wished I lived closer to Portland!
    Keep up the amazing things that you are doing!!! 😄
    Christi Gallagher
    (an old friend of your mom)


  4. Hey Joey! Rua sounds like a fantastic eatery! I love the way you described your mom’s noodle bowl, and the size and location of the Zipper. Yum yum. Great writing! Keep these posts coming. ✌🏼️


  5. We really enjoy ready your reviews! We are curious. Where will you explore next? An Italian restaurant? burger joint?


  6. Rhiannon Patterson October 23, 2015 — 4:25 am

    Joey, thank you for your review! I have driven passed the zipper but never went in because it looked kind of scary and I had no idea what was in there. Thanks to your review I will definitely be stopping in there soon with my kids – maybe even this weekend!

    – Rhiannon Patterson, Juliet and Coco’s mom


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