The Stepping Stone Cafe: A Portland-style breakfast


Sierra Donis (she/her), Editor

Located in Northwest Portland, the historic Stepping Stone Cafe offers some classic greasy diner food in a fun yet crazy environment. Famous for its breakfast foods and dinner-plate-sized pancakes called “man-cakes”, Stepping Stone is perfect for a quick coffee and a vintage vibe for your early morning. 

First starting as a soda fountain in 1948 and then becoming the dinner we know today in 1977, the Stepping Stone Cafe overwhelms customers with its classic diner style and upbeat environment with random trinkets hanging from the ceiling that still gives you that weird Portland feel of insanity. 

Stepping Stone also offers plenty of food options, as they supply breakfast, lunch, and dinner between the hours of 7 AM to 3 PM. Yet, breakfast is considered their specialty, as you can find plenty of people flocking in to get a table during the early hours for their famous pancakes.

Even though Stepping Stone Cafe prides itself on slight sass with its motto being “you eat here because we let you”, the employees in reality held that upbeat attitude that the diner reflects in its decorum. “We [the staff] have all worked here for a while,” said Tyler Little, an employee at the cafe. “We have freedom and all get to be ourselves.”

Stepping Stone Cafe’s weird yet cheerful atmosphere attracts plenty of Portlanders, and its greasy all-American diner food is just off the popular NW 23rd Street. So, if you’re ever in the area and craving some pancakes the size of your head, some classic breakfast foods, or just a positive restaurant environment and some banter, the Stepping Stone Cafe is a great option for you and your friends.