Find out why this little hole-in-the wall soup joint in a SE 82nd strip mall, consistently makes the “Best of Portland” lists.

Like many Portland food lovers, I read a lot of lists. “Portland’s Essential Restaurants,” “Heat Maps,” “Cheap Eats,” and “Neighborhood Favorites,” to name a few.  Lots of the usual high-end spots show up over and over: Paley’s, Ox, Ringside, Andina, Castagna… you get the idea.  But usually nestled on those lists, is also a random little spot in outer SE Portland:  Ha-VL.  A weird name, a weird location and if you look on Yelp or Zomato, a cult following.  

HaVL seating

HaVL Soup bowl

So what’s the deal with Ha-VL?  

It’s an Asian soup restaurant.  They make two soups a day, and that’s about it. Bánh mì and bubble tea are also on the menu, but pretty much everyone gets the soup.  The bowls are huge, delicious and cheap at just $8/bowl.  Tucked into a courtyard strip mall on SE 82nd, it feels hidden away, like a real secret.

HaVL veggies

HaVL pork meatball soup

Each bowl comes with tea and a big bowl of veggies and herbs to add in to your liking. The photos in this post are from a Wednesday so we had the Chicken Curry Noodle and Peppery Pork Ball soups.  Perfect for a winter day.  I forgot to take a photo of the menu but can find it online here.

HaVL chicken curry soup

So if you want to try one of the best restaurants in the city, but only have $10, head out to 82nd for a bowl. Happy slurping!
PS- The owners recently opened a sister restaurant called RoseVL.  Haven’t been yet, but it’s closer in,  so it might be more convenient for Portland folks.  

2738 SE 82ND 

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