UPDATED SEP 14, 2020
Portland is one of the best cities in the world to be a vegan. We have second-to-none restaurants, a vegan mini-mall, and an annual veggie-centric festival. We even have the nation’s first vegan strip club (yeah, that’s a thing). So with so many choices out there, we’ve rounded up some of the plant-based eats around.
Unwind at this Southeast Hawthorne cozy cafe, where breakfast, lunch, and dinner are made fresh daily with conscious ingredients. This gluten-free and vegetarian haven is most famous for their bowls. Try the "Chipotle Chili" or the ever-popular "Betty Bowl", constructed with beans, greens, roasted veggies, za’atar, apple-cabbage kimchi, and quinoa. And don’t get us started on their sauces. From jalapeño cashew cheese to avocado cilantro, they're all nothing short of amazing. Another must-order is their "Hawthorne Mac", a creamy, gooey mac-and-cheese that you won’t believe is gluten-free and vegan.
Northeast’s Blossoming Lotus makes being a Stumptown vegan easy. The eatery set up shop in the Lloyd District, providing a nice refuge from the slew of chain restaurants nearby. From brunch to happy hour and dinner, you’ll find plenty of delicious organic, vegan, raw, and gluten-free eats. Besides the typical bowls, salads, and pasta, they also offer nachos, raw "chorizo" tacos, and loaded cheeseburgers. And with everything from raw cheesecake to brownies, their full bakery is something special on its own.
At this SE Belmont St. restaurant, the drink menu is as long as the vegan menu. Choose among their vegan bowls, featuring marinated jerk tofu, nutritional yeast-breaded tofu, or—our favorite—spicy Thai tofu. Their buffalo sub with marinated soy curls and miso-chive cheese is another solid go-to and can also be served as a bowl, sans bun. Wash it all down with a signature cocktail (or two).
There’s more to Farm Spirit than food. It’s more an experience than just another dinner, so you’ll have to make reservations. Grab your “tickets” on their website, and take note — dinner is only offered four nights a week (Wednesday-Saturday). When you arrive, settle in at the counter-style bar and watch the chefs work their magic right in front of you. Oh, and prepare for a 12-course menu sourced from local farms and purveyors and featuring the best of the best when it comes to seasonal produce. They also offer an optional wine pairing and non-alcoholic pairing with your choice of house-made kombucha, juices, and fermented soda.
We couldn’t make a list about vegetarian joints in town without including Bye and Bye (or mentioning their sister restaurant, Sweet Hereafter). This Northeast bar is great for many reasons—they're known for their late night hours (they are open until 2am daily), amazing cocktails, and vegan bar food at its finest. Happy hour happens every day from 4-7pm where you can munch on chips and hummus or an edamame bowl. For dinner, the platters, grilled cheese, meatball subs, and Fritos-topped Chili Pie are some menu favorites (who knew Fritos were vegan?).
We’ll be honest—when we first saw this menu, we had to double-check that this place was, in fact, vegan. To our delight, they are (and much of the menu is gluten-free, too). This plant-based burger joint in Hawthorne takes responsible cooking and healthy dining to a new level (we’re talking compostable packaging, reclaimed wood dining tables, and deliciously healthy food). Choose among the house-made quinoa and veggie patties, the gluten-free patty (made with pea protein), or the savory meaty patty. Top it with smoky tempeh bacon, a slice of cheese, or egg-free mayo— The options are endless.
This all-American spot on SE Foster boasts a heavenly “Mac Menu”. That’s right — we’re talking vegan mac ’n’ cheese with all the fixins. Opt for the classic mac topped with Ritz cracker bits or a savory mac n’ cheese plate featuring tempeh bacon, spinach, and bleu cheese. If you’re looking for something with a bit of a kick, go for the fiesta mac packed with taco meat, peppers, onion, jalapeños, and sour cream. Share the macaroni (or not), then order one of their vegan burger patties, made from scratch and served with fries.
You'll find everything from paninis and fresh soups to wine and cheese at this all-vegan restaurant and cheese shop on SW Jefferson. There are so many delicious options to choose from: aged white cheddar, cranberry brie, Mediterranean feta, and smoked gouda. The best part? These dairy-free cultured cheeses are vegan, creamy, and made with all organic ingredients. Can’t choose just one? Don’t worry — you don’t have to. Choose-your-own cheese platters come with a variety of mouth-watering selections, including vegan deli meats, tapenade, pickled vegetables, mustard, and compote (all made in-house).
The Whole Bowl claims chowing down on one of their bowls is “like eating a hug", and we agree. It’s comforting, belly-warming, and pleasantly filling. This vegetarian outpost has seven locations all around town, which include a few food carts and brick-and-mortars. Although they only specialize in one thing (bowls, obviously), they do it well. Order up a “Bambino” (12oz) or “Big” (16oz) filled with rice, Tillamook cheddar, beans, salsa, and an addicting super-secret sauce. Your gluten-free bowl can also be “veganized” and even delivered to you via bicycle. How Portland is that?
Cheesy nachos. Creamy mac n’ cheese. Gravy-drenched biscuits. Yup — all vegan. Situated on Alberta Street in Northeast Portland, this casual, mostly-vegan cafe has vegan-ized many of your favorite guilty pleasures. Personally, we’d spring for the nachos smothered in a house-made cashew cheese sauce and topped with a tofu-based sour cream. But the vegan mac & cheese and the fluffy biscuits drenched in an almond-hemp milk gravy aren’t bad, either. Enjoy these classic comfort foods with a spicy Bloody Mary flavored with a special blend of spices.
This St. John's joint serves smoky vegan BBQ and comfort food that Portland herbivores go absolutely nuts for. Creamy "MacNoCheese", golden-fried hush puppies, “rib” platters, and BBQ-bean-chili-cheese-fries are just a taste of what you’ll find at Homegrown. However, a must-try is the "SloSmoMoFo" (try saying that five times fast). This vegan version of a pulled pork sandwich features applewood-smoked soy curls, chipotle slaw, and plenty of BBQ sauce on a grilled bun. Prepare to get messy.
Plant-based Israeli restaurant Aviv is a Portland staple. Packed full of Middle Eastern flavors combined with Northwest harvest, a meal at Aviv is a party for your taste buds. Order up the shakshuka, shawarma fries, or jackfruit brisket, and prepare for pure bliss.
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