Every Vegan’s COMPLETE Guide to Portland, Oregon
It’s no secret that one of- if not THE-most vegan-friendly cities in the entire United States of America is Portland, Oregon (PDX).
Sure, there are other amazingly vegan-friendly cities like New York City, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Asheville, and Chicago.
These other cities may have TONS of vegan options too, but what makes Portland a true standout is the QUALITY of their many vegan options.
We’re not sure if it’s what’s in the water, the high-vibin’ energy, or the weed (it’s totally legal there now) – but one thing we do know is if you’re planning a vegan-food-focused tour in the States, we IMPLORE you to put PDX at the top of your list.
(Check out our video above with an exclusive foodie tour of Portland)
The only teeny tiny downside to all of the incredible options in Portland, is… well… all of the incredible options.
If you’ve only got a few days or even a whole week for that matter, it can be overwhelming to figure out where to start first.
This is where we come in. Kristin and Mandi have got you (that’s us)!
Below we’ve not only outlined every vegan establishment (most of them are totally, completely vegan) in “Rose City,” we’ve also broken them down into categories so you know which ones we suggest making a priority.
Oh and if for some silly reason you don’t care about the food, jump down to the touristy things—we’ve included some of the best sightseeing locales, as well as a few insider’s tips in terms of the who’s who of the vegan ‘land’ in Portland.
Shall we begin?
If you only have a few days to scope out the town and you wish to make it a food-focused one (pshyeah!), we first give you our top 10 favorite vegan eateries.
Our Top Picks
In no particular order, here are:
- Harvest at The Bindery – We’ve only been for brunch but baby, it’s gooooooood! If you’re a biscuits and gravy fan you’ll want to get theirs. Again and again and again.
- Portobello Vegan Trattoria – An italian inspired vegan restaurant that serves up dinner and amazing weekend brunches.
- Blossoming Lotus – A cozy little health-conscious vegan restaurant, perfect for date night or a long dinner with friends.
- Back to Eden – The best bakery in the world! Try everything, but first try the cupcakes. Biscuits and gravy for breakfast is divine too.
- Homegrown Smoker – A vegan soul food cart. Who doesn’t love burritos filled with BBQ soy curls and mac & cheese?
- Sweetpea Baking Company – Nestled in the vegan mini mall, this is a great place to grab a coffee and a treat and get some work done. Nothing in the world compares to a Charlie Brown bar.
- Canteen – A tiny little hip place with healthy juices, smoothies, bowls and salads. Always busy, always delicious.
- Vtopia Cheese Shop & Deli – One of the first all-vegan cheese shops in the country. Vtopia brand cheese is incredible and the sandwiches and platters they serve at this shop will blow your mind.
- The Bye and Bye/Sweet Hereafter – These sister bars not only serve up some of the best drinks and food in the city, they are hotspots for the young and hip (unlike us).
More Great All-Vegan Spots
If you have more time or are looking for something else, check out any of these options. All truly fantastic, by the way. It really is hard to choose. ::sigh::
- Farm Spirit – Fancy prix fixe small plates straight from the local farmer’s markets. This didn’t make the top 10 list because neither of us have been there yet, but from what we hear, this place deserves to win the gold. Farm Spirit is currently reservation only, so be sure to plan ahead!
- Papa G’s Vegan Organics – All organic and vegan deli. Lot’s of yummy sandwiches and salads. Plenty of pre-packaged food to go.
- Black Water Bar – Brand new vegan bar and music venue. A great selection of bar food and tunes.
- The Sudra – A cool little indian-fusion place with great outdoor seating. From the folks that brought you Sonny Bowl.
- Sweet Lemon Vegan Bistro – Brought to you by the Loving Hut folks (Oh yeah, there’s one of those downtown, too.) this place is technically in Beaverton, but a good stop nonetheless.
- LivingWell Bistro – A simple vegan bistro with delicious wraps, pizzas, and tacos!
- Next Level Burger – A classic burger joint with a healthy twist. This place is Next Level delicious.
- Sonny Bowl – Simple yet delicious bowls at the busiest food cart downtown.
- Snackriledge – A metal-themed food cart for all your glutenous vegan sandwich needs.
Vegan-Friendly Restaurants That Are Awesome
A great majority of eateries in Portland are vegan-friendly, but these are the best of the best.
- Vita Cafe – A mostly vegan diner-style place. Breakfast is the meal of choice here!
- A N D Cafe – All veg breakfast and lunch. Their waffles and pancakes are to live for.
- ChickPeaDX – Yummy falafel in a fun location.
- People’s Co-op – An all vegetarian co-op!
- Natural Selection – veg fine dining featuring incredibly creative dishes.
- Los Gorditos – There are multiple locations of this locally loved mexican place. Full vegan menu.
- Mi Mero Mole – Another local mexican chain with incredible vegan tacos!
- El Nutri Taco – Hole in the wall burrito place with a full vegan menu.
- Rice Junkies – Korean-fusion. The vegan bibimbap is one of Mandi’s favorite meals ever.
- Cruzroom – Bar and “Taco Lab” with plenty of creative vegan tacos. Mac & Cheese taco anyone?
- Wolf & Bear’s – Incredibly delicious middle-eastern inspired veg food cart.
- Chez Dodo – Have you ever tried Mauritian food? Either way you should go here.
- DC Vegetarian cart– All sandwiches, all the time. All can be made vegan.
- Harlow & Prasad – Sister restaurants both serve almost-completely vegan menus. Very healthy with a lot of raw options.
- Conquistador Lounge – Fun little bar with great drinks. All veg with plenty of vegan options.
- Queen of Sheba – The best ethiopian spot in Portland, with lots of vegan options.
To See & Do
You can’t eat all day! Well, you can… but you may not want to. If that is the case, check out some great spots in nature, hit up the vegan mini mall, or spend time with some animals.
- Herbivore Clothing Co. – All vegan clothing and accessories. A large selection of books, too!
- Food Fight! Grocery – The world’s first all-vegan grocery store!
- Scapegoat Tattoo – Vegan owned and operated tattoo shop.
- Mt. Tabor – The perfect place to have a picnic, go for a walk, or watch the sun set over the city. Mt. Tabor is actually a volcanic cinder cone!
- Washington Park – Stroll around Hoyt Arboretum, wander into Forest Park and explore miles of hiking trails right inside the city! Skip the zoo though…yuck.
- The Cherokee Rose Inn – Be sure to book a night or two at this vegan owned and operated Bed & Breakfast
- Purrington’s Cat Lounge – Visit Portland’s first and only cat cafe! Have a drink and pet some cats. All cats come from local shelters and are available for adoption.
If You Have a Little More Time
- Green Acres Farm Sanctuary – Go visit the rescued farm animals here, just an hour south of Portland.
- Eugene, OR – About a 90 minute drive from Portland, this cozy little college town has a good amount of vegan options with Cornbread Cafe being the most noteworthy.
- Cannon Beach – If you are heading to the Oregon Coast for the first time this is the quintessential spot. You won’t be able to miss Haystack Rock, a.k.a: “That big rock thing from The Goonies”.
- Columbia River Gorge – Driving down 84E is beautiful enough, but along the way there are hundreds of places to stop for a hike, a swim, or to camp. Go here for more info.
- Mt. Hood – You know that big mountain you can see on the horizon? It’s a 90 minute drive from Portland to this beauty. You can ski or snowboard all year long. Hike and camp. Check out the beautiful Timberline Lodge and if you stay to eat, ask for something vegan, they will be happy to whip something up for you!
Not only is Portland overflowing with vegan food and an abundance of outdoorsy activities but you can also find quite a few vegan owned and operated businesses and organizations around town.
- Driftwood Magazine – Driftwood is the travel and culture digest for the “graduated vegan.” Each issue brings you stories of vegan travel adventures, profiles on people, and advancements in our global community. Our friend Holly is a co-founder, the Editor-in-Chief, and an extremely talented photographer.
- Vegan Bros – New to Portland, these vegan brothers focus on extreme transformations of the body and mind. Matt and Phil are out to prove that dudes can totally be compassionate AND manly.
- Akemi Salon – A vegan and environmentally friendly salon.
- Colon Care – Vegan colon hydrotherapy! Because, why not?
- Northwest Veg – A local organization that holds the Northwest Veg Fest every year and regular potlucks.
- FARM – Farm Animal Rights Movement is a local organization that, true to it’s name, advocates and educates on behalf of farm animals everywhere.
- Oregon Humane Society – This is one of the top Humane Societies in the country and is responsible for finding homes for 11,620 pets last year!
- Pixie Project – They really make animal adoption and rescue a fun, family friendly, and positive experience.
- The Feral Cat Coalition – This organization goes to great lengths to control and rehabilitate the feral cat population in Portland through education and a wonderful spay/neuter program.
About your hosts:
Author of the memoir Will Travel for Vegan Food: A Young Woman’s Solo Van-Dwelling Mission to Break Free, Find Food, & Make Love, Kristin gets around. ::wink:: She’s visited all 50 states and between 2011-2013 had dined at every single all-vegan establishment in the country; while documenting her journey on the award-winning website Will Travel for Vegan Food. Still living nomadically Kristin works professionally as a business clarity coach. She has a Master of Arts in Integrated Marketing Communication from Emerson College. Follow her travels and business adventures on wtfveganfood.com and kristinlajeunesse.com.
A 10 year vegan, Mandi has been on the scene since before it was cool (ok, maybe JUST as it was getting cool). Her professional background is in website design and development, but she has pursued endless passions including running a popular blog (Chicvegan.com), aerial circus performance, startup management, and nonprofit volunteering. Mandi currently has a new big project in the works, and desperately wants to travel the world and eat food.