Best Vegan Restaurants In Portland, Oregon
Portland has a longstanding reputation as vegan heaven, with an abundance of animal-product-free options — pizza, burgers, tacos, ice cream. Portland’s vegan and vegetarian restaurants stand out from meat-free dim sum to barbecue, thanks to creative chefs leading the kitchens and the city’s proximity to farm produce and renowned meatless alternatives.
Portland is well known for its foie gras and pork belly, whole-hog butchery, and crispy fried chicken. But for a long time, the city was heavily associated with vegetarian diets, thanks to places like Ota Tofu, the longest-running tofu company in the United States, and general perceptions of Portlanders all being vegan hipsters and freegan hippies.
In a health-conscious, forward-thinking city like Portland, finding a vegan restaurant is not a difficult task. Many of our city’s best chefs and restaurateurs have devoted their careers to crafting some of the freshest, tastiest and most innovative dishes — all devoid of meat and animal by-products.
Vegan Food In Portland
Cooking without animal products or by-products is a breeze in this West Coast city, thanks to access to an international supply chain and vegan ingredients — cauliflower, cashews, lentils, pea shoots, and rice-free pasta are common in both fast-casual and sit-down establishments.
A bonus: You don’t have to sacrifice flavour and food quality, which has become the norm in Portland, thanks to chefs who have honed their skills outside of traditional cooking environments. Many Portland restaurants go far beyond serving vegan fare, from creating a meal to specifically menu-ifying the vegan-exclusive. Or, you can let your imagination run wild. Case in point: The jackfruit “cheeseburger” with barbecue sauce or the “lobster ravioli” inspired by Maine.
One of Portland’s most famous restaurants, Bloom Organic, features a gorgeous stone-faced storefront (owned by world-famous yoga guru and yoga guru trainer Baba Ram Dass) on the industrial edge of the downtown/downtown Eastside neighbourhood. Closer to downtown, go inside to D.O.G.G. (a reference to Nirvana’s bassist, Krist Novoselic) or Spudwood and devour the festival specials. A different — and far more accessible — option, perennial Portland foodie fave “Plant Eatery” serves custom-made sandwiches, wraps, salads and shakes (and small plates) in an Instagram-friendly industrial space.
Ed’s Good Karma Café – This tiny café is a favourite spot for vegans and vegetarians to get their caffeine fix. Located on the outskirts of Portland, the café offers various vegan comfort foods, including salads, sandwiches, cakes, and smoothies, made fresh in-house. There’s also a sizable craft beer selection. This high-end restaurant with a celebrity chef-in-residence has won awards for vegan cuisine, including Restaurant of the Year at the Portland Food & Wine Festival. Owned by restaurateur Lisa Rosendahl, Oh My Vegan offers several vegan entrées and several meat-free entrées.
Since the name suggests, Mindy Segal’s restaurant group — in addition to the critically-lauded Segal’s Bistro and Hummus & Pita Co. — includes several other regional eateries. In 2013, Segal opened Feelings Vegan, a cafe that offers coffee, drinks and even a vegan version of the Philly Cheesesteak.
Another Segal cafe, The Growler, opened in 2015 with a beer bar and restaurant featuring comfort food inspired by Segal’s native Michigan, including a “mac n’ cheese” burrito. Other Vegan eateries in Portland include Tabor Lounge, with vegan sushi, and Big Al’s Hawaiian Barbecue. Everyone has visited one of Mid-County Cafe’s outdoor tables or another of its near-identical establishments in Powell’s Books and Elliott Bay Book Co.
Vegan Restaurants in Portland
At Portway, you’ll find plant-based flatbreads, customizable salads, soups, cheesesteaks and sandwiches, and a full cocktail bar and bar menu. Take a seat in the cozy backyard patio for a perfect summer lunch and watch the ducks float by. The Purge Bar & Grill is a casual vegan eatery with vegan comfort food that is customizable, organic and gluten-free.
You can either choose an entrée, protein, sides or salad from the menu or make your own meal at a workstation in the restaurant's front. Tzoumas Café is an upscale vegan eatery with traditional Greek dishes. Choose from the Mediterranean, Italian, or American options for the appetizer section, or pick a main from the Greek, Lebanese, American, or Asian options. Just step inside Tzoumas Café, and you’ll feel right at home.
Best Vegan Restaurants in Portland
A few blocks from the waterfront, Avocado Vegetariana has earned a well-deserved reputation as Portland’s best, though this spot is rarely busy. If you’re a carnivore, don’t let that fool you. They serve the best Italian lasagna in Portland.
Bottlecraft – This vegetarian spot gets a bad rap, so we’ll give it some credit for just hanging around. Once you get past the no-meat menu, it’s all about the beers. This Portland brewery used to be a brewpub called Breakside Brewing, but recently they stopped making food to focus on beer.
This Portland-born concept is a vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, organic, and entirely plant-based restaurant, emphasizing healthy cooking. The menu is primarily vegan and vegetarian, with some meat and dairy selections. Black Bear Kitchen is among the city’s best organic eateries, serving sustainable produce and unique classic dishes. All the entrees are made with organic, non-GMO ingredients.
Although other local restaurants have tried to do for Portland what Zupa’s does for Wisconsin, none has succeeded in replicating Zupa’s bracing flavours. The health-conscious menu uses fresh vegetables, hummus, hummus-free versions of favourite vegan dishes, and kale salad, all packed with flavour.
Salmon Crudo at Seventh Son – Started as a mobile café serving only raw vegan take-out, has become one of Portland’s most beloved restaurants, with a menu crafted by Executive Chef Gwyneth Bonan. For this Southern Maine chain, foraging for oysters, berries, herbs, and more are second nature. As its motto, “We source as we go,” means to live sustainably. Seventh Son also serves elk burgers, vegan chilli, and plant-based stuffed pita pockets for the more health-conscious.
Our Planet Seafood Bar – The flavours at Our Planet Seafood Bar come from family recipes passed down through generations. Its vegan dim sum draws crowds from around Portland and beyond, and it’s available seven days a week.
You won’t go wrong with the menu at Trolley Stop Café, a well-known Portland vegan restaurant. From its signature menu offerings of healthy comfort food to a café overlooking downtown Portland, the Trolley Stop offers an array of healthy and delicious options.
New on the Portland vegan scene, Magnolia Vegan offers a wide variety of unique entrees for meat-eaters and vegans. The menu changes seasonally, and there are dishes for every meal of the day and every taste, including a raw bar and an omakase menu. The café also offers delivery for those seeking a quick and nutritious meal at home. This bustling spot specializing in modern American cuisine serves an eclectic menu made from organic ingredients.
Where to Find the Best Vegan Restaurants in Portland
Pescadero is home to one of the city’s first vegan restaurants. Take a break from that Pescadero burger and try this cute spot, known for its vegan coconut curry.
Another beloved spot is the Riverdale Tavern, which serves fantastic breakfasts all day long. Many places have vegan brunch options, and here are a few of the best.
Fodder, which offers breakfast all day long, is packed with lots of vegan-friendly options. A bonus is their gluten-free quinoa doughnut and chai latte, a must-have.
Margeaux at the Laurelhurst Market has made vegan living just a little bit easier. This very accessible café serves a variety of vegan foods. Their dessert menu is abundant and includes gluten-free brownies and chocolate and peanut butter mousse pies.
Tucked into the Portland Farmer’s Market on Central Avenue in Old Town, Oregon, Cowgirl Creamery offers various options, from plant-based milk to creative milkshakes made with fresh seasonal ingredients.
Chef Bill Tolbert’s Mykonos Grill, a popular Greek restaurant with four locations throughout the Northwest, will offer a three-course dinner for $27 during the week of January 22. Dine on fresh Mediterranean dishes such as falafel, tzatziki, stuffed peppers, spanakopita and more.
How Many Vegan Places are there to Eat in Portland?
According to recent census estimates, nearly 4.5 million people call the Portland metro area home, and a good percentage of them are vegan. The city boasts the most vegans per capita of any metro area in the U.S., with more than 44 percent. Most vegans in Portland are concerned about animal rights and social justice.
As a result, the number of vegan eateries has increased rapidly in recent years. Vegan restaurants, cafés, coffee shops, food carts, grocery stores and more are abundant.
Indie Portland Vegan – Indie Portland Vegan (IPV) is arguably the busiest and most popular vegan-friendly restaurant in town. Though it’s new to the scene, it’s certainly not a newcomer, having served up locally sourced, cruelty-free vegan food since 2014.
With more than 25 restaurants and food carts in the Portland area serving a wide variety of plant-based options, Portland has more vegan eateries than most other U.S. cities.
For any of Portland’s vegetarian and vegan food, head to Pio Pio Pizzeria & Pastaria. Here’s a glimpse of what’s on the menu: Pio Pio is open for lunch and dinner, as well as Saturday brunch, and offers a variety of savoury vegan Italian dishes, including pasta, pizzas, burritos, salads, desserts, pasta, appetizers, and more. The unique menu includes ingredients that can be difficult to find outside of Italy — like speck (or prosciutto), olives, and Sardinian walnuts.
Why Are Many Restaurants in Portland Now Starting to Offer Vegan Options?
Perhaps the most common reason chefs have begun experimenting with plant-based proteins is because of health reasons. “People are taking notice of how unhealthy they eat, especially when you get to the younger generation,” says Miles Thompson, director of new ventures for Farmbound Co. “Many people are becoming vegan in response to that.”
Plant-based diets can also help ease the burden of chronic diseases, which is why Portland has become a health and wellness hotbed for vegan and vegetarian restaurants. It’s no surprise that the Portland Mercury — the city’s alt-weekly and the nation’s best daily vegan magazine — crowned Portland vegan heaven in 2012.
Despite vegetarian options, Portlanders have often missed out on the best vegan dishes and options because of their strict dietary requirements. To address this, some restaurants are now offering more plant-based options — both vegan and vegetarian — in the interest of helping nonvegan diners enjoy a delicious meal.
Not all Portland restaurants offer great vegan food, so it’s hard to pick just a few favourites. But you can rest assured that for most of the top restaurants, an equally great vegan dish will be offered — as well as vegan desserts. For example, Umi Sushi offers vegetarian options, including tofu and vegetable dumplings that sound so delicious.
The recent popularization of veganism has left many restaurants looking to cater to an increasingly large customer base. Vegan Restaurants in the city feature alternatives to meat and dairy dishes and provide vegan entrées, soups, and salads.
And with much of the city’s food truck scene based in Portland, vegan food trucks have made it even easier to enjoy vegetarian cuisine while on the go. With so many delicious vegan options in Seattle, it’s no wonder that people in the area tend to flock to restaurants that offer a plant-based meal. From Cafe Gratitude to Purity Foods, Seattle offers a wide variety of restaurants.
Portland is the birthplace of vegetarianism and veganism. In the 1970s, veganism spread to the Pacific Northwest and became a big part of Portland’s culture. Many of the vegetarian and vegan restaurants in the area first began offering vegan options, but many restaurants also continue to offer dairy-free options. Vegetarian Restaurants in Portland Jillian’s: Locally owned and operated, this charming diner is the place to go for brunch, lunch, or dinner.
Vegan Guide To Portland
Vegan Food Finder, The Portland Mercury, has ranked Portland the #1 city in America for vegan eating and fine dining in its “Vegan Food & Drink” poll for two consecutive years, as well as for 2017. The city is thriving with numerous options for diners. The best veg-friendly restaurant outside of Portland may be a pop-up at least once a week or an outdoor booth at the farmers market.
Pourhouse – Several brands from the huge vegan food market chain-making roots have recently or are preparing to set up in Portland, including Besties Ice Cream, Pretzel Smokehouse, and Juice Served Here. They will join other brands, like Sprout Foods and Nomad Foods, which already have a location or are opening soon in the Portland area.
With a gift shop, waiting area, restaurant, lounge and daily Vegan specials, V-Spot is a destination unto itself, one that steps away from the Waterfront. This is home to V-Spot Kitchen, with ample seating and dining areas and open kitchens. Walk downstairs, and you’ll find a lounge area with HDTVs, billiards tables, foosball, arcade games, pinball machines and more.
Oh, and make sure to check out the pizza and the charcuterie plate. Best Venison Sliders in Portland, The New Zealander -This vegan restaurant and butcher shop specializes in grass-fed meat, organic produce and locally sourced proteins, making it an ideal place for Portland’s vegan culinary elite and veg-curious residents.
This summer, Food & Wine magazine named Portland the second-best food city in America, citing the city’s reputation for vegan cuisine and its burgeoning artisanal food scene. New restaurants like Hoy Lentil Food Truck (best pitas) and Mollusk (fantastic seafood, think sea urchin and sea lettuce) have added to the ranks, as have Lardo (satisfying sandwiches, burritos and salad bowls) and Ironworks (steak) — plus a new Pho diner, ZoPho, serving pho classics in a bright, contemporary setting. Try the beet burger — not a lot of burgers are beet! — at Breakroom, a great local spot in NE Portland. Vegaseen’s Dan Mosley recommends the vegan salmon roll from Panda Express.
Make plans to visit the best spots in the area, with over 100 fully vegan restaurants. It’s never too late to try vegan, as some restaurants are completely dedicated to a plant-based diet. Many of the best-known are even drive-through only. In the past, the only vegan options were salad-only fast-food restaurants and pizzerias.
Still, Portland’s a growing hub of vegan eateries that serve everything from Japanese rolls to burritos. St. Louis has a long history of being vegan-friendly. However, it’s become increasingly home to better-quality options in the last decade, like the St. Louis Vegan Society’s annual vegan holiday dinner, hosted every year in the summer.
Vegan Cuisines in Portland
While most of Portland’s restaurants feature vegan options, certain restaurants dominate the city’s food scene. While co-creating Hazel, chef Emeril Lagasse worked closely with The Healing Center, which provides wellness and health services, to create a plant-based menu. Portland also boasts several plant-based restaurant pioneers, like Vegan Betty, the first certified 100% vegan restaurant in Oregon.
The Vancouver-based farmer’s market, VegFest, annually draws 25,000 attendees and features workshops, cooking classes, live entertainment, a farmers market, and restaurants that exclusively sell vegan foods. Portland’s Rose City Vegan is a fine dining vegan restaurant founded by vegan food pioneer chef Joshua McFadden.
The city is home to more than 30 vegan-friendly eateries, restaurants, markets, and bakeries. Note: This list is in no particular order. The El Gaucho Vegan is a vegan version of the popular steakhouse and is the perfect spot for plant-based foods in Portland.
With items like the Vegan Blackened Tofu Wedge and the Super Vegan Flatbread, the menu contains every possible vegetable dish you can imagine. Adept offers vegan versions of some of the city’s most popular dishes, like stuffed squash blossoms and a peanut butter cup shake. The light, the bright eatery offers a variety of unique options for vegan eaters.
Why is Vegan Dining So Popular In Portland?
Portland has many vegan restaurants, cafes, and shops, but the local industry draws the crowds. Unlike vegetarian restaurants with limited menus, vegan and vegetarian restaurants offer elaborate menus for vegans and vegetarians to choose from. It’s this variety that makes Portland a vegan hotspot.
Vegans are drawn to Portland’s vibrant and food-obsessed city, and it’s not hard to see why. Its proximity to its national agricultural and produce source provides a deep, nutritious and diverse food supply. The variety of products found within this area is particularly unique and provides raw and cooked food.
Portland’s reputation as a veg-friendly city doesn’t stop at meatless options. In addition to organic markets and vegetarian restaurants, Portland also boasts several of the best food trucks globally, serving delicious vegan and vegetarian options to hungry locals. Food trucks add a unique flair to Portland’s food scene, drawing in locals and visitors alike with their creative dishes and favourite meats.
Despite the relative lack of vegan options available in Portland’s restaurant scene, vegan food is booming in the city. Many of the city’s restaurants, food trucks, and bakeries sell vegan options, and vegan enthusiasts and tourists frequent these establishments. If you find yourself in Portland and craving a slice of pie, it might be difficult to decide on a favourite — Portland’s Pie Dozen is widely regarded as the best vegan pie in Portland.
Oregon has embraced the plant-based diet and has a plethora of eateries offering delicious plant-based cuisine, whether locally made granola or vegan sushi. You want to feel good about your choices.
As delicious as Portland is, Portland’s accessibility to nature and constant rain makes for an energetic and cozy community. With so much to do, eat, and drink, Portland is no wonder for any hungry traveller!
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