Portland may be known for its ice cream, doughnuts, cured meats and fish sauce chicken wings, but it’s also a heavenly spot for healthy eats. Nourish yourself at these whole-food-focused restaurants.
When someone says “healthy food,” most people immediately think salad — but not all piles of leafy greens are created equal. Portland’s Garden Bar has won the fervent loyalty of the downtown crowd with its innovative approach to the common salad. Build your own nutritious masterpiece from a wide selection of seasonal ingredients, including eight types of greens, nearly 20 dressings and toppings like hazelnuts and dried cherries. And with six locations and counting, you’re never far from a fresh lunch.
Another salad standout, Garden Monsters crushes the “rabbit food” stereotype with massive salads sure to satisfy even the biggest appetites. The “Paul Bunyan,” for example, comes loaded with grass-fed steak, red potatoes, bleu cheese and croutons. Prefer your salads sans meat? Swap cheese for pepperoncini and pork sausage for tofu or vegan chicken in any dish.
Portland provides plenty of options for loading up on fresh, local veggies. Family-owned Verde Cocina piles plates with fresh farmers market produce, garbanzo beans, earthy mole and tortillas hot from the griddle. Vegetables also take center stage at rustic-chic Harvest at the Bindery, where the signature “harvest hash barbeque” features seasonal roasted and grilled veggies served in . Finally, The Sudra reimagines Indian food to include kale-infused dosa, lentil kofta and broccoli pakora.
Folks looking for liquid meals have plenty of options in Portland. Local juice bars Prasad, Harlow, Kure and Canteen all have a wide array of fresh green juices and smoothies. Amp up your order with with superfoods like maca, goji berries, turmeric and spirulina. If you’re still hungry, simply add a cozy oatmeal cup, macrobiotic lunch bowl or raw vegan dessert. (Read more about Portland’s best juice and smoothie spots.)
Speaking of raw vegan treats, Portland makes it possible to enjoy a great meal while avoiding animal products, soy, gluten and even cooked foods. Spunky Pixie Retreat is best known for the divine coconut and cashew-based desserts they call “l’il puddin’s.” They also serve up raw organic caramel chocolates, kale salads with macadamia nut cheese, and enormous “cheez burger” collard wraps loaded with cashew cream, sauerkraut and eggplant bacon. Another favorite of folks with special diets, Blossoming Lotus offers gluten-free, soy-free, raw and vegan dishes. Order up the famous live nachos (made with pecan chorizo and dairy-free cheese sauce), collard rolls and superfood doughnut bites. (Read more about Portland’s raw food options.)