Raw and live food options

Explore a new side of Portland dining with these fresh, healthful eats.

lotus nachosThe live nachos at Blossoming Lotus are a crowd-pleasing, all-raw appetizer.
Molly Woodstock

So what’s on a raw food menu? More than you might think. Cacao truffles, gazpacho soup and cashew sour cream are just a few of the kinds of healthful and tasty treats you’ll find by exploring Portland’s growing “live” food destinations.

Whether you’re a dedicated raw foodie or simply looking for a light, healthful meal, these local spots are sure to liven up your dining experience.

One of the city’s most celebrated vegan restaurants, Blossoming Lotus maintains a dedicated raw/live menu with unexpected options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In fact, the eatery’s most popular dish is the live nachos: spicy seed-based chips smothered in creamy nacho cheese sauce, pecan chorizo, cashew sour cream and avocado. Other rotating recipes include collard wraps stuffed with pesto and almond cheese; fish-free sushi rolls made with cauliflower rice and pickled veggies; and seasonal salads piled high with crisp produce. Whatever you choose, don’t leave without a slice of rich raw cheesecake for dessert. (Trust us on this one.)

The grub at Pixie Retreat may be plant-based, mostly raw, organic or gluten-, soy-, and/or dairy-free, but make no mistake — this is serious comfort food. Think mock BLTs and “bakn’ cheez burger” collard wraps and decadent desserts oozing with caramel, almond butter and rich vanilla cream. You can even pick up Pixie Retreat’s crave-worthy cheesy kale salad and chocolate pudding cups, both of which have amassed local cult followings, at local New Seasons Markets and Whole Foods locations.

Eatin’ Alive lives up to its billing with 100% raw, vegan and gluten-free fare. Look for this small but mighty eatery at Portland Farmers Market at Portland State University on Saturdays, peddling creative farm-fresh lunch fare to the omnivorous masses. Chomp into a barbecued beet burger wrapped in a collard roll with cashew goat cheese and crispy onions, with a “razzle dazzle” raspberry brownie for guilt-free dessert. If you miss market day, never fear: Eatin Alive’s grab-and-go falafel wraps and zucchini noodles are waiting at Kure and New Seasons Market locations seven days a week.

Still hungry for heat-free eats? Plenty of other local plant-based restaurants offer raw entrées, like almond-butter pad Thai at Prasad. Just another indication that Portland’s food scene has never been more lively.

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