Nearly every Portland menu has something for vegetarians, and, with the pervasive focus on local produce, those dishes are anything but afterthoughts. Here are a handful of Portland restaurants that focus on vegetarian dining.
Start the day with biscuits and almond gravy at Vita Café, an omnivore diner serving breakfast, lunch and dinner in the Alberta Arts District. Or, stop by Alberta later in the day for all-vegetarian (and often vegan or gluten-free) fine dining at Natural Selection; order a la carte or experience the four-course prix fixe meal for $45.
Many of Portland’s wallet-friendly food carts cater to vegetarians, and almost every cart has at least one veg option. Downtown, DC Vegetarian serves meatless burgers, BLTs and Reubens; while The Whole Bowl draws crowds for its simple rice-and-bean bowls topped with garlicky sauce.
Anyone who appreciates vegetables must visit the Portland Farmers Market, where the freshest seasonal produce — from asparagus to zucchini — stands side-by-side with baked goods, cheeses and prepared foods like tamales and hand pies.
The city’s growing selection of vegan eateries includes Blossoming Lotus in the Irvington neighborhood, where you’ll find satisfying international dishes like Jamaican jerk tempeh, pad Thai and lasagna with seasonal vegetables and tofu ricotta.
Sandwiches with house-made seitan and vegan baked goods attract diners to southeast’s Sweetpea Baking Company, while downtown’s Petunia’s Pies & Pastries offer vegan and gluten-free delights as well as beer, wine and cocktails. Also in southeast, vegans enjoy the Mediterranean-inspired organic fare at Portobello Vegan Trattoria. And Papa G’s Vegan Organic Deli offers up salads, sandwiches and raw specialties for lunch and dinner, to go or to enjoy on the sunny patio.
Sharing space with a yoga studio in the Pearl District, Prasad serves a soul-centering menu of vegan and gluten-free delights like rice or quinoa bowls and raw zucchini noodles with basil pumpkin seed pesto and cashew ricotta.
At The Bye and Bye, a vegan bar on Northeast Alberta Street, late-night noshes range from healthy (barbecue tofu with greens and black-eyed peas) to rib-sticking (a “chili pie” of vegetarian chili over corn chips, topped with vegan sour cream). Its sister bar Sweet Hereafter, on Southeast Belmont Street, also offers vegan bar snacks and a great patio.