Inspired by our hunter-gatherer ancestors, the paleo diet eschews dairy, gluten and processed foods in favor of whole foods like meat, seafood, vegetables and nuts. Sound appealing? Head to these paleo Portland hot spots and fill up on food that any modern-day caveman would love.
Founded as a food cart in 2012, Cultured Caveman now has a brick-and-mortar cafe in North Portland and two food carts. These 100 percent paleo eateries feature entrees that any carnivore would love, like grass-fed all-meat chili, lamb liver pate and pork carnitas tacos. Nutritious whole-food sides include broccoli and Brussels sprout mash and ginger carrot kale salad. Round off your meal with a paleo popsicle (made with coconut milk and local honey) and a buttered mocha.
While not strictly paleo, the Dick’s Kitchen menu is designed with the paleo eater in mind. Select from a long list of exotic burgers, including water buffalo, salmon, tempeh, hazelnut-veggie and grass-fed beef. (Can’t decide? Try them all with a plate of sliders!) Gluten-free folks can replace the bun with a salad bowl, and wash it all down with a dairy-free coconut milkshake.
You may think that eliminating grains, dairy and refined sugar would make finding dessert impossible, but you’d be wrong! Portland Paleo handcrafts delicious treats that are not only paleo but gluten-free and vegan, as well. Visit Cultured Caveman, New Seasons Market or People’s Food Co-op for snickerdoodle cookies, chai spice cream pie or hazelnut chocolate cake.
Plenty of other Portland eateries have options explicitly designed for paleolithic eaters. Farm-fresh Mexican restaurant Verde Cocina offers the “Paleo Verde” plate piled high with veggies, salsa and your choice of meat. The paleo bowl at Laughing Planet includes grilled veggies, garlic green beans, sautéed kale, braised beef and “killer green sauce.” Check out Argentinian restaurant Ox and food cart Desi PDX for even more options, and pick up a paleo cookbook at Powell’s City of Books!
As the demand for gluten-free dining has grown, Portland’s forward-thinking foodies have set their tables to accommodate sensitive diners.
Nearly every Portland menu has something for vegetarians, and many restaurants focus exclusively on vegetarian dining.
Almost every Portland restaurant offers plant-based options, and dozens of local businesses are entirely vegan. (There’s even a vegan mini-mall!)