We’re the original “Vegans in the Hood” rambling through Portland, Oregon in search of plant-based and gluten-free eats along the way. If you’re out-and-about this summer, somewhere in the western states, take a look through a few of our “Vegans in the Hood” blog posts for ideas and locations of eateries that cater to our way of life and personal needs.
First, I’ll say this trip was a short one (only 3 days) as we headed out this past April during spring break for a girls only adventure. (I know…what took so long to post?) The trip was a 16th birthday gift to our sweet Faith Moon and one we had planned on taking since her birthday back in October.
Side Note: As Bill and I have gotten older and seen the teen years come and go with our other three children, we’ve realized the most important gift to give those we love is the gift of memories, those filled with adventure, laughter, togetherness and love. No need for wrapping paper on the floor when the world is waiting.
The first stop on our adventure was Vita Cafe in the Alberta Arts District. It was well past lunch when we landed and, needless to say, we were all getting a little HANGRY! As many of you know, keeping a normal routine and maintaining balance can be difficult when traveling.
Our waiter was gracious and accommodating, a beautiful feeling when you’re dietary needs are strict. The menu was varied with vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. The photo below shows The Vita, a vegan and gluten-free scramble made with tofu, a large serving of veggies and potatoes. Faith ordered The Denver with seitan (not gluten-free) and a side biscuit. She loved her meal and decided to leave a cute little note for our waiter. If we ever get back to Portland, we’ll definitely revisit this eclectic. Note: The portion sizes were large and I might recommend splitting your meal.
As we continued on our path, we came across a bakery; quaint, simple and much to our surprise, vegan and gluten-free. WHAT-WHAT! As many of you know, freshly made gluten-free and vegan baked items are almost impossible to find when traveling. The girls and I felt as if we had hit the jackpot. Back to Eden Bakery was truly a little piece of heaven with a menu selection completely dedicated to plant-based and gluten-free living. They offered a large array of tasty treats: vegan ice cream, scones, muffins, donuts, cakes, whoopie pies, macaroons, tarts, and “oh-those” CINNAMON ROLLS!
The weather in Portland this past April was unseasonably warm and, having no solid itinerary, our trip was filled with several impromptu side adventures via our trusted Yelp App. One of those unscheduled stumbles found us above the treetops via the Portland Aerial Tram, an interesting way to get a beautiful view of the river. During our return trip from above, we noticed a beautiful rooftop garden and decided to go check it out. The Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) Center for Health & Healing (CHH) did not disappoint and made for a beautiful photo backdrop.
Rounding off our first evening, was a visit to Blossoming Lotus for dinner. Located in the Irvington Neighborhood, Blossoming Lotus was an absolute stand-out for me with their organic and sustainable menu, much of which is raw. I will definitely be returning wth Bill the next time we make it up to Portland. In terms of a favorite item, that was a toss-up but the Smokey Chickpea Soup had such a unique flavor and was the perfect balance of smoke and hearty legumes.
Sweet Creamy Vegan Treats
Eb & Bean, an adorable frozen yogurt shop near the corner of NE Broadway and NE 15th Avenue, has something for everyone. They specialize in artisanal, probiotic-rich soft-serve yogurt, as well as, three non-dairy selections for those of us who cannot tolerate dairy. Included in their arsenal of sweet goodness are several organic and gluten-free topping options. A win-win for the entire family.
The Maple Parlor, another foodie find for our collective sweet tooth. This adorable frozen dessert shop located on SE Hawthorne Blvd. specializes in providing unique offerings for any dietary need with all self-serve options clearly labeled. What a refreshing change! We absolutely loved our mini desserts and would definitely return on our next visit to Portland.
Hiking and Dancing in the Forest: Multnomah Falls
Located in the Pearl District of Portland, Prasad felt like home with a menu selection perfectly suited for a plant-based foodie. Some of our favorite menu items included gluten-free waffles, house made gluten-free granola, tempeh scramble and superfood smoothies, all presented among the beauty of yoga. We loved it! Cool atmosphere and delicious food.
A.N.D Cafe, a nice choice for the traditional breakfast lover. We can honestly say the gluten-free waffle was one of the best gluten-free waffles we’ve had to date. The texture was perfect, not too gooey or too dry. Unfortunately, we didn’t love the tofu scramble as much. Two big mounds of tofu served with jackfruit bacon (yum) and half a waffle. A huge amount of food and the tofu was not that great.
After a day of hiking and biking around Portland we needed a little down time and a cup of tea. A quick search revealed a local favorite, Steven Smith Teamaker, a lovely tea shop on NW Thurman Street serving a treasure of both traditional and artfully crafted unique tea blends. Offering both four and eight tea flights for tasting, we sat back and enjoyed four of our favorites while recharging our batteries for the next stop.
After three days of love and laughter, we ended our girls weekend with a visit to one of the local vintage record stores for Megan and a quick stop by Voodoo Doghnuts for Faith (vegan, but no gluten-free offerings). Such a memorable trip with my two crazy girls! Thank you Portland!
“If adventures will not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad.” -Jane Austen
Happy travels my friends!