Three cheers for traveling for food!
I’d be lying if I told you that I didn’t plan my traveling around food.
And I wouldn’t lie to you. So I absolutely, 100% plan my traveling around food.
How could I not? The plant-based, vegan trend is always growing, constantly surprising, and always worth the try. You can tell so much about a city by their food choices.
That’s why I was so excited to plan another trip to Portland, Oregon!
If you recall, we went to Portland last year, but only for a few days.
This time around, we were able to be in the city for almost a week! And we’d be eating pretty much the whole time.
Here are some of our favorite Portland finds in a few helpful categories:
So Good, We Went Again
Tea Chai Te 734 nw 23rd ave., portland, or 97210
Yep, we went to a tea shop while we were in Portland. Like five times. I kid you not.
This place is just one of our favorites. They have about a million different kinds of teas (get the Coconut Oolong, trust me), and you get a whole pot to yourself. It’s such a fun place to work, relax, or chat, and I loved that we ended up staying closer to this place so we could go more!
It gets surprisingly busy (like, no seats) on Friday nights, so go early or wear comfortable standing shoes!
Barista 823 nw 23rd ave., portland, or 97210
Okay, so we weren’t impressed with this coffee shop last year. That said, we ended up here three different times this trip!
I loved this place. I think I got an almond milk latte each time, and it was a very good decision every time. Man oh man is it good!
Mark even got an almond croissant one day, and that was insane (not vegan, but insane).
One thing to note: the coffee is amazing, but don’t go expecting to work on a weekend – they turn off their internet on the weekends.
Regardless, run, don’t walk, to Barista.
Bibi2go 1019 nw 23rd ave., portland, or 97210
Hehe. I love this little hole-in-the-wall place! I got my bibimbap, and I was such a happy camper.
We loved this place so much last time, we actually Lyft’d directly to it after we got off the plane this time. It’s so good, so many fun vegetarian options, and holy woah are the sauces good.
My mouth is watering just typing this. Man.
Departure 525 sw morrison st., portland, or 97204
Yay! Departure ftw for a fancy dinner! I met the Bob’s Red Mill team here for a fun dinner, and it didn’t disappoint…in my opinion.
Mark pretty much hated his curry (it was super spicy, even for me, a lover of all-things spicy), but I thought my vegan udon noodles was one of the best meals I’ve ever had.
We also had bomb drinks (the Shen), and you really can’t complain with the views you get from the city!
It’s such a cool spot, and definitely worth the visit.
Blue Star 921 nw 23rd ave. portland, or 97205
Another place we weren’t super impressed with last year, but I’m really glad we went again. They have a few vegan options, but the lemon poppyseed donut (not vegan) was really speaking to us, so we decided to get it.
It was really good! Not life-changing by any stretch, but they have a ton of really pretty, Insta-worthy donuts that make it worth the trip.
Virtuous Pie 1126 se division street, portland, or 97202
AHH. Okay. Virtuous Pie, I need you to come to Pittsburgh. This is not optional.
Guys, this pizza is the BEST. Like, top five pizza experiences of my life. And it’s ALL VEGAN. CAN YOU EVEN?!
I’ve talked about the fact that I don’t really like cauliflower before on the blog, but I love buffalo sauce (see here, here, here, and here). I’ve tried making buffalo cauliflower at home before a few times, but I’ve always been super disappointed. It’s a ton of work, and it just tastes like soggy, spicy cauliflower.
Virtuous Pie has the magic touch because I would still be eating their buffalo cauliflower if given the opportunity.
Man. And they have homemade vegan ice cream (I felt like a kid again and got the cookie dough) and garlic ranch dipping sauce. It doesn’t get any better than this place, and I’m counting down the days until I can see you again, bb.
Tasty n Alder 580 sw 12th ave., portland, or 97205
I’ve heard about Tasty n Alder a bunch. It’s a pretty popular restaurant in Portland, and for good reason.
They have a great happy hour (we actually stopped here for a quick beer before our meal at Departure), and their dinner menu looks fab.
They are a little particular about the times you can actually sit in the restaurant part (not until happy hour is over), but it’s still worth the visit.
They don’t have many vegetarian options on the mid day menu, but their house-made bread is insane, and they did happily customize one of the happy hour dishes for me to make it veggie-friendly.
The hospitality at Tasty n Alder was so unique too. The bartender was amazingly friendly and had serious skills in the cocktail department. I mean he lit a drink on fire in front of us. It was SO cool, and I’d highly recommend.
Also, the Breakside IPA (a local Oregon brew) was really freakin’ delicious.
Sterling Coffee 518 nw 21st ave., portland, or 97209
Oh we had so much coffee on this trip. I’m still shaking.
I really loved this place, as well as the atmosphere. It was out of the hustle and bustle of downtown and of the chic part of town we stayed in, but it was great!
Mark didn’t really care for his Americano (I agree that it wasn’t the best), but my almond milk cappuccino was great.
Plus I saw a v cute puppy there, so I’ll always have a space for Sterling in my heart.
Spielman Bagels & Coffee 2314 nw lovejoy st., portland, or 97210
So, I wandered into Spielman looking for change for a dollar. We needed to do laundry, and I was out of quarters. I left with a handful of quarters and told them I’d be back.
We came back and I’m so glad we did. I love carbs. You know this. They had really really good bagels (and a lot of vegan options!).
I got a vegan sesame bagel (my fave, always) with vegan cream cheese. It was all so great, and we munched on them whilst drinking Barista down the street. Loved this duo together!
Grassa 1506 nw 23rd ave., portland, or 97210
On our last day of our trip, we were looking for a quick, memorable meal in the neighborhood we were staying in. Grassa didn’t disappoint.
It’s like Chipotle for pasta. Fast casual pasta. But like, really really really good.
Their grilled greens were just so good. It came covered in an agrodolce sauce, and I’m still thinking about it.
I will say that they don’t have many vegan options, but the bucatini with HAZELNUT PESTO OMG was fab!
So the whole reason we actually went to Portland was because of a fun food and drink festival called Feast.
One thing that I thought was kind of weird is that people were shocked that we came in from out-of-town for this event! Like, shocked. Especially saying that we came from across the country.
In turn, their surprise surprised me. It’s a fantastic festival full of creative, passionate, and awesome brands and restaurants. In a fantastic city! Why would I, a food lover, not fly across the country to attend?
I’m so glad I did, and I managed to snag a press pass for a few of the events. We had a swanky press lounge area where we could connect to wifi, decompress, and drink kombucha…or something a little harder:
While I didn’t end up getting to all of the events at Feast (there’s just so much to see and do and eat in Portland!), the ones I got to were a lot of fun.
I will say that there weren’t a ton of vegan options available, and Feast makes a point to say that they can’t cater to every diet under the sun. It’s not something that disappointed me, just something I thought I’d point out. If it looked vegetarian and I could verify that there wasn’t any meat in it, I’d eat it.
There was also a ton of delicious alcohol. I’m not a huge drinker, but man. It’s SO awesome to be able to taste different varieties of wine right next to each other. If you taste a cabernet from one vineyard, it’s going to taste different at another vineyard. It’s so fun.
I’m much more into beer at the moment, and I wasn’t disappointed. One of my faves was Oldtown Brewing! So good.
Heck, we even tasted sake for the first time! It was weird, but also kind of good? I don’t know. Probably not my drink-of-choice, but I’m glad I had a chance to try it.
My good friends Bob’s Red Mill were at the festival (they actually sponsored the brunch on the last day), and it was so great to re-connect with them. They had an EPIC waffle bar with literally every topping you could possibly imagine. Here’s my creation:
We got invited to an afterparty at the top of The Porter Hotel, and man. The views! So beautiful. They had custom CBD cocktails on the menu (not typically my thing, but it was decent!), but the experience was just so fun. Someone who’s a hardcore introvert going to a rooftop party in a new city? Yeah, it was a big win for me.
In all, I really enjoyed my time at Feast. The creativity was at such an exciting level, and it was so energizing being in the same places as so many food lovers. Portlanders are awesome, and they love to talk to you about what they create and what they’re passionate about.
I’m so thankful for the chance to go to Feast with my main-squeeze, and I’d love to go back in the future.
As a food creator in this tiny little space on the internet, I find that it’s so important and necessary to dive into food that’s, well, not “your food.”
It’s easy to confine yourself to the same tiny little space on the internet without looking outward for inspiration. And honestly? It gets lonely and really heavy sometimes.
That said, inspiration really can come from anywhere, and I left Feast feeling so motivated and excited for the next chapters of Fooduzzi. I needed it. To see people doing awesome things with food in a completely different city. To get out of my comfort zone (both physical and food-wise) and just experience it.
I just love being around food people, you know? They’re totally my people.
A special thanks goes to Virtuous Pie for inviting us out and treating us to our meal. All opinions (that omg it was the BEST) are my own.
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