Portland: The Vegan Dining Experience

If you follow me on instagram you might have noticed I've been on vacation for that past few days. It was my first visit to Portland so needless to say I spent most of my time there with wide eyes trying to stuff my mind with memories and my face with food. I'm from a smaller town in Texas so when I find a restaurant with a vegan option I'm accustomed to only having a single option. I'm not used to sitting down and looking at a menu and actually having choices, so I was kind of overwhelmed whenever I went to Vita Cafe. After like what I'm sure felt like a million years to our waitress, I finally decided on the Sloppy Biscuit Sandwich. I was exhausted and starving so as soon as the food came out I went crazy and forgot to take a picture. Basically the dish consisted of some faux turkey served on a biscuit with gravy. The gravy was so creamy and dense and the biscuit was basically breaded perfection. It was definitely 100% comfort food. All in all I think the Vita Cafe is honestly the best choice for food right after your flight, bus or car trip because they serve breakfast all day! So if your body is a little weirder out by the time zone switch and you're really craving breakfast than you've got it! Plus who doesn't want some soul food after a full day of traveling?

The next restaurant I really enjoyed was the Sweetpea Baking Company. This little cafe/bakery is completely vegan so you don't have to worry about double checking on ingredients or making an substitutions in a regular menu item. The cafe is open for breakfast and lunch and serves some decadent pastries, tea and coffee. We ended up eating there twice as a family because it had options that everyone in our party loved! The first time we went I got fried tofu on a biscuit with hollandaise sauce, tomatoes and spinach. At first I was a little worried that just one sandwich wouldn't fill me up, but this biscuit creeps up on you for sure! The flavors and textures were wonderful and I found this dish to be less heavy on the stomach than the comfort food from Vita Cafe. I also loved how everything is basically floating in the hollandaise. I'm a sauce kind of girl so the more sauce I have the happier I am!

On our second run to Sweetpea I got a chocolate croissant and hazelnut latte to-go. The latte had hazelnut milk as well as hazelnut syrup which was excellent. I did find the espresso a little too bitter for my taste, but that was just a personal preference. The chocolate croissant was HUGE. In case you can't tell from the photo it's basically the width of my thigh, and my thighs aren't that small. The croissant was incredibly light and flaky with the perfect amount of chocolate in the center. I'm honestly kind of glad I don't live in Portland because after a few weeks my thighs would definitely be bigger than the croissant!

Another great brunch option is The Slide Inn. Unfortunately I had already eaten at the airport before we realized we were going to be delayed in Portland another day, so I wasn't really hungry enough to sample their menu. However, I will say they had 2 or 3 vegan options on the menu and all of them sounded really great! I decided to revive my grumpy, tired self with a little caffeine and got a lavender latte. I've had lavender tea before and I even made lavender & lemon cupcakes, but lavender in a latte was totally new to me! I really enjoyed the latte and I didn't find the lavender really overpowering or unpleasant. It acted more as an accent to the espresso and soy milk. 

Now I'm sure your thinking "seriously does this girl eat anything else but breakfast food?" Umm well yes.. sometimes... I won't lie to you, brunch is like my most favorite thing ever, but on this trip in particular we usually dined out for brunch and then stayed in or got take-out for dinner. One really great dinner place we did go to was called Bar Carlo. I got their spicy vegan burger and thought it was great! Although the restaurant itself is not vegan, they have several vegan options including, a vegan hash, enchiladas, and salad. 

One other place that definitely deserves mentioning is Voodoo Donuts. I mean they have vegan donuts like why would you not go there? The line may be long... it may be really long, but it's worth it! 

Overall the vegan dining experience in Portland was delicious and a lot of fun! I'd highly recommend visiting the city for the food if for nothing else ;)


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