For years I’ve been dreaming about the day I would get to visit Portland and I can finally tick it off my list! Since we had under 5 full days here, I didn’t get to visit everything I wanted to but that just leaves me with an excuse to come back, right?
If you didn’t know already, the weather here is very rainy so don’t rely on walking or bikes to get your way around unless you’re willing to cop some water. The rainfall was light most of the time but enough to want to get cabs from A to B. I think next time I visit I’ll get a car, points of interest can be quite far apart!
Oh my god I ate so much here, too much. But when you know you won’t be back for a while you’ve gotta cram it all in! The fact they don’t have tax in Oregon is a real bonus too so not only did I eat a lot, but I shopped just as much!
If you didn’t realise already, I bloody love a good pizza and they make a mean pizza at Sizzle Pie (so mean I went there twice!) You can get take out, delivery or dine in plus they have a bunch of pizzas available by the slice if you want to try a couple of different pizzas. It’s also a cool place to take meat and dairy eaters because they have a meat, vegetarian and vegan menu!
On the first visit I had a slice of the Spiral Tap and another one that isn’t on the menu but tasted damn fine!
On the second visit I decided to order from the menu and grab the Buffalo 666 which was topped with jackfruit, veggies, Daiya and ranch sauce. Oh yes. It was fantastic. I also grabbed the bread sticks, which come with a red sauce and a choice of two other sauces. I carefully selected the pesto and the creamy cashew basil spread. To be honest they don’t actually need a sauce they’re so tasty but the option to dip is very nice indeed.
Now, if all that dough wasn’t enough for you it is imperative that you swing by Voodoo Doughnut because they are freaking ace. They have a huge vegan selection and I dare you to just try and stick to one. Again, I went back more than once so that I could try a variety of doughnuts. My absolute favourite was the Gay Bar which was covered in delicious vanilla icing and filled with custard. Also noteworthy is the huge dude in the photo which is stacked with Oreos and peanut butter.
It ain’t a visit to Portland without eating at at least one food cart and if you only it at one it has to be Homegrown Smoker. Holy smokes, THIS is the ultimate vegan BBQ. If you’re worried about the weather, they have a big undercover tent so that you can eat and stay dry at the same time which is always a bonus. I opted for a combination basket so I got to try a bunch of different menu offerings such as the smoked “chicken”, “ribs”, fries and mac n cheese. They also threw in a couple of nori ball thingies, which was mighty kind of them.
There’s a huge drinking culture in Portland and as a result there are a bunch of bars and pubs which offer vegan eats as well. I visited White Owl Social Club which was kind of isolated but very tasty. If you’re from out of the US, be sure to take your passport along, many bars in PDX won’t accept your license. I tried out the mac n cheese on the menu as well as the garlic jalapeno fries (we don’t have enough jalapeno foods in Aus). Both were totally delicious but I’m so full just thinking about it again!
Another bar we visited was Hungry Tiger which also has a pool table and a bunch of pinball machines. I obviously hadn’t eaten enough fried stuff so I went for the vings (tofu wings in BBQ sauce) and the vegan corn dog basket. I hadn’t had a pluto pup in quite a while so it was great to get my fix!
If you’re looking for something a tad lighter but by no means less delicious, it’s time to hit Back to Eden Bakery. Again, this place is a little further out from Downtown but there are some cute shops and restaurants around. I had the lovely Caesar salad, a mushroom and leek quiche and topped it off with a soft serve sundae with chocolate sauce, chocolate chips and mini marshmallows. Ohhhh yeah!
For our final night in Portland we picked a place with a view of the city and ate at Departure. They serve meat but just ask for the vegan menu and they will take care of you. This was some amazing Asian food but don’t let them saying the portion sizes are small fool you. I ordered 3 small dishes but could hardly finish them all so 2 per person is probably more appropriate.
I had the BBQ tempeh buns which were dope and the sauce was insane, followed by the seed and herb sushi and chilli fried tempeh. This is a great place to go for a special meal with a great view of the city, the staff are really friendly as well which is always a bonus.
Where We Stayed
Pros: best hotel I’ve ever stayed in, value for money, size, pet friendly, free wine reception each evening, decor.
Well Portland, it’s been a bitchin’ first time, I cannot wait to come back and visit another day to see more of what you have to offer. The next posts will be from New York City baby, get ready!