Once I learned we would be moving to Portland, I immediately began researching awesome new eateries that I knew I’d finally have the opportunity to visit. As a vegetarian, Portland is basically the food destination of the west coast – there are just so many more options down here to partake in that I’ve never had access to before!
Though I’ve been an official Portlander for less than two months (and actually in the city for significantly less than that!), I’ve already developed some favorites. Here, in no particular order, are my top five Portland restaurant experiences so far:
- Fire on the Mountain meatless wings. Oh MY these are delicious (and I normally hate “fake meats”)! The best part of these wings are the sauce choices – my personal favorites were the Jamaican Jerk sauce – which has an awesome green color to it – and the Lime Cilantro sauce.
- Driftwood Room (at Hotel deLuxe) mac & cheese and signature cocktails. This is the most affordable, best mac & cheese in Portland thanks to the truffle oil in the recipe. Washing it down with a violet-infused champagne cocktail just makes it that much better. And putting both of those things on special during happy hour is just the icing on the cake!
- McMenamins cajun tots. Portland has a serious love affair going with tots of all sorts (I swear that about half the restaurants I’ve gone to have them on the menu!), but my first are still my favorites. Nothing beats the crunchy, slightly spicy Cajun-ized tots that the McMenamins pubs put out.
- Hands On Cafe Sunday brunch. Did you know that Oregon has a College of Art and Craft? And that contained within that college is one of the best weekend brunch places? The are only a few dishes, and they change every weekend, but they’re always absolutely fantastic. Plus, you get to look at the students’ work on display while waiting to be seated. A fun and delicious weekend outing!
- Cafe Yumm! bowls of all sorts. When we were in Eugene earlier this summer I was thoroughly disappointed that we didn’t make it to Cafe Yumm!, but then I found out there are now quite a few Portland locations! Which is great, because the combo of rice, beans and that special Yumm sauce is one of the best lunches I’ve ever had in my life.
Honorable mention: Veggie Grill. I just had lunch at Veggie Grill for the first time ever today, and this Southern California chain is not messing around with their sandwiches! I had a “chickin” sandwich that tasted amazing and was completely vegan. Also, I could eat both their avocado spread and cilantro pesto by the spoonful.
I’ve already written about my favorite food cart on the blog as well – always a fantastic meal at Potato Champion, too! I definitely have quite a bit more exploring to do on the food front here (we haven’t had any sushi yet!), but I’m quite pleased with what I’ve found in our short time here!