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Epic Guide to Cheap Vegan Food in Portland | Alternative Travelers
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Epic Guide to Cheap Vegan Food in Portland

written by Sam and Veren February 20, 2019
Epic Guide to Cheap Vegan Food in Portland

Portland has garnered its reputation as a vegan mecca for a reason.

Many vegans make the pilgrimage to try the insanely high vegan per capita ratio of vegan establishments to population. They want intentionally vegan food in Portland designed to blow one’s mind.

You can already find great vegan guides online from authoritative, local publications, and are unlikely to be stuck anywhere without vegan options.

However…

While Portland is more budget-friendly than other vegan cities (notably NYC), finding the best cheap vegan food in Portland will take some navigation. That’s why we’ve created our Epic Guide to Cheap Vegan Food in Portland!

We’ve spent over a month in Portland visiting friends, going to a wedding, and house sitting. We absolutely love the city as it has the perfect mix of alternative culture, amazing vegan food (as you’ll see in this guide), great public transportation, lots of parks, and just generally cool stuff going on. There are also many fantastic hikes near Portland, which is important to us as nature lovers.

We would live there in a heartbeat (if we wanted to settle down somewhere, right now we’re living that long term house sitting life). Also, we learned that we couldn’t afford to live in Portland if we wanted to – things have gotten quite expensive. So we clocked in serious time dedicated to finding all the best vegan deals Portland has to offer.

The fruits of our research? One of our most massive vegan guides yet.

With such a huge and varied vegan scene, simply searching for the “best vegan food in Portland” or “best vegan restaurants in Portland” will hardly narrow it down. A place we didn’t like was far and few between, and everything has actually been pretty damn good – nothing outright sucked.

So if you want to find the best vegan food in Portland that’s affordable, categories are your best friend.

Looking for a particular ethnic cuisine? Trying to satisfy that sweet tooth? Interested in experiencing something uniquely vegan Portland? Every place that makes the list meets our sole core criterion – the sweet intersection between the appropriate price for given quality. Just click on your desired category in the table of contents or read the entire post if you dare!

Legend

$ = can eat for 10 and under

$$ = can eat for 15 and under

GF options = a few gluten-free options available

GF+ options = many gluten-free options available.

Omni = omnivorous – serves meat, fish, eggs and/or dairy but has vegan options actually worth trying.

Vegan Bbq in Portland

There’s only one spot you need to check out and it is in a league of its own.

$$ HomeGrown Smoker – vegan, gf options

Hot damn this bbq is legit! HGS is without a doubt one of the top vegan restaurants in Portland. They got their start as a food cart, and now they’ve evolved into a very spacious spot in the St. John’s neighborhood.

The smokers behind this place used to do bbq with non vegan food, but now apply the same techniques to plant based proteins with results that truly go beyond their imitations. Expect the usual BBQ fare made vegan, but also an extensive menu with lots of non bbq items packed with house made goodies. Vegan bbq in Portland starts and ends here.

We recommend: The bbq tempeh ribs and tofu, and something with seitan (all house made), with the Mac Nocheese. Get it in a combo platter to maximize your bang for buck and split with a friend, or save leftovers if you’re solo – you won’t regret it. While they expertly craft every dish, if you had to prioritize the most unique in one visit, go for anything housemade. Soy curls and beyond chicken are great products, but we just really haven’t experienced anything else like their tempeh and tofu. If you plan on having repeated visits, then try it all!

Vegan Pizza in Portland

While we wouldn’t exactly say Portland is known for its pizza, we were surprised by just how good their pizza was. Truth be told, we have Canadians to thank for the best vegan pizza in Portland.

$$ Virtuous Pie – GF+ options

Originally hailing from Vancouver, these Canadians are leveling up the vegan pizza scene in the Pacific Northwest US of A. They make everything here – I’m not exaggerating. They proudly proclaim their dough is fermented for 3 days. The many kinds of cheese – cashew mozzarella, almond ricotta, lemon herb chevre, cheddar cream, and dipping sauce – if it’s on their menu, they did it all short of growing the grains.

The dough is crisp, yet super chewy and soft at the end. The cashew mozzarella has a fantastic texture – pulls and stretches, but also has that familiar heft – no liquid goo here. All their ingredients and craftsmanship are of such fine quality that you won’t miss any animal product. This, along with the UK’s Purezza, are our top picks for best vegan artisan pizza we’ve ever had. Come here to get a personal pie – you won’t regret it. Unless of course, you order something with toppings you don’t like, as a couple did across from us, picking off half their toppings. I wonder if people actually read menus.

They also offer daily by-the-slice options, small plates, salads as entrees or sides, small batch ice cream, and weekend brunch! With a huge open space, and a killer happy hour (they make our best happy hour list – see below) with kombucha, wine, beer and cider on tap, what’s there not to like?

We recommend: the Margherita, and the Bianca pie, garlic knots with their delicious homemade dips, but it’s really hard to go wrong here. If you’re into lots of toppings, get the Grandma and Ultraviolet pies.

Note: Super gluten-free friendly with separate gluten-free dough, waffle cones, and many items labeled wheat-free.

$ The Mississippi Pizza Pub – Omni

Now if for some reason you don’t want the best vegan pizza in Portland (see above), or if you’re looking for a simpler, less artisan slice situation, these folks got you covered.

breadstick, vegetable topped pizza slice, and side of ranch dip at Mississippi Pub Pizza in Portland
Veggie slice with a side of vegan ranch dip for the bread stick.

Great New York style pizza (even though they don’t advertise it as such, it totally is and us New Yorkers approve).

Read more: A New Yorker’s Guide to Cheap Vegan food in Brooklyn

There are always vegan slices, and one can grab select ones discounted during their daily lunch specials, pizza happy hour and late night pizza happy hour. If you like your veggies, these slices come loaded. If you want more than a slice, any whole pie made to order can be substituted with vegan cheese (though not homemade like Virtuous Pie’s) and they have gluten-free dough by request.

Also, check out their event calendar for the adjoining Atlantis Lounge. During our visit, there was a duo playing some upbeat folk onstage. Pizza AND live music!? Portland, you shouldn’t have.

We recommend: pizza by the slice during their happy hour.

Vegan Burgers in Portland

You’ll have a TON of options for getting your vegan burger in Portland. Often many places make their own, or feature a perfectly prepared product like the Field Roast burger, the Impossible burger, Beyond burger, etc.

$$ Next Level Burger

Think fast food joint but instead organic and quality instead of crappy and sloppy.  You can choose from preset combos, but all come from five patties: classic meaty, sausage style, umami quinoa and mushroom, black bean and veg, and quinoa and chia. They also serve sandwiches, hot dogs, fries, shakes, and salads, though the stars of the show are the burgers and the shakes.

This chain started in Portland and now has several locations in Oregon, California, Texas, and their first East Coast outpost, New York City.

We recommend: The Signature Sauce, and Sausage Style. Fries are good, but nothing spectacular.

$ DC Veg – vegetarian by request, gluten free menu

This Portland institution has been around for 10 years, and recently opened a brick and mortar location. The entire menu is vegan by default, but they do offer vegetarian options, like dairy, by request.

Try the house made patty burgers which are impressively chewy and juicy.

$$ Oregon Public House – omni

Has a fantastic vegan burger featuring the Impossible burger patty. Many places overcook this product, but here it’s right on. Even two omnivorous friends of ours tried it and were pleasantly surprised.

Now does that look like a classic cheeseburger or what?

Come during happy hour and you can get the 15 buck Impossible burger platter for 8 A-LA-CARTE (meaning just the burger, not the platter). A great budget option if you’ve been holding out to try the Impossible burger in Portland.

$$ White Owl Social Club – omni

They used to serve beef and lamb, but have now replaced all those items with the impossible burger due to an overwhelmingly positive response. Also a very vegan friendly spot with an huge patio.

Vegan Cheese in Portland

There is one artisan vegan cheese in Portland to rule them all.

Vtopia

Vtopia is THE vegan cheese shop in Portland!. They’re also a casual restaurant, so you can nom on their delicious cheeses right away, or take them to go. You can also find their products in stores, so don’t fret if you can’t make it to their Goose Hollow location. Most are cashew based, raw, and aged, and really do have that cheese taste you’ve been missing, unless you’re one of those vegan-since-birth unicorns.

We recommend: any traditional style cheese that’s not flavored ie no cranberry or cracked peppercorns. We’ve pretty much tried all their cheeses, and none of them disappoint.

Vegan Brunch in Portland

There are a ton of choices to get your weekend vegan breakfast in Portland on. Many of them also serve breakfast on weekdays. The sheer amount of diner-style spots is a bit overwhelming. But don’t fret just yet – we got you covered with our picks for the best vegan breakfast in Portland for those on a budget.

$$ Aviv – GF options

Imagine our delight when we found an all vegan Israeli restaurant that made everything from scratch or at least sourced from equally homemade spots (this bagel we tried would give NYC a run for its money).

Coming from New York, we’re well versed in Jewish cuisine. Bagels, hummus, and falafel form an integral part of the Big Apple food fabric.

Read more: Budget Vegan Guide to NYC

They even bake their own vegan Challah bread on premises!

Challah bread is a Jewish staple –  enriched braided yeast bread (read: tons of egg) that is very hard to veganize. Fortunately the chef has culinary training in baking and has created an impressively rich, soft, and fluffy vegan version. Cross it off the list of foods I’d never thought I’d eat again after going vegan.

They also make their own hummus and ice cream, which can be found for sale outside of their restaurant as well.

We recommend: the boureka, the bagel with carrot lox, the challah french toast.

Note: brunch is weekends only.

$$ Back to Eden Bakery Cafe – 100% Gluten-Free!

Everything at Back to Eden is vegan and gluten-free. To attempt such a feat is impressive, but to actually pull it off well is another thing entirely. Baking vegan or baking gluten-free are difficult enough on their own.

We went to their original bakery in the Alberta neighborhood of Portland (a cute place to spend an afternoon walking around poking into quirky shops) as a precursor to our mid-afternoon meal before dinner (channeling our inner hobbitses). Since then, they have expanded, and now serve brunch daily at their cafe.

Whether it’s savory or sweet, they’ll have you doubting the glutens much like great vegan food makes carnists disbelieve. You’d be hard pressed to go astray here.

We recommend: almost anything, but we particularly liked their quiche.

$$ Off the Griddle – vegetarian by request, GF options

Quite literally what the name says, this spot for vegan brunch in Portland channels old school diner vibes with a hip, updated twist. Calling themselves a vegetarian-friendly vegan restaurant, all food is vegan by default. You must specifically request eggs and/or dairy cheese. Originally a food cart that eventually spawned a brick and mortar, the two endeavors merged to create this current iteration.

Breakfast is the star of the show here, with all the usual plates of scrambles, hash browns, sausages, waffles, pancakes, biscuits – the works. They also have a reputation for their dinners options too, with burger patties made from scratch, a mac and cheese menu section, and classic comfort style sandwiches. Check out the rotating homemade daily pie specials.

The best part? Most of it’s homemade and they’re explicit about what products they use. Come for everything you miss about brunch and classic comfort foods, but now veganized.

We recommend: anything that’s homemade, but in particular, the sausage, the biscuits, the waffles. The Full Mess and the Awesome Plate are solid choices.

Note: gluten-free options by request only.

$ DC Veg – vegetarian by request, GF+ options

This Portland institution has been around for 10 years. Previously, DC Veg operated as a food cart, but recently they opened a brick and mortar location. The entire menu is vegan by default, but they do offer vegetarian options like Off the Griddle, like dairy, by request, and a separate gluten free menu. It reminds us of Champs in NYC minus the table service.

Try the excellent eggless-ly executed breakfast sandwiches. Expect the usual combos: egg, sausage or bacon, with cheese but with a slice of tomato, spinach, and a side of fruit. The tofu slab is flavored and prepared like an egg sandwich slab, the tempeh bacon crispy but not burnt, and the cheese perfectly melted.

We recommend: those awesome breakfast sammies

$$ Paradox Cafe – omni, GF+ options

Expect an American west diner vibe with coffee refills always flowing, which we love and missed since living in Spain. The menu is huge just like a diner, with tons of gluten-free options.

This place almost feels like the future of the restaurant scene, as the menu is mostly vegan, and the omnivore options are the minority (the one meat option being a beef burger patty by request). Virtually every vegetarian dish has a vegan version, and often non vegans opt for the vegan ones just for fun, as our massive table of 12 did (we were in town for a wedding).

The vegan breakfast imitations are important to note. The sausage links are Field Roast maple sausage, but their sausage patty is quite impressive (might be house-made) and worth trying. The tofu benedict pleased as the tofu slabs are cooked just like the consistency of egg whites, with the benediction sauce acting like a yolky spill over. Also, their Mexican inspired dishes like the tacos with avocado, black beans, and sour cream are surprisingly good too.

We recommend: Almost anything, as we went with a dozen people and tried a ton of dishes – yes, we like to share and ain’t shy about it. In particular, any combo plate that lets you choose from waffles, pancakes, sausage etc.

Note: Want some discounts? Check their website for online only coupons via email subscriptions.

$ Vita Cafe – omni

They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. We had the pleasure of enjoying a late breakfast here and were quite impressed. If you’re looking for the best vegan breakfast in Portland that also has good choices for omnivores, this will more than satisfy both parties.

fried breaded tempeh covered in gravy on top of french fries.
The vegan chicken fried steak.

This omnivorous spot openly advertises its dedication to serving satisfying vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free comfort food. Everything is organic and/or local when possible, and many vegan ingredients are made in house. Expect to eat a well portioned, indulgent meal.

In our experience, vegan-friendly restaurants in Portland (and elsewhere) often do vegan food very well, because they are comparing the “real” thing (aka meat or dairy) to the substitute more directly. That being said, the only disadvantage going here over 100% vegan spots is often you’ll pay more for vegan substitutions, though they are pretty cheap to begin with.

We recommend: the vegan chicken fried steak – a heavy-duty slab of tempeh, generously batter dipped and fried crisp, resting on top a pile of potatoes, smothered in gravy. This is a gut buster, so don’t plan on making any plans after.

Vegan Food Carts in Portland

Part of the Portland food experience is food carts. Scattered throughout Portland are permanent lots populated by food vendors in carts, along with many benches and tables, depending on the location. Just don’t mistake them for trucks, and end up searching for vegan food trucks in Portland, when in fact, they’re all mostly semipermanent mobile kitchens made out of different things.

From BBQ to Burmese to Vietnamese, these food carts are almost always cheaper than the brick and mortar establishments, as they cut down their operation costs dramatically. Most neighborhoods have their own food cart lot. Here we list the best vegan food carts in Portland along with ones offering significant vegan options.

$$ Back to Eden Bakery Food Cart – 100% gluten-free

This spot originally had a small brick and mortar home base in Alberta in the form of a counter with a couple tables. They have since expanded into a larger dessert shop, an even larger cafe, and also have an outpost food cart in Woodstock. The food cart offers a smaller food selection, but the full range of ice cream. We have yet to try anything here that isn’t impressive, and we aren’t even trying to eat gluten-free either.

We recommend: anything! Breakfast items are delicious, and sweets are too.

$ Vegan Gorditos Food Cart

Originally a vegan offshoot of local chain Los Gorditos, this food cart inspired the rest of all the locations to adopt the vegan menu. Keep in mind this food cart is located very far out east in Portland, so don’t fret if you can’t make it – anything they serve here is now available at all Los Gorditos locations. Just grab the separate vegan menu. For more details, see our entry for Los Gorditos in vegan Mexican in Portland.

We recommend: Huraches, tacototes are our favorite.

$ Dingers Deli

Slinging deli style sandwiches and bowls in classic iterations, like Italian subs and cuban sandwiches. They don’t have an official website, so to deduce their offerings, check out their Facebook and Instagram.

$$ SushiLove – entirely gluten-free

Two locals quit their jobs to open a small business rolling vegan sushi in Portland. They  recently celebrated their one year anniversary of being open.

They offer a few veggie staples like avocado and cucumber rolls for 3 bucks, and more deluxe rolls for 7- 8. Unless you’re one of those people who are satisfied with one roll, I’d need at least 2 basics and one deluxe, so this could run you 15 or 10 and under, depending on how big your appetite is.

We really meant to go here, but they are located in an area that was quite far from where we were house sitting. There are just so many vegan restaurants in Portland to try! Now that we’re doing a write up, we regret it even more. The sushi looks legit and you should send them your support.

$ Uncle Tsang – vegetarian, mostly vegan

This relative’s claim to fame? He changed his cart from omnivorous to herbivorous. Most entrees are all vegan, ranging from $7 – 9. It comes highly rated by locals.

$ El Nutritaco Food Cartomni, GF options

Offers non-meat proteins and can easily veganize more than half the menu with considerable substitutions. For more details, see our entry below in vegan Mexican food in Portland.

$ Just Thai – omni

For those looking for vegan food in downtown Portland, this unassuming food cart is your answer! Virtually the entire menu can be made vegan, including two buck Thai iced tea! Oi, the friendly proprietor, will gladly fill your reusable container – so bring one.

Read more: Eco-Friendly Packing List

We have our friend Travis to thank for showing us this spot and around Portland in general.

Expect crispy fresh sauteed veggies with fried tofu tossed in whatever sauce, rice, or noodles you order. The portions are great too.
A fantastic spot for some affordable vegan Thai food in Portland.

We suggest taking your food to one of the many downtown parks or the waterfront. After we grabbed our plates to go, we enjoyed a meal sitting at a picnic table overlooking the forest behind our friend Travis’s home.

We recommend: pad ped, pad thai, cashew with veggies, the thai iced tea – make sure to request it vegan.

Vegan Chinese Food in Portland

Sure, Chinese food is easily made vegan. Usually any dish can be made with just veggies and tofu. But did you come to Portland for run-of-the-mill, typical Chinese take out?

If you’re looking for vegan Chinese food in Portland, just know that both these spots aren’t exactly centrally located but well worth the trip.

$$ Yuan Su Vegetarian

A pet owner we house sat for used to play in a band at this space when it previously was a bar. Now they play vegan Chinese food for Portland!

With a typically extensive menu, expect to find all the familiar appetizers, noodles, rices, soups – except all expertly made vegan with prefectly prepared mock meats. Miss sweet and sour pork? Looking for for shredded beef? You’ll find all those classics here.

Of course you could come for dinner and have access to all your heart desires. But we’re budget travelers, and we’re here to tell you their lunch section has an extensive collection, for several bucks cheaper.

We recommend: almost anything, but going for lunch will not cost more than 9 a person! Our faves: the shredded pork and tofu, and the lunch combo of saucy brown broccoli with chicken, spring roll, and fried rice.

$ Uncle Tsang (food cart) vegetarian, mostly vegan

This food cart recently became vegetarian and mostly vegan. Also comes highly rated by locals. All entrees all vegan and range 7 – 9 bucks.

Vegan Vietnamese in Portland

There’s just one spot you gotta catch.

$$ Van Hanh Vegetarian Restaurant

Now here’s another spot we could have easily missed if we only focused on downtown Portland and its satellites. Van Hahn sits on the edge of the Montavilla and Mount Tabor neighborhoods. The intersection proudly proclaims via a poster that this is the Jade district, based on the significant Asian population and businesses in the area.

In a big, green house a bit down from the corner, you’ll find the aforementioned restaurant, run by Buddhist nuns. Expect a no-frills cozy interior and to share a table with others if none are empty. They excel in mock meats so realistic they might scare the hardcore vegans while very likely satisfying the carnivores (and maybe the old carnivore in you). A lot of the food is fried, although there are non-fried veggie options.

Note that though they’re called a vegetarian restaurant, they’ve been reported fully vegan since September 2018.

We recommend: the Vietnamese steamed dumplings made of mung bean stuffed with taro, and green papaya salad. If you’re into meat imitations, try the House special roasted pork that’s impressively reminiscent of fried pork belly, down to the separate textures of skin, fat, and meat.

Note: has a different menu Mon – Thurs, and Fri – Sun

Vegan Mexican Food in Portland

Vegetarian Mexican food is easy. Vegan Mexican food is much more challenging. Most of us cannot imagine Mexican food without dairy, despite it not being a part of Mexican food until European colonizers introduced cows milk to central America.

There are no 100% vegan Mexican restaurants in Portland, other than the Vegan Gorditos food cart (this local chain offers the same menu from their vegan food cart at all Gorditos locations). Los Gorditos and El Nutritaco lead supreme when it comes to vegan options, quality and price. And both establishments are proudly Mexican and locally owned too. Though in general you will find that many spots have vegan options.

Vegan Tamale from Montavilla Farmer's Market in Portland.
Vegan Tamale from the Montavilla Farmer’s Market.

$ Los Gorditos – separate vegan menu, six locations in Portland

This local chain spans several locations, including an all vegan food cart next to all vegan grocery Food Fight’s second location. Every location sports a separate meat, vegetarian, and vegan menu. This is our pick for the best vegan Mexican food in Portland.

The vegan menu will feature many things, but when applicable, a choice of three veggie meats: soyrizo, tofu, and soy curls. Depending on what you get, certain proteins work better than others. They also have a self serve salsa bar with 5 salsas, mild, medium and hot. To top it off, it’s one of the cheapest places to eat in Portland. Real deal Mexican food at great prices.

We recommend: The more homemade, the better. The huraches, and tacototes, are handformed on the spot. Both are a type of griddled corn masa tortilla, one being a flat longboard with generous layers of toppings, and the other being a thicker taco tortilla. Soy curls and soyrizo work best, respectively.

$ El NutriTaco – GF options

Don’t let the name mislead you into thinking they serve taco smoothie bowls. This is real deal Mexican food made by abuelitas (little grandmas). What makes this such a great spot for vegans is that every dish can be made vegan with minimal upcharge (about a buck at most). Offers non dairy substitutions using vegan products for sour cream, shredded cheese, mayo, and butter.

You choose a protein, categorized by not-meat and meat. Vegans get a choice of tofu, tempeh, soy curls, and chicken strips (Beyond Chicken). Expect the usual Mexican fare of burritos (wet or dry), enchiladas, tostadas, chimichangas, tortas, etc. Many items can be made gluten-free by subbing corn tortillas.

We recommend: The wet burrito, with chicken strips. Tacos with soy curls work great too. Great margaritas as well – you can see them press the limes to order – no funky fake premade lime mixers here.

Note: two locations – Alberta and food cart in Woodstock.

Honorable Mention:

The following restaurant has the least veganizable menu but may have more appeal in other areas.

ChaChaCha! – Omni with vegan options

The food is authentic (I grew up eating Mexican food), and they source locally made fresh tortillas from local producer Nixtamal. It’s also much more a sit-down, table service restaurant.

There are vegetarian options, with choices like grilled veggies when meat is offered. However, there are no explicitly vegan options, so just make sure to ask to make it vegan. Often they will subtract cheese or sourcream, to make it vegan, and it’s hard to choose this over other places with well designed vegan options, and separate vegan menus.

half a vegan burrito and margarita at Cha!Cha!Cha! in Portland
They have Happy Hour margaritas!

We recommend: anything vegan-able. If you’re a Mexican cuisine purist who doesn’t like mock meats and dairy, this spot might tickle your fancy more than the others. Though overall they just can’t beat out spots like Los Gorditos and Nutritaco.

Note: six locations.

Vegan Mall in Portland

Yes, it’s true – there’s a vegan mini mall in Portland. Emphasis on mini. Don’t come here expecting some massive several story American style. It’s the corner of a block, with the following four vegan establishments side by side.

$$ Sweet Pea Baking Co. – GF options

A very popular vegan bakery in Portland that serves great sweets as well as savory dishes and sandwiches. They’re also a super cute cafe so stay a while!

We had the gluten-free coffee cake and the chocolate chip cookie. I personally prefer Back to Eden’s gluten-free chocolate chip cookie. We’d like to come back to try their fresh cronuts and donuts on Mondays and Saturdays, respectively.

gluten free coffee cake and chocolate chip cookie at vegan mall in Portland at Sweetpea Bakery.
Their gluten free coffee cake and wheatful chocolate chip cookie.

Herbivore Clothing

If you can stubbornly afford to get all your clothes certified vegan, this vegan store in Portland is for you. Tons of locally produced clothing, vegan shoes, bags, and more. They also have other vegan and sustainable products like bamboo toothbrushes (you’d be surprised that these aren’t always vegan and sometimes made with boar hair).

We recommend checking out their discount racks, as you can frequently find marked down shirts and other items.

Food Fight! (all vegan grocery store in Portland)

While there are only two locations (the other being by the Los Gorditos vegan food cart) and they are about the size of a small grocer, these are worth a visit.

Come here for the selection of specialty vegan products as you can expect to find all the best vegan goods, but also tons of locally made products. We recommend any perishable product that’s local, as you’re unlikely to find most of them outside of Portland. Also check sections for discounted products, as often they mark down stuff that’s about to expire. We’ve had some excellent cream cheese from Vtopia (we’ve tried their cheese plate) that was cashew probiotic and marked down to 2 bucks (from 7.50)! Keep in mind that this is more of a specialty store, so if you’re on a budget, don’t come here for your usual staples that are already vegan, like canned chickpeas.

Having a vegan grocery in Portland almost puts the city on par with the very vegan city of Berlin, Germany as they have a vegan grocery chain as well (Veganz).

Read more: Vegan Guide to Berlin

Scapegoat Tattoo

Vegan inks! An tattoo parlor that ensures that nothing they use in the shop contains animal products.

Vegan Bars in Portland

Most of these bars serve restaurant level food. Going out for a drink in Portland doesn’t have to mean looking for another, separate place to eat too.

$$ No Bones Beach Club – GF options

The sign outside saying “Just cus its vegan doesn’t mean it sucks” gives you a good summary of this place. The outdoor space is spacious, with an even larger indoor space, that has a second floor and balcony as well. We imagine this spot gets popping late nights, but even for its happy hour it draws a good crowd.

Expect bar food that’s taken up a notch with fresh ingredients.

We took full advantage of the happy hour and got house specialties like the nachos, crab cakes and flautas.

assortment of food at vegan bar in Portland called No Bones Beach Club.
Just a sampler of the delicious goodies they offer.

All the dishes are an abundance of freshness. The nachos are chips made from corn tortillas fried on premises, topped with smoky cheese sauce, crema, pickled jalapeños, and chopped cilantro.

We recommend: the nachos, the flautas, and crab cakes (know that they’re very veggie, and not at all fishy).

$$ Sweet Hereafter – GF options

If only the hereafter could be so sweet. This vegan bar in Portland has a very pub like front area, and a large patio space out back with several picnic tables. If you want to create more of your own space, indoors is your best bet. The backyard can get a bit rowdy.

Massive cocktails served in quart sized mason jars is their signature drink and we suggest you grab one. The food is solid, but we prefer the menu at The Bye and Bye (see below).

We recommend: cocktails, light bites.

$$ The Bye and Bye (vegan) GF+ options

The Bye and Bye is a massive pub style bar, with a several room space inside with tons of tables. Some are tucked away, some are smack in the middle. If it’s nice out, check out the outdoor seating in the back garden or out front. This place is entirely vegan and they don’t outright advertise it. They’re part of a restaurant pub group that also owns The Sweet Hereafter and some other vegan bars in Portland. Many a non-vegan come here for the great atmosphere and solid bar food that’s a step up from most. Also known for super big cocktails. Come for the killer bar, food and deluxely designed cocktails.

We recommend: The meatball sub and the tempeh avocado sandwich. Everything has some sort of theme or international influence, and it’d be hard to go wrong here. Many ingredients are house made, so we like to prioritize trying those menu items.

Note: has a really good happy hour – check out our happy hour section below

$$ The Sudra – GF options

This public house style bar has a full kitchen slinging chickpea cutlets, dosas, samosas, and more. Those looking for vegan Indian food in Portland, just know this establishment refers to themselves as serving “Indian-inspired” cuisine. Don’t expect the usual huge menus of dosas, masalas, tikkas, and tandooris. But do expect Indian seasonings and flavors that do not disappoint. The food is great here, all house made, and definitely worth your attention.

Chickpea cutlets and dosas with a couple of drinks in their outdoor patio at The Sudra in Portland.
Chickpea cutlets and dosas with a couple of drinks in their outdoor patio.

We have had a lot of Indian food coming from New York. While it’s usually vegetarian-friendly, it’s rarely vegan-friendly, as there’s cream and yogurt in everything. This can definitely satisfy your Indian food cravings.

We recommend: the chickpea cutlets, and dosa.

Note: two locations St. Johns and Kerns

Honorable Mentions for Vegan Bars in Portland

These vegan-friendly bars in Portland are awesome and worth checking out.

$ Ground Kontrol (Barcade) – omni with GF options

Veren loves video games, and caught the tail end of the arcade era in his childhood. Not only are there tons of classics at Ground Kontrol, but also classic arcade food that most, if not all, can be made vegan.

If classic arcade games are your jam, you will not be disappointed, with a selection that beats out the original Barcade of NYC fame. Most food can be made vegan and/or gluten-free. Just know this isn’t the best vegan budget food Portland has to offer, but its quality and given price point – no single food item listed exceeds 8 bucks – is hard to beat.

We recommend: the nachos, the lil corn dogs, and the chili dog. Just don’t expect anything mind blowing, as the arcade is clearly their area of focus. But bonus points for being so damn vegan friendly.

Note: it’s a bar arcade, so while there’s tables to sit to eat, we wouldn’t suggest coming here for a sit down restaurant experience.

$$ White Owl Social Club – omini with GF options

This place has an impressive amount of vegan options with many designed as vegan to begin with. They used to serve beef and lamb, but have now replaced all those items with the Impossible burger due to an overwhelmingly positive response. Most items not vegan are vegetarian or have chicken or fish. Their food is very good – lots of fresh and house made ingredients. Also, they’re known for their great and spacious outdoor patio that also hosts a variety of events, including movie nights!

vegan nachos and cauliflower wings at White Owl Social Club in Portland
Nachos and cauliflower wings.

We recommend: nachos with homemade vegan cheese sauce, and crispy buffalo cauliflower style wings.

$ Hungry Tiger

Divey and full of locals – great for people watching. All ages are represented here in punky alternative fashion. Coming from NYC, a dive bar has beer and liquor, grungy dark decor, and no food. Portland dive means grungy (but cleaner) decor that’s less mismatched, cocktails, wine, and food – plus a happy hour. We’ll take the Portland version please.

Almost all the food can be made vegan, if it’s not already.

We recommend: the corn dogs and fresh cut fries with vegan cheese sauce.

$$ Oregon Public House – omni

This is the USA’s first ever nonprofit pub and they proudly proclaim donating over 170,000 dollars to charity since 2015. Now this is a pub we can patronize.

It’s huge, with tons of indoor and outdoor space, and we were lucky (or unlucky) enough to catch the Portland’s famous World Naked Bike Ride the night we went. It’s a local neighborhood spot for sure. When you order, you can choose the charity to donate 100% of the profit from your meal.

We recommend: The impossible burger and the noodle salad. Of course there’s hummus, but that’s an overused vegan option.

Note: A bit far from the center – we tried it because it was around the block from where we were staying.

Vegan Happy Hour in Portland

If you want to experience the food scene in a uniquely Portlandian manner, look no further than the happy hour. You may already be familiar with this concept and wonder what the big deal is – happy hours are everywhere, right?

Portland, however, takes it to the next level.

Happy Hour here is not only a chance to get discounted booze, but food too! And not just french fries and pretzels, or typical bar snacks. Often much of the menu (sometimes even the entire menu) is offered at a discount!

You can find almost a dozen happy hour articles online broken down by location, themes, and more – except which are the best for vegans. Virtually none of them focus on vegan happy hours in Portland.

Fret not vegan happy hour-er! We got all the best vegan happy hours in Portland for you covered.

*all hours are subject to change – we post direct links when available so we recommend checking before going. All these specials are dine in only.

The Bye and Bye

Cozy spot with a good drink and food selection.

When: 4pm – 7pm Mon – Fri.

Drink: $1 off select draft beers, house red and house white wine, well cocktails.

Discounted Food: most of their snacks, and a few entrees – mostly veggie bowls and a couple sandwiches.

The Bye and Bye happy hour menu is on their front page.

Sweet Hereafter

Same restaurant group owners as Bye and Bye with a backyard patio.

When: Mon – Fri 5 -7pm.

Drink: $1 off select draft and bottled beers, well drinks.

Discounted Food: a few snacks and sandwiches.

Virtuous Pie

Best vegan pizza in Portland that also serves drinks with nearly the entire menu discounted.

When: Mon – ALL DAY! Tue – Fri  2:30–5:30pm, Fri + Sat Night 10pm-close.

Drinks: $2 off beer and cider on tap, can of beer, glass of wine, kombucha on tap, $20 bottle of wine.

Food: $2 off all pizzas, garlic knots, mac n cheese, and even ice cream flights – affogato too!

Schedule and Menu (see this link for schedule and selection).

No Bones Beach Club

Tiki themed bar with outside patio and second floor overlook.

When: Tues – Fri 4-6 pm.

Drinks:  $1 off beer & wine, $4 wells, $6 slushies, $5-6 menu.

Food: smaller versions of nachos, crab cakes, flautas.

No online happy hour menu.

The Sudra

Indian inspired vegan cuisine.

When: Daily  4- 6pm and 9pm- Close.

Drinks: $1 Off All Speciality Cocktails, all Wine; $2 off Wells and Drafts, $2 Tall Boys.

Food: smaller plates off their regular menu of poori, dosas, chickpea cutlets.

The Sudra happy hour Schedule and Menu.

DC Veg – vegetarian by request

DC Veg isn’t a bar (more like a casual eatery) but they do have a killer happy hour! Everything is vegan by default.

When: 3pm-6pm every day.

Drinks: $4 drafts $4 house wine $3.50 mimosas $3 wells $1 off house cocktail list

Food: burgers and sliders, sandwiches, nachos, hot dogs – even a salad!

Read the DC Veg Happy Hour Schedule and Menu to get a better idea.

Vegan friendly Happy Hours

Don’t just limit yourself to 100% vegan only places – going for a happy hour is about the vibe too. These are great spots to hang AND get cheap booze and food. The vegan options are plentiful and delicious.

White Owl Social Club – omni

This bar is famous for doing vegan food that can compete with other vegan spots, and a huge outdoor patio. Also great drinks of course.

When: Every day 3 – 6pm.

Drinks: $5 drafts, $5 well drinks, $7 cocktails.

Photo of happy hour menu and drink at White Owl Social Club in Portland.

Food: nachos, wings, salad, curry – all with vegan versions! Nachos come loaded with a house made vegan cheese sauce. Menu subject to change.

Hungry Tiger – omni

Super divey bar Portland style.

When: Every day 3 – 7pm.

Drinks: Varies.

Food: corn dogs, house cut fries.

Oregon Public House – omni

America’s first nonprofit pub!

When: Daily: 2pm – 6pm & 9pm -CLOSE.

Drinks: $ 1 off 16oz beers or a glass of wine, beer.

Food: nachos, fries, Impossible burger.

Roscoe’s – vegan options via Miyamoto Sushi

They update their tap list online via live feed every minute.

When: 4 – 6pm.

Drink: $3 microbrews.

Food: from Miyamoto Sushi, the sushi spot next door that has several vegan options if you’re looking for some cheap (but good) vegan sushi in Portland. Check out their food menu here (scroll down to see happy hour menu).

El NutriTaco – omni, GF options

Great option for cheap but good vegan Mexican in Portland.

When: 3-6 pm.

Drinks: 6 margs.

Happy Hour tacos!

Food: varies.

Vegan Dessert in Portland

Ooooooh the options you’ll have! We list general dessert places first, then specific desserts after. Some listings will be repeats, as some qualify for more than one category.

$$ Petunia’s Pies and Pastries – 100% gluten-free

Established in Portland since 2010, this bakery has been at the forefront of making gluten free goodies that don’t suck, but furthermore, blow away the glutenful competition. Everything gets rave reviews so we can’t imagine how one goes wrong here.

$$ Back to Eden Bakery Dessert Shop – 100% gluten-free

In general, we think this is the best vegan dessert In Portland if you had to make one stop.

Their original bakery space has expanded into a bonafide Dessert Bar so now you can expect to grab a table at this popular bakery.

Our favorite item?  The Chocolate chip cookie, which is chewy, rich, buttery and perfectly sweet. We would not mind the world of gluten-free if this cookie set the standards. It beat out other vegan chocolate chip cookies that weren’t even gluten free.

We recommend: Anything that you’ve missed since going vegan and/or gluten-free, and we can confidently say you’ll be impressed.

$ DC Veg – vegan and vegetarian by request

Also has a small selection of home-baked goods. Try the amazing chocolate chip cookie.

Vegan Donuts in Portland

There’s quite a selection available for vegans. While there is one all vegan donut shop, if you’re only in town for a short stay or don’t have a car, you’ll likely end up at the other more centrally located donut shops that have several locations and vegan donuts.

$ Voodoo Donuts  Omni with Vegan Options

If you find a line wrapping around the corner of a gleefully decorated building of famous icons enjoying donuts, you’ve come to the right place. The line moves along, so don’t be intimidated. Though if lines aren’t your thing (our friends insisted on the original location our first time), there’s a dramatically less populated one east of the river with plenty of seating and plenty of donuts. You’ll see rotating cases with a section labeled vegan, with a variety of  choices.

While Veren prefers simple glazed, we were both blown away by the deluxe donuts. The Portland Creme will remind you of Boston creme – including the nondescript sweet cream filling (except it’s not moo goo). It’s also available in a phallus shape known as the Cock N’ Balls. The cookie peanut butter topped choco monster is heavily laden with toppings, but keeps the fluff donut intact. We also tried an apple fritter/bear claw, that tasted just like our childhood donut dreams.

We recommend: good old fashioned fluffy yeast donuts. Tons of vegan choices – varies by location.

They do serve cake donuts as well, but we’re all about the yeasties and they’re our top choice for vegan donuts in Portland (plus they are open 24/7).

Note: CASH ONLY. Three Portland Locations (see website)

$$ Blue Star Donuts Omni with Vegan Options

Disclaimer: they only serve vegan cake donuts here. We personally love and prefer yeast donuts (the soft fluffy ones – cake donuts are the crumbly, cake like ones).

The prettier and more pretentious of the two popular donuts spots (we prefer the divey funky Voodoo) offering brioche style donuts for vegetarians and omnivores, but only cake donuts for vegans. They also have an obnoxious story about how artisan their donuts are (aka blah blah tons of butter). They do have a simple guide to social media which is quite clever and fun.

We recommend: cake donuts if that’s your jam. Specifically, the olive oil orange peel zest, cinnamon sugar.

Doe Donuts – all vegan

This place gets super points for being locally sourced, fair trade (when possible) and 100% vegan. They’ve got flavors like hazelnut milk chocolate, french toast, salted vanilla bean. Also seasonal flavors!

However, it’s not centrally located, so if you don’t plan a trip, it probably won’t be near anywhere else you are going. They also close at 3 pm, which is why we never made it there – middle of the work day!

Vegan Ice Cream in Portland

Portland’s vegan ice cream scene is no joke. Here we prioritize vendors who make their own product or have a special source. Our recommendations for the best vegan ice cream in Portland.

Aviv

You can buy their small batch ice cream by-the-pint at their restaurant and at farmers markets. Expect unconventional flavors, like curry and halva, made from a rich coconut cream base. There’s even a flavor with New Mexican Green Chile pepper! Apparently, they will be opening a separate all vegan ice cream shop under the name “Be Sweet” sometime this year.

Virtuous Pie

Basic and adventurous flavors made in small batches from a cashew coconut base. You’ll find your vanillas, chocolates, and mint chocolate chips, but also flavors with coffee and turmeric. Go during happy hour and you’ll get a discount!

Back to Eden

Serves soft serve chocolate and vanilla ice cream from Chicago Vegan Foods at both locations!

Vegan grocery store Food Fight! also has soft serve ice cream.

Honorable Mention for vegan ice cream in Portland:

Salt and Straw makes a vegan soft serve that we didn’t think was amazing, but maybe you will! They’ve recently added a few new vegan flavors. You’ll know you’re passing a Salt and Straw location by the line out the door and the ice creamy smells.

Vegan Cake in Portland

There’s a lot of places that make vegan cakes in Portland, but only one really blew us away.

Petunia’s Pies and Pastries

This spot specializes in vegan, gluten free cake. It won’t be your cheapest slice, but you won’t regret it. Super soft, moist, and incredibly gluten free.

Our hats flew off on the first bite of their yellow cake. It’s honestly better than most wheat based vegan cakes we’ve had.

We recommend: Petunia’s Party cake.

Vegan Grocery in Portland

While you will find the usual supermarket chains, why not take advantage of the more locally minded, eco-friendly, vegan-friendly and co-op spots?

FoodFight!

The all vegan grocery store in Portland! Go here for all your specialty vegan products that you can’t find anywhere else. And they’ve got vegan soft serve!! There are two locations.

Again, while we do recommend that you check them out and support them, if you’re staying for a while in Portland, you’ll want somewhere to get your staples – see our recommendations below.

Co-ops

Portland co-ops are the stuff of vegan dreams and zero waste goals. Often they have discounted goodies you can find, either on discount shelves, or fresh items marked down towards the end of the day.

Both co-ops have massive bulk sections, with beyond your usual grains and legumes. If you’re not quite sure what a co-op exactly is (short for cooperative) and why you should support them, check out this super informative faq.

People’s Coop – all vegetarian!

This co-op is all vegetarian! They don’t sell any meat or fish. Apparently the coop board voted on this.

This is what bulk shopper dreams are made of. Tons of options for staples and obscure specialties, that included panela, a special unrefined sugar we love. You can find bulk liquids as well, and refrigerated bulk.

And!

bulk frozen fruit at Peoples co-op in Portland
Bulk frozen fruit! A first for our eyes.

Half off bagels and baked goods at the end of the day – we loved checking for these.

display case for local baked goods in People's co-op in Portland
The discounted items will end up in those bins top left.

This was just such a pleasant and fun place to shop and we made many repeated visits.

Alberta Coop

A massive bulk section, but in addition to grains and legumes, they have tons of spices and bulk products – like vegenaise and soy sauce.

They’ve also got non food products, like shampoo and soap. You’ll find all sorts of specialty items here, along with staples.

bulk section at Alberta Co-op in Portland

Supermarkets

Portland has a decent selection, and often these are cheaper for staple items than the co-ops.

Natural Grocers

This chain is run similarly to co-ops and started in Colorado. They have strict standards for what they sell.

Don’t expect to find bags here, so either bring your own or you can use the cardboard boxes left over from their shipments. There are all sorts of goodies here, and all the produce is organic. Check each section for discounted items.

New Seasons Market

This place is like your typical supermarket but mostly organic. Rather than have an organic or health section like Safeway or A&P, imagine the reverse – a mostly organic store with non-organic sprinkled in. The produce section is mostly organic, with few exceptions. So if you’re looking for specialty products, you can expect to find them here. They also have an extensive selection of vegan products.

Vegan Bed and Breakfast in Portland

There is no vegan hotel in Portland, but this vegan bed and breakfast is super cute and even better than a big hotel! Portland Eco Guest House is all vegan and uses all eco-friendly products and materials in furnishing the home. You even get a complimentary breakfast of organic fair trade coffee, teas, rolled oats, non-dairy milk or creamer from neighborhood cooperative grocery. Whaaa!

The location is pretty sweet too, in the heart of the Alberta neighborhood, which is chock full of vegan spots as noted above! There are multiple rooms available in the guest house, some right in the house and another that is a totally separate suite.

Book through Airbnb. If you’re new to Airbnb, click this link to get $40 off your first booking of $75 or more.  


So there you have it – our doozy of a post for vegan Portland. Any favorites we missed? Need to add to the list? Let us know your (budget) vegan Portland recommendations in the comments!

*Editor’s note: This post was originally posted in November 2016 but has since been completely revamped and updated.

Did you know that Portland is an incredible hot spot for vegan travel? There are dozens of vegan restaurants in Portland to discover, including many vegetarian restaurants in Portland with yummy vegan options, and even vegan-friendly restaurants with great vegan food. In our Budget Vegan Guide to Portland, we focus on the best restaurants in Portland for vegans, especially if you're on a budget! #VeganTravel #Portland
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