written by Julie Lee | photo courtesy of Prasad
Vegan has changed. Once a way of eating attributed to tree-hugging, tie-dye-wearing hippies (from our own experience, perhaps?), it’s now a movement—vegan and vegetarian restaurants with staying power are popping up everywhere. Thanks to documentaries like Forks over Knives and Hungry for Change, choosing to bypass animal-centric dishes in favor of brassica-based ones is entirely en vogue. Here’s a handful of our favorite vegan joints in Portland.
Blossoming Lotus in Portland was one in a group of vegan restaurants (let’s not go crazy and call it a chain) founded in 2002 with locations in Hawaii, California and the Pearl District, based on the concept of Vegan World Fusion Cuisine. After years of P-town success tucked in a small corner in the Pearl, Blossoming Lotus expanded to its current location in 2009. Lunch, brunch, dinner, bakery, bar—this is a popular vegan establishment for good reason.
1713 NE 15th Ave. | blpdx.com
What replaced Blossoming Lotus also lands on our top five. Prasad West doesn’t have the space or the seating to accommodate the growing PDX vegan movement, but it’s a great stop for a quick shot of wheatgrass and a good veggie bowl to go. Two other sister locations, Prasad East inside the Portland Rock Gym and Harlow on SE Hawthorne, offer a bit more elbow room and the same tasty fare.
West: 925 NW Davis St. | East: 21 NE 12th Ave. | prasadcuisine.com
Harlow: 3632 SE Hawthorne Blvd. | harlowpdx.com
The Whole Bowl
Portland is blessed with food cart options. One of our favorites, veggie-based or not, is The Whole Bowl. It does happen to be vegetarian, so it fits nicely here, and it happens to be one of a handful of original carts, launched in 2001. The Whole Bowl is simply a big bowl of rice, beans, cilantro, cheese (thus vegetarian, not vegan) and avocado, and a delicious sauce. You can make this a vegan option by skipping the cheese and sour cream.
Six locations, catering and delivery options | thewholebowl.com
Many vegans still like a good drink, contrary to stereotype. Sweet Hereafter offers an ample list of cocktails, served in mason jars and paired with a blackened tempeh sandwich. This is a hipster spot not unlike many other plaid-laden hangs in Portland, only vegan, and with a sweet covered patio.
3326 SE Belmont St. | hereafterpdx.com
Portobello Vegan Trattoria
Portobello Vegan Trattoria is to vegans what Ringside is to carnivores. It’s where you go when you want to treat yourself to a three-course experience, with ambience and a glass of vino. Start with the beet tartare, get the portobello steak as a main, and finish with the vegan tiramisu. You may never miss meat again.
1125 SE Division St. | portobellopdx.com