If you’re like me and you love, love, love eating out, not only is Portland one of the best places on Earth to do so, but it is also a prime location to find quality over quantity. Admittedly, I’m a bit of a health-freak and I’m not ashamed! In fact, this has introduced me to some of the city’s best food that always leave me feeling like a million bucks afterwards.
New Years resolution or not, for those attempting to be more cautious of what they eat without sacrificing flavor or the luxury of dining out, the options are plentiful in Portland. To help acquaint those less familiar with local healthy dining options, I’ve highlighted 10 of my favorite spots. Trust me; it was tough to narrow this list down, so before you rally against me because I missed your favorite restaurant, keep in mind that this just means the possibilities are endless. And please feel free to share your favorites in the comments! I took into consideration not only how health conscious each place’s menu is, but also their efforts to be as local and sustainable as possible. Dig in.
I’m ashamed by how long it took me to try this food cart. After all, I’d heard the name mentioned so many times in the 4 years I’ve lived in this lovely city. Here’s the thing: Carte Blanche is closing their food cart on February 14, 2016 and are making plans to open a restaurant in the future. This means you better get your ass over there ASAP. Let’s all pray for their swift return to production. We love you guys!
Must try: Important Helmet for Outer Space
3207 SE Hawthorne
Ok, as far as salads are concerned, Garden Monsters is where it’s at. I’m a total salad enthusiast and this place gives me the freedom to build the salad of my dreams. While they have salads you can choose from on the menu, I encourage you to build your own. Go on, I dare you to throw in some ingredients you hadn’t thought were salad-worthy in the past!
Must try: Creamy Avocado Dressing
2880 SE Division
Wed 11:30am-8pm, Thurs-Sat 11:30am-9pm
Another (mostly) vegan restaurant that is to die for. People rave about this place so much, I’d be surprised if you haven’t at least heard of it. They offer a fairly diverse menu with breakfast, lunch and dinner options. Honestly, everything I’ve tried here has been good, so you can’t go wrong!
Must Try: Betty Bowl with Avocado Cilantro Dressing
3632 SE Hawthorne
Mon-Sat 8am-9pm, Sun 8am-3pm
I like laughing planet because it’s a super reliable option. It has multiple locations around Oregon, making it super accessible and is also very kid friendly, for you folks that have a hard time finding a place to take your kiddos to that is also healthy. Their menu is diverse, which makes it fun and each week they have a new rotating entrée that you’ll want to try out.
Must Try: Bollywood Bowl
9 Portland locations
The thing that sets Noble Rot apart from everything else on this list is that it’s a wonderful place to have a romantic evening with a loved one. Everything is local and organic and to boot, they have a roof-top garden where they grow many of the ingredients in their menu, weather permitting. Their menu boasts fancy, delicious options and a wonderful wine selection.
Must Try: NY Steak
1111 E Burnside
Mon-Thurs 5-10pm, Fri-Sat 5-11pm
This place is really easy to miss if you’re cruising down Division, but my advice to you is to keep your eyes peeled for it. This is a 100% vegan menu with a variety of home-style, Indian and Asian-inspired, America- influenced dishes as well as plenty of delicious drinks and raw/vegan sides and desserts to choose from.
Must Try: The Killer Tempeh Rueben
2314 SE Division
Everyone and their mama’s has been to Por Que No?, because why not? Don’t let the line that streams out the door and spills down the sidewalk deter you because the wait is worth it. A Mexican-American menu that boasts so many delicious options, you’ll want to come back once a week for more.
Must Try: Pescado Tacos
Por Que No?
3524 N Mississippi & 4635 SE Hawthorne
Mon-Sat 11am-10pm, Sun 11am-9:30pm
Another vegan option that every meat-lover will also love. Prasad is actually a sister restaurant to Harlow! They have an assortment of coffee drinks, smoothies and juices and a few hot and cold food choices. This place is especially great in the summer since it offers so many options to cool you down while filling you up.
Must Try: Mighty Bowl with Garlic Tahini Dressing
925 NW Davis
Mon-Fri 7:30am-8pm, Sat-Sun 9am-8pm
21 NE 12th
Mon-Fri 7:30am-9:30pm, Sat 9am-8:30pm, Sun 9am-5:30pm
Ok, I like The Sweet Hereafter just as a bar because they have killer cocktails, but their food menu is amazing too. Vegan and filled with good, healthy add-ins like yeast and coconut kale. I’m not a huge fan of tofu, but they do it justice for sure.
Must Try: Eastern or Jamaican Bowls
The Sweet Hereafter
3326 SE Belmont
Oh, Whole Bowl, I love you so! The first time I went here I was totally stumped when the dude at the counter said they had one thing on the menu: The Bambino Bowl. Granted, you can supersize it to The Big Bowl or “veganize” it, but it really comes down to 9 ingredients: cheddar, rice, sour cream, cilantro, avocado, black olives, black and red beans, salsa and tali sauce. The thing is: it’s SO good.
Must Try: Ummm, the WHOLE menu
The Whole Bowl
5 Portland Locations
Have some other favorite local, health-conscious spots to dine out? Share them in the comments!
Photography by Sam Ortega, Nathan Wallace, and Jess Pierson