I’ve been to Portland twice now. The first time was just a quick 1 day stopover on my way to/from Singapore. On my way to Singapore, my stopover in PDX was filled with freezing temps and sideways rain. On the way back home, I was so jet-lagged that I was little falling over into things when I went to get lunch, and ended up going back to my hotel to take a nap. Needless to way, I didn’t get to explore the city much. Which is why I decided to go back a 2nd time! My mom and I went on a mother/daughter trip a few weeks ago to celebrate mother’s day + my birthday. Once again it was cold and rainy (the usual whenever I travel – I’m cursed), but there was much more exploring this time, and I tried out a lot more restaurants!
Our first night in town, I made a stop at Whole Foods to grab some healthy/whole30 approved snacks – RX bars, dried fruit, la croix, hard boiled eggs, bananas, apples, and kombucha.
After that, we grabbed dinner at The Original Dinerant, which happened to be connected to our hotel, the Courtyard Marriott. They have gluten free bread here, so anything with a bun can be made gluten free! Additionally, they were very accommodating with making my food dairy free. I ended up ordering the Squealer Burger with the bun, and kept the aioli on the side (I didn’t end up eating it because it was too spicy), with a side of fries cause I was on vacay.
We also ate breakfast here on our last morning before heading to the airport, and it was delicious. I made a meal out of a few side orders – 2 eggs over easy, bacon, braised greens, and avocado!
The next morning, we headed to Prasad for breakfast. One of the things I said I was going to break my whole30/alchemy challenge for was gluten-free waffle – which is exactly what I got here. I had the Vanilla Chia Coconut Waffle with Vanilla Cashew Cream, and a Dirty Chai Latte. My mom ordered the Granola with goji berries and a plain chai latte. We also split a banana walnut muffin with chocolate chips on top! Everything at prasad is gluten free and vegan, which made it so easy to order without worrying about getting sick!
We stopped at Prasad again the next day to grab a matcha latte, and again the following day for a late breakfast/early lunch! This time I had the “Endless Summer” zucchini noodle bowl with avocado dressing, and a Turmeric Latte with Coffee + Bee Pollen! They tried to tell me the turmeric latte would be weird with coffee, but I’m glad I didn’t listen because it was DELICIOUS!
Probably my favorite thing to do in Portland was visit the Japanese Garden. Even though it was cold and raining on and off, this place was beyond gorgeous. It’s pretty big, with tons of beautifully designed gardens, unique plants, and mossy rocks/architecture everywhere! Although we didn’t visit them, the Rose Garden and Oregon Zoo are right near here, as well!
For lunch after the zoo, we got a gluten free / dairy free pizza at Sizzle Pie. We tried “The Ripper” on gluten free crust, with Fourth & Heart vegan cheese, and added chicken. While the selection of toppings (especially vegan options) was impressive, I didn’t think the pizza was that great. The toppings were under-cooked, and there wasn’t much flavor in the sauce. But we maybe just didn’t pick the right pizza to try!
After lunch, we did some browsing/shopping around the Pearl District, including my favorite outdoor and athletic stores like Athleta, Patagonia, and Icebreaker. We also stopped in a super cute little shop called North of West. They had very minimalist-style clothing, baby clothing, home items, and little perfumes/face oils/etc. They had the cutest baby clothes I’ve ever seen, but obvi I don’t have a baby, or know anyone with one, so I didn’t get any.
For dinner that night we went to Prasad’s sister restaurant, Harlow. I had heard such good things about Harlow, I knew we had to go. Again, everything on the menu here was gluten free, and I believe dairy free/mostly vegan. They do serve eggs, but no meat. I had the “Solstice Salad” without the quinoa or hemp seeds (hemp makes me sick) and added goji berries (mixed greens & arugula, sunflower seeds, golden raisins, walnuts, carrots, beets, bee pollen with lemon ginger dressing) + a match latte on the side with coconut mylk!
The next day we woke up, I got in a workout, ate some HB eggs and a banana, and then headed to the Saturday Market! On the way to the market, we obviously had to stop at the famous VooDoo Donuts so my mom could get some doughnuts! They don’t have anything gluten free here, so I didn’t get any, but they do have vegan options.
Then we continued on to the market, where there were tons of cool, unique vendors and food options! There had also been some kind of puppy 5k earlier that day, so there were tons of dogs around wearing little bibs and it was the best thing ever. I want a dog so bad. My mom bought me a gorgeous sea glass necklace from Melusine Glass Co. She has so many beautiful and unique pieces of glass. I’ve been obsessed with sea glass for so long and always collect it wherever I can.
We also bought some super delicious chai tea from a vendor who grew up in the town next to mine, which was crazy. We chatted about the weather (ya know) and such, then moved along.
I was pretty jealous of my mom’s doughtnuts by now, so I decided it was time to go to my favorite PDX place – Petunia’s Pies and Pastries. Petunia’s is 100% gluten free and vegan, and they have doughnuts on saturday and sunday mornings! They also mark which items are soy free, which is super helpful since I am sensitive to soy as well! I got a chocolate cake doughnut with pink frosting and sprinkles, with a mocha latte on the side. My mom got a blueberry lemon glazed doughnut which I ended up eating half of 😛
After our doughnut stop, we stopped in Powell’s City of Books, since my mom hadn’t been there yet. I personally find Powell’s to be horribly overwhelming, and kind of boring unless you’re actually trying to buy some books. After all, it’s just a giant book store.
I decided I was hungry for some actual food again, and since it was so cold and rainy, we decided we really wanted Pho. If you haven’t had Pho before, you really need to get your life together. I mean really. We went to Butterfly Belly since they are 100% gluten free and msg free, and their beef pho was also soy free! I had the beef pho, and my mom and I shared a lettuce wrap appetizer.
I didn’t have much of an appetite by dinner time (since I was unknowingly suffering from strep throat and an infection in my lungs), so we walked a few blocks to this little food court/market place and I got a smoothie bowl from Kure Juice Bar. Kure is totally vegan/dairy free, and gluten free friendly! I got the “Zen Master” bowl – avocado, protein powder, matcha, coconut water, spinach, coconut butter, coconut yogurt, and dates, topped with strawberries, more coconut butter, and I subbed gluten free granola. I also added bananas and cinnamon on top, cause duh.
The last day I woke up feeling god-awful, and my mom made me go to a minute clinic to get my throat swabbed. After grabbing a late lunch, we went to the Lan Su Chinese Garden. They had a bunch of women and children performing different hula dances for Mother’s Day, which was fun, but overall the garden was a little underwhelming. It was peaceful and pretty though, especially for being in the middle of a city block, and they do have a neat little teahouse, which we stopped in for tea when it started raining.
Next we went to Alberta Street to walk around and check out the shops. We stopped in Back to Eden Bakery, which is totally gluten free and vegan, to get gf/vegan ice cream cones!! So good. I also got a piece of their rocky road fudge which is no joke, hands down the best fudge I’ve ever had. I NEED to recreate it.
I grabbed some Dr. Brew booch on tap at Townshend’s Teahouse, which has tons and tons of loose leaf teas, bubbles teas, match, thai iced tea, and booch on tap! Heaven!
We stopped in a bunch of different little stores, my favorites of which were Tumbleweed, a super adorable clothing/beauty boutique, and Red Sail boutique, which lots of great home good and gifts, including my new favorite ceramic bowl below!
When we were done shopping, we went to my favorite paleo place, The Cultured Caveman, for an early dinner. I ate here the last time I was in PDX as well and LOVED it. Everything is paleo, including a daily dessert, and they have bulletproof coffee. What’s not to love? Last time I had the broccoli ranch wraps, and this time I went with the pork tacos. I totally wish I had gotten the ranch wraps again, though, they were way better than the tacos in my opinion. We also got a piece of lemon cake to share. The cake was awesome but the coconut frosting was horrible, so don’t get your hopes up if you’re a big frosting person. They also have some paleo groceries here, so I grabbed a couple bulletproof bars since I’ve been dying to try them. I LOVE THEM. Especially the vanilla shortbread! So frickin good, I’m definitely buying some after the alchemy challenge ends (since they contain stevia).
Overall we had a great time despite the rainy weather, and I’m hoping to go back soon, hopefully during some sunnier days!
PORTLAND QUICK REFERENCE:
Where to Eat:
- The Original Dinerant – diner with gluten free / dairy free options
- Prasad – 100% gluten free and vegan cafe
- Sizzle Pie – gluten free/dairy free/vegan pizza options
- Harlow – 100% gluten free/dairy free + mostly vegan cafe
- Petunia’s Pies and Pastries – 100% gluten free + vegan bakery and cafe
- Butterfly Belly – 100% gluten free and msg free asian food, pho
- Kure Juice Bar – gluten free/vegan fresh juices, smoothies, and smoothie bowls
- Cultured Caveman – 100% paleo restaurant and food truck, plus paleo groceries
- Back to Eden Bakery – 100% gluten free and vegan bakery with ice cream
- Townshend’s Teahouse – loose leaf tea, bubble tea, matcha, thai tea, kombucha on tap
- Stumptown Coffe Roasters – best coffee ever
- Voodoo Doughnuts – NOT GLUTEN FREE, but vegan options
Things To Do:
- Japanese Garden
- Rose Garden
- Oregon Zoo
- Saturday Market
- Lan Su Chinese Garden
- Pearl District
- Alberta Street