Before we set off for our Portland vacation in July, I did a lot of searching on Instagram to find good looking places to eat. My goal was to find restaurants with incredibly tasty-looking food, which had gf + df options for me and good ol’ American food for Drew. We also chose only casual restaurants because we were planning a low-key trip, with most of our days spent sightseeing outside. There are SO MANY unique restaurants in Portland, here are a few that we got the chance to visit (click on the name of each restaurant for more info).
Check out my list of must-visit Portland coffee shops if you’re looking for a good cup of coffee!
The Hazel Room is located inside of an old house on Hawthorne, which has been converted into a cute little brunch spot. It’s a tiny place, but we visited on a Tuesday morning and were seated right away. Drew chose a biscuit sandwich (their buttermilk biscuits are made from scratch with green onion & local cheddar baked inside) and I ordered their coconut cardamom (vegan + gf) french toast. Everything was delicious! No matter what your diet, you’ll find something good on the Hazel Room’s menu.
Jam is a brunch hot spot in Portland, serving up breakfast food 7 days a week. We visited Jam on a Saturday morning and the place was packed. The bacon & egg sandwich and breakfast burrito that we ordered were good, but similar to a normal breakfast that I’d make for us on the weekend. The hipster vibe seems to be the bigger reason that so many people were willing to stand outside, waiting for a table, for half an hour or more.
The Tin Shed was a last-minute pick that Drew found after a long day of hiking, but it ended up being one of my favorite spots. The restaurant offers tables indoors and under their covered patio, but the garden seating under a canopy of trees was the perfect place to hang out after a long day. We both ordered a build-your-own burger and I loved their addition of pickled onions and shed spread sauce which give this burger a tangy twist.
Blackbird Pizza – There are a LOT of different pizza places to choose from in Portland. We settled on Blackbird Pizza, not part of a restaurant chain and located on the popular Hawthorne Blvd. Drew stuck with a classic pepperoni pizza while I chose the gf crust, topped with their cashew cream base, vegan mozzarella, and bacon. My toppings turned into melty, rich, goodness and it was one of the best gluten+dairy-free splurge meals that I’ve ever eaten. Two pizzas were more than we could finish and it was a terribly sad moment when our takeout containers wouldn’t fit into our hotel room’s baby fridge.
Stella Taco was one of the places that caught my eye on Instagram because of their Austin-style tacos and vegan cashew ranch (I asked for a side of ranch to go along with my taco and it was delicious). It wasn’t the most flavorful Tex-Mex food that I’ve ever tasted, but everything was fresh and it made us happy when we needed our Mexican food fix.
If you’re downtown, check out Pine Street Market, Portland’s modern food court. It houses a central seating area surrounded by food counters from 9 local restaurants, offering everything from ramen, to BBQ, to açai bowls, to baked goods. We tried out Bless Your Heart Burgers and enjoyed their fast food style burgers. There’s also a Barista coffee bar inside, and Wiz Bang Bar (a soft serve bar created by Salt & Straw).
We loved Salt & Straw so much that we visited two different locations during our trip (yes, it’s worth standing in that line that wraps around the building). Our first choices were so good that we ordered the exact same flavors during our second visit. His pick: Birthday Cakes & Blackberries. My pick: Roasted Strawberry Coconut (the creamiest coconut milk ice cream I’ve ever tasted).
We visited Voodoo’s downtown location on Sunday, before heading over to Portland’s Saturday market. We did have to wait in line for around 30 minutes but the crowd was in a good mood, because it’s hard to be mad when you’re waiting outside of a brick building that is covered in glitter, and the smell of doughnuts hangs in the air. They do sell basic doughnuts, but the biggest draw is obviously all of Voodoo’s novelty flavors and toppings. Voodoo doesn’t offer gluten-free doughnuts at this time, but they do have vegan options if you’re into that.
We ran out of time to try these places that were also on my list:
Hungry Tiger – I had my eye on their vegan nachos.
Eb & Bean – This organic frozen yogurt bar also has creamy non-dairy options.