Last year around this time, I spent an epic 6 weeks on the west coast escaping the end of NYC summer and exploring all the healthy food, beautiful sights and chill vibes California and Oregon have to offer.
You can read about my California adventures here:
- Adventures in LA-la land // Part 1
- Adventures in LA-la land // Part 2
- Adventures in LA-la land // Part 3
- Adventures in Lake Tahoe
I ended this trip with a week in Portland, Oregon. I came to run a relay race: the infamous Hood to Coast 200-mile relay (read about my experience here: Hood To Coast Race Recap), but I ended up falling in love with Portland. Since I won't be visiting Portland for the race this year, I decided NOW would be a good time to revisit my photos and notes from that trip and document all of the awesome eats and sights I found while I was there.
- Prasad Cafe - A vegan and gluten free cafe in the Pearl District with hearty bowls and salads, smoothies, baked goods, coffee and tea. We ate here more than once - the salads are that good!
- Harlow - Harlow is the slightly more upscale, sister restaurant to Prasad. I didn't make it here during my trip, but I've sent a few friends and it's gotten RAVE reviews. It's 100% gluten free and vegetarian (they serve eggs here but not at Prasad).
- The Dragonfly Coffee House - The cutest little coffee shop in NW Portland. I came here for delicious coffee (they have every type of non-dairy milk you can imagine: hemp, almond, coconut, soy) and yummy paleo baked goods (there are gluten free and vegan options too). There's both indoor and outdoor seating - I definitely wouldn't mind posting up for a few hours here to read or work on my laptop.
- Kiva Cafe - If you're looking for the best smoothies or acai bowls in Portland, look no further. Kiva is THE SPOT. In addition to thick AF smoothies, they also make bulletproof coffee, regular coffee and tea, and delicious food. Kiva is also a spa so you can get a massage AND then enjoy THE BEST ACAI BOWL EVER after.
- Laughing Planet Cafe - Salads, burritos, bowls and quesadillas with lots of vegan, gluten free, and paleo options. Tasty and quick!
- Victoria Bar - We came to this bar for our pre-race team meeting - it's definitely BAR food but they've got some interesting vegan and gluten free options like Buffalo Cauliflower Wings, Fried Brussels Sprouts, a yum salad and even vegan desserts. The inside of the bar is, true to name, Victorian style, but there's also outdoor seating with big picnic tables. There are plenty of non-alcoholic beverages too - kombucha, root beer, ginger beer and mocktails.
- The Cultured Caveman - This spot is for you paleo friends! The Cultured Caveman started out as the FIRST paleo food cart on the west coast. They've expanded to a restaurant now too where you can get all your primal needs met: bone broth, bulletproof coffee, zoodles and meatballs, grain free tacos, kombucha, paleo ice cream and more! The restaurant also serves beer and wine so it's a great date night spot!
- Petunia's Pies and Pastries - Check out Petunia's if you're looking for a vegan and gluten free treat! Honestly, the sweets I tried were a little TOO sweet for me, but I have sensitive taste buds when it comes to sugar.
- Zupan's Market - Does anyone else LOVE visiting health food and grocery stores as much as I do when they travel?? Zupan's is an AMAZING, upscale grocery with a number of locations across Portland. In addition to groceries, they've got fresh juice and smoothies, a good selection of prepared foods and a small (but more than adequate) salad bar. They also carry REAL GREEK YOGURT which is DA BOMB. Seriously, if you eat dairy, try their yogurt. My favorite was the Espresso flavor - so so so thick and delicious.
And here's a few more spots that I didn't check out, but you might want to:
- Voodoo Donuts - The infamous Portland donut spot. Vegan options!
- Hot Lips Pizza - Family run pizzeria with gluten free and vegan options.
- Homegrown Smoker - Vegan BBQ joint.
- Por Que No? - TACOS!
- Tusk - Local and seasonal fare.
- Bike the town! Portland, like so many other major cities, has a bike share program. Renting bikes is such a fun way to see the city - I highly suggest it! There are also a number of bike tour companies you can ride with.
- Run the forest. There are a number of parks in Portland which are great for running. I stayed with a friend who lives near an entrance to Forest Park and we went for a beautiful trail run one day.
- Get your woo-woo on a New Renaissance Bookshop - Your go-to for spiritual books, crystals, essential oils and MORE. A fun place to spend some time, if you're into this stuff.
- Shop for local goods at MadeHere - A great store for ALL the local goodies.
Since I was about to run an intense race, I didn't do much hiking or fitness while I was in Portland, but what I DID do was awesome. I hope to visit again soon so that I can expand on this section of my travel guide :)