Monday, April 11, 2016

Kittee's PDX See and Do Part Deux.

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Masala Dosa from Apna Chat Bhavan with sambar and chutneys.
It's been almost three years since I last posted my PDX See and Do--and this city just keeps getting better and better in the deliciously awesome department. This post is the cashew cream of what's going on here, but there's so much  more than what I can fit in here. If you have the time to explore, you should definitely dig in as much as possible.

Most of the spots I wrote about last are still loved and up and going strong, so I won't bother to write them out again. I'll task you with the job of double fisting both lists. If you're coming through town and looking for a good travel app, I really like the one by the folks at It's cool because it's free and because you download it, so when you're bopping around town, it won't eat up your data. Also, about a year or so ago, they asked me to curate a little vegan PDX list, so if you download it, you might just see me pop up here and there to help you find spots I like. Also VEGAN DONUTS.

Food Stops
Absynnian Kitchen--My newest favorite stop for Eritrean/Ethiopian food. Absynnian Kitchen is located in an old PDX house with some sweet patio seating on the porch if you're dogging it. This place has the best shiro, and if it's cold and rainy, it's one of my top recommendations. Order some to go with the veggie platter, or get the shiro / kale combo. They have all teff injera available upon request. Super nice owners. If you want to see other Ethiopian possibilities, hop over to IG and search for #pdxethiopianhop.

Apna Chat Bhavan--This huge Indian grocery store and fast food counter, might only be of interest to locals, 'cuz it's in the 'burbs, but it's a great find. The store is really tidy and clean, and the menu has lots of vegan things including the best masala dosa I've found since moving to Oregon. Kim and I bumped into a little room in the back with a wide screen mounted on the wall, so I need to investigate in case they have Bollywood screenings.

Back to Eden--All vegan and gluten-free bakery/cafe paradise. Since I knocked off the refined sugars, my favorite thing to grab is a toasted New Cascadia bagel with a Tofutti smear and tomato. Softserve and milkshakes for the masses.

DC Vegetarian--This cart downtown has a pretty decent Soy Curl chicken-style salad, but I'm really listing it here because their vegan cheeseburgers are Dazee's reason for breathing.

Departure--If you're on top of Top Chef, you might already know about Departure and chef Gregory Gourdet, probably the cutest chef ever. Departure makes me laugh, as it's plunked 15 stories high on top of a really fancy hotel in downtown, with a great view and a bathroom that is startling weird. Departure is also awesome people watching turf. We usually bring Dazee's parents here as it's a leeetle fancy and a little expensive, but probably my favorite place to eat. No matter how full you are, make sure to get the peanut butter ice cream banana split.

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My favorite from Earth Burgers, the PDmeX. Black bean and sweet potato patty, all the fixin's on a Happy Camper GF bun, with hand-cut seasoned fries.
Earth Burgers--Earth Burgers is tucked into the largest cart pod in town, and is an all vegetarian (mostly vegan) burger place that's not to be missed. I love it 'cuz the owners are the best, and they serve GF buns with hand-cut fries. Back to Eden has a cart in the same pod, so you can hit them both in one stop, plus it's really close to the mini mall.

Eb and Bean--Vegan frozen yogurt in three daily flavors with housemade peanut butter or chocolate magic shell. Plus they offer chopped up stuff from Petunia's for topping your swirl. I can't write about this is further detail, because it makes me cry I can't eat here anymore...

Epif--Sort of fancy and expensive, but a really nice vegetarian restaurant serving Andean inspired food and cocktails in a sort of romantically nice atmosphere. I really loved the plaintain chips and salsa.

Farm Spirit is the latest and greatest from Chef Aaron Adams of Portobello fame. You'll definitely need money and a reservation to get in on this. I haven't been yet, but folks have been telling me I need to get on the bus.

Harvest at the Bindery--Although I've only visited once, this is probably my favorite new place for a local produce-centric meal. Food is served family-style, and it probably would also win new best new brunch joint, since Dazee hits their Sunday brunch pretty regularly.

Homegrown Smoker Smokehouse and Deli--PDX's beloved vegan cart Homegrown Smoker has recently branched out into their own brick and mortar restaurant. It shares a building with Vtopia, making it more than easy to scoop up a Mac N Cheese Soy Curl burrito and some cultured nut cheese on your way to the airport.

New Cascadia--I'm not really sure how they've done it, but NC makes gluten-free bread that really, seriously does not taste GF. You can pick up European style artisinal loaves and bagels from their baker, or grab some to go from a FarMar. Lots of local places serve their bread too, and you can pick up rolls and loaves at New Seasons in the regular bread aisle.

The Sudra--I really love the Sudra, because I'm in love with their Peacock Salad (Soy Curls, kale and tahini). It's really teeny-tiny, but they have lots of tables outside and their Indian inspired food is comforting, creative and delicious.

Sushi Love--If you find yourself way out in deep SE, then make sure you grab some rolls at Sushi Love. I was really sorry to see them move out of inner Portland, but their rolls are definitely worth the drive. My favorite is their Mexican style roll with soyrizo and corn chips, but definitely check for the special of the day, because that's usually uhmeeezing, too.

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Go check out my recent review of Vtopia. So cheesy, so good.
Vtopia is basically just hubba hubba all over the place. I LOVE their cheese board, I LOVE their soups with cheesie New Cascadia bread, and I LOVE that beyond their amazing cultured vegan cheese, they also sell other vegan cheeses that are hard to find anywhere else. Plus Imber and Mark are the nicest people, ever.
Food Pop Ups and other Cool Stuff
Obon PDX--I tasted a little bit of Obon's glory at Vegan Beerfest last Summer, but getting to their pop-up is top of my list for birthday wants this month. Hopefully I'll report back soon with more details.
Of Roots and Blooms has been cooking at Culmination Brewing on Sunday nights. The folks who run this used to be behind PDX Cheese Plate, and I hear the Mac N Cheese is not to be missed.
Squirrel and Crow Foods--I just discovered these folks on Instagram yesterday, but I think they're one to watch. My plan is to grab some of their non-soy tempeh as soon as I can from the Alberta Co-op.

Thrift/Vintage Stops/Craft
House of Vintage is my go-to spot for reasonably priced vintage clothing and cute household stuff. It's located in a fun shopping area in SE, and is close to Harlow, if you wanna grab a bowl and eat some booch with your avocado.
Modern Domestic--my favorite fabric shop 'cuz the folks are so nice and they sell lots of Japanese prints and indie sewing patterns. If you're in the market for a fancy Bernina, here ya go!

Go Outside, Stay Outside
My advice to you is to grab a lil puddin' from Pixie Retreat, or hit a cart and then see some nature. Hug Point on the coast is one of my most favorite spots, especially if you like sea caves, natural beach waterfalls and tide-pooling. Other great places would be trails in the Oregon Gorge or hikes in Forest Park.
Also, Portland is an awesome town for a plain ol' neighborhood walk. I usually take Vee out for about 4-6 miles a day, and my favorite is to just get lost in the gardens, dogs and houses.
Farmers' Markets. We have a lot of them during the season, and a rillly big one on Saturday morning on the west side.

I'd be remiss, if I didn't remind you about these places I listed in my last See and Do. You'll have to click on that for more info, 'cuz my hands are tired of typing. Also, keep checking back here, 'cuz I'll probably keep updating it with all the new stuff.

Bui Natural Tofu--really delicious homemade tofu shop with counter service. They have super fresh tofu salad rolls and banh cam on Fridays!
Food Fight, Herbivore, Sweet Pea and the Vegan Mini Mall.
Merkato Ethiopian Food Store--If you want to grab some housemade injera, berbere and shiro to bring home to your trusty copy of Teff Love. Here's my favorite spot.
Pixie Retreat

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Sizzle Pie is pretty great for vegan slices (even GF), but they're Rabbit Salad is what keeps bringing me back over and over again. Order it with vegan ranch!

I have no idea how I left Tiffin Asha off of this list, it's one of my favorite PDX eats. It's located in a cart on Mississippi Street and is home to South Indian street snacks like dosa, vada, idli, and special's like today's uttapam. Be sure to let them know your're vegan, and make sure to try some of their gun powder (podi), it's sooOOOOo gooOOOod. Check their website for hours, 'cuz they're not open everyday.

xo kittee

Disclosure: This post contains a sponsored link from and affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a very small commission.


  1. UGH. This is such a fun post. I want to come back to PDX! I haven't been to so many of these places!!

    1. I wish you would come back soon! I need to hit a few of these myself! New stuff, all the time!!

  2. Wowza! What a wealth! It's so cool that Portland's vegan scene is always growing, always innovating. Thanks so much for recording all of this into one resource (hubba hubba ahahah) This is invaluable A) For when I'm visiting Portland and B) Next time a friend asks where to eat while they're there, I can just tell them to read your list :) Never had enough time to get to the outer forests -though would love to one day- but have really enjoyed walking through the neighborhoods and seeing peoples crazy sculptural gardens.

    1. I aim to please! Let me know when you come next time, we can grab some lunch somewhere if you have the time...

    2. I would love that! The HP Lovecraft film festival in October would be my next trip down, I'll message you closer to the date and hopefully we can make a date! :)

  3. What a great round-up! I want to eat all of the things now, thanks for posting!

  4. What a fantastic list! Thank you for creating and posting it. I really want to come to Portland again — so much to do and eat!

    1. I hope you come back soon! We're so close, but we also don't get up your way too often either.


  5. Thank you so much! This saves a ton of research for my next PDX food run!


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