Healthy Restaurant Round Up
As a dietitian, one question I always ask my clients is, “how often do you eat out?” Having lived and worked in other cities, when I asked this question I was really digging deeper to find out just how unhealthy my clients were eating. Here in Portland, that question does not have the same double meaning. Eating out here can actually mean eating healthier for some. We are so lucky to have so many healthy options and a community that values good quality, local food with a focus on vegetables. This is a life saver for those of us who lead busy lives, don’t always have time to cook but want to eat healthy. If you live in Portland and have ever traveled elsewhere, you are probably reminded of just how lucky we are.
There are so many healthy choices here in Portland an I’m sure I haven’t even scratched the surface in terms of trying them all out. Here is a list of some of restaurants that I have either been to or have heard good things about. Did I miss any? Let me know and I’ll add them to our resource list!
Sister restaurants, Prasad and Harlow bring similar menus to the table, serving up two very different areas of town. Focused on fresh, conscious cuisine that is gluten free and mostly vegan, both restaurants offer delicious, creative food and beverages. Harlow has amazing breakfast options, including juice and bowl combos, roasted veggies, smokey tempeh and/or farm fresh eggs and lemon poppyseed pancakes. Both restaurants also offer lunch and dinner options, including bowls, veggie burgers, salads and soups, not to mention tons of smoothies and juices.
Blossoming Lotus wins the creativity award for vegan food. They also have many raw food options. With menu choices like “live sushi” sunflower seed pate, pecan chorizo and baked cashew brie, this restaurant proves anyone wrong who says eating vegan is too limiting. Vegan or not, Blossoming Lotus is sure to inspire you to want to eat more consciously and get more creative with your diet.
Laughing Planet and it’s sister restaurant Dick’s Kitchen can both be described as healthy fast food. While Laughing Planet focuses on bowls, burritos and salads, Dick’s Kitchen favors the Paleo diet and serves humanely raised beef burgers, as well as special guest bison, elk, venison and wild boar burgers. Dick’s also has the crispiest baked fries you will every come across and yummy seasonal veggie sides.
A new edition to the Pearl District, Garden Bar is a casual salad-centric restaurant. You can choose from one of their signature salads or build your own. Salads are made fresh to order and are huge… making this dish perfect for leftover lunch the next day. You will never get bored with all of the toppings they have to chose from, including pickled onions, roasted chickpeas, hemp seeds, and tarragon corn.
I have never actually eaten here but it’s on the top of my list for a special occasion. Natural Selection is a fine dining restaurant, featuring seasonal produce and an optional $45 four course prix fixe menu. I love how all of their menu items are almost exclusively vegetable dishes and are mostly vegan/vegetarian and gluten free. Can’t wait to try it!
Portobello is a vegan restaurant, mostly known for their pizzas and infamous cashew cheese. They also have a really yummy beet burger and a lot of veggie packed pasta dishes.
Canteen has a small menu but does a good job with their offerings. They serve bowls, salads and juices. I love the one bowl meal trend and theirs don’t disappoint, packed with greens, veggies, protein and yummy sauces. My favorite is the Southern Bowl with BBQ soy curls, collard greens, black eyed peas, carrot cabbage slaw and cashew ranch dressing.
Paradox café in my opinion, is highly underrated. I never hear it talked about and it doesn’t usually make the top of the Portland healthy eating guides. Everything I’ve had there (especially brunch) has been awesome and is super affordable, ranging from $4-$9. Their menu is extensive, and includes satisfying salads, breakfast scrambles, burritos and benedicts modified for omnivores and vegans/vegetarians alike. Check this place out!
Both of these restaurants, owned by the same people, are actually bars. They are great spots for hanging out at in general but what draws me there is always the food. They have some delicious bowls to choose from, as well as an awesome tofu bahn mi. One thing you gotta love about Portland is that you can order order super healthy “bar food.”
Harvester is Portland’s only (to my knowledge) certified gluten free brewery, that has recently added a certified gluten free kitchen. While they are mostly known for their award winning beers, their food is just as amazing. It’s wonderful to be able to refer client with Celiac Disease to a place they can eat and not have to worry one bit about cross-contamination. With menu options like toasted chestnut and corn risotto, Oregon halibut with local chanterelles and lentils and charred octopus and purple potato gnocchi, I don’t think anyone will be missing the gluten here.