You GUYS. I’ve wanted to visit Portland (solely for the food scene, oooobviously. Only kind of kidding.) for so long, and I finally got to go this fall! And let me tell you, it did NOT disappoint. I spent a few days in both Portland and Bend, hiking and eating my way through the cities, and guys. If you ever go here, THESE are the places you must go. People are not kidding when they say you’ll get so many amazing recommendations for Portland you won’t be able to hit them all – there are still a handful of places I never even got to while I was there, but will definitely be going whenever I get back there! But, you know. The whole cross country plane ride isn’t exactly short (or cheap!), so it might be a while. Ha!
Our first morning started out early because we were still on east coast time, so we got up early and went to Ristretto Roasters for some awesome iced cold brew before heading to Tasty & Sons for a totally epic breakfast. Holy WOW you guys this place…breakfast, lunch, dinner, I’d go there for all three. Totally GF friendly and super tasty, innovative options. Our favorites: Shaksuka & Burmese Red Pork Stew. And Bacon-wrapped almond dates obviously. My family loved the smoked salmon hash, which is GF, but not celiac-friendly.
That day we explored the city and went to Powell’s books (um, hello heaven), Pioneer Square, and the Japanese Rose Garden, where my brother said “OH MY GOD THIS PLACE SMELLS SO GOOD” but then realized he was only smelling the lady next to him’s hot dog. #typical.
For an afternoon snack (slash lunch? Oops.) we went to Eb & Bean (thanks to Juli from PaleOMG for the amazing recommendation!) feat: cashew milk peanut butter ice cream w/newtella magic shell + chocolate chip cookie dough bites. All gluten and dairy free. WHAT. Sorry, drooling. I can’t even.
Dinner was at Departure PDX. HECK YES. I’ve been dying to go here since seeing Chef Gregory on top chef and seeing all the paleo peeps like Michelle Tam and Juli Bauer go eat there! The restaurant is totally gluten-free-friendly and paleo-friendly. That’s definitely not something you see on the east coast. Chef kiiilled it you guys. We split a bunch of things, since it’s tapas style and we wanted to try eeeverything. Our favorites: garlic fried rice, smoked salmon + sesame sushi, mint & lime brussels sprouts leaves (oh my god I seriously could’ve eaten a whole plate of these. And I almost did.), black pepper chicken with tamarind sauce. You. Must. Go. Here. If you’re in Portland!
The next two days we spent hiking at Multnomah Falls and Angel’s Rest, wine tasting at Stoller Vineyards (where we saw someone get proposed to! So cool!) and White rose Vineyards, which both had awesome tasting rooms and great wines to boot, and then refueling from those hikes at some tasty restaurants. One dinner was at Cultured Caveman, which is totally paleo friendly. Loved the broth, salmon poke salad, and my family was drooling over their pork carnitas tacos! Such a cute little market inside with tons of paleo goodies and cookbooks too!
The next night we went to Bang Bang Thai, a kicka** Thai restaurant (duh) that is entirely gluten and dairy free. No cross contamination issues for me!! Started with the Spicy Pineapple Margarita (you know I love those spicy margaritas!) and the wings. I don’t know what the heck they were, but they were freaking AMAZING. Then the table split the Glass Noodles Bowl, the Pineapple Curry Bowl (favorite!) and the Blue Crab/Pork Belly Fried Rice Bowl. Tummy was dying of happiness.
If you’re in town on a Saturday, you MUST go to the PSU Farmer’s Market. So much amazing produce of every variety you can imagine, baked goodies (lots of gluten free obviously!), and even a few restaurants have tents so you can get a meal! I had gone to CorePower yoga that morning from Candice at Whole Health Hacks, so we grabbed brunch at the Verde Cocina booth. It’s an entirely gluten-free menu! I got some brunch plate with a ton of veggies, eggs, chorizo sausage, and potatoes. So good! They also have a Paleo Verde bowl!
LAKE OSWEGO & CANNON BEACH
We threw some day trips in there too, and made it a point to detour to Kyra’s Bake Shop in Lake Oswego on our way to Cannon Beach for seriously the most epic cinnamon roll you’ll ever have (at least, if you’re gluten-free! I can’t speak to gluten-filled versions, haha!). First of all, it’s the size of your face. So you’ll probably be good to split one with a friend if you don’t want to go into a totally delicious sugar coma. I only wish I could’ve taken some home with me across the country…or had space in my stomach to taste test like eeverything in the store!!
Cannon beach is freaking beautiful. Definitely a must see and totally worth the day trip out from Portland! We had lunch there at this super cute little place called Seasons Café, which has great gluten-free options (sandwiches, soups, salads). I had a tuna salad sandwich for the first time in my life! Was not disappointed. Those crunchy red onions and shaved apples? Amazing. On the way there, there’s an amazing winery called Ponzi, which came highly recommended from our friends that live outside Portland. Amazing whites and reds! Can’t wait to try and find this one back at home!
Okay, on to Bend! We stopped for some hikes along the way at Trillium Lake, to get some fantastic views of Mount Hood. Bend is totally a beer town, so my family wanted to check out some of the breweries, which always have cider, yay for me! We tried out the Deschutes brewery, which had great gluten-free options. Burger, no bun for me! Sounds boring, but the burger was cooked perfectly. And let’s be honest, I don’t like to be eating so many rice dishes and gluten-free breads/goodies every day because they don’t make me feel my best, even on vacation!
Speaking of things that make me feel awesome on vacation, my family is always super active when we travel – usually hiking or skiing every day. This time, I also mixed in some crossfit at Oregon Crossfit, where I dropped in for a quick workout after doing some blog work for you guys at Strictly Organic Coffee (which had a freaking amazing almond milk latte)! Highly recommend Oregon Crossfit if you’re in the area. Thanks for having me, guys!
One of my favorite meals of the whole trip was at Zydeco Kitchen & Cocktails in Bend. It’s this cute little (but SUPER busy, definitely make a recommendation) restaurant downtown that has a totally gf menu and the most amazing appetizer I’ve eaten in I can’t even remember how long. The BBQ Shrimp. If you go through Yelp, every single recommendation says you MUST get this dish and they are not kidding. You absolutely MUST. I kept taking small bites saying what the heck is in this dish and how can I re-make it?!! I literally asked the waitress (semi-desparately) for what was in the sauce, but she was pretty vague about it. Guess she gets that a lot. Ugh. One day. I also had a free-range roast chicken with roasted veggies on the side for dinner. We heard the desserts were delicious too, but we were just too stuffed.
We hit two more epic hiking spots before we left – Crater Lake National Park, and Smith Rock State Park. Holy amazeballs you guys. There are no words for the beauty of Crater Lake. We did a long, sweaty hike up a mountain that had views of the whole lake…no words. Just no words. Definitely a must-see!!
Smith Rock State Park was awesome too. A totally different kind of scenery than Crater Lake, but just as steep of hikes (if not steeper). Once, just once, I’d like to take a vacation when I’m not more exhausted when I come home than when I left! Aren’t you supposed to rest when you’re on vacation? Yeesh. Especially when you’re someone like me who trains every day…I need to rest and recharge. Kthanks. But these two parks were totally worth it. Plus, we worked up quite the appetite for our last meal…
BACK TO PORTLAND
Last but not least, for our final night in Portland – we met up with a long-time family friend for dinner at Andina. Holy sh*******t you guys there are no words for how delicious this meal was, from start to finish. If I could only visit one restaurant again from our whole trip, it would be this one. Hands down. Also have a totally gluten-free menu. Start of with the Sacsayhuaman cocktail, called “the sexy” because no one can pronounce it. It’s described as “habanero pepper vodka shaken with pureed passionfruit and cane sugar, served up with a sugar rim and cilantro leaf garnish” but basically it’s the most freaking delicious drink I’ve ever had in my whole life. Some of our favorites from dinner: Lomo Saltado, the Pimento Piquillo Relleno (stuffed peppers) and the grass-fed lamb dish (I think it changes by season)!
Long story short: YOU MUST GO. Food. Hiking. Wine. Super nice people. What more could you want?! Oh and it’s basically gluten-free heaven. Kthanksbye until my next trip!