Like with anywhere I go, I do my research. Hell, even if I’ve never visited the place before, or even planned to, I’ve probably got a list of vegan burgers I want to eat there.
That’s what happened with Portland. I’d never really planned on going to Portland, ever. That is, until I researched what an INCREDIBLE vegan scene they’ve got going over there. I knew I had to plan a trip over ASAP, so I weaved it into our LA/Coachella adventure.
Once the tickets were booked, the vegan burger research commenced. How many meals could I have in 2 days plus an extra evening? Ten, it turns out. I counted. And amongst the ten, there were four burgers. No ordinary burgers – I made sure these four were the BEST. And they were.
There’s no order of how good they were (they were all incredible in different respects), so I’m doing it chronologically! Are you ready to be SUPER hungry?
– Black Water Bar –
As soon as we checked into our hotel, Ming and I made our way to Black Water Bar. It’s a punk/metal bar, so I made sure to uninvite my parents.
With metal punk rockers filling up the bar, and live metal playing, we were SUPER intimidated and looked SUPER out of place. But the staff were absolutely lovely (even writing a list of vegan bars in Portland for us to visit) and the burgers were INSAAAAANE.
We got the Western Burger and BBQ Sammie – both different (one is with a house patty, and the other is soy curls), and both amazing. I was genuinely worried that it wasn’t vegan. The burger tour was off to a flying start.
– Next Level Burger –
Out of all of the places we visited, Next Level Burger was the only burger chain, so I was a little skeptical. But holy hell, I wish this chain was absolutely everywhere. Or maybe I just move to Portland?
They’re all about loving your planet and loving thy burger – UMMM WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN IN MY LIFE?! It was super tough choosing which to go for, but I opted with the Sausage Bacon because I’ve never had a good vegan sausage patty before. Until now.
This was after we had lunch/my first lunch (at Bamboo Sushi – hello Truffle Avocado Nigiri!) so it was just me eating. Again.
– Homegrown Smoker Vegan BBQ –
This place is Portland’s vegan pride and joy. Every vegan that I told about my Portland trip said that this was the shitttttt! Even in the Uber we got, the driver was vegan and said that him and his wife LOVE this place.
These guys have their food cart, along with a deli (which is apparently closing soon because they’re opening up a restaurant, good for them!). I was originally headed to the deli, where they do vegan meats and slices (great for picnics, no?) but I quickly looked at the menus and saw that only the cart did burgers. To be honest, Portlands is all about their food carts, so I was glad that I was going to at least one this trip.
And holy shit, did we go to the right one. This Mac Daddy burger was magnificent. DO YOU SEE THAT MAC AND CHEESE TUMBLING OUT? We also got a lemonade and a Macnocheeto Burrito (stuffed with mac and cheese and soy curls) which was also phenomenal. Yes, that’s a strong word, and I’m not exaggerating.
– Off The Griddle –
When I do my research, I do my research. This place opened the week we visited, so it was brand spanking new. Even the vegan Uber driver didn’t know about it. THAT’S RIGHT, BABY.
The interior was fantastic – critics online described it as ‘Saved By The Bell’ meets ‘The Breakfast Club’ – and the food was even better. We started things off with Drumsticks (Buffalo style), which I expected to be cauliflower or tofu sticks. No, they LEGIT looked like little chicken drumsticks. Ming was so blown away; she couldn’t believe that it was vegan (“HOW?!?!”).
The burgers followed – we got a Vegan Bacon Cheeseburger and Smokey Bleu Burger. Both were fantastic, but I think I preferred the bacon cheeseburger slightly more. The patties were super crispy and delicious.
WHERE ELSE DID WE GO?
Here are other places we visited during the trip for some banging vegan food – don’t say I’ve never given you anything! There are a HUGE amount of places I’ve got left to try, so I’ll be back! Also, if there’s anywhere you’ve been and want to tell me about, please let me know for my next visit!
Sweetpea Bakering Company – best vegan pastries
Bamboo Sushi – world’s first certified, sustainable sushi restaurant
Ben & Jerry’s – finally got to try their vegan ice-cream! (hello PB & cookies)
Andina – the best peruvian food with great vegan options
A.N.D. Cafe – amazing vegan waffles and breakfast burrito
Voodoo Doughnut – portland’s pride and joy in doughnut form, you’ll see their pink boxes everywhere
Stumptown Coffee Roasters – great decaf soy flat whites