every vegan needs to visit portland before they die. the city is overflowing with amazing restaurants, pubs, and coffee shops—-almost all of which offer a plethora of animal-free dishes. i’ve heard it referred to as “the vegan capital of america”, and that sounds about right.
one of our favorite morning spots in portland is paradox cafe. the menu is mostly vegetarian, and almost anything can be made vegan. they open early everyday, and the breakfast rocks.
i highly recommend the biscuits and gravy…
as well as the smothered taters with almond gravy.
notice i recommended two gravy-heavy dishes. yeah, the gravy at paradox is ridiculously good. get over there next time you’re in pdx.
golden road brewing recently opened the doors of their very vegan-friendly pub, and after one visit, i’m hooked.
in addition to a growing roster of freshly brewed beers, golden road offers an extensive menu with plenty of inventive meatless options. we tried:
the pretzel with spicy mustard. it was simple yet tasty, and the mustard was hot as hell. this also comes with a vegan cheese option for an extra charge.
next up: vegan meatballs! not all soy fake meaty, instead these were made out of rice! so delectable, and served with cornbread.
lastly: the potato sandwich (CARB HEAVEN!): roasted tatties with cheesy sauce, onions, and arugula in a huge baguette. (no peppers!)
we washed it all down with plenty of point the way IPAs, which made for a splendid saturday.
on top of the plentiful vegan food and craft beer, the atmosphere at golden road is chill and comfortable—-there’s loads of seating, the servers are friendly, and there’s a jukebox stocked with lou reed, pixies, and the smiths. the only thing i would warn about is the fact it got a bit chilly due to the giant doors, so bundle up!
OH!!! and i ran into tal ronnen today at golden road—-haha! this place is obviously a hub for vegan “celebs”!
definitely check out golden road ASAP. there’s nothing like it in LA. cheers!
last week we were in paris for a few days! instead of planning our trip around crazy vegan restaurants (although that is a very fun thing to do), we spent most of our time exploring the city on foot and snacking on whatever was nearby. that means we ate A LOT of baguettes, and you won’t hear any complaints from me about that. we did manage to hit up 2 noteworthy spots though. check it out:
one of our friends told us that l’as du fallafel has “the best falafel outside of israel”, and that we should check it out. i have never been to israel, but this stuff was definitely special. the default “vegetarian” sandwich is vegan, and the staff speak english, so it was easy to ensure that our food was safe to eat. on top of the killer sandwich, l’as also provided a pot of insanely hot harissa chili sauce and offered cold israeli beer to wash it all down.
because l’as du falaffel is known to have an insane line, we showed up 15 minutes before they opened, and actually got a seat inside…which is supposedly unheard of. i guess most customers eat their sandwich in the street? next time i go, i’m definitely showing up early again! QG don’t eat in the street.
of course we scoped out the eiffel tower…
but the line was ridiculously long, so we didn’t go to the top. we did manage to get up the arc de triomphe though for some gorgeous views of the city…
not too far from our hotel was the ubiquitous loving hut. by far the biggest vegan chain on earth, they’ve got over 120 locations! the paris one is unique though, and we got some pretty nifty stuff including a wonderful cheesy mushroom crepe:
and a plate of the best vegan cheese i’ve ever eaten in my life:
this stuff is called vegusto, and it’s magical! i already tumbled about it here—-none of the other fake cheeses come close! loving hut also sells it at their counter along with some seitan products, and i was sure to stock up before leaving.
we also got some spring rolls which were nice, but nothing extraordinary.
the bar scene isn’t very hoppin’ in paris, but there are lots of quaint little “cafes” where you can get a nice beligian beer. i got several.
the coffee in paris is ridiculously good, and you can usually get it at the same cafes that sell beer—-tiny little portions of high quality espresso.
we smuggled some ms cupcake vegan sausage rolls into france from vx in london, and enjoyed them late at night in our hotel room with some french wine…
and lastly, on the train back to the UK, we ate yet another baguette and a wheaty spacebar sausage that we bought at loving hut.
we didn’t try hard at all, and we were able to find really memorable vegan food in paris. just a quick happycow search reveals all the places we didn’t visit, of which there are many! so whoever says paris isn’t for vegans is dead wrong.
good times: some beers and a vegan field roast sausage at rosamunde sausage grill in san francisco’s mission district. unlike the haight location, this one is a proper bar and sit down restaurant.
the food at rosamunde is excellent, the staff members are knowledgeable about veganism (separate grill!), and the beer list rules. i did, however, see a mouse in the bathroom…if that sorta thing bothers you!
one of the best places to get a vegan breakfast in london is inspiral lounge in camden. there’s nothing traditional about this little restaurant’s take on the “traditional” english breakfast—-in fact their version is quite extraordinary!
this breakfast was so good, i ate it three times in one week, and even that wasn’t enough. for a mere ₤6.45 it comes with scrambled tofu, homemade veggie sausage, grilled tomatoes, mushrooms, hash browns, homemade baked beans, and toast! the whole plate is amazing, but the stand outs are definitely the beans and sausage.
beware: inspiral can be inconsistent, not in the quality, but in the quantity of certain items. depending on when you go, they may be out of something…but they’re always happy to give you extra of something else.
more bad news: service is slow and the wifi situation is absolutely bonkers (you have to go through a code obstacle course to get connected—-just ask for the password and you’ll see what i mean; it’s a trip!), but overall this place gets a solid A in my book.
definitely one of the best vegan breakfasts in london. served from 9am-11:30am daily.
oh, and please note this place seems entirely vegan, and the food is, but they use dairy milk in coffee. bastards!
a super trendy pizzeria just opened up in westwood this week called 800 degrees, and as of today they carry daiya cheese to make vegan pizzas. the crust and sauce are vegan too, so knock yourself out. supposedly they make pizzas in 60 seconds OR LESS. i have no idea how that’s even possible, but people have been raving about this place.
i’m addicted to this recipe—-i probably make it twice a month. it’s perfect if you crave the taste of traditional cheesy spinach artichoke dip, except this stuff is vegan and way low in fat. check out the recipe here.
if you know me, you know i’m always on the hunt for the greatest vegan cheese ever. well as of right now, i can tell you that vegusto is the clear winner. i’ve tried pretty much every brand out there, and this one is by far the best.
i tried this swiss-made stuff in paris, and unfortunately it’s not available in the US yet. (rumor is, it will be later this year!) if you ever get a chance to eat or buy vegusto, DO IT. it blows all the other ones (daiya, cheezly, follow your heart) out of the water.