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A photo of vegan hazelnut tantanmen at Afuri, with pieces of floating greens, hunks of mushroom, and swirls of onion
Hazelnut tantanmen at Afuri
Waz Wu/EPDX

13 Standout Vegetarian Meals in Portland

From burritos to meatless ramen

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Hazelnut tantanmen at Afuri
| Waz Wu/EPDX

In 2020, the reasons for going meat-free are becoming increasingly relevant: inhumane industrial animal agriculture, its negative environmental effects, and the health benefits of eating more fruits and vegetables are all part of the reason Portlanders have all but demanded vegan and vegetarian options at the majority of the city’s restaurants. While not everyone has the privilege (or desire) to be a pure vegan, cutting down on meat — even just 30 percent of normal consumption — can have a significant impact on health and greenhouse gas emissions. The list below is a guide to some of the city’s most repeat-worthy vegetarian options that are still available for delivery and takeout during the pandemic. For vegan-specific restaurants, check out Eater Portland’s vegan restaurant map.

A number of Portland restaurants have resumed dine-in service. The level of service offered is indicated on each map point. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns: for updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit the Oregon Health Authority’s COVID update page. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Flavour Spot

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This breakfast food cart located in a parking lot on North Lombard offers Belgian waffle sandwiches in a dizzying amount of distinct flavors, including several vegetarian and vegan options. A strawberries-and-Nutella special comes with customer’s choice of whipped cream or cream cheese, but a veggie sausage and maple waffle sandwich is a menu stalwart. Vegans will need to let the cart know if chefs need to use a vegan batter, however.

Mae Ploy Thai Cuisine

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Since Thai food relies so heavily on ingredients like coconut milk, rice, and a plethora of veggies, many Thai dishes are often naturally meat-free by simply eliminating the animal protein. There are a number of great Thai places across Portland, but there’s something special about Mae Ploy on Alberta; you can taste the quality in everything from the spicy green papaya salad, to the spring rolls, to the pumpkin curry, to the hot basil fried rice, which can be made with tofu or just vegetables. Order online for takeout.

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Portland Pad Kee Mao pit stop. #nofilter

A post shared by Selector Lopaka (@saycheesy77) on

Swiss Hibiscus

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Even though this Alberta restaurant’s most popular items are definitely not vegan, there are a couple excellent options for both vegans and particularly vegetarians to enjoy here—like the sautéed mushrooms appetizer, or the restaurant’s vegan version of rösti, a Swiss hash brown pancake. The restaurant’s savory vegan lentil stew includes a complex medley of herbs, vegetables, and spices. Plus, the restaurant will make versions of its traditional, pork-centric dishes with tofu; that includes the restaurant’s killer paprika schnitzel, served in a mushroom cream sauce. Takeout order instructions appear on the restaurant’s website.

Fried Egg I'm In Love

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The open-air location in the Mississippi food cart pod makes a visit to this breakfast sandwich window feel pretty safe in terms of COVID-19. All of the cart’s sandwiches are served on toasted sourdough, and the music-themed names of the menu items are fun, too. The “Egg Zeppelin,” which comes with two veggie patties, a fried egg, two slices of cheddar cheese, and aardvark aioli, is a great sausage-egg-and-cheese alternative for those easing their way into vegetarian dining, while the “Free-Range Against the Machine” — with egg, avocado, tomato, and havarti — is ideal for those who dig a veggie-heavy breakfast sandwich. Vegans may prefer the “Vegan and Sara” sandwich, made with house veggie sausage, avocado, vegan queso, and Just Egg egg substitute. Use the online ordering system Monday through Friday, walk-up and order Saturday and Sunday.

DarSalam

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The newest locale of Portland’s Iraqi destination offers an array of vegetarian and vegan-friendly fare, from the restaurant’s lively pickled mango salad with a hearty handful of parsley to the warmly spiced leblebi, a chickpea stew perked up with a squeeze of lemon. Plus, the restaurant’s vegan sampler platter has a number of options for those seeking variety. DarSalam offers online ordering for takeout.

Secret Pizza Society

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The aptly named Secret Pizza Society, in Montavilla neighborhood, has some of Portland’s top vegan pies, if not one of the city’s top pizzas, period. With an entirely vegan menu that utilizes cashew- and coconut-based substitutes, Secret Pizza Society has managed to harness the power of unprocessed dairy-free cheese, mastering its texture and application, which many other vegan and non-vegan pizza joints haven’t nailed just yet. From the Chalupa Batman with chipotle pesto base, taco tofu, and crema drizzle, to the classic pepperoni, this place does a stellar job of making vegan pizza feel fun. Find them on DoorDash or call (503) 946-1926 to place an order for takeout.

Ate-Oh-Ate

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The happy, well-fed pig pictured in the logo of this Portland Hawaiian food staple feels even more appropriate after devouring one of the restaurant’s stacked tofu entrees. Four thick slices of tofu marinated in teriyaki sauce or spicy-sweet Korean sauce come atop two scoops of white rice, next to either a green salad dressed in a bright sesame dressing or a creamy macaroni salad (not vegan). The move is to ask for some extra sauce, as well. Ate-Oh-Ate is available for takeout or delivery.

Afuri Ramen + Dumpling

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This Tokyo-to-Portland ramen and dumpling house makes one of Portland’s most memorable bowls of vegan ramen. Start with the miso-cashew gyoza, which arrive as a conjoined star, and then go to town on a bowl of Afuri’s vegan hazelnut tantanmen. The soup is an exceedingly enjoyable combination of bok choy, mushroom, leeks, sesame tare, and miso cashew crumbles in a soft, creamy hazelnut broth with just a tingle of spice. Afuri is available for takeout or delivery.

Marukin Ramen

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While the downtown Marukin counter (and Pine Street Market) is temporarily closed due to COVID-19, Marukin’s SE Ankeny location is offering takeout and delivery every day from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. There’s nothing bland or boring about Marukin’s plant-based options: The vegan shoyu red ($12) is the spicy version of the vegan noodle bowl, with hunks of fried tofu, earthy mushrooms, and veggies served in a highly drinkable, savory broth.

La Piñata Takos

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The family-owned La Piñata Takos food cart, located in the SW 3rd avenue food cart pod, offers lots of flexibility and naturally meat-free options, since the team doesn’t use lard in their beans. One of the most repeatable and cost-effective options is the pinto bean and rice burrito for $4. It typically comes with cheese too, but it hits another level with added avocado and fajita veggies. Piñata has a great handle on how to balance flavors and add value with vegetarian ingredients, and there’s no going wrong between the cart’s salsa verde or roja.

Stretch The Noodle

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Known for their massive portions of fresh, hand-stretched noodles, Stretch the Noodle’s chao mian is stir-fried in a wok with fried handmade tofu from Ota tofu, as well as bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, carrots, and a customizable spice level provided by a dousing of chili oil. (Even a mild order of noodles still packs a little kick.) Pro tip: Because it’s best not to close the takeout containers so as not to overcook the noodles, co-owner and chef Xuemei Simard recommends customers bring a box or a bag to transport noodles.

Maruti Indian Restaurant

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The entire menu at this Hawthorne Indian restaurant is vegetarian, with a number of vegan dishes as well. The restaurant’s elaborate biryani, tossed with vegetables and served with sauces like raita or aachar, are reliable standbys, but Maruti’s Baingan Bharta, a nuanced eggplant dish with layers of spice and smoke, is a must-order. Maruti is open for takeout and delivery through third-party apps.

Mestizo

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This pescatarian, Latin American restaurant on Division has figured out some clever meatless versions of dishes often reliant on animal protein: The restaurant uses coconut meat for a ceviche with a kick of Serrano chiles, uses jackfruit for a version of Cuban ropa vieja, and fries banana flowers for a dish almost reminiscent of fish tacos. Mestizo is open for takeout via online order, appears on Caviar, and offers outdoor seating.

Flavour Spot

This breakfast food cart located in a parking lot on North Lombard offers Belgian waffle sandwiches in a dizzying amount of distinct flavors, including several vegetarian and vegan options. A strawberries-and-Nutella special comes with customer’s choice of whipped cream or cream cheese, but a veggie sausage and maple waffle sandwich is a menu stalwart. Vegans will need to let the cart know if chefs need to use a vegan batter, however.

Mae Ploy Thai Cuisine

Since Thai food relies so heavily on ingredients like coconut milk, rice, and a plethora of veggies, many Thai dishes are often naturally meat-free by simply eliminating the animal protein. There are a number of great Thai places across Portland, but there’s something special about Mae Ploy on Alberta; you can taste the quality in everything from the spicy green papaya salad, to the spring rolls, to the pumpkin curry, to the hot basil fried rice, which can be made with tofu or just vegetables. Order online for takeout.

View this post on Instagram

Portland Pad Kee Mao pit stop. #nofilter

A post shared by Selector Lopaka (@saycheesy77) on

Swiss Hibiscus

Even though this Alberta restaurant’s most popular items are definitely not vegan, there are a couple excellent options for both vegans and particularly vegetarians to enjoy here—like the sautéed mushrooms appetizer, or the restaurant’s vegan version of rösti, a Swiss hash brown pancake. The restaurant’s savory vegan lentil stew includes a complex medley of herbs, vegetables, and spices. Plus, the restaurant will make versions of its traditional, pork-centric dishes with tofu; that includes the restaurant’s killer paprika schnitzel, served in a mushroom cream sauce. Takeout order instructions appear on the restaurant’s website.

Fried Egg I'm In Love

The open-air location in the Mississippi food cart pod makes a visit to this breakfast sandwich window feel pretty safe in terms of COVID-19. All of the cart’s sandwiches are served on toasted sourdough, and the music-themed names of the menu items are fun, too. The “Egg Zeppelin,” which comes with two veggie patties, a fried egg, two slices of cheddar cheese, and aardvark aioli, is a great sausage-egg-and-cheese alternative for those easing their way into vegetarian dining, while the “Free-Range Against the Machine” — with egg, avocado, tomato, and havarti — is ideal for those who dig a veggie-heavy breakfast sandwich. Vegans may prefer the “Vegan and Sara” sandwich, made with house veggie sausage, avocado, vegan queso, and Just Egg egg substitute. Use the online ordering system Monday through Friday, walk-up and order Saturday and Sunday.

DarSalam

The newest locale of Portland’s Iraqi destination offers an array of vegetarian and vegan-friendly fare, from the restaurant’s lively pickled mango salad with a hearty handful of parsley to the warmly spiced leblebi, a chickpea stew perked up with a squeeze of lemon. Plus, the restaurant’s vegan sampler platter has a number of options for those seeking variety. DarSalam offers online ordering for takeout.

Secret Pizza Society

The aptly named Secret Pizza Society, in Montavilla neighborhood, has some of Portland’s top vegan pies, if not one of the city’s top pizzas, period. With an entirely vegan menu that utilizes cashew- and coconut-based substitutes, Secret Pizza Society has managed to harness the power of unprocessed dairy-free cheese, mastering its texture and application, which many other vegan and non-vegan pizza joints haven’t nailed just yet. From the Chalupa Batman with chipotle pesto base, taco tofu, and crema drizzle, to the classic pepperoni, this place does a stellar job of making vegan pizza feel fun. Find them on DoorDash or call (503) 946-1926 to place an order for takeout.

Ate-Oh-Ate

The happy, well-fed pig pictured in the logo of this Portland Hawaiian food staple feels even more appropriate after devouring one of the restaurant’s stacked tofu entrees. Four thick slices of tofu marinated in teriyaki sauce or spicy-sweet Korean sauce come atop two scoops of white rice, next to either a green salad dressed in a bright sesame dressing or a creamy macaroni salad (not vegan). The move is to ask for some extra sauce, as well. Ate-Oh-Ate is available for takeout or delivery.

Afuri Ramen + Dumpling

This Tokyo-to-Portland ramen and dumpling house makes one of Portland’s most memorable bowls of vegan ramen. Start with the miso-cashew gyoza, which arrive as a conjoined star, and then go to town on a bowl of Afuri’s vegan hazelnut tantanmen. The soup is an exceedingly enjoyable combination of bok choy, mushroom, leeks, sesame tare, and miso cashew crumbles in a soft, creamy hazelnut broth with just a tingle of spice. Afuri is available for takeout or delivery.

Marukin Ramen

While the downtown Marukin counter (and Pine Street Market) is temporarily closed due to COVID-19, Marukin’s SE Ankeny location is offering takeout and delivery every day from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. There’s nothing bland or boring about Marukin’s plant-based options: The vegan shoyu red ($12) is the spicy version of the vegan noodle bowl, with hunks of fried tofu, earthy mushrooms, and veggies served in a highly drinkable, savory broth.

La Piñata Takos

The family-owned La Piñata Takos food cart, located in the SW 3rd avenue food cart pod, offers lots of flexibility and naturally meat-free options, since the team doesn’t use lard in their beans. One of the most repeatable and cost-effective options is the pinto bean and rice burrito for $4. It typically comes with cheese too, but it hits another level with added avocado and fajita veggies. Piñata has a great handle on how to balance flavors and add value with vegetarian ingredients, and there’s no going wrong between the cart’s salsa verde or roja.

Stretch The Noodle

Known for their massive portions of fresh, hand-stretched noodles, Stretch the Noodle’s chao mian is stir-fried in a wok with fried handmade tofu from Ota tofu, as well as bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, carrots, and a customizable spice level provided by a dousing of chili oil. (Even a mild order of noodles still packs a little kick.) Pro tip: Because it’s best not to close the takeout containers so as not to overcook the noodles, co-owner and chef Xuemei Simard recommends customers bring a box or a bag to transport noodles.

Maruti Indian Restaurant

The entire menu at this Hawthorne Indian restaurant is vegetarian, with a number of vegan dishes as well. The restaurant’s elaborate biryani, tossed with vegetables and served with sauces like raita or aachar, are reliable standbys, but Maruti’s Baingan Bharta, a nuanced eggplant dish with layers of spice and smoke, is a must-order. Maruti is open for takeout and delivery through third-party apps.

Mestizo

This pescatarian, Latin American restaurant on Division has figured out some clever meatless versions of dishes often reliant on animal protein: The restaurant uses coconut meat for a ceviche with a kick of Serrano chiles, uses jackfruit for a version of Cuban ropa vieja, and fries banana flowers for a dish almost reminiscent of fish tacos. Mestizo is open for takeout via online order, appears on Caviar, and offers outdoor seating.

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