We've had so much fun exploring the Portland food scene, even though half of my family now eats gluten-free. While this bars us from enjoying certain wonderful restaurants and bakeries, we've been impressed with the choices. Here's a short list of the places we've enjoyed.
Teote: This is a recent find, one recommended to us by friends. We were in love with this place from the first time we went! The menu centers on gluten-free arepas (a type of corn-based flat bread), which are extraordinary when served with the delicious Mexican-inspired meats, beans, and other toppings. It’s also very budget-friendly. We recommend the restaurant's non-alcoholic beverages as well. On their gluten-free friendliness, they have this to say: “Our menu is gluten friendly although we cannot claim to be 100% certified GF. We use some ingredients that may contain traces of gluten. We are also vegan friendly, so if we can, we will accommodate.”
Harlow: Harlow uses all gluten-free ingredients with the exception of one, and is based on very fresh and vibrant vegan/vegetarian foods. We love the hearty quinoa and bean bowls, and the gluten-free banana bread is delicious! This restaurant also provides a wide variety of hot drinks, fresh juices and gluten-free beers. The gluten-free pancakes are incredible! Harlow is very focusing on gluten-free food; there is just one ingredient used in one or two of the dishes that may not be safe for the celiac (which they’ve clearly marked on the menu).
Dick’s Kitchen: I first heard about Dick’s because of the grass-fed burgers they serve. We love both the burgers and the baked French fries. What Dick’s excels at is offering a wide variety of delicious food catering to both vegans and paleo foodies. For example, the restaurant offers dishes for those on a paleo diet, a vegan diet, as well as good food for the average American. It’s a great place to bring a diverse crowd. While not a gluten-free based restaurant, it does offer gluten-free buns, and gluten-free dishes.
Shown above is the clam sauce served with gluten-free noodles. Unfortunately, it's not the most dairy-free friendly restaurant (and their noodles contain egg). So keep that in mind if you have other intolerances. Celiacs should ask about cross-contamination issues.
Cultured Caveman: This is a perfect choice for those who adhere to a strict gluten-free, grain-free diet. The restaurant focuses on nourishing foods based on quality meats and fresh produce. That's my kind of food! We’ve visited the restaurant's food cart several times and have been impressed with what they have to offer (and now they have a restaurant!).
Brooklyn House Restaurant: This dedicated gluten-free restaurant serves European comfort food, and it lives up to that claim. We’ve only gone there once, but I can’t wait to go again. I not only appreciated the old-style, traditional food (which is right up my alley), but they are also very accommodating to other food intolerances. Plus, they serve bread from my favorite gluten-free bakery, New Cascadia Traditional Bakery!
Hoda's Middle Eastern Cuisine: While this restaurant is not dedicated to gluten-free food, every single item on the menu that is not appropriate for those on a gluten-free diet is clearly indicated. This makes eating and ordering their so much more relaxing! The food tastes very fresh, is well-spiced, and the restaurant uses grass-fed beef and quality meats (and have many wonderful vegetarian options as well).
New Cascadia Traditional Bakery: I’m starting with my favorite bakery first. We love, love, love this place! The breads are made using traditional bakery methods including sourdough starters, and it really makes a difference in the flavor and structure of the breads. They are by far the best gluten-free breads I’ve bought. And you know how most gluten-free baked goods are basically junk food? Their breads are hearty whole grain breads, and not the fluffy, flat-tasting junk you often get. Oh, and the bagels are incredible! The bakery also offers lovely cupcakes, cookies and pizzas. This is a dedicated gluten-free bakery with a wide selection of dairy-free, egg-free (vegan) options as well.
Petunias Pie and Pastries: This is another dedicated gluten-free bakery, but it is centered on treats — and boy does your mouth water when you walk into this adorable bakery! Your jaw may drop at the beautiful treats available. These are all very sweet (truthfully, a little too sweet for us, though we still find them delicious) so definitely in the special treat category. Plus, all of the treats are vegan, which is great for those who have egg and dairy intolerances, as well as those avoiding animal products.
Back to Eden Bakery: Another lovely bakery is Back to Eden. This bakery specializes in plant-based, gluten-free pastries and also offers some fun ice creams. It’s hard to say what's more fun about this place — the fact that you can take your dairy-free child there to get the experience of going out for ice cream or the delicious baked goods.
With places like these to enjoy, it’s easy to eat gluten-free in Portland!
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