Portland is a pretty trendy part of the US to be right now. It is a city brimming with artisan coffee shops, bike trails and art galleries, and the food scene is just as exciting! There are literally hundreds of restaurants and eateries in Portland offering not only vegan and gluten-free choices, but also paleo options for those of you who are trying to stick to a diet closer to that of our hunter-gatherer ancestors.
The benefits of the paleo diet include weight-loss and lowering blood pressure, and the dishes happen to be pretty delicious too. This is why we have put together a list of the 15 best paleo restaurants in Portland. Now all you need to do is pick which is best for you and get dining!
Verde Cocina Cafe
First up is Verde Cocina Cafe, located in Portland’s Pearl District. This family run restaurant fuses the best of what the northwest has to offer with traditional Mexican cuisine for some truly flavorsome food! The paleo bowl is a favorite with customers, and all the dishes are simple, rustic and delicious.
They offer takeout and delivery as well as indoor dining, and they have a fabulous outdoor patio space which is great for lunch dates. The service is friendly and genuine, and they are very accommodating of any additional dietary requests. A paleo must-try!
Laughing Planet Cafe
If you are an environmentally conscious diner then Laughing Planet Cafe may be the spot for you. Not only do they cater to a wide variety of dietary needs, including vegan, gluten-free and of course paleo, but they also take care to use local farms and ranches when sourcing their ingredients.
The menu revolves around burritos and bowls, and the service is fast and fun. Lots of customers particularly enjoy the iced black tea – no sweetener necessary! And as an added bonus – the prices are pretty cheap.
Lardo East is an unlikely addition to this list in that it celebrates excess! Its meaty dishes are wildly popular, and luckily it has paleo options available.
You can order any burger over greens rather than in a bun, and enjoy a kale salad as a side. This way you still get to enjoy the great atmosphere of Lardo East whilst not compromising on your dietary goals (and your non-paleo friends will love it too!).
Irving Street Tapas
If you are looking for somewhere to impress a date, then Irving Street Tapas is both seductive and casual. The tapas plates are great for nibbling whilst conversation flows, and almost all the options can be made paleo and gluten-free upon request.
With a beautiful wooden interior, the whole place has an organic and cosy feel, and the food is flavorsome and sophisticated.
Bar Carlo is light and airy and perfect for a fun brunch with friends. The atmosphere is casual and cheery, and there are lots of quirky flavor combinations on the menu. Paleo customers love the salmon scramble with veggie hash, and the green salad with tequila lime vinaigrette is a popular side.
They offer indoor or outdoor seating, and they also do takeout so you can dine out at home! The only downside is that they aren’t open on Tuesdays or Wednesdays.
Dicks Primal Burger
Dick’s Primal Burger is a lot of fun. They have so many options available and all their beef is 100% grass-fed and locally sourced.
They have gluten-free cascadias and lettuce wraps available as tasty alternatives to your usual wheat-based bun, and they also do very popular salad bowls and gluten-free house-made dressings. You can finish off with a paleo parfait if you still have room!
Punch Bowl Social
The Portland branch of Punch Bowl Social is the biggest to date, and boasts a host of fun activities like bowling, billiards and darts, so you will certainly be able to work up an appetite! Their menu caters to a wide range of dietary needs, with plenty of paleo options available – the gluten-free fried chicken being a customer favorite.
For many of the dishes you can request that it be gluten-free and they will accommodate your needs, however they do specify on their website that cross-contamination can occur in their kitchen, so if you have a serious intolerance then this may not be the place for you.
Garden Monsters is the perfect option for foodies because healthy-eating and allergy-awareness are at the company’s core. The food is served from a quirky truck, giving the whole experience a very outdoor vibe, and all the food is sustainably sourced so you really can dine with integrity – even the to-go ware is 100% biodegradable.
The menu is centred around salad bowls filled with beautiful ingredients, including 100% grass-fed beef, and they only grill or roast their meats using coconut oil in order to create a light and healthy finish. If you love to dine with a healthy heart and mind, then you have to give this place a go!
If you are looking for somewhere sophisticated yet laid-back then The Observatory is the place. Situated in the Montavilla neighborhood of Portland, this trendy restaurant has lots of paleo options available on its lunch and dinner menus.
Paleo customers particularly love the black kale salad and delicious honey-lemon vinaigrette. What’s more, Over and Out is the affiliated bar connected to the restaurant via a hallway, so after your meal you can go and enjoy a game of pinball or pool!
Nong’s Khao Man Gai
Khao Man Gai means chicken and rice, and in this particular context it relates to Nong’s signature Thai dish, served with soup and her own house-made sauce. However, there are many more options available on Nong’s flavor-filled menu, with paleo options aplenty!
The steamed veggies and colorful side dishes are a delight to behold, and you can buy some of Nong’s famous sauce from her shop to take home. Best of all, Nong offers meal kits and posts recipes online, so you can have a go at some authentic, paleo-friendly Thai cooking yourself.
According to the Portland Monthly, Nicholas Restaurant was Portland’s first authentic Lebanese restaurant, and it has been run by the Dibe family for over 30 years. They now have three venues and, as you can imagine, each is filled with character and great Lebanese hospitality.
The lunch bowls are a paleo favorite, as are the incredible soups and salads. In fact, Lebanese cuisine lends itself to the paleo diet very nicely, but there are also pies and pizzas on the menu for wheat-craving pals.
Blossoming Lotus began life in Kauai, Hawaii and since moving to Portland has gone from strength to strength.
It is known for its fabulous juices and smoothies served at the counter-service cafe and bar, but also has a full-service restaurant in the Irvington neighborhood that boasts a menu full of local favorites, chef specials, seasonal selections and, of course, paleo options.
All the dishes are plant-based and all the ingredients are sustainably sourced in keeping with the restaurant’s clean-living ethos. The roasted fennel and apple salad is a particular winner with paleo customers, so give it a try!
Harlow now has two Portland venues, both of which offer indoor and outdoor seating as well as takeout and delivery options. The company motto is: ‘clean and healthy food made with love’ and that pretty much sums the place up.
The menu features scrambles, bowls and plates filled with colorful and light ingredients, all locally sourced. What’s more, you can wash down your meal with one of their juices, smoothies or elixirs that are jam packed with healthful blends of fruits, nuts, herbs and wellness powders. Yum yum!
Olympia Provisions Southeast
Located in one of the city’s beautifully restored industrial buildings, Olympia Provisions Southeast has tons of edgy atmosphere. The cuisine is based on rustic European-style dishes from Spain and the Mediterranean, all fused perfectly with the flavors of the American northwest.
Indeed, the company is so dedicated to sustainability that any parts of the locally sourced meat not used in the restaurant dishes are put into their doggy-treats, available at the Olympia Provisions store! There are plenty of paleo options available on the extensive menu, which covers brunch, lunch, dinner, midday meals and charcuterie!
Finally, we have Stella’s Kitchen, which offers farm-to-table, locally sourced paleo meals delivered to your home or available in store. Though they do not offer an eat-in service, this company was too paleo-perfect to leave off our list.
The store is packed full of incredible paleo ingredients and the website provides detailed recipes and meal plans for you to enjoy. Alternatively, you can order prepared meals to be delivered to your door, and these guys really take their paleo standards seriously.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can you eat on a paleo diet?
A paleo diet tries to mimic the eating habits that we used to follow as hunter gatherers – before the advent of agriculture.
For that reason the diet encourages the consumption of lean meat, fish, vegetables, fruits and nuts. However, a paleo diet excludes dairy products, grains, legumes and some sugars.
Why try a paleo diet?
The main benefit of a paleo diet is weight loss, however it can also help to lower your cholesterol levels and your blood pressure, as well as help to increase your glucose tolerance.