How many of us have spent a terrible evening chewing on a limp garden salad because it was the only paleo option available on the menu? Every paleo follower has experienced this at some point, and if you haven’t, then we’re all very jealous. Paleo meals in a restaurant tend to refer to the worst part of the salad bar.
Thankfully, paleo is finding its place on the menu. And as with so many food trends, Portland, Oregon, is leading the way. Foodies have long known that Portland is the place to go if you want to try something new, and finding good paleo options is quickly becoming the norm.
If you’re interested in trying the best paleo food in Portland, then hopefully you’re feeling hungry – because there are some amazing options. From healthy food that still manages to be tasty, to the most indulgent paleo treats around, Portland has it all.
Laughing Planet Café
If you’re planning on eating paleo in Portland, then you absolutely have to try the Laughing Planet Paleo Bowl. It manages to be delicious, filling, healthy, and completely paleo – a surprisingly rare combination.
A bed of sautéed kale with grilled veggies and green beans that can be enjoyed with either chicken and beef, and every option is topped with the “Killer Green” sauce.
Your mouth should be watering just thinking about it. The extensive menu is that mythical mixture of both fast and healthy, so there’s sure to be something for everyone to enjoy.
Dick’s Primal Burger
Even the healthiest of healthy eaters has been overcome by the occasional burger craving. We’ve all been there – a long day, a busy week, and at the end of it nothing but a burger will do.
A dedicated burger restaurant may not sound like the best place to eat paleo, but prepare to be surprised. Dick’s has an incredible paleo menu, with bowls and lettuce wraps allowing you to construct the perfect dinner.
There are so many combinations to be experimented with, you can spend over a week at Dick’s discovering new dinners.
Local and fresh ingredients, Northwest originality, and a twist of Mexican flair – what more could you want? How about a paleo specific dinner?
The paleo entrée at Verde Cocina tastes like a dream, with veggies and protein garnished with an incredible chimi-verde salsa. There’s such a great range of proteins offered that you can make the dinner your own, and everything is prepared with the best quality ingredients around.
And you have to try the Jicama stick starters. It can be hard to try new things on the paleo diet, but these jicama sticks could become your new favorite thing.
Okay, if you’ve been eating paleo for a while now, the thought of a restaurant salad might send a shiver running through you. Too often, salads are the sad, forgotten section, limp and uninspiring. But it doesn’t have to be like that.
Crisp Salads are salads made good. The ingredients are fresh and carefully chosen, so salads feel like the focus, rather than an afterthought.
The Kaleo Paleo is the one to try. You can probably guess that kale is the focus, but it’s finished with a basil lovers sauce that is unforgettable.
Nong’s Khao Man Gai
Personally speaking, one of the hardest parts of being paleo is cutting out the rice. Not because of the rice itself, but because of how much Asian food is no longer available. So we should all feel grateful for Nong’s, which cooks richly spiced Thai food made paleo to order.
Try the Khao Man Gai. This is what the restaurant is built around, and what it excels at. In Thailand, many restaurants focus on just one dish, but make that one dish impeccably. That’s the ethos at Nong’s. Why make much more than Khao Man Gai, when the Khao Man Gai is this good?
Fogo de Chao
The combination of proteins and vegetables available at Fogo de Chao is what makes it an amazing restaurant for paleo eaters. This is a great place for special occasion eating, which can be tough to do on a paleo diet.
All the ingredients are carefully selected and cooked with care, creating a mouthwatering spread that keeps you wanting more.
Go a little wild and try the filet Mignon. Paleo doesn’t have to be simplistic, because quality ingredients are what it’s all about. At Fogo de Chao, you can try some of the best food in Portland, while sticking to your diet.
Eatin’ Alive is a plant based and gluten-free café that has a few sneaky paleo choices for you to enjoy. Oregon produces amazing local ingredients in abundance.
At Eatin’ Alive, this high quality produce finds its way into the hands of talented local chefs, and then into our bellies. A meal here leaves you feeling full and refreshed, with a heap of energy.
The Doghouse PDX
The Doghouse feels the other end of the diet spectrum from the normal paleo fare, but it’s a surprising place to get paleo friendly dishes.
Every one of their juicy and mouthwatering burgers can be served bun-free, on a bed of mixed greens. Their menu is full of unique ingredients, combined to make creations that are both surprising and tasty. It feels like comfort food, but taken to the next level.
If you’re new to paleo eating, then be prepared for the açai bowl to become your new best friend. At first, you may not quite see the appeal, but then you start to experiment, and suddenly the world of açai comes alive.
There are few açai bowls out there that are quite as good as the options available at Carioca bowls. Vibrant and exciting for both the eyes and the tongue, these fun fruit bowls can fill you up in the morning (or give you a much-needed afternoon boost).
We’ve all been bored by the salad options available in even the best restaurants, so a round of applause for Garden Monsters for deciding to do something about it. If you’ve ever found yourself adding enough toppings to a side salad to make it into a meal, then Garden Monsters is the place for you.
Created by those who understood a salad needs to be appreciated, Garden Monsters really makes vegetables the focus. Top level ingredients, lots of options, and a salad that’s filling enough to be a main meal.
Ox is one of those places that feels almost accidentally paleo. You know the kind of place – it isn’t meant to be paleo, but somehow half of the menu is anyway. That’s because Ox is focused on proteins. Hearty, prime local meats and fish, cooked in the Argentinian style.
It’s a great restaurant for a celebration, and even a date night. Enjoy the steaks that are grilled to perfection, alongside some carefully flavored vegetables.
Chicken and vegetables is a go-to meal for many of us trying to eat healthy, but Mama Bird does it best. The limited menu allows the few signature pieces to shine.
The focus of Mama Bird is chicken – free-range, pasture raised, pineapple brined, air chilled, and non GMO chicken. It’s then wood fired, and served with a sauce of your choice. Add on a few of the fresh and fun sides, and you have a perfectly paleo meal.
If they’re on the menu, try the shishito peppers for an incredible summer side. You can even order a bigger bird, and have dinner for the family ready.
Tusk’s small, but perfectly formed, Middle Eastern menu highlights the gorgeous produce that can be found in Oregon. There isn’t a big menu, but a few paleo options manage to sneak their way in.
This is a friendly-feeling restaurant with a menu that blends Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine with local ingredients. It tastes like sunshine, and is certain to leave a smile on your face.
Departure lets you put together your own meal, creating a sharing platter that can be perfectly paleo. Their ingredients are rich, with flavoring that lifts the palate.
It’s hard to pick a favorite thing, because basically everything is good, but the chicken tenderloin skewer is next level. This is food that’s best enjoyed with good conversation, so invite all your friends, and try a bit of everything.
Heart and Bones Kitchen
Cultured Caveman was one of the earliest paleo restaurants to be found in Portland, but it sadly closed its doors not too long ago. Thankfully, the food isn’t gone forever.
Heart and Bones Kitchen is a food delivery service run by the chefs at Cultured Caveman. You can get groceries delivered, and then you just have to put together the food yourself.
It’s not quite the same as a trip to Cultured Caveman, but it’s almost as good. And the benefits of eating at home is that you can really chow down – and you’re going to want to get stuck right in.