Once you take the bacon, eggs, cheese, and butter out of breakfast, what’s left? In most parts of America, the answer is likely, “Not much.” But in famously vegan-friendly Portland, options abound—and we’re not just talking about hash browns and dry toast, either. In the last few months alone, several new plant-based brunch services have arrived on the scene. Read on for the inside scoop.
Congrats, Portland—you can now feast on an Israeli-inspired vegan brunch spread capable of swaying even the staunchest omnivores. Don’t expect any run-of-the-mill tofu scrambles at Aviv's new weekend brunch service; instead, feast on tofu egg shakshuka, smoked carrot lox bagels, shawarma soy curl-topped chilaquiles, and curry oatmeal topped with falafel and avocado. Seeking something on the sweet side? Four words: chocolate challah french toast.
Eat it: 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Sat–Sun
Vancouver, BC-based Virtuous Pie made its Portland debut in June, serving up gourmet vegan pizzas topped with gochujang-braised jackfruit, chorizo meatballs, and saffron aioli. From the beginning, Virtuous Pie offered Heart Coffee and Shoofly Pastries from 8–11 a.m. daily; on August 5, the swanky counter-service eatery debuted a full weekend brunch menu loaded with breakfast pizzas, tacos, and cocktails (vegan Irish coffee, anyone?). We’ve got our eye on the breakfast calzone, which is stuffed with chocolate hazelnut and cinnamon banana filling, and served with vanilla ice cream.
Eat it: 9 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Sat–Sun
Whimsical Back to Eden Bakery has spent eight years serving up mini tofu quiches, cheesy tempeh scones, and gluten-free and vegan breakfast snacks in its pocket-sized retail space, but the bakery didn’t have the space to offer a full brunch menu—until now. Last month, Back to Eden debuted an airy new café offering tofu scrambles, root vegetable hash, and biscuit sandwiches laded with lentil-oat sausage, tofu “egg,” tomato jam, and nut-based “cheddar” spread. Wash it all down with a Bloody Mary or Screwdriver made with local Wild Roots Vodka.
Eat it: 8 a.m.–3 p.m. daily
Since it opened in 2011, nearly-vegan A.N.D. Café has been known for its lengthy weekend wait times almost as much as for its celebrated pumpkin cheesecake waffles. Thankfully, in July, owners Ashley Arthur and Dan Harding moved A.N.D. from its original 42-seat location (with only 26 indoor seats), installing it inside 95-seat sister eatery Off the Griddle. Visit the funky turquoise diner for old favorites like the super vegano burrito (stuffed with herb tofu, sausage, hash browns, avocado) as well as exciting new offerings, including a shockingly tasty gluten-free fried chicken & waffle plate… all with considerably less waiting.
Eat it: 9 a.m.–2 p.m. Wed–Mon
Portlanders are obsessed with both doughnuts and vegan food, so it might be surprising that the city’s first all-vegan doughnut shop didn’t open until last May. Tucked into a seedy 82nd Avenue strip mall, Doe Donuts has captured the hearts of plant-based and omnivorous Portlanders with creations like the Golden Child, a chocolate raised doughnut topped with brownies, ganache, gold pearls(!), and chocolate chips and shavings. Better yet, swing by Monday–Friday for a classic donut filled with Eb & Bean fro-yo. It’s not exactly a balanced breakfast, but we’ll all die someday, anyway.
Eat it: 6 a.m.–3 p.m. Mon & Wed–Fri; 7 a.m.–3 p.m. weekends. But they often sell out before 3 p.m., so be sure to get there early!
When all you wanted was one of those pressed ice cream sandwiches you keep seeing online but you can't find anywhere in Portland who makes them. THAT'S WHERE WE COME IN! Starting tomorrow!!!! Pressed ice cream donut sandwiches available all hours, $5. MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY. [[[[[hot donuts, cold ice cream]]]]]] Current flavors include: @ebandbean Salty Pistachio and Brown Sugar Sesame. Both flavors are A++++ #onlyatdoe #vegan #donuts #doedonuts #vegandonuts #pdxvegans #portlandvegans #portlandia #pdxeats #pdxnow #stumptown #stumptownvegans #donuts #donutqueen #donutgoth #donutsmakemegonuts #whatveganseat #portlandbrunch #portlandfood #portlandbusiness #pdxeatsnow #nopinkboxes
Coming Soon: Homegrown Smoker
When vegan-famous food cart Homegrown Smoker opened a brick-and-mortar restaurant earlier this summer, the crew mentioned plans for a future brunch service. At this time, the breakfast menu isn’t expected to drop until autumn, and there aren’t many hints about what dishes we might expect to find on it. But we like the look of the B-fast Grits Bowl, a daily special recently spotted at the restaurant that features housemade cheesy grits, tempeh bacon, smoked tofu “vegg,” stewed greens, smoked tomato, and vegan cheese sauce.
Eat it: TBA
Weekday Work in Progress: Paiche
Paiche made a name for itself as “the absolute finest ceviche Portland has ever known,” but the Southwest Corbett eatery recently made a hard pivot from seafood-heavy fare to a still-evolving, gluten-free and vegan-leaning concept. Available only on weekday mornings, the hand-scrawled daily menu typically features only a few dishes, all highly imaginative—think vanilla rooibos hemp lattes, eggplant-cacao tarts, and towers of mashed purple potatoes and spaghetti squash. Chef Jose Luis de Cossio has kept the morning service somewhat under the radar as he continues to refine his concept, so keep an eye out for future updates.
Eat it: 7 a.m.–noon Mon–Fri