Portlanders are picky about their food. And why not! With so many great options for fresh, local, organic food, it’s easy to be choosy.
But sometimes we need to be even choosier with our food choices. Whether by choice or necessity, many families need to steer clear of trigger foods like gluten, nuts and animal products. No fear. Portland has you covered. Here are some family-friendly restaurants to satisfy your dietary needs—while still tasting delicious.
Bob’s Red Mill. Options for gluten free, vegetarian, vegan. For a quick, easy and healthy breakfast or lunch out with the family, head to Bob’s Red Mill. From grain-free muffins to vegan flapjacks, there’s plenty to appeal to the whole family. The menu is affordable, and the kids’ menu even more so. Plus they’ve got coloring sheets and crayons for the kiddos while you wait. 5000 SE International Way, Milwaukie
Hawthorne Fish House/Corbett Fish House. Dedicated gluten free. Offering a less-than-standard kids menu (calamari anyone?) but with still plenty to please the pickiest palates (grilled cheese, chicken strips), this 100% gluten-free establishment is a true gem. Rumor also has it that kids eat free on Mondays, but we weren’t able to confirm. (Is it true? Let us know in the comments!) This restaurant is also great for pescatarians, and supports sustainable fisheries. Hawthorne Fish House: 4343 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland; Corbett Fish House: 5901 SW Corbett Ave.
Vita Café. Vegan, vegetarian and gluten free. In addition to serving delicious, hearty comfort food (think biscuits and gravy, rice & currants porridge, Mexican corn cakes), this vegan joint is incredibly welcoming to the smallest customers. Kids eat for only a dollar every day from 5 to 7. While they wait, they can color on their locally-designed kids coloring menu. 3023 NE Alberta St.
Petunia’s Pies and Pastries. Vegan, gluten free. Despite its name, Petunia’s is way more than just a dessert joint. You’ll find a rotating array of gluten-free and vegan savory items, like soups, bowls, sandwiches, and salads. Kids will devour the cashew butter, banana, agave and cinnamon sandwich, or the sinful mac & “cheese.” 610 SW 12th Ave.
New Cascadia Traditional Bakery. Dedicated gluten free, vegan options, nut-allergy friendly. One of the hardest things to replicate on a gluten-free diet is the bread. New Cascadia gets about as close as you can get to the “real” thing. The café showcases its breads with a rotating lunch and brunch menu of sandwiches, pizzas and salads. The restaurant also takes care to eliminate cross-contamination with potential allergens present in its facility, including soy, eggs, milk, peanuts and tree nuts. 1700 SE 6th Ave.
The Whole Bowl. Nut free, gluten free, vegan options. The menu here is simple, but man, it works – especially when you are looking for something hearty, comforting and healthy. You’ll get a delicious rice and bean bowl with a magical sauce and your choice of toppings – avocado, black olives, cheese, sour cream. Add on tortilla chips or a cookie for a special kid (or grownup) treat. This spot has the added bonus of being one of the very few nut-free eateries around town. Multiple locations, from carts to brick and mortar.
Harlow. Gluten free, with vegetarian and vegan options. If you want a spa experience, but can’t afford the massage, Harlowe is a great option. This is the kind of food that just makes you feel good – hearty bowls, nutritionally-packed salads, gluten-free pasta salads. It’s all just…yum. Their kid menu includes drool-worthy options like walnut flapjacks, mac and cheese with kale, and nut butter and jelly smoothie. Yum. Sister restaurants Prasad and Prasad East are similarly delicious and allergen-friendly. 3632 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Back to Eden. Gluten-free, vegan, nut-free options (they are careful with cross-contamination but not a nut-free facility). This little shop is a perfect stop when exploring the kid-friendly Alberta neighborhood with your kids. They offer light breakfast and lunch options (soup, quiche, chili salads) as well as smoothies and yummy baked goods, all made with local and organic ingredients. The space is cozy, but seating is limited. 2217 NE Alberta St.
Kyra’s Bake Shop. Gluten free. You’ll forget you’re gluten free at this airy Lake Oswego café, with plenty of outdoor seating. You’ll find savory options for grownups and kids alike (curry chicken salad, pb&j, buttery tender quiche). But the real magic of this place is their cupcakes. Their delicious, delicious cupcakes, which have earned the owner a Food Network Cupcake Wars title or four. Well worth the trip from Portland. 599 A Avenue, Lake Oswego
What would you add? Let us know below.