My trip to Portland, Oregon for the 4th time has come to a close. And I think I’ve come to a conclusion…I need a second home in Portland. No, I do not have money for a second home, but a girl can dream. Maybe I can rent a house there for a month or something like that and take my husband along so he can finally fall in love with it, too. He just doesn’t love food as much as I do, but he does love open water. And Portland has lakes, the river and the ocean all in one place. Yeah, I got this. Portland, you will be my second home in no time!
I just adore PDX. It’s beautiful, the people are weird AF (but in a wonderful way), the weather is great during certain months, and the food is absolutely insane. Which is why I’ve been there 4 times in 3 years. Last year, my bestie Laura and I went to Portland for a little girls trip. And we loved it so much, that we planned another trip this year! This time we got outdoors more, we tried a few new restaurants and we just relaxed. It was the perfect long weekend. But who gives a sh*t, LET’S TALK ABOUT THE FOOD!!
We started off our trip how we normally start any day at the airport…at Root Down! Recently I’ve gone to the Root Down in Denver and sadly it’s been really crappy. Not so great food and poor/slow service, but the one at the airport is still awesome! Food tastes the exact same and delicious every time and I’ve always had awesome servers there! We started our day off with some cold brew coffee with heavy cram and I got the beef burger with no bun and a side of sweet potato fries! It’s so nice to have great options at DIA!
Once we got to Portland, I was a little bummed to find that my luggage hadn’t made it. This has always been my nightmare but it’s never actually happened to me. In hopes of the airport calling me to say they found it and we could run right back, we killed some time downtown before dinner. While we wandered, I found out that I want EVERY candle from Anthropologie. Holy shart, they small so damn amazing. I’m going to save my money for the next year to buy 3 candles! After a little window shopping, we stopped by Powell’s to see if they had any of my cookbooks to sign! Every time I’ve gone to Portland, I stop in at Powell’s and they always have books in stock, along with every other book known to man! Pretty awesome. I ended up signing 4 copies of The Paleo Kitchen and 3 copies of Juli Bauer’s Paleo Cookbook (book is 42% off on Amazon right now!!). I saw a couple people post photos after they snagged some books but there may be a couple left if you are in the Portland area!
After signing books and having a little pick me up at the bookstore, we dropped in at Andina. I’ve been to Andina 3 times at this point and I cannot wait to go back. The whole reason I go there in 1 cocktail, the SACSAYHUAMÁN. Had to copy and paste that ish. And I don’t even like alcohol that much. But this cocktail is absolutely TO DIE FOR. It’s passionfruit, habanero, and I think vodka. But it’s the perfect balance of sugar and spice and is super thick, rich and STRONG. So after a day of travel and dehydration, you feel a nice buzz real quick. It’s wonderful. I had 2. Along with the palm salad, chicken skewers, stuffed piquillo peppers and then the chef gave us these little dulce de leche cookies. Everything was sooooooo bomb. And we were sooooooo full. The food is extra rich there and you’ll definitely want a cocktail so keep that in mind when you are trying to figure out how much to order!
After dinner, we headed to our friend’s house in Lake Oswego. If you’ve never been to LO, you MUST go. It’s the cutest little town with the cutest little lake. I want my second home there. Still working on that. And in LO, they have all these little trails all over so we hiked for 4-5 miles in Tryon Creek Park to work on dinner and feel a little less bloated. Conclusion: 4-5 mile post dinner hike definitely helps with the bloat. But it’s very difficult while slightly intoxicated. Keep that in mind.
The next morning we started our morning off with some breakfast from Kyra’s Bake Shop. If you haven’t heard of Kyra’s yet…well WTF! Kyra’s is a completely gluten free bakery that has won Cupcake Wars on The Food Network 4 times! And for good reason. Honestly, the whole reason I keep going back to Portland is Kyra’s Bake Shop. She has breakfast items like sandwiches or scones or muffins or her FAMOUS cinnamon rolls, then she always has cake and cupcakes and cookies and all sorts of other goodies. All gluten free. I can’t explain to you how good it is. It’s unlike any other GF bakery. So for breakfast that day, we got all sorts of goodies to snack on: a strawberry cream scone, a breakfast sandwich with bacon, a blueberry muffin, quiche and a cinnamon roll. I ate half the breakfast sandwich then just had a couple bites of everything. Someone wrote on my instagram, “hey _____, see you didn’t eat that bad yesterday!” WTF, bruh. Why you judging my eating!?!?
But loading up on food was a great idea because we ended up driving to the coast and walking 6+ miles on Cannon Beach. We were hoping to hike and see some of the amazing waterfalls, but the parking lot was full so we just wandered the beach and stayed cool on a 100 degree day with our toes in the freezing cold water. And because that breakfast sandwich is so filling, we didn’t need to eat anything until 3pm that day! How crazy beautiful is this beach?!?!
After walking sand for a loooooong time, we ended up staying in and watching a movie while eating a home cooked meal. Which was perfect because we saved some room for the next morning back at Kyra’s Bake Shop for donuts! They have donuts on both Saturdays and Sundays and they are OUT OF CONTROL GOOD!! This past weekend had maple bacon and cinnamon sugar and they were both outstanding. We shared both of the donuts and snack on some quiche and washed it down with Stumptown Coconut Coffee. All this was a bad idea because I had a stomach ache almost all day from all the sugar. But it’s so rare to get to eat donuts since we don’t really have any place with decent GF donuts here. So it was worth the stomach ache!!!
After a sugary breakfast, we tried out Groundbreaker which is a completely gluten free pub with all GF food AND beer! I tried the cubano and Laura tried a flight of gf beers!
We ended our day off with another hike which turned into a run and little 4 mile workout in Tryon Creek Park which was wonderful since my calves were killing me from the beach walk! And we ended the evening off with some country line dancing at Bushwackers. Turns out, I don’t learn dances quite as quickly as I used to back in my young days at the country bar here in Denver. I tried to get into it, but they just had SO MANY dances so I was lost 99.9% of the time. Maybe I should take country line dancing up as my Sunday hobby during football season…honestly that’s not a terrible idea!!!
Our last day was SO FULL of SO MUCH food. We started our day off having brunch at Bamboo Sushi! Our friends said that the sweet & sour cauliflower was a must and they weren’t lying. It’s sooooooooo effing good. And gluten free! They need to make a sweet & sour chicken recipe with that breading and sauce. And rumor on the street is they are changing their menu so all of their sauces are gluten free, not just some! I also got a lunch platter that had crispy chicken thighs, rice, salad, and a roll! It was nice to try everything, but I definitely just want to go back for 6 more orders of that cauliflower!
After brunch, we headed to this event called Electric Summer. It’s this huge event put on by some amazing chefs and it has music and all sorts of different restaurants that donut all sorts of food! I tried boba tea from the Tea Bar, then snacked on some treats from Petunia’s Bakery which were all gluten free treats, more cake from Kyra’s Bake Shop, a gluten free and vegan marionberry chipotle BBQ jacketfruit sliders from Harlow which tasted just like pulled pork! Crazy! I also tried some spicy oregon bay shrimp salad in watermelon aqua fresca from Laurel Hurst Market which was AMAZING! It was such a cool even with so much delicious food!
After checking into a hotel close to the airport since we had a flight the next morning at 6am, we were trying to decide if we should stay in the hotel or go out. But since we are 100 years old and don’t totally suck at life, we decided to head out for one last meal. If you’re in Portland, the last thing you should be doing is staying in. Too many awesome places and cool neighborhoods to explore. So we ended up going to Bang Bang and I am SO GLAD we did because it was probably my most favorite meal of the whole trip. This restaurant is completely gluten free and dairy free! We started off with a spicy pineapple margarita which was delicious then we got some pork belly skewers, pork spring rolls, and then got the pineapple curry with pork. It was AWESOME!!!! I’m so obsessed with curry and this was effing divine. It was magical. I’m so pissed we don’t have that here in Colorado.
Even though we were both pretty damn full, we couldn’t say no to one last dessert in Portland. And our friend had been trying to get us to Eb & Bean all weekend but timing just never worked out. So we wandered on over and I am so so happy we went there because it was probably one of my favorite dessert spots of all time. They have dairy and non-dairy frozen yogurts, so I ended up trying their peanut butter cashew milk frozen yogurt then the topped it off with their newtella magical shell, salted caramel sauce, and some cacao nibs and sea salt! It was unbelievably good! And that was just a small portion! If you haven’t gone to this place, it’s A MUST. I can’t get over how bomb it was. And how much it looked like the poop emoji.
So here’s a quick list of all the gluten free restaurants and bakeries you should definitely try in Portland:
And be sure to check out my other Portland favorites here!!