Eating while on the go is not typically synonymous with eating healthy. It seems as though there are only two options: bringing a sad desk lunch salad to work or opting for fast food — again. These healthy restaurants in Portland are here to change the supposed dichotomy of healthy and convenient. You’ll find a mixture of fast casual options serving make-your-own bowls, upscale ethnic eateries, and even a food cart.
These health-focused restaurants will ensure you stick to your New Year’s resolution to maintain a more balanced diet!
Multiple Locations (Portland, Beaverton + Lake Oswego)
Photo Courtesy of Garden Bar
With many locations throughout the Metro, including Lake Oswego and Beaverton, Garden Bar is a convenient destination for all things healthy and fresh. Garden Bar is on a mission to make eating healthy on the go better — and give the underrated salad the love and respect it deserves. You won’t find any limp lettuce, sad tomatoes or store-bought dressing here. Instead, you’ll encounter bountiful bowls filled with fresh leafy greens tossed with locally grown fruits and vegetables, premium meats and cheeses, plant-based proteins, whole grains, cooked/cured specialties, nourishing nuts and seeds, and a mouth-watering assortment of housemade dressings. Garden Bar is proud to be vegetarian-, vegan-, keto-, and paleo-friendly with a variety of gluten-free and dairy-free options.
Prasad East: 21 Northeast 12th Avenue, Portland
You’ll have to search a bit harder to find this hidden gem with a health focus. In fact, Prasad is tucked inside Yoga Pearl in the Pearl District and Prasad East is located inside the Portland Rock Gym on the East Side. This is the perfect place to fuel up before or after your workout, whether you prefer yoga or rock climbing. This quaint counter-serve cafe serves an excellent selection of bowls, soups, salads, smoothies, tea and coffee, all of which is organic and gluten-free.
Photo Courtesy of Harlow
At Harlow, you can expect the same healthy goodness you get from Prasad, as the two are sister restaurants. Harlow operates a homey cafe on the lively Hawthorne Boulevard. You’ll find even more options at Harlow, whether you’re craving breakfast, lunch, dinner or a quick smoothie to go. Breakfast options include scrambles and other egg-centric dishes, granola, flapjacks, bowls, soups, salads, toast, smoothies, and a number of drink options. The lunch and dinner menu at Harlow offers plenty of those lighter options, in addition to a number of hearty entrees, including mushroom stroganoff, enchiladas, and more. Just like Prasad, everything at Harlow is organic and gluten-free.
This wouldn’t be a list about food in Portland if we didn’t include a food cart — or an entire food cart fleet, for that matter. “It’s like eating a hug.” That’s how The Whole Bowl describes the experience of eating one of their healthy, flavor-packed bowls. With many permanent parked locations throughout the Portland Metro, you have plenty of opportunities to sample this healthy bowl of goodness for yourself. All bowls at The Whole Bowl are nut-, gluten-, wheat, hydrogenated oil- and guilt-free. They each come with rice, black and red beans, avocado, cilantro, black olives, Tillamook cheddar, sour cream, salsa, and Tali Sauce. You can even opt to “veganize” your bowl if you wish!
Photo Courtesy of Fern Kitchen
Fern Kitchen is appropriately tucked inside the Breathe Building, home of the Yoga Union Community Wellness Center. Every day from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., this farm-to-table eatery serves a wide selection of healthy options, including egg dishes, bowls, toasts, salads, burgers, wraps, and a number of small dishes. No matter what you order, you can know it will be crafted with care using organic and locally grown produce sourced from their network of trusted purveyors.
Pixie Retreat owners and visionaries Theresa Keane and Willow O’Brien have been on a lifelong journey to towards healthy living — from the inside out. At the Pixie Retreat RAW’r Laboratorie & Makery on the East Side, they craft all organic, raw, vegan, plant-based goodness free of GMOs, gluten, soy, pesticides and raw sugar. They decided to bypass the typical vegan diet and move towards mostly raw, organic and plant-based foods. Choose from their wide range of offerings, including burgers, wraps, build-your-own bowls, sweets, and drinks, at either of their two locations in Portland.
Photo Courtesy of Canteen
Situated in a gorgeous shaker-inspired modern cafe in Southeast Portland, Canteen offers a fresh take on eating and drinking well. Their menu meets their own standards for eating, which means only incorporating local, organic ingredients to prepare flavorful dishes and drinks packed with nutrients. Canteen serves a simple selection of food offerings, including oatmeal, parfait, several bowls, salads, and sides. They are known for their delicious drinks, including juices, smoothies, healthy shots, and more. Don’t miss their location tucked inside the 365 by Whole Foods in Lake Oswego!
Multiple Locations (Portland, Lake Oswego + Vancouver)
Photo Courtesy of Laughing Planet
With several locations throughout the Portland Metro (including Vancouver!), Laughing Planet is proudly combining fast and healthy — a rare intersection in our fast-paced society. Stop by this casual eatery for a quick and healthful on-the-go meal. Their bowls, burritos, salads, soups, pressed juices, and smoothies all serve up rich, global flavors made with fresh, local ingredients. No matter which location you’re visiting, Laughing Planet is sure to leave you (and the planet!) feeling a little bit happier.
Photo Courtesy of Lori Darnell via Poke Mon
Situated near Ladd’s Addition along Hawthorne Boulevard, Poke Mon is a bright and cheery restaurant specializing in classic Hawaiian poke. They are deeply committed to using fresh and responsibly sourced ingredients, including seasonal produce, Japanese koshihikari rice, and ingredients from local businesses like Choi’s Kimchi and Ota Tofu. Their signature poke bowls feature sashimi-grade Bigeye Ahi sourced from Hawaii and sustainable, locally caught fish whenever possible. Stepping inside Poke Mon’s modern, minimalist interior adorned with plants is a rejuvenating experience in and of itself!
Photo Courtesy of Shizuku
If you are a regular at Shizuku, you are likely familiar with the word “Kodawari,” the Japanese word which means “to conscientiously stand by something you believe in.” This word describes Chef Naoko’s passion and drive for cooking with the best organic ingredients in the most natural way possible. Her love for healthy food is a personal one, as she spent much of her childhood getting sick due to severe dietary restrictions. Shizuku is housed in a gorgeous, airy space with sophisticated design, the perfect atmosphere for enjoying the refined and healthful dishes on the menu. The Omakase dinner is perhaps the best way to sample some of the best menu items, as the selection changes daily depending on availability and seasonality. The dinner is offered by reservation only from Thursday to Saturday between 6 and 9:30 p.m. Shizuku is also open for lunch Wednesday through Saturday with a separate a la carte lunch menu.
Photo Courtesy of Blossoming Lotus
Blossoming Lotus is an organic and vegan eatery situated near Lloyd Center Mall in Irvington. While the menu is packed with an array of healthy options, it’s the “live nachos” that have guests writing home. Not only are these nachos vegan, but they are also “live,” which simply means that all ingredients sprinkled on top are raw — including the nacho cheese sauce, pecan chorizo, onions, tomatoes, scallions, avocado, cashew sour crema, and lime.
What healthy restaurants in Portland would you add to the list? Let us know in the comments below!