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Gluten-Free Portland, Oregon Guide: Top Restaurants & Eateries in Portland

My Gluten-Free Adventure in Oregon

When I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, I always heard of Portland, Oregon as a gluten-free foodie destination. Portland has so many dedicated gluten-free restaurants that you cannot visit all of them in a weekend, you probably wouldn’t visit them all in a full week either. That means, I need to go back to Portland to try the ones I missed in the few short days we were in Portland. We ate some great food in Portland and then visited locations in Eugene and Albany as we were going to the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America’s National Specialty. Where else would I go with my Portuguese Water Dog Gluten Detection Service Dog?

Gluten-free Berry muffins and vegan cheesecake at Tiny Moresco in Portland, Oregon
Tiny Moresco

Portland's Gluten-Free Delights

We landed Thursday afternoon, and waited an eternity to get a rental car so we were extremely hungry for a late lunch. We drove to the closest gluten-free restaurant, Tiny Moresco. This restaurant is 100% gluten-free and vegan. We ordered the Vegan Bacon and Brussels Grilled Cheese Sandwich, Cheesecake slices and Marionberry muffins for future breakfasts. The sandwich was perfectly toasted with perfectly melted dairy-free cheese. The Thrilling Foods bacon added a smoky flavor to the fig roasted brussels sprouts in the sandwich. It was the perfect way to curb my hunger. The muffins were filled with the local berries and even 2 days later, they were so soft and delicious. The perfect muffin. My friend loved the cheesecake and said it was just the right consistency and a very delicious dessert.

Black Gluten Detection Dog sitting below a mural of a tractor with the words Ground Breaker Brewing, Portland, Oregon, World Headquarters.  It is a 100% Gluten-free brewery.
100% Gluten-Free Brewery

That night, we decided to visit Ground Breaker Brewing. This is the first 100% Gluten-Free brewery that I heard of after I was diagnosed, so I was so excited visit. This was my third 100% gluten-free brewery and I live in the craft beer capital of the United States, so my standards were high. There was a huge line out the door because it was burger week and everyone wanted the Pupusa burger from SalviPDX a 100% gluten free restaurant that provides onsite catering for Ground Breaker Brewing. It was a long wait, but we ordered the Pupusa variety pack and a Pupusa burger.

They had a handful of beers on tap and I tried the Olallie Fruit Ale and the Dark Ale. I learned long ago that I really don’t enjoy the flavor of hops so beer purists and IPA lovers, this is not a true beer review. I enjoyed both the beers I tried, but I was wishing that they had a Stout or a Sour on tap as those beers are much more my speed. They also have ciders for those that don’t drink beer. The place was surprisingly small considering it loomed so large in my mind as a gluten-free beer destination. If you are a beer drinker, it is a must-stop. If you came for the food, I would probably skip it.

Gluten-free breakfast, lunch & dairy-free ice cream

Gluten-Free antipasto sandwich from New Cascadia Traditional.  Sandwich on flatbread with toothpicks sticking up in the middle
New Cascadia Traditional

The next morning, we headed to New Cascadia Traditional. I had already enjoyed the bread on my sandwich the day before, but this was a new experience. They have a variety of baked goods, coffees, and teas. I choose the Egg & Cheese breakfast sandwich which was served on a burger bun and my friend picked the antipasto sandwich. My breakfast sandwich was yummy, but the hamburger bun was outstanding. Soft and spongy, it made me think of a gluten bun. The antipasto sandwich was the star. It was made on a garlic & herb flatbread and filled with prosciutto, salami, coppa, and mozzarella cheese. It was topped with shallot and Dijon mustard with red beef steak tomato and baby greens. The sandwich was large enough for leftovers, and it looked so good to me, I bought one to take for lunch the next day. I also bought a loaf of the rustic Italian bread. That bread stayed so fresh and soft that even days later it made the perfect sandwich. It was more like a gluten bread than gluten-free. My friend bought some bagels to-go and they were equally wonderful. They also have cookies, pastries, and cupcakes, but we refrained from ordering more. Now that I am home, I may place an order for that bread since they ship nationwide.

We stopped at New Seasons Market which was just down the street.

Waffle cone with Marionberry Ice Cream from Kate's Ice Cream which is gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan.
Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Ice Cream

They have a very wide variety of gluten-free and dairy free foods so we stocked up on lunch meat and snacks for the rest of our trip. If you don’t have a car or don’t want to hassle with groceries, you can also order from Instacart (referral link for a $30 off your first order).

We then wandered around a cute neighborhood with some fun shops and stopped for Kate’s Ice Cream which is 100% gluten-free and vegan. They even have gluten-free waffle cones. I went for the Marionberry Cobbler Ice Cream and my friend had the Pistachio. I sampled so many and they were all amazing. This is a must-stop, especially on a hot day. In this neighborhood, there is also a Natural Grocers as well as a Whole Foods Market for more gluten-free grocery store options.

Gluten-free Mexican Food

For dinner we were heading to the highly recommended Mestizo, but the heat of the day and the long wait the night before swayed us to order food for pick up. The food was ready quickly, we probably should have dined in.

Elote which 2 ears of corn topped with spices, cheese and cilantro. Gluten-free from Mestizo in Portland, Oregon
Gluten-Free Elote

This Mexican restaurant is also 100% gluten free. We both ordered the Elote and I ordered the Chicken Tinga Tostada. My friend ordered the Empanada platter.

The corn was fresh and sweet in the Elote.

The Chicken Tinga Tostada was a bit spicer than I envisioned, but the chicken was very flavorful and the sauces were exactly the right amount. My friend enjoyed here empanadas.

Next time, I would dine in, but it was the right option this trip. One thing I learned about travel with an autoimmune disease is that it is important to listen to my body and take time to rest. Ordering takeout helps me enjoy my trip without negative effects.

Portland was wonderful, but there were many, many places I missed. I will definitely plan a trip back. Our time there was short as we left the next day for Eugene and Albany. Read a bit more about our gluten-free travels in Oregon.

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