1. Cuban Sandwich at Dinger’s Deli
4255 SE Belmont St.
This humble vegan sandwich cart at the foot of Mount Tabor reimagines a range of sandwiches through a vegan lens, but it's the Dinger's Deli Cuban that I love the best. It's served on crispy grilled bread with dill pickle chips, mustard, pulled jackfruit, as well as vegan ham and salami, which is made in-house. It's not just my favorite vegan dish in Portland; it's one of the best sandwiches in Portland, full stop.
2. Daily Vegan Offerings at Higgins
Hear me out when I tell you Higgins is secretly one of the best vegan restaurants in Portland. It may sound odd—chef Greg Higgins helped lead the city's charcuterie revolution—but every single day the Portland institution offers standout meatless dishes, which could be anything from a flame-roasted Anaheim chile stuffed with sweet corn and tofu to a sandwich filled with grilled broccolini and smoky baba ghanoush.
3. Crunchwrap at Mi Mero Mole
Mi Mero Mero offers a couple of different vegan guisados, including butternut squash mole and mushrooms in salsa verde. It also offers its take on a crunchwrap—an octagonal burrito stuffed with your choice of filling and crispy tortilla chips—on the daily bar menu.
4. Calzone at Red Sauce Pizza
Can you hear it calling? That's the zone—the calzone zone. It's a state of mind and a way of being, and every Wednesday night Red Sauce serves by far the very best calzone in the city. Get yours stuffed with whatever calls you, like plant-based meat and cheese options from local brands. My dream 'zone is garlic, red onion, mushrooms, arugula and vegan ricotta. Is it Wednesday yet?
5. Marinara at Apizza Scholls
The best vegan pie in Portland is this utterly simple number hiding on the regular menu at Apizza Scholls. It's a cheeseless marinara topped with arugula, but that really undersells the beauty of it. There is something about the delicate blend of garlic, quality olive oil, chile flakes and a New Haven-style crust that makes the pizza greater than the sum of its parts.
6. BLT at DC Vegetarian
Few things are more comforting than a well-made BLT at lunchtime. DC Vegetarian's should be your go-to if you have a lousy first half of the day. It is an utterly traditional take on the sandwich, with good house tempeh bacon and creamy vegenaise instead of Best Foods.