2448 E Burnside St., 503-894-8082, tuskpdx.com.
While not an explicitly "vegetarian" restaurant, Tusk's veggie-forward menu helped change the way the city thinks about plant-based cooking. Any meal must start with the hummus, velvety smooth and alive with flavors like paprika, cumin and sweet peppers. From there, take your pick of the ever-changing vegetable platters, which are effectively elevated salads, mixing various greens, nuts and grains into instant Instagram fodder.
1414 SE Morrison St., fermenterpdx.com.
The food at this vegan lunch spot is uniformly excellent—not just "good for vegan food," but good no matter what you choose to eat for the rest of your day. The counter offers a prix fixe three-course lunch for $23 that changes daily. On a recent visit, that included a cucumber, tomato and nasturtium cold dish layered over hazelnut nepetella yogurt, followed by a slice of the best tempeh in town, served over quinoa and corn.
Read the full review: With Fermenter, Chef Aaron Adams Changes the Game for Vegan Food in Portland—Again.
3. Blossoming Lotus
1713 NE 15th Ave., 503-228-0048, blpdx.com.
Blossoming Lotus has been serving dishes sans animal products since long before veganism was cool, and it is still among the very best vegan restaurants in the Pacific Northwest, if not the country. The Live Nachos are served with the best, meatiest pecan chorizo, but the tastiest thing on the menu is the Hot Date—nominally a protein shake, it combines deeply sweet and savory items (dates, pecans, banana, almond milk) with a sizable amount of cayenne and cinnamon.
1125 SE Division St., 503-206-7280, avivpdx.com.
Maybe you never gave much thought to soy curls before, but after eating at Aviv, you won't stop thinking about them. They're dubbed "shawarma curls" here—and as the protein in a bowl called Tumeric Dreams, they not only admirably replace chicken but somehow improve on it. This is the age of impossible meats, and Aviv is its herald.
5. Ichiza Kitchen
1628 SW Jefferson St., 503-702-8374, ichizakitchen.com.
Ichiza is a fully vegan pan-Asian restaurant, serving utterly fresh plant-based renditions of classic dishes from Korea, the Philippines, Japan and China. Chile oil wontons and kimchi gyoza ($8) are satisfying and complex. Add the mushroom and bamboo shoot buns, or a traditional order of turnip cakes, and you've got unbeatable vegan dim sum. Still hungry? The Mapo Tofu, an all-day prep of steamed tofu and tingly chile sauce, is a mind-blower.