Vietnamese Pho, Chinese gardens, Scandinavian brunch, French dinner, and a Moroccan feast; 3 days in one of my favorite cities.
Portland has always held a special place in my heart. I loved the days we went into the city to have brunch or see a play or shop. Being an Oregon native has truly made me appreciate one of the most beautiful states that the United States has to offer. Although I live in Nevada now, I can see myself living in Oregon long term in the future. If you haven’t been there, GO!
This weekend I was able to spend a long weekend in Oregon visiting my grandparents. One thing I miss most about Portland (and the surrounding areas) is the diversity of cuisines; you can literally taste the entire world in Portland. In three days, I sampled more than five different cultures. Next time you’re in town, try some of these places! All are highly recommended & all were extremely vegetarian friendly. 🙂
My first night in town, we had dinner at a great Vietnamese Pho restaurant in Beaverton, Oregon. It was fantastic, and very easy to accommodate my vegetarian diet! Pho is pretty popular, so there are great restaurants all around. Try it in your area if you never have! I didn’t catch the name of this particular restaurant or get any pictures, but still – worth mentioning.
Enter the Wonderland – China
The Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland is probably my favorite place in the world so far. I love it. This was my second visit, and it is just absolutely gorgeous and so… ZEN.
I would highly recommend taking a guided tour if available, you will learn SO MUCH about China and the gardens themselves. After that, definitely wander around and take it all in. The architecture and plants are just exquisite.
One of the best parts about the Chinese gardens is their lovely teahouse. There’s an extensive list of authentic teas imported from all over China. You can also order a light meal such as noodles, or steamed buns (GET THESE! YUM!). There are also some yummy little Chinese snacks and desserts like moon cakes and lychee fruits.
Well, I am just absolutely obsessed with Scandinavia. Ever since my exchange experience in Finland last summer, I can’t get over the region. And, I MISS THE FOOD. So what do I do when I go to Portland? Find and go to the only Scandinavian restaurant in town of course.
Broder is rated one of the top 38 restaurants in Portland by Pdx Eater (#11). Now 38 may not sound like an impressive number, but when you consider the number of restaurants in Portland (Around 2000), that’s pretty good.
After the Chinese gardens, we had brunch at this cute little Scandinavian cafe, and it was fantastic. Their brunch menu featured things like round danish Abelskeiver pancakes with lemon curd and lingonberry jam, Finnish porridge, swedish hash, savory egg scrambles, delicious baked goods.
There were plenty of non-vegetarian options as well that sounded delicious, but I can’t vouch for that! My guess is they were just as impressive.
I also got to talk to one of the employees for a little bit about my travels in Finland! He told me he has family there and has always wanted to visit. I told him he MUST go (….I feel like I tell everyone this…but really.. you should go..) and he said he is definitely going to! It was super nice to be able to bond with someone over a love of Finland. 🙂
If you want a little taste of Scandinavia, go to Cafe Broder.
La Provence – France
For dinner, we went to the cutest French restaurant. Now this wasn’t in Portland, but it wasn’t too far away. All of the entrees were small portions and all of them were about $6. I had the wild mushroom crepes and they were fantastic! Unfortunately I didn’t catch any pictures of my dinner. 1. I haven’t mastered the art of taking pictures in dim lighting and 2. It was really hard to make mushroom crepes with brown sauce look appetizing.. BUT they were!
The restaurant itself was really cute, there were macaroons, an eiffel tower, a bakery, the whole shebang. 🙂 I felt like a true Parisian.
If you want to feel like you’re transported to a completely different place, and maybe even a different time, go to Marrakesh moroccan restaurant in Portland.
This used to be one of my favorite restaurants when I was little, but I haven’t been since I was about 8 or 9.
Marrakesh is the ultimate Moroccan experience. Dim lighting, beautiful lanterns, magic carpets, luxury, and BELLY DANCERS!
Not to mention you get to sit on cute little pillow seats and eat with your hands. (Forks are available, but c’mon, be authentic!).
If you go, order the Moroccan feast. You’ll get a colorful and flavorful five course feast, complete with moroccan mint tea.
We also had time for a really nice walk/hike in Washington Park. 🙂
Overall, it was a fantastic weekend! I always love visiting my grandparents and my home state. It has so much to offer, and you can do so many things in just a weekend! I can’t wait to come back in April for my birthday 🙂
Hope you enjoyed a little peace of the road from my weekend trip to Oregon ☮