One of the many reasons to love travel is because it’s an excellent excuse to eat well in the interest of understanding different cultures and places through food. From giant burritos in San Francisco, to that perfectly gooey giant slice of New York pizza, there are local treats all across the country that are worth getting on the road for. In Portland, Oregon, which is a bit of a foodie haven (especially if you're vegan), there are not only bucket list-worthy eats to try, there are also a lot of quirky places to try them, like food carts and converted buses. On your next trip to HI Portland Hawthorne, a hostel that is supremely located in a neighborhood with all kinds of good food, be sure to pack your favorite sweat pants because there’s a lot of eating to be done.
Cubo de Cuba
You don’t have to go far from the hostel to stumble on your first foodie must-try, since Cubo de Cuba is right across the road and they have a happy hour to satisfy the stomach. The casual restaurant serves up traditional and not-so-traditional Cuban fare, like flavorful bowls for meat eaters and vegetarians alike, plus creative rum cocktails to get you in the mood. During their happy hour, which runs Monday to Thursday, pints, cocktails, and selected eats come at a discounted price so you can sample some of the best that Cubo de Cuba has to offer.
Tov Coffee and Tea
Of course there’s an old double decker bus that’s been converted into a cute little coffee shop in Portland, because, why not. And while you might think the quirky digs is a cover up for a mediocre cuppa you’d be wrong. Tov specializes in traditional Egyptian coffees and teas, plus traditional espresso drinks like lattes, which, too be honest, probably taste even better because you can enjoy them on the bus’s rooftop deck. With charming décor and even more charming staff to boot, this will certainly make it on your morning rotation while you’re in town.
Fried Egg I'm in Love
If you don’t already love this food cart just because of its eggcellent punny name (see what we did there?), you’ll definitely fall in love with the hearty breakfast sandwiches with names like Yolko Ono and Free Range Against the Machine. The cart has a permanent spot on Hawthorne Boulevard, and is a short walk from the hostel so you don’t have to go far for that all-important first meal of the day. Take your sandwich to go to or sit at one of the picnic benches by the truck to people watch the cool and curious crowds of South East Hawthorne.
When you’re in the mood for a wider range of breakfast options, Jam is the go-to spot for a good old breakfast-type deal with hash browns, Bloody Marys, and lively left-of-center atmosphere. Build your own ideal meal with eggs, potatoes, and all the fixings on the side or go a little wild and design the waffle of your dreams with toppings like blueberry compote and Nutella. Either way, this the right way to start a day of exploring because you’ll certainly be full for hours.
It wouldn’t really be a Portland food list without something super healthy that you’d be proud to tell your mom you ate, and Harlow, which serves a completely vegetarian/vegan menu, is exactly that kind of place. Imagine bowls of healthy grains and super fresh local vegetables, fresh-squeezed juices, refreshing teas, and strong cups of coffee that will all be good whether it’s the middle of summer or the heart of winter. Folks rave about the turmeric latte if you’re looking for a healthy pick-me-up to get you going.
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