I can’t believe it is almost October and that I am heading back to Portland this weekend for the first time in more than 2 years. I used to go to Portland, Oregon regularly for work every four to six weeks from New York City for THREE YEARS. To say this burned me out would be an understatement! Now that my work Portland is in the past, fun Portland is only two days away. I can’t wait to eat my way through one of my most favorite gluten-free friendly cities in the world. You can see all of my previous Portland posts here.
I am speaking at the Gluten-Free Food Allergy Fest both Saturday and Sunday. Join me at 10:30am to hear all about my top gluten-free travel tips and how to navigate locally and beyond while maintaining a gluten-free diet. I will also be at blogger booth #331 both days. Please stop by and say hello. I would love to meet you! Can’t make it? Follow along on social media with the hashtag #GFFAFest.
Want to win two tickets to this weekend’s event in Portland, Oregon? ENTER HERE or leave a comment below. The giveaway ends on Thursday at 6pm EST.
All of my gluten-free fueled business trips to Portland, Oregon in 2012-14 paid off!
I recently curated a delicious itinerary for Bikabout.comwith gluten-free destinations in Portland. Bikabout is a really cool website that puts together bicycle routes in cities across the country. The website provides self-guided bike tours, a lodging directory, a bike rental directory, and transportation tips for your travel.
I am an avid bike rider (and an avid gluten-free eater), so I loved Bikabout from the minute I connected with founder Megan Ramey, at the New York Times Travel Show. She heard me shout-out that I was a gluten-free travel blogger during an industry session and the collaboration began! Megan is also gluten-free and loved sharing niche travel ideas. Not to mention she was walking around the expo with the cutest portable bike ever!
When I wasn’t working in Portland, I was eating as you know from all of my posts about gluten-free food! When I wasn’t working or eating, I was riding a rented bicycle. The city is such a bike-friendly city and I wanted to take advantage of my downtime by exploring! I loved biking up and down the Willamette Riverfront, seeing the city from a different point of view. I cannot recommend enough hopping on a bike when you go to Portland. It’s so much fun and a great way to get around.
I put together this “Gluten-Free Globetrotting Your Way Through Portland” self-guided itinerary for Bikabout. The Bikabout tour includes where to rent a bicycle, where to eat gluten-free pizza, cupcakes, and bread, where to enjoy nature and so much more. Putting this together made me so nostalgic for Portland. As if 12 work trips in less than 2 years wasn’t enough, I am ready to go back for more!
Download my Bikabout itinerary, rent a bike, and start eating your way through the gluten-free friendly city of Portland! Burn those calories between gluten-free bites.
I have a very long list of places I want to travel to, but I also have a wonderful list of places I have been where I’ve eaten some wonderful gluten-free meals. Here is my top 5 list of gluten-free meals across the globe so far.
1. Pasta in Italy. It was less about the food and more about the location and circumstance. I was within walking distance of the Vatican in Italy, sitting at an outdoor table, sipping on wine and eating gluten-free pasta. I was so happy to find a safe, gluten-free friendly restaurant in Italy. This was the first of many gluten-free pasta dishes I ate while in Italy. I highly recommend Italy to any Celiac for a vacation.
2. Cooking class and 5-course meal at Baan Thai Cookery School. When I first made a reservation for this class, I had someone from my hotel explain in Thai that I needed to have a shellfish-free and gluten-free meal. The school said this would not be a problem. This 4-hour-class started with a pick-up at my guest house in Chiang Mai, Thailand where I met fellow classmates from around the globe. We walked to the local market to buy Thai vegetables to prepare with our meal. For each course, we moved from the dining table back into the kitchen. It was so much fun to learn about traditional Thai meals, ingredients, and meal preparation and then enjoy your meal with others. We took home a recipe book and I went back to the market to buy the traditional Thai spices we used in our meals. This was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon learning about Thai cuisine and meeting friends from around the world, while eating a safe gluten-free meal.
3. Patacones in Portland. El Pilon is a food truck in Portland featuring traditional Colombian food. The truck is almost entirely gluten-free and event has GF icons on their menu. My favorites include beef empanadas, pan de yucca, and patacones with aji. Seriously, the patacones are one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten in my life!
4. High Tea in Edinburgh. My mom and I went to Wales and Scotland in October 2013. Before our trip, we decided we wanted to have a traditional British afternoon tea during our trip. My mom found the Scotsman Hotel who could provide a 100% gluten-free high tea. Finger sandwiches, scones, cookies, and cakes, plus unlimited pots of tea made for a perfect gluten-free high tea. It was a lovely way to spend an afternoon in Edinburgh.
5. Schnitzel and Beer in Prague. Schnitzel is a traditional, Czech dish that is deep-fried MEAT. With a little research, I knew that Švejk Restaurant U Karla (read my review) served gluten-free schnitzel and beer. I met up with a student from TravBuddy who was also in Prague at the same time as me and we had a lovely dinner sharing stories from around the globe. I was so excited to eat a traditional Czech gluten-free meal that I went back to this restaurant a second time before I left Prague.
Over the past two years, I have been to Portland, Oregon eight times due to business travel. In a city whose motto is “Keep Portland Weird” there is absolutely nothing weird about being gluten-free there. It seems like dietary requests are pretty much the norm in Portland. I now have my favorite food carts, stores, and restaurants. I love walking around the city, crossing one of the many bridges by foot or bicycle, or just sitting by the waterfront. Even though I am working hard in Portland, I am also enjoying the quaint city as much as I can when I am not in the office.
I find it VERY easy to eat gluten-free in Portland. So easy, in fact, that I usually eat my way through the city and don’t have enough time to visit all of the restaurants I want to dine at during my stay. I tend to stick to the NW/SW neighborhoods of Portland due to the proximity to my office and lodging but I am curious to explore the other side of the river more in the next year.
Here is my list of top places to eat and shop gluten-free in Portland, Oregon. I’ve added an asterisk next to the locations that I have actually been to myself. I think personal recommendations go a long way, so please let me know if you have any questions! I’ve also put together both a Foursquare list of all the gluten-free places I have visited in Portland. You can find my previous Portland posts here.