Nestled in the Willamette Valley, West Linn, Oregon is truly a great place to live. Whether you’re a fan of outdoor activities, a lover of the arts, or just looking for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, West Linn has it all. With miles of hiking and biking trails, gorgeous parks, and the stunning Willamette River right at your doorstep, there’s no shortage of natural beauty to explore. And for those who appreciate a vibrant cultural scene, West Linn’s historic downtown area is home to a variety of unique shops, restaurants, and galleries showcasing the best of the Pacific Northwest. West Linn is a 30 minute drive from Portland, so it’s close enough to enjoy the main attractions of Portland, but a peaceful place away from the hustle and bustle.
Sense of Community
But what really sets West Linn apart is its strong sense of community. From local festivals and farmers markets to neighborhood associations and volunteer opportunities, residents here truly care about making their town a better place for everyone.
West Linn is my home town, and I love living here. But finding vegan-friendly restaurants can be challenging, especially if you live in a small town. Unfortunately, in West Linn, there are no fully vegan restaurants, which makes cross-contamination a possibility.
Eating out can be daunting as a vegan, especially when there are no fully vegan restaurants in town. But fear not! With a few tips and tricks, you can still enjoy eating out while sticking to your plant-based lifestyle. Start by doing some research ahead of time and looking up menus online to see if there are any vegan options available. Don’t be afraid to ask your server or the chef about vegan options or if they can make any substitutions to accommodate your dietary needs. And if all else fails, you can always order a few vegan-friendly side dishes or salads to make a satisfying meal. With these tips, you’ll be able to dine out with confidence and enjoy delicious food while still staying true to your vegan values.
Here are some restaurants that have delicious vegan options.
First up is the Willamette Garage food truck pod. Have you heard about the history of Willamette Garage? It’s crazy to think that this place was actually the FIRST service station in all of Willamette, and it only had one measly gas pump! This was back in 1930. But even back in the day, they offered full service, including tires and towing. So they were really ahead of their time! I used to drive by that place all the time and it was honestly such an eyesore, just abandoned and run down. But during covid, some new owners swooped in and turned it into a food cart pod! It’s seriously the coolest place now. They converted the garage into a bar, and converted the gas station pump area into a large covered area with fire pits and seating.
What is a food cart pod?
Have you ever stumbled upon a bustling little corner of your city, filled with the delicious smells of cooking food and the joyful chatter of hungry people? Chances are, you’ve stumbled upon a food cart pod! These wonderful little gatherings of food carts are becoming more and more common in cities around the world. They’re a great way to experience a diverse range of culinary creations, all in one convenient location. Whether you’re in the mood for savory Thai food or a sweet crepe, a food cart pod has got you covered. And with so many options in one place, you’re sure to find something new and exciting to try!
For us here in the Portland area, they really took off during COVID. People were not eating in restaurants, so food carts were a great way to meet up with a friend. Different business owners figured out that putting multiple food carts together, with common facilities like bathroom, tables, fire pits, etc were a great way to draw more people to the food carts. I went a lot to Hawthorne Asylum in Portland, and Corner 14 in Oregon City, and was super excited to hear about someone buying the abandoned garage in West Linn downtown, and converting it into a food cart pod. Now that it’s opened, it’s my favorite place to go in West Linn for food.
Here are the food carts at Willamette Garage that have vegan options.
Angelina’s Greek Gyros
If you’re vegan and looking for a new food cart to try, Angelina’s Greek Gyros should be on your list!
This restaurant has a cult following in Portland, and now you can enjoy their delicious food at their new food cart in West Linn. Their vegan falafel is a must-try, made with spicy chickpeas, creamy garlic hummus, and a delicious mix of fresh vegetables like onion, tomato, cucumber and olives. Whether you’re a vegan or not, Angelina’s has something for everyone. With their friendly staff and crave-worthy vegan options, you won’t want to miss out on this tasty Greek experience!
I had the vegan falafel, and it was delicious. It was quite flavorful!
If you’re a vegan searching for a delicious and satisfying meal, Chop Spot is the place to be. Their vegan-friendly options are simply amazing! My first experience with Chop Spot was at Harefest, a tribute band music festival in Canby OR. From that point, I was blown away by the wholesome flavors that I couldn’t find anywhere else. Chop Spot started when long-time friends the Gorton’s and Steward’s enjoyed their yearly camping trip with other families, and every year, everyone looked forward to Chicken Sundae night. As new families joined the group, they would always ask what it was, and the response was always the same: “wait until you try it!” In the spring of 2015, the Gorton’s had an excellent chance to sell Chicken Sundaes at a fundraiser, and they were such a hit! The Chop Spot food truck was born.
I had the vegan sundae. You build your own bowl. I had mine with brown rice and quinoa blend, soy ginger tofu, bean sprouts, green onions, sliced almonds, water chestnuts, cilantro, celery, crunchy chow mein noodles, and fresh tomatoes, with vegetable broth. I forgot to take a picture of it. It was quite good for my tastes, but a little bit bland, but I tend to eat food that is a bit milder. People who want something a bit more flavorful may not like this.
Pinto Thai Kitchen
One of my go-to food carts for vegan options is Pinto Thai Kitchen. Not only do they have the most options out of all the food carts, but all of their vegetarian options can be made vegan. It’s always exciting to have a variety of dishes to choose from, but my personal favorite dish from Pinto Thai Kitchen is the Pad Eggplant. Picture this: perfectly cooked eggplant paired with bell peppers, onions, black bean sauce, and basil, all served with jasmine white rice. Delicious!
And if you’re looking for more options, their menu includes classic Thai dishes such as Pad Thai, Pad See Ew, and Yellow Curry, as well as tasty rolls and soups like Salad Rolls, Golden Tofu Rolls, Tom Kha Soup, and Tom Yum Soup. If you’re in the mood for some spicier dishes, they also offer Pad Kee Mao, Pad Garlic, Pad Kra Praw, and Pad Cashew. Regardless of what you end up choosing, you’re guaranteed a flavorful and satisfying meal at Pinto Thai Kitchen.
Platter Division Indian Grill
Calling all vegans! If you’re on the hunt for a food cart that will satisfy all of your cravings, look no further than Platter Division Indian Grill.
This tiny Indian food cart may be small in size, but it serves up big Indian flavors that will leave your taste buds dancing with delight. At Platter Division Indian Grill, they put lots of love and careful thought into all they do, which is evident in every dish they serve up. One must-try item on their menu is the Aloo Matar, a flavorful dish of homestyle potatoes and peas in a tomato-based curry that’s served with naan and cumin rice. So, if you’re looking for delicious vegan food that’s full of flavor, be sure to stop by Platter Division Indian Grill and share your experience with others!
The Sushi San
If you’re a vegan and searching for a food cart that serves your kind of food, SUSHI SAN is the ultimate go-to destination for you. This sushi food cart is a gem located in West Linn, Oregon. It has a laid-back atmosphere with a fantastic menu that offers signature Hawaiian style poke bowls and sushi burritos. My son and husband are both die-hard fans of this food cart because of the delightful sashimi and poke bowls served here. As for me, I can’t get enough of their Evergreen Sushi Roll that includes ten delicious pieces loaded with avocado, cucumber, sweet potato, asparagus, and carrot. It’s the perfect meal for vegans who crave a filling yet healthy experience.
Now moving out of the Willamette Garage and to restaurants, here are my top picks.
Sushi Bomb is in West Linn downtown, and it has a lot of great vegan options. My favorite is the Family Platter #3, which includes Veggie Roll, Super Veggie Roll, Veggie Tempura Roll, Avocado Roll, Cucumber Roll, Carrot Roll, Asparagus Roll, Seaweed salad, Edamame.
If you’re a fan of Thai and Asian fusion food, then you should visit Asian Kitchen. This restaurant offers a variety of vegan options that include appetizers such as salad rolls and fried tofu. For main dishes, they offer curry, soup options, steamed veggies, steamed rice/noodles, and peanut sauce on the side, as well as stir fry options. What’s great about Asian Kitchen is that they allow you to customize your meal to your liking. Plus, you can either take the food away or eat-in.
Backyard Burger Company
Just because you’re vegan doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in a delicious burger. Backyard Burger Company is a burger-based restaurant but offers a variety of vegan options, including Beyond Chicken, the Beyond Burger, and more. The buns are also vegan, and you can add your favorite toppings. So next time you want a burger, head over to Backyard Burger Company, and you won’t be disappointed.
McMenamins is a restaurant/pub that offers a great selection of vegan options, clearly labeled on the menu, or can be made vegan. The vegan options include the hummus with marinated olives, veggies, feta, and pita bread, and my favorite, the mystic 18 burger with Lightlife patty, vegan Mystic 18 sauce, and creamy original Chao slice, served on a bun with lettuce, tomato, red onion, and pickles. McMenamins is an excellent place to hang out with friends or family and enjoy a great meal, with a super chill atmosphere.
Lá Sen Vietnamese Grill
If you’re a vegan looking for a tasty new spot to try out, look no further than Lá Sen Vietnamese Grill. Their menu boasts a variety of vegetarian and vegan options, all served in a laid-back and cozy atmosphere. One of their standouts is their tofu salad rolls, so delicious you’ll find yourself coming back for seconds (or thirds!). But the offerings don’t stop there – for lunch, grab the Sauteed Tofu Sandwich or the Wokked Greenbean & Tofu, while dinner options include the Lemongrass Tofu Grill and Crispy Vietnamese Crepe. What sets Lá Sen apart is their commitment to using only the freshest and highest-quality herbs and vegetables in their dishes. To top it off, the wait staff is incredibly friendly and the prices won’t break the bank. Trust us – we’ve already made several visits and can’t wait to go back for more!
Living a vegan lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to give up eating out. West Linn OR is a great place where you can find vegan options in restaurants. All of the options mentioned in this blog post offer a great variety of options that will satisfy your taste buds. Whether you’re in the mood for Thai, a burger, or pub food, you’re sure to find something to enjoy. So head out and try these vegan-friendly West Linn restaurants; you won’t regret it! For more great cities with vegan options, here are the top 7 vegan and gluten free travel destinations.