Seeking food recs and resources in Portland - pizza and vegetarian
April 24, 2017 11:12 AM   Subscribe

What are the best (NY style) pizza places and great vegetarian spots in Portland? Grocery stores too! Alberta Arts district mainly, but city-wide too.

One of my very best friends is moving to Portland, Oregon soon, in the Alberta Arts district. I'd like to buy him some gift cards and gather some recs for local foods before he arrives.

He's from NJ and is a total pizza addict. I know west-coast pizza can probably only get so close to real New York style pizza, but there's gotta be some that's alright! He's a vegetarian, but not a very adventurous one (plain cheese pizza, rice and bean burritos, etc). Any restaurants that you would recommend there? Delivery/takeout moreso, probably, but dine-in is cool too.

Lastly, I think I also want to nab him a gift card to a grocery store in the area. What's the best one?

Online-purchasable gift cards preferred, but I'm also willing to call to see if I can arrange something.

If I have to, I'll get him a Visa gift card and attach a list of recommended places.


oh and uh can one buy gift cards to recreational cannabis dispensaries?
posted by rachaelfaith to Travel & Transportation around Portland, OR (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Sizzle Pie does New York style pizzas and they always have omnivore, vegetarian and vegan versions available by the slice. I eat meat and cheese and I still enjoy a lot of their vegan options purely for the taste.
posted by waffleriot at 11:24 AM on April 24, 2017

We don't really have New York style pizza, but we have thin-crust pizza that the rest of the non-New York country would consider that style. In addition to Sizzle Pie, Hotlips always has vegetarian and vegan options; its delivery service is expensive, but does reach NE Alberta. Further afield, geographically, Baby Doll Pizza on SE Stark is also good.

If you're willing to venture to Chicago style pizza, Via Chicago on Alberta is good.

La Bonita on NE Alberta is my favorite Mexican place in town. They are not all vegetarian, but they have great vegetarian burritos, tacos, etc.

There's no "best" grocery store. Fred Meyer has enormous selection and slightly better prices than Safeway, but the nearest Freddies to your friend's neighborhood has very limited parking, so Safeway may be a better bed of the mainstream major chains.New Seasons is overpriced but has excellent organic selection alongside normal food you often can't find in places like Whole Foods (like, actual Coke and mainstream cat litter, in addition to the artisinal and hippie stuff.) There's also the Alberta Co-Op, which is right in your friend's neighborhood.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 11:41 AM on April 24, 2017

Bella Pizza (29th & Alberta) does delicious pizzas that are monstrous, and ny-style. By the slice or whole pie. Great patio, plus ice cream. Or go to Tonalli's across the street for donuts or ice cream after your slice. (On phone, sorry no links.)
posted by hydra77 at 11:41 AM on April 24, 2017

Best answer: Starting with your last question for best grocery stores for the gift cards (not sure if they have gift cards, check it out): Alberta Co-op (super local and righteous, a neighborhood institution), and then, of course, New Seasons, where yes, you can buy coke and doritoes amongst the more 21st C. fancy person fare.

My favorite local pizza happens to be from a local chain called Pizzacato, they always have reliably good vegetarian and thinner crusts. Bella Faccia Pizza on Alberta (hm, seems like the name has changed to Bella Pizza, haven't been there in a few months), it is a cozy, dinerish place, the pizza is okay to good, I just like the vibe there and have gone often. Need to check out why the name change, maybe they have new owners.

He needs to make sure to go to Laurelhurst Theater, where they serve pizza and beer/wine. I love it there, not so much for the quality of the pizza, but just because I love eating pizza and watching a movie. Heh.

He sounds like he might really like the Laughing Planet. They do really solid vegetarian bowls and burritos heavy on beans, cheese and rice, it is counter-service, fast and casual.

The Kings of Canna is an Alberta Arts dispensary, it is a very nice inside and fun to visit. They do gift cards.
posted by nanook at 12:07 PM on April 24, 2017

For vegetarian food, there's Vita Cafe. I haven't been there personally, so I can't vouch for it. There's also a small chain in town called Laughing Planet, whch has a location near Alberta, but not quite the same area, so if your friend has no car, it may not work as well. ... on preview, 2nding nanook.
posted by hydra77 at 12:38 PM on April 24, 2017

Best answer: Aside from the already-mentioned Sizzle Pie (which is pretty good, among the top 3 pizza places in Portland I tried while living there) there's also Straight from NY in SE on Belmont, which was okay but definitely recreated the vibe of a NYC pizza joint pretty well, and Scotty's in SE on Division.

For whatever reason pizza in Portland is crazy expensive--easily double the cost of an East Coast place. Like, $30 pies expensive. I never figured out why.
posted by Automocar at 12:39 PM on April 24, 2017

Best answer: Oh and uh, while Hot Lips is beloved by Portlanders, it's... not very good, not is it really NYC style.
posted by Automocar at 12:44 PM on April 24, 2017 [2 favorites]

For what it's worth (and I hope it's not a derail) there's now a Sizzle Pie in Brooklyn if you're nearby and want to taste test. I liked it but wouldn't say it's quite NY-style, though my NY native brain is unable to express what exactly is different. It was tasty though!
posted by ferret branca at 1:32 PM on April 24, 2017

Best answer: Yeah - no to most of the pizza suggestions - the decent ones in the Alberta Arts neighborhood (or close enough) are on 42nd, Red Sauce Pizza and The Pizza Jerk, across the street from each other. The others mentioned (excepting Bella) are chains or nothing really fantastic.

New Seasons on 33rd and Killingsworth + The Alberta co-op are probably the best grocery stores in the area.

Yes to La Bonita, but with a wee bit of a walk Tamale Boy is worth it as is Santo Domingo Taqueria at 42nd and Killingsworth.

Seconding Vita Cafe (not Cafe Vita, they are literally blocks from each other).

Also look at Dar Salam as an option.

Alberta Street has an incredible variety of food available - and that neighborhood has a ton more accessible - so look in to the Mississippi area, Woodlawn and Beaumont-Wilshire (basically Fremont, but between 33rd and 54th) neighborhoods.

It's a great place to live in Portland and really hard to go wrong food wise.
posted by iamabot at 4:58 PM on April 24, 2017

« Older Road trip ideas between St. Louis and Decatur   |   What's growing in my tree roots? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.