Portland, Oregon: Canteen
Words by Gail O’Hara Photographs by Michael A. Muller
Canteen is vegetarian heaven, full of healthy, organic and decadent bowls, salads, drinks and desserts.
Vegans and vegetarians (and those who dabble) rejoiced when Canteen opened on Southeast Stark Street. Finally, a place that takes veg protein seriously. Owner Brian Heck, who also operates Sip juice bars, wanted to create the kind of place he’d want to eat at in his own neighborhood. Located in a small black box of a building, Canteen manages to make healthy food taste decadent and comforting.
“My goal was to create simple, filling, tasty dishes that you could eat every day, using primarily unprocessed organic foods,” he says. “A canteen in Europe is a place where factory workers, students, military, etc. grab lunch, usually at a counter with little to no waitstaff. Almost like a cafeteria—a place where people can come, eat and leave satisfied and nourished as part of their daily routine.”
The menu may be small but every item is delicious. The Portland Bowl (organic kale, quinoa, black beans, maple-baked tempeh, “Northwest sauce,” hazelnuts and carrots) and the Walnut Taco Salad (organic mixed greens, avocado curry sauce, shredded carrot and cabbage, house-made pico, walnut taco crumbles, cashew nacho spread and avocado) are popular. Among the juices and smoothies, we love Tropical Greens (organic kale, spinach, pineapple, orange, coconut oil and agave) and Maca & Friends (organic maca, banana, vanilla, almond milk, almond butter, dates). They also offer desserts such as Pixie Retreat chocolates and Rawdacious cheesecake. The menu is gluten-free by default apart from beer and oat-based breakfast items. Very reasonably priced and kid-friendly too.
2816 SE Stark Street
Portland, Oregon 97214