Travel

Portland Picks with Stephanie Bogdanich, The Lazy Smurf

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It’s now time for yet another round in our continuing series of personalized Portland Picks! These recommendations are from trusty Portland vegan locals and lovers, and we bet all our attendees, whether you’re arriving early or not, want to squeeze in a little time outside of the busy, busy conference schedule to wander in the vegan wonderland. This time, we get a lover, Austin vegan eats expert, taco enthusiast and tour guide extraordinaire, Lazy Smurf.

Your Name: Stephanie Bogdanich

All Things Vegan Smurfy: @veganLazySmurf
Let’s talk…where to eat? The Lazy Smurf says…

You are going to hear again and again that you should get Voodoo Doughnuts. Maybe that doesn’t sound as exciting as it once did since vegan doughnuts are more plentiful out in the rest of the world but Voodoo still has the best I’ve every had. They instantly take me back to my childhood. If you decide to bring one of their trademarked boxes back home on the plane I promise every single person you make eye contact with will ask you for one, so bring extra to share! The second location (Voodoo Too) doesn’t have long lines but they are all cash only and they are all open 24/7.

When I come to Portland Voodoo is usually my last stop but the FlavourSpot is usually my first, the vegan sausage with maple cream sauce folded into a waffle is something I long for. Make sure you go to the spot on N Fremont and Mississippi and then you can wander around Mississippi Ave when you are done.

VooDoo: So Many Vegan Doughnuts.

Shopping?

Walking around downtown make sure you check out Ground Kontrol Arcade, the little Japanese toy store around the corner, Compound, the Museum of Contemporary Craft, and the comic & zine shop Floating World Comics, and of course Powell’s City of Books where, in addition to every book, they also have lots of fun souvenirs.

Get your Northwest tourist on…

People in the northwest are *way* into getting naked and soaking in hot water. If you want to try but don’t have time to hike to the natural hot springs out in the forests then check out the Kennedy School or Common Ground Wellness Center. It isn’t expensive and you can check the site if you want to stick to your preferred gender and even wear a bathing suit if you are a nevernude*.

Only Portland has….

Flooring at Grond Kontrol. Image Source: nerdsinbabeland.com

Whenever I get to Portland one of the first things I like to do is sit down the with alternative weekly newspaper the Portland Mercury, it’s a really fun paper and you can learn a lot about what’s going on in town and what’s going on that weekend.

Spot The Lazy Smurf all around Portland this upcoming week of the ‘Con, and plead with her to start a vegan breakfast taco pop-up some night. Seriously. With that, do stay tuned for the next round! For more Portland Vegan Dining, Shopping & Tourist ideas, check out our official While You’re in Town selection and the VVC 2013 Google Map

*Special VVC note, because Jess just has to include this:

Portland Picks with Sayward Rebhal, Bonzai Aphrodite

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The next round of personalized Portland Picks comes from a former Portlander (and naturally, passionate vegan blogger) who’ll be back in town in a few days to speak at the ‘Con, Sayward Rebhal. As always, our recommendations come from trusty Portland vegan locals and lovers, and we bet all our attendees, whether you’re arriving early or not, want to squeeze in a little time outside of the busy, busy conference schedule to wander in the vegan wonderland. Let’s find out more of Sayward’s “Socially Conscious, Totally Fabulous!”Portland musts below…

Sayward Rebhal, Bonzai Aphrodite
A Portland Farmers Market devotee

Your Name: Sayward Rebhal

Where must one go in Portland?
1. Vintage/secondhand shopping on Hawthorne (especially House Of Vintage, IF you have the time to commit, it is WORTH IT!)
2. Last Thursday/Alberta Arts Walk – those who are in Portland by Thursday, this will be happening! It is soooo good, quintessentially Portland.
3. Powell’s City Of Books. I know everyone will say that, but because obviously!
So…Best vegan eats? 
2. Los Gorditos is the best sloppy street-style vegan Mexican food EVER.
3. Pad Thai Kitchen is so good and sooo generous with portions. So good. Cute neighborhood, too.
4. Nicholos for Lebanese. It is mind-blowingly amazing, don’t overlook it.
5. Canteen. Because you just don’t understand how good a greens/beans/grain bowls can really taste (get the Portland Bowl!)

Nicholas Restaurant. Image Source: One Armed Dino blog
Where to for lovely juice and cocktails?
1. Green smoothie or juice at Sip (a cart out front of People’s Co Op)
2. Drinks at Sweet Hereafter (or the Bye and Bye, if you’re up that way)
3. Vegan Boba Cocktails at The Tea Zone downtown (it’s off-menu, you have to ask)
 
Some very special shopping…
1. FUBONN! An entire supermarket-sized Asian foods store. Amazing.
2. Stock up on bulk soy curls vegan chap stick at Food Fight!
 
Anything else you’d like to add?
Look, it’s all so good! You really can’t go wrong.
For real. With mere days to go, do stay tuned for the next round! For more Portland Vegan Dining, Shopping & Tourist ideas, check out our official While You’re in Town selection and the VVC 2013 Google Map

Portland Picks: Steffers C, The Roaming Vegan Gnome

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It’s now time for another round in our continuing series of personalized Portland Picks! These recommendations are from trusty Portland vegan locals and lovers, and we bet all our attendees, whether you’re arriving early or not, want to squeeze in a little time outside of the busy, busy conference schedule to wander in the vegan wonderland. Next up, is Steffers C, a Northwest native with a fondness for great microbrews, running marathons, and traveling the world. Let’s find out her Portland musts below…
Running & Roaming.

Your Name: Steffers C

Your Blog: The Roaming Vegan Gnome

What Steffers says you simply must see in Portland:

1) Portland Underground Tour

2) Pittock Mansion….for the view (I mean, the house is surely nice and all, but expensive. Scenery is free!)

3) If you have a car (or know another VVC goer/local with a car) head up the Old Columbia River Highway. The best waterfalls are up there (Multnomah included, but so many more) and Crown Point has some awesome views in good weather.

What and where to eat?

1) Obviously, soft serve at Back to Eden.

2) That beet burger at Portobello.

As for that beer (and tea!)…

1) Not exactly cheap, but the Belgium Burns cocktail at Bazi Bierbrasserie. It is WRONG WRONG WRONG to mix Scotch with anything, but the bartender makes it SO RIGHT. And Delirium Tremens is totally vegan.

2) Happy hour at Hopworks is my favorite after school activity.

3) My favorite soy chai hangs out at Townshend’s on Alberta. Any one of the variations from it is acceptable.

Where to shop?

The deli case at Barbur World Foods. Image source: Willamette Week.

1) Barbur World Foods has the best hummus in their deli case (along with vegan kibbeh, fatayer, baba ganoush, and fresh, hot, delicious pita.). It’s also home to an awesome grocery full of wonderful things like a variety of olives, Lebanese sweets, Field Roast sausages (?!) and fresh figs. It’s not close-in, but it is a 20 minute bus ride/drive away! (Vida note: and totally worth it for those wood-fired pitas! – Plus, near Green Wok)

2) Obviously, Food Fight!, for delicious junk food! And carrageenan.

3) Hawthorne Vintage. Go ahead and try to spend less than an hour in that place.

Only Portland has…

Darcelle. Just look it up. The turning point in the adult life of almost all Pacific NW natives includes Darcelle.

The view from Pittock Mansion. Image source: GreetingsfromPortlandia.com
Ask Steffers about her favorite spots to run in Portland next weekend at the conference – she’s amazingly helping out all over the place! With that, do stay tuned for the next round! For more Portland Vegan Dining, Shopping & Tourist ideas, check out our official While You’re in Town selection and the VVC 2013 Google Map.

Portland Picks with Elizabeth TresCosas, Vegan Iron Chef

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It’s time for round two in our series of personalized Portland Picks! These recommendations are from trusty Portland vegan locals and lovers, and we bet all our attendees, whether you’re arriving early or not, want to squeeze in a little time outside of the busy, busy conference  schedule to wander in the vegan wonderland. Next up, is Vegan Iron Chef’s Co-Founder, VVC Creative Director, and design guru Elizabeth, who’s going to share her thoughts on Portland’s vegan Banh Mis, cocktail scene, and more. Let’s find out her Portland-musts below…

Name:  Elizabeth TresCosas

The gal knows glasses.

Your Websites:  VeganIronChef.org, Innerstate.org (redesign in progress!)

Lemongrass tofu Bánh mì, Sweet Hereafter

Food she really, really misses when out-of-town: Vegan Banh Mi: favorites include Star Bar’s & Sweet Hereafter. REALLY EXCITED to try the one at Old Gold and at Luc Lac. Other faves include the Tofu Burrito at Los Gorditos (now with three locations – give them the hot sauce you want to add to the burrito before they make it; makes all the difference), the Beet Burger @ Portobello Vegan Trattoria, and Fries topped with Perfect Sauce and Chili @ White Owl Social Club.

Her guide to three great bar & grub crawls, if you will:

1: Start at… White Owl Social Club ($3 beers!),> dinner at Star Bar, > drinks at Dig A Pony > East End

2: The Aalto Lounge’s Happy hour (so good for booze! $2 cocktail menu) > dinner at Sweet Hereafter >  walk to drinks at Gold Dust Meridian or The Conquistador Lounge.

Bevs & Pinball, SE Portland’s Basement Pub

3: Basement Pub > Roadside Attraction > Hungry Tiger Too > BASE CAMP Brewing (all walkable)

Where to Shop: Bins. Inner East Burnside vintage shops. N. Mississippi Ave.

If one is in need of spiffying up or a little sleevework, where would you send them? Akemi Salon & Common Ground Wellness.

Only Portland has…. Forest Park. The Bins. The Gorge. So many vegan-friendly neighborhoods to walk around and drink / eat, on foot!

For more Portland Vegan Dining, Shopping & Tourist ideas, check out our official While You’re in Town selection and the VVC 2013 Google Map.

Portland Picks with Lisa Coulson, Panda with Cookie (PPK, represent)

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First up in our series of personalized Portland Picks is the one-and-only Panda with Cookie, aka Lisa Coulson. These recommendations are from trusty Portland vegan locals and lovers, and we bet all our attendees, whether you’re arriving early or not, want to squeeze a little time outside of the busy, busy conference wandering in our vegan wonderland.  Let’s find out Lisa’s Portland-musts below…
panda1
True life.

Your Name: Lisa Coulson

Your Website/Business: Panda With Cookie

What to See:

1. Mt. Tabor.  Lovely place for a stroll and a beautiful neighborhood in the spring.

SW Waterfront. Image source: Visions2200.com

2. Downtown waterfront. An excellent location for a bike ride next to the river. Roll down the Springwater trail to check out the feral cat feeding stations and the twin fluffy black cats there on occasion.

3. Portland Farmers Market, Saturdays at PSU. I love me some farmers markets and there’s a good number of vegan options aside from the usual piles of produce.

Where to get your Pizza, Scone & Waffles on:

1. Dovetail Bakery. Best scones in the US. Get many and bring me one.

2. Dove Vivi. Cornmeal crust pizza with roasted corn and homemade cashew cheese. Add the smoked tomatoes. Can I get a hallelujah for a place that still does their own cheese instead of using a packaged one?

Corn cashew vegan slice with smoked tomato (of course), Dove Vivi

3. FlavourSpot. Get your maple pecan Dutch waffle taco on.

Where to Sip Some Tea:

1. Townshend’s Tea. 2 locations serving mighty fine teas.

Lapsang souchong it up.

2. Lan Su. Chinese garden downtown that is a lovely place to visit. They have a tea house with a nice selection.

Where to Shop:

panda2
We love Panda. We love cookies.

1.Vegan Mini Mall. Head down to Herbivore, Sweetpea, Scapegoat, and Food Fight! and enjoy that everything you can eat or buy in the whole strip is vegan.

2. Powell’s Books. Support your local independent book sellers. Sweetpea treats are in their cafe area.

3. Get some Heidi Ho chia cheese sauce. That stuff is good on everything. Usually in the cold case at Food Fight!

 

Stay tuned for the next round! For more Portland Vegan Dining, Shopping & Tourist ideas, check out our official While You’re in Town selection and the VVC II Google Map.

What Do I Pack?!

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packing-for-vida-vegan-con

Maybe you’re an eleventh-hour packer, praying to the taxi gods that you have time to grab that last load of laundry before the angry honking begins. Or do you have your bags out two weeks in advance, lists (only Excel files will do) perched on your desktop for easy access?

Either way, we figure you could probably use some help deciding what to bring. It’s Portland, late May, and you’re going to spend three days or so with people who photograph and write about everything they see—no pressure there!

  • Car? Don’t bother. It’s a city, which means you will pay too much for parking at your hotel or near the museum. It’s not as bad as some cities, but still. With our public transportation, unless you’re venturing out to the ocean or mountains you just won’t need it. (But if you must, we have some tips on local parking here).
  • Comfortable shoes. We’re looking at long days, and while your needs are seen to within the Art Museum buildings during the day, you will absolutely want to explore Portland in the evenings and beyond—we’ve arranged activities all over the city, and it would be a shame not to get out there and soak up all the Portland you possibly can.
  • Layers. You never really know what you’re going to get here; a zipped-up-hoodie morning could lead to a back-sweat afternoon. And sure, it could rain.
  • Maybe a little something fancy? Saturday night’s Galarama + Silent Auction is the perfect excuse to get a little glitzy, although dressing up is by no means mandatory.
  • Business cards. How many new friends will you be making? It’s a great idea to have an easy way to share your blog URL, email address, and social media handle(s). (Remember, no swag or solicitation! Let’s keep it classy and comfortable for all.)
  • Camera! As if we need to remind bloggers to bring their cameras, but still. We’re saying it out loud—and don’t forget your charger and extra SD card! (And if you’re the social media type, use #VidaVeganCon or #VVC2013 to spread the love…and make everybody jealous.)
  • Extra bag. Hey, you’re gonna be acquiring a lot of stuff—from SWAG bag goodies to cookbooks to  tourist trinkets. How many pounds of bulk Soy Curls can you stuff in those pockets?

Did we miss something? Were you at the 2011 conference? Was there anything you either were so relieved you’d brought or really wished you’d remembered?