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:
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:, (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…
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:

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:

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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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?

VVC 2013: Getting to the Portland Art Museum

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Let’s get you to Vida Vegan Con!

Our event takes place at the Portland Art Museum for the first time this May, and our Getting to Portland page has all the information and tips you need on flying, driving, taking the train, and busing from out-of-town, as well as local transportation and bike rental ideas.  If you’re planning on taking the BoltBus from Seattle, Bellingham or Vancouver, B.C., do be on the look-out, as their schedule is posted 4-6 weeks in advance and tickets go quite quickly these days (and it *is* shockingly possibly to snag a $1 ticket, as Jess here, can personally attest). This post will review the nitty-gritty of getting to the Museum & more, so please make sure to read carefully.

Here we go! Just a heads up: Classes take place in both the Admin building and the actual Museum, located next door to each other.
Here we go! Just a heads up: Classes take place in both the Admin building and the actual Museum, located next door to each other. There will be signs on how to quickly get to and from.

Immediate Area & Google Map

We’ve been putting together a brand-new Vida Vegan Con II Google Map so you can get a feel for the Portland area. It includes all official and unofficial conference happenings, as well as dining and lodging recommendations, and directions to and from several important locales. We highly suggest that you bookmark it if you’re a smart phone user. If you’d like to see something added, say the word and we’ll do our best to get it in.

The address of the Portland Art Museum is: 1219 SW Park Ave Portland, OR 97205

For more details, and to peruse the latest exhibits, visit the PAM website.

We’ve put all the official Vida Vegan Con II locations, including:
  • The Portland Art Museum
  • Staver Locomotive – the home of the Saturday night Galarama & Silent Auction, sponsored by So Delicious, which is included in conference registration (though tickets are available for family & friends!)
  • White Owl Social Club (home of our unofficial but official Thursday night Meet & Greet)
  • Numerous hotels, guesthouses, hostels and other lodging ideas, many of which are offering weekend discounts if you sign up for a room by the end of April
  • Peoples’ Coop
  • The Vegan Mini Mall at SE 12th & Stark (Herbivore Clothing, Sweetpea Baking Co., Scapegoat Tattoo and Food Fight! Grocery), the latter of which is home to the Friday night Pop-Up Sandwich & Queso Shop, hosted by Upton’s Naturals and Food for Lovers Queso
  • All our favorite must-go vegan eats & locations around town – feel free to email us or leave a comment if you’d like us to add something!
The Portland Art Museum
The Portland Art Museum

Getting to the Art Museum:

More on Public Transit 

All you need to know about using Trimet’s MAX lightrail, bus lines and the Portland Streetcar lines to get to the Portland Art Museum is on our Venue page.  For custom Trimet trips from anywhere in the Portland metro area, use the official (and easy!) Trimet Trip Planner.

The Portland Art Museum is centrally located on multiple bus lines, the recently expanded Portland Streetcar system, and a few blocks from the MAX lightrail. The closest lines are technically the streetcar and the #6 and #15 buses, but it’s also a quick walk from any bus  (which includes most lines) and the MAX that stops along the downtown bus mall.

Please note, there is no more Fareless Square. Tickets are now required for all buses and trains.
Metered street parking: read more below
Metered street parking: read more below

 About Parking

There is much metered street parking in the area (most spaces limited to 2 or 3 hours—and you can’t just keep feeding the meters; you have to move your car to another block or you will get a ticket), and many parking garages.

We’ve also investigated two nearby parking lots, which are across the street from each other from the conference, at SW Park and Main, and one block north. Be sure to investigate your options, as rate can vary. 

SW Main & SW Park
SW Main & SW 10th
SW Main & SW Park
SW Main & SW Park
SW Main & SW Park
These two carts are right across the street from each other on SW Main, from the corner of the Portland Art Museum

Stay tuned for a lodging round-up (plus, our favorite Portland vegan musts & local recs) soon – and check out our recommendations and various promotional discounts across town in the meantime. Remember, it’s a holiday weekend, so book those rooms!

Greetings from Austin + Contest Announcement

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Hello there!

The three of us are in sunny (really! It’s 80 degrees here today!) Austin Texas doing research for potential seminar space, havin’ meetings, and eating tacos. Lots and lots of tacos.

And guys? We’re loving it so far. There’s soy (and coconut) creamer for coffee, alfalfa sprouts as a condiment option, and puffy tacos. Not to mention awesome event spaces, friendly locals, and margaritas.

Here’s a few pictures of what we’ve been doing (eat eating) so far:


First stop in Austin: Whole Foods.



Soy Creamer and Coconut Creamer for Coffee. Rad.



Puffy Tacos with sprouts


Michele’s Puffy Tacos at Vivo


chips and salsa

Chips and Salsa and Guac—THE BEST.



Spot for breakfast (and lunch) meeting and meals Tuesday morning.


breakfast tacos austin

Triplets: Breakfast Tacos at Wheatsville Co-op.



Potato, black bean and vegan chorizo breakfast taco



We’re staying busy and looking forward to our meet-up tonight. In Austin? Come to The Vegan Nom at 6pm (to be followed by dessert at Sweet Ritual). Here’s our Facebook event. We’d love to see you!!


In other news, wanna win a ticket to the second international Vida Vegan Con this May in Portland? Of course you do. Head over to Janessa’s blog Epicurious Vegan for rules. Deadline to enter is Monday February 18th.


Follow us on Instagram for up-to-date pics on Instagram while we’re in Austin: