8 reasons it's great to be vegan in Portland

So, you're a vegan. First of all, we hope you're the nice kind of vegan. The kind who is patient with others' questions about your choices and is willing to share your thoughts rather than simply judge those that don't adhere to the same strict standards. Secondly, we would like to invite you to thoroughly enjoy our fair city, because Portland is regularly listed as one of the top 5 vegan friendly cities in the world.

For anyone out there not a vegan--well, guess what? You can choose not to fully embrace the lifestyle while still taking the time to discover amazing vegan foods here in this oh so foodie city. And perhaps discover an alternate way of thinking along the way.

Here are 8 reasons why it's great to be a vegan in Portland.

1. Because you're IN PORTLAND of course~
Portland is very progressive. The "Keep Portland Weird" bumper stickers say what they mean, and the residents of this beautiful town on the Willamette River pride themselves on being open-minded and tolerant of others opinions. Family friendly, eco-friendly, pedestrian friendly. We welcome you.
2. Vegan-guides to Portland~
That's right, there are entire websites designed for vegan living in Portland. Poo, just another list of restaurants you say? Oh you fool. No, an entire vegan guide listing restaurants, of course, but also everything from acupuncture to produce stands to a realtor who is also vegan and understands you. Seriously, what more could you ask for? And we're not talking just one site, no there are multiples including foodfightgrocery.com, NorthwestVeg, TryVeganPDX, and Stumptown Vegans.

flickr/ Tony Webster

3. Vegan restaurants~
With more than 30 strictly vegan restaurants, and an endless bounty of hundreds of vegetarian friendly options (that can often support vegan) trust us, you will never go hungry in this city.

4. A Vegan mini-mall , yep, only in Portland~
So now you think you've heard it all. An entire mini-mall dedicated to vegan lifestyle? Sure enough, Portland has the first, and possibly the only all-vegan mini-mall in the world and in addition to Food Fight grocery, there is a bakery, vegan friendly clothing store, and even a vegan tattoo shop.
5. Vegan food tours~
For newbies to the world of veganism, or even those just wanting a tour of choices in Portland, check out the vegan food tours. Your hosts Kristen & Mandi have a huge vegan following and have traveled the country in search for the best vegan offerings, much of them found right here.

flickr/ Jason Lander

6. Upscale choices~
So you're vegan. As touted as those choices are now, vegans were once relegated to the odd choice here and there in dining. Not so in Portland. First class restaurants such as Farm Spirit and Blossoming Lotus offer fine dining vegan style. But be warned, fine dining can come with a fine price tag.
7. You're contributing to a healthier planet~
Portland is nothing if not green. This city ranks among the best in the country for recycling, percentage of green spaces, and eco-friendly living. Heck, plastic bags are even banned in much of the metro area.

8. Portland's Vegan Beer & Food Festival~
Oh you read that right, an ode to all things good. This relatively new festival features over 100 beers from breweries for vegan beer as well as kombucha and non-alcoholic beverages along with an impressive array of vegan food trucks and vendors.
Overall it is easy to see why Portland ranks so high on the list of most vegan-friendly cities around the world. With an open-minded, sustainable vibe and huge array of options what more could you need?

Rhonda Delameter is a freelance travel writer, long time Portland resident, and blogger at thenextbigadventure.net