For these five Bend restaurants and food carts, plant-based food isn't a phase, it's a lifestyle predicated on health, treatment of animals, and the environment. You don't have to practice veganism to enjoy these local dishes (hello, dairy-intolerant friends!), but simply enjoy the occasional meatless meal.
1. Buffalo Mac Bowl
Lively Up Yourself
You won't believe that this comforting Mac 'n' Cheez dish is completely plant-based. Topped with Buffalo Chik'n and vegan ranch, we think it's best suited with a side of collard greens for the ultimate comfort food experience. "We make our seitan in-house. It's made from a dense flour and some other key ingredients to make it taste like chicken.", says Sarah McKay, co-owner and operator of food cart located at Bend's newest Midtown Yacht Club food cart lot, who got the inspiration for the cart's namesake from a Bob Marley song. "You just feel lively when you know that you are helping the animals, the earth, and your own body by eating completely plant-based."
Lively Up Yourself, 1661 NE 4th St, Bend (Midtown Yacht Club); @livelyupyourselffood
2. Hoisin Tempeh and Roasted Cauliflower Tacos
Root Down Kitchen
Cauliflower has made its way from anything like pizza crust, gnocchi, alfredo sauce, fritters... and now tacos. These roasted cauliflower tacos are filled with hoisin tempeh, sumac marinated onions, spinach, radish, and drizzled with green tahini sauce. Not only are these tacos plant-based, but the grilled corn tortillas makes them a gluten-free meal as well! Root Down Kitchen's casual eatery is located in the Old Bend neighborhood where you'll find a small-batch, locally-sourced menu.
Root Down Kitchen, 215 NW Hill St, Bend; @rootdownkitchen
3. Jackfruit Tostadas
The Rooftop at SCP Hotel
Jackfruit is the ultimate badass—it's a fruit masquerading as meat! Not only is jackfruit a highly sustainable fruit, but it grows abundantly in tropical environments. Jackfruit’s flavor is so subtle that it takes on the flavor complexities of whatever spices and herbs with which it’s being cooked. The chefs at SCP Redmond’s Rooftop have slow-cooked pulled jackfruit in a barbecue seasoning and stacked it over a crispy corn tortilla, but not before tossing it with black beans, seasonal squash, and topping with avocado and cilantro. For a spicy kick, top it with the flavor-packed, spicy house-made hot sauce!
The Rooftop, 521 SW 6th St, Redmond; @scpredmond
4. Crunchwrap Supreme
Toasty Food Truck
Ok, admit it: even though you love craft food, you still get a hankering for a crunchy Taco Bell meal every now and again. We checked out the "Crunchwrap Supreme", plant-based-style from Toasty food cart at The Podski. Did. Not. Disappoint! It's made with beyond-beef, cashew-based queso, and dairy-free sour cream. The house-made beyond beef is made with plant protein, oil and spices and tastes just like the real thing except without the animal fat and cholesterol. If we didn’t tell you, we bet you’d have never guessed this one to be vegan. It's crunchy, cheesy, and pairs well with a glass of Rosé across the street at Bledsoe Family Winery.
Toasty, 536 NW Arizona Ave, Bend (The Podski); @toastyfoodtruck
5. Enchilada Short Stack
A Broken Angel
Well, if this picture doesn't give you the warm feels! A Broken Angel is one of the most in-demand food carts in Bend, including their catering services that are almost always sold out by the season's end. Their Enchilada Short Stack consists of roasted chilis, seasonal squash, potatoes, smoked turtle beans, and baby spinach layered between white corn tortillas, with avocado and poblano crema. Not only is it vegan but it's completely gluten-free, as well. The cart is known to sell out long before their closing time of 6 pm. Grab one as early as 10 am!
A Broken Angel, 310 SW Industrial Way, Bend (Spoken Moto); @abrokenangelfood