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Portland, Or
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I'd just like to give a shout-out to Portland, OR as a great place to visit (or live, if you're lucky) if you've got celiac disease/gluten intolerance. My husband and I just got back from a long weekend there, and there are an astonishing number of gluten-free options - including several totally gluten free places. Restaurants are also pretty knowledgeable about other food restrictions and allergies. We didn't even have a chance to try them all, but here's where we did eat:

- Corbett's Fish House - which does fish & chips using rice flour. Apparently, they've always done this because they prefer rice flour, and they only realized the gluten-free angle a couple of years ago. They also have gluten free beer & desserts. Not totally gluten free, but mostly so - and things are clearly marked.

- The Cultured Caveman - this is a paleo-style food cart, so all their food is grain free & dairy free. They've got chicken tenders, sweet potato fries, salads, etc.

- The gluten-free Chef - another food cart, also totally gluten free. They do breakfast (pancakes, biscuits & gravy) and they also have sandwiches, onion rings, fries, etc.

- The Berlin Inn - traditional German food. It isn't all gluten free, but they'll make pretty much anything on the menu gluten free for you, and they understand about contamination. They've got some delicious gluten-free dessert options, too.

- Kiwan Cafe Rio - this is an absurdly small coffee shop run by a very nice old couple from Eastern Europe. They're completely gluten-free, and they do waffles with various toppings, omelets, and sandwiches. Also great coffee and smoothies - especially the Black Forest Smoothie.

- Verde Cocina - Almost completely gluten free Mexican. They do Burritos, but otherwise, totally gluten free.

- We tried several totally gluten free bakeries: Tula's, Queen of Hearts & New Cascadia. Queen of Heart's specializes in small pies, both fruit and savory, which were delicious - and New Cascadia has a gluten free sourdough bread, which is probably the best bread I've had since I was diagnosed 2 years ago. All of these bakeries have stands at the Portland Farmer's Market, so you can grab a coffee and eat your way through a bunch of baked goods for breakfast.

Finally, I can't say enough good things about Harvester Brewery. They opened last year, and they're totally gluten free. They use a combo of roasted chestnuts, gluten-free oats and other grains like sorghum. Their beer is available at restaurants and stores around Portland, and the brewery is open on Thursday afternoons so you can visit and buy their beer by the case. Currently, they're doing a Pale Ale, an IPA, a Red Ale, and a Dark Ale, and they let us taste some test batches of new flavors while we were there. All four of their beers are good - the Red & the Dark have a nice chocolate-y taste due to the roasted chestnuts. Hopefully they'll be expanding to a wider area soon.

I did not try the other new 'gluten free' beer in the area - Omission - because it's made from de-glutinized barley and I don't trust that particular brewing method. That one is widely available, but sample at your own risk.

Portland also has an astonishing variety of ciders, and one cider bar - Bushwacker - which is entirely gluten free.

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Portland is the BEST!!! I love that I can take the kids for a walk downtown and walk into almost any restaurant and find something tasty for them. My favorite day was taking my dd to the PSU farmers market and telling her that she can eat anything she could find (which was so many vendors with so many options). We were soooooo sick!! :P

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Love, love, LOVE Portland!! Two of my 3 celiac daughters lived there and we had the BEST time going from gluten-free to gluten-free place. Love New Cascadia ... their cupcakes are to DIE for. I'm also a huge fan of the Whole Bowl... a stand alone restaurant and a food truck.

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Thanks for the list(s)

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We found true gluten-free paradise in Portland while traveling up the West Coast and hunting for food. No other place in the country makes us feel more welcome and satisfied! We loved the celiac-friendlly options so much that we have gone back every summer for four years. My hungry family of four is gluten-free and picky-picky, so here are our Portland favorites. We have tried ALL gluten-free bakeries and nearly every gluten-free restaurant in the area and here are the results:

Petunia's Pies and Pastries (cart at PSU on Saturdays, some items at Whole Foods) - what a selection of heaven!

Back to Eden bakery in NE Portland - Boston Cream Pie is surreal

Fresh Thyme Soup Company (recommend ALL soups, salads, and desserts) - closer to Beaverton

Laughing Planet (multiple locations)

Cafe Yumm (multiple locations)

Sizzle Pie (downtown) - THE BEST gluten-free PIZZA CRUST EVER, especially with basil pesto sauce

Jade Tea House - Unbelievable fresh asian cuisine - perfect every time

El Nutri Taco - New Mexican restaurant lacks ambiance but great quality tacos

Mama Mia Trattoria - best pasta menu and reasonable prices

Some carts can be safer than others, and we generally take more risks with Mexican. With french fries, very few options are available where the oil is not contaminated with batter. New Season's Market will make a gluten-free wrap at the deli, and our favorite fro-yo joints such as Tartberry and Nectar list gluten-free flavors.

Oh...this is making me so hungry...

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I love the Oregon Coast and Portland. I lived in Cannon Beach and then Beaverton for several years. As far as big cities go, Portland is my favorite out of the ones I've been to. Now I like it even more hearing how great it is for gluten free options. My husband and I hope we can move back to the Oregon Coast again some day :)

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Check out bee saws!

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