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Holiday Plant-Based Gluten-Free Cafe

Menu by Chef Kennedy Ryan, Holiday Plant-Based Gluten-Free CafeThis post is in collaboration with Holiday.

Portland is the perfect place to be vegan, vegetarian, or vegetable focused as there are so many veg-friendly spots in town. One of the latest additions is Holiday cafe on Division Street, and this one has a great story behind it. This charming, plant-adorned space wasn’t always a veggie retreat. Nope, for a long time it was home to Roman Candle Baking, where Stumptown Coffee founder Duane Sorenson baked up artisan breads, pastries, and wood-fired pizza. Earlier this year, it quietly transformed into a vegetable centric cafe before they officially rebranded as Holiday in May. Why? Because Duane Sorenson is now vegan!

Earlier in the summer, I had the pleasure of meeting owner Duane and his sister-in-law Heidi Lieberman who manages the day-to-day at Holiday cafe. Between sips of Tiger Grass juice, Duane, who happened to be wearing a tiger t-shirt at the time, chatted excitedly about the launch of Holiday and how great he feels to be vegan. Welcome to Vegan Club, Duane! Of course, there are always naysayers when a restaurant embarks on such a dramatic change, but now that the dust has settled, Holiday cafe is now a go to spot for fresh, healthy eats and sips.

Holiday Plant-Based Gluten-Free Cafe on Division St, PortlandSnap Pea Salad, Holiday Plant-Based Gluten-Free CafeI was recently back at Holiday to taste the latest iteration of Chef Ryan Kennedy’s menu. Holiday cafe is 100% gluten free and vegetarian, mostly vegan with the exception of eggs that can be added on to several dishes. (I know many vegans are hoping that gets phased out. *fingers crossed*) We tasted a little of every section on the menu: plates, salads, bowls, toasts, and pastries. The menu is constantly evolving, but based on what I’ve experienced so far, everything at Holiday is beautiful and delicious with a heavy emphasis on the ingredients. There’s nothing better than food that looks good, tastes good, and is good for the body. It doesn’t hurt that Holiday cafe reminds me of Nix, one of my favorite restaurants in NYC.

Holiday Plant-Based Gluten-Free Cafe on Division St, PortlandAvocado Smash Toast, Foraged Mushroom Toast, Holiday Plant-Based Gluten-Free CafeFully loaded toasts are so in these days. At Holiday cafe, you can opt for the classic avocado toast with seasonal shaved veggies or the foraged mushroom toast with caramelized onion and thyme. I’m a ‘shroom lover, and I’ll be getting an order of the latter all for myself on my next visit. Chef Ryan Kennedy does mushrooms so well, and funnily enough, he was wearing a mushroom print shirt during the tasting.

Asparagus Salad, Snap Pea Salad, Holiday Plant-Based Gluten-Free CafeAs much as I love to show that vegans don’t just eat salads, sometimes, I’m really do enjoy a good salad. Featured here is the asparagus salad with baby gem lettuce, carrots, and espelette vinaigrette. I enjoy the crunch of snap peas, but I’ve never had them as the star of the show. On the right is the snap pea salad with carrots, radish, ginger, chickpeas, and miso vinaigrette.

Buddha Bowl, Zen Bowl, Holiday Plant-Based Gluten-Free CafeIf you’re hungry, I recommend going for one of Holiday cafe’s bowls. The buddha bowl features locally-made pea tempeh, kale, sprouted rice, cucumber, basil, cashew cream, and pistachio. The zen bowl combines sprouted rice, dal, cauliflower, pickles, and chermoula. Both enjoyable and filling with different flavor profiles.

Kimchi Crepe, Kelp Noodles, Holiday Plant-Based Gluten-Free CafeOne of my favorites on the menu was the kimchi crepe with cabbage, carrot, scallions, and mushrooms tucked in there. That’s another dish I’ll be ordering next time I’m at Holiday. The kelp noodles make the perfect noodle bowl for a hot summer day. They’ve got a fun crunch and with tomato, cucumber, pine nuts, avocado pesto, and chili, it’s refreshing and satisfying.

Fresh Cold Pressed Juices, Holiday Plant-Based Gluten-Free CafeAt Holiday cafe, they’ve got plenty of beverages from Stumptown Coffee to locally brewed kombucha, but the raw cold-pressed juices are the way to go. The initial juice lineup includes Tiger Grass (get your greens in!), Bunny Love, Strawberry Lemonade, and Root Punch. Everytime I peek at their Insta, I seen a new juice so I’m sure there’s something for every juice drinker.

Pastry Menu, Raw Vegan Cheesecakes, Holiday Plant-Based Gluten-Free CafeFor those with a little bit of a sweet tooth, Holiday cafe offers quite the selection of vegan and gluten-free baked goods, including scones, muffins, brownies, cookies, and shortbread. They’re sweet, but not too sweet. I’ve never been a fan of shortbread, but the shortbread they’re serving at Holiday is fantastic. I especially love the hint of lime in there. And if you like dessert for breakfast, you’ll enjoy one of Holiday’s raw vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free cheesecakes. Of course, you gotta snap a photo first because aren’t they so lovely?

Holiday Plant-Based Gluten-Free Cafe on Division St, PortlandNote: This post is in collaboration with Holiday. I was invited as a guest to this establishment and received a complimentary meal. This was not in exchange for a positive review and all opinions expressed here are my own.

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14 Comments

  • Reply
    Erin @ Platings and Pairings
    August 2, 2018 at 3:54 pm

    Everything – the food and the location – is just so stunningly gorgeous! Definitely want to try out Holiday soon!

    • Reply
      wazwu
      August 2, 2018 at 3:57 pm

      Yes! And if you’d like some company, let me know! :)

  • Reply
    Jay
    August 2, 2018 at 5:14 pm

    As a general rule, I’m not much into vegan/plant-based foods but, I must admit the food here looks and sounds good. It’s possible that I just haven’t tried the right places.

    • Reply
      wazwu
      August 7, 2018 at 5:02 pm

      Hope you have a chance to try out Holiday soon!

  • Reply
    Marlynn | UrbanBlissLife
    August 2, 2018 at 11:39 pm

    I want to eat ALL of those salads. They’re so pretty and full of amazing flavors!

    • Reply
      wazwu
      August 7, 2018 at 5:03 pm

      Right?! I had a feeling you would be drawn to them, especially as your photography is always so colorful.

  • Reply
    Maritha Indurthy
    August 3, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    I am very fortunate to live very close to Holiday and go there ALL the time. Every dish looks so handcrafted and tastes delicious. I’m just in love with that place.

    • Reply
      wazwu
      August 7, 2018 at 5:04 pm

      Nice! I can’t wait to go back and try more items on the menu as all the savory dishes are so fresh and delicious. Curious to see how it evolves in the wintertime too.

  • Reply
    Catherine @ To & Fro Fam
    August 3, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    I loved this post! You published it at the perfect time: I just suggested to my friends that we move our Sunday brunch date to Holiday, so I get to try all this deliciousness this weekend!!!

    • Reply
      wazwu
      August 7, 2018 at 5:04 pm

      Yay, perfect timing! Hope you enjoyed it as much as our tasting group did!

  • Reply
    Jenni LeBaron
    August 4, 2018 at 9:56 am

    I have never heard of this cafe, but what tasty looking dishes. You definitely eat with your eyes first and those salads have so much color!

    • Reply
      wazwu
      August 7, 2018 at 5:05 pm

      Agreed! Eyes eat first, then the camera, then the mouth, hahah. ;)

  • Reply
    Hillary Harper
    August 5, 2018 at 6:24 pm

    What a beautiful space! Definitely going to be checking it out soon!

    • Reply
      wazwu
      August 7, 2018 at 5:09 pm

      Hope you enjoy!

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