Portlanding: Vegan Options at Departure Restaurant + Lounge

Photo credit: thestreet.com

Early last month, I just may have used two almost-birthdays as an excuse to finally experience Departure’s new (to us) Pan-Asian, vegan-friendly happy hour offerings. The real kicker was their bao-sampling during IFBC’s opening night, local restaurant exhibiting the week before. For all of the vegans attending, it was our first actual meal of the day, and Departure’s option were among the very best of the night. True story, years before, Janessa and I had attempted to hold an Exquisite dinner there and the proposal crumbled (and to my understanding, this was under different management), so I admit, I held some resentment…something to gladly be proven wrong, when I heard about the rise of swanky vegan options. This was all, however, before the debut of a specialty vegan menu and two years of upscale, Summer’s End vegan dinners from acclaimed chef Gregory Gourdet. And at this special happy hour, I was, certainly, without a doubt, and with several vegan and non-vegan friends in tow (both cheap and picky), proven fabulously otherwise. I’ve had plenty of vegan sushi in Portland and elsewhere, but the experience had never been so…chic.

Let’s continue onto the fifteenth floor of the Nines, and get our exquisite vegan sushi and BBQ tempeh-stuffed bun on….

Greens & Seeds Roll. This nooch-topped sushi was our table’s favorite.

Savoury Grilled Shiitake Roll.

Toothy dim sum alert: Korean BBQ Tempeh Buns

Successful conning of friends to hold happy hour in a well lit location…

New Arrival with Prosecco, Cassis, Veev Acai & Citrus

Vegetable Udon Noodles.

Mojito-style Mocktail, while Jeff looks on and Maeve instagrams

Consider me impressed.

The next time you have vegan-friendly, cocktail-appreciating guests in town you’d like to wow (and you know, Portobello’s booked or closed for the night) you know where to go.


  1. The dark side of Departure: the female servers buttcheeks are just about falling out of their dresses while the male servers uniform is basically pajamas.

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