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Paradox Palace Cafe

  • Veg-friendly Veg-friendly
    ( 25 reviews )
Contact 503-232-7508
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3439 SE Belmont St (at SE 34th Ave, Belmont District), Portland, Oregon, USA, 97214

Serves meat, vegan options available. Casual, diner like space. Offering many vegetarian and vegan dishes and options. Has vegan french toast and vegan pancakes. Everything on the menu served all day. Prices cheap to moderate. Mon-Fri 8:00am-4:00pm, Sat-Sun 8:00am-5:00pm

Category: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, American, Organic, Non-veg

Reviews (25)

First Review by michal

Best Breakfast - Edit

My husband and I go to Paradox at least once a week. We have loved everything we've had there and it doesn't bust your budget. They have the best breakfast in Portland.

Pros: budget friendly, great food , whole family can eat here

Cons: service can be slow


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Best Vegan Breakfast in Portland (maybe anywhere)! - Edit

My daughter and I stumbled upon this place by sheer accident. That was unfortunate, because it was literally the best vegan breakfast we've ever had at a restaurant, and certainly the best in Portland. We had one day left to explore, and went there again.

We loved everything about this place. The food is stellar and hearty. The location and ambiance are perfect for a diner. This is a DINER, not a upscale eatery. The waitress treated EVERYONE like they were special. Seriously, no matter what she currently makes, she needs a raise. She's fast, efficient, knowledgeable, and KIND. Even the bathrooms are painted in an awesome fashion.

The only downside is that they aren't 100% vegan, but I'm okay with that since the vegan items are absolutely without a doubt vegan. Eat here and give a big tip.

Pros: Best breakfast in Portland, LARGE portions, Amazing service

Cons: Not 100% vegan, Gets crowded on weekend mornings, Not advertised enough


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Great vegan brunch options! - Edit

This diner has some awesome vegan breakfast options. I got the corn waffle, which was good and came with syrup. My partner got pancakes with vegan sausage and breakfast potatoes - pancake was good but a bit dense, sausage was okay but not really the kind of flavour he likes, breakfast potatoes were nice. We also got the mac n cheese tots to share as a starter and they were INCREDIBLE but the serving size was massive so we couldn't finish them. We always forget American serving sizes are so big.

Pros: Lots of vegan options, Mac n cheese tots

Cons: Serving sizes were too big, Not all vegan


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Worth a Gander - Edit

I went there for breakfast on a recent visit and was amazed that the whole menu (I'm pretty sure) was either vegan or could be made so. There was a wealth of choices. I had corn-blueberry cakes with maple syrup and juice and coffee, and everything was great and filling, and the service open and friendly. I'd have gone back with more time, except I discovered Sweet Pea Baking Co in the interim.

Pros: big vegan menu, good filling food, good service

Cons: not a very scintillating atmosphere


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yummy - Edit

I had the Big Burrito with tempeh an it was delicious! The potato wedges are SO good! My friends, the meat-eaters, had chicken sausage and said, "meat is not their specialty." They also had the cranberry pancakes and the chocolate pancakes... "One had too much chocolate" (??). The cranberry ones were well-liked. House syrup won out over the pure maple. I would come back!!


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Texas French toast? vegan too?? - Edit

Been here a lot. Love this place. Didn't expect the French toast serving to be this big. They offer earth balance and real maple on request.

Tofu scramble needs to be different between lunch and breakfast. It's more of a lunch type soy sauce flavor.

Anything can be made gluten free upon request.

Pros: gluten free on request , vegan options even earth balance , location

Cons: need more servers , change the recipe for tofu scramble


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Became a fatass here - Edit

This place made me want to order two plates to myself- so i did. They had a strawberries and cream french toast special and I had to try the tofu scramble. I don't regret any of it. The staff was friendly and knowledgeable and it was diner-esque inside.

Pros: the food, all of it, environment, location

Cons: not a lot of vegan choices


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What paradox? Had a good meal here. - Edit

I had read about this place on happycow, and ate here on a past trip to Portland. Here's my Paradox Palace Cafe review.

It was my first trip to Portland, and I had mapped out a string of restaurants I'd want to visit while here. This was one of them.

We came on a Sunday morning and had to wait a short while to be seating. It's a diner like place with two rooms for seating. One side has booth seating the other side with table seating. Very causal. Young waitresses. The menu is very vegetarian and vegan-friendly. We shared a Thai tempeh sticks salad (flavorful and tasty), vegan pancakes (very good with syrup), and a basic plate of brown rice with steamed veggies (a bit plain and boring but wholesome).

The service was quick and friendly.


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Quirky Diner - Edit

My salad was great -- loved the dressing! I took the two kids that I nanny there and they thought their pancakes tasted funny. Oh...kids! I didn't tell them they were vegan pancakes. I've made plenty of vegan pancakes though and mine were MUCH better. Hmm. But I like the place. It's a fun place to grab a bite to eat.

Pros: good food, friendly staff, quirky atmosphere

Cons: not many healthy options


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Vegan

  Contributions +20

probably the worst vegan food I've had in Portland - Edit

with so many vegan options here in Portland I'm more then a little surprised this place is still open. The decor's ok, the service is fine. food came out in a decent amount of time. unfortunately it was just tasteless mush. I had the vegan corn-cake, with tofu and house vegi sausage. the tofu was completely unseasoned cubes of packaged tofu, pan fried. the vegi sausage had a slight taste to it, which didn't make up for its mushy crumbly texture. the corn cake was just oil fried mush. the house syrup was sugar water, not thick at all. my husband had the chili with corn "muffins" the muffins were mushy hockey pucks, and the chili was bland mush. we tried this place before, ordered different things, and it was pretty much the same deal. save your money, try one of the countless other vegan place here in town. Vita has a great breakfast if your up before 3pm. Dots has great lunch. go anywhere but here, honestly.

Pros: cheap, breakfast all day

Cons: bland, tasteless, mushy


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Fun Food - Edit

There is often a line out the door for breakfast on the weekends.

They have a chocolate/peanut butter/banana smoothie that is vegan. It's delicious and indulgent.

I particularly like the vegan pancakes option, as once in a while I get a craving for that kind of thing, and there just aren't many places you can get them. They're huge and I definitely couldn't eat them all by myself. They have some good flavor options, like cranberries, nuts or chocolate.

I also had the vegan French toast, and it was delicious with syrup. Also too big for me to eat the whole thing.

I wasn't impressed with the tempeh sticks, personally; one person I went with loves them, the other is of the same opinion as me and doesn't like them. Some of the other vegan lunch options felt heavy and greasy to me. I have been a handful of times, and will no doubt go back and try new things, but overall I've found I like their breakfast options, but am not so keen on their other offerings.

Pros: Vegan Breakfast Options, Great Smoothies

Cons: Smells like Meat, Lines/Crowded at Breakfast


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Nice brunch - Edit

We had a really nice brunch at Paradox Palace Cafe. It was hardly the best we've ever had, but nonetheless everything was fresh and yummy. The 4 grain pancakes were definitely unique. A trifle too much all-spice for my liking, but overall a really good flavour and consistency. By the way, these are LARGE!!!! I ordered 3 thinking in terms of conventional sizing, and could not even finish 2. You really don't need more than 2 unless you are really hungry. The tofu benedict was not a conventional hollandaise, and I didn't love the flavour, but it was still well put together. Great potatoes on the side too. Overall, a well deserved 4 cows.


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excellent vegan breakfast! - Edit

i can't think of anywhere i've had a better vegan breakfast than at paradox cafe.

the fiesta burrito was massive for under 9 bucks and came with a boat load of nicely seasoned breakfast potatoes. paradox certainly didn't skimp on the vegetables either, this thing was filled with broccoli, cabbage, carrots, and others of the like. the tofu chunks were thick and soft, all mixed up with vegan chili and whole beans. the breakfast potatoes were also top notch; big slightly salty chunks that were great slathered in hot sauce and salsa.

the paradox benedict was excellent as well. the heaping plate came with a large soft slice of sourdough bread covered in vegan sausage, tofu chunks, vegetables and a creamy hollandaise sauce. i was expecting the sauce to be more yellow, like traditional hollandaise, but this stuff was more like a brownish breakfast gravy. either way, it was phenomenal and i couldn't get enough of it. the benedict came with the same excellent breakfast potatoes as the fiesta burrito, which were even better mixed up with sauce and bits of green onion.

in addition to amazing vegan breakfast served all day, paradox cafe also has a quite charming atmosphere. the funky old/new decor and breakfast bar with stools remind me slightly of the RR from twin peaks. if i lived in portland, i could see myself camping out at paradox for hours with a laptop, taking advantage of the free wifi and refillable coffee.

o when in portland, hit up paradox for a great breakfast. they also have vegan lunch and dinner offerings if that's your thing, but i highly recommend the benedict.

Pros: great breakfast, free wi-fi, good service

Cons: serves meat


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updated review; gives veg cafes bad name - Edit

Well, I have returned a few times here since my first review and figured I could update it at least.

We have gone here a few times when we weren't sure where else to go for vegan breakfast. Unfortunately, we came here, and we brought non-veg friends with us. These friends recently returned to Portland and refused to eat ANYWHERE with us, fearing it would be as bad as this place. These are our friends from NYC, they go to fine places everywhere they go, they stuck to the hotel's suggestions.

Our first trip, originally reviewed, they gave us a salad with bugs in it. They claim that Organic salads have bugs in them since they don't use poison. REALLY?! So, you don't wash OG produce? Please, that is a joke. They refused to give the person any different food (all she eats is salads) so she went more or less hungry.

The second time we went, more recently, the food was "okay"; nothing terrific. The nachos were pretty good, and we had a very nice server for the once and only time we were there.

The rest of the times, look out below. Awful. The food was greasy, late in coming, service was rude; not refilling my coffee more than half a cup. The food I got was not edible the last time and that was the last straw. You may get one hit, but that will likely be surrounded by many misses. Why do they need to sell burgers in there too? As if there isn't enough places in America to go get a burger. I don't know. I love hippie breakfast food, but this was just bad food. If you do choose to go here, don't bring any non-veg with you; it may scare them off for good.

Cons: meat, service, bad food


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Vegan breakfast - Edit

The vegan breakfast here was really good. I forgot what I got, but I remember liking it! The service was good. You might have to wait for a place to sit on a saturday morning though.

Pros: Cheap

Cons: not all vegitarian


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Very vegan! Best Vegan Breakfast in Portland - Edit

WOW WOW WOW! Get this!!! PaRaDoX Benedict - Vegan - $ 8.95
Thick sliced sour dough topped with vegan sausage, fresh tomato and tofu topped with Bon-Bon's tree hugger hollandaise sauce; served with seasoned red potatoes.

OUT OF THIS WORLD!


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My favorite place to eat! - Edit

I love Paradox! Hands down the best breakfast in Portland. Good non-vegan food also, as i've heard from omnis who i've brought there. Service is great too. Servers remember customers. Very friendly. Huge portions and great value. The Vegan Benedict and Vegan Nachos are awesome!

Pros: great staff, great value, excellent food

Cons: small


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Great Vegan Breakfast! - Edit

We had breakfast here while visiting Portland and we thought everything was very tasty. Their home fries were perfectly seasoned and their tofu scramble was a good blend of tofu and veggies with yummy spinach in it. The paradox benedict with tofu had a pleasant tangy curry taste (not exactly like egg benedict though). Their vegan French toast was very yummy also.

Pros: Great Breakfast, Friendly Place, Easy Going


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Good food for a great price - Edit

The Tempeh Gyro is a great idea and very good. The Stroganoff is very good too. Most things on the menu are vegan or easily "veganized." The Haystack was tasty but I didn't fell well after eating it. Not sure why... The decor is totally funky and 50's diner cool.

Pros: location, friendly service, easily veganized


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Lovely Meal - Edit

We had the vegan corn dog bucket, stir fried veggies, a bowl of fruit, vegan nachos, and a huge spinach salad. Everything was quite good (except maybe for the fake cheese on the corn chips). Service was slow and spotty because the young man behind the counter was alone (don't know how big the kitchen staff was). The place is not dirty, but like many of these veggie places, the people who run it and its customers are grundgy and unkept. They don't look or act like wait people at Macaroni Grill. So, on the surface, places like this don't entice those who are not part of the counterculture. But if you're an animal rights loving person, this place was ideal. And even if you're not, but have an open mind, you might still learn to love this restaurant.

Pros: Huge vegan selection, great spinach salad, yummy carrot cake

Cons: Not all vegan, a little grundgy


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must go to paradox when in portland - Edit

i could go on for a while on how much i like this place, but i'll spare you. everything about this place is great!

Pros: good price, great outdoor seating, delicious food


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