You know that culturally claustrophobic feeling you get in some hippie-ish restaurants?

No? Just me?

Maybe I lived in Eugene too long. Is it a particular smell from the grease of undercooked home fries or something? That sinister feeling that maybe it’s not a good thing when someone hasn’t renegotiated their mindset since 1973?

Nectar isn’t like that.

To be even more clear: Nectar is good.

On first blush, it might have that hippie-adjacent feel, from the bare wooden furnishings to the homemade vegan pastries in the case. The menu is smoothie-heavy, and you can grab Tapatio from a big labeled squeeze bottle. Bagel sandwich with hummus? Absolutely.

Division Scramble at Nectar

Division Scramble — Photo courtesy of Nectar

But this is a Portland joint.

Nectar is a small vegan cafe tucked into a Hollywood strip mall between a couple of boutiques, a children’s resale store, and a kids’ indoor playground called The Wiggle Room.

That indoor playground is what got me to finally stop into Nectar, after years of walking by and thinking “gosh, I should try that place someday.” I stopped with the kids on a very hot summer morning, knowing that The Wiggle Room allows outside food. (Sweet, by the way.)

We ordered a Briana from Nectar — strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, banana,  and coconut milk — and asked them to put in the stainless steel cups I’d brought because I am occasionally ON TOP OF IT for short periods of time. They were happy to do it, my kids were happy to enjoy their smoothie, I was happy not to have added any plastic to the garbage heap our world is becoming, and it was an all-around happy good time.

I went back again recently for a very satisfactory bagel sandwich, with the chance to hang out with my laptop for a bit. Decent wi-fi, quiet music, staff wearing tie-dyed t-shirts that hang down to their knees, chill vibe but still a modern one. You’re definitely in Portland, not a college town a couple hours south.

House-roasted coffee, waffles, wraps, sandwiches, smoothies, beer and kombucha on tap. All vegan. Convenient location.

Don’t wait a couple of years on this one.

Nectar Coffee Bar


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