Area: All over Portland/Vancouver (I did the one in the Pearl)
Price for two to fill up: $16-$20
The corporate organic grocery store, Whole Foods, is an old lunch standby for many people, and I’ll grab a bite there when I’m in the Pearl District and need to pick up some groceries, but I gotta say it doesn’t hold a candle to the deli counter at New Seasons.
Whole Foods gives short shrift to those who want to eat there–you’ll sit at a narrow, artistically curved counter on a hard wooden stool. Still, the soups are usually good, the bread isn’t bad (cornbread is better), and the salad bar is excellent. We stopped in for dinner (greens and pulled pork, which could use some work), and to pick up my favorite cheese, Wallace & Gromit’s Wensleydale.
Tip: If you need to be in the Pearl around Couch & 12th, head for the underground parking garage on the next block over. Whole Foods validates two hours’ worth of parking if you buy $10 worth of stuff, so you can get lunch for two and save on parking.