Portland >Food & Dining > Red and Black Cafe
400 SE 12th Ave, Portland, OR | Directions 9721445.519959 -122.653565
Neighborhoods: Buckman, Southeast Uplift Neighborhood Program
Portland's preeminent anarchist collective cafe, Red & Black regular hosts events focused on class equality, justice and local patient/provider collectives. Come get involved with local, grassroots politics, or just show up for a good cup of joe and a satisfying veggie sandwich.
Bummer – Very disappointing meal all around. Especially the unfriendly staff. I wouldn't recommend this establishment!!
Lousy Service – Definitely not a place to go if you want a friendly environment.
Management practices discrimination – Read it all here:
Amazing! – I LOVE this place! They are the city's oldest worker-owned cafe and it shows in the pride that the staff have in their work. I'm not sure why people think it's overpriced. The fact is, organic and local food is going to cost you more than restaurants who use lower quality ingredients. Makes sense, right?
Their tempeh reuben is the BEST in the entire city. Their sandwiches are a good size and a very reasonable price. The dragon noodles are amazing too, for only $5 and I can barely eat the whole thing. Add some avocado for $1 and you're golden! For something a little greener, try Fred's Big Green Salad. Delicious!
They have a refreshing selection of iced teas which can change slightly daily but are usually the same. They also have some of the cheapest coffee and loose tea around.
Two non-food things that I appreciate about this place: first off, whenever I walk in, the staff look like they're enjoying themselves. Compare that to the vegan bakery around the corner, where those workers look miserable. Second, the Red and Black hosts rad events and strive for social change I've seen some great movies there!
Bottom line is, if you don't have $5 for a bowl of delicious noodles and peanut sauce, sell your BlackBerry and MaBook Pro.
All that being said, I do wish they had more bike parking though. They're usually so busy, I sometimes have to lock my bike up down the street. :(
needs some attention – I have been to the Red and Black about a half dozen times. I keep wanting to give it another chance, but I think I'm done. If you want a decent sandwich for about 40% less, just grab one around the corner at the vegan bakery (no I'm not affiliated, and don't know anyone who works at either place).
Fix the place up, and offer better food value. Some peeps are poor, bro!
happy workers, good cheap food – I love this place. The cafe is worker owned and the food is well made, healthy and affordable. I ordered a bowl of rice and beans which was delicious, only $5 and I couldn't eat the whole thing.
good coffee with the option of almond milk (great!) and a dovetail sticky bun that was the best vegan sweet I have ever had.
I've heard of snobby attitudes from cafe workers but they were very friendly to me. Everyone working seemed to be enjoying themselves, singing songs and laughing with one another, this makes me feel good as a customer. I wish there were more places in this world where the workers felt good about what they are working for.
Best food, value, and community in the nieghborhood and beyond – I love the Red and Black. I completely appreciate that they are a worker owned cooperative! I also love love love the food. There is no where else in Portland to go for a better salad selection and huge plates with beautiful presentation. The sandwiches are also great --- Try the TLT or the Tempeh Tuna!
People are always friendly and the atmosphere is really comfortable.
Go there today and support these awesome folks!
Red and Black cafe is closing! – Too bad this joint is closing down. However, in the 10 years I've lived next door, I have not once had good service. It's the same bad attitude everytime, the workers treat anyone who they don't know with a combination of indifference and irreverance. Embarrassing, considering the number of times I've been there on my own and have taken family and friends there. Karma works! I am glad too. The neighborhood may now get a decent neighborhood style cafe to force Starbucks out.
Undermines Capitalism, Good Vegan/Vegetarian Fare – Full disclosure: I work there. That said I'd like to point out a couple of things. First we are a worker owned and collectively managed restaurant. Everybody is paid the same wage and has a hand in running the place. There is no boss and we don't need one. This is an important consideration if you want to reject business as usual. Because businesses, even local ones, usually exploit and disempower workers for profit.
Second we are environmentally conscious. We are about a week away from getting our produce from local, organic farms. We are 100% vegetarian. Our coffee is 100% fair trade, shade grown and organic. Our beer is locally brewed. We compost our scrap veggies and coffee. Soon we'll be using only biodegradable boxes and forks. In general we bike to work and use a bike trailer to pick up stuff we need. Environmental concerns are always part of our decision making process and it shows.
Second, the red in red and black represents working class solidarity and *gasp* socialism. We support the radical union called the Industrial Workers of the World. (I.W.W.) In practical terms this means that we host benefit shows for them. They get all the sliding scale cover charges and part of the beer sales for the night. Of course we also do this for many other radical groups like Oregon Books to Prisoners. We might do this for your group too if you ask us. We are a member of the Portland Alliance of Worker Collectives. PAWC exists to promote solidarity and mutual aid among worker coops. We also keep prices on many items low to be within reach of working class folks like ourselves. The chili, for example, is delicious and only $4 for a bowl with toast or chips.
Although we aren't perfect, in general we are friendly. We also like kids and people on dates. See you there!
(For upcoming events just check out redandblackcafe dot com.)
One of my most visited cafes – Most of the negetivity I've encountered there have been from the patrons (like angry lezbians who cut in line to buy another beer so they can drink it alone while pretending to read a magazine), not the servers. I love the mugs they use. They are cute. Events at the red and black are generally entertaining, or at least ... interesting. The food is just OK, but I like the vegan cupcakes and the fact that I can get a rice milk hot coaco there.
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