Thanksgiving ordering is live!
A basket full of vegetables

As of October 1, 2019, businesses in Portland cannot automatically include plastic straws, stirrers, utensils or individually packaged condiments in a customer’s order for dine-in, drive-through, take-out or delivery. These items can only be provided upon customer request.

Elephants Delicatessen shares our customers’ concerns about reducing and removing plastic in our stores and catering business. We know it’s important to our customers and it’s equally important to us. To that end we are currently researching testing a variety of packaging and other ways to not just reduce our plastic usage, but to encourage reuse and better explain recycling opportunities to our customers.

We are taking a careful look at all of the places in our business where we can make more sustainable choices and enact improvements—from our cold and hot food to-go packages in our stores to the equipment our catering team uses to transport food to the utensils and serving ware we offer.


Here’s what we are working on now:

  • We provide paper to-go packaging as an option at all Elephants locations.
  • We no longer provide plastic straws. We have swapped plastic straws for paper. But we do have plastic straws behind our counters if you need one—just ask.
  • We only provide plastic service ware (forks, knives, etc.) upon request. We continue to source non-plastic “to-go” flatware options.
  • We are encouraging reuse over recycling by bringing plates, mugs, and flatware into our locations–for dine-in customers or in-building customers at locations like Montgomery Park.
  • GO Box reusable container service (for entrees, soup, or coffee) is available at our Fox Tower location providing customers with a zero waste option for to-go purchases. We also have a container drop-off box at Fox Tower.
  • We offer reusable shopping bags at all of our stores.
  • We offer competitively priced reusable travel beverage tumblers at all of our locations.
  • We are offering low-cost (and quite fetching) stainless steel utensil packs (in fabric pouches that are easy to carry or keep at your desk) at all locations. These include flatware and a stainless steel straw. These are locally made.
  • Our catering team replaced Styrofoam food carriers with reusable and recyclable Mightylite insulated food containers..
  • As we roll out these changes, we are clarifying signage in our stores to better help our customers make informed recycling and composting choices.
  • We put together information for our customers about packaging materials and disposal opportunities, so people can make informed and responsible decisions with these packaging materials.
  • Source renewable, recycled, and reusable packaging options that have the least impact on our ecosystem. We are using a list of 20 factors to guide us in our quest for responsible packaging. Factors  like:
    Recycled Content
    Leaching (Plastic Products)
    Flourine Content (Paper Products)
    Temperature Safety
    Supply Chain Distance


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Staying Safe and Healthy

UPDATE 5/14/2021.  Governor Brown announced yesterday that Oregon will follow the newly released CDC guidance to lift mask and social distancing requirements for fully vaccinated individuals. She said the Oregon Health Authority would provide updated guidance in the coming days for businesses and employers. For now, Elephants will continue to require masks and social distancing for all staff…

Printable valentines for food lovers

We love you, Portland! Share a delicious love note with your beloved. Just print and trim! Valentines_PDF

Elephants “Good Neighbor” Menu

We’ve created a special Good Neighbor menu for individuals, businesses, and non-profits who want to donate food to vulnerable populations. View our menu online! Please email us directly if you'd like to place a delivery order using this menu. Download a PDF version of the Good Neighbor menu. Organizations we are currently supporting Looking for a…

Elephants Wins National Good Neighbor Award

Good news! We recently won a national award for our community service efforts. The best part about the award is that we received $10K to donate to a PDX non-profit. And we chose one that supports low-income housing residents in downtown and NW Portland. The press release is below. See a video about Elephants Delicatessen…

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