Portland, Oregon is home to a plethora of food carts, hundreds of them, in fact. Thanks to progressive regulations, the food cart scene has been able to flourish in Portland, unlike most major cities in North America.
Portland food carts can be found all over the city, primarily in groupings known as pods. Food Carts Portland produces a very convenient map and even has an app for iPhones and Androids that shows current locations!
With so many food cart choices, things can get a little bit overwhelming. Here are 5 must-try Portland food carts, to get a taste of the city.
With a name like that, you have to give it a try! What kind of food do they sell? I’m glad you asked. The Dump Truck produces hand-rolled dumplings, inspired by the owners’ experiences living in Beijing. They even picked up secrets on how to make amazing dumplings from a well-aged proprietor named Mr. Ma. They’ve got vegan options, but if that’s not you, opt for the bacon cheeseburger – because everything is better when wrapped in a dumpling!
Food carts can be a tough place to eat if you have dietary restrictions, but Cultured Caveman has got the backs of the Paleo crowd covered. In fact, they’ve got them covered so well that they have not one food cart – but three! Oh, and a restaurant. Welcoming those with allergies is one of the things that they do best. They are also all about transparency and provide ingredient lists for every single one of their dishes. There’s no gluten, dairy or soy to be found in anything. But, they’ve still got tacos! Give the Pork Carnitas Tacos a taste. Your stomach will thank you.
This Portland food cart is for the night crowd! Opening at 4pm on weeknights, they keep cranking out the Belgian fries and poutine until 3am; on weekends, they open at noon. Palak Paneer fries? Yes please! They come with curried spinach, paneer cheese, and a cilantro chutney. If curry isn’t your thing, grab some Belgian fries and top them with tarragon anchovy mayo or perhaps rosemary truffle ketchup. Nom nom.
This is a Portland food cart mainstay. They don’t do complicated, they do simple and amazing. The menu is Chicken and Rice, or Chicken and Rice Big Size. They use organic chicken, poach it, and serve it with their very own sauce. Even with such a short menu, there is a reason they have multiple locations. Go try it!