Destination Directory

Your Group’s Guide to Portland’s 600 Food Carts

Portland, Oregon, is one of the most celebrated culinary destinations in the United States. Portland offers fresh, organic and local ingredients for farm-to-table dining experiences, is revered for its coffee and tea, and boasts more breweries than any other city on earth. Oh, and Portland has accumulated over 600 food carts.

With an estimated 400 food carts operating at any given time—serving up breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything in between—food carts make it easy for groups to eat.

Rather than moving around like other cities' food trucks, most of Portland's tiny kitchens remain in one location. Carts are clustered in groups called "pods," which act as neighborhood gathering spaces—so exploring the city's food cart scene isn't just a great way to sample Portland's diverse offerings; it's also one of the best ways for your groups to experience Portland culture.

Several companies offer tours of Portland's food cart scene (Portland Walking Tour, Food Carts Portland and Pedal Bike Tours), yet your groups could always explore the pods on their own. If they need a bit of direction, Travel Portland suggests checking out these pods.

Alder

Alder, one of Portland's largest pods, features favorites such as Nong's Khao Mon Gai, the Frying Scotsman and Mac & Trees. The Portland Art Museum is just a six-minute walk from Alder Pod, and groups could reach the Union Way Shopping Arcade by foot in four minutes.

Cartopia

The Cartopia pod is a great spot for lunch, dinner and late-night bites. Pyro Pizza offers wood-fired-oven pizza and Perierra Crêperie delivers unique Nutella-banana, avocado-cream-cheese-and-turkey, and other crêpes. Cartopia is located on Hawthorne Boulevard—a destination in itself. Top sites include Bagdad Theatre, as well as indie and vintage shops like Tender Loving Empire and House of Vintage.

Portland Mercado

If your groups are looking for an authentic taste of Portland's Latino culture, check out Portland Mercado in Southeast Portland. The rainbow-colored food carts of this cultural hub offer cuisine from Colombia, Mexico, El Salvador, Cuba and Argentina—all with a bit of Portland flair.

Tidbit Food Farm and Garden

In addition to 20-plus food carts, Tidbit Food Farm and Garden offers a few surprising additions, including a garden and produce stand, coffee cart, mobile gift and art boutique, and Lodekka—a vintage dress shop housed in a double-decker bus. Groups could also sip on Portland's famous brews in a beer garden, cozy around a fire pit and enjoy live music.

Cartlandia

The "super pod" in Southeast Portland is home to The Blue Room, a full-service bar with beers and ciders on tap and an outdoor beer garden. More than 30 carts represent 15 countries, and groups could find three carts serving lobster, as well as the famous Voodoo Doughnut mobile van to satisfy their sweet tooth. 


Tags

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

Recent Blogs

Baby Boomer Travel Trends

For baby boomers, travel is, well, booming. According to the AARP 2017 Travel Trends Report, 99 percent of boomers plan to take at least one leisure trip this year, with an average of five or more trips. But why do they want to travel, and where do they want to go? The report uncovered several trends.

This Wouldn't Look Better as a Lake

"Wouldn't this look better as a lake?"

I was staring out into Yosemite Valley. Half Dome and El Capitan loomed in the distance—two natural landmarks accomplishing what I thought impossible: Make the giant sequoias gathered below look small.

"What?" I turned to the man standing next to me.

"A joke," he said. "Someone once thought this valley would make a great lake."

Get Your Kicks on ... Route 50?

Route 66 sure gets a lot of hype, but have you sent groups along U.S. Route 50 lately? Probably not. In July 1986, Life magazine dubbed the Nevada portion, "The Loneliest Road in America." And yet, from rural mountain ranges to desolate deserts and miles upon miles of rich farmland, Route 50 stretches across 3,073 miles from Ocean City, Maryland to Sacramento, California. It spans 12 states and links four state capitals—offering the most complete cross-sectional journey along the United States midriff.