Portland, OR is known as the “mecca” of the food cart craze. Every neighborhood you visit seems to have a pod of these convenient mini-restaurants. According to the Oregonian, there are 640 licensed food carts in Multnomah County alone. These carts give people the opportunity to try a variety of cuisines quickly and at an affordable price.
I’ve had the opportunity to try many of these carts. Here are my 5 “can’t miss” carts for the next time you visit Portland.
1) Grilled Cheese Grill – Who doesn’t love a grilled cheese sandwich? Grilled Cheese Grill is so popular it just opened a second location in SE Portland. The cart offers a variety of sandwiches that start with a basic grilled cheese. Add on toppings such as apples, pickles, potatoes, eggs or turkey. Not a fan of grilled cheese? Try their other gourmet quality sandwiches such as the Meatball Sub. Order from the cart and eat your meal in an old repurposed school bus or in a comfortable covered picnic area.
2) Whiffies – Pies are quickly becoming all the rage with food lovers. Recently featured on the Food Network, Whiffies brings fried pies to the masses at their SE Hawthorne location. Choose from savory or sweet options such as BBQ Beef, Apple, Tofu Pot Pie and Mounds pie (like the candy bar!). The menu changes daily so be sure to join their other 4000 followers on Twitter for menu updates.
3) Potato Champion - If you love fries, Potato Champion is a “must try”. Located near Whiffies on Hawthorne, this fry cart offers hand-cut belgian fries in a portable cone. Complement your potatoes with a variety of unique toppings. Their signature dish is the Poutine – a Canadian delicacy featuring fries topped with cheese curds and gravy. Any stand that was featured on the cover of Portland Monthly has to be good!
4) Koi Fusion – The fun of Koi Fusion isn’t just the tasty Korean Barbeque, but figuring out where the cart will show up next. This ethnic favorite is mobile in every sense of the word. See the schedule on their website, by following them on Twitter or by calling their location hotline. Koi Fusion has also been known to pop up at events such as outside PGE Park during Portland Timbers’ home games.
5) Fon-Due-It – Conveniently location with a pod of other food carts at the Ala Cart Pavilion in SE, Fon-Due-It serves up affordable fondue – food cart style. Get their signature fondue made with 8 different cheeses served with bread dippers for just $5. In the mood for something sweet? Fon-due-it also offers chocolate options with strawberry dippers. Stop by on a Saturday night to hear some live music while you eat your ‘due.
Do you have a favorite food cart in your city? What is your favorite thing about them?