With so many creative visions colliding in this funky town of artists, and entrepreneurs, it’s no wonder that Portland’s food cart scene is one of the hottest in the country. There is nothing better than taking a bite of something new and noteworthy. That umami blend of awesomeness that you discovered in order to drag your family and friends to get that perfect bite. Many of these places will grow a following and become Portland’s brick and mortar spots of the future.
Here are seven Portland food carts that should not be missed:
1-3. NEW AND NOTABLE: The Gantry Food Pod at Zidell Yards
Craving something new? Check out Portland’s newest food pod just outside OHSU’s Center for Health and Healing in the South Waterfront neighborhood of Portland. This pod is just steps from the Tram (Giant Prozac that flies high in the sky) and also steps to Portland’s newest bridge: Tillicum Crossing. The South Waterfront is home to many offices of OHSU, restaurants a great gym, shops and Dr.’s offices right along the riverfront. Some great stuff at this new pod with three notable favorites: Garden Monsters, PDX Sliders, and Neue Southern.
Garden Monsters creates unique and tasty salads of every kind tossed fresh!
Steak, Chicken, Ground Meat, Veggie or Shrimp! Love the Paul Bunyan.
PDX Sliders makes tasty burgers, beef, pork, chicken, veggie and gluten free.
Neue Southern sources everything they make locally and provides a creative globally influenced menu. Lots of soul here.
The Gantry Food Pod at Zidell Yards
Location: 3121 SW Moody Ave
Facebook: Gantry Food Pod
4. HOT CHIX at Tiffin Asha
Tiffin Asha is in the middle of the Mississippi neighborhood. Mississippi is an older neighborhood semi gentrified in North Portland. It’s “cool” without trying and is the home of many great spots to eat and shop.
Tiffin Asha is at the back end of a parking lot on the corner of N. Mississippi and N. Beech. This isn’t your average Indian fare. There is no Makhani or Tikka Massala. No Naan or Raita. However, what you will find is a fresh new take on Indian Street food brought back directly from India. It’s South Indian inspired and delicious. This is the result of the two hot chicks (humans) that run the place. They are partners, and they make what I think is their best bite: The Hot Chix
Tiffin Asha’s “Hot Chix” are chicken breast lightly battered and fried pakora style and surrounded by a homemade dosa, which is like a crepe made from fermented beans (Dal), with a dollop of Black Cardamon Honey for sweetness, some pickled greens and , and yogurt cheese to round it out. One bite and you will wonder why haven’t you found this delightful cart and its creative Chef Elizabeth Golay. Elizabeth and her partner Sheila brought back these recipes straight from India.
Try the HotChix and a variety of other Indian delights (Vegetarian too!)
Check it out they even have a “Chutney Bar”, with all kinds of flavors to try.
For something unique, ask about the “Gun Powder” too!
Location: 3710 N. Mississippi Ave, Portland
Facebook: Tiffin Asha
Average meal cost $5-$10.
5. Go retro and dine at Carte Blanche
The first time I visited Carte Blanche was on a Saturday last spring. Curiously it appeared in my line of sight. The kitchen where the magic happens is inside a vintage silver Air Stream trailer. The menu board at Carte Blanche reads like a script to an old movie. Titles like “Frank where did you put my sweater?” or “The Helmut Bowl from Outer Space.” It doesn’t matter what you call it; it’s some of the tastiest stuff you can find in Portland.
All original recipes formed out of international cuisines, the food here crosses all borders.
Average meal cost $5-$10.
Location: 3207 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd, Portland
Facebook: Carte Blanche
6. Wolf & Bear’s
Wolf & Bear’s is entirely vegetarian, but that won’t stop this carnivore from indulging in its savory middle eastern cuisine. Go for the falafel! ($7) Bar-none the best Falafel I have eaten since Me & Me’s which was an old Israeli standby in the heart of the Fairfax neighborhood of Los Angeles. Wolf & Bear’s Falafel is served hot, filled to the brim with hummus, grilled eggplant, roasted red peppers and caramelized onions. Is your mouth watering yet?
Wolf has an impressive menu that includes a Jewish breakfast sandwich, called Sabich, ($7.50) salads and other snacks.
Whether you grab a sandwich and an ice tea with lemonade and mint, or one of their many snacks, you will be delighted with your meal and also get it at a fair price! With at least two more locations that I know of in SE, this is something that I highly recommend if you like this type of eats.
Location: 3925 N. Mississippi Ave., Portland
Facebook: Wolf & Bear’s
So you’re going to work out, or maybe just go for a walk, you’ve made a new years resolution to eat healthier too. So I am wondering have you been there yet?
Kure is Portland’s finest smoothie stand. It’s far from just a “whole food” cart; it’s got a cult following that will line up in the street just to get a Bowl of the Gods, or Chocolate Eisenhart. I am hooked. Their blends of healthy goodness are addictive which is what you need when you’re unfortunately already addicted to something like Diet Coke! So make the switch and explore the smoothie life beyond Jamba Juice. It’s fresh and clean, and they will make it any way you want.
Average cost $5-$18.
Location: 4409 SE Hawthorne, Portland
Facebook: Kure Juice Bar
Those are the seven carts I’m loving right now. What’s your favorite?