The Top 10 Portland Food Carts

Customers at food carts at the SW 9th & Alder Food Cart Pod, downtown

Anthony Pidgeon / Getty Images

With more than 600 food carts and counting, Portland leaves other food truck-heavy U.S. cities in the dust. The carts are clustered together in pods and are run by trained chefs who whip up exquisite creations that are easy on the wallet. However, with so many options, it can be overwhelming for newbies. To get started, these are Portland's top food carts.

01 of 10

Matt's BBQ

tray of barbecue on a wooden table with two bottles of coke

Courtesy of Matt's BBQ 

Address
4233 N Mississippi Ave, Portland, OR 97217, USA
Phone +1 503-504-0870

Considered one of the best Texas barbecue spots in the city, Matt’s BBQ always has a line, and they often sell out of meat early in the day. First-timers should try the Whole Shebang: a medley of their perfectly smoked meats (usually brisket, pork ribs, and sausage) and three sides. If you want the same meat served with a twist, give their Texas-style tacos a try at Matt's BBQ Tacos. And you would be doing yourself a disservice if you ignored their famous queso mac and cheese.

02 of 10

MF Tasty

table swith rice bowls, a quesadilla, and pulled pork sandwich on it

Courtesy of MF Tasty

Address
3925-3927, N Williams Ave, Portland, OR 97227, USA
Phone +1 602-740-8861

Chef Eric Gitenstein is as friendly as they come, and you can’t miss his lone food cart, brightly colored and situated smack dab in the middle of trendy North Williams Ave. His dishes are Southwest-inspired and Portland made. A favorite is the Brunch Burrito, with everything you could hope for to start your day off right. Chef Eric also makes a mean paella, with different flavors each week. And who can forget Taco Tuesdays? If you come at a slow time, he may even come out to your picnic table and strike up a conversation.

03 of 10

Fried Egg I'm In Love

two halves of an egg sandwich stacked on top of each other

Courtesy of Fried Egg I'm In Love 

Address
Pioneer Square, 780 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97202, USA
Phone +1 503-704-3358

With a nod to the classic Cure song, half of the fun is in the names given to the delectable, hand-held breakfast sandwiches sold here. You'll find yummy morning creations as Sriracha Mix-a-Lot, Smells Like Protein Spirit, and the Egg Zeppelin. The signature sandwich is the Yolko Ono; a delicious pairing of fried egg, pesto, parmesan, and a sausage patty, all wrapped up in perfectly toasted sourdough bread. You can’t miss their cart, because it’s painted in—you guessed it—bright, egg-yolk yellow.

04 of 10

Stretch the Noodle

Address
223-269 SW Washington St, Portland, OR 97204, USA

This is one of the few food carts where you get to see the glorious spectacle of noodle-making. Husband and wife team Xuemei and Duane Simard offer up freshly-made la mian noodles right before your eyes. They are to be eaten immediately, fresh from the steamy pot, to take advantage of their glorious texture. Mixed with some oh-so-spicy chili oil and fresh veggies, and it’s no wonder people keep coming back. The beef soup is a must-try, with savory broth that rivals Xuemei’s perfect noodles. Then there are the dumplings; full of flavor and each containing an entire shrimp with the tail sticking out.

Continue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10

Viking Soul Food

norwegian flat bread with sauce pickled beets, cilantro and meantballs

 Courtesy of Viking Soul Food

Address
4255 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR 97215-1629, USA
Phone +1 971-506-5579

Norwegians don’t get enough love, and they certainly aren't known for their food, but Viking Soul Food aims to change that. Housed in a stylish airstream, newbies to this Scandinavian food cart will discover the wonder that is Norwegian lefse, a potato flatbread that acts as the perfect wrap. Their handmade lefse houses such flavor combinations as meatballs with gravy or sumptuous smoked salmon with dill and crème fraiche. Pair that with their seafood chowder, then wash it all down with lingonberry iced tea. Perfection.

06 of 10

Botto's BBQ

Beans, potato salad, bread, and ribs on a tray

 Courtesy of Botto's BBQ

Address
3120 SE Milwaukie Ave, Portland, OR 97202, USA
Phone +1 971-334-5397

Portland really knows its barbecue, so another southern-style food cart had to make this list. Since its reopening in 2019, their Texas-style brisket and ribs are widely celebrated amongst Portland culinary aficionados. Botto's has a hard-core following who cannot get enough of the slab pork ribs, carnitas chili verde, kielbasa sausage, and pork belly burnt ends.

07 of 10

Gumba

plate of riccia pasta with crush pistachios and ricotta cheese

 Courtesy of Gumba

Address
1733 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211, USA
Phone +1 503-975-5951

Childhood friends Jesse (a sous chef) and Robin started their food cart business in July 2016 with a three-item menu written on a paper bag and now the pair run Gumba. This cart in a converted airstream offers a low-cost, high-end dining experience with some seriously good Italian food. The menu changes regularly based on which locally-sourced ingredients are available and is kept short—that way you know that each tasty dish is carefully crafted with love. Give the house-made burrata, served with fry bread, a try before diving into a plate of juicy short ribs braised in red wine, served over pappardelle.

08 of 10

Bing Mi

Address
1845 NW 23rd Pl, Portland, OR 97210, USA
Phone +1 971-930-2968

Bing Mi serves up handmade savory Chinese crepes that are a wonderful iteration of classic street food with a flair for the artistic. It’s the little things, like the addition of a wonton cracker inside that gives it a special crunch, a touch of cilantro that adds the perfect pop of flavor, and a perfect blend of pickled veggies. It is the juxtaposition of flavors and textures that keeps you coming back to this popular food cart.

Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10

Flew the Coop

Three chicken sandwiches on a slate board

 Courtesy of Flew the Coop

Address
6035 NE Halsey St, Portland, OR 97213, USA
Phone +1 949-200-0770

Flew the Coop serves some of the best chicken sandwiches in Portland, and that's saying something. Located at the Bite of Belmont, they have perfected the art of the southern-fried chicken sandwich. The menu is tight, so you know each and every item has been honed to perfection. Try the KFC (Korean Fried Chicken), served with a sweet and spicy Korean chili sauce so tasty you'll forget about the fast-food chicken chain of the same name. The Buffalo and Nashville hot chicken sandwiches are also worth a try. For those who want to play it safe, they do have a traditional fried chicken sandwich. All can be paired with delectable sides.

10 of 10

Mama Chow's Kitchen

Two steaming bowls of dry noodles

 Couretes of Mama Chow's Kitchen

Address
313 SW 2nd Ave, Portland, OR 97204, USA

At Mama Chow’s, the Lollipop Wings are a must-order. The chicken is cooked to perfection, with just the right amount of savory crunch, and the wings are aptly named. You can hold one end in your hand and munch on the other end. Add nicely steamed bok choy, a smattering of white rice, and you have yourself a pretty delectable lunch. Wings not your thing? Opt for Kalua Pork, garlic noodles, pork & shrimp wonton soup, or any number of rotating daily specials.

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The Top 10 Portland Food Carts