Portland, Oregon Food Trucks!
September 6, 2012 10:36 PM   Subscribe

Where and who's good? Would love recommendations of food trucks in Portland, Oregon.

Hi! The Mr. Bee and I are planning a short weekend in Portland, Oregon in the next few weeks. We would like to visit the food truck scene on Saturday for lunch. Where in downtown Portland have the most food trucks located on Saturdays and which food trucks are not to be missed? We have no food restrictions and will arrive by car.

posted by tipsyBumblebee to Food & Drink (15 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
food carts portland. there's an app as well.
posted by violetk at 10:44 PM on September 6, 2012

Best answer: Downtown there's three big reliable foodcart pods at SW 10th and Alder, SW 5th and Stark, and SW 3rd and Washington. All of 'em have upward of a dozen carts (the one on 10th probably upward of two) and it's pretty much all good.

In particular, Nong Khao Man Gai does a Thai chicken-and-rice dish that is super simple and delicious; The Whole Bowl makes a really great bowl full of grains and veggies and flavor; Grilled Cheese Grill makes really great grilled cheese (though for the ideal experience there take a drive out to their NE Alberta location so you can eat your grilled cheese on a damn school bus, it's great). Those are all that the 10th and Alder pod.

At the 5th Ave pod there's a nice cart called Tabor if you're looking for some Czech food.

There's also, off by its lonesome on 3rd and Ash, the Big-Ass Sandwiches cart, which correctly advertises its wares. Not necessarily amazing culinary stuff but if you want a big fuckin' sandwich it's pretty great, and it comes with french fries, and the french fries are in the sandwich, so. Plus it's near Voodoo Doughnuts if you're into that sort of thing and want to seal the deal on your impending coronary.
posted by cortex at 11:03 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

Unfortunately, Food Carts Portland isn't very critical -- there are plenty of mediocre food carts that they won't steer you away from. You could also try the carts & trucks section of portlandfood.org.
posted by xil at 11:04 PM on September 6, 2012

Whiffies fried pies at 12th & Hawthorne is truly, truly amazing. They fry their hand pies in rice bran oil and they (both the pies and the proprietors) are just unbelievably fantastic.
posted by dialetheia at 12:04 AM on September 7, 2012 [2 favorites]

At the 10th and Alder group there's a sammich cart called Eat This. It is sublime. The sammiches are served on flat bread made-to-order and their meats are are cooked perfectly. You want the brisket with cheese and fried peppers and onions and onion rings right in there.
posted by Specklet at 3:57 AM on September 7, 2012

baoPDX was my favorite on our recent trip.
posted by JoanArkham at 5:35 AM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

I enjoyed some Potato Champion while I was in Portland, it was pretty awesome
posted by JayNolan at 5:51 AM on September 7, 2012

My favorite food truck "pod" is Good Food Here (partly cos it's next to Movie Madness where I sometimes get rentals and also near my house). I particularly enjoy the different lefse at Viking Soul Food, the hand rolls at Sushi PDX, the Blazer sandwich at Cacalack's (YUM), and the fishy chips and calamari and slaw sandwich at Eurotrash.
posted by medeine at 8:22 AM on September 7, 2012

These suggestions are good, but they're not all downtown Portland, if that matters. I think FoodCartsPortland is a useful reference if you're trying to find the location of pods- cortex basically listed the downtown ones. My personal favorite pod downtown is "Alder St. at SW Alder between 9th and 11th" ("pods" downtown don't really have names or personality, generally, because it's just a parking lot where the owner has rented out space to as many carts as will fit- not the more formal pod with shared seating area that you see outside of downtown) but I think all the locations have some great carts.

Since you mention Saturday and downtown, you know about Saturday Market, right? Lots of high quality local arts and crafts for sale, live music, and a good selection of food booths (that's what people here had to make do with before "food carts"). One of my favorite booths there is Horn of Africa (warning, link plays music) for a delicious pile of vegetables and lentils on top of spongy sourdough flatbread. Of course, there's always elephant ears and greasy egg rolls, and I think Rogue usually is pouring a few types of beers there too.

Lastly, if you do decide to head out of downtown to the 12th and Hawthorne food cart pod, we're having a meetup right down the street from there on Saturday.
posted by Secretariat at 8:57 AM on September 7, 2012

Whoops, just saw you said "in the next few weeks". So scratch the meetup, we may or may not be having one on the weekend you choose.
posted by Secretariat at 9:01 AM on September 7, 2012

The 10th and Alder pod is a great downtown pod. Nong's is there and it is absolutely amazing. She makes only one dish - Khao Man Gai - and it always sells out at lunch quickly. There are lots of other great places in that pod as well (I really like Addie's Sandwiches and the Frying Scotsman, which sometimes has haggis!)
posted by Lutoslawski at 11:02 AM on September 7, 2012

A second vote for Horn of Africa. I've been away for 6 years now and I still want their food.
posted by Hactar at 2:32 PM on September 7, 2012

Oh yeah, I second Addy's sandwiches- I think my favorite is the chicken salad sandwich. Sounds basic, but it's dark meat, nice and flavorful, and the baguette is very fresh. She also does a chocolate sandwich that sounds really good, but I've yet to try it.
posted by Secretariat at 9:21 PM on September 7, 2012

Neven Mrgan recommends some food carts at the bottom of that page. I trust all of his culinary advice.
posted by furtive at 11:11 PM on September 8, 2012

Whiffies is great. Seriously.

I don't eat gluten.

And I made an exception for Whiffies.

That's how good they are.
posted by guster4lovers at 10:02 PM on September 16, 2012

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