Where To Find The Best Street Food In Portland

Published by: Bounce31 March, 2022

Portland is a food lover’s dream with its flourishing culinary scene. Did you know you can take a turn around the world without ever leaving Portland? Just let your taste buds do the traveling as you taste dishes that are inspired by Asia, Italy, Germany, Mexico, Brazil, and France, just to name a few.

The street food scene in Portland is off the charts and offers some of the best street food in the world. Food trucks and food carts are as legendary as their brick-and-mortar counterparts. With hundreds of street food vendors scattered throughout Portland, you will find exactly what you are craving when you hit the streets.

Most of Portland’s street food vendors stay in one place in groups that are called pods, which makes it easy to take a tour through each pod and sample the international flavors that are available. When you are seeking the best street food in Portland, drop your bags at a luggage locker for safekeeping. Don't let heavy bags and shopping purchases slow you down on your quest for fried chicken, hot dogs, sushi, and myriad fantastic flavors!

The best street food vendors in Portland

Finding the best street food vendors in Portland is easier than you think. While you will find the occasional independent food cart or food truck, most of the street food stalls and trucks can be found in pods throughout the city. You can visit a specific area or super pod and find all different types of food available. Bring your appetite and enjoy some of the best food in Portland. Read our guide on getting around Portland and you'll find your way to these fabulous spots with ease!

Salumeria Food Cart

Address: 780 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97205

This fantastic food cart is in the downtown Portland pod and serves wonderful Italian and American sandwiches and salads. The owner and chef Salumist Elias Cairo has brought the art of charcuterie to Portland to create the first USDA approved salumeria in Oregon.

A charcuterie is a French word that describes a branch of cooking that is devoted to prepared meats made primarily from pork such as sausage, ham, bacon, galantines, pates, confit, and terrines. The salumeria originated in Italy so it is only fitting that you can find some of the best Italian street food at the Salumeria Food Cart.

Fried Egg I’m In Love

Address: 780 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97202 (Pioneer Square)

Serving breakfast and brunch in Pioneer Square in downtown Portland, Fried Egg I’m In Love serves amazing fried egg sandwiches. Each sandwich has an interesting and pun-filled name and is cooked to perfection. This beloved food cart also offers gluten-free options.

Vegan and vegetarian menu items have been added including a vegan sausage that is made fresh daily and created from polenta, gluten-free oats, and vegetables. Stop in for a flavorful egg sandwich first thing in the morning or grab one for brunch while you are strolling through downtown.

Amelia’s Food Cart

Address: 701 SW 6th Ave, Portland OR 97204

With a name like Amelia’s you probably are not thinking Mexican, but this fantastic food cart serves authentic Mexican dishes including tasty street tacos. There are even gluten-free options and a kid’s menu. You can also get vegan and vegetarian dishes.

Amelia’s Food Court can be found in downtown Portland so next time you are craving a little spice, stop by and give their tacos, burritos, and tortas a try. They even offer a variety of meat options so you are not stuck with just beef. Their dishes are wonderfully created with Latin American flavors.

Stretch the Noodle

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

Head downtown to find chef Xuemei Simard hand stretching and pulling noodles. It is simply wonderful to stand there watching the noodles be formed for fragrant bowls of soup and delicious stir fry dishes. Stretch the Noodle uses a ma la spice or five spice that adds so much flavor to their dishes.

Next time you are looking for great Chinese food such as noodles or dumplings, head downtown. Order the beef soup or opt for the shrimp dumplings, or maybe one of their stir fries will hit the spot. Make sure you order extra to take home for later, it is just as good reheated as it is fresh.

Anna Thai Basil

Address: 733 SW Oak St, Portland, OR 97205

Located in southwest Portland, this is your go-to food cart in Portland when you are searching for authentic Thai food. If you have a craving for curry, Anna Thai Basil will have several dishes to enjoy with this potent spice. Come here for great food and a friendly atmosphere.

The servings are very generous so you will most likely have plenty of leftovers of Pineapple fried rice, Pad Thai, veggie stir fry, rice bowls, and so much more. Even if you are not a fan of curry or even Thai, let this fabulous food cart change your mind.

The Kafta House

Address: 750-799 SW Ankeny St, Portland, OR 97205

The Kafta House serves traditional Mediterranean cuisine in southwest Portland. It is one of the few places in the city that you can get authentic falafel plates, gyros stuffed with lamb, wraps with fresh veggies and beef or lamb, and so much more. It is a busy spot in the neighborhood so get there early or risk standing in a long line.

Potato Champion

Address: 1207 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97214

A street food vendor specializing in French fries is a dream come true for many. The Potato Champion, located in the Hawthorne neighborhood, specializes in twice-fried Belgian pommes frites. The fries are served in a paper cup and you can choose the type of house-made dipping sauce you would like such as chipotle mayo, rosemary truffle ketchup, and bourbon honey mustard.

There are plenty of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options on the menu. So next time you are craving fried potatoes or French fries, head to Hawthorne and give their Belgian-style pommes frites a try, you will not regret it.

Year of the Fish

Address: 5205 SE Foster Rd, Portland, OR 97206

Located in the Foster-Powell pod, Year of the Fish is really more than just a food cart that serves fish and chips. It is a seafood cart specializing in showcasing seafood and elevating it to the next level. When you are searching for terrific fish and chips, this is the place to go.

Their seasonal menu is tantalizing and their clam chowder is thick and impossible to resist. There are gluten-free options on the menu so next time you are in the mood for seafood, check out Year of the Fish in Foster-Powell.

Bobablastic – Eastport Food Center

Address: 8145 SE 82nd Ave, Portland, OR 97266

Bobablastic was the first food cart to start selling Bubble Tea in Portland and now offers over 50 different drink and topping combos. Aside from Bubble tea, Boba tea, and coffees, Bobablastic also offers poke bowls, sandwiches, and desserts. Located in the Lents neighborhood, you will definitely want to check this food cart out. Walk up orders or online orders are accepted.

Matt’s BBQ

Address: 4233 N Mississippi Ave, Portland, OR 97217

Matt’s BBQ has been serving Texas-style barbeque since 2015 in the Prost Marketplace food cart pod on Mississippi Avenue. This is an extremely popular food cart serving Texas-sized portions so be sure to get their early as they do sell-out of the popular meats and sides early in the evening; you can pre-order online to skip the long lines.

Best known for their peppery spare ribs, fork tender brisket, and house-made jalapeno and cheddar sausage. But you will want to try the Texas-style tacos filled with expertly seasoned and slow-smoked beef, pork, or chicken. Order one of their mile-high sandwiches piled with North Carolina-style BBQ pulled pork or chopped brisket.

Farmer and the Beast

Address: 1845 NW 23rd Place, Portland, OR 97210

You do not want to miss the chance to sample some of the region’s best seasonal produce. The menu at Farmer and the Beast changes with the seasons so be sure to visit often. The strawberry salad is highly recommended and filled with Oregon strawberries, juicy cucumbers, and spring lettuce. Taste the fresh sheep’s milk cheese that is made at Black Sheep Creamery.

You will also want to sample the fall salads with apples and fall chicories then covered in cheddar cheese shavings and topped with house-made ranch dressing. Head to the northwest Portland food cart pod and order their iconic smash burger that is so thick and juicy.

Where to find the best Portland street food spots

Finding the best street food spots in Portland is really easy as most of the food trucks and food carts stay stationary and are in groups called pods. These food cart pods are fantastic when you are looking for a quick snack or you are on the go. Rather than dine in a traditional sit down restaurant, hit the street food scene and enjoy a culinary adventure.

Alder Food Cart Pod

This is one of the biggest pods in Portland and is located between southwest Alder and Washington Street and southwest 9th and 10th Avenues. This food cart pod is home to one of the most amazing Thai carts, Nong’s Khao Man Gai where the Thai chicken is almost legendary and is served with a clear soup and flavorful dipping sauce.

Another favorite vendor in this food pod is the Frying Scotsman where you will find traditional British-inspired fish and chips. The hand-breaded fish is tender and flaky and of course, the chips are extremely enjoyable and a great complement to the fish.

Fifth Avenue Food Carts

When you are looking for delicious international flavors, head to southwest 5th Avenue and look for the 5th Avenue Food Carts between southwest Oak Street and Start Street. This downtown Portland food pod offers foods from Korea, India, Thailand, and so much more.

One of the most interesting street food vendors is Tabor which is serving up flavorful Czech food and is best known for The Original Schnitzelwich, which has been named one of Portland’s best sandwiches. You will want to stop by when in the area and see what all the fuss is about.

Cartopia

One of the coziest street food pods in Portland, Cartopia is located on southeast Hawthorne Boulevard at the corner of southeast 12th Avenue. There is covered outdoor seating, late hours with a very festive atmosphere, fire pits to keep warm, and friendly service from all the vendors. Head here when spending a night on the town in Portland.

Potato Champion is located here and specializes in Belgian-style fries and has a wide variety of topping for these magnificent fries including palak paneer, poutine, and even chili cheese. If you are craving a slice of pizza, head over to Pyro Pizza.

Cartlandia

This is a terrific food pod with 30 carts serving fragrant and yummy dishes. There is even a beer garden offering local and international beers. Grab a beer and some food then relax in the covered seating area. Bring your family or meet up with friends and spend time in Cartlandia.

If you are in the mood for authentic ramen, stop by Mizu Ramen where you will find several different varieties of ramen throughout the year. India and Mexico collide in a fusion of flavors at Poco India to create something so unique it is hard to find a way to accurately describe it, you just have to give it a try.

Street food festivals in Portland

While Portland does not host any specific street food festivals, the individual street food pods do host lively events throughout the year. From live music to street performances, you never know what to expect when you visit one of the pods. Visit on the weekends for a festive, colorful time when you stroll through one or more of the pods.

Portland Food Trucks and Carts

Whether you are in the mood for Filipino spaghetti, Chinese crepes, or hot dogs, the Portland street food scene has you covered. We didn't mention every spot so you'll have fun searching for even more tasty finds. Try John's Marketplace, Rose City Food Park, and the Portland Mercado. Or take a meander along Sandy Blvd. or Belmont St. See what you can find!

Visit a food truck or food cart for comfort food, soul food, Korean food, or Asian fusion for a party in your mouth. Arriving in the city via Portland Airport? Bring your appetite and enjoy touring the food pods. Take a trip around the world!

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