Guide to Portland Food Carts

We live in an on-the-go world. And since the tempo of life is so perpetually fast-paced, often convenience is king. That’s a big part of the reason why the culture of the food cart has taken off so much in recent years. The vast array of Portland food carts have become tremendously popular in recent years, and for good reason. Food carts can pop up in places where a full-size eatery simply wouldn’t be practical, so they make a great option for anyone who wants great food fast. Food-cart proprietors also tend to cluster in “pods” around the city, offering hungry folks a lot of variety in a relatively small area. 

Interested? We’ll give you some great places to get started!


Corner of SE 12th Ave. and Hawthorne Blvd.

Cartopia is one of the city’s longest-running pods of food carts (open since 2008) and was instrumental in helping to popularize the concept here. It’s also open late, so the bar crowd loves coming to Cartopia to cap off their evening with some tasty eats. Here’s what you’ll find when you visit: 

Potato Champion: twice-fried Belgian fries and poutine
• Wild Mountain Honey: breakfast specialties and classic sandwiches
Pyro Pizza: crispy, singed pizza from a classic pizza oven
Chicken & Guns: wood-fired chicken, fries, and salads
El Brasero: burritos, street tacos, and other Mexican favorites
Tahrir Square: Middle Eastern and Mediterranean classics

Piknik Park Pod

1122 SE Tacoma St, Portland, OR 97202

The aptly named Piknik Park resides in the thoroughly charming Sellwood-Moreland neighborhood. You’ll find a higher-than-expected number of welcome creature comforts here, including a beer garden, restrooms, and a heated and covered seating area for when it rains (and it’s Portland, so it might). While here, choose from: 

Sauc’d: Continental favorites with slow-cooked sauces
Yatra: fresh, handcrafted Nepalese food 
Jin Dak: cutting-edge Korean fusion cuisine
Uncle Tsang’s Vegetarian Kitchen: vegan/vegetarian Chinese
Taste of Casablanca: Moroccan/Mediterranian dishes
The Butter Brush: gourmet burgers and fried Twinkies

Hawthorne Asylum

1080 SE Madison St, Portland, OR 97214 

One of the city’s newer pods, Hawthorne Asylum is also one of its most ambitiously envisioned. The atmosphere is quirky and a little bit gothic. And the 20-plus carts inside represent a very high level of both quality and variety, so there’s sure to be something for even the most “I don’t know what I want” types among us. Inside, you’ll discover some of the most exotic Portland food carts, including:

Burmese Delight: noodle salads, curries, and pad thai
Mestizaje: grilled tapas and other Spanish specialties
Peri Koshari: spiced and savory Egyptian dishes
Dr. Philly Cheesesteak: the classic Pennsylvania favorite
South: Southern comfort food and Cajun cuisine
Bark City BBQ: authentic Texas-style barbecue

Killingsworth Station Pod

1331 N Killingsworth St, Portland, OR 97217

Nestled within a quiet residential neighborhood sits the Killingsworth Station Pod. The variety here is off the charts, as is the quality. You’d be hard-pressed to find another pod in PDX that offers so much in such a concentrated area. When you go, look for: 

Taste of Soul: authentically delicious Southern soul food
La Puerta: Salvadoran specialties, including pupusas and tamales
Coffee Villa: breakfast favorites, sandwiches, and coffee drinks
Sweet Lorraine’s Latkes: NYC-style Jewish comfort food
V3 PDX: vegan food and fresh seasonal offerings

Nob Hill Food Carts

1845 NW 23rd Pl, Portland, OR 97210

Located in the center of one of the city’s trendiest and fastest-growing areas, Nob Hill is a dynamic destination to visit the next time you’re feeling peckish. Victorian houses line the streets here, as do bookstores, coffee shops, and fashion-forward boutiques. But you’re here for the food! So let’s eat: 

Dhaba Indian Kitchen: deliciously fragrant, flavorful Indian cuisine
Ippo Ramen: authentic and traditional Japanese noodle bowls
Rollin’ Fresh: a wide variety of modern fusion sushi  
Tehuana Oaxacan: specialty Mexican, including tacos and tortas
Bing Mi: crispy northern-Chinese-style filled crepes
Drunken Noodle: Vietnamese noodles and banh mi sandwiches

Meet Me at the Food Trucks

2001 S River Dr, Portland, OR 97201

Meet Me at the Food Trucks is a monthly pop-up event that brings some of PDX’s best mobile eateries to South Waterfront Park, on the banks of the Willamette. The lineup changes every time out, so you never know what you’ll discover! One thing’s for sure, you won’t leave hungry. The next event takes place on July 29, so be sure to check it out. 

Hungry for more? We’ve got your back. When you stay with us at The Hotel Zags, you’re never more than a scone’s throw from the most delicious Portland food carts. When you’re ready to visit, check out our Special Offers page, choose your travel deal, and get ready for your foodie tour.