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Three New Portland Food Cart Pods to Know

The Heist, Alberta Carts, and Wonderlove are all beginning to gather their chefs and vendors, ranging from Portland big-names like Sammich and Poppyseed to newer venues like the Pit Smokehouse

Customers line up at a new food cart pod in Portland’s Woodstock neighborhood, known as The Heist.
The Heist food cart pod.
Janey Wong/Eater Portland

In Portland, food cart pods dot every quadrant of the city, each offering a tantalizing smorgasbord of cuisines. For some diners, a standout food cart can draw them to a specific pod; for others in search of a comfortable hangout, ambience takes precedence over the actual food on offer.

To stand out among the city’s crowded field of pods, newcomers debut on the scene with killer cart lineups and amenities to entice diners, whether that be an indoor seating area, bar, or a unifying element, such as Lil America’s roster of exclusively LGBTQ- and BIPOC-owned carts. No matter what the draw, Portlanders can make their way to the latest crop of pods to open this summer to take advantage of the peak al fresco dining season.

The Heist

When it opened: June 10
Where it is: 4747 SE Woodstock Boulevard
Food carts: 15 total, including Sammich, Smaaken Waffle, Thai Sunflowers, The Pit Smokehouse, and Namo Buddha Himalayan Cuisine.
Why you should go: The design of this pod pays homage to the bank building that it now occupies — there’s ample outdoor seating, with indoor seating to come. A bar window sits at the former bank’s drive-up teller, serving draft beers, wine, and cocktails.

Alberta Carts

When it’s opening: The pod’s build-out is TBA, but Poppyseed has been open at the site since June, Rusa will open in August, and more carts will be added on a rolling basis.
Where it is: 1027 NE Alberta Street
Food carts: The pod has space for seven total, but only two are confirmed so far. Poppyseed, a seasonally driven food cart with dishes like albacore tuna burgers and maitake mushroom melts, is run by Le Pigeon alumnus Tim Willis and his wife, pastry chef Lissette Morales Willis. Rusa, a cart which melds Eastern European and Latin American cuisines, serves items like chorizo pierogi and stroganoff tamales.
Why you should go: Alberta Carts is situated across the street from its sister property, a new 100-room hotel and health and wellness center by the development firm SolTerra boasting a two-story solarium with a Moroccan pool; a garden with a sauna and walk-through waterfall; and a subterranean cenote with a mineral pool.


When it’s opening: Labor Day weekend (target open date)
Where it is: 1300 SE 2nd Avenue
Food carts: The pod is currently in the process of selecting tenant carts.
Why you should go: Built out of shipping containers, Wonderlove’s triple-decker bar and party deck will have views of downtown. The pod will be decked out with splashy murals and plans to host a robust calendar of live music and special events.