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A photo of a vegan bake stuffed with chana aloo curry from Bake on the Run food cart
A chana bake at Bake on the Run.
Bake on the Run

A Guide to Portland’s Most Outstanding Food Carts

Where to catch the city’s tastiest meals on wheels, from hand-pulled noodles to chicken adobo

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A chana bake at Bake on the Run.
| Bake on the Run

Portland's reputation as a quirky, food-centric city is well known, and it’s undeniable that a large part of its culinary identity stems from food carts. Parked at established pods around the city, Portland’s carts serve everything from sushi made with Oregon Coast-caught fish to intricate moles, hotspots of culinary creativity packed into tiny metal kitchens-on-wheels. Covering a wide swath of cuisines, this map pays homage to the beloved Portland cart scene, honoring the chefs consistently serving world-class food from a takeout window. For some of the most noteworthy new food carts, check out the Eater Portland heatmap.

Note: Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process.

Tito’s Taquitos

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Some of Portland’s best Mexican food can be found in a cart tucked to the side of a gas station convenience store along Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway. At Tito’s, taquitos are stuffed with fluffy potato and topped with aguacate, cotija, and microgreens — they can be ordered as-is or with the addition of proteins like garlic shrimp, braised beef, or garbanzo bean al pastor. Although the taquitos have top billing here, the tacos, boasting handmade tortillas, are worth ordering as well. To dodge lengthy wait times, diners in-the-know call their orders in or order online.

Yoshi's Sushi

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Bamboo Sushi veteran Yoshi Ikeda opened this cart in the Multnomah Village French Quarter pod in 2019 and has been serving high-caliber fish ever since. Fun, innovative rolls like the lime green roll with sesame-crusted spinach, cucumber, roasted pepper, avocado, and microgreens are only improved with the cart’s ginger miso. Rotating nigiri and occasional hand rolls showcase the super fresh seafood Ikeda sources. The cart is open for phone orders; walk-up orders are not accepted.

Farmer and The Beast

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This Northwest Portland food cart shows off some of the region’s finest seasonal produce: On any given visit, depending on the time of year, Oregon strawberries may appear, red to the center, in a salad with cucumbers and spring lettuces; spring peas and grapefruit may come tossed with a cashew crunch; winter citrus could provide a pop of acid to briny olives and feta. Then again, those seeking a serious smash burger will find those here, too, year-round.

Kim Jong Grillin

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These soul-satisfying Korean barbecue boxes are now a fundamental part of Portland’s food scene, and KJG’s owner, Han Ly Hwang, is the longest reigning king of the Portland food cart world. The cart’s take on the classic bibimbap includes expertly marinated meats, japchae potato noodles, rice, kimchi, and a fried egg. The result is a sweet, spicy, and savory combination of flavors that are balanced and comforting. Those not in the mood for bibimbap should go for the cart’s hot dog, topped with kimchi mayo, pickled mango, and spicy daikon. If one of Kim Jong Grillin’s munchwraps are available, order it.

Desi PDX

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The food at this Prost Marketplace cart is as maximalist in aesthetics as it is in flavor. Bowls and platters come with colorful condiments and sides, turmeric slaw and seasonal pickles adding a zippiness to bowls of spiced rice and saucy kalonji kale keema, a blend of lamb and kale with a touch of sweetness from butternut squash. It’s hard to leave without an order of the cardamom-chai chicken, brined, steamed and glazed with tea.

Stretch the Noodle

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Anyone who visits this downtown Portland food cart will likely spot chef Xuemei Simard quite literally stretching, slapping, and pulling noodles for bowls of killer beef soup or stir fries, fragrant with ma la or five spice. The dumplings, each packing a full shrimp with its tail poking out, are no slouch either.

Tokyo Sando

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Taiki Nakajima’s popular Japanese-style sandwich cart has found a new home at the Midtown Beer Garden, where diners can enjoy meals with beer from Fracture Brewing and live music on occasion. Nakajima uses slices of shokupan as bookends for fillings like pork katsu, panko-breaded tofu, and creamy egg salad. The cart has a menu of regular sandwiches, but specials like the deep-fried curry pan sando or one stuffed with strawberries and cream are announced on Instagram and typically sell out fast.

Kee's #Loaded Kitchen

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Internet sensation Kiauna Nelson built her food cart dreams through self-taught culinary training and a business degree. Now, she serves massive piles of chicken and mac and cheese half the week at her MLK food cart. Kiauna’s (or Kee’s) specials can be found through her social media posts, but any day customers can walk up for sweet-salty fried chicken, crackling catfish, and saucy mac and cheese. Go early to line up; the food sells out sooner than posted hours may suggest.

Bake on the Run

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This mother-son-run food cart on Stark is essentially an educational center for Guyanese cuisine, with lengthy descriptions and context for each dish posted on the Lil’ America cart’s facade. Here, fluffy “bakes” — fry breads — arrive stuffed with delicately seasoned saltfish or earthy chana aloo, served alongside dishes that emphasize the various cultural influences on the country’s cuisine; for instance, chow mein can come smothered in potato-chicken curry or dal. For dessert, get a bake filled with seasonal jam.

Frybaby

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This fried chicken cart within the Lil’ America pod has made a serious impression thanks to the thunderous crunch of its wings and drumsticks’ crackling skin. The combination of rice, potato, and tapioca flour helps maximize the crispness of the chicken, which remains juicy due to the makgeolli in the batter. Get wings tossed in snow cheese or saucy with gochujang or soy glaze; when it comes to sides, the kimchi mac and cheese is a must.

Baon Kainan

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This Alberta Street Filipino cart has rapidly grown a fierce following, with specials like jackfruit-and-mushroom sisig, Filipino spaghetti drenched in a banana ketchup tomato sauce, and calamansi cream puffs. However, it’s hard to leave the cart without an order of Baon Kainan’s exceptional chicken adobo, juicy legs tinted with a smoked tamari-vinegar sauce.

A takeout container from Baon Kainan in Portland Oregon, filled with two pieces of chicken in a light brown sauce, topped with pickled daikon and carrots and steamed bok choy.
Chicken adobo at Baon Kainan.
Molly J. Smith/Eater Portland

Erica’s Soul Food

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Erica Montgomery has parked her bright-yellow soul food cart at various spots around the city, but its latest location — next to labor movement hotspot Worker’s Tap — feels like the ideal landing pad. Here, Montgomery tosses her vegan or traditional chicken wings in a roster of knockout sauces, including a tangy ATL hot lemon pepper; for something more like a meal, the cart’s shrimp and grits balance the acidity of roasted tomato with creamy gouda.

Mole Mole Mexican Cuisine

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This Alberta Street food cart churns out an exceptionally wide range of dishes, from pozole to seafood burritos to various shades of mole. Of course, considering the name, moles here are particularly special, especially when each house variety blankets enchiladas stuffed with tender chicken or stretchy cheese. It’s worth it to eat any meal at the pod, where sopas arrive ladled into colorful bowls.

Ruthie's

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You’ll never know what you’ll get at Ruthie’s on any given visit — some days, an order might involve thick slices of coppa in a tangy apple yogurt, or a corn salad topped with popcorn-like puffed sorghum, or pile of creamy, comforting funeral potatoes. The spontaneity keeps things interesting, and the main security blanket stays on the menu at all times: Sweet, fluffy, house-made rolls with seasonal jam, glistening and hazelnut brown on top. Ruthie’s is located behind Someday on Division.

Sorbu Paninoteca

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The main draw of this Cully cart is its cinque e cinque, or “5 & 5”: a layer of torta di ceci, an Italian chickpea flatbread, is paired with jammy eggplant on house-baked bread (those who eat dairy should add burrata). But the full menu is stacked year-round, changing dishes as produce from Portland farms begin to ripen. The Revel Meat Co. porchetta, which gets a slather of both salsa verde and anchovy mayo, is another star, often on the menu; it’s best to round things out with a seasonal salad and one of the cart’s stellar desserts.

Viking Soul Food

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For more than 10 years, Megan Walhood and Jeremy Daniels have been churning out Norwegian lefse, potato flatbread, out of their adorable Airstream trailer on Southeast Belmont. The lefse are reliable comfort food for Portlanders, filled with combinations like meatballs with gravy or smoked salmon, dill, greens, and creme fraiche; any lefse pairs well with seafood chowder and lingonberry iced tea.

Smoked salmon lefse and lingonberry iced tea at Viking Soul Food.
Smoked salmon lefse and lingonberry iced tea at Viking Soul Food.
Nick Woo/Eater Portland

At this Sandy food cart just a few blocks from the Grotto, chef Roberto Hernandez Guerrero uses a beautiful, just a touch springy, naturally leavened pizza crust as the foundation for artfully executed pizzas, from the traditional to the truly distinct. The margherita here is a faithful rendition, with a bright tomato sauce and salty fresh mozz; however, it’s worth it to visit for dishes like the pizzaleada, the cart’s take on a Honduran baleada with poblano-tinged sour cream.

Birrieria La Plaza - Birria de Res | Mexican Food Truck & Taqueria

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The greater Portland area has a number of exceptional birria carts, but Birrieria La Plaza reigns supreme: Here, customers dunk cheesy tacos into consome swirling with the heat of toasted spices and charred peppers, glistening with a slick of chile oil. Owner Oracio Hernandez’s mother is the mastermind behind the recipe, which she keeps under lock and key; mystery or not, the shop’s quesabirria, mulitas, and vampiros are some of the city’s finest.

Tito’s Taquitos

Some of Portland’s best Mexican food can be found in a cart tucked to the side of a gas station convenience store along Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway. At Tito’s, taquitos are stuffed with fluffy potato and topped with aguacate, cotija, and microgreens — they can be ordered as-is or with the addition of proteins like garlic shrimp, braised beef, or garbanzo bean al pastor. Although the taquitos have top billing here, the tacos, boasting handmade tortillas, are worth ordering as well. To dodge lengthy wait times, diners in-the-know call their orders in or order online.

Yoshi's Sushi

Bamboo Sushi veteran Yoshi Ikeda opened this cart in the Multnomah Village French Quarter pod in 2019 and has been serving high-caliber fish ever since. Fun, innovative rolls like the lime green roll with sesame-crusted spinach, cucumber, roasted pepper, avocado, and microgreens are only improved with the cart’s ginger miso. Rotating nigiri and occasional hand rolls showcase the super fresh seafood Ikeda sources. The cart is open for phone orders; walk-up orders are not accepted.

Farmer and The Beast

This Northwest Portland food cart shows off some of the region’s finest seasonal produce: On any given visit, depending on the time of year, Oregon strawberries may appear, red to the center, in a salad with cucumbers and spring lettuces; spring peas and grapefruit may come tossed with a cashew crunch; winter citrus could provide a pop of acid to briny olives and feta. Then again, those seeking a serious smash burger will find those here, too, year-round.

Kim Jong Grillin

These soul-satisfying Korean barbecue boxes are now a fundamental part of Portland’s food scene, and KJG’s owner, Han Ly Hwang, is the longest reigning king of the Portland food cart world. The cart’s take on the classic bibimbap includes expertly marinated meats, japchae potato noodles, rice, kimchi, and a fried egg. The result is a sweet, spicy, and savory combination of flavors that are balanced and comforting. Those not in the mood for bibimbap should go for the cart’s hot dog, topped with kimchi mayo, pickled mango, and spicy daikon. If one of Kim Jong Grillin’s munchwraps are available, order it.

Desi PDX

The food at this Prost Marketplace cart is as maximalist in aesthetics as it is in flavor. Bowls and platters come with colorful condiments and sides, turmeric slaw and seasonal pickles adding a zippiness to bowls of spiced rice and saucy kalonji kale keema, a blend of lamb and kale with a touch of sweetness from butternut squash. It’s hard to leave without an order of the cardamom-chai chicken, brined, steamed and glazed with tea.

Stretch the Noodle

Anyone who visits this downtown Portland food cart will likely spot chef Xuemei Simard quite literally stretching, slapping, and pulling noodles for bowls of killer beef soup or stir fries, fragrant with ma la or five spice. The dumplings, each packing a full shrimp with its tail poking out, are no slouch either.

Tokyo Sando

Taiki Nakajima’s popular Japanese-style sandwich cart has found a new home at the Midtown Beer Garden, where diners can enjoy meals with beer from Fracture Brewing and live music on occasion. Nakajima uses slices of shokupan as bookends for fillings like pork katsu, panko-breaded tofu, and creamy egg salad. The cart has a menu of regular sandwiches, but specials like the deep-fried curry pan sando or one stuffed with strawberries and cream are announced on Instagram and typically sell out fast.

Kee's #Loaded Kitchen

Internet sensation Kiauna Nelson built her food cart dreams through self-taught culinary training and a business degree. Now, she serves massive piles of chicken and mac and cheese half the week at her MLK food cart. Kiauna’s (or Kee’s) specials can be found through her social media posts, but any day customers can walk up for sweet-salty fried chicken, crackling catfish, and saucy mac and cheese. Go early to line up; the food sells out sooner than posted hours may suggest.

Bake on the Run

This mother-son-run food cart on Stark is essentially an educational center for Guyanese cuisine, with lengthy descriptions and context for each dish posted on the Lil’ America cart’s facade. Here, fluffy “bakes” — fry breads — arrive stuffed with delicately seasoned saltfish or earthy chana aloo, served alongside dishes that emphasize the various cultural influences on the country’s cuisine; for instance, chow mein can come smothered in potato-chicken curry or dal. For dessert, get a bake filled with seasonal jam.

Frybaby

This fried chicken cart within the Lil’ America pod has made a serious impression thanks to the thunderous crunch of its wings and drumsticks’ crackling skin. The combination of rice, potato, and tapioca flour helps maximize the crispness of the chicken, which remains juicy due to the makgeolli in the batter. Get wings tossed in snow cheese or saucy with gochujang or soy glaze; when it comes to sides, the kimchi mac and cheese is a must.

Baon Kainan

This Alberta Street Filipino cart has rapidly grown a fierce following, with specials like jackfruit-and-mushroom sisig, Filipino spaghetti drenched in a banana ketchup tomato sauce, and calamansi cream puffs. However, it’s hard to leave the cart without an order of Baon Kainan’s exceptional chicken adobo, juicy legs tinted with a smoked tamari-vinegar sauce.

A takeout container from Baon Kainan in Portland Oregon, filled with two pieces of chicken in a light brown sauce, topped with pickled daikon and carrots and steamed bok choy.
Chicken adobo at Baon Kainan.
Molly J. Smith/Eater Portland

Erica’s Soul Food

Erica Montgomery has parked her bright-yellow soul food cart at various spots around the city, but its latest location — next to labor movement hotspot Worker’s Tap — feels like the ideal landing pad. Here, Montgomery tosses her vegan or traditional chicken wings in a roster of knockout sauces, including a tangy ATL hot lemon pepper; for something more like a meal, the cart’s shrimp and grits balance the acidity of roasted tomato with creamy gouda.

Mole Mole Mexican Cuisine

This Alberta Street food cart churns out an exceptionally wide range of dishes, from pozole to seafood burritos to various shades of mole. Of course, considering the name, moles here are particularly special, especially when each house variety blankets enchiladas stuffed with tender chicken or stretchy cheese. It’s worth it to eat any meal at the pod, where sopas arrive ladled into colorful bowls.

Ruthie's

You’ll never know what you’ll get at Ruthie’s on any given visit — some days, an order might involve thick slices of coppa in a tangy apple yogurt, or a corn salad topped with popcorn-like puffed sorghum, or pile of creamy, comforting funeral potatoes. The spontaneity keeps things interesting, and the main security blanket stays on the menu at all times: Sweet, fluffy, house-made rolls with seasonal jam, glistening and hazelnut brown on top. Ruthie’s is located behind Someday on Division.

Sorbu Paninoteca

The main draw of this Cully cart is its cinque e cinque, or “5 & 5”: a layer of torta di ceci, an Italian chickpea flatbread, is paired with jammy eggplant on house-baked bread (those who eat dairy should add burrata). But the full menu is stacked year-round, changing dishes as produce from Portland farms begin to ripen. The Revel Meat Co. porchetta, which gets a slather of both salsa verde and anchovy mayo, is another star, often on the menu; it’s best to round things out with a seasonal salad and one of the cart’s stellar desserts.

Related Maps

Viking Soul Food

For more than 10 years, Megan Walhood and Jeremy Daniels have been churning out Norwegian lefse, potato flatbread, out of their adorable Airstream trailer on Southeast Belmont. The lefse are reliable comfort food for Portlanders, filled with combinations like meatballs with gravy or smoked salmon, dill, greens, and creme fraiche; any lefse pairs well with seafood chowder and lingonberry iced tea.

Smoked salmon lefse and lingonberry iced tea at Viking Soul Food.
Smoked salmon lefse and lingonberry iced tea at Viking Soul Food.
Nick Woo/Eater Portland

Reeva

At this Sandy food cart just a few blocks from the Grotto, chef Roberto Hernandez Guerrero uses a beautiful, just a touch springy, naturally leavened pizza crust as the foundation for artfully executed pizzas, from the traditional to the truly distinct. The margherita here is a faithful rendition, with a bright tomato sauce and salty fresh mozz; however, it’s worth it to visit for dishes like the pizzaleada, the cart’s take on a Honduran baleada with poblano-tinged sour cream.

Birrieria La Plaza - Birria de Res | Mexican Food Truck & Taqueria

The greater Portland area has a number of exceptional birria carts, but Birrieria La Plaza reigns supreme: Here, customers dunk cheesy tacos into consome swirling with the heat of toasted spices and charred peppers, glistening with a slick of chile oil. Owner Oracio Hernandez’s mother is the mastermind behind the recipe, which she keeps under lock and key; mystery or not, the shop’s quesabirria, mulitas, and vampiros are some of the city’s finest.

Related Maps