Oregon Road Trip: The Skinny on Portland Food Carts
I’m no foodie, but I definitely like to eat a good meal as often as possible.
As we planned our mini-road trip around Oregon this past July I was so excited to get back to Portland. The food cart movement had exploded since the last time we were there. Facebook and Twitter were abuzz with new carts opening up offering savory and sweet delicacies.
Mike and I agreed that we would try to only eat at food carts during our weekend stay. This would save us a bit of money as well as expose us to some amazing food in a very kid-friendly dining sort of way. Loads of options and dining al fresco; what could possibly go wrong?
Have you ever been to a food cart in Portland on a weekend?
Yup. That’s what went wrong.
Many of the food carts near our hotel closed down for the weekend. They catered primarily to the downtown work crowd.
You have no idea how bitterly disappointed I was. We were not able to complete our self-imposed challenge to only eat at food carts. We walked by several carts that looked too amazing to pass up, except we had to because no one was inside cooking. Waffles, beignets, Cuban sandwiches; all were shut down as they enjoyed the sunny weekend we were soaking up.
We did get to eat at a few carts that remained open near our hotel, just not for every meal. I had some tasty BBQ pork and brisket, a little yakisoba and some Kalua pork with rice. It was a start, but not what I was hoping for.
Lesson learned. We will be researching food carts a bit more thoroughly before we head down next time. I will not give up on my quest to only partake in the delicious treats the carts can provide on a return visit.
On the upside, we did go to some delicious restaurants and got to know the bell staff at our hotel pretty well. They always pointed us to their favorite spots.
Now whether we listened or not is a whole other story.
Know Before You Go
Only 1 tip: Check out Food Carts Portland before you head down.
- Maps of where food carts can be found
- Food listed by category to help you narrow down your choices
- New spots and closing announcements
- Also offers tours of the food carts
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written by Keryn Means