I had heard the food cart scene in Portland was big but I was not prepared for what I would see. I thought I would see a few grouped together, I had no idea there would be two blocks of carts in one area and more around the city.
With only a week in the city I decided to try the best food carts in Portland, but that is not an easy task as there are lots of posts claiming to know the top 10 food carts, I don’t know if my list is the definitive best but here’s what I enjoyed in the city.
One of the most interesting blends of cultures is the Korean taco and despite thinking Portland has few minorities, the food doesn’t suffer.This truck is very simple with Korean barbecued meat served on tacos. The Korean short rib taco at $2 was wonderful.
The Whole Bowl
The self-proclaimed most cherished vegetarian food cart. There are two sizes to the bowl and you can have brown rice, beans, a number of vegetables and cheese. But what makes this bowl popular is an unconventional lemon-garlic sauce; no one knows what it is but everyone loves it.
At the biggest congregation of food carts, SW 9th and Alder, baoPDX is one of the most popular locations. There are a number of fillings on the pillowy bun so I asked for a recommendation, the jerk chicken is the most ordered items but I liked the pork belly best, the pickled salad was a nice complement to the pork belly. This is also a great location for vegetarians as there is a ginger orange tofu bun.
Nong’s Khao Man Gai
This cart seems to top every list and I loved it. Nong only makes one dish – Khao Man Gai and it reminded me of when I had it years ago at Chatuchak Market in Bangkok. She has been written about in almost every major food publication and online and it’s well worth it.