These 8 Food Carts Serve the Best Munchies in Portland

So Leafly sent ya boy Dante Jordan aka Yung Carne Asada (me, I) to Portland last week, and while I was out there of course I had to hit the food cart scene. I mean, you can’t just go to Portland for the first time ever and skip over the food carts—you stupid?

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I ate a lot of food. Oh boy, did I eat a lot of food. So much food that I not only returned home with a higher BMI, but also a list of foods that you have to try if you make your way out there. Peep them below.

Disclaimer: There are a million bazillion food carts in Portland, so if you read this list and think “Wow no love for XYZ food carty cart” then know that it would have been literally impossible for me to try every single food cart/pod/item in the 16 total hours of free time I had. Cool, glad we got that out of the way. Let’s talk vittles.

The Holla at Smaaken Waffles Sandwiches

New awnings!! Stay dry if it's raining.

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Pod: Tidbit

Cart cuisine: Breakfast sandwiches

Menu item description: Thick cut bacon, two cage-free brown eggs, cheddar, maple butter, sandwiched between two waffle halves (also known as a whole waffle, if you do the math).

How much: $9.75

Why you have to have it: Dude, it’s a breakfast sandwich with double eggs and a perfectly made waffle as the bread. What more could you ask for? The sandwich is bomb, but the maple butter sets it off, no Queen Latifah. It’s been a week since I’ve had it and I still think about it every single day. Love at first bite.

Pro tip: The Tidbit food cart pod closes on October 8, meaning all the carts that live here will be finding new homes elsewhere in the city, so you better hurry up and go get this sandwich before it moves away and you can’t find it.

The Bistro Chef’s Burrito at Chocolate Mexican Bistro

Pod: SW 10th & Alder

Cart cuisine: Mexican

Menu item description: Meat of choice (they have ALL the options), flour tortilla, queso fresco, lettuce, white rice, spicy queso sauce, cilantro.

How much: $7

Why you have to have it: When I was in Portland, I learned that queso is not a thing there. Bruh. What?! That’s exactly why this is a must-have: because you not only get a queso burrito, but that burrito is also SMOTHERED in queso. That’s right, a double dose of queso for my melted cheese sauce fans out there. And the fact that it’s only $7 for a big-ass burrito (it’s huge) makes you want to slap the CEO of Chipotle.

Pro tip: They also have this strawberry lemonade. It’s only $2, but I’d be willing to pay $4 for it. It’s THAT good. Matter fact, good isn’t the word. It’s THAT great.

The Captain, My Captain at Voodoo Doughnut

Pod: Cartlandia

Cart cuisine: Donuts

Menu item description: Raised yeast doughnut with vanilla frosting and Cap’n Crunch.

How much: $2

Why you have to have it: No gas, this was the single best donut I’ve ever had in my entire life. And I’ve been eating donuts since I could chew. The way that frosting mixes with the cereal makes it taste just like a bowl of Cap’n, but it’s better because every bite feels like a surprise; you cannot believe how good it tastes.

The Jarritos Mandarin Soda at Azul Tequila Taqueria 2

Pod: Tidbit

Cart cuisine: Mexican

Menu item description: A Mexican orange soda

How much: $2

Why you have to have it: If you’ve never had a Jarritos Mandarin then you’ve never had the greatest soda ever made. That’s why you have to try it. It’s made with natural flavors, it’s a little bit more carbonated than other sodas, and it is soooooo damn packed with sugary orange flavor that you can literally feel the diabetes creep into your body. Worth it.

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The Fried Chicken Wings at Baked ‘N Boned

Pod: Cartlandia

Cart cuisine: Soul food

Menu item description: Fried chicken wings with one side and a biscuit. Also available as thighs, drums, and tenders.

How much: $5 (two pieces), $7 (three pieces), $9 (four pieces)

Why you have to have it: The owner is a big Hawaiian-and/or-Samoan dude in a black tee with hella tattoos, so you already KNOW everything on that menu is fire. He had the wings perfectly fried, with a little seasoning on them, PLUS he had the hot sauce on deck, PLUS you get one side AND a biscuit … which make it one of the most cost-efficient food carts in all the land(ia).

Trust me on this: Get the baked beans as your side.

The Fundamentalist at Cheesesteak Nirvana

Pod: Cartlandia

Cart cuisine: Cheesesteaks

Menu item description: Premium thin-slice grilled sirloin with caramelized onions and your choice of cheese. (I picked provolone ‘cause I’m a classic man.)

How much: $6 (Regular, 6”), $10 (Ultimate, 12”)

Why you have to have it: They weren’t lying when they said premium grilled sirloin; this was one of the best tasting cheesesteaks I’ve ever had. You can really taste the quality of the meat in every bite, which I appreciate. Plus the cheese was soooooooo stringy and beautiful, and the Amaroso rolls are actually brought in from Philly. Toss in the onions and it’s like, “OKAY CHEESECAKE NIRVANA, I SEE YOU.”

The Lamb Gyro at Gyro House

Pod: SW 10th & Alder

Cart cuisine: Greek

Menu item description: Lamb, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, tzatziki sauce, all wrapped up in a fresh pita.

How much: $5

Why you have to have it: Because it’s the cheapest option for the best tasting food. The gyro is well-made and authentic. Know that there are like 4 other carts in the same pod with the exact same menu, but I ate at Gyro House, and I stand by them. That gyro HIT, boy, do you hear me?! Had ya boy dripping sauce all over my shirt and I didn’t even care.

The Classic Mac ‘n Cheese With Bacon and Cajun Seasoning at PDX Mac and Cheese Bar

Pod: SW 10th & Alder

Cart cuisine: Mac ‘n cheese

Menu item description: Jumbo macaroni noodles, house cheese sauce, add bacon and Cajun seasoning.

How much: $6.75 (regular size), $2 (for the bacon), $0.50 (for the Cajun seasoning). Grand total: $9.25.

Why you have to have it: It’s mac and cheese. With bacon. Topped with Cajun style seasoning. You shouldn’t need more of an explanation, but it’s a must-have because it’s super-cheesy and every bite bursts with that Cajun flavor. Seriously, if you go here and don’t get the Cajun-style seasoning then you’re missing out on a true mac experience.

Pro tip: There’s a large size on the menu too ($9.75), but there’s no need to order it—the regular size is really big and will keep you full for quite some time while you frolic the city on some stoney adventure shit.