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Four cheese-covered beef patties sit nestled on a bed of lettuce, pickles, and special sauce between two golden, toasted, buns.
Jojo’s double classic cheeseburger
Photo courtesy of @jojo.pdx

13 Gourdet-Approved Portland Food Trucks and Carts

Follow this map, curated by Chef Gregory Gourdet, for a tour of Portland’s best mobile food joints.

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Jojo’s double classic cheeseburger
| Photo courtesy of @jojo.pdx
This advertising content was produced in collaboration between Vox Creative and our sponsor, without involvement from Vox Media editorial staff.

With Portland being home to countless food trucks and carts — many owned by Top Chef alums — it can be hard to decide where to even begin for a tasting tour. Chef Gregory Gourdet (known for his Top Chef fame, James Beard Award nominations, forthcoming restaurant Kann, and debut cookbook Everyone’s Table: Global Recipes for Modern Health) takes us on a 13-stop-tour around Portland’s diverse and ever-evolving mobile eatery scene.

Portland is known for its diverse and eclectic culinary scene, and its collection of food trucks and carts are no different. From juicy fried chicken, to Vietnamese sausage, smoked beef brisket, to Japanese-style egg salad sandwiches, it’ll be hard to not order one of everything. And while some of the spots are still on Gourdet’s to-visit list, he collaborated with other past Top Chef contestants and colleagues to provide a perfectly curated list of Portland’s best.

The level of service offered is indicated on each map point. Some spots are offering indoor and outdoor dining with capacity regulations and social distancing, while others are focusing on only takeout and delivery. This should not be taken as an endorsement for dining out, as there are still safety concerns: for updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit the Oregon Health Authority’s COVID update page. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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1. Bing Mi

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1845 NW 23rd Pl
Portland, OR 97210
(971) 930-2968
Visit Website

Jianbing, one of China’s most popular portable breakfasts, gets the Portland treatment at Bing Mi’s food cart. The savory Chinese crepe boasts a variety of textures and, while it typically doesn’t include meat, this Nob Hill food cart offers added proteins like BBQ pork, Vietnamese sausage, or Chinese sausage with bacon. Gourdet goes for the roasted duck loaded bing, medium-spicy. Meatless options are available, like the vegan jianbing, with an onion-fried tofu option or an Impossible patty stuffed into scallion pancakes. Add lettuce or an extra cracker for additional crunch.

2. Kabba’s Kitchen

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4631 N Albina Ave
Portland, OR 97217
(503) 438-6770
Visit Website

Kabba’s cart sits in a spacious lot just past the curve where the bustling stretch of North Mississippi Ave turns into Albina. Owner Kabba Saidikhan serves “Senegambian” fare, with dishes originating from West African neighbors Senegal and Gambia. Kabba’s favorite dishes include the fish Yassa — a whole grilled tilapia in tangy lemon onion sauce, served over yellow rice with pickled veggies — and the Thiebou Yapp, a flavorful lamb dish. Diners can quench their thirst with homemade iced hibiscus and ginger drinks.

3. Tokyo Sando

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321 SW 2nd Ave
Portland, OR 97204
(971) 254-3744
Visit Website

For this cart’s namesake dish, you’ll get a variety of fillings sandwiched between fluffy slices of shokupan (Japanese milk bread). Owner Taiki Nakajima takes customers on a flavorful journey to his hometown of Tokyo via addictive Japanese-style egg salad sandwiches and other specials, like the decadent Scotch egg sando. Extra-hungry folks can round out their meal with a side of karaage (Japanese fried chicken) or Japanese-style potato salad. Specials rotate weekly, so keep an eye on the cart’s Instagram for the latest offerings. Orders can be placed in advance on their website.

4. Kee's #Loaded Kitchen

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5020 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Portland, OR 97212
(503) 516-2078
Visit Website

Chef and owner Kiauna “Kee” Nelson’s meals are, indeed, loaded. Menus are released daily, with a rotating cast of mains, sides, and desserts. At Kee’s cart, don’t worry about painstakingly choosing which two sides you want, because entrées come inclusive of all sides listed on the day’s menu. Expect side dishes like the creamy “Mack n Kees” under a thick blanket of cheddar and BBQ beans with smoked beef brisket. Meals also include dessert and a drink. The cart takes walk-up orders only, with many loyal customers arriving before opening time to snag a spot on the list. If you’re not fortunate enough to grab one of the two picnic tables out front, dig into the piping hot food in your car.

5. Jojo Food Truck

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3582 SE Powell Blvd
Portland, OR 97202
(971) 331-4284
Visit Website

Fans might come for the “jojos”—the crunchy and giant, hand-cut and double-fried, potato wedges—but the truck’s burgers, sandwiches, fried chicken, and patty melts should not be overlooked. Located in a pod right next to the Eastside location of John’s Marketplace, diners can also grab a beer (or other adult drinks) from the window. Look out for the cart’s brick-and-mortar restaurant, which is slated to open this summer in the Pearl District. Right now, orders can be placed through Clover.

Crispy fried chicken sits on a bed of greens and onions, topped with jalapeños and covered in white queso cheese, between two toasted buns.
Jojo’s spicy queso chicken sandwich.
Photo courtesy of @jojopdx

6. Ruthie's

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3634 SE Division St
Portland, OR 97202
(801) 648-3307
Visit Website

Tucked behind an alleyway off of restaurant-packed Division Street, the Ruthie’s cart sits in a shared courtyard with a couple other carts and the chic cocktail bar Someday. Childhood friends Collin Mohr and Aaron Kiss put a modern spin on Mormon food, like funeral potatoes and Jell-O, in the cart named after Mohr’s grandma Ruth. Menu items requiring flames go into the wood-fire oven nestled inside the cart. The duo sources from local farms like Wild Roots, Vibrant Valley, and Farrah Farms, making for hyper-seasonal menus with rotating salads. First-timers could build a meal around the menu’s cornerstones: Grandma’s rolls and the rockfish slider. Patio seating is available; there’s often a short wait, so put your name on the list and enjoy a cocktail in the alleyway in the meantime.

7. MATTA

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4311 NE Prescott St Ave
Portland, OR 97218
(971) 258-2849
Visit Website

Chef and owner Richard Van Le provides a Việt Kiều experience for visitors of his cart. Keep an eye out for special drops such as VFC (Vietnamese Fried Chicken), which comes with coconut mashed potatoes with nước chấm gravy, gỏislaw, and a pandan roll. Be prepared for a long line on the weekends, and get there early, as the cart typically sells out. Always on the menu is the Vietnamese staple dish thịt kho (braised pork belly with egg) and Grandma’s special, which features thinly sliced steak seared with Thai basil and onion. For dessert, grab a wildly fluffy pandan doughnut that’s been lightly dusted with coconut. Covered seating is available at the cart’s next-door neighbor, Metalwood Salvage.

Three cheeseburgers with green buns are wrapped in checkered paper.
MATTA’s cheeseburgers on a toasted pandan bun
Photo courtesy of MATTA

8. Kim Jong Grillin

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4606 SE Division St
Portland, OR 97206
(503) 929-0522
Visit Website

Han Hwang’s story is one of resilience: Back in 2011, his cart caught on fire just hours after he won a top prize at the Eat Mobile food cart festival. Needless to say, the chef persevered, and 10 years later, he’s still going strong. If you know what’s good for you, order a bibim box, which comes with your choice of protein — bulgogi, galbi, and tofu are among the options — on top of scorched japchae (Korean potato starch noodles), rice, and house-made bonchan. It’s all crowned with a drizzle of red-hot gochujang and a fried egg. Hwang gained nationwide recognition when making his first appearance on Food Network in 2014. Now, he’s made a return for the current season of The Great Food Truck Race: All Stars. Orders can be placed for pickup or delivery on Postmates.

A red-sauce-covered fried egg and sesame-glazed tofu sits on a bed of green, noodles, and rice.
Kim Jong Grillin’s tofu bibim box
Photo courtesy of @kimjonggrillin

9. Demarco’s Sandwiches

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4606 SE Division St
Portland, OR 97206
(503) 573-7876
Visit Website

Fans of the East Coast deli should make their way here for a short-but-sweet menu of classics like chicken, meatball, and eggplant parms. All of the cart’s sandwiches have plentiful fillings bursting out of 8-inch rolls, which are baked daily. Chef Gourdet suggests that first-timers go for the tried-and-true Italian Sandwich, stuffed with Italian cured meats, house-made giardiniera, lettuce, tomato, onion, and a drizzling of red wine vinaigrette. The spot shares a dining pavilion with Kim Jong Grillin’ as Han Hwang co-owns the spot with namesake Reuben Demarco. Call in orders, or place them through Postmates.

10. Tierra del Sol Cuisine

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6935 NE Glisan St
Portland, OR 97213
(503) 998-9663
Visit Website

A standout truck among the stellar lineup of Latin American cuisine at the Portland Mercado, Tierra del Sol serves up authentic Oaxacan dishes, including tlayuda: a 14-inch crispy corn tortilla topped with asiento (chicarrón bits), black beans, queso Oaxaca and queso fresco, cabbage, tomatoes, red onion, radish, avocado, and cilantro. (It’s enough to feed two.) The cart also features a variety of moles, which all have richly complex flavors. Try the Mole Coloradito, the traditional red mole of Oaxaca, or the Pipian de Pollo, a green mole that originates from owner Amalia Sierra’s hometown. Patio seating is available, Tierra del Sol’s website takes orders online.

11. Erica's Soul Food

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803 SE 82nd Ave
Portland, OR 97216
(503) 922-5519
Visit Website

After working in kitchens across Portland, chef Erica Montgomery started offering her Atlanta-style Southern comfort food to the masses early last year. Entrées come with two sides, plus a wonderfully soft cornbread muffin with crisp edges. Choose from dishes like the perfectly seasoned, cornmeal-crusted catfish (crunchy outside, tender inside), or the chef’s grandma Ruby’s salmon croquettes. Gourdet recommends the ATL wings, which are dressed “extra wet” with a hot lemon pepper sauce. Erica’s offers gluten-free and vegan options, and is open Wednesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner, with a two-hour break between.

Two white styrofoam boxes hold bone-in chicken wings—one order in lemon pepper sauce, the other in an orange buffalo sauce—with sides of crinkle-cut golden french fries.
Two orders of wings from Erica’s Soul Food
Photo courtesy of @ericaspdx

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

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600 SE 146th Ave
Portland, OR 97233

As the name indicates, this popular truck serves birria, a rich meat stew that hails from Jalisco, Mexico. La Plaza’s birria is made with tender beef, the sole filling for their dishes. For a well-rounded experience, get the Plato La Plaza, which comes with a taco, tostada, mulita, and quesadilla with a consomé for dipping. (A tip: Do you somehow have consomé left over? Squeeze in some lime, and eat it like soup.) If you pull up to the cart and see a long line, don’t be deterred: La Plaza moves through orders efficiently. Covered seating is available.

13. Mando's

Copy Link
15710 NE Glisan St
Portland, OR 97230
(503) 738-1376
Visit Website

Serving classic North American favorites, Mando’s was started by friends and former underground rappers George and Mando in 2018. Juicy burgers are named after Portland’s neighborhoods, like the beer-battered jalapeño bedecked “Laurelhurst.” Chicken-wing enthusiasts might beeline straight for the “remix wings,” which are battered for maximum crunch before getting doused in Mando’s secret sweet and savory sauce. For dessert, ask about the cupcake flavor of the day from George’s wife’s company, Creme de la Creme Cupcakery. Seating is available at the Food Cart Heaven pod.

This advertising content was produced in collaboration between Vox Creative and our sponsor, without involvement from Vox Media editorial staff.

1. Bing Mi

1845 NW 23rd Pl, Portland, OR 97210

Jianbing, one of China’s most popular portable breakfasts, gets the Portland treatment at Bing Mi’s food cart. The savory Chinese crepe boasts a variety of textures and, while it typically doesn’t include meat, this Nob Hill food cart offers added proteins like BBQ pork, Vietnamese sausage, or Chinese sausage with bacon. Gourdet goes for the roasted duck loaded bing, medium-spicy. Meatless options are available, like the vegan jianbing, with an onion-fried tofu option or an Impossible patty stuffed into scallion pancakes. Add lettuce or an extra cracker for additional crunch.

1845 NW 23rd Pl
Portland, OR 97210

2. Kabba’s Kitchen

4631 N Albina Ave, Portland, OR 97217

Kabba’s cart sits in a spacious lot just past the curve where the bustling stretch of North Mississippi Ave turns into Albina. Owner Kabba Saidikhan serves “Senegambian” fare, with dishes originating from West African neighbors Senegal and Gambia. Kabba’s favorite dishes include the fish Yassa — a whole grilled tilapia in tangy lemon onion sauce, served over yellow rice with pickled veggies — and the Thiebou Yapp, a flavorful lamb dish. Diners can quench their thirst with homemade iced hibiscus and ginger drinks.

4631 N Albina Ave
Portland, OR 97217

3. Tokyo Sando

321 SW 2nd Ave, Portland, OR 97204

For this cart’s namesake dish, you’ll get a variety of fillings sandwiched between fluffy slices of shokupan (Japanese milk bread). Owner Taiki Nakajima takes customers on a flavorful journey to his hometown of Tokyo via addictive Japanese-style egg salad sandwiches and other specials, like the decadent Scotch egg sando. Extra-hungry folks can round out their meal with a side of karaage (Japanese fried chicken) or Japanese-style potato salad. Specials rotate weekly, so keep an eye on the cart’s Instagram for the latest offerings. Orders can be placed in advance on their website.

321 SW 2nd Ave
Portland, OR 97204

4. Kee's #Loaded Kitchen

5020 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Portland, OR 97212

Chef and owner Kiauna “Kee” Nelson’s meals are, indeed, loaded. Menus are released daily, with a rotating cast of mains, sides, and desserts. At Kee’s cart, don’t worry about painstakingly choosing which two sides you want, because entrées come inclusive of all sides listed on the day’s menu. Expect side dishes like the creamy “Mack n Kees” under a thick blanket of cheddar and BBQ beans with smoked beef brisket. Meals also include dessert and a drink. The cart takes walk-up orders only, with many loyal customers arriving before opening time to snag a spot on the list. If you’re not fortunate enough to grab one of the two picnic tables out front, dig into the piping hot food in your car.

5020 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Portland, OR 97212

5. Jojo Food Truck

3582 SE Powell Blvd, Portland, OR 97202
Crispy fried chicken sits on a bed of greens and onions, topped with jalapeños and covered in white queso cheese, between two toasted buns.
Jojo’s spicy queso chicken sandwich.
Photo courtesy of @jojopdx

Fans might come for the “jojos”—the crunchy and giant, hand-cut and double-fried, potato wedges—but the truck’s burgers, sandwiches, fried chicken, and patty melts should not be overlooked. Located in a pod right next to the Eastside location of John’s Marketplace, diners can also grab a beer (or other adult drinks) from the window. Look out for the cart’s brick-and-mortar restaurant, which is slated to open this summer in the Pearl District. Right now, orders can be placed through Clover.

3582 SE Powell Blvd
Portland, OR 97202

6. Ruthie's

3634 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97202

Tucked behind an alleyway off of restaurant-packed Division Street, the Ruthie’s cart sits in a shared courtyard with a couple other carts and the chic cocktail bar Someday. Childhood friends Collin Mohr and Aaron Kiss put a modern spin on Mormon food, like funeral potatoes and Jell-O, in the cart named after Mohr’s grandma Ruth. Menu items requiring flames go into the wood-fire oven nestled inside the cart. The duo sources from local farms like Wild Roots, Vibrant Valley, and Farrah Farms, making for hyper-seasonal menus with rotating salads. First-timers could build a meal around the menu’s cornerstones: Grandma’s rolls and the rockfish slider. Patio seating is available; there’s often a short wait, so put your name on the list and enjoy a cocktail in the alleyway in the meantime.

3634 SE Division St
Portland, OR 97202

7. MATTA

4311 NE Prescott St Ave, Portland, OR 97218
Three cheeseburgers with green buns are wrapped in checkered paper.
MATTA’s cheeseburgers on a toasted pandan bun
Photo courtesy of MATTA

Chef and owner Richard Van Le provides a Việt Kiều experience for visitors of his cart. Keep an eye out for special drops such as VFC (Vietnamese Fried Chicken), which comes with coconut mashed potatoes with nước chấm gravy, gỏislaw, and a pandan roll. Be prepared for a long line on the weekends, and get there early, as the cart typically sells out. Always on the menu is the Vietnamese staple dish thịt kho (braised pork belly with egg) and Grandma’s special, which features thinly sliced steak seared with Thai basil and onion. For dessert, grab a wildly fluffy pandan doughnut that’s been lightly dusted with coconut. Covered seating is available at the cart’s next-door neighbor, Metalwood Salvage.

4311 NE Prescott St Ave
Portland, OR 97218

8. Kim Jong Grillin

4606 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97206
A red-sauce-covered fried egg and sesame-glazed tofu sits on a bed of green, noodles, and rice.
Kim Jong Grillin’s tofu bibim box
Photo courtesy of @kimjonggrillin

Han Hwang’s story is one of resilience: Back in 2011, his cart caught on fire just hours after he won a top prize at the Eat Mobile food cart festival. Needless to say, the chef persevered, and 10 years later, he’s still going strong. If you know what’s good for you, order a bibim box, which comes with your choice of protein — bulgogi, galbi, and tofu are among the options — on top of scorched japchae (Korean potato starch noodles), rice, and house-made bonchan. It’s all crowned with a drizzle of red-hot gochujang and a fried egg. Hwang gained nationwide recognition when making his first appearance on Food Network in 2014. Now, he’s made a return for the current season of The Great Food Truck Race: All Stars. Orders can be placed for pickup or delivery on Postmates.

4606 SE Division St
Portland, OR 97206

9. Demarco’s Sandwiches

4606 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97206

Fans of the East Coast deli should make their way here for a short-but-sweet menu of classics like chicken, meatball, and eggplant parms. All of the cart’s sandwiches have plentiful fillings bursting out of 8-inch rolls, which are baked daily. Chef Gourdet suggests that first-timers go for the tried-and-true Italian Sandwich, stuffed with Italian cured meats, house-made giardiniera, lettuce, tomato, onion, and a drizzling of red wine vinaigrette. The spot shares a dining pavilion with Kim Jong Grillin’ as Han Hwang co-owns the spot with namesake Reuben Demarco. Call in orders, or place them through Postmates.

4606 SE Division St
Portland, OR 97206

10. Tierra del Sol Cuisine

6935 NE Glisan St, Portland, OR 97213

A standout truck among the stellar lineup of Latin American cuisine at the Portland Mercado, Tierra del Sol serves up authentic Oaxacan dishes, including tlayuda: a 14-inch crispy corn tortilla topped with asiento (chicarrón bits), black beans, queso Oaxaca and queso fresco, cabbage, tomatoes, red onion, radish, avocado, and cilantro. (It’s enough to feed two.) The cart also features a variety of moles, which all have richly complex flavors. Try the Mole Coloradito, the traditional red mole of Oaxaca, or the Pipian de Pollo, a green mole that originates from owner Amalia Sierra’s hometown. Patio seating is available, Tierra del Sol’s website takes orders online.

6935 NE Glisan St
Portland, OR 97213

11. Erica's Soul Food

803 SE 82nd Ave, Portland, OR 97216
Two white styrofoam boxes hold bone-in chicken wings—one order in lemon pepper sauce, the other in an orange buffalo sauce—with sides of crinkle-cut golden french fries.
Two orders of wings from Erica’s Soul Food
Photo courtesy of @ericaspdx

After working in kitchens across Portland, chef Erica Montgomery started offering her Atlanta-style Southern comfort food to the masses early last year. Entrées come with two sides, plus a wonderfully soft cornbread muffin with crisp edges. Choose from dishes like the perfectly seasoned, cornmeal-crusted catfish (crunchy outside, tender inside), or the chef’s grandma Ruby’s salmon croquettes. Gourdet recommends the ATL wings, which are dressed “extra wet” with a hot lemon pepper sauce. Erica’s offers gluten-free and vegan options, and is open Wednesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner, with a two-hour break between.

803 SE 82nd Ave
Portland, OR 97216

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

600 SE 146th Ave, Portland, OR 97233

As the name indicates, this popular truck serves birria, a rich meat stew that hails from Jalisco, Mexico. La Plaza’s birria is made with tender beef, the sole filling for their dishes. For a well-rounded experience, get the Plato La Plaza, which comes with a taco, tostada, mulita, and quesadilla with a consomé for dipping. (A tip: Do you somehow have consomé left over? Squeeze in some lime, and eat it like soup.) If you pull up to the cart and see a long line, don’t be deterred: La Plaza moves through orders efficiently. Covered seating is available.

600 SE 146th Ave
Portland, OR 97233

13. Mando's

15710 NE Glisan St, Portland, OR 97230

Serving classic North American favorites, Mando’s was started by friends and former underground rappers George and Mando in 2018. Juicy burgers are named after Portland’s neighborhoods, like the beer-battered jalapeño bedecked “Laurelhurst.” Chicken-wing enthusiasts might beeline straight for the “remix wings,” which are battered for maximum crunch before getting doused in Mando’s secret sweet and savory sauce. For dessert, ask about the cupcake flavor of the day from George’s wife’s company, Creme de la Creme Cupcakery. Seating is available at the Food Cart Heaven pod.

15710 NE Glisan St
Portland, OR 97230

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