Long before food-cart fever spread all over town, Portland already had a reputation of being daring when it comes to dining. Now, with curbside innovation rolling into almost every spare parking lot, the head spins at the edible options: more than 600 carts within city limits. If you’re thinking you’ll need a guide to undertake a culinary adventure this vast, you’re in luck — Portland has them.
Brett Burmeister has been chronicling the city’s street eats since 2008, and offers daily lunchtime tours by appointment through Food Carts Portland. Covering the history of the carts, the economic and political conditions that helped them thrive and, of course, some tasty samples, the tour is full of stories and local flavor.
Meanwhile, Flavor Street from Portland Walking Tours boasts the inside scoop on everything from savory pies to pork sandwiches, with resident experts sharing their secrets Friday and Saturday at 1 p.m. Walk-ups are welcome for the two-hour tour that strolls about a mile, but group size is limited, so advance tickets are recommended.
Eat Adventures Food Tours offers Portland Food Carts & Neighborhoods tour – a guided driving tour exploring the city’s diverse neighborhoods and their food cart pods, with five food stops along the way. Each three-hour tour tour is all-inclusive, and advanced tickets are required.
All three tours begin downtown, an ideal starting point for visitors looking to get a taste of some of the most exciting, innovative eats on Portland’s streets.
Covering downtown and beyond, the food-focused routes of Forktown Food Tours explore several different neighborhoods, making seven stops along the way at food carts as well as other exciting local restaurants and kitchens. Space is limited on this three-hour tour, so advance tickets are required.