Pioneer Courthouse Square Food Cart Lot

pioneer courthouse square food carts

Pioneer Courthouse Square Food Carts in Portland

Portland’s living room now has permanent food carts. As part of the year long renovation of the park in 2016-17, the city decided to create a more active space for street food vendors and attract some rock stars. Prior to the construction, the carts at the square were open-air and had to move any time the square was used for large events. In the new model, three full size food carts have been placed up by Broadway with a fourth vendor (an original) is parked down off Yamhill where they’ve been for years.

The new vendors are some of Portland’s most famous and well known –

Burger Stevens – opened in Hillsdale a few years ago, this cart brought back the simple cheeseburger and does it well. Get it with two patties event and you’re still getting a deal at $9 for all the fixin’s.

pioneer courthouse square food carts

Burger Stevens Double Cheeseburger

The Whole Bowl – After more than a decade and eight locations, including two restaurants and outposts in Cinicnatti, The Whole Bowl is now bringing their signature dish to the square. Just the one bowl has made them famous world wide.

Fried Egg I’m In Love – Fried egg sandwiches were never the same in Portland once Fried Egg I’m In Love opened a few years back on SE Hawthorne. The Yolko Ono says it all – Fried egg, homemade pesto, parmesan, and a hand-pressed house sausage patty.

Steak’s Fifth Avenue – aka Philly Cheesesteaks and Burgers – The last of the original vendors who returned after construction has been around more than a decade feeding Portland some of the best Philly Cheesesteaks in downtown.

According to sources, more vendors are in store, but I kinda like the look and feel of the four currently there along with the large covered seating area above the KGW studios. Come summer, I hope these guys can handle the masses.

pioneer courthouse square food carts

Pioneer Courthouse Square Food Carts

Pioneer Courthouse Square is located in the center of downtown Portland at the cross streets of SW Broadway, Yamhill, 6th Ave and Morrison. Check Vendor links for menus and hours.

January Food Cart News

Winter in Portland can be challenging for food carts, but event in the cool weather, Portland’s street food vendors are making it rain. Pun intended. Here’s some news to chew on:

 

The Oregonian/Oregonlive brings Portland Dumpling Week February 4-10 with 30 purveyors slinging dough wrapped delights. One of my favorite food carts, Mama Chow’s will participate again this year with Pork & Shrimp Dumplings pan seared with a spicy tangy dipping sauce on a bed of Organic Greens. Mama Chow’s is located downtown at SW 2nd and Stark. More details and a dumpling passport can be found here.

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We’ve all heard the news and see the changes Portland is experiencing with growth and development. Over the past year, a number of food cart pods have closed, mostly on the east side closer in. Now, with an impending Hotel Development, the food cart pod at SW 10th and Alder west of 10th will probably close in the near future. This affects Savor Soup House, The Dump Truck, Korean Twist, Caspian Kabob and Nong’s Khao Man Gai. Nong’s announced last week they are moving into a new restaurant space at 417 SW 13th, just a couple blocks from their original locale. While some have reported they are closing the original cart, Nong’s has stated they will stay open until the cart is “kicked out.” Their location at PSU on SW 4th avenue will remain open. Keep track of opens and closings on Nong’s Facebook.

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Food carts are coming to your neighborhood too! A few new food cart pods have shown up or are coming soon:

    • The Lot @ Scout – SE 50th and Division – food carts from Tidbit moved down Division and have opened at Scout Beer’s new location. Namu, Garden Monsters, Smaaken Waffles and more. Taproom coming soon.
    • Food Cart Heaven – NE 157th and Glisan – 6 food trucks featuring coffee, Mexican, Salvadoran and indoor seating
    • Level Brewing – NE 148th and Airport Way – Brewery and Taproom featuring 2 food carts, indoor seating and beer.

The Parmacy at Growler’s

  • Growler’s Taproom – SE 34th and Hawthorne – 2 food carts including re-located The Parmacy, indoor and outdoor seating
  • Cully Central – 4579 NE Cully Blvd – Coming soon. An indoor bar/taproom with food carts outside.
  • BG’s Food Cartel – In the Round in Beaverton – 30 food carts, a bar and taproom, indoor/outdoor seating and an event space. Wow! Soft opening Feb 2.
  • fopo Food Carts – SE 72nd and Foster – 10 plus carts – coming soon.

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Keep on exploring the amazing street food out there and thank you for your continued support of Portland’s street food scene.

Burger Stevens at Pioneer Courthouse Square

burger food cart portland

Burger Stevens

Location: Pioneer Courthouse Square on SW 6th and Yamhill

The Story: Having succeeded to land on everyone’s best burger list for the past couple of years, Burger Steven’s leaped at the chance to open a new cart in Portland’s living room – Pioneer Courthouse Square. Along with 3 other vendors, they are serving up their signature burgers daily.

burger food cart portland

Double Cheeseburger at Burger Stevens

Facebook: Burger Stevens
Website: Burger Stevens

Menu on Website

Mystical Eats

bulgarian food cart portland

Mystical Eats

CLOSED

Location: N Killingsworth and Maryland
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 12am-5pm

The Story: Mystical Eats is a food cart in Portland Oregon serving up Bulgarian cuisine with roasted chicken dishes and an array of salad choices.

bulgarian food cart portland

Mystical Eats

Menu:

mystical eats menu

Tight Tacos

Taco food cart portland

Tight Tacos

Location: 602 SE Salmon at Jacobsen Salt
Hours: Daily, including weekends, 12-7pm

The Story: Rolling down 39th, I needed water, so just south of Belmont, I popped into the 39th Mini Mart, your ever typical corner market filled with chips, candy bars, beer and 4loco. Upon exit, a green haired kid strolled by with a plate of beautiful tacos. Wawawawah? Then I smelled it. Grilled meats. I followed my nose around the corner to find the cute little operation named Tight Tacos.

The cart is adorably tiny with two wide open windows and everything on display. I do enjoy seeing a basket of fresh citrus and onions and the open grill where the different cuts of meat are segregated off, ready to be served. No hiding behind the swinging kitchen door. Also, when I walked up, fresh tortillas grilled happily. Reggie Ballesteros opened food cart earlier this summer bringing California style street tacos to the Rose City.

taco food cart portland

Where the magic happens at Tight Tacos

The menu offers tacos and burritos with options including Al Pastor, Carnitas, Asada, Chorizo (made with Chicken) and event False Pastor made with cauliflower. Being a huge fan of Chorizo, I decided on that and Asada. I picked both with “The Works” which includes guacamole and crema. The star of the party is the thick handmade masa tortilla. Chewy and so well made, it stayed folded in my hand until the end of every bite. When was the last time you ate a taco and it didn’t fall apart before the end? Not here. Each taco left me breathless. The chorizo is creamy and had some kick; the asada, lean and perfectly grilled. Each topped with fresh white onion and cilantro, these are tacos everyone should be eating.

taco food cart Portland

Tight Tacos

When people ask me where to find great tacos, I send them to the east side and Tight Tacos has proven me right. Great execution and a tasty product. Located just behind the mini mart, Tight Tacos offers two tables with tents so you can sit and enjoy your meal. Next time you’re needing your street taco fix, go see Reggie and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Menu:
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Facebook: Tight Tacos

Summer Food Cart News

Portland in summer is always a time to be out and about checking out the latest street food. Here are some updates:

Mississippi Marketplace sold. Dan Hart and his partner in PROST! have purchased the building and property that houses the bar and the food cart lot. Pretty exciting news. If you’ve never been, you should check it out. Mississippi Marketplace opened in 2009, a brand new concept for street food in Portland. While there have always been food cart pods, most were grab and go, whereas, Miss Marketplace offered seating and cover. With PROST now owning the entire lot, I expect some wonderful changes. Can you spell Beer Garden? Mississippi Marketplace is located at N Mississippi and Skidmore and hosts 10 vendors.

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Kingsland Kitchen opening restaurant. Popular downtown cart Kingsland Kitchen announced in July they will close their cart on SW 5th and Oak. They will be opening their restaurant on SW 3rd and Pine soon. Owner’s Chris and Holli Payne will offer breakfast, lunch and dinner at the new location which will open in September.

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The food cart pod on the NW corner of 15th and Alberta will close at the end of summer. Vendors DesiPDX, Gumba, Le-Tap and Bibingka are actively trying to find a new home. Its hard to move a cart and start a new location, especially when winter is coming, so drop on by and show them some love. The lot will close on September 1.

The Gantry on South Waterfront is also closing at the end of August.

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bubble waffles

Bubble Waffles

Bubble Waffles. Usually when new street food comes to town, one vendor hits the ground running and, BOOM! they own the cuisine. This summer’s newest treat is Bubble Waffle cones. Puffle Waffle opened in May in Happy Valley and Fooshion opened in July downtown at SW 9th and Washington. Both use a waffle maker to create a unique bubbly waffle then fill it with ice cream and toppings. Mine had Pocky! So great to have a dessert vendor back in downtown.

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A couple of nasty fires have occurred in Portland, displacing some excellent restaurants. Earlier this year, a fire at Tails and Trotters and neighbors The Pie Spot closed both locations while they rebuild. Lucky for them, there was space to drop in a food cart, so both businesses are open now in the cart at 511 NE 24th. The Pie Spot is in the cart on Sundays and Mondays and Tails and Trotters the rest of the week.

Big’s Chicken closed after a fire tore through their new digs on NE Glisan. Having only been open a few months, it is a tragic blow. Yet, they too have bounced back with a pop up food cart in the parking lot of Laurelhurst Market. Good luck to all.

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With the weather warming up, please take note that some vendors will close due to the excessive heat. When it is 95 outside, it is 130 inside the metal box and equipment starts to fail. Just return the next day and all will be well.

Happy Summer

Anna Lee’s Korean BBQ

korean food cart portland

Anna Lee’s Korean BBQ

Location: NE 7th and Killingsworth, Piedmont Station
Hours: Daily and weekends lunch and dinner

Korean Food Cart in Portland offering BBQ dishes including BBQ Beef, Korean Short Ribs, Yakisoba and Spicy Pork. Prices range from $6.95 to $10.95.

Diner du Monde

French food cart portland

Diner du Monde

Location: NE 7th and Killingsworth, Piedmont Station
Hours: Wed-Sun, 11:30-9, 8 on Sunday

Diner du Monde is a food cart bringing France to Portland. More details coming soon.

Facebook: Diner du Monde

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