Veli Thai Food

Food Carts Portland

Veli Thai Food

Veli Thai Food

Location: SW 5th and Oak/Stark

Description: Thailand is a country that is obsessed with street food. In large cities like Bangkok or even the smallest of towns one can find all kinds of delicious food at bargain prices. You’ll see rich folks pull up in Mercedes and people of all types and classes slurping soups, dining on noodles, and enjoying other specialties.

Every time I walk by Veli Thai I get a whiff of garlic, lemon grass, ginger and a thousand other amazing scents that bring me back to my travels in Thailand.

Almost everything at Veli is $5.00 and includes Thai standards such a big container of Phad Thai, several different kinds of curries (red, yellow, green, etc), and lots of stir fries as well as fried rices. Salad rolls are 2 for $3.00 and make for a light lunch or perfect snack. Some recent specials also included a pineapple curry and a pumpkin curry. Just about everything is available in a vegetarian version.

[Updated with photo August 2009]

Hours: lunchtime Mon-Fri

Phone: 503-867-1514 or 503-475-3868

Website: None




  1. Another great bunch of folks. When it’s cold they’ll serve you tea while you wait.


  2. Great folks, great food. My wife is from Thailand, and I (well, she) can tell you that these folks at Veli Thai do thai food more authentic than almost anyone in Portland!! Usually, thai restaurants ‘tone’ down the food – not just the spiciness, also other flavors – to make it fit in more with ‘all of America’. Too bland for me! Veli Thai has a great menu, it’s affordable and they always greet you with a smile. Just to help them a little, I’ve got to mention how it is pronounced – it’s Vee-lie. Enjoy!

  3. I LOVE Veli Thai (thanks for the pronuciation lesson)! For a while there I was going 2-3 times per week, and had to force myself cut back! They are great people, very friendly! It is the only Thai cart I will go to! I’ll even grab a bite to eat there if I’m downtown on a Saturday, when I could easily hop in my car and go somewhere else. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!

  4. Veli Thai surpasses the vast majority of the brick and mortar Thai places around town. The Pad Kee Mao is one of the best I’ve had, the Pad Thai is above average, and the Red Curry is good as well. The recipes have depth, flavor, and they aren’t afraid to use heat. Everything is about $5, portions are large, and the service is awesome. Relatively short lines for how good this place is, even at noon. The service is awesome, they take care of you with a little hot tea on cold days, and are always cheerful and quick. This place is an unheralded gem in the middle of downtown.

  5. My wife and I just spent a long weekend in Portland and, on our way to the airport yesterday, we wanted to grab lunch from one of the carts. We walked by the ones on SW 3rd between Alder & Washington and nothing grabbed our attention.

    We ended up a couple of blocks away at the row on SW 5th between Washington & Stark, and after surveying where the crowds seemed to be gathering we decided to try Veli Thai. What a great choice that was!

    My wife got the Pad Thai, and I got the Red Curry Noodles. Being used to “Americanized” Thai food, even in L.A., we both elected to have it spiced to “medium.” Certainly spicier than we’re used to, but at the same time we couldn’t stop eating, even though there was way more food than we needed!

    “Best Thai since I lived in New York,” my wife said. I say, best Thai I’ve ever had. Can’t wait to go back!

  6. One of my favorite carts! Great service, excellent value and really good food. The Mussaman Curry, Pineapple Fried Rice and Pad Thai are all very good.

  7. I go here all the time. One of my favorite Thai carts. They really know how to make it spicy, just like back in Thailand. Its great. The people are nice and the food is amazing. Highly suggested.

  8. Quite possibly the best Thai food in Portland. Don’t be fooled by its quaint appearance, this stand has restaurant quality/quantity food for a fraction of the price. There’s a wide selection on the menu, and each dish I’ve had so far has been excellent.

  9. Ordered the spicy basil fried rice with chicken, extra hot and was very happy with the results. Large portions, low prices, food is unbelievably good, and extra hot means extra hot. I would highly recommend to anyone who has a chance to grab some food from this joint. Better than any of the bigger name establishments I have been to in the Portland area.

  10. Amazing Thai from a food cart. Staying nearby at the Courtyard Marriott, we tried salad rolls (2 for $3) on the first day in Portland. It took a while to prepare because food is made from scratch. Big tasty rolls. Everyday, we saw people waiting outside this truck—for their slow-cooked take-out. So, we took a bunch of Thai food back to the hotel with a bottle of wine—tasty fried rice, yellow curry and more of those salad rolls. In hindsight, should have eaten more at Veli’s rather than expensive restaurants. Portland’s food carts rule!

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