side cart


side cart

side cart

[sidecart closed in early 2010]

Location: SW 5th between Stark and Oak


Remember that first time you visited a really nice expensive steak house and were shocked that your steak didn’t come with anything but the steak on a plate? Those amazing mushrooms or curly fries or green beans were an extra $5 each. How could they do that? Oh, and since then, at every restaurant you go to, you wish you could just order sides. I know you do. I do. Well, now you can get all the sides you want. From the creators of the wonderful BrunchBox, they give you side cart.

I first saw the menu for side cart on FaceBook and it immediately made me drool. So many options for sides, and almost everything on the menu is vegetarian. Hushpuppies, seasoned curly fries, onion straws, cheesy tots, vegetable medley, okra bites, mac and cheese. And all of the offerings are under $3, so you can get a couple. Upon my first visit, I really couldn’t decide what I was hungry for and then I saw the option of mix and match – 3 items for $5. I opted for okra bites, mac and cheese shells and baked beans.

side cart mix and match

side cart mix and match

As you can see, these aren’t tiny portions, but enough to sate you for lunch. You can order larger portions of each item on the menu if you so desire. The okra bites were my favorite that day. Little crunchy nibbles of goodness. I know many don’t like okra, but for me, it is one of the best tasting veggies out there. The mac and cheese was appropriately cheesy with the shells perfectly al dente. The beans were simple, like those you would pick up at a BBQ. Nothing here was over the top nor too fancy and that is what I liked. They served up a great meal at a great price with a great portion.

side cart has daily specials and “Meatless Monday.” You should watch their Twitter feed for those or just swing by. They do offer desert in the form of a battered and deep fried candy bar. Lastly, there is a line item on the menu –

How’s-this-for-awesome – you bring us something edible, we batter (sweet or savory) & fry it. $1-$3

I understand a certain someone who likes food carts is challenging them with items like squash and thin mints. side cart is yet another example of a cart I wouldn’t have thought of, but Portland has embraced and loves. When your out and about, even if you already have your lunch, drop by side cart for a little extra…and tell them Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:
[prices reflect side portions. full orders are available]

  • Seasoned curly fries – $1.50
  • Zucchini sticks – $3
  • Hushpuppies – $2
  • Tater tots – $2
  • Cheesy tots – $3
  • Okra bites – $2
  • Mashed potatoes – $1.50
  • Mac and cheese shells – $2
  • Stuffing – $2
  • Thanksgiving: mashed potatoes, stuffing, vegs – $5
  • Mix and match any 3 dishes – $5
  • Smorgasfry: curly fries + tots + onion straws – $5
  • Battered and deep fried candy bar – $2-$3

Twitter: sidecart
Facebook: sidecart fan page



  1. How do they have Meatless Mondays without any meat on the menu?

  2. This is effin’ genius. Approve, highly.

  3. The mostly-veg menu started out unintentionally b/c most side dishes happen to be meatless.

    We do have stuff like chicken tenders and corn dogs on the side cart menu and plan on adding popcorn chicken soon. Starting next week, brunch box’s 7″ all-beef hot dogs will be moving over to side cart (less wait for dog fans).

    Make sure to check with the guys in the cart as to which items on side cart’s menu are veg.

    On Mondays we roll out a new vegetarian meal option each to run all week (this week is vegetarian-chicken-tender basket w/curly fries! It’s pretty yum!)

    Sincere thanks for the write-up, we’re big fans of the site!

  4. Maybe they are encouraging YOU to be meatless on Mondays??

    “Meatless Monday is a non-profit initiative of The Monday Campaigns, in association with the Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health. Our goal is to help reduce meat consumption 15% in order to improve personal health and the health of our planet.”

    Although this may not necessarily improve personal health since nearly everything is fried or cheesy! Sounds like it will a great winter cart – esp the Thanksgiving one. Yum!

  5. Dear god….amazing…even more amazing with a Brunch Box burger as well….One thing missing from the menu above is MAC AND CHEESE BITES ($3 and $5)!!!!! My ultimate college drunk food! Amazing..had a few people along so got them, plus cheesy tots and fries…it was all great.

    Are you guys going to be open late like on Fridays/Sat? I gotta believe that theres a pretty good chance of selling your deep fried delicious wares in that area…..

  6. Yeah, late night hours are a wise idea…this cart has “drunk food of the gods” written all over the menu.

  7. Dylan Chase says

    Super smart, can’t wait to try it. Zucchini, hush puppies, and mac & cheese are what’s gonna be in my box.

  8. It’s true, side cart’s goal w/rolling out new vegetarian plates is to encourage people to try a veg meal on Monday (uh, Brunch Box is a different story. Ha!). Unfortunately there is a clause in the contract w/City Parking that does not allow carts in our lot to operate late-night, but we will probably open a late-night Brunch Box/side cart hybrid cart somewhere eventually. No plans currently for side cart to be open Saturdays.

  9. Oh man oh man–any chance the okra is vegan? That’s the one food I truly miss from the South–good fried okra. . .

  10. I understand they now offer popcorn chicken. MMMM. Also, to prove their worth, they have indeed deep fried a piece of chocolate cake for Mr. JohnTheKiwi.

  11. Damn tasty–but not something I could handle more than once in a blue moon. They stated most things are vegan, except for the stuffing, beans and gravy (and I assume things that were obviously not vegan like mac’n’cheese). The batter is vegan–and really pretty unique.

  12. !!!! What an insanely good idea this is! That’s it, I’m moving to Portland.

  13. Just a head’s up to passers-through: Side Cart closed 12/24/09. We’re looking forward to pursuing other projects, and our other cart Brunch Box remains open at the SW 5th & Stark location. 🙂

  14. Very sad about Side Cart!

  15. Hey Food Carts Portland, would you mind putting a note in the first line of this description that this cart has closed?? I just wasted my entire lunch break driving downtown, parking and wandering around looking for it because I didn’t read all the comments first. And now I’m the crankiest girl in Portland. So thanks.


  1. […] the above just wasn’t enough, a short walk down 5th took Justin to SideCart, where you can get anything edible deep fried for about $3. And that is what he did: Deep Fried […]

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