Sonny Bowl

Sonny Bowl

Sonny Bowl

Location: SW 3rd and Washington


I was in a discussion with some cartivores the other day and we arrived on the topic of uniqueness for carts. There are some carts that offer a menu that while focused maybe on a type of cuisine, the offerings are so broad, it is difficult to choose one item. Like when you go to the local restaurant which as a 4 page menu. We all agreed that if you do one thing very very well, just do that and you will succeed. We see this type of focus with food carts daily. Sonny Bowl is such a cart. They focus their energy and skill on creating a bowl that is vegan, yet fills you up with everything a growing boy needs.

Sonny Bowl specializes in what these days are called rice bowls. Anywhere you see bento advertised, it is usually a chicken skewer over a bowl of rice with a few veggies. Not here. Sonny Bowl takes it beyond veggies and rice by adding in black beans or chickpeas, salsa, soy curls, green beans, and robust sauces. I don’t know why I haven’t discovered this gem all these years. I chose the One, and for $5, I got a pretty large bowl with brown rice covered with black beans, mixed veggies, cilantro-lemon sauce, green chile and salsa. I added in Soy Curls for the extra $1 since they are my newest soy favorite.

Sonny Bowl

Sonny Bowl

I almost couldn’t get the top on. Further, I didn’t want to put the top on and crush that beautiful presentation. When I see green chile listed as part of the dish, I think more of a sauce, but the green chili here was a chunky thick salsa that didn’t disappoint. The beans and rice were cooked just right, not mushy, but not al dente. As far as mixed veggies go, I wonder if they shift with the season. My dish had thinly sliced steamed yellow and green zucchini. The soy curls were great. If you haven’t tried soy curls, either BBQ’ed or in a dish like this, you have to. They have the best flavor and texture; a great addition to the meal.

Sonny Bowl offers three different vegan bowls with simple names like one, two and three. All are $5. Like I stated, I love it when someone specializes in one food type and does it right. Sonny Bowl does it right. If you are down off SW 3rd looking for a filling and healthy lunch, give Sonny Bowl a try and tell them Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • One – black beans, mixed veggies, brown rice, cilantro-lemon sauce, green chili and salsa – $5
  • Two – chickpeas, mixed veggies, brown rice, sweet-pineapple curry sauce – $5
  • Three – BBQ soy curls, brown rice, green beans in ginger-citrus sauce – $5
  • add soy curls to any bowl for $1
  • drinks, $2; water $1

Hours: Monday through Friday 11:30am-3:30pm
Website/Twitter: unknown



  1. Hay. You know. Alot of the customers that buy my carts would love to cook stuff like this. I just need to fugure out what the best equiptment to configure the carts with would be. We are down here in Miami so we won’t step on your toes but I think alot of customers will be pleased by your insite.



  2. I’ve been hitting the food carts for the past year or so now.

    The #3 at Sonny Bowl is hands down the best meal that I’ve ever gotten at any of the food carts anywhere at any time for the entire time I’ve been in Portland.

    I can’t recommend this cart enough.

    Good music too – also nice guy running the place behind the counter.

  3. I wanted to add my comments now I’ve tried all three bowls & urge others to try this one if you haven’t yet!

    First off – the 3 bowls all were great and very satisfying – especially for $5! All of them have interesting, flavorful sauces; a nice veggie protein element; fresh veggies; and brown rice. What’s nice is you get a lot of food for the price, but because it’s so healthy, I don’t feel sluggish or over-full afterward.

    My favorite bowl was definitely #3, because of the fresh green beans and ginger sauce. #2 was my 2nd favorite with another great unusual sauce, and #3 was delicious, too – I just thought it was less unique (black beans + rice) than the other 2.

    He also offers a great selection of hot sauces (including Aardvark!), soy sauce, etc to doctor to your taste. And, because the bowl he serves it in is so sturdy, I’ve been washing mine & bringing it back to reuse.

  4. Awesome. Yeah! RE-USE!! : )

    In fact if you bring your own bowl, Sanjay will just use whatever bowl you bring, which is great. –> Less plastic getting pulled into the ecosystem = lower impact on the environment. I think that if you bring your own bowl – then you can also get a discount on a drink.

    Also if you go to – you can have them deliver (by bike!) anything on the Sonny Bowl menu.

    in one order you can accomplish
    – no excess plastic ending up in a landfill
    – no animals harmed since all menu items are vegan
    – promote bike culture/bike businesses in Portland (of course no pollution that goes along with a typical delivery by car)
    – *awesome food*

    This is the most progressive food cart in Portland and… also just happens to have the best food.

    Check it out!

  5. This is awesome. I just got the #1 and I am super stoked about it. Best cart meal I’ve had yet hands down.

    Also, I’ve been a veggie for over a year… why the heck didn’t I know about Soy Curls????

  6. Michele Davis says

    Just had the number 1. Delicious, nutritious and filling. I couldn’t even close the box. That cilantro lemon sauce….yummy. And who knew that soy curls could be so good. I will be a regular.

  7. Kent Ellgren says

    Just had the #1, simply delicious and nutritious. I will back again and will tell others about this place.

  8. Just ate the #1, it was tasty and delicious. I am excited to go again and try the others.

    I also appreciated the gluten free options!

  9. Hungry traveler says

    I was in Portland for vacation this summer and stumbled across sonny bowl. I still dream about the one bowl. It was by far the best lunch I’ve ever had vegan or not! Ive been on a mission to recreate it but can’t seem to come close enough.


  1. […] of my recent favorites is Sonny’s Bowl – largely for its simplicity and strong flavors.  He (Sonny?) offers 3 options – all […]

  2. […] felt a little guilty about having that for lunch, so I got something tasty and vegan from Sonny Bowl after, but only had the room to eat half of it (and I ordered the half […]

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