How to Open A Food Cart in Portland


Ever had a question on how to open a food cart in Portland. More specifically, open a food cart in Multnomah County? Well, our friends at Multnomah County Environmental Health received a grant to publish a playbook for aspiring vendors. I’ve always told vendors who have questions to give Multnomah County a call. They are your resource for those frequently asked questions. Now, they have a manual. And, if you’re looking to open a food cart outside of Portland, the playbook discusses the different types of mobile food units allowed in the state. What is a class 2 food cart? Where do you dump grey water? Do you need a commissary? All answered.

open a food cart in portland

In many cities across the nation, it is a morass of regulations, rules and policy a vendor needs to wade through. Here in Portland, Multnomah County makes it simple and straightforward.

Find the Mobile Food Unit Playbook here or drop on by Multnomah County’s offices for a spiral bound copy. Thank you Multnhomah County Enrironmental Health.

Food Cart News and Events Aug 15-17


Here is some Food Cart News and Events for this weekend:

Portland’s newest food cart pod – Tidbit – is quickly gathering steam and opening. Numerous vendors have already moved in including Hapa Ramen, Namu, Dragonfly and Lodekka. They can’t wait to have you come and visit and are open even though construction is still in progress. Head on down to SE 28th and Division and welcome them to the neighborhood.


Pips and Bounce, a ping pong project, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a Ping Pong location in Portland. Pips and Bounce has done a few events in the Pearl over the last year and loves to bring in food trucks for the crowd.  If you’re a player, consider donating.


food cart news

The People’s Pig

The People’s Pig has opened their brick and mortar location in N Portland. Located on N Williams, just north of Fargo, Cliff Allen took over the former Tropicana BBQ space and opened last week. At the restaurant, enjoy his famous pork sandwich along with smoked ribs and a few salads. I’ve been now a couple of times and that vintage smoker is back to work. Open daily from 11-11. The cart downtown is still open at SW 10th and Washington.


Pepper Box, the wonderful New Mexican cart that shuttered last year after their lot went up for development, announced they are opening a brick and mortar cafe. With hatch chile season upon us, everyone and anyone craving Pepper Box treats will have to wait just a bit longer. Pepper Box Cafe will open soon on SE Morrison.


Kim Jong Grillin‘ has reopened. You may remember them from a few years back having a cart on SE Division. Sadly they had to close after a devastating fire. But, out of the ashes they have a cool new food truck parked down on SE 46th and Division. Welcome back Han.


Narumol “Nong” Poonsukwattana of Nong’s Khao Man Gai will compete in a Food Truck challenge of Chopped. The episode will air August 19th at 7pm on the Food Network. Good luck to Nong. 


Events this weekend:

All Weekend:

  • MusicFestNW will take over Washington Park with two stages and live music all weekend. The following vendors will be onsite to feed the crowd – Bro-Dogs and Burgers, Grilled Cheese Grill, Slick’s Big Tim BBQ, Fried Egg I’m In Love; Mama Chow’s; La Merced; Fuego Burritos; Freshii; Bunk Sandwiches; Ramy’s Lamb Shack; So Cold. This is going to be an amazing event.
  • Toyota City Championships event of the Dew Tour takes place in downtown Portland all weekend. The event is taking over Broadway between Jefferson and Salmon for skateboard and BMX competition. This is a Free event and food trucks Home Plate Sliders, Fishbox, and Churros Locos will be out on Saturday. On Sunday, find Retrolicious and Churros Locos there. So cool.

Saturday, August 16:

  • The 23rd and Alberta Food Cart Lot is hosting a Superhero Party at the lot. Boasting four awesome food carts and the Hoppy Camper, a beer purveyor, the event calls out all you Superheroes to don your costumes and have some fun. There will be prizes for Best Kids, Most “Portland”, and more. Such a fun event for young and old. More details.
  • The Adult Soap Box Derby is Saturday and this year they are bringing in food trucks and vendors at the end of the race on Mt. Tabor.
  • Carts on Foster is hosting a Chalk Art Contest all day Saturday. Unleash your inner artist. They have over $150 in prizes for the best art.
  • Also at Carts on Foster, a fundraiser is happening from 12-4 for J Mo’s Sandwich Shack. The owner, Jason, suffered a tragic injury last year and has only recently returned to the cart. Local food cart author Steven Shomler will be there selling J Mo’s specialty sandwich for $20 to raise funds. More details.

Sunday, August 17:

  • The Hawthorne Street Fair happens between 30th and 38th. Head on down for some community fun, vendors and food carts like Fried Egg I’m In Love, Holy Mole, Umai, Carte Blanche and more.

Wow, a busy weekend. Enjoy the last few weeks of summer with your favorite street food vendor.

Food Lover’s Guide to Portland V. 2

Food Lover's Guide to Portland

Food Lover’s Guide to Portland

Ever wonder where the awesomeness is in your own city? Or, are you visiting and want to find the hidden gems? Liz Crain has put together an amazing book of all things food for our fair city. Food Lover’s Guide to Portland is a road map for finding anything you’re interested in whether it be cheese, charcuterie, restaurants, breakfast joints and even food carts. In the second edition of the book, readers get 30+ new full listings and 150+ new businesses. I wrote a section on food carts highlighting pods and specific vendors who one can’t miss. Nick Zukin of Mi Mero Mole put together a Hispanic Market section. Just flicking through the book opened my eyes to cheese shops I haven’t visited, new pickling operations I need to try and a huge list of distilleries.

So much changes in this wonderful city from week to week, so even if you call yourself a foodie, the book will open your eyes to something new to check out the next time you’re up for an adventure. The book is out next month and Liz would love to have you at the launch party at Reverend Nat’s Cider House on September 1. There will also be other events where you can meet and chat with Liz throughout the month of September. More details on the book and Liz Crain here.

MLS All Star Week 2014 and Portland Food Trucks


mls all starToday is opening day of MLS All Star week which will culminate in the MLS All Star Match on Wednesday, August 6 at Providence Park. A huge week for Portland, showcasing our beautiful city to a national and international crowd. The MLS All Star team will take on FC Bayern Munich, one of the best teams in the world. Here are some activities this weekend and next week where you can find food carts/trucks.

Friday August 1

  • MLS Flick’s on the Bricks. The MLS will take over Pioneer Courthouse Square the entire week for the MLS Experience presented by Adidas. Friday night launches with the classic soccer film Sixty Six. 9-11pm. Food trucks and other vendors will be onsite to feed ya.

Saturday, August 2

  • The MLS Experience at Pioneer Courthouse Square will be live from 12-9pm with a Timber vs. LA Galaxy viewing party. Food trucks and carts will be there in force to feed ya.
  • There will be an MLS Food Truck up on N Mississippi and Skidmore in the late afternoon slinging MLS Team sliders for free.

Sunday, August 3

  • Waterfront Park is where the action is Sunday. The Grilled Cheese Throwdown takes place at the MLS Experience at Waterfront Park in the bowl starting at 3pm. Retrolicious, The Grilled Cheese Grill, MooPing, Bro-Dogs and Burgers and Pressed will all be there to show off their best grilled cheese. And you’ll get to try each. The event will culminate in a live concert by The Flaming Lips.
  • If you’re interested in meeting some players, head on over to PROST! on N Mississippi and Skidmore. There will be a meet and greet with Claudio Pizarro and Rafinha of FC Bayern. Arrive early and enjoy lunch at the food carts at Mississippi Marketplace. Event is at 3:30pm.

Tuesday, August 5

  • MLS All Star Graham Zusi will be at Tursi Soccer Store in SW Portland from 4-6pm for a signing. Bro-Dogs and Burgers will be in residence to feed hungry soccer players.

Wednesday, August 6

  • The All Star Game is at Providence Park 6:30-9pm. Big-Ass Sandwiches will be the vendor of choice for the Food Cart Alliance and is taking over the concession stand above section 95.
  • Koi Fusion will be fully stocked at their location on SW 20th and Burnside outside the park.
  • Other trucks and vendors will be posted up around the park including Churros Locos on 19th for before and after treats.

The city is gonna go soccer bonkers for the next six days. Welcome the MLS visitors with open arms and direct them to the best food carts you know.

Food Cart Events July 24-27


Food Cart Events this coming weekend

July 24

  • Plaza Palooza at the Oregon Convention Center. Tony Furtado will perform and Taco Pedaler and  Bunk Sandwiches will be in attendance. 5:30-7:30 at across from the OCC. More details.
  • Bethany Village Summer Concerts will welcome Ramy’s Lamb Shack and Voodoo Donuts for the evening. More details here.
  • The 23rd and Alberta Food Cart Pod will host The Golden Country performing at the lot from 5-7.

July 25

  • Vertigo Brewing in Hillsboro will have  Bro-Dogs and Burgers there to feed those enjoying a Friday evening refreshment.
  • Movies in the Park at Peninsula Park in North Portland will be showing a South African movie – White Wedding.  Bunk Sandwiches will be in attendance.

July 26

  • Oregon City will celebrate their First City Celebration all day. Along with Oregon City restaurants and vendors, Bro-Dogs and Burgers will be there.
  • Movies in the park – Bunk Sandwiches will be at Concordia University in the evening. Move is The Sandlot
  • The Party in the Park at HMT Recreation Complex in Beaverton all day. Mama Chow’s will be there with their amazing Chinese street food.

July 27

  • The Big Float down the Willamette River will end with an after float party. Food trucks will be in attendance.

All weekend:

  • Ciccina, a pop-up of Cascadian-inspired re-interpretations of Sicilian soul-foods will take place at Artigiano on SE 33rd and Division. Chef Francesco Tripoli will take over the cart all weekend offering up menu items inspired by his Sicilian grandmother.
  • Union Wines will showcase their new mobile tasting truck, a vintage Citroën van at SE 33rd and Division all weekend. 

Have a great weekend.