503 Burger Co.

burger food cart

503 Burger Co.

Location: N Mississippi and Skidmore, Mississippi Marketplace
Hours: Mon-Wed, 11-5; Thurs-Sat, 11-5 and 8pm-2am; Sun, 11-5

The Story: “I am an FBI Agent!” One of the best lines from Point Break. Also, the first thought I had when seeing the menu at 503 Burger Co, a new food cart at Mississippi Marketplace.

A few years back, North Portland was blessed with some great burgers out of food carts at Mississippi Marketplace. Hand crafted with love. 503 Burger Co. has brought back the thunder and I thank them. The 503 opened quietly in July. I happened across them on a jaunt through to see who’s new. (You may remember a few vendors closed at the Marketplace, providing new opportunities for others.) A cool cabin like cart serving burgers and tots. What’s not to love? The menu at 503 harkens back to the age of my youth with burgers named Thunderdome or Road House and even Maverick. On my first visit, I picked up the Johnny Utah with Tillamook cheddar, bibb lettuce, pickled onion, tomato, ketchup, and a smokey chipotle aioli served on a brioche bun. Clean, straightforward, uncomplicated. Divine! Second visit – Back to the Future – a simple burger with cheddar and all the fixin’s. Both burgers sated my cravings and have brought me back. Portland is in a giant burger phase where everything but the kitchen sink is added to the patty. While flavorful, they are just over the top. At 503 Burger Co, the burger was untroublesome, flavorful, a bit messy, without adding pork belly or pickled eggplant. They realize you don’t need all that schtuff to make a great burger. Add tots or maybe event a shake, 503 Burger Co. has it all.

burger food cart

Burger, Tots, Beer

I’m excited to welcome a great burger vendor to Mississippi. If you’re a burger fan, it is in your interest to visit and check out 503 Burger Co. Heck, go twice. Let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Back to the Future – ketchup, mustard, Tillamook  Cheddar, bibb lettuce, pickles, brioche bun – $8
  • Road House – pepperoncini cream cheese sauce, fried leeks, butter lettuce, tomato, brioche bun – $8.50
  • Thunderdome – beef and pork patty, bacon, Gorgonzola, arugula, BBQ sauce, brioche bun – $9.50
  • Maverick – Munster, arugula, caramelized onion, truffle aioli, brioche bun – $9.75
  • Tots – $2.50

Website: 503Burger.com
Facebook: 503 Burger Co.
Instagram: @503burgerco

Smak Dab’s

Burger Food Cart Portland

Smak Dab’s

Location: NE 52nd and Sandy – Rose City Food Park
Hours: Tues-Sat, 11-7; Sun, 12-5

The Story: When you have a dream, sometimes nothing can stop you. Chris had the dream to open a food cart for over 15 years and now Smak Dab’s has launched with their gourmet stuffed burgers.

Chris has a background in the restaurant industry having worked for more than a few large restaurants over the years. The food cart scene just wasn’t as vibrant in the first part of the last decade, so Chris put the plans on hold, but kept the dream alive. The cart, located on NE MLK at The Fusion food cart pod is one of a few who have opened thee in the past six months. That pod has always housed food carts offering a range of cuisines ever since I moved into the neighborhood almost 17 years ago. Now, with a formal name, a covered deck and a quorum of vendors, I think NE MLK has a viable street food scene.

Burger Food Cart Portland

Tres Hombres from Smak Dab’s

Smak Dab’s focuses on stuffed burgers. Many call them the Juicy Lucy after a famous midwestern chain. Chris has his own twist. The patty includes bread crumbs among other goodies to add some cohesion as he forms it around the ingredients. The surprises are inside. Take The Calzone for example – pepperoni, mozzarela cheese and marinara all grilled inside the patty. Just imagining that first bite elicits a stomach growl. The Tres Hombres was for me – jalapenos, olives, jack cheese inside with quacamole atop. At first site, I thought maybe the burger was a bit burned, yet that first bite countered the visual. The patty, with the extra ingredients comes with caramelization throughout – a sweet, salty and for the Tres Hombres, spicy delight. Fresh lettuce and tomato create a cool tasty friction to the stuffed burger. Overall, a well done sammy.

Smak Dab’s has an impressive menu with six stuffed burger options. The day I visited, Chris also had pulled pork on the menu. Design your own if you want, he’ll make it happen. There is plenty of covered seating on site and they offer vegetarian options and GF buns. Drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

[Smak Dab’s moved to Rose City Food Park in June of 2014]

Sample Menu:

  • The Smak Dab – patty stuffed with swiss and served on toasted bun with chimichurri spread and bacon sriracha onion ring – $9
  • The Calzone – $8
  • The Lisa – vegetarian black bean patty with chimichurri spread – $7
  • Lamb of Gouda – lamb mix stuffed with smoked gouda – $10
  • Tres Hombres – $9
  • Steak Fries – $3
  • Cajun Pot Stickers – $6
  • Bacon sriracha battered fried pickles – $5

Facebook: Smak Dab’s

PDX Sliders

PDX Sliders

PDX Sliders

Location: 8064 SE 17th, north of Tacoma
Hours: Tus-Thurs, 11am-7pm; Fri/Sat, 11am-close; Sun, 12pm-close

The Story: College introduced me to peers from around the country. I remember a friend asking if I wanted to grab a slider. I honestly had no idea what a slider was and no where in McMinnville offered them, so Safeway sold us ground beef and rolls and we set out to make sliders in the dormitory kitchen. Burned and not that flavorful, a new memory was born. Nowadays, sliders are everywhere and in all shapes and styles. A new food cart – PDX Sliders – is bringing their take on the little burger to southeast Portland.

Ryan Rollins, like many who have dove into the food cart scene in the last few years, had another career in another industry before taking the leap into food service. Granted, his tenure at Dairy Queen as a teen may have stoked the entreprenurial spirit. Ryan’s family, including his wife, have worked or owned businesses in the food industry, creating a support structure for Ryan. The slider concept came about after some time seeing restaurants creating bigger and bigger burgers. Further, there are few businesses who solely focus on the mini-burger. Ryan wanted to do the opposite. Ryan’s wife’s culinary education came into play when crafting the menu and weekly specials come about with the help of friends who both work in the cart and at local restaurants. Truly a collaborative effort between friends and family.

Sellwood Slider from PDX Sliders

Sellwood Slider from PDX Sliders

At PDX Sliders, Ryan and team craft everything from scratch daily. Ryan proudly proclaims they don’t have a freezer. Fries are fresh cut every morning. You can taste the freshness in the burger. On the menu, you find traditional sliders along with cart crafted gems. I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying the Broadway with braised pork, Mamma Lil’s peppers, baby arugula and house maid spicy aioli on a ciabatta bun. Not traditional, yet amazing. On a recent visit, I picked up the Sellwood, a burger with bacon, Beechers Flagship Cheddar, grilled onions, butter lettuce and aioli served on a brioche bun. A juicy, messy treat on a cool winter day. At the prices they charge, why not pick out a couple. There is something for everyone on this menu. The St. Johns is a marinated portabella. The Ross Island, a house-made black bean chipotle patty. Burgers are cooked to medium doneness and you can swap out bread for butter lettuce if you want to make it gluten free.

PDX Sliders is a great addition to the street food scene here in Portland. Located in the Sellwood neighborhood, this is one vendor I hope will expand north. Open every day except Monday for both lunch and beyond, there is plenty of opportunity to pick up some nosh. Drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

Sliders are $3.50; Fries, $2

  • Sellwood – burger, bacon, Cheddar, grilled onions, butter lettuce on brioche bun
  • Hawthorne – burger, bacon, goat cheese, strawberry preserves on brioche bun
  • Steel – two burgers, bacon, American cheese, grilled onions, aioli on brioche bun
  • Burnside – house made meatballs, roasted romas, Mozzarella on ciabatta bun
  • Ross Island – house made black bean chipotle patty, pepper jack, butter lettuce on brioche bun

Phone: 971 717 5271
: PDXSliders.com
Facebook: PDX Sliders
Twitter: @PDXSliders

Comfortably Yum

Get Stuffed

Comfortably Yum

Location: SW 4th and Hall
Hours: Mon-Fri, 11:15-5pm

The Story: We have great burgers in this city, so how does one differentiate itself from the others? Comfortably Yum, a food cart down by PSU, has chosen to create a well made burger with a rustic bun and high quality ingredients – just what the doctor ordered.

Comfortably Yum opened this past summer, but had to close for a period of time after a kitchen fire. Now they have re-opened and the father, son and friend team are slinging away. Bob, the father, runs the window. Andy and Michael run the grill and prep the goods. Bob was great to chat with, a retiree helping out where he can with the right attitude a cart owner needs. Trust me, he’ll make you laugh. The goal is a simple, high quality product. “Dazzle them with quality.” Take a rustic bun from Grand Central and use an 80/20 chuck for the burger and you sold me. While I appreciate add-ons, they sometimes mask the quality of the burger as a whole which is why I’m there. At Comfortably Yum, they put everything together just right for this burger fiend. Red leaf lettuce, tomato, ketcup and mayo. That first bite, with a bit of burger juice dripping down my chin, was magical. The bun impressed me, different than many burger buns I’ve enjoyed and I would highly recommend it. For burger fans, you need to visit, not only for a hamburger made with passion and care, but also for the witty repartee from Bob.

Burger from Get Stuffed

Burger from Comfortably Yum

Comfortably Yum is situated in the middle of the lot on SW 4th and Hall. They are planning on renaming themselves this winter, so we’ll update the post when that occurs. While I didn’t try them, I understand the hand cut fries in rice oil are the bomb. Drop on by, say hi and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Grilled Cheese  – $2.75
  • Grilled Cheese Club – $4.75
  • Burger – $5; add cheese, $1
  • Toppings – $1.50 – bacon, guacamole, mushrooms
  • Hand cut fries – $1.50

Facebook: Comfortably Yum

Food Carts Portland – Burger Edition


Burgers! Beyond the hot dog, the burger is true American cuisine. Some enjoy the fast food type, while others hit up Michelin star restaurants for dry aged beef burgers for $30. Here in Portland, we’re graced with a number of food carts who do amazing burgers, some even eclipsing the artisan burgers found at some of the restaurants around town. I’ve had many if not all of the burgers from the carts. I know, tough job. I love burgers. Here’s a list of where you can find some of the best burgers in town at food carts.

The Must Trys:



Burgatroyd – opened in 2011, this diamond plate cart at SW 2nd and Oak knocked it out of the park with their burgers. The original idea was build your own with a plethora of options, yet I think eaters more want to be told what to eat. The burger starts with a Fleur de Lis bun and burger from Highland Oaks Farm and then start adding items like calabrian chili aioli, deep fried jalapenos, sauteed mushroom, bacon, caramelized onions sauteed in butter and more. Truly a great burger.



Sideshow – A cart that started with only Belgian Fries and poutine now offers The Fancy Burger. 1/3lb Cascade Natural grass fed Kobe beef cooked with duck fat, a brioche bun, white cheddar and gruyere, arugula and white truffle mayo. SERIOUSLY! Can you get any more fancy than kobe beef or white truffle mayo? This is one over the top burger with dynamic flavors that make you pause and wonder why mom never picked up Kobe beef for burgers. And get this, the burger is only $9. SW 9th and Washington

Miss Kate's Southern Kitchen

Miss Kate’s Southern Kitchen

Miss Kate’s Southern Kitchen – Mississippi Marketplace welcomed Miss Kate’s over a year ago and the neighborhood has been loving their southern cuisine ever since. The Old Fashioned Cheeseburger is what you should order. Served on buttered Texas Toast, the 1/2 lb burger topped with cheese, creole aioli sauce, pickles, tomatoes, lettuce and onions, this may be the burger you use a fork and knife with. I usually just pick it up, cradle it lovingly and dive in, only pausing to wipe cheese and aioli from the corner of my mouth. Enjoy it with a good German lager. N Mississippi and Skidmore

Euro Trash – A cart that started off serving calamari and chicken sandwiches has morphed their menu to include The Big Burger which you can add beer battered softshell crab. Yep, the Crabby Patty. The burger in and of itself is a work of art. With a pub bun from An Xuyen Bakery, Charles Thomas adds arugula, fresh cut onion and his signature Trashy sauce. Add in the perfectly deep fried softshell crab and some melted cheese and you have one unique and tasty burger. The crab is a seasonal item, so get it when you can. If you’re adventurous, try the burger with foie gras, Euro Trash has it. SW 10th and Washington

Over the Top:

The Grilled Cheese Grill – The welcome sign at The Grilled Cheese Grill states “Come by for a taste of your childhood. Unless your childhood sucked and then we’ll let ya have a taste of ours.” They have a school bus so you can get out of the rain and enjoy your sandwich. Beyond the grilled cheeses, they offer The Cheesus, a 1/3 lb burger topped with onion, lettuce, colby jack, ketchup, mustard and more put between their signature grilled cheese sandwiches. Served with chips. A behemoth of a burger. NE 11th and Albeta, SE 28th and Ankeny and SW 10th and Washington

The Brunch Box

The Brunch Box

Brunch Box – I think of Brunchbox as one of the first of the new breed of vendors to offer burgers in downtown. There were few options back in 2009 for burgers at the carts and Brunchbox nailed it. With a menu ranging from a simple burger to one with blue cheese or mushrooms or pineapple, there is something for everyone. If you’re hungry, you can opt for the YouCanHasCheeseburger, a burger with all the fixin’s sandwiched between two grilled cheese sandwiches made with Texas Toast. Seriously, a true monster of a burger. SW 5th and Stark


While many vendors do offer a vegetarian option, these vendors go beyond the standard gardenburger.

DC Vegetarian – One of Portland’s best vegetarian carts, the Bacon Cheeseburger here will make you rethink meat. A cart made veggie burger with all the toppings with veggie bacon, I added avocado and vegan Daiya cheese. As a meat eater, I gotta say this is a great option if you want to get away from the beef. SW 3rd and Stark

Che Cafe – Not a vegetarian only vendor, this cart does make sure every dish they serve is well made. The Sadie Black Bean Burger is cart made from scratch and comes with your choice of toppings and cheese and aioli served on grilled onion bun. I love black beans, so putting them together in a burger with some fresh veggies is to die for. Located in North Portland at the Kruger Farm stand, you can enjoy either a meat burger or a veggie burger with a beer from Captured by Porches. N Lombard and Burr

The Burger Carts:

The Burger Guild

The Burger Guild

The Burger Guild – A stuffed burger. Think of all the goodies wrapped in ground beef and turned into a burger. That first bite – gooey blue cheese with fresh red peppers makes its showing. At this cart you can get almost anything stuffed in the burger and then flame grilled. The Kalamata Mama, one of my favorites comes with Kalamata olives, Feta, fresh red peppers and fresh garlic inside the burger. SE 50th and Division

The Angry Unicorn – Portland, built atop an ancient Unicorn graveyard! At the Angry Unicorn they mix Unicorn meat (bacon) with ground beef to create a pretty darn excellent tasting burger. Their traditional Unicorn Burger is served on a Voodoo donut with all the fixin’s. SE 52nd and Foster

Rockin’ Robyn’s Sassy Burger – The Pub Bun from Portland French Bakery makes the Sassy Burger special. Get one with lettuce, tomato, onion, pepper jack and maybe a fried egg and you’ll be in heaven. At the Rose City Food Park, it is the only burger cart in the area. Bonus points for sourcing their beef locally from a true butcher shop – The Original Steer Market. NE 52nd and Sandy


Home Plate Sliders

Home Plate Sliders

Home Plate Sliders – Sliders are awesome. Small little burgers so you can enjoy more than one! At Home Plate, with their baseball themed truck and menu, you can enjoy a simple slider or maybe a Yankee with grilled pastrami or a Philly with peppers and onions. Home Plate Sliders roams around to different locations during the week or comes to your favorite event.

Bro-Dogs and Burgers

Bro-Dogs and Burgers

Bro-Dogs and Burgers – Scott Smith, a veteran of the banking industry launched a simple cart a few years ago to serve gourmet sausage sandwiches. That led to an amazing following and growth to a food truck and the addition of burgers. The Dirty Burger is a handmade beef patty with bacon and cheddar, tomatoes, onions, and their signature ‘dirty’ sauce. Kinda of a messy little mess, but well worth it. Bro-Dogs and Burgers roams, so follow them on Facebook for their next location.

Kindle Kart – Known for their pizza, the Kindle Kart up in NW Portland also offers burgers. Owner and chef Kevin bakes his own brioche buns in the wood fire oven. The burger, double ground brisket with a bit of seasoning added, is pretty darn taste. I chose the Jalapeno burger with mixed greens, grilled onions, jalapeno sauce, a grilled chili pepper and cheddar cheese. NW 27th and Wilson

Timber's Doghouse PDX

Timber’s Doghouse PDX

Timber’s Doghouse PDX – Timber opened her cart focusing first on tater tot bowls, but grew the menu to offer a list of wonderful burgers. You can get a basic or a bacon cheeseburger or one with pineapple or mushrooms. Then again, you could enjoy “One Night in Bangkok” with a burger topped with a relish of bacon, peanut butter, sriracha and pickles. One unique take on the burger. SE 43rd and Belmont

The Egg Carton – A breakfast vendor by trade, they offer a breakfast burger with a sausage and beef patty, cheddar cheese, egg and bacon jam on a potato roll with lettuce, tomato, pickled onion, Dijon and bloody mary sauce. Bacon jam and bloody mary sauce? Oh yeah. And the potato roll works well with all the ingredients. Start your day off right with a breakfast burger. SE 52nd and Foster

The Egg Carton

The Egg Carton


I know there are other burgers out there at the cart I may have missed. Let us know and we’ll add them to this list. Now, go enjoy a burger.