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

Chicken and Guns

chicken food cart portland

Chicken and Guns

Location: SE 12th and Hawthorne at Cartopia
Hours: Wed-Sun, 11:30am-12am

The Story: Cartopia continues to excite the food cart scene of Portland. Defined as Portland’s late night food cart pod, after a remodel this past winter, it may now be one of the city’s most welcoming pods with a large tent and a new vendor. Chicken and Guns opened in June featuring their signature roasted Latin chicken.

Dustin Knox is a name one would know if you’ve been eating at the carts for more than a few years. The founder and owner of Perierra Creperie at Cartopia, Dustin has also made inroads with a couple of brick and mortar locations in the past few years. Yet, the siren song of the food cart called him back and with his parter Todd Radcliffe, they designed and built the beautiful cart that houses Chicken and Guns. This isn’t you’re friend’s grilled chicken. Todd and Dustin wanted to shoot for the stars, so partnered with Canby’s Scratch Farm for naturally raised chicken. Further, Todd designed the racks and grill to roast the chicken just right. Then, they added salad. Who doesn’t enjoy a simple fresh salad with meal? A trifecta of awesomeness.

chicken food cart portland

Latin Roasted Chicken from Chicken and Guns

Chicken and Guns focuses on Latin chicken roasted over oak and mesquite. What makes it latin chicken? Well, a mixture of seasoning and chimichurri that adds a depth of flavor complimented by wood smoke. Portion sizes can be a quarter or half a chicken. If you’re an eater, go for the half, you’ll thank me. Sides include crispy potatoes with lemon and sea salt and a Peruvian sauce or a salad of seasonally selected greens and mandolin sliced veggies. You can add a fried egg to any meal and why wouldn’t you. Succulent, sweet, juicy. Messy, exiting, a moment of clarity. Seriously, some of the best chicken I’ve enjoyed in a long time.

Chicken and Guns nails it. The cart, with an eating bar crafted from a huge chunk of oak, was put together with reclaimed materials, giving it a weathered and authentic feel. Open Wednesday to Sunday for lunch and dinner and even later, you have no reason not to visit. Drop on by next time you’re in the neighborhood and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

Latin Chicken – 1/4 – $8; 1/2 – $14  – includes choice of sides – potatoes or salad

Add local farm egg for $2

Website: ChickenandGuns.com
Twitter: @ChickenandGuns
Facebook: Chicken and Guns

Donut Byte Labs

donut food cart portland

Donut Byte Labs

Location: SW 4th and Burnside
Hours: Thursday, 8am-1pm; Friday, 8am-1am; Saturday, 10am-1am; Sunday, 11am-6pm

The Story: Portland loves donuts right? Voodoo. Blue Star. Pips. To name a few. A food cart has decided to enter the fray – Donut Byte Labs is now open at the corner of SW 4th and Burnside for your mini donut cravings.

Donut Byte Labs opened earlier this year with one seriously outfitted food cart. Each donut is fresh daily right in the cart with their donut robot. And, you can watch. When was the last time you were able to watch your food created right on the spot? They choose to go for cold mini bytes instead of hot (like other vendors) in order to showcase the flavor. The menu covers everything from basic glazed and powered sugar to advanced flavors like salted caramel or bacon maple. The Burnside cream is a twist on the Boston Cream with a mini donut dipped in warm chocolate glaze then dolloped with pastry cream and a drizzle of Ghiradelli chocolate sauce. Being so little, you can enjoy more than one. One late night during a set break at Dante’s, I wandered over for an assortment. While eating donuts in Portland at midnight isn’t that unusual, for me it was and I devoured them.

donut food cart portland

Donut Byte Labs

Donut Byte Labs is one of only a few sweets vendors in the downtown core. Centrally located, next time you want to surprise the boss or get a treat for the team, drop on by. Let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu: (Full menu on website)

  • Plain – $1.25 for 6 or $2.50 for 12
  • Powdered  Sugar – $2.50 for 6 or $4 for 12
  • Chocolate Sprinkle – $1 for 1 or $2.50 for 3
  • Salted Caramel – or Burnside Cream  – $1 for 1 or $2.50 for 3
  • Creme Brulee – $1 for 1 or $2.50 for 3

Website: Donutbytelabs.com
Facebook: Donut Byte Labs
Twitter: @Donutbytelabs
Instagram: @Donutbytelabs

Big Fat Weiners


Location: Mobile
Hours: Mobile

The Story:

Big Fat Weiners has returned with a truck and an expanded menu. I remember the day I visited their cart when they were downtown and one of the owners was dressed in a hot dog suit. Crazy. These days, the food truck is parked at an ever changing lot on NE 15th and Alberta and they have expanded the menu with almost 20 different options.

sausage food cart portland

Slow Roasted Brisket Dog

New to the menu – a slow roasted brisket dog with lemony horse sauce and fried coffee infused onion strings.

See our original story from 2010 below.

If you were walking down the street and saw a guy in a hot dog suit dancing in the sidewalk, what would you do? What would you do? Well, we stopped for a tasty dog. Newcomers to the Ash St Pod are David and Jason who opened Big Fat Weiners just down from Big A** Sandwiches. I see a mashup in the future.

Big Fat Weiners is a hot dog cart with attitude and a dash of hilarity. Along with the hot dog suit David had on, Jason was sporting a hot dog hat. Who can’t resist chatting these guys up and walking away with a dog. They differentiate themselves from other dog carts by offering up different options with their franks. You can get a dog with chipotle cream cheese and bacon; roasted garlic, mushrooms and Swiss; smashed avocado and Fritos and a few more interesting combinations. Fritos with avocado and a hot dog? That just sounds odd, but interesting and tasty!

I enjoyed a dog with smoked jalapeno cream cheese while my lunch mate had the roasted garlic with mushrooms and Swiss dog – topped with bacon. We hadn’t seen bacon as an option, so asked and were told, “we sometimes put bacon on everything.” Both dogs were enjoyable along with the colorful conversation with the guys.

David and Jason have the right approach and attitude to succeed in the cart business. They engage their customers, keep it light and offer a good product. They also have the chops to handle the late night bar crowd from the old town taverns. Big Fat Weiners is a mobile cart with a temporary tent. They are working on a more permanent structure that will allow them to be open even when it is windy and rainy. If you are down that way, drop on by Big Fat Wieners and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Facebook: Big Fat Weiners

Sample Menu:


Margarita’s Recipes

Margarita's Recipes

Margarita’s Recipes

Location: NE 15th and Alberta
Hours: Mon-Sun, 12pm-12am

The Story: Alberta street really has changed since I first moved to N Portland last century. With all the new restaurants, boutiques and buildings, I’m glad spots for food carts have continued to thrive. East of NE 15th is a new lot with a few food carts including Margarita’s Recipes who focuses on Colombian and Italian cuisine.

Ceviche de Cameron

Ceviche de Cameron

I’m a fan of pictures when I order. A photo of a dish will draw me to it more than the description. Trust me, I’ve had some strange dishes due to picking a photo instead of a name. But, street food is an adventure. Margarita’s Recipes offers up a fusion of Colombian and Italian-American items. Camilo, the owner works long days to create some excellent dishes at affordable prices. You can enjoy spaghetti with Alfredo sauce or empanadas. Based on the photo, I picked up Ceviche de Camarón, a shrimp cocktail mixed with fresh green onions, cilantro and house made sauce. A 16oz cup chock full of spicy shrimp and a super fragrant sauce thanks to the fresh herbs. I also picked up some empanadas – light and fluffy. Only $11 for everything. A great value for great food.

Margarita’s Recipes may not be in the most beautiful food lot on Alberta, yet Camilo has a beautiful cart and soul. Open daily for lunch through dinner and into the night, drop on by, enjoy what he has to offer and let him know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Empanadas – chicken, beef or vegetarian – 3 for $2,  5 for $3
  • Ravioli – beef or chicken with Alfredo sauce – $5
  • Ceviche de Cameron – $9
  • Spaghetti – $3; add meatballs, $5
  • Bunuelo – fried cheese balls – 2 for $1.50

Phone: (503) 754-9817