Whole Time Chicken

fried chicken food cart portland

Whole Time Chicken

Location: SW 3rd and Washington
Hours: Sun-Thurs, 11am-8pm; Friday/Saturday, 11am-2am

The Story: Fried Chicken. Quick, what is your first thought? I think of buckets of KFC and cringe. Fried chicken, when done right is moist, flavorful and almost sinful. Whole Time Chicken, a food cart in downtown Portland, has it dialed in.

fried chicken food cart portland

Whole Time Chicken

Whole Time Chicken opened this past fall on the Washington side of the 3rd avenue food cart lot. Portland has seen an increase in southern fare being offered up with chicken and biscuit restaurants and even some new carts showcasing cuisine various southern states. So exciting to see the newcomers. Whole Time Chicken focuses on both deep fried and pan fried chicken served up in sandwiches or over rice or a salad. Upon arrival, you’re offered up a small sample of what they have cooking inside. Just that little nibble of seared moist chicken solidified my decision to enjoy lunch from them that day. Trying to mix the healthy with the sinful, I picked up fried chicken over rice and a mixed green salad. I pretty much asked him to make me something special and he did. I love a good fried chicken and with the right crust and seasoning, it becomes a memorable meal. This dish, with spicy chicken, greens and rice was fully enjoyable down to the last bite. No dry chicken here.

Whole Time Chicken is now open daily for lunch through the dinner hour and even late night on the weekends. Craving some fried chicken after a few visits to the downtown clubs? Whole Time will hook you up. Let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Chicken Sandwich – $6
  • Chicken and Rice – fried or pan seared – $6
  • Chicken and Salad – $7.50
  • Chicken, rice and salad – $8

Facebook: Whole Time Chicken

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

Sivad’s House of Soul

Sivad's House of Soul

Sivad’s House of Soul

Location: SW 4th and Ankeny
Hours: Daily, lunchtime; late night on weekends

The Story: Soul food warms your heart. That is the take from Sivad’s House of Soul, a new truck located on SW 4th and Ankeny.

Pronounced ‘So-vads’, the Portland theme wrapped truck opened earlier this year with the goal of offering down home cooking with roots in the rural south. Owners Tundra and Davis hail from the midwest, yet their parents are from the south, so they both grew up surrounded by the smells, flavors and traditions of the region. The truck sports images of Portland’s skyline along with a story about the origins of soul food. You’ll definitely recognize this truck when it drives past.

Sivad’s menu is extensive with items covering every meal of the day. As they find their niche in the Portland street food scene, they are choosing to offer different items each day like smoked BBQ ribs, chicken and waffles, fried chicken, and a favorite of mine, catfish. The pan fried catfish is served alone or in a sandwich with soul slaw and fries. The seasoning on the catfish brought back memories of Louisiana and time spent there. Slathering the fish with the slaw in the sandwich not only created a delightful mess, it brought all the diverse flavors together in every bite. Next time, ribs.

Catfish sandwich from Sivad's House of Soul

Catfish sandwich from Sivad’s House of Soul

Sivad’s House of Soul is a great addition to the downtown food scene and Tundra and Davis are a couple of great people. If you’re looking for a hearty meal, drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Smoke BBQ Ribs  with fries and soul slaw – $14
  • Catfish dinner – $9
  • Chicken and Waffle – $9
  • Fried Chicken – $5-6.50
  • Chili Dog and Fries – $8

Phone: 503 569 5507




Location: SE 52nd and Foster, Carts on Foster
Hours: Mon-Thurs, 11am-12am; Fri/Sat, 12am-2:30am

The Story: Sandwiches are my crutch. I get asked daily what my favorite vendors are, which is difficult to answer since there are so many out there who have impressed my taste buds. Yet, I find myself highlighting vendors who craft unique or extremely flavorful sandwiches. While Portland doesn’t necessarily have a signature sandwich like other cities, we do have excellent chefs making magic in the carts. Pressed is one of the newest sandwich vendors to grace our scene.

In looking at the menu, I was torn between getting the Last Sammy with salami, pepperoni, and fresh chili’s or the Reuben Stunner, their take on a classic. While perusing the menu, general manager and sandwich master Robert came out to chat. Robert, a trained chef, opened the cart earlier this summer with the goal of presenting excellent quality sandwiches and his description of the reuben sold me. Corned beef from Kansas, 60 day aged Swiss, his own cart made russian dressing and the required sauerkraut all on toasted rye bread. He even delivered it to me while I hung out in the Pod Bar. Take a look at that sandwich, stacked corned beef with the kraut mixed in. I dove in and never looked back. Many create this sandwich with equal parts sauerkraut and corned beef which overpowers many of the individual flavors. Robert used the kraut more as an accent like you would mix in a bit of horseradish to give something a zing. That technique created one of the best reubens I’ve enjoyed in awhile. Oh, and the fries had just the right dusting of salt.

Reuben Stunner from Pressed

Reuben Stunner from Pressed

Pressed is open daily for lunch through dinner and into the night, so if you’re craving a sandwich, chicken wings or maybe a peanut butter smore, they have you covered. Carts on Foster has a Pod Bar with a great selection of microbrews and ciders and indoor seating. Drop on by sometime and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • The Italian – ham, salami, Mozzarella with fries – $9
  • Last Sammy – $9
  • Reuben Stunner – $9
  • The Kimmy, PB&J & Bacon – $6
  • Fish & Chips – $12
  • Chicken Wings – 6 for $6, 12 for $11
  • Peanut Butter Smore – $5

Phone: (503) 473-5304
Facebook: Pressed
Twitter: @PressedPDX

Lisa’s Lip Smackin’ Kitchen

Lizzy Caston

Lisas 1

Location: N Vancouver and Fremont
Hours: Mon-Fri, 11am-9pm; Sat/Sun, 7:30am-11pm

The Story: They call it Soul Food for a reason. Sometimes you just have a craving for foods that nurture, foods that scream home cookin’, foods that might take you back to your Grandmother’s house. For me, being from a Southern family, Sundays often meant going out for BBQ, or 15 of us kinfolk tightly knit around my Nana’s large kitchen table where piled high were the likes of brisket, greens, mac n’ cheese, red beans and rice and a whole lotta love.


Lisa’s Lip Smackin on N. Vancouver hits all the right Southern food classics: creamy mac n’ cheese, melt in your mouth greens, and smokey, fall off the bone BBQ. In the South BBQ is a noun, y’all! (little insider Southern joke, by the way). At Lisa’s the BBQ shines: tender smoked brisket in a tangy vinegar-tomato sauce, pulled pork, and smoked ribs are the stars. Yet, wait, Lisa’s has a dual menu!  Burgers! Purists can get a tasty classic Hamburger or Cheeseburger, or zest it up a bit with a beef and avocado burger, a Hawaiian Burger (yes, with pineapple), a turkey burger for the red meat avoiders, and even a veggie burger, cause even Southern cuisine respects the veggies. Crispy hot out of the fryer French Fries and and an all beef hot dog (make it a chili or cheese dog if you like) round out the offerings.

One of the hardest working food carts in N Portland, Lisa’s also serves a late breakfast and weekend breakfast sandwiches on homemade biscuits, and a pretty hearty and tasty Biscuits and Gravy.

Food at Lisa’s is really made with care and love, and the quality shows. It’s honest Southern inspired home style food, right where NE meets North Portland. Keep on keeping on, Lisa’s. Your food is certainly lip smackin’ indeed.

Sample Menu:

  • Smoked Pork Ribs (weekends only) with 2 sides – full slab $24, 1/2 slab $12, 1 rib for $1
  • Smoked Brisket Platter with 2 sides – $9
  • Pulled Pork Sandwich – $6
  • 3 Cheese Mac – Small $3, Large $4
  • Collard Greens – Small $3, Large $3.75
  • Red Beans – Small $2.75, Large $3.50
  • Burgers (Beef, Turkey or Vegetarian) in various combos – $4 – $5.50
  • All Beef Hot Dogs – $1.75, Chili Dog add $0.75

Phone: (503) 926-1208