Kelvin’s Döner Kebab

Turkish food cart Portland

Kelvin’s Doner Kebab

Location: SW 10th and Alder
Hours: Daily, lunch

The Story: Portland loves their kebab. Visit downtown any given night and numerous vendors are slinging pita filled with sliced meats, veggies and sauces and eaters are eager to indulge. Kelvin’s Döner Kebab is a new food cart featuring the traditional Turkish delight.

Döner is a Turkish dish made of meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie made from lamb with a mix of veal, beef or chicken. The purveyor slices off thin bits and fills a pita. At Kelvin’s Döner Kebab, the traditional sandwich is complimented by wraps, salads and even döner atop fries with cheese crumbles. The Döner Kebab I enjoyed started with fresh pita, a fistful of döner, cucumber, onions, tomatoes and then the sauces. Hot sauce, tzatziki sauce, yogurt sauce. I love big sandwiches and Kelvin’s didn’t disappoint. More than a few people on the sidewalk stopped me in astonishment asking where I secured such a huge amount of food. The döner, succulent and salty, mixed with the veggies and sauce melded together perfectly within the fresh pita. One of the best pitas I’ve enjoyed too. Love local sourcing. Turkish food cart Portland
Kelvin’s Döner Kebab is open daily for lunch and into the afternoon hours or until they sell out. Next time you’re up for something new, drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Döner Kebab – $6.50
  • Durum – a Döner wrap – $6.50
  • Döner Box – Döner over fries – $7
  • Döner Plate – with fries and salad – $10
  • Döner Salad – $6-8

Phone: 971 563 2511

Spielman Bagels Food Cart

bagel food cart portland

Spielman Bagels Food Cart

Location: SW 10th and Alder
Hours: Monday-Friday, 7:30am-2:30pm

The Story: Need some morning nosh? Downtown Portland is rather lacking of breakfast options from the carts, so I was excited to see Spielman Bagels take over the corner cart at SE 10th and Alder. Spielman has made a name for itself offering up some of the city’s best bagels in SE Portland. Now, we can all enjoy a kettle boiled salt bagel with cream cheese and maybe some lox.

Spielman’s food cart is open during the week for breakfast and lunch and also serves coffee.


Caspian Kabob

Caspian Kabob

Caspian Kabob

Location: SW 10th and Alder
Hours: Mon-Sat, 11-3

The Story: Meat on a stick. Throughout the world, a mainstay of their food culture. You can do vegetables also and at Caspian Kabob, they offer all different sorts of combinations and flavors.

Caspian Kabob is the work of Victor who moved to Portland with his wife after spending many years in New York in a different career. While there, whenever friends were over, Victor was asked to cook. It wasn’t a burden, he loved it. It opened his eyes to his own skills. Victor focuses on the rich flavors he remembers from the streets of his hometown in Bnndar-Anzli, Iran, located on the Caspian Sea. In New York, trying to secure a food cart or truck was next to impossible, so Portland is where he opened. After two months, he smiles broadly knowing he’s serving his customers wonderful dishes.

Victor focuses on authentic Persian flavors and dishes. His namesake dish, the Caspian Kabob comes with marinated top sirloin steak and veggies atop seasoned basmati rice, a cucumber and tomato salad and maste khiar – yogurt with garlic, cucumbers and dill. The basmati rice has its own special texture and flavor, perfect for this dish. Scoop up a bit with some of the grilled sirloin or a green pepper and mushroom and take a bite. Excellent flavors. Everything was cooked just right. I could tell Victor used saffron which sometimes other skimp on. Well done sir.

Caspian Kabob

Caspian Kabob

Caspian Kabob’s catch phrase is “Cultural Understanding through Culinary Taste.” Well said. Eating at the different food carts from around the world does provide an insight into different cultures and traditions. Victor makes some wonderful dishes and loves what he does. Drop on by and let him know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

Meat options include lamb, steak, chicken or vegetables; meal options include rice, salad or pita

  • Veggie Kabob – portobello, peppers, onions, tomatoes – $5.95
  • Kofte Kabob – seasoned chopped beef and lamb – $5.95
  • Lamb Kabob – marinated leg of lamb – $8.95
  • Barg Kabob – sirloin steak marinated in saffron – $8.95

Phone: (503) 318-7803
Facebook: Caspian Kabob
Twitter: @Caspian_Kabob

Number 1 Bento

Lizzy Caston

Bento-xOriginally written about: Sept., 2008

Updated: May, 2013

Location: SW 10th and Alder
Hours: Weekdays, lunchtime

Description: Way back in ’08 Food Carts Portland was super excited to stumble across #1 Bento. At that time, there were no other Korean carts downtown. (Cue scratching sound on a turntable…SAY WHAT?). Yep, that’s right, in 2008, there was only one Korean food cart in downtown Portland.

I was and remain smitten with excellent home cooking “mom” style by the nice women in the cart, and the generous portions, as were our readers as noted in the comments below. It seems there were two camps back then as excited about this cart as Food Carts Portland was. There were the avid Korean food lovers who just about jumped for joy when they realized they wouldn’t have to schlep out to Beaverton or 82nd Ave for a casual, quick and inexpensive Korean fix. Then there were the curious. Back then Korean food was just entering the mainstream in the American street food lexicon, probably due in large part to the “Korean taco craze” that started in Los Angeles and is now found just about everywhere in our great nation.  I was  so EXCITED about Number 1 Bento back when they opened, I wrote,

Wait, is it what I think I see? Could it really be a CART THAT SERVES KOREAN FOOD? In downtown Portland? Hell yes. This makes Number 1 Bento the only Korean food cart in Portland.

Ah how things change! Now there’s a Korean, Korean Tacos, or Korean “fusion” cart at just about every downtown food cart pod and even  a truck or five roaming our great city to serve hungry Korean food lovers near and far.

bento-2xNumber 1 Bento continues to sell things like generic “teriyaki,” “fried dumplings” and “grilled chicken” served with short grain rice and a miso ginger dressed salad. But hold on there, because Number 1 Bento continues to serve their wonderful Kimchee, Kalbi Korean beef ribs  and my absolute all time favorite of rice, beef, egg and vegetables: Bi Bim Bop. Praise the food cart gods and pass the hot sauce. Number 1 Bento is here to stay!

Prices, in the $6.50 to $8.00 range, continue to be very reasonable, and portions are HUGE.

Sample Menu:

(Kimchee served upon request, Japchae “clear” noodles served on the side for many items)

  • Bi-Bim-Bop, seasoned vegetables, beef, and fried egg on rice – $6.50
  • Kalbi grilled beef ribs, served with rice and salad -$9.00
  • Chicken or Beef Teriyaki with rice and salad – $6.50
  • Chicken potstickers with rice and salad – $5.50
  • Ramyun Noodle – $4.50

Hours: Mon-Sat, lunchtime til about 6pm.

Phone: 971-570-6040


El Taco Yucateco

mexican food cart portland

El Taco Yucateco

Location: SW 10th and Alder
Hours: Weekdays, lunch

The Story: Elloy Martin makes an amazing panucho. Simple, satisfying and oh, so flavorful. Elloy Martin has been making Mexican street food magic in his food cart El Taco Yucateco for a couple of years and now comes to serve the downtown Portland eaters.

I first met Elloy a year or so ago when he was at Green Castle. I made the mistake of assuming his cart was the same as a similar named vendor out east. Lucky for me, it wasn’t a huge error as it was his brother’s cart I had visited. After some ups and downs at Green Castle, Elloy moved the cart downtown this year and opened up on SW Alder between 9th and 10th. The menu at the cart is what you would expect from most Mexican vendors – tacos, burritos, quesadillas and tortas. All fresh, made to order with pride. What stands out here are the panuchos, a special type of taco. Elloy has to go as far as Sandy to source his special masa paste for the tortillas. A panucho is different than a taco and served open face like a tostada. He makes a tortilla then quickly fries it, puffing it up. Elloy then pulls it out, slices it open and stuffs it with black bean paste. Back in the pan to finish up, he then tops it with lettuce, cabbage, shredded and seasoned chicken, pickled red onion, tomato and avocado. A panucho, done right, is one of those dishes you don’t want to eat – so beautiful. If I could, I would take it somewhere so they could preserve it for all time. Each bite is a treat from the avocado mixing with the marinated onion and the creamy beans. The tortilla isn’t hard, so you don’t have to worry about it breaking up in your hand. A couple of panuchos and a Jarochita on a sunny day is all this boy needs to make him smile.

mexican food cart portland

Panuchos from El Taco Yucatecos

While waiting for my order, a few other patrons came along for burritos. One woman came up proclaiming that the cart “had the best taco salad in town.” I’ll have to try that next. Elloy is one of those vendors who smiles and engages his customers whether he’s busy or not and I enjoyed chatting with him about Mexican street food. Makes me want to take a trip. Drop on by El Taco Yucateco next time you have a craving for something new. Let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Panuchos – $2
  • Tacos – beef, chicken, cactus – $1.50
  • Quesadilla-  $3, add beef or chicken for $1
  • Tamale – $3
  • Taco Salad – beans, lettuce, tomato, cheese, sour cream, cilantro, your choice of meat – $7
  • Burritos – $5
  • Tortas – $5

Phone: (503) 901-0768
Facebook: El Taco Yucateco