Pioneer Courthouse Square Food Cart Lot


Portland’s living room now has permanent food carts. As part of the year long renovation of the park in 2016-17, the city decided to create a more active space for street food vendors and attract some rock stars. Prior to the construction, the carts at the square were open-air and had to move any time the square was used for large events. In the new model, three full size food carts have been placed up by Broadway with a fourth vendor (an original) is parked down off Yamhill where they’ve been for years.

The new vendors are some of Portland’s most famous and well known –

Burger Stevens – opened in Hillsdale a few years ago, this cart brought back the simple cheeseburger and does it well. Get it with two patties event and you’re still getting a deal at $9 for all the fixin’s.

The Whole Bowl – After more than a decade and eight locations, including two restaurants and outposts in Cinicnatti, The Whole Bowl is now bringing their signature dish to the square. Just the one bowl has made them famous world wide.

Fried Egg I’m In Love – Fried egg sandwiches were never the same in Portland once Fried Egg I’m In Love opened a few years back on SE Hawthorne. The Yolko Ono says it all – Fried egg, homemade pesto, parmesan, and a hand-pressed house sausage patty.

Steak’s Fifth Avenue – aka Philly Cheesesteaks and Burgers – The last of the original vendors who returned after construction has been around more than a decade feeding Portland some of the best Philly Cheesesteaks in downtown.

According to sources, more vendors are in store, but I kinda like the look and feel of the four currently there along with the large covered seating area above the KGW studios. Come summer, I hope these guys can handle the masses.

Pioneer Courthouse Square is located in the center of downtown Portland at the cross streets of SW Broadway, Yamhill, 6th Ave and Morrison. Check Vendor links for menus and hours.

Burger Stevens at Pioneer Courthouse Square


Location: Pioneer Courthouse Square on SW 6th and Yamhill

The Story: Having succeeded to land on everyone’s best burger list for the past couple of years, Burger Steven’s leaped at the chance to open a new cart in Portland’s living room – Pioneer Courthouse Square. Along with 3 other vendors, they are serving up their signature burgers daily.

Facebook: Burger Stevens
Website: Burger Stevens

Menu on Website

Philly Cheesesteaks and Burgers

Jonathan Amato
Philly Cheesesteaks and Burgers

Philly Cheesesteaks and Burgers

Location: Pioneer Courthouse Square (near the corner of SW 6th and Yamhill) and SW 4th and Hall Pod


[Originally written Nov. 2008; updated Aug. 2009] Philadelphia Freedom! Perhaps it is this monumental 2008 election year, but after dropping off my ballot at the Multnomah County drop box downtown, I found myself craving a cheesesteak. I mean, really, what is more patriotic than life, liberty and the pursuit of melted American cheese on tender grilled and thinly sliced beef?

For it was in 1776 that the founders of our great nation declared, in Philadelphia, the Declaration of Independence. In 1976, during our nation’s bicentennial I traveled to Philly for the festivities. Wearing a red, white and blue bell bottom jumpsuit, star printed tennis shoe laces on my converses and sporting a Dorthy Hamil haircut, I made the Spirit of ’76 pilgrimage. I went to the Liberty Bell, visited Independence Hall and watched actors and actresses in period costumes and white wigs talk in big words that I had no idea what they were saying. I do however, remember my first cheesesteak on that very same trip. It was dripping with grease, filled with grilled peppers and onions, thinly sliced tender beef and loads of oozing American cheese. It was heaven on a hoagie bun.

Philly Cheesesteaks and Burgers knows all about this particularly American sandwich. Their version is also pretty darn close to the ones found in Philly. With a simple menu that also includes that other quintessential American food, The Hamburger in all its forms, Philly Cheesesteaks is a quick, cheap and filling bite of Americana.

Sample Menu:
Philly Cheesesteaks – Thinly sliced steak grilled with onions, green and red bell peppers, mushrooms topped with melted white American cheese and served on a soft hoagie roll.
Small – $4.25
Medium – $5.25
Large – $6.25

Hamburgers, Cheeseburgers – $4.00 – $6.25

Soda – $1.00
Extra Steak – $1.75

Lettuce, tomato, extra cheese, pepperoni – $0.75 extra

Hours: Lunchtime Mon-Fri

Phone: Unknown

Website: Unknown

Email: Unkown


Fuego Burritos


burrito food cart portland

Location: SW 6th and Yamhill; SW 4th and Taylor; numerous locations around town

To find Fuego’s locations, check out their website –


Lunchtime and you need something quick, filling and tasty.  You don’t have the time to run up to 10th or out to Stark, but you’re close to Pioneer Courthouse Square.  If that describes you sometimes, you should definitely try Fuego Burritos on the corner of SW 6th and Yamhill.

Here in Portland, I think we’re spoiled by our burrito choices.  For food carts, we have numerous excellent Mexican carts along with Honkin’ Huge Burritos and also Fuego.  When you arrive, you are usually handed your scorecard  – a slip of paper where you get to choose what you want for a burrito.  You can choose from large or small, chicken or veggie, flour or whole wheat tortilla, sour cream or yogurt, mild or hot salsa.  You can then add cheese or chipotle or guacamole etc.  All of this for between $4 and $6 depending on what you chose.  When I first discovered Fuego oh so many years ago, I loved that while they were making the previous customer’s burrito, they engaged you on what style of tortilla you wanted so they could pre-steam it.  Such thoughtfulness.  I usually order a small chicken with sour cream, hot salsa, hot sauce and guacamole on a whole wheat tortilla.  I’m a big guy and the small is usually more than I really should eat in one sitting.  All burritos come with rice and black beans, so it is pretty filling once you put it all together.

burrito food cart portland

All burritos come wrapped in foil so you can be mobile without it splooging all over your nice pants.  You can grab a napkin, a fork and a little paper tray if you like.   I prefer to let my burrito rest a little prior to eating – like when you cook a good steak.  I want all the juices and such to relax and meld together.  When they are prepared, everything is spread out, so when you are eating it, you get a mix of all the sauces, spreads, meat, rice and beans.  There aren’t pockets of each hidden throughout the burrito.  Due to the nature of how they prepare the chicken and if you get salsa, the burrito will get a bit juicy at the end, so have a napkin ready.  You won’t be disappointed.    One of the better non-Mexican burrito carts in the city.  Oh, and there are more than one.

Sample Menu:

  • Grilled chicken burrito with black beans and rice – $5.25 small, $6 large
  • Vegetarian burrito with black beans and rice – $4.50 small, $5 large
  • Add cheese 50c; add guacamole 75c, add extra chicken $1
  • Drinks – $1

Hours: Lunchtime weekdays