The Grilled Cheese Grill located at the Alder Pods. Bo Koering/PSU Vanguard

Portland’s Best Food Carts

Portland has become known for its food cart scene. With such a saturated market, which are most worth your time?

Portland has a formidable selection of food carts. Not only does Portland State have its own pod, every corner of the city is filled with cart options. With so many things to choose from, it can be hard to narrow down your search. Lucky for you, here are five of the best carts to help you decide.


Fernando’s Alegría

Hidden in Southeast Portland is the Portland Mercado, a nonprofit Latin American food cart pod. Acting as a melting pot of Latin culture and cuisine, the Mercado is one of the most lively and downright fun pods to visit in the city. Fernando’s Alegría captures this spirit, prioritizing creativity as well as great food. Though you can find classic burritos here, you can also find things like the mojito vegan wrap or the rip city vegan burrito with tofu and mushrooms.


Grilled Cheese Grill

Given how popular the Alder pod is, most have at least seen the sign for the Grilled Cheese Grill. What some don’t know, though, is that the Grill also has a location on Alberta. Instead of a cart it’s actually a school bus, making it a more unique option for lunch. They’ve got the classic grilled cheese, but the real draw is their adventurous take on your childhood favorite. Not to mention, they have vegan and gluten-free options.


New Taste of India

Based in the 4th Avenue pod, New Taste of India has never disappointed. From naan to curry, to chicken masala to lassi, everything on the menu is amazing. The masala is my go-to, but any of their chicken-based options are guaranteed to be cooked to perfection and spiced to your preference.


Potato Champion

Everyone likes a good french fry from time to time—or, if you’re me, all the time—but have you tried poutine recently? The best poutine in the entire universe is right in our backyard. Potato Champion at Hawthorne’s Cartopia not only has classic gravy and curds poutine but wackier options like PB&J poutine or satay poutine.


Rolling Gourmet Fusion

At the aforementioned Alder pod is some seriously yummy sushi. This Asian-fusion cart has lots of combo box options that are a great value for what you get. The sushi is some of the best around, but the Korean fried chicken is a personal favorite as well. Each plate looks beautiful and can even be customized to your liking.


No matter which of these five carts you choose, you’re guaranteed a good meal. All carts mentioned won’t break the bank and have perfect portion sizes for what you pay.