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Portland food trucks
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The best food trucks in Portland to get your grub on

Ramen, burritos, and vegan eats are just the start of what's on offer at the best food trucks in Portland

By Jen Woo
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When in Stumptown, you have to eat at food trucks. Just walk around the city and you'll happen upon a number of dedicated food trucks parks slinging everything from authentic Italian and Chinese to delicious donuts and barbecue—all out of tiny metal trucks. Some of the best food trucks in Portland can be seen driving around the city while others have found a permanent place to call home (perhaps at one of the city's best breweries) and some have even made it onto our list of the best restaurants in Portland. So if you're ready to have a truly delicious meal in PDX, here are some of the city’s most delectable food trucks that are worth chasing around town.

RECOMMENDED: The best restaurants in Portland

Best food trucks in Portland

1. Gumba

Former Bar Mingo sous chef Jesse Martinez and friend Robin Brassaw have taken the fine Italian dining experience to the street. Pasta lovers will go gaga over their delectable menu filled with dishes like the house-made burrata with fry bread and a juicy beef short rib braised in red wine and nestled over pappardelle. Rotating items include goose and goat cheese cappellacci and pizza on Mondays.

2. Stretch the Noodle

Get dinner and a show at Stretch the Noodle. Well, sort of. When eating here, you’ll likely catch a peek of chef Xuemei Simard stretching, slapping, and pulling dough for the deliciously chewy noodles you'll find in on the menu in soups or slathered in sauce. Don’t forget to order some five spice fries or dumplings on the side.

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3. MF Tasty

MF Tasty chef-owner Eric Gitenstein's menu is filled with his favorite flavors from living in Arizona, like a special paella of the week and an embellished quesadilla made with a Oaxacan cheese blend (and with the option to add in housemade chorizo, achiote pork, or marinated mushrooms). Gitenstein fuses fresh PNW ingredients with Mexican-American flavors and spices. Plus, there’s covered seating to duck out (inevitable) Portland rain. 

Desi PDX
Photograph: Courtesy Desi PDX

4. Desi PDX

Seeking gluten-free, vegan, and paleo eats that pack a lot of flavor? Look no further than Desi PDX. The Indian cart incorporates organic and often locally sourced ingredient (appropriate as Desi means authentic or pure) to create dishes like cardamom chai chicken and pakora waffles.

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5. Bao Bao

For authentic Chinese buns, Bao Bao is the place to go. Owners Sabrina Zhang and Randy Richardson wanted to address the lack of authentic Chinese food in Portland, particularly in the food cart scene. After speaking with Zhang's mother, who gave them the idea of focusing on baozi (Chinese for steamed buns), the two quit their jobs, booked flights to China and interned at a baozi shop before opening a food cart reminiscent of the carts you’d see on the streets of China. Favorites include pork, curry chicken, mushroom, and sweet red bean.

6. Kim Jon Grillin

Kim Jon Grillin's Korean barbecue boxes offer an upgraded version of the classic bibimbap with deliciously marinated meats, japchae noodles, rice and kimchi, topped with a fried egg. WHile you're there, don't miss the kimchi fried rice and Korean-style hot dog. 

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7. Kee's #Loaded Kitchen

Kiauna Nelson is a self-taught chef serving up delicious comfort food in enormous portions. The internet sensation (her videos are a hit) typically announces the menu of the day via social media, after which loyal customers promptly get in line. You'll have to wait, but it will be worth it for roasted chicken, collard green, mac and cheese, gravy and mash, rolls, and chicken wings. 

A chef smiling out the window of a food truck
Photograph: Flickr/Isaac Lane Koval

8. Tierra del Sol Cuisine and Catering

Traditional Oaxacan fare here takes the shape of moles—made with spices from the Mixteca region of Oaxaca—enchiladas, tacos, empanadas de Amarillo and tetelas. But it's the tlayudas, a large grilled corn tortilla topped with a heaping mound of Oaxacan cheese, chicharron, avocado, cheese, tomatoes, and cilantro, that's the most popular. Wash it all down with an agua fresca.

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9. Black Star Grill

Ghana-born chef Enoch Aggrey brings West African eats to Portland’s food cart scene with Black Star Grill. Here you can build your own bowl with Jollof (lightly spiced tomato) rice and your choice of protein topped with caramelized fried plantains, spicy cabbage and carrot coleslaw. Aggrey, who lived in Okinawa for a few years, also plans to add his version of a few Japanese dishes to the menu. 

10. Hapa PDX Ramen

Hapa PDX offers Hawaiian-style ramen and donburi with rich classics like tonkotsu and dark shoyu, but it’s the G-Special that’s the true gem made with pork and chicken broth and pork belly, and topped with shiitake mushrooms, spinach, and sprouts. The soup was so good, the food cart was able to open a brick-and-mortar called Hapa PDX Ramen & Whiskey.

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A sign with a wave and Viking ship that reads Viking Soul Food
Photograph: Flickr/Richard Eriksson/CC

11. Viking Soul Food

Want to take your food truck to the next level? Make it an Airstream. For eight years Megan Walhood and Jeremy Daniels have been serving up potato flatbread (aka Norwegian lefse) out of a super cool Airstream trailer. If you've never had lefse before, you can't go wrong with combinations like meatballs with gravy or smoked salmon with dill, greens, and creme fraiche. Add a seafood chowder and lingonberry iced tea and call it a day.

12. Bari Food Cart

Indulge in Italian street food at Bari Food Cart with a zesty panzerotti (think calzone meets fry bread). Inside the savory pocket, you'll find a vast array of tasty fillings like tomato sauce and mozzarella, or even prosciutto, gorgonzola, and asparagus. 

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Wolf and Bears
Photograph: Courtesy Wolf and Bears

13. Wolf and Bear's

There are not one, but two Wolf and Bear’s food trucks rolling around Portland, doling out vegeterian eats including falafel, house-made hummus, Iraqi-Israeli breakfast sabich and more. Owners Tanna TenHoopen Dolinsky and Jeremy Garb are cooking up Middle Eastern fare with an organic, hippie twist. 

Wild North
Photograph: Courtesy Wild North

14. Wild North

If you’ve been to Basecamp Brewing, you’ll recognize Wild North’s wood-fired pizza truck. Owners Amelia and Brandon Hughes source ingredients only from within 100 miles of the city and present elegant, sustainable fare, worthy of any fine dining restaurant. The menu changes seasonally but currently on are fall ingredients such as roasted autumn veggie & turkey confit and fire roasted Willapa Bay oysters (and pizza, of course!). 

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Burger Stevens
Photograph: Courtesy Burger Stevens

15. Burger Stevens

Don Salamone may have a background in Michelin-starred restaurants, but his own no-frills place focuses on an American classic—the cheeseburger. Salamone crafts them using Creekstone ground beef, American cheese, and toasted Franz buns with his own special “fancy sauce.” The burgers are so popular, he had to open a second location. 

16. Pastrami Zombie

When you see the mountains of smoky meat, you know you’re at Pastrami Zombie. Chef Melissa McMillan serves juicy and enormous sandwiches made up of a thick layer of pastrami nestled between two slices of sour bread. While obviously best known for pastrami, the truck also offers an amazing poached Oregon coast albacore tuna sandwich with arugula and pickles in an Italian bun.

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Gracie's Apizza
Photograph: Courtesy Gracie's Apizza

17. Gracie's Apizza

Look for the red van. Gracie’s Apizza drives all around Portland, from Kenton to Hillsboro, serving wood-fired pizza. To create extra crispy crusts, Gracie’s uses a naturally leavened dough with flour from Washington’s Cairnspring Mills. What’s on top is up to you be it house-made mozzarella or ricotta. There's also a tasty selection of pies with add-on options.

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A city where happy hour is law and brunch is religion, Portland, Oregon is a true food-lover’s dream. From a bustling Thai scene to an abundance of artisan coffee shops and microbreweries, Portland is a breeding ground to a diverse smorgasbord of high-caliber culinary experiences.

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