We are said to have the finest food cart development in the country. We provide the Portland Metro region with a broad choice of meals and drinks from across the world as well as local experience at Happy Valley Station. On our magnificent 45-tap beer, wine, and cider cart, which is open all year, you can always see what Oregon has to offer. In addition, we feature a variety of foods that will appeal to every taste. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Happy Valley Station is a great place to stop for lunch or dinner while you're on your way home from work.
Food trucks are becoming increasingly popular in Portland. There are now more than 20 food carts roaming the city's streets, providing delicious cuisine from around the world. Food carts were originally used as mobile restaurants that would set up in public places for business people to eat at during working hours. Today, they are available any time of day and anyone can get in on the action by applying to be a mobile vendor with the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT).
Vendors must apply with PBOT for a license through the Mobile Vendor Program. Eligible items include hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, ice cream, cotton candy, cookies, and more. Each vehicle must be licensed and inspected by the police before being allowed to vend in Portland. The cost of the license is $150 per year. Additional inspections and fees may be required depending on the type of vehicle being operated.
Stop visit these cart collections for a taste of Portland's famed food-cart culture. Portland's food-cart scene is renowned, with hundreds of small cooks dotted across the city. The tasty proliferation has earned praise from Bon Appetit magazine and CNN (which declared Portland to have the finest street food in the world).
Food carts are popular in many cities around the world, but they're especially common in Portland because of its mild climate and liberal food-allergy policy at restaurants that serve gluten free and vegan foods.
The first food carts in Portland were mobile vendors selling Vietnamese cuisine from motorized trucks in the early 1980s. Today, there are several different types of food carts to be found in Portland's urban center, including Mexican, Chinese, Indian, Ethiopian, French, and more.
Many neighborhoods have their own unique cart lineup. A foodie's dream destination would be to explore them all. But you don't have to travel far to find delicious treats; most carts are located within a few blocks of each other.
In addition to traditional hot dogs and hamburgers, you can find gyros, falafel, sambos, and other Middle Eastern dishes on carts. Mexican food dominates in Portland's west side, but you'll also find Japanese, Indian, Italian, and French dishes on wheels. There are even a few baked goods and coffee bars on carts.
Unlike other cities' mobile food trucks, most Portland carts stay in groupings known as "pods," making it easy to taste many at once. Many pods contain only four or five trucks, but there are also larger groups of up to 20.
Food carts first came to Portland in 2007 when two entrepreneurs saw a gap in the market and decided to fill it themselves. They copied the concept from San Francisco's famous Bay Area Food Cart Festival by offering free food from different vendors to eat on site. The idea took off and within a few years, dozens of carts were selling Mexican dishes, American fast food, Belgian waffles, Italian pasta, and more everywhere in Portland. Today, there are still only two rules for operating a cart: you have to be licensed and approved by the City of Portland. That said, there is no legal definition of what makes something a "food cart" so anything that sells food from a vehicle is allowed.
In addition to being convenient, eating out of a cart has many other advantages. Because they are not bound by location or opening hours, food carts can tailor their menus to change with the seasons and attract new customers by staying open later or serving breakfast. They can also save money by not having to pay rent or staff costs like brick-and-mortar restaurants do.
There are 500 food vendors. At any given moment, Portland has around 500 food carts accessible. The majority of carts are grouped into "pods." These are surface lots with a lot of carts. There are 25 pods in all of Portland.
The average cart is 28 feet long and does $7,000 in sales per year. The average pod has 10 to 20 carts. Some have as few as three or four and others have as many as 50.
Almost half of all food carts are owned by individuals who sell their share of the business to another person or company. Many owners work at other jobs while they run their cart business full time.
In 2014, the median rent for a commercial kitchen space in Portland was $5,500. Add utilities and you're looking at about $10,000 per year required to operate a cart.
However, many owners report making more than this because they work at other jobs too. Some hire employees while others use part-time workers. Still others rely on volunteers or dockworkers for assistance during peak times.
Food carts are popular in Portland because of how affordable they are to operate. Rents are low, especially compared to traditional restaurants, and most kitchens are able to generate enough revenue to cover their expenses with little left over.
Bicycles are placed on the outside, while around 30 food vendors ring the perimeter of the pod. While each cart has its own set of hours, the pod itself is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and has a public bathroom as well as inside seating for rainy Portland days. Cartlandia also has the Blue Room Bar, which serves 12 beers and ciders on tap, as well as wine and cocktails.
The goal behind creating this unique marketplace was to give food-curious people easy access to high-quality ingredients and local businesses. By putting these products on display where everyone can see them, it creates a sense of community and excitement about eating local.
There are two types of vendors: full-time residents who have space at the market and part-time vendors who come and go based on their business' success or failure. Full-time residents are given exclusive rights to sell their products at the market for one year after which time they can apply again if they want to renew their license. Part-time vendors are allowed to sell their products at other markets within the city limits of Portland during the weekdays.
Cartlandia is a perfect place for people looking to try something new or small businesses who want to get their product in front of a large audience. There's a variety of foods available including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and more. If you're looking to cut back on sugar or gluten, be sure to check out the cart selection because some vendors offer items that fit those categories too!