Carts for Dinner - Where and When??
Will be in town for a Fri, Sat, and Sun night but not sure which night is best for Food Cart Dinner and best locale. Please advise as to the best place for hitting up Food Carts for a dinner this summer. Perhaps the Mississippi Marketplace??
We are a amily of 4 with two kids and everyone eat everything. Staying by the airport but will be traveling through out the city so any local would be great. We have our own car.
BTW, not doing carts for lunch as we are doing a the farmers market one morning and the other, we are doinga food tour. Other two nights for dinner, we are planning on going to Toro Bravo and Le Pigeon.
Thank you in advance.
738 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214
120 NE Russell St Ste A, Portland, OR 97212
Mississippi Marketplace is great, but most of the carts aren't open for dinner.
Ala Carts has a lot of carts - only some of which are good - but it's not the nicest place to eat - it's a huge old parking lot with all the carts facing in, and sometimes you feel the owners' eyes kind of boring into you.
I would second either of the other two suggestions. Good Food Here is a really nice space with lots of really excellent carts - everything from raw vegan to duck fat fries. And I think the Sugar Cube, easily the city's best dessert cart, is moving there soon.
D Street is smaller, but every cart there is good - mac and cheese, Venezuelan, Korean tacos, a guy who makes chicken and dumplings in waffle cones - and there's beer and it's in a good spot - you could have a nice walk around that part of Division afterwards.
The other one to consider is Cartopia @ 12th and Hawthorne. It has Whiffies and Potato Champion and Pyro Pizza and Pereira Creperie, which are some of the best in the city. It's well set-up for dining (although doesn't have as much enlosed space or heating) and probably the best place to get something from every cart and share. It's mostly skewed towards pretty heavy fried foods, though. If you don't want to feed your kids deep fried pies and fries and milkshakes, it may not be the best option.
I don't think you can go wrong with any of those.
I've heard good things about a number of carts at the Mississippi Marketplace pod (a "pod" is a group of food carts at one location), but haven't been there myself. I have two recommendations in SE PDX:
The "Over the Top" cart at the 50th and Division pod (called Ala Carts); it serves "wild" game burgers (farm-raised bison, elk, boar, emu, rabbit, etc.) which are delicious, along with a side of outstanding coleslaw; they also have various veggie tempura items. There are a bunch of other carts there, most of which are open at dinner time too, so you'll have some choices; however, I haven't tried any others there. In addition, during the winter months the pod has an enclosed eating space along with heaters.
The other pod I recommend is Good Food Here at 43rd and Belmont. There are a number of very good carts here -- of many varieties, all open for dinner as far as I have observed. I've also noticed that a lot of young families dine here at dinner time. The place also has covered picnic tables. You definitely can't go wrong going here.
There is a comprehensive Portland foodcart site: foodcartsportland.com that cross references carts by location as well as type of food.
From your timing issue, I can't tell if you talking about this coming weekend or a weekend this summer. In either case I still recommend the aforementioned pods.