Long before food cart fever spread all over town, Portland already had a reputation of being daring when it comes to dining. Now, with curbside innovation rolling into almost every spare parking lot, the head spins at the edible options available. With well over 400 mobile eateries within city limits, you’ll a need a guide to undertake a culinary adventure this vast — luckily, Portland has two such tours.
Brett Burmeister has been chronicling the city’s street eats since 2008, and offers daily lunchtime tours by appointment through Food Carts Portland. Covering the history of the carts, the economic and political conditions that helped them thrive, and, of course, some tasty samples, the tour is full of stories and local flavor.
Meanwhile, Portland Walking Tours’ Flavor Street boasts the inside scoop on everything from savory pies to pork sandwiches, with resident experts sharing their secrets Wednesday through Saturday at 1 p.m. Walk-ups are welcome for the two-hour tour that strolls about a mile, but group size is limited, so advance tickets are recommended. Both tours begin downtown, an ideal starting point for visitors looking to get a taste of some of the most exciting, innovative eats on Portland’s streets.