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10 Reasons Why Portland Is Our Next Food City


It’s official: we’re headed to Portland! Feastly has already brought thousands of chefs and diners together around our communal table, and now we’re gearing up to do the same in cities across the country. Portland pop-ups will be the newest additions to our roster of chefs and culinary experiences–if you or someone you know are in PDX, grab a seat before the table is set.

So why Portland? We’re sure you’ve heard it before,  but it bears repeating: Portland has an incomparable food scene. From ice cream decked out with donuts to bike-driven food carts, we’re counting the ways Portland shows us how to keep things weird.

1. James Beard once said, “No place on earth, with the exception of Paris, has done so much to influence my professional life.”  Since the ‘90s, chefs have heeded these words, flocking to Portland from meccas like NYC, LA, and SF. JBA winner of Best Chef Northwest Vitaly Paley was one such chef – moving from Paris to Portland, Oregon for its famous morels.

Elmasry Egyptian food cart at the SW 3rd and Washington pod in Portland, Oregon

Elmasry Egyptian food cart at the SW 3rd and Washington pod in Portland, Oregon

2. The city loves its mobile food movement so much, it created the Vendy Awards to recognize its favorites. But don’t call them food trucks because in Portland, the locals refer to them as food carts.

3. Portland loves to get local. Nearly half of growers providing fresh products to Portland’s markets are within 30 miles of the city, and over 90% are within 100 miles.

Portland Saturday Market by Jason Lander

4. It’s not just about Portland: the city’s community-centered food generosity extends to other countries. Aurelian Wilson, owner of food cart Jouk Li Jou and purveyor of the city’s only Haitian food, helped rebuild her hometown following Hurricane Matthew.

5. Portland’s got soul food so kickass we’re not surprised it came from Vikings. Specifically, our favorite food cart with a killer name, Viking Soul Food specializes in “lefse,” a Norwegian flatbread and other Scandinavian favorites.

6. Good food deserves to go everywhere. Portland loves its bikes so the city carries its food efficiently on two wheels. All over the city, bike carts are serving up crab cakes, coffee, icicles, popsicles, beer, pizza, popcorn… basically anything you can digest!  

7. Portland knows how to celebrate food. Beyond craft beer, chocolate, dumplings, macarons, berries, and burgers… the city even has a festival dedicated to the fancy fungal: truffles.

Crunchberries are real fruits. Voodoo Doughnut photo by Kevin Galens

Crunchberries are real fruits. Voodoo Doughnut photo by Kevin Galens

8. Portland is sweetly quirky. Unlike other cities who serves donuts by themselves, Portland gives us donuts with cereal on top. Or on top of ice cream. Here’s a map highlighting the unique, fried delicacies of PDX.  

9. You may have heard of Stumptown, Portland’s famous beanery, but the city also boasts the original shop where Tazo Tea founder, Steven Smith, perfected his famous leafy brews.

10. Portland’s food influence extends beyond its borders. Portland’s SE Asian eatery Pok Pok has already landed in NY and LA. Don’t live in either city? You can cook from the chef’s popular self-titled cookbook available wherever books are sold.

Did we miss something? Add it in the comments below!



  1. was in Portland for Thanksgiving. Astounding eats, brews, style and attitude.
    Was stunned by an all Russian shop, Kachka, blown away by Ramen, Korean and Shalom’Yall for a killer lamb gyro and don’t miss Ashley, Or. for some great brews too.

      • it was. just didn’t get to the food trucks…and I forgot to mention the killer ice cream @ Salt & Straw. As to the bagels it’s still a long drive to NYC, though we did not get to Kenny & Zuck’s this time. Also great. And totally missed Vietnamese at Lac Lac (sp?)

  2. Suzie Barendrick says

    Tommy Bahama is from Portland I went to Central high school with him he didn’t have fourth your Spanish at St. Mary so give girls Went to Central for Spanish he was the nicest guy in the world after high school he went and work from Mario’s men’s clothing and then he became Tommy Bahama

    He’s very generous he did a lot of the addition on Central high school and still gives 37 scholarships a year

  3. Mvs vipus says

    I was there a few months ago, so yummy .
    You guys has to check the Italian food cart “Love Verona ” Italian street food .. the guy who run the place is so nice and they call him the Lord of the street food!
    Good luck

  4. Sandeep kumar says

    Please convince someone to open up a really good Indian place (something on the lines of Dosa in San Francisco would be awesome). The Thai and Vietnamese places are top notch, still waiting for Indian

  5. Pingback: 75+ Quirky, Cool, Perfectly Weird Reasons We LOVE Portland - SkyBlue Portland

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