Foodie travel is a trend that isn’t going away anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean you have to blow your budget dining out at pricey restaurants in order to get a taste of the city. Food trucks have been cropping up all over the country, and no place are these “meals on wheels” more prominent than Portland, Oregon.
The city has more than 450 food carts operating at any given time, and with so many choices, one company is helping to give visitors a sample of some of their favorites on a new (summer 2012) food truck tour. If you just arrived in the city, Portland Walking Tours’ “Flavor Street Tour” will help you dive into their mouth-watering food cart culture.A Pod of Food Trucks in Portland — Photo courtesy of Amber Nolan
On Fridays and Saturdays the tour kicks off just after the busy lunch rush from the Mark Spencer Hotel lobby where travelers will meet their foodie guide. The 90-minute walking tour spans around 1.5 miles, during which time you’ll visit 7 to 10 food carts – so bring your appetite! Learn the history behind the carts, like Roger, the Alaskan fisherman at Salmon Fusion who smoked his catches, brought them to Portland, and set up shop.
Each tour varies, so there is no set itinerary (meaning you can take it more than once)! The guide may bring you to Cubo de Cuba for melt-in-your mouth pork samples, or to try the bratwurst at Altengartz, the oldest food cart in the Alder Street “pod” (groups of carts). Try Korean tacos, dumplings, fried chicken, or cheese sandwiches – all with clever truck names that are just as diverse as the cuisine, like “the Brunch Box,” “Shut Up and Eat,” and “Pyro Pizza” – which features a wood fire stove. Be sure to ask your guide about the “Go Box,” Portland’s reusable container program that helps the food truck culture go green.