Story One

Portland Food Carts: Street Food and Community

In the last two years the food cart scene in Portland, Oregon has grown tremendously. Multnomah County estimates that roughly 500 carts are licensed to operate throughout the Portland Metro area. Empty lots and parking areas have spurned the emergence of clusters of food carts, called "pods" (See accompanying photo of food cart pod at SW 5th and Oak). And the pods have become gathering places for neighborhood residents and business communities all over Portland. This photo essay is a look inside the Portland Food Cart scene. It explores the urban landscape, the vendors and owners (mostly independent entrepreneurs), localism and how street food reconnects people to the places we live and to each other.