At our shop location in the thriving SE industrial district, you'll be fitted for a bike and helmet before heading out on a culinary experience through some of the more than 60 food cart pods in Portland. You will sample favorites spanning a range from Oregon farm-to-table delights, to snacks appropriate for late-night cravings. Your guide will learn about your food preferences and the group will visit the real deal: the first permanent food cart pod anywhere. It's the beginning of a neighborhood ride of 8-12 miles (13-19 km) to three of our favorite food cart pods, as we unfold the fascinating (and only told by us!) tale of how Portland came to be the epicenter of the food cart craze. After the story, the group will bike up a gentle hill to the Hawthorne neighborhood, part of Portland's hometown story: the heart of all that's delicious, funky, and hippie, a thoroughfare with a street food soul! You will ride into the city's foodie history (going back over a century!) and stop at a special coffee food cart made in a unique vehicle. Here you and the group will get a caffeinated beverage, if you like, to begin the day. Your guide will select food for the group to sample at each pod, with an option for you to purchase beer or dessert, and some stops that tell a bit more to the food cart story. We'll return to the shop at the end of our ride, full of street food and fun.
I'm Sarah Gilbert, co-founder of Around Portland Tours and together with my partners and guides Edwin, Madi, Lee, Crystal and Jeri will host the experiences. I'm a published writer of essays and professional storyteller, and each of the narratives around which our tours are based was a collaboration between us, writers and route designers, as a movable narrative, what we call place-based storytelling. Our founders are experts in Portland's food cart scene; avid customers as well as critics and storytellers. At its beginning, Sarah was writing a food column, and Edwin was running a bike shop two blocks away from the original pod. Both had a front-row seat for the personalities, flavors, and economic forces guiding the street food vendors and pods. We are all dedicated foodies -- who adore the chefs and creators like they are family.
We will sample a few different dishes at two food cart pods; enough, together, to sate any cravings!
Our first food cart pod samples will be coffee (or tea) at one of the most unusual food cart pods in the city.
You'll be fitted for a high-quality city bike and helmet
We will ride through several inner Southeast Portland neighborhoods on the ride, including some of the prettiest biking in the city. One stop will include a unique vehicle with a cool seating area; another is hidden in an otherwise ordinary busy intersection. The last stop calls some of the most interesting and locally famous food carts home, and we'll introduce you to some unusual ethnic delicacies. Vegetarian/vegan options abound!
Portland mornings are cool -- bring layers! We have raingear to borrow; or (Sept - June) bring your favorite rainjacket. We wear everyday clothes to ride our bikes, but it's easier in comfortable footwear, with no long skirts or wide legged pants. Minimal bike experience is ok; none, is not.
Bike & taste through Eastside food carts