Food carts are everywhere in this city. Depending on whom you believe and how you count, there are somewhere between 500 and 700 of them scattered across Portland. They sit alone on parking lots next to bars. They congregate in pods, like dolphins — some with fire pits, some with beer, some with wifi and TVs. There are even food carts in the airport. Plainly, they’re a Portland institution.
But as several prominent food cart pods have recently closed, some have wondered what the future for food carts is in a city with rapidly rising property prices and fewer vacant lots. We’ve become attached to them, and they’re now such a part of the Portland’s culture and economy that it’s hard to see a pod close. But there are new pods opening as well, and heck — food carts were always meant to be pop-up businesses, right?
So what’s the status and future of food carts in Portland? And what’s their economic place?
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