Portland has booming food truck scene with a strong trend towards clustering them in "pods" around town. Pods outside downtown usually have a dedicated seating area but few of downtown's 200+ carts do. If you're visiting and sampling from the trucks downtown, use this guide to find a good place to sit and enjoy your bounty.
  1. Alder Pod
    OUTDOOR: Walk two blocks south on 9th Avenue to Director's Park, a very large, partially covered plaza with a bunch of movable tables and chairs. INDOOR: These are super secret - there are a few tables on the ground floor inside the Galleria building (below Target) that I use without hassle OR a block south on Park between Washington and Alder, enter Morgan's Alley to find a clutch of comfy tables. FAVORITE CART: Bing! Chinese street crepes with egg and sausage and tons of spicy-sweet goodness.
  2. Fifth Avenue Pod
    OUTDOOR: The US Bancorp building at 5th and Oak has a new plaza with ample benches and some shade. Bonus - the Starbucks here is very chill about their outdoor tables. INDOOR: On the ground floor of the same Bancorp tower is an indoor area with cushy tabled seating. This is actually a public area required by the city when this building was developed and all are welcome. FAVORITE CART: Chez Dodo, Mauritian cuisine. Be sure to let @elooto or I know you're here, we'll come down and say hello.
  3. Third Avenue Pod
    OUTDOOR: Best bet is Waterfront Park just three blocks east on Stark. You can stroll on the waterfront to find a shaded bench or sit on the grass, just steer clear of the Mad Max gutter punk scene that radiates out from the Burnside Bridge. INDOOR: We'll have a James Beard public market with seating near here very soon but until then, walk two blocks south on Third to Pioneer Square mall and go to the basement level for the ample food court seating. FAVORITE CART: Anything from Sonny Bowl
  4. Portland State University Pod
    OUTDOOR: Bee line to the shady South Park Blocks three blocks west of the pod. Benches galore and college campus ambience. If you want to stay close, check out the parklet (pictured). INDOOR: Most campus buildings have ground floor seating open to the public (Smith Student Union is huge) but none more convenient than the College of Engineering across the street. FAVORITE CART: This outlet of the infamous Nong's Khao Man Gai has a larger menu than the original Alder location, incl. vegetarian.
  5. BONUS SUGGESTION: Washington Park Trick!
    If you're here in summer, grab your food and jump on a frequent westbound blue or red line MAX train, get off at the Washington Park stop, exit the station and walk across the street to the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial. Takes less than ten minutes and you'll be smack in the middle of the jaw dropping beauty of Forest Park with lush lawn, tall trees and virtually no other people.