Recent Study Ranks Portland as 2nd Best Foodie City in America

portland food cart
Food Cart Ensemble at Cart Blocks, Photo Courtesy Friends of Green Loop

In the vibrant heart of Oregon, Portland stands as a beacon for food enthusiasts. Renowned for its bustling food carts, artisanal breweries, and cozy coffee nooks, it's no revelation that Portland has secured its position among America's top culinary destinations.

A recent study by WalletHub confirms this, placing Portland as America's second-most coveted city for food aficionados. Coming in just on the heals of Ken's Pizzeria being ranked among the finest pizza in the world, this comprehensive study analyzed 180 cities across the States, focusing on metrics like restaurant density, alcoholic beverage pricing, and average grocery costs. Impressively, Portland emerged at the top in restaurant frequency, affordability, and the easy reach of top-tier dining spots. Its rich tapestry of craft breweries, wineries, and even gourmet food outlets only added to its culinary credentials.

While often called the 'City of Roses', Portland's laurels aren't just restricted to its floral beauty. The city boasts an impressive number of gourmet specialty shops, supermarkets, and cafés, per capita.

Orlando, Florida, managed to inch ahead of Portland, albeit marginally. Though it scored points for diverse offerings and superior accessibility, it lagged behind when it came to pocket-friendly options.

At the other end of the spectrum, Pearl City in Hawaii found itself grappling with challenges in affordability and diversity, placing it at the study's tail end in terms of culinary prowess.

Why are there so many food carts in Portland, Oregon?

Compared to other cities, Portland adopts a more lenient regulatory approach. The city has minimal stipulations regarding the design and structure of food carts. This relaxed stance lowers the barrier to entry, resulting in an abundance of these mobile eateries. Moreover, while health and safety remain paramount, many other rules are often not stringently enforced.

How many groupings of food carts, known as "pods", are there in Portland?

Most of the over 600 food carts in Portland are housed within these cart pods. These collections of food carts frequently provide outdoor or sheltered seating areas and restroom facilities. One of the must-do activities when in Portland is to explore and experience these unique food cart gatherings.

What is the most popular food in Oregon?

The culinary landscape of Oregon boasts an array of signature delights. From the juicy blueberries, huckleberries, and marionberries to the succulent Dungeness crab and the prominent hazelnuts (with Oregon contributing a whopping 99% to the national output). Additionally, iconic treats like Voodoo donuts, Salt & Straw ice cream, and the renowned Tillamook cheese trace their delicious beginnings back to this state!

Looking for more places to dine? You may be interested in our 41 Best Oregon Mom & Pop Restaurants to Eat At in 2023.