Review: Third Street Food Carts


Located in the heart of Downtown Port- land, the Third Street Food Carts (formally called the Alder Street Food Carts) have been a staple to Portland’s culture for over 10 years. Now located on third & Washington Street, the food carts offer a wide variety of cultural options that provide something or everyone, while also pushing eaters to try new things. With over 50 food carts, the Third Street Food Carts are a perfect spot for a vibrant lunch in Downtown Portland.

We rated the food carts on a scale of 1-5 based on five different categories:

  1. Food quality
  2. Menu options
  3. Drinks
  4. Overall vibe/aesthetic
  5. Price

We have ranked our reviews from best to worst-ranked food carts.

Fofo’s Special Food

This place amazed us! Fofo’s Special Food is a Palestinean food truck located on the Harvey Milk Street side of the food cart pod. We were lured towards the truck by the owner and cook: Fofo herself. Fofo claimed she had “the best food,” and she was not lying. We ordered the lamb shawarma and were very impressed. The meat was juicy and tender, and, paired with the high-quality pita bread and perfectly chosen toppings, the lamb shawarma was delicious. The only downside would be the $13 price, but it was well worth every single penny. Interesting drink options like strawberry juice and mint lemon juice added to the experience. This amazing food, along with the heart-warming customer service, makes Fofo’s Special Food the first five-star rating of our series.  

Overall: ★★★★★ 

Verona Pizza & Pasta

Sitting right next to Fofo’s Special Food is Verona Pizza & Pasta. A classic Italian menu of pastas and pizzas drew us towards the red and green truck. The Italian cook was – amicable and made our pepperoni pizza from scratch in under 15 minutes. Classic San Pelligrino Italian soda was available (and went well with the pizza), and the menu was overall quite cheap, with the 10” pepperoni pizza coming in at only $11. The pizza itself was brilliant, with great seasoning and high quality meat. The tomato sauce had a nice sweetness to it, and all of the ingredients came together to form a very coherent and tasty pizza. We would love to return and try some of the other meats on their pizzas or pastas. 

Overall: ★★★★☆ 

Don Jalapeño

Located on Third Street, in front of the food cart pod, is Don Jalapeño. The truck featuring food from Mexico was taken over by new owners just a month ago. We were welcomed by the friendly faces of the new owners and ordered from their wide array of classic Mexican options. The choices were moderately priced and included a wide variety of drinks. We ordered a bean and cheese burrito with a side of beans and rice. The bean and cheese burrito was nothing special, other than the green sauce, which added an interesting touch of flavor. The beans and rice were fairly disappointing as well. The beans were dry and bland, and the rice had an unfavorable aftertaste. We would love to go back and try more items off their menu, however, as we loved the customer service. 

Overall: ★★★☆☆