Portland: A Food Truck City

There are many cities across the country that are known to have a large collection of food trucks. Denver, Austin, Seattle, and LA are some that come to mind immediately. One Pacific Northwest city in particular, has quickly risen to be one of, if not the most popular food truck cities in America, and that city is Portland, Oregon.

Portland’s food truck success is not random, there are multiple factors that have helped cultivate it to be a perfect environment for food trucks to prosper. Portland, dubbed “The Silicon Forest”, has a booming tech scene that has made it one of the top post-grad destinations for Millennials over the past decade. And Millennials = Good news for food trucks. As a generation, it is estimated that over 47% of them have eaten at a food truck before, more than any other age group. This is one reason why other cities with large millennial populations like San Francisco, Austin, and Seattle also have thriving food truck industries. But Portland’s identity as a city contributes even more to Millennials aptitude towards food trucks. Portland is known for being very green and environmentally friendly. Because of this, most of the trucks have socially responsible outlooks, which is something Millennials greatly value. The social hipster culture in the city also aligns well with food trucks, as they are not traditional and represent a unique form of dining out.


Apart from having a perfect consumer population, food trucks in Portland are largely successful due to the ease of startup and operation regulations. In fact, the Food Truck Index published by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, ranked Portland as the #1 place to operate a food truck. This is based on a measure of the rules food truck owners must follow to maintain legal compliance annually. This includes health/safety inspections, number of trips to regulatory agencies, and costs such as renewing the registration for the truck. Portland ranked 1st in every category. What stands out the most, however, is the massive difference in fees paid between Portland and the rest of the country. Coming in second place for least amount in fees paid was Orlando at $19,621…Portland sat comfortably in the first at only $5,410! That number is only about 14% of what food truck owners are paying annually in Boston, which is an astronomical $37,907. If you want to check out some of the highlights of the report or download the full thing, visit https://www.foodtrucknation.us/.