The hobbits were really onto something with first breakfast and second breakfast. There’s something comforting about the meal that makes you want to do it again. Especially with such amazing choices: Do you have savory eggs, potatoes, and sausage; or sweet fruit compote in a creamy crepe? As usual, Portland’s vibrant food cart scene makes choosing first OR second breakfast difficult. But why choose one? A breakfast food cart adventure is perfect for grazing with family and friends, and you can still get done with the afternoon to spare.

A few tips for families hitting the breakfast food truck scene:

    • Take something to entertain the kids while food is prepared. Food trucks are faster than restaurants, but you still may have a ten-minute wait before your food is ready.
    • Not all food truck locations have seating, but there’s usually at least a bench nearby. If you have younger kids, bring the stroller along because it provides a spot for kids to rest and allows you to walk to the waterfront or a nearby park to nosh.
    • Bring cash. Many food trucks now take cards, but it’s easier for everyone if you have cash. It also saves you the (minimal) surcharge that many trucks charge for using credit.
    • The Fifth Avenue cart pod (downtown) is a good spot to hit with a crowd because there’s something for everyone at breakfast time (Brunch Box, La Jarochita, Best Bulkogi Fusion), and there are public benches along the street.
    • There are no lines mid-morning during the week (after the work crowd has already eaten). If you go on a weekend, make sure to do a quick check to make sure the carts you want to go to are open. Hours often change seasonally.

Now go nosh!

If you crave: Breakfast Burritos

La Jarochita
Where to Find it: SW 5th between Stark and Oak (Downtown)
Why it’s Awesome: The traditional breakfast burrito of chorizo, eggs, and potatoes gets a few deluxe upgrades with guacamole, a crispy, golden exterior, and fresh cilantro. Other options include the quintessential huevos rancheros as well as the kid-friendly breakfast quesadilla.

The Big Egg
Where to Find it: N Mississippi & Skidmore (Northeast)
Why it’s Awesome: It’s hard to settle on the right sandwich from The Big Egg’s creative list. Most everything is organic and locally sourced.

Tito’s Burritos
Where to Find it: SW 3rd & Washington (Downtown)
Why it’s Awesome: Try the mushroom and veggie breakfast burrito–it’s a great replacement for the traditional, heavy chorizo.

If you crave: Egg Sandwiches

Fried Egg I’m In Love
Where to Find it: SE 32nd & Hawthorne (Southeast)
Why it’s Awesome: Their signature sandwich, the Yolko Ono, with pesto, parmesan, and a hand-pressed sausage patty is rockin’! Picnic tables make it easy to find a spot to eat.

Brunch Box
Where to Find it: SW 5th between Stark and Oak (Downtown)
Why it’s Awesome:  Options like dinosaur-shaped sandwiches and PBJ are perfect for the kids in your group, plus this cart pumps out some great beats.

Where to Find it: SE 48th & Woodstock (Southeast)
Why it’s Awesome: Yolk is the restaurant Toast’s mobile sibling. Try “The Breakfast”–the cart’s daily surprise offering of something delicious.

If you crave: Crepes and Waffles

Perierra Creperie
Where to Find it: SE 12th & Hawthorne (Southeast)
Why it’s Awesome: The walnut, cardamom, coriander crepe is divine! They have plenty of both sweet and savory options, and there’s a miniature horse carousel next to the cart that makes waiting for your order easy. If you’re feeling decadent, order a milkshake or pop across the street to the Sugar Cube food cart for their handmade plum, ginger soda.

The Gaufre Gourmet
Where to Find it: SW 9th & Alder (Downtown)
Why it’s Awesome: These are the delicious liege-style waffles made with dough (not batter) flecked with pearl sugar and smothered with creative toppings.

Pink and Black Waffle Shack
Where to Find it: SW 9th & Washington (Downtown)
Why it’s Awesome: We’ve heard good things about the Heartbreaker wafflewich with bacon, so try a savory waffle if you are up for it. This cart opens for late brunch.

Where does your family go to score breakfast food cart eats?

— Evelyn Shoop