Bike-Powered Bites & Brews

From tacos to pub crawls, Portland’s food and drink scene runs on pedal power.

By Tuck Woodstock September 17, 2013

If we were to compose a Portland version of “My Favorite Things,” we’d definitely include a line about bicycles, craft beer, and food carts. So it seemed only natural when four inspired enterprises combined a passion for pedal power with a love of local plates and pints. Although they vary in scope and style, these businesses have all cycled their way into our hearts… and stomachs.

At Hopworks Bike Bar, patrons earn $1 in store credit by pedaling for 15 minutes.

Hopworks BikeBar: Nestled in the EcoFlats building on the North Williams “bike highway,” HopWorks BikeBar certainly knows how to cater to the crowd.  Bike helmets and jerseys adorn the entryway,  a rainbow canopy of bicycle frames stretches the length of the bar, and patrons are offered complementary bike tools, bike-friendly take out specials, and use of a 75-space bike parking area. Most intriguing of all, the BikeBar’s doors are flanked by two Plug-Out “exercycles,” stationary bicycles that generate electricity when pedaled. Fifteen minutes of cycling earns the pedaler $1 off BikeBar food and drink, and certain customers have been known to pedal for hours, hoarding $1 tokens like tickets in an arcade. 3947 N Williams St.

Moberi: Portland’s pedal powered smoothie bar prepares juices and smoothies in blenders fused to vintage Schwinn bicycles (check out our Moberi video below!). According to owner Ryan Carpenter, this interactive food cart was inspired by a Guatemalan non-profit that used bikes to power “everything from washing machines to concrete mixers.” Customers of all ages are invited to hop on the bike and blend their own beverages—it won’t burn off the One Night In Bangkok, but it’s a start! 5221 NE Sandy Blvd.

Taco Pedaler: All food carts can travel (at least theoretically), but Taco Pedaler takes mobile food to a new level. The cart serves Mexican style street tacos from a trike-based kitchen, featuring handmade tortillas cooked right on the cart. Cart operators pedal the trike—which weighs 250-300 lb. when full— to a rotating lineup of lunch spots across Northeast Portland. So go ahead and order that fifth taco… you’re doing the crew a favor by lightening the load! Various locations. 

BrewCycle: BrewCycle founder Andrea Lins had the idea for BrewCycle while living in Wisconsin, but didn’t know where to launch the concept. So she cross-referenced “most bike-friendly cities” with “best microbreweries” and wound up in Portland. Today, the BrewCycle has become a Pearl District icon; tipsy revelers pedal a 16-seater cycle craft from one brewery to the next on a pedal powered pub crawl, blasting dance music and having way too much fun as they roll past at 10 mph—ride along via our video below! 1425 NW Flanders St.

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