Piper's Perks offers healthier, flavorful takes on espresso drinks.

Image: Dalila Brent

It’s no secret that Portland loves its food carts—and they’ve been a refuge during these uncertain, trying pandemic times. Even as indoor dining returns, the food cart scene continues to thrive and grow. The same holds true if you head out west. Beaverton boasts a plethora of tasty carts, from Hmong to Mexican to Cajun cuisine. Take a look at the Beaverton food carts that are bringing the heat.

Abuela Chona

Flaky empanadas from Abuela Chona

Image: Dalila Brent 

Abuela Chona's empanadas taste like they’re straight out of an Argentinian kitchen. Each crispy, flaky exterior is stuffed with savory fillings. The most sought-after empanada is the namesake Abuela Chona, filled with ground beef, carrots, potatoes, eggs, onions, peppers, and tomato sauce. Other favorites include the pollo, the ham and cheese, and the vegetarian espinaca, stuffed with spinach and Italian cheeses. If you're having a hard time choosing, the empanada plate comes with two empanadas, fries, chimichurri, and an alfajor, a dulce de leche cookie sandwich with shredded coconut. 4250 SW Rose Biggi Ave, Beaverton

Avenue Saint Charles

Avenue Saint Charles bridges the 2,500+ mile gap from Beaverton to New Orleans by bringing Big Easy staples to BG’s Food Cartel. Chef-owner Tyler Auton’s culinary passion for Southern cuisine shines through in his dishes. Case in point: the red beans and rice are thick and creamy, made with the gold standard Camellia kidney beans and served with cornbread. The vegan gumbo, despite lacking seafood, uses the right mix of peppers, okra, celery, and spice to capture the essence of the famous stew. The rotating menu also boasts items like catfish po’boys, crawfish etouffee, jambalaya, and bread pudding.  4250 SW Rose Biggi Ave, Beaverton

Cocina Mexico Lindo

Suadero tacos from Cocina Mexico Lindo

Image: Dalila Brent 

Nearly everyone loves street tacos, but finding a place that does them right can be challenging. Cocina Mexico Lindo hits the mark with dishes like their crispy suadero tacos—and their growth from one to three locations over the past decade proves just that. Beyond tacos, the carts also offer tortas, nachos, sopes, and a wet burrito drenched in cheese, salsa verde, and sour cream. If mole is a must, get your fix three ways with the mole flautas, mole burrito, or enchiladas de mole. BG’s Food Cartel - 4250 SW Rose Biggi Ave, Beaverton; The Eating Pod - 18631 SW Tualatin Valley Hwy, Beaverton; The Battery X-Change - 12990 SW Canyon Blvd, Beaverton

Frying Scotsman

The Frying Scotsman's fish and chips

Image: Dalila Brent

Three years ago, owner James King moved his cart from Portland to Beaverton, continuing his journey of serving his signature fish and chips. Show up to his cart’s window undecided, and King will likely point you in the direction of the haddock, which is battered and fried to perfection. Other strong contenders include halibut or cod. Explore classics like the haggis supper—a deep-fried sheep offal sausage served with fries—or mushy peas and a deep-fried Mars bar to bring your Scottish experience full circle. 4250 SW Rose Biggi Ave, Beaverton

Hue Vegan Cafe

Hue's star items include the veggie sandwich and nut-free mac 'n' cheese.

Image: Dalila Brent

College friends-turned-business partners Karisa Ing and Loany Garrido ditched their boring office jobs to create quality vegan food in Beaverton at what might have seemed like exactly the wrong time: Their March 2020 launch coincided with the beginning of the pandemic. But their cart, located at The Eating Pod, not only withstood the uncertainty, but thrived; they eventually opened another at BG’s Food Cartel. Hue Vegan Cafe’s most sought-after items include their hummus veggie sandwich, along with the housemade nut-free mac and cheese. Looking for something on the sweet side? Go for the peanut butter cacao smoothie or the lemon bliss balls. 18631 SW Tualatin Valley Hwy, Beaverton, and 4250 SW Rose Biggi Ave, Beaverton

@La’s, a Hmong Food Cart

La Vang-Herr opened the Portland area's first Hmong food cart.

Image: Dalila Brent

When La Vang-Herr introduced her Hmong food cart to the masses in 2017, it was the first of its kind in Beaverton—if not the entire Pacific Northwest. Since then, she’s developed a mix of loyal regulars and curious eaters who are all in search of the same thing: bold flavor. And there’s no lack of it in her most popular dish, the Phat Wings: chicken wings marinated in a tangy-sweet Asian fusion sauce and stuffed with ground turkey and pork, veggies, and bean thread noodles. But don’t miss the Hmong sausages, which blend local pork with a smack of chile and lemongrass inside a snappy casing. The papaya and carrot salad is the perfect side if you’re in need of a mix of sweet and heat. 18631 SW Tualatin Valley Hwy, Beaverton

MamaChio Mayan Cuisine

Panuchos from MamaChio

Image: Dalila Brent 

Yucatán specialties aren’t the easiest to come by, but Javier Solis is on a mission to make sure Beaverton residents aren’t without. Tucked away in the parking lot of Tom’s Pancakes, Solis’s food cart has been serving in-the-know customers for over two years.The use of fresh ingredients is evident in items like the panucho, in which a heap of rich guacamole, pico de gallo, and red onions offset the fried tortilla base. Other dishes that set MamaChio apart include the ceviche (only available in the summer) and the cochinita taco made with super-tender shredded pork that’s been marinated overnight. 12925 SW Canyon Rd, Beaverton

Piper’s Perks

While there’s no shortage of coffee in the area, finding a fine espresso cart like Piper’s Perks is like stumbling upon gold. The tiny house-esque pit stop owned by 25-year-old Piper Humphries is serving quality in every cup, from the exclusive use of Beaverton based brand Thornton Family Coffee Roasters, to subbing out traditional syrups for monk fruit and organic sweeteners. Humphries also offers supplement add ons like elderberry and CBD. Some of her most popular pours include the dark lavender mocha, the maple latte, and seasonal options like eggnog chai and a sweet pine latte. 18655 SW Tualatin Valley Hwy, Beaverton

Tacos El Patron

Birria tacos from Tacos El Patron

Image: Dalila Brent

In Beaverton, you can’t mention Mexican food without mentioning Tacos El Patron. The cart sits alone on a stretch of TV Highway and boasts ample seating and an ample amount of menu items. Despite the intimidation you may feel looking at their 30+ selections, there’s one area where you can’t go wrong: birria. The taco craze that gained immense popularity over the past few years is Tacos El Patron’s most requested dish. Not sure which one to choose? If cheese is your steez, opt for the melty, gooey queso birria. If you want to keep the focus on the slow-simmered, juicy beef, go for the regular birria tacos. The churros with caramel sauce make for a sweet finish. 21460 SW Tualatin Valley Hwy, Beaverton

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