First, let’s acknowledge that fusion can mean a lot of things. It can mean a playful mix of flavors. Fusion is delicious. Fusion is your-peanut-butter-is-on-my-chocolate. Fusion is also born of a diaspora of the peoples and also of colonization and of the slave trade. We owe our many rich cultural traditions and flavors to the peoples who were from here, who came here and, in some cases, whose traditions were stolen.
We want to highlight some of the black-owned eateries of Portland who creatively fuse their flavors, and also those whose traditional cuisines are cross-culturally “fused.”
The Big Elephant Kitchen
New location! Now a food cart in Multnomah Village. This brother and sister team serve up delicious Fijiian Indian specials that rotate daily.
3530 SW Multnomah Blvd, Portland, OR 97219
Manna’s – Ugandan Fusion Street Food
Fresh in town from Florida, this Cartlandia newbie serves Ugandan-style samosas, plus burrito bowls, “rolex” wraps, sandwiches and salads.
8145 SE 82nd Ave, Portland, OR 97266
Nacheaux Food Cart (@Nacheauxfoodcart)
This Southern Soul and Mexican fusion cart features such favorites as Crawfish Mac n Cheese, the Fried Chicken Burrito, rotating specials and desserts, and SUNDAY BRUNCH (churro beignets, tres leches molasses iced coffee, waffles and chicken, shrimp and grits, so much more). Look for the bright teal cart with the dabbing unicorn.
Cartlandia, 8145 SE 82nd Ave., Portland, OR 97266
Trap Kitchen is an epic soul food fusion cart that grew out of Compton and has a celebrity following. Menu includes chicken and waffles, creative burgers, tacos and vegan tacos, 4-cheese mac’n’cheese and more. Monday-Friday only!
8523 SE Stark St., Portland, Oregon 97216
Viking Soul Food
Scandinavian-soul fusion food cart, featuring lefse wraps.
4255 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR 97215