Food Trends: Portland

Portland is a focal point for innovation – and it may not be the kind you imagine. You already know that Portland’s a world-class city for grabbing some exceptionally good eats. The food revolution can tip its hat to a land where restaurateurs, growers, and policymakers work together to keep the food trucks rolling, distilleries booming, and chefs plating the epitome of fresh, inventive food.

But a different brand of innovative thinkers is also drawn to Portland’s forward-thinking landscape: techies. With nicknames such as “Startup City” and “Silicon Forest,” Portland has quickly become the newest startup hub, where diverse ideas thrive in an environment fueled by cooperation and open-mindedness. Here’s how Portland’s love of food and technology has impacted the restaurant scene:

New Energy to Feed. According to Business Insider, last year Portland overtook Washington in terms of venture capital investing for the first time since 1993. In addition to hosting up-and-coming startups like Puppet Labs and Cloudability, Portland is home to new outposts by the likes of This influx of talent translates to a changing, and growing, clientele for local restaurants. Techies tend to work long hours and are willing pay top dollar on quality provisions to reward hard work and fuel creative meetings.

High Ambitions. The standards for quality are already high in the Portland food scene. But the newest additions to the restaurant scene will continue to set the bar higher. Vinland, for instance, is the first restaurant in the country to serve 100% local and organic food. This means cooking without olive oil, lemon, or pepper! In food venture style, Vinland acquired its start with a successful $40,000 Kickstarter campaign.

Truckin’ It: The Portland street food scene isn’t going anywhere. For busy techies, these ramshackle carts are the perfect spot to grab a gourmet, power lunch on the go. According to The Guardian, more than 600 street food vendors are in business in Portland each day, with around 40 “pods,” or street food collectives, typically active at any given time. Street food vendors today are equipped with everything from ATM machines, Wi-Fi, and the latest in mobile technology.

Fortunately, there’s no conflict between technology and food. Portlandian restaurateurs today tend to love and appreciate both, staying up-to-date in both culinary developments and cutting-edge technology, like Revel Systems’ iPad point-of-sale systems, to stay relevant. Catch us in Portland June 17th at Oso Market for an Industry Night Happy Hour. We’ll be there from 5 to 8pm giving demos, enjoying cocktails, and taking advantage of Portland’s unique tech + food scene.