When boyfriend and I told our relatives we would go to Oregon, USA, for our long-awaited holidays, they were all surprised. What’s happening there? Why not a sunny place after an imaginary Summer in Amsterdam? When we came back from our 3-week trip with a tan and told my father-in-law, a French chef, that we found our Food Mecca in Portland, Oregon, he did not believe us, and thought our palates are far too young to seize the difference between street food and gastronomy. Europeans might not be aware of Portland’s food scene, but many US Cities are trying to figure out how to replicate its model. Over the past decade, media and food critics have all acknowledged Portland as a destination for food lovers. ‘Top Places to Eat in Portland’ by Guardian or New York Times do not only highlight brick-and-mortar restaurants but also gourmet food carts. To find our way amongst the 500 (600?) food carts spread throughout the city, we bought CARTopia by Kelly Rodgers and Kelley Roy. This small book is much more than a guide, it is also a fine introduction to the food carts phenomenon. CARTopia helped me to understand the history of food carts in Portland and their unique role in the local economy and the urban landscape.