Think of the room in your home where you're the busiest. We're guessing you pictured yourself in your kitchen, flitting between your counter, oven, and island as you whip up your favorite meals. A kitchen is a space that requires flexibility, where you can clear space or pull out your cooking essentials at a moment's notice.
A portable kitchen island certainly fits the bill in a space that needs to be adaptable and accommodating to work at its very best. This is especially true if you have a diminutive kitchen.
A kitchen island or cart on wheels is a fantastic feature for the cook who's always on the move. Need a little extra space alongside your counter? Looking for an extra spot to serve guests during a party? Working with a tiny kitchen where you need to store a cart in a corner? A movable island is the Swiss army knife of kitchen design.
When searching for the perfect portable island, look for ample storage, a sturdy work surface for cutting and peeling, and bonus extras like a spice rack or towel bar. If you don't know where to start, we've rounded up the best-of-the-best portable kitchen islands that solve a myriad of culinary challenges.
Best for Stylish Storage
Rather than coming with only open shelving, this industrial-style kitchen cart is outfitted with baskets that will keep everything in place. The old-school wire baskets complete the vintage look of this cart alongside iron wheels and a handle for pulling.
Best Color Options
As you hunt for a portable kitchen island, versatility is probably at the forefront of your mind. This island has all the bells and whistles—drawers, a cabinet, shelving, a towel bar, hooks—and we love that it comes in several different colors. Pick from red, black, white, teal, gray, or dark gray to complete the color palette of your kitchen.
Best for Cooking
The John Boos company is famous for its iconic and durable butcher blocks, and now that level of quality has been captured in an oh-so-convenient culinary cart on wheels. If you're a serious gourmet, you'll love the maple butcher-block top, shelves for equipment, and sturdy stainless-steel frame of this portable island.
Best for Dining
Whether you choose to forgo a traditional dining table or you simply don't have space for one, this farmhouse-chic portable island can double as a table. It's rendered in Indian mango wood and showcases stylish glass-front drawers. It's also large enough to pull chairs up and sit down for dinner.
Best for Small Spaces
If you’re strapped for space—really strapped for space—look no further than this small, yet hard-working, bamboo kitchen cart. This apartment-sized cart includes a wheeled base, cutting board, rod for hanging towels, and a handled tray that lifts out for impromptu meals away from the kitchen.
It’s amazing how many features can be packed into a kitchen island. This light-gray portable island is equipped with practical bonuses, such as a rubberwood top ideal for slicing and dicing, two drawers, open shelving, and even a garbage compartment.
Best for Kids
If you have little ones, you know all too well they love to lend a helping hand, especially when baking is involved. Since this can be a real problem if you're short on space, make sure that your portable island is readied with easy-to-access, kid-friendly organizers. This island comes with locker-style metal baskets that can be effortlessly pulled out when needed.
This small wonder has pretty much everything we’d look for in a kitchen cart. It has wheels, so you can move it anywhere you please. It has two drawers made for stashing those easy-to-lose items. It has two open shelves for your kitchen gear. It has a sturdy birch top that acts as a perfect prepping station. And the real selling point? Its reasonable price tag won’t break the bank.