Travel

The Donuts and Doughnuts of Portland Oregon

Portland Oregon donuts and doughnuts travel

I have a complicated relationship with donuts. And by complicated, I mean abusive. For example, I never knew chocolate frosted cake donuts could, legally, file a restraining order.

Listen, I’ve never had a sip of alcohol — not a single beer — and I’ve never smoked a cigarette. I’m also pretty sure I’ve never even seen an illegal drug during my 39 years, but man could I pound donuts like nobody’s business. In an effort to avoid diabetes, not die in my 30’s, be a bit healthier, I all but gave up donuts about 4 years ago. Nowadays, I allow myself only the sweet nectar of farm fresh apple cider donuts in the fall, and only 1 or 2 of those each crunchy leaf season.

Permits are also granted to indulge in a doughnut or two upon discovering a city on our travel itinerary has a burgeoning donut culture.

Cities like Portland, Oregon.

 Entering Portland Sign

Delicious, Pip’s, Voodoo.

Those are the donuts, in that order, we sampled during our few days in Portland, Oregon last summer. There are many more donut options in the Rose City, but a well-adjusted addict has to know his limits.

Delicious-Donuts-Sign-and-Storefront-Portland-OR

Delicious Donuts (12 SE Grand Ave) came recommended personally by the great Mo Phillips, as the non-hipster, every day and every man donut. Nothing inherently fancy about them, just a mom & pop shop run well with quality breakfast treats for regular Portland folk. This was confirmed and the Delicious Donuts were exactly that, freaking delicious.

Delicious-Donuts-Portland-OR

Delicious-Donuts-Donuts-in-Case-Portland-OR

We were then pointed to Pip’s Original Doughnuts (4759 NE Fremont St) by Daddy Doctrines’ Chris Routly, as the boutique, slightly out of (down)town option for something extremely unique in the doughnut / donut world: handmade-to-order mini donuts — with sea salt, Nutella and honey — and served still warm in a thoroughly adorable 4-pack package.

Pips-Original-Doughnuts-Portland-OR-sign

Pips-Original-Doughnuts-making-them-inside

Pip’s mini doughnuts making their brief journey through hot oil, before topped with salt, Nutella and honey.

Pip’s Doughnuts are very different from Delicious Donuts, and not only because of the spelling decisions, and while Pip’s are not donuts I’d want to eat daily (nor should I eat ANY donuts daily — see the top of this post) they are truly remarkable. And the fact that you can (and should) watch the process from start to finish, is a real treat (pun absolutely intended).

Still, a chocolate frosted old fashion donut from Delicious is one of the best things I ate in Portland.

Pips-Original-Doughnuts-Mini-4-pack

Pips-Original-Doughnuts-Coffee-Inside

Voodoo Doughnut (original location, 22 SW 3rd Avenue) is the donut hole EVERYONE ELSE will recommend to you, the tourist place, the one your Facebook friends will implore you to visit with copious amounts of exclamation points once they see that you are in Portland. The lines are out the door, all day long, because that’s what the magic TV machine does — creates the perception of quality and greatness. If you want to find a doughnut that tastes like a Cuban sandwich, dipped in┬áSriracha, coated in coconut, wrapped in kale, stuffed with sweet onions┬ácaramelized in cran-apple juice, Voodoo is probably your place.

Voodoo Doughnut Truck Portland OR

Because we’re naturally inclined to zig where others zag, we had zero intention of visiting Voodoo, but a Voodoo Doughnut truck was parked at the massive Mississippi Street Fair we attended, and there was no line, so we figured we’d give ’em a shot.

Meh.

Nothing special, but I cannot 100% tell for sure if that is the contrarian in me speaking or if the Voodoo doughnut we shared on that warm July afternoon truly was merely ordinary. You’ll have to decide for yourself, or not. You could hit Delicious and/or Pip’s instead, as well as the many other unique-to-Portland donut and doughnut purveyors offering their original stamp on the mightiest of breakfast pastries.

Happy travels and happy doughnut eating!

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