written by Julie Lee | featured photo courtesy of Blue Star Donuts + Coffee
Nationally, some hail the Krispy Kreme Gods, recently foregoing all dignity on “Talk Like a Pirate Day” for some free glazed doughnuts. We’re even weirder, however, and more blessed, in Portland. We have doughnuts with bourbon and basil, doughnuts with fruit loops, and doughnuts made by robots. Here are our five of our favorite stops for a sugar-fueled snack.
Blue Star Donuts + Coffee
One of the national stars of the PDX donut show is Blue Star Donuts + Coffee. Capitalizing on the economics of supply and demand, Blue Stars doughnuts are in demand and, once the daily supply runs out, they close the doors and start over the next morning. A thoughtfully created brioche recipe that takes 18 hours to make spawned a European donut movement in Portland. Lines formed, word of mouth traveled nationwide, and now Blue Star’s donuts can melt in the mouths of customers in Portland, L.A., and Japan. Internationally known for the blueberry bourbon basil donut.
Various Locations | bluestardonuts.com
Pip’s Original Doughnut & Chai
Pip’s truly is an original, a doughnut paradise where you can customize your order of delectable bite-sized doughnuts, then watch as they make them before your very eyes. These are doughnuts you want to eat immediately, while fresh and warm from the oil bath and sugar coating. Order more than you think you’ll want—these are addictive and melancholy sets in the minute the box is empty. If you’re a chai tea fan, this is the place to get it.
4759 NE Fremont St. | pipsmobile.com
Donut Byte Labs
Leave it to Portland to have a food cart making fresh donuts on the daily, but with a twist: these diminutive cakes of flavor explosion are made by a robot, then hand-decorated by an actual human, one donut at a time. It’s worth the extra time to pick out a dozen. Our favorite by far is the salted caramel, drizzled with a sauce and then sprinkled with salt, resulting in the perfect crunch.
4th & Burnside | donutbytelabs.com
While donuts in Portland have climbed to gourmet heights, sometimes you crave a good old–fashioned donut. Sesame Donuts is a community-oriented, old-school donut shop with vintage favorites like maple and buttermilk bars—all served fresh. Owner Haidar Fakih pays tribute to his Middle Eastern heritage with the special sesame donut. This is the place for midnight donut cravings; the Beaverton location is open 24 hours.
Three locations in Beaverton, Hillsboro, Tigard | sesamedonuts.com
In 2003, Voodoo Doughnut came up with the reefer-filled idea to put captain crunch and bacon on donuts then throw them in a big bright pink box. Suddenly, Portland was on the map for fried balls of dough. Rarely does a celebrity pass through town without being gifted some Voodoo, and it’s unusual to make an airport run without seeing a least three pink boxes being carefully carted on board. If you’re headed to a bachelorette party and not sure what to gift the bride, check out voodoo’s naughty doughnut section and your shopping is done.
Several locations throughout Portland, Eugene, Colorado, Texas and now Taiwan | voodoodoughnut.com