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7 SPECTACULAR Portland Donuts That Are Not Voodoo Doughnut

By MikeA 12/26/2014

Portland News

Tourist hordes descending upon our fair city gleefully queue up for the saccharine thrill of Cap'n Crunch, Tang powdered, and bacon maple diabetes bombs, while great classic shops, and modern artisan contenders alike fight over the proverbial crumbs. But you're from Portland now—you don't have to live like that. You can get great donuts without suffering the ignominy of a line full of fat tourists from Houston. Check it out:  


Nothing fancy here, just an outer-east Portland donut shop serving up great dough until 10:00 pm. I do love these donuts though. I don't know what it is: the timeworn locale, the steadfast selection, or the fenugreek-flavored maple glaze. These donuts are what donuts should be: reliable, tasty, and unpretentious. Find this Annie; propose marriage. 

"although the price is plebeian, the taste and mouth feel are aristocratic" 

–Michael Stern

Pipp's Original

I feel pretty lucky to live nearly across the street from this place, not because I love donuts so much as the fact that this neighborhood is as safe and affluent as Mr. Rogers'. But the donuts are pretty awesome. What I love best is how owner Nate Snell took a single piece of equipment, an automatic donut machine, and created a business around it, like a real-deal, third-world entrepreneur with a 55 gallon drum. 

The donuts themselves are tiny, crispy, fresh-fried nuggets. Sorry tourists, they only got like three or four flavors: cinnamon and sugar, honey and sea salt, Nutella, and something called the Dirty Wu. What a buzzkill.      

Coco Donuts

Every bit as sexy as the name implies, these are the creamiest, tenderest, most seductively delicious donuts I tasted in this whole ordeal. The coconut cake donuts are crispy little pillows of satisfaction. The old fashioned crunched like chips, giving way to the most perfectly tender donut-flesh I've yet encountered. The buttermilk bar...it's not even proper to relate. 

Not too sweet, like those donuts with mass appeal, but little long term potential. The flavor of the bread is actually apparent. But no one would call these donuts hardy or stout, just satisfyingly savory.  

Helen Bernhard Bakery

Helen Bernhard

Established in 1924, Helen Berhard is old enough to have spanked Richard Shannon and Kenny Pogson's bare bottoms with a wooden spoon. She's actually old enough to have spanked their daddy's bare bottoms with a length of dried cat intestine. Are the donuts awesome? Well, they use the same stuff as Voodoo, but they don't junk it up with a bunch of cereal and shit. Before Voodoo, this was the place for donuts in Portland. Eat a piece of history.  

Sesame Donuts

Like a campy, homespun Dunkin' Donuts, run by a Lebanese family. Yes, they have a sesame covered glazed cake donut. It's a little dense. The old Fashioned's are spot on—crispy on the outside, creamy and rich inside. I had high hopes for the baklava, but was put off by the sour parmesan flavor. 

They also do a seasonal cider-flavored cake donut, dusted with a cinnamon/sugar/apple seasoning. Incredible. Get thee to Hillsdale, look for the perverted Dunkin' Donuts sign.       

Delicious Donuts

Conveniently located next to the Plaid Pantry in the geographical crotch of our fair city, delicious donuts live up to their name. It'd been a while since I'd had one, so I tried to refresh my memory. The sign on the door should tell you all you need to know.

Blue Star

Flickr user David Berkowitz https://www.flickr.com/photos/davidberkowitz/ 

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