Of course, a visit to Portland would not be quite right if it didn’t land me at Voodoo Doughnut at some point. In fact, over my two days in PDX, I went to Voodoo twice, the first time at 12:15 am, when the end of the line rested well inside the front door and there were plenty of fried bits of sweet dough for me and my fellow eaters. That first night, we took back the All-Classic Voodoo Dozen to our hotel room – 12 cakes selected by the staff for only $9.95. You don’t pick your doughnuts but still receive a variety at a nice price. We began sampling as soon as we returned to our room, using a wooden coffee stirrer to cut off bite-sized pieces.
The purpose of our follow-up trip to Voodoo was to purchase edible take-home gifts for friends and families (yes, I brought with me plenty of foil and Ziploc bags). But since we were out, we figured why not try another renowned doughnut place? One that seemed to be favored by the locals: Blue Star Donuts. While it may lack the variety of Voodoo and serve delights that are pricier, Blue Star holds strong to its motto: Quality Over Quantity. We didn’t go crazy with our purchase but left with what I’d say was a representative sample of their goodies.
When all was said and tasted, the vote for my absolute, hands-down, first place, favorite doughnut was the Crème Brulee doughnut from Blue Star. Served with a shot of Cointreau liqueur, this doughnut packed both dynamic flavor and texture into a tiny treat. They were able to capture the delicate and crisp sugar bite of a brulee topping the creamy fritter fluff – and that shot of orange liqueur only elevated what was already near perfect. This was one of my ultimate bites of Portland (and I had a lot of them).
My only regret is that I didn’t get over to one final doughnut shop on my list – Pip’s Original, a cult favorite that also offers up an invigorating Chai Tea. You can bet I will make it to Pips the next time I’m up north. Hopefully, that will be in my very near future. And if it isn’t, surely I can count on you to bring me back a food gift stowed away in a Ziploc on your carry-on.
22 SW 3rd and other locations (this one, open 24-7)
Blue Star Donuts
1237 SW Washington