Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Donut Decisions in Portland

Portland has been cool and rainy this week, and I'm coming to realize just why donuts are so popular in this city! When the weather is dreary and gray, there's no better pick me up than grabbing a hot cup of coffee and a delicious donut. For people visiting Portland, Voodoo Donut is the place that everyone always swarms to...and I'll share my thoughts on it in a minute. But first, I want to share two other Portland places that are definitely worth trying out if you're in the mood for donuts!

Valhrona chocolate deliciousness.

If you ask a local where to go for the best donuts in Portland, chances are they are going to recommend Blue Star Donuts. This place is so good. It's such a perfect example (in my opinion) of what makes the Portland food scene so great, and that's a focus on using high-quality ingredients, as it really does make a difference. Located downtown, this place is way too convenient to our apartment.

Blue Start bills themselves as "Donuts for Grownups," which I think is clever and true!
They have some very unique flavor combinations, and they change with the seasons.
 People rave about the Blueberry, Bourbon, & Basil donut...I still need to try it!
I love the overall aesthetic at Blue Star, as it's very modern yet warm.
Although I wanted one of each, I chose a Valhrona Chocolate Crunch...AMAZING. Seriously.

I took my parents here while they were visiting earlier this fall, and they loved it too. Their donuts aren't overly sweet, and they dough they use is amazing. Highly recommend this place!

Blue Star Donuts on Urbanspoon

If you're looking to try a little bit different style donut, you need to check out Pip's Original. 

This place has a very cozy feel, and it's right in the middle of a cute neighborhood in Northeast Portland. It's definitely a lot more low-key than Blue Star or Voodoo, but seems to be very popular!

Pip's Original has mini donuts that come in three flavors: Cinnamon Sugar, Honey & Sea Salt, and Nutella & Sea Salt. Obviously, we had to try all of them (after all, they are mini!) and they were all fantastic. They serve them to you warm, and they're just the most adorable thing if you ask me!

I can't even choose a favorite between the three flavors, they were all so good!

Pip's Original on Urbanspoon

Finally, when my friend Meaghan was visiting last weekend, we made a trip to Voodoo Donuts. 
Many people in that live in Portland are of the opinion that this place is really overrated, or so I've heard, and it seems like it's mainly tourists that you see walking around with those iconic pink donut boxes. I tried Voodoo Donuts a few years ago when Cameron and I were visiting Portland, but hadn't been back since moving here this summer. I figured that Meaghan's visit was the perfect excuse to give it another try! It's definitely not in the nicest area of downtown though, just FYI.

One other thing to be aware of with Voodoo is that is that it's cash only!
The branding of Voodoo Donut is somewhat dirty and I think that shock value attracts some people.
Those are the famous pink donut boxes I'm talking about...
The have a variety of different types of cake and raised donuts, along with vegan donuts as well.
People go nuts that they put cereal on donuts as a topping, which really is not that big of a deal.
But hey, to each their own I guess!

So how were our donuts?
Really good actually! 

For as much as people want to hate on Voodoo, I have to admit, the donuts are pretty good. They are more overly sweet, with lots of frosting and toppings, and that's not everyone's cup of tea...but luckily that's what I love! Also, because they are so busy all them time, the donuts seem pretty fresh!

I got the Maple Bacon bar, which seems to be one of their more well-known donuts.
I just love bacon and this donut did not disappoint.
 Meaghan got the Portland Cream donut and said it was good as well!
So my feeling on Voodoo is this:
It's not as bad as everyone makes it out to be and the donuts are actually pretty good!
Is it worth waiting in line for hours though?
Definitely not.
But if you're visiting and there is no line? Sure! 
(I personally prefer Blue Star though, mainly because I don't need a donut with some crude name...ha!)
We went to Voodoo on a Friday morning and it wasn't busy at all...but they are open 24 hours a day, so late night they get pretty packed! I took this bottom picture in the summer, seems so long ago now!

Voodoo Doughnut on Urbanspoon

If you're visiting and you really want to try Voodoo, go for it. (And get the Maple Bacon Bar!)
But if you don't make it there, you're really not missing out since there is so much other great food here in Portland! Nom nom nom...now go eat a donut!


  1. blue star has blown me away! forever changed. i am not hungry for a donut!

    safe travels today!

  2. I'm not a big doughnut person, but Nick loves them and his favorites in Portland are at Cocoa donuts... you should try them too and see what you think!

  3. I've been hearing a lot about Pips lately & I love anything mini, so I must give it a try! I had actually never been to VooDoo until about last year - what's crazy is that I have so many friends that are from Portland and they had never been either! I think they're actually pretty good, but would never wait in that line :)

  4. I'm a Blue Star Loyal. AMAZING. The apple cider fritter makes my knees weak.

  5. Blue Star looks pretty darn good! Glad to know there are options in Portland, I've always been a little discouraged by the crazy line to Voodoo.

  6. For the love of god give me all the doughnuts.

  7. these doughnuts are putting the oatmeal i am eating to shame

  8. I love Blue Star! And I agree- VooDoo's donuts are pretty good too, just not worth the line. I'd never heard about Pip's, but you've given me a new (to me) place to try out!

  9. I saw those mini donuts on your IG and was wondering where they were from. Now I know! Can't wait to try them!

  10. My sis raves over Coco Donuts!
    This post looks delicious- now if only a gluten free donut shop decided to open in PDX my day would be made.

  11. YUM… I love me a donut!!! It's the best with a hot cup of coffee!

    xo Mel
    turquoise blonde

  12. Blue Star forever <3 And yes, the Blueberry Bourbon Basil one is delicious!! Adding Pip's to my list, and Coco Donuts too. It's been a while since I've been to Voodoo but I just think of it as novelty donuts with the funny names, shapes, and flavors but not something I'd wait in that line for. Fun post, and now I want something sweet to eat, haha!

  13. Blue Star forever <3 And yes, the Blueberry Bourbon Basil one is delicious!! Adding Pip's to my list, and Coco Donuts too. It's been a while since I've been to Voodoo but I just think of it as novelty donuts with the funny names, shapes, and flavors but not something I'd wait in that line for. Fun post, and now I want something sweet to eat, haha!

  14. I'm also a recommend-er of Blue Star... but I think when you visit Portland taking home some Voodoo Doughnuts for your friends back home is a nice gift. It's probably the only way to really have them- cutting them up amongst friends to just try a bite or two of a variety because I think eating a whole one is too much. I wouldn't go to Voodoo normally for a doughnut- they are so sweet! And the area (the one most go to, admit it) sketchy! And the line/wait too long! And really, with the volume you're doing with people buying boxes, you accept cash only!??

  15. What great places! And all of these donuts are making my mouth water!! Yum! :)
    xo TJ


  16. So many donuts!!! Thanks for the tour!

  17. I need to move to Portland JUST for the donuts. Freakin' YUM!
    We are going to vacation to Portland (someday) and we were going to hit up VooDoo donuts just because we saw it on some food/travel show! But maybe we'll have to try all of these donut shops! There's nothing wrong with having donuts every day on vacation, right?

  18. MMM Blue Star looks like it would be my favorite too! Love that donuts are making such a huge comeback!! ;)

  19. And now at 10:30 at night all I want is a donut! Voodoo is clever and I take all of my visiting friends there, BUT the quality isn't good at all! And it cracks me up people who think they're the best quality too. Nope. Terrible quality. Just clever flavors/names.

  20. I cant believe I haven't been to blue star donuts yet! It looks so amazing

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