Ok, I'll admit it, I am intentionally trying to be provocative with the title of this blog post. I know it is a bit trendy these days to turn our collective Portlandian noses up at Voodoo Donuts and write it off as nothing but a tourist attraction, but I actually love Voodoo. As a business, they are fun, quirky, and let us not forget that they made some donut creations inspired by Twin Peaks. That is undeniably cool. They'll always have a special place in my world for that reason alone.
But let's face it. From a purely connoisseurs point of view (yes, I am using connoisseur and donut in the same sentence) Voodoo is not the best tasting donut in town. They are more like the Lay's Potato Chip of the donut world. Steady. Reliable. Plentiful. Is that a bad thing? No, not at all. But for a truly tasty experience, one does need to look elsewhere. So let's breakdown my personal list of the best tasting donuts in Portland.
1. Blue Star Donuts
I would personally call Blue Star the creative champion of donuts. Seriously, they are just insanely delicious. Over the last couple of years Blue Star seems to have exploded onto the Portland hipster donut scene and there is a good reason for that. Their flavors are unique yet still tempered with a sense of rationalism. Like donuts for grown ups! I am personally partial to the Raspberry Rosemary Buttermilk but the Lemon Poppy does come in at a close second.
2. Doe Donuts
Yes, Portland has a donut shop dedicated entirely to vegan fair. Yes, they are absolutely yummy too. Located on the east end of Powell Boulevard, Doe Donuts takes a lot of pride in their ingredients relying on fair trade chocolates and creating everything in house and from scratch. Rather impressive for a donut shop if you ask me! I recommend the Sour Blue Raspberry or the French Toast which contains real Vermont maple syrup. Excellent!
3. Coco Donuts
You won't find any gimmicks with Coco Donuts. Instead Coco Donuts focuses on classic well made donuts we are all familiar with. Chocolate, glaze, twists, etc. In a city where every donut maker is trying to leap frog over the competition with new and wild creations this can be quite refreshing. Simplicity can be comforting, even brave in the right circumstances. Coco’s signature doughnut, a raised chocolate glazed toped with Coco’s own house-roasted chocolate-covered coffee beans and a dusting of cacao is worth the trip.
4. Rocking Frog Cafe
Ordering doughnuts from Rocking Frog is easy: They only come in three flavors: chocolate, vanilla, and cinnamon. It's also painless: Each doughnuts costs only two dollars, and they're fried to order. Hot, delicious, and the location is fantastic too. Located on southeast Belmont, Rocking Frog Cafe also has a full service menu for those who want to do more than just fill up on donuts. Don't forget to take a stroll through the historic cemetery just up the street to work off those delicious donuts afterward.
5. Back to Eden Cafe
I suppose if Portland is going to have a Vegan donut shop, that also means we have to provide something for the gluten free crowd as well. Back to Eden has some rather die hard follows and for good reason. The daily doughnut flavors rotate and have included seasonal fruits, camomile-caramel, and rosewater-pistachio, as well as some crazier flavors, like chocolate root beer.