Why Voodoo Is NOT The Best Donut in Portland

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. 

voodoo donut portland

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Andrew Kaiser

My name is Andrew Kaiser, welcome to my site! I have a passion for making images wherever and whenever I can. I seek to capture humanity and the world around me with a focus on the figure. Film, digital, pinhole, and instant photography are all fair game for me.

I grew up in the California Bay Area and started taking photography seriously in High School. I was one of the lucky few who had a chance to go to a high school with a working darkroom and a teacher who understood that making images was an art form – care and patience was a necessity in the image making process from start to finish.

Later in life I attended the University of California in Santa Cruz where I received a Bachelors Degree in the History of Art and Visual Culture. After having my fill of the California sunshine I packed up my life and moved to the Pacific Northwest. I quickly found the overcast skies, lush forests, cooler temperatures, and creative communities to be a perfect match for my work.

Over the years I have exhibited my photographs in several galleries and art shows including the Seattle Erotic Arts Festival and Cascade AIDS Project. I’ve published a few books and taught workshops up and down the west coast of the United States. Through this site I’m hoping to share my work and perhaps inspire others along the way.