Best donuts in Portland

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Michelle Yamamoto and Avery Hellberg

Nola Doughnuts are a New Orleans inspired doughnut shop which specializes in beignets and La’ssants.

This is the Cardinal Times Staff’s extensive list of the objectively best donuts in Portland, as compiled by Avery Hellberg and Michelle Yamamoto. Feel free to leave us a comment if you agree, disagree, or have any additions.

 

Blue Star Donuts

Blue Star Donuts is a close second as the most popular donuts in Portland. Known for their artisan donuts, we also had high expectations going into Blue Star. The glazed donut was exactly what you want out of a glazed donut: soft, fluffy texture and sweet vanilla taste. The glaze itself was a little messy and there were undertones of vanilla in the taste, but, overall, it was a basic glazed donut. For the random donut, the employees gave us the Peppermint Chai Old Fashioned Donut. The combination was unique, to say the least, but the peppermint overpowered the chai. Choosing to make it Old Fashioned style wasn’t favored by us; however, it was a good donut. The atmosphere at Blue Star is calming and enjoyable. With natural light flooding in through the floor to ceiling windows and the minimalistic design, it’s a great place for people-watching and enjoying a good donut. We rate Blue Star Donuts a 4/5.

 

Glazed Donut (constant) and Peppermint Chai Old Fashioned (fun donut, workers’ choice)

Taste: Lemon-y, flavors are not as strong, sweet, indulgent, rich

Consistency: Soft, fluffy, light, messy (soft glaze)

Presentation: Average, second donut 5/5

Atmosphere: 5/5, open concept, lots of natural lighting

Overall: 4/5 (very expensive)

 

Voodoo Doughnuts

Voodoo Doughnuts are a Portland staple. With this in mind we had high hopes for it. The glazed doughnut was extremely sweet and was full of glaze. The flavor was standard for a glazed doughnut and consistency was fluffy. The employees at Voodoo gave us the Hi-Tea donut to try. The Hi-Tea donut is a standard donut with earl grey frosting and a hibiscus drizzle. The Hi-Tea was sweet as well and tasted similarly to Froot Loops cereal. We went to Voodoo at 10:30 am on a Tuesday, which is obviously not peak time. If anyone has been to or heard of Voodoo, they know the massive lines that can gather to get a taste of these doughnuts. As the most overhyped doughnut shop in Portland, our expectations were not met when it came to taste and atmosphere. Overall, we give Voodoo Doughnuts a 2.5/5. 

 

Glazed Donut and Hi-Tea (Earl Grey Frosting with Hibiscus Drizzle)

Taste: Super sweet, pretty standard, a lot of glaze

Consistency: Fluffy consistency, harder glaze

Atmosphere: 2.5/5, fairly small, overall dirty

Service: employees were extremely accommodating and super friendly 

Overall: 3/5

 

Nola Doughnuts

Nola Doughnuts is a New Orleans inspired bakery that offers square-shaped doughnuts, La’ssants, beignets and more. The glazed doughnut at Nola was our favorite out of all of the doughnuts we tried. The vanilla flavor was strong and the glaze was rich. There was not too much glaze where it was overwhelming, but there was just enough where it wasn’t too dry. The consistency was soft and semi-dense at the same time. The random doughnut that the employees chose for us was a Spiced Honey Walnut doughnut. The pairing of salty and sweet was extremely complimentary, and the doughnut itself was once again the fantastic combination of soft and semi-dense. Although the doughnuts were delicious, the beignets at Nola were our favorite. With a New Orleans inspired atmosphere, Nola is a great place to go with friends and enjoy each other’s company. We give Nola Doughnuts a 5/5. 

 

Glazed Donut (constant) and Spiced Honey Walnut

Taste: Flavors are strong, not too much glaze, flakey, good vanilla flavor

Consistency: Flakey, soft, semi-dense 

Presentation: Square, average 5/5

Atmosphere: 5/5, fun New Orleans vibes, lots of seating, very nice employees 

Overall: 5/5

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