Portland’s Doughnut Delights: A Guide To The City’s Top Shops

Introduction

In the ever-evolving world of culinary delights, the humble doughnut stands as an iconic treat that transcends generations. Portland, a city known for its diverse and thriving food culture, is home to a plethora of doughnut shops, each offering a unique twist to this classic confection. Join us as we embark on a mouth-watering journey, exploring the top 10 doughnut establishments that paint the city with sugary strokes of excellence.

10. Coco Donuts: A Lesson in Branding and Surprises

Raised glazed (11th), old-fashioned (10th), fritter (8th) – Score: 4.5

Coco Donuts, a testament to the importance of branding, presents a surprising twist as it consistently ranks in the bottom half of our list. This expansion-minded shop, despite its smart branding, offers a lesson in not judging a doughnut by its cover. The Heidi-braided apple fritter steals the spotlight, securing the eighth spot with its “crunchy crisp” exterior and “soft” interior. Coco Donuts proves that even in the lower ranks, there’s an unexpected delight waiting to be savored.

9. Helen Bernhard Bakery: A Hidden Oasis on Northeast Broadway

Raised glazed (7th), old-fashioned (11th), fritter (6th) – Score: 4.71

Nestled inconspicuously on Northeast Broadway, Helen Bernhard Bakery emerges as a hidden oasis for doughnut enthusiasts. A converted home disguises this bakery, adding an element of surprise to the doughnut journey. The raised glazed and apple fritter secure a respectable sixth place, showcasing the bakery’s prowess. However, the old-fashioned, with its “odd” aftertaste, injects an element of eccentricity, reminding us that hidden gems often come with unexpected flavors.

Portland's Doughnut Delights: A Guide To The City's Top Shops

8. Annie’s Donuts: Nostalgia in Every Bite

Raised glazed (4th), old-fashioned (6th), fritter (10th) – Score: 4.75

Annie’s Donuts, an old-school Roseway shop, invites patrons to indulge in nostalgia with every bite. Narrowly escaping relegation, this establishment’s doughnuts, while generally considered bland, evoke a sense of familiarity and comfort. The raised glazed claims the fourth spot, a testament to the appeal of classics that blend seamlessly with the crowd. The old-fashioned secures a respectable sixth place, while the fritter, a misfire, finds itself in the tenth spot. Annie’s Donuts serves as a charming time capsule for those who appreciate the simplicity of bygone flavors.

7. Krispy Kreme: A Giant Stumbles

Raised glazed (9th), old-fashioned (9th), fritter (4th) – Score: 4.79

In a surprising twist of fate, the once-mighty Krispy Kreme finds itself stumbling in the competitive world of Portland doughnuts. A massive North Carolina-based chain that once drew crowds, Krispy Kreme now grapples with a ninth-place finish for both its signature raised glazed and old-fashioned. However, a shining beacon emerges with the fritter, unexpectedly landing in fifth place. Krispy Kreme’s journey reminds us that even giants experience the ebb and flow of culinary fortunes.

6. Heavenly Donuts: Where Availability Meets Quality

Raised glazed (9th), old-fashioned (4th), fritter (7th) – Score: 4.79

Heavenly Donuts, with its three locations open 24 hours, exemplifies the perfect marriage of availability and quality. Sneaking into the top half, this mini-chain of Portland doughnut shops earns its place with a robust showing in the old-fashioned category. Tied with Krispy Kreme, Heavenly wins the tie-breaker, proving that being accessible around the clock can be a doughnut’s secret weapon. A testament to the balance of quality and convenience, Heavenly Donuts stands as a beacon for those late-night cravings.

Portland's Doughnut Delights: A Guide To The City's Top Shops

5. Sesame Donuts: Under-the-Radar Excellence

Raised glazed (2nd), old-fashioned (12th), fritter (4th) – Score: 4.83

Sesame Donuts takes a stealthy under-the-radar approach to win hearts and taste buds across seven strategically located shops, including a newer one near Portland State University. The journey through our taste test might start dry with a chocolate old-fashioned finishing last in its category. However, the apple fritter, described as greasy in a good way, secures a commendable fourth place. The innocuous raised glazed then steals the show, claiming an impressive second place. Sesame Donuts, a silent contender, proves that excellence sometimes hides in unexpected corners.

4. Donuts Plus: Friendly Flavors in Beaverton

Raised glazed (3rd), old-fashioned (5th), fritter (9th) – Score: 4.96

A friendly face in Beaverton since 1981, Donuts Plus welcomes patrons with consistent scores across the board. The apple fritter, landing in ninth place, boasts a friendly flavor that has been winning hearts for decades. The chocolate old-fashioned secures fifth place, a testament to its timeless appeal. However, the raised glazed steals the spotlight, claiming an impressive third place. Judges note that the “light,” “fluffy” raised doughnut is “perfect with morning coffee,” making Donuts Plus a go-to spot for those seeking a friendly and familiar doughnut experience.

3. Angel’s Donuts & Ice Cream: A Hidden Northeast Alberta Gem

Raised glazed (8th), old-fashioned (7th), fritter (2nd) – Score: 5.21

Hidden along Northeast Alberta Street, Angel’s Donuts & Ice Cream, formerly known as Tonalli’s, maintains its quality even after a name change. A true gem often overlooked, this shop secures the third spot on our list. The apple fritter steals the spotlight, ranking second overall in the competition. Despite the name change, Angel’s remains a formidable player in Portland’s doughnut scene, reminding us that quality endures, even when names change.

Portland's Doughnut Delights: A Guide To The City's Top Shops

2. Top Pot Doughnuts: Unexpected Supermarket Triumph

Raised glazed (1st), old-fashioned (2nd), fritter (3rd) – Score: 6

In a delightful twist of fate, Top Pot Doughnuts, a Seattle-based shop, almost claims the top spot after stepping in as a last-minute replacement. Available at QFC supermarkets, Top Pot’s raised glazed secures first place, impressing judges with its “nicely puffy” texture and perfectly balanced glaze. A true testament to the unexpected, proving that doughnut excellence can emerge from the most unforeseen places.

1. Delicious Donuts: The Epitome of Doughnut Excellence

Raised glazed (6th), old-fashioned (1st), fritter (1st) – Score: 6.125

Topping the charts and claiming the throne as the highest-rated doughnut in the competition is Delicious Donuts. Nestled at the bottom of East Burnside Street, this friendly establishment offers a remarkable score of 6.125. The “crazy crunchy” fritter, boasting “big fruit flavor” and a “marshmallowy” note to the frosting, steals the spotlight. Not merely a one-hit wonder, Delicious Donuts also triumphs in the chocolate old-fashioned category, while the raised glazed secures a place in the top half-dozen. Owned by high school sweethearts Boun Saribout and Penny Nguyen since 2005, this establishment thrives on the secret ingredients of shop-made frosting, clean oil, and the love infused by Boun. If you’ve yet to experience the excellence of Delicious Donuts, it’s not just a suggestion—it’s an invitation to have a truly delicious day.

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