The best doughnut places around Portland are often holes in the wall or unusual places you wouldn’t think of. We tried to find shops that were not part of a chain (even a local one) providing unique takes on the standard deep-fried pastries.
Some National & Oregon Donut Facts
Doughnuts are practically a food group in most parts of America. More than 201 million Americans consumed doughnuts in 2020 according to the US Census Data and NHCS. Are you eating your share?
The most popular doughnut in America is the yeast-raised glazed pastry. And the most popular here in Oregon is the apple fritter.
As a side note, what’s your vote — “donut” or “doughnut?”
Unique Donut Places In and Around Portland
Let’s look at five lesser-known bakeries where you can get a mind-blowing sugar rush experience.
**Nola Doughnuts shuts its doors.
This little gem in the Pearl District makes the most amazing beignets. Nola Doughnuts also does regular donuts, but if you’re going to go with fried dough, then order up the powdered sugar-topped humble beignet.
And yes, they do have two locations. The other is in Lake Oswego. We just had to mention them because they provide a colorful option that Portlanders need to taste.
Most of their regular doughnuts are yeast-raised with glazes. They also have the necessary maple bar and apple fritter.
Their La’ssant donuts are flakey like a croissant. We thought the square shape made it easier to cut in half and share or dip into a large cup of chicory coffee. The recipe provides a lighter texture with a crisp outer layer. Some are filled with cream or chocolate and most are glazed. The chocolate ganache-filled La’ssant is rolled in cinnamon sugar.
And they do have several vegan options, but they sell out quickly.
You can order your doughnuts online, using Yelp, online delivery sites, or walk on up.
They don’t have a private lot in the Pearl, but there is street parking as well as parking lots. Lake Oswego has parking available under the building as well as a parking garage directly behind Nola Doughnuts that offers free parking.
The Donut Palace is in Tanasbourne. What makes them unique is they deep fry their doughnuts a little longer in shortening giving them a crispy touch and a soft crumb. They do also have a large selection of vegan doughnuts on Saturday. They publish pictures of them on their Facebook page.
Donut Palace has more of your standard fare of doughnuts with yeast-raised bars, filled, and round doughnuts. They also have cake-style doughnuts.
And they have cinnamon twists, apple fritters, bear claws, and more.
They close at 1 pm, so get your midnight snack before then.
Parking should be easy since they are in a strip mall right next to Sunset Highway.
You can also find them on Facebook.
**A runner-up for vegan donuts is Doe Donuts as they have vegan doughnuts daily. They have both cake and raised donuts in year-round flavors as well as a seasonal menu.
Fills Donuts was located on SW Washington Street where the original Blue Star Donuts shop was. Apparently Fills has closed its doors, however, Fills Donuts specialized in soft sourdough doughnuts stuffed with gourmet fillings like Pink Lemonade, Boston Cream Pie, Earl Grey Cream, and White Chocolate Yuzu. They even had savory doughnuts filled with pimiento cheese and green bean casserole.
Fills focused on two donut styles – Berliner and cruller. Berlin-style doughnuts are round and filled with no hole in them. They are a more sweet and dense doughnut.
The crullers are more like a circular churro. They are more delicate in texture as they are light and airy.
They had online ordering so you can plan your box, and then go pick them up. There is a parking garage across the street. Or bring someone with you to hop out and fetch them while you circle the block. But then you’d have to share your doughnuts.
And you can get delivery from DoorDash, but they only have the Berliner-style available. But you can get Good Coffee!
If you’re looking for another family-run doughnut shop, check out Delicious Donuts. They have a wide variety of yeast-raised and cake doughnuts as well as huge cinnamon rolls, apple fritters, and apple bear claws.
Unlike the other stores, you can order a custom doughnut. You just need to give them 24-hour notice.
Delicious Donuts changes their oil very regularly so each doughnut is well fried and doesn’t taste greasy or have that burned flavor.
If you have a yearning for a more balanced breakfast with your doughnut, Delicious Donuts also has a full breakfast menu including burritos and omelets.
Delicious Donuts is in the Lower Burnside area off of SE Grand Avenue. They do have a parking lot, but it stays pretty full. Many Portlanders will ride their bicycles to get their doughnut treats.
They often sell out before they close at 1 pm, and they recommend you call to see if they still have stock.
Hiding over in Gresham is a big red barn full of golden doughnuts that are deep-fried daily just for you. If you want a mid-afternoon snack, Donut World is open until 4 pm all seven days of the week.
They have your standard cake and yeast-raised doughnuts in classic flavors that are done really well. Donut World also has bear claws, fritters, and cinnamon options.
The doughnuts are just the right balance of sweet. Your teeth won’t hurt after eating one. And they make doughnuts continuously throughout the day and monitor the stock. So you’re going to get a fresh doughnut.
Donut World has been around since 1983, committed to providing a high-quality yet affordable product. They also have smoothies if you’re not wanting an espresso drink or coffee.
And Donut World has a private parking lot, so it is easy for you to get in, get your doughnuts, and get out.
We thought these were some of the best and most unique local donut shops in the Portland area, but you have to know there are many others. What is your favorite and why?