As far as landmark places to check out in Portland, Voodoo Doughnuts should definitely be on that list. Well, it’s not so much as a landmark, but rather a hole in the wall and if it wasn’t for the hand painted sign, you would probably walk right by.
I had never heard of it before but apparently it has gotten some serious endorsement from some serious sources. If Tony Bourdain comes to your town and you get on his show, you’re pretty much guaranteed a ticket to eternal foodie glory. After looking on the press page on their website, they’ve been on Good Morning America and even Playboy! Not bad for a doughnut shop!
As we were wandering downtown, we just happened to see this super long line up, probably about 20-25 people deep, along this old brick building. Naturally, we lined up too to see what all the hype was about and when the person in front of us said this was the best doughnut shop in the world, we had to try it.
The shop is no larger than my living room and the décor is quite bizarre and a bit on the goth side. They’ve posted newspaper clippings of people who have died mysterious deaths and such and the art on the wall have zombie doughnuts walking around in what looks to me like a doughnut cemetery. Weird.
The doughnuts themselves have some crazy names: Diablos Rex, Maple Blazer Blunt, Memphis Mafia and the ‘my personal fave’ Cock and Balls. And keeping with Portland’s hippie culture, they also serve vegan doughnuts. The doughnuts, in my opinion, were not that great – the frosting is too sweet and the flavor combos are all over the place. I tried the Bacon Maple Bar and, in all honesty, it was kind of gross. Yes, maple and bacon go together but not on a doughnut. The Portland Crème which is basically like the Tim’s Bavarian Cream was probably the best one I tasted. It was actually proclaimed the Official Doughnut of Portland in 2005 by the mayor himself.
I don’t know if I’d ever go back, but nevertheless, I’m glad that we stumbled upon this Portland gem and you should too, next time you’re out there.