Whether we wake up being pounced on by our little early birds or go for a run pushing our chariot of kids down the city streets, we can all be comforted that Portland has a handful of sweet escapes from the morning madness, especially in the donut department – and they’re all mercifully open early. Are you a fritter fan or more of a bacon maple bar afficionado? Whatever your fancy, the following six purveyors of the drool-inducing fried dough found in and around Portland are sure to tempt your tastebuds.

Back to Eden

photo: Back to Eden Bakery by Keely Grand

Back to Eden
This bakery is not only sweet on the taste buds, but sweet on the eyes too. It’s quaint, cheery, and completely gluten-free and vegan. Flavors change from day to day but if they are serving the Chocolate Marionberry Doughnut when you stop in, get one. 

2217 NE Alberta St.
Online: backtoedenbakery.com

Blue Star

photo: Blue Star Donuts by Keely Grand

Blue Star
Blue Star is a truly gifted donut shop, creating edible masterpieces with sustainable dough, cage-free eggs, local milk and butter. For vegan friends, they do vegan. Be sure to nab the Pistachio Cake with Raspberry Hibiscus donut. Three locations make it easier to get one of these little sugary gems.

3549 SE Hawthorne

1237 SW Washington St.

3753 N Mississippi Ave.
Online: bluestardonuts.com

Joe’s Donuts
With winter here, a trip to Mt. Hood is inevitable. On your way to the mountain, plan to stop along Hwy. 26 at Joe’s Donuts for a no-frills, straight-up donut. Established in 1974, the popularity of Joe’s Donuts will remain a mainstay in Sandy, Oregon. You can’t miss their red and white checkered brick building and don’t let the line scare you. They’ve got their system down and it moves quickly. For explosive goodness with each bite get the Marionberry Jelly Filled donut. Bonus: they sell Sno* Park Permits!

39230 Pioneer Blvd. (Hwy. 26)
Online: joes-donuts.com


photo: Pip’s Original Doughnuts by Keely Grand

Pip’s Original Doughnuts
Owned by a husband and wife team, their love (of donuts) is apparent in the taste, decor, and hospitality. Their mini rings of dough and sugar are perfect for tiny hands and they are made fresh while you wait. For us, it’s a flavor toss-up between the Cinnamon & Sugar and their award-winning Honey & Sea Salt. And, by all means, do not walk out the door without trying one of their house-made chai teas.

4759 NE Fremont St., Suite C
Online: pipsoriginal.com

Sesame Donuts
This shop is a popular donut shop that’s not only open 24 hours (4 a.m. baby alarm anyone?), but they use zero trans fat oil, which could make munching a delicious donut of theirs less of a guilty pleasure. Hands down, the Sesame Donut is a must try,  as are their impossibly fluffy donut holes.

6990 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy.
Online: sesamedonuts.com

Voodoo Doughnut Too 
Looking for a crazy, cool hipster donut experience? Then Voodoo Doughnut is your place. You could go for the simple Chocolate Cake doughnut or be more adventurous with the incredible salty-sweet combo that is the Bacon Maple Bar. If you have friends or family visiting, Voodoo is definitely a place to experience and downtown’s line is usually too long most hours of the day, so this location is definitely a quicker way to get your fix. Plus, afterward you can walk those wiggly kids around the corner to the Portland Rock Gym to burn off some of that sugar energy.

1501 NE Davis St.
Online: voodoodoughnut.com

Does your family have a favorite sweet spot in town? Share it with us in the comments below!

-Keely Grand