From dark chocolate-and-flan cupcakes to macaroons to sugar-encrusted conchas, Portland’s Mexican bakeries on the west side offer a wide variety of luscious, large and colorful pastries for your little sweeties. Read on to learn about all of the mouth-watering options in your neck of the woods.
photo: Sanchez Taqueria by Kristina Godfrey
This tiny bakery, hidden inside a family-owned Mexican restaurant, is a well-kept secret by locals. The display case is located in the back of the restaurant. In fact, what you’ll find with many Mexican bakeries, their sweets are displayed on cooling racks. When your little one spots something they like – a pink sugar galleta (cookie), sugar cookie with sprinkles or moist vanilla torta (cake) – grab a stainless steel baking sheet, a pair of tongs and load up. When your cookie sheet is full, take it up to the cashier. The surprises at this bakery are the scrumptious coconut macaroons and sweet cream-cheese, jalapeno- and carrot-stuffed pan (bread) with a milky-soft texture. Your kids will want to try the tri-colored pastry with a slight taste of lemon. Sit down in the restaurant or sneak a bite on your way to the next fiesta.
13050 SW Pacific Hwy.
photo: Espiga Dorada by Kristina Godfrey
La Espiga Dorada Bakery
Bring your kids here on a Saturday and you’ll find a crowd waiting for fresh bolillo, a little loaf of bread served with cafe’ (coffee) in the morning or conchas, sweet bread with sugar-encrusted topping traditionally served for breakfast. A favorite is the crunchy pink sugar-encrusted concha dipped in milk. Everything is under a dollar at this bakery, which is set inside a tienda (store). For those wanting to celebrate Dia de los Muertos try the sesame-topped bread, usually served with a cup of hot cocoa.
18350 SW T.V. Hwy.
photo: La Imperial Bakery by Kristina Godfrey
La Imperial Bakery
This is a fun place to bring your kids on a Saturday when wedding cakes are being carted out the door in all their lush layers and decorations. Imperial is known for its chocoflan, chocolate cake on the bottom and flan on top, and tres leche – three milk – cakes with coconut and pineapple filling. While you sample those, your kids can try the cocoa donas – or donuts – topped with fruit loop cereal. Also try the atole, a flaky crust pastry with a cinnamon-flavored pudding filling and borracho, a sweet vanilla cupcake with a slight rum flavor. Like the other Mexican bakeries, every pastry here is super-sized.
1895 SE T.V. Hwy.
photo: Supermercado Mexico by Kristina Godfrey
There’s no better place to find the full selection of Mexican pastry than this downtown Hillsboro supermarket. It’s an authentic cultural bakery with sabor mocha (mocha-flavored cupcakes), pan fresco (fresh bread), chocoflan and slice of rebandano tres leche torta (three-milk cake). There’s also the deep chocolate-dipped delicioso and chocolate sprinkle cookies, along with the chocolate donuts, custard-filled horns, and cream-cheese filled cupcake-like pastry.
970 SE Oak St.
photo: Lombard Bakery by Kristina Godfrey
Families love the homey feel of this downtown Beaverton bakery, tucked into a diverse neighborhood off Southwest Lombard and Hall streets. The bakery is known for its rare mix of Mexican and Arabic desserts, including rich baklava sitting next to chocoflan cake in the display case. Try the chocolate and vanilla swirl cupcakes topped with vanilla flan and whipped mocha-flavored frosting. Kids go crazy for it and the vanilla shortbread cookies dusted with powdered sugar.
6150 SW Lombard Ave.
What’s your favorite place to grab a sweet, Mexican pastry? Let us know in the Comments!
– Kristina Godfrey