Cheating with Voodoo Doughnuts

Posted on Posted in Dessert, Portland, Oregon
Voodoo Doughnuts
Happiness in a pink box

I cheated, I didn’t mean to but the concierge had visited Voodoo Doughnuts before I arrived and left me two doughnuts as a welcome amenity (I had joked that i was working out at the gym like a fiend before my visit having heard about the doughnuts). I cheated because I didn’t wait in the long line to secure my doughnuts.  (I also cheated on my food journal but that’s a different story). When asked if i had tried Voodoo yet, I replied “yes”,  the follow-up question was “How long did you wait in line”, I had to be honest and say “I didn’t wait in line, the concierge had delivered them to me” which, of course, made me sound a bit spoiled.  Everyone wanted to know where was I staying that the concierge arranged for doughnuts.

So i felt that I missed out on the whole Voodoo experience and was determined during my stay to get in line and wait so I didn’t have to respond with the concierge line.  With time to explore at lunch break, i walked to the shop (only to find it was behind the bike tour shop from the day before) and saw the line.  Not a line mind you but a line out the door along the store wall, turning into a long line down the street past the bar and coffee shop.  My break wasn’t long enough to wait so I took photos of the line and vowed a return before i left.  The next few days, i would stop random people on the street carrying their pink Voodoo boxes and ask how long the wait was – they would reply “only about an hour”.  Seriously???  Who waits an hour for anything let alone a doughnut?   I was not that determined for the experience (especially as I had given up doughnuts many, many years ago and was already cheating on my diet).  Given that it was the holiday weekend and the city was busy with tourists, I figured I could give it one last go on my last day before heading to the train station for Seattle.  It would be a nice treat to eat on the train was my logic (not take a sandwich or lunch mind you but doughnuts for lunch – crazy vacation logic).

Voodoo doughnuts box of happiness
A box of sugar happiness

I left the hotel at 8 am when the city was slowly waking from the long holiday weekend.  The barren streets of the past few days gave way to delivery trucks, commuters and life in the city.  The city was no longer mine to explore at will, I was now sharing the sidewalk and having to wait to cross the streets.  When I arrived at Voodoo, the long lines of the weekend were gone.  The rope outside the store was now visible with only a few people in line. I felt confident that my wait would not be long given that there were two staff serving guests.  As i got closer to look inside, the store is quite small hence the long lines outside.  The doughnuts are spinning in the glass enclosures on four levels, each one taunting and tempting in all of their sugar goodness.  The chalkboard menu is overhead listing the varieties available (note to Voodoo, you could move the line faster if the menu was posted outside so everyone can get an idea beforehand as, in my experience, many were taking time to read the menu once at the counter which caused the waits).

Menu board variety - Cake, Vegan, Cruellers, Raised, Fritters and Dozens
Menu board variety – Cake, Vegan, Cruellers, Raised, Fritters and Dozens

Having had two doughnuts that the concierge had procured – the grape ape doughnut which was vanilla iced with lavender sprinkles and a hint of grape and the voodoo doughnut which is the signature logo doughnut -staked in the heart with a pretzel stick and filled with raspberry jelly.

Grape Ape - vanilla frosted with lavender sprinkles and grape dusted
Grape Ape – vanilla frosted with lavender sprinkles and grape dusted
Voodoo Doughnut - filled with raspberry jelly
Voodoo Doughnut – filled with raspberry jelly


I wanted to try something different, I had reviewed the menu online prior to the line and yet faced with all of the choices calling my name as they spun by me, I was overcome with too much choice.  If only there were a doughnut bracket to pair the options down to a sweet 16 and then elite 8 before crowning a champion!

Too many options, I wanted everyone!
Too many options, I wanted to treat each one!


Doughnuts on a drive by past the customer
Doughnuts on a drive by past the customer

The choices – Did I want a vegan doughnut? Captain Crunch? Fruit Loops? Chocolate Peanut Butter? Oreo? Maple Bacon Bar? Each one was more over the top with flavor and creativity than the other.  I couldn’t bring myself to buy the crazy candy, cookie, bacon topped options as I was sure that they were a day’s worth of calories and despite my “no calories on vacation”, I still wanted to have some wine on vacation -not spend all calories on a doughnut.  So i wimped out and got the basic glazed and another grape ape doughnut.  My treats were placed in a white paper bag with ink stamped logo (no pink box for me). As someone used to paying $3.50-$4 for a cupcake, imagine my surprise when the glazed doughnut cost .95 cents! No credit cards are accepted, cash only.

Today's available doughnuts
Today’s available doughnuts

So I am no longer a cheater to the Voodoo experience (I’m still a food journal/dieter cheater). Despite being entranced by the spinning temptation, I was satisfied with my choices and happy that the doughnuts are 3,000 miles away.  As they do not ship (thank goodness or i may have a problem), Voodoo Doughnuts are definitely a Portland treat that you can enjoy on your visit to the city.

Voodoo Doughnuts Portland
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12 thoughts on “Cheating with Voodoo Doughnuts

  1. A secret for your other readers…I walked past Voodoo five days in a row (Thursday-Monday) and no line at 6am any of those days. I only bought doughnuts the first day but literally not a single person inside the store. So early risers can rejoice!

    1. Sue – doughnuts in London? where would i find those? if i had to influence you to cheat on your diet then go for a Hummingbird Bakery cupcake (red velvet or chocolate bottom) or Paul A Young chocolate brownie – much better than a doughnut and worth every calorie to work off at the gym later.

  2. Confession: I have lived in PDX since 1987 and I have never waited on line at VooDoo. Yup, I’ve had them. My most memorable time was when they did the “wedding cake” for friends, a pile of donuts complete with bride and groom shaped donuts to the side. I always laugh when I see people carrying VooDoo boxes through the airport. Indeed, I have never been at PDX without seeing at least a few folks doing so. I laugh because old donuts – even VooDoo’s – are woeful compared to fresh ones!

    1. So true – old donuts are not the same. Flying from the West Coast/East Coast there are so few things that stay fresh – I’ve tried Philly pretzels to Seattle and they didn’t make it and conversely pastries from Seattle to Philly. I have better luck with fresh cupcakes from London back to Philly – strange! You are definitely doing it right – let someone else wait in line!

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