The Great Portland Doughnut Debate: Voodoo versus Blue Star

Our take on the best doughnut joint in America’s weirdest city.

In my time in Portland, I heard many impassioned arguments over the varying merits of the city’s two finest doughnutteries, Voodoo Doughnut and Blue Star Donut.  Which should I go to over the other? People gave me their hot takes—some weak, some piping hot. But I decided I needed to figure it out for myself. And so, of course, I went to both, because, well, duh, two trips to a doughnut store is better than one. Here’s how my experience with each stacked up, in four various doughnut rating categories.

1. THE DOUGHNUT ITSELF: BLUE STAR

Voodoo’s eccentric toppings (like Fruit Loops and bacon) and thick frosting both make this doughnut-eating experience worth it, but the core baked good that Blue Star produces is just plain phenomenal. Blue Star’s toppings are more glaze-focused, and, in some cases, the flavor is baked into the doughnut itself. Both have regular raised dough-based donuts, but also offer ake doughnuts, or old fashioned ones. Here, Blue Star has far more options for cake style donuts.

2. THE STORE: VOODOO

Voodoo wins this one by a landslide. Their store, all pink, is quirky as hell. There’s mirrors and there’s random junk. There’s better music. Blue Star’s is aesthetically pleasing at first, but lacks character, and is just a boring plain white and blue.

3. VARIETY AND OPTIONS: TIE

Both stores get very high marks here. Each has over a dozen options.  Both have several vegan doughnuts, though neither has gluten free options.

4. SPECIAL TOUCHES: BLUE STAR

There’s no super-long line at Blue Star,  and if they do happen to inconvenience you at all, they will often throw in a second doughnut for free with your order. The doughnuts on display also look a little more fresh.

FINAL VERDICT: BLUE STAR

There you have it: the final winner is Blue Star Donuts, a gourmet yet minimalist and casual producer of coffee, and baked goods. Their win can be attributed to making a superior core product, for their extra-friendly employees who add nice touches to anything, and my own subjective—though very trustworthy—opinion.

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