• vegan voodoo doughnuts in portland. meh.

    July 28th, 2009quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), portland

    on my recent trip to pdx, i made a stop by voodoo doughnut. the quirky shop in downtown portland is known for its wacky doughnut flavors and vegan selections, but i must say i was pretty underwhelmed with the place.

    vanilla chicostick cake donut. $1.50

    vanilla chicostick cake donut. $1.50

    the first donut i tried was a vanilla chicostick doughnut. the thick white cake was topped off with white frosting and loads of mashed up peanut butter & coconut chick-o-stick candy. while the toppings and frosting were delicious, the cakey doughnut itself was inedible. one bite was enough to completely turn me off. it was way too thick and tasted like banana. i later found out that on some doughnuts voodoo uses banana as an egg-replacer, and i am definitely not a fan of that.

    rice krispies treats and peanut butter chocolate raised donut. $2>

    rice krispies treats and peanut butter chocolate raised donut. $2>

    i also tried the peanut butter rice krispies doughnut, which was a much better but still nothing too impressive. at least the cake on this one was a little more soft and moist. turns out this donut was actually a “raised” one, rather than a “cake” one. i’m not even sure what that means, but it definitely was an improvement. the peanut butter rice krispies combo was an unusual idea, but it didn’t work too well. i could only finish about 1/3 of this donut, and then threw it away.

    vegan donut menu

    vegan donut menu

    inside the shop, voodoo had a huge board full of vegan doughnut specialties, and some sounded quite delicious. however, almost everything i wanted to try was out of stock. as i was reading the board trying to decide on a few flavors, the surly employee behind the counter pointed at a near-empty case and barked, “those are your options!”


    speaking of the dude behind the counter, he was a real dick. he seemed annoyed that i was asking for flavors that were on the menu, and he acted like he did not want to be there AT ALL.

    so let’s see…i had one awful donut, one okay donut, and the service was absolutely horrible. i will definitely give voodoo doughnuts another chance next time i’m in portland, but i’m not in any rush.


    voodoo doughnut
    22 SW 3rd Ave
    Portland, OR 97204
    (503) 241-4704

    Tags: , ,

26 responses to “vegan voodoo doughnuts in portland. meh.” RSS icon

  • that sucks about the doughnuts. i wanted them to be delicious!

  • How disappointing!

  • That is disappointing – I’ve been looking forward to trying Voodoo whenever I make it up to Portland next. At least there’s always Ronald’s in Vegas – not as wacky, but very large selection, super friendly people, and amazing, “I literally can’t tell this isn’t a ‘normal’ donut place” quality.

  • I wasn’t all that impressed with Voodoo Doughnuts either. If I wanted a banana cake, I would have bought one.

  • I like Voodoo and my bf was addicted when we were in Portland.

    Their old dirty bastard donut is amazing. Should’ve tried that one out.

  • Raised donuts are ones with yeast in them so they’ve been raised (sorry, doi) and supposed to be lighter. Cake donuts are cake-like (again, sorry, doi) and are more dense inside.

  • I had a good experience there (though there was quite a line). Seems to be pretty happening late night, so maybe they have more options then. The only issue for me is that almost all the vegan doughnuts seem to be variations on old-fashioned cake style doughnuts, and while I like these, it’s much easier to find vegan cake doughnuts than yeast risen ones.

    I do prefer simple doughnuts without too much crap on top; luckily, Voodoo had some along those lines when I visited, and to my mind, they were excellent for what they were.

  • Mighty O is the only way to go!

  • That rice krispies one looks scary.

  • Haha anytime.

    But seriously…when can I just come work as a private chef?

  • Yep, they were dicks to me too! Sometimes they can be pretty good, when they don’t have too much banana. I haven’t tried the yeasted ones yet.
    Ronalds = Yeasted / Raised

  • i wouldn’t throw out the voodoo based one this one review. I’ve been a few times now when i’ve been to portland and i didn’t notice a difference between voodoo’s and mighty o’s. both are incredibly tasty. each time i’ve been to the place the service has been just fine. it’s a bit of a rough-around-the edges sort of place anyway so i’m not expecting it to be full of gushy servers. anyway…if you haven’t been yet, please do not rule them out! they are good – good – good!

  • I have had quite a few of their flavors and they tasted like banana cake. Totally disgusting and nothing at all like a real donut. They could definitely try a little harder.

  • ElectricSunflower

    So too bad!!

    Raised means it’s made like bread, with yeast and let to rise before baking. Cake is when you use baking powder & soda and such and just mix it in the dough and pop it in the oven and it rises in there.

  • Maybe the surly employee was having a bad day because all the customers ate the donut varieties that he wanted. Hahaha. Too bad he half ruined your experience! It’s been so long since I have had a donut that I would have wanted something simple…like glazed or maple. It would be annoying if they didn’t have the kind you were craving, though!

  • I just got back from a trip to Portland and visited a whole bunch of vegan hot spots. I would say half the people we met were grumpy and just seemed like they had better things to do than to take my money. We hit the Voodoo Doughnuts on the east side (I think that’s where we were – just a few blocks from the vegan mini mall!) and tried three different varieties – apple fritter (eh aight), pb and choc (not so good – tasted sale), and grape ape (frosting, grapey powdery stuff, and sprinkles – YUM). I’m glad we finally got to try them, but it was the least favorite of our vegany stops. Hungry Tiger Too and Sweetpea Baking Company on the other hand… I’ll just say they are lucky they are not down the street from my house or they’d get really sick of me being in there all the time.

  • When I went, the donuts were pretty good. I think I got one that was creme filled and it was really good. The staff definitely was not the nicest, but I liked the interesting atmosphere. We played the old hockey foosball like game and enjoyed hearing the lady say to some customers, “you want the cock & balls donut.”
    This place was way better than mighty o’s whose donuts were a little too healthy tasting.

  • I have not had the chance to get to Mighty O or Voodoo yet, but have always heard someone complain about every vegan donut place there is…

    But I have never heard a bad word about Ronald’s in Las Vegas, and have had them a couple of times. (Very tasty, and just like a regular donut).

    Which brings me to my (unsubstantiated) point:
    Ronald’s needs to be confirmed as vegan in my book. I love them but it is hard to believe that they are the ONLY donut shop with decent raised (yeast) donuts. (Yeast types are usually the glazed/maple bar/chocolate bar/apple fritter/twist/ donuts.)

    I did some online research years ago when first trying Ronald’s and at that time there was no commercial baking mix for yeast donuts that could be considered vegan. (When I was a kid, the donut guy in my town made them from scratch, but that is highly unlikely these days). The typical yeasted commercial mix contains milk, whey, and eggs.(Many have mono and di-glycerides as well).

    Here’s a link to DAWN brand raised donut mix, 50 pound bag: http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.shamanshop.net/store/images/Images_GR/thumbs/th_GR_163150.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.shamanshop.net/store/prodpage3.cfm/CategoryID/21500.0/SubCatID/14065.0/file.htm&usg=__uqNIIrLg9aawJSAfD4ZUHcRtXwk=&h=94&w=100&sz=3&hl=en&start=15&um=1&tbnid=Gp71UH8GbX_8tM:&tbnh=77&tbnw=82&prev=/images%3Fq%3D50%2Bpound%2Bdonut%2Bmix%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Doff%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26hs%3DloN%26um%3D1

    If the link doesn’t work, here’s the ingredients:
    Ing: Enriched wheat flour bleached (flour, malted barley flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid) dextrose, soybean oil, salt, leavening (sod- ium acid pyrophosphate, baking soda), soy flour, dry whey, mono & diglycerides with BHT & citric acid as preservatives, sodium stear- oyl lactylate, nonfat milk solids, wheat starch, nonfat dry milk, corn oil, beta carotene as color, enzymes. **Contains: Wheat, Soy and Milk Ingredients.

    Again I have no proof Ronald’s isn’t vegan, but if it sounds too good to be true…

  • I loved Voodoo when I was there but didn’t try the flavors you did. Better luck next time?

  • The downtown Voodoo Doughnut is drastically different from the East Side one. The East Side is larger, it’s cleaner, they sell out of doughnuts a lot slower, and the staff is way friendlier.

  • You definitely shouldn’t base your opinion on just this one visit. I was in Portland last week, and we stopped by Voodoo Doughnuts – we tried on a Saturday night, when both locations had lines out the door and around the corner, and we decided no doughnut was worth waiting in that kind of line for, but when we tried again on a Sunday night they were much less crowded. True, the selection on the board was not the selection available – you select from the rotating case, but I had my eye on a raised glazed from the back of the line, and it did not disappoint. If you miss the raised glazed donuts of your pre-vegan days, when you bite in and the dough sort of rips and also squishes, this donut was exactly like that. So good!

  • Vegan Treats in Bethlehem PA has the most amazing vegan donuts (and other baked goods) and they are always in a good mood!

  • I had the same reaction when I went–got a vegan voodoo donut–very blah. Mighty-O’s kicks their tail.

  • Mighty O is WAY better. Come to Seattle.

  • I know Larsen’s in Racine, WI does yeasted/raised donuts and they are amazeballs(!)
    Definitely vegan, too. The whole shop isn’t vegan but they make vegan donuts, cinnamon rolls and kringles – mostly for mail order via Vegan Essentials. I tend to email an order when ever I’m in town, though, and they never disappoint.

    Their Boston Creams kick Voodoo’s to the curb. So good. The jellies are also very good – cakes are good for what they are. I prefer raised, though.

    Larsen’s doesn’t use a mix, the owner came up with a vegan recipe from scratch. Worth ordering, IMO, to give them a try. Delish!


  • So sad to hear, I love Voodoo doughnuts! In fact, i’ll admit that I prefer them over Mighty O. The other location (big pink location) seems to serve much better doughnuts though.

Leave a reply