With apologies to Portland’s famous doughnut shop, you don’t need voodoo to find the Rose City’s most Instagram-worthy (and mouthwatering) desserts. All you need is our curated list of what’s hot in the sweets scene. And yes, your followers will surely double tap when you post your sugary snapshots.
180 Xurros & Xocalata
The Portland area’s first churro shop, attached to Chesa Restaurant, has been drawing lines for its skinny, cooked-to-order, Iberian-inspired doughnuts. They’re fried up fresh and dusted with cinnamon sugar or dipped in dark chocolate and sprinkled with fleur de sel.
They don’t really need any adornment, but you could deftly dunk these doughnuts into a cup of rich xocolata (drinking chocolate) or dip them into satisfyingly tart lemon curd, if you’d like.
Big, bustling Imperial, chef Vitaly Paley’s restaurant at the boutique Forbes Travel Guide Recommended Hotel Lucia downtown, draws diners in with its Pacific Northwest comfort food, from Dungeness crab omelets to wood-grilled, dry-aged T-bones.
For dessert, pastry chef Danielle Bailey is known for her flaky, home-style pies, but besides these delicious fruit-filled pastries, Bailey whips up a changing array of even more delectable (and snap-worthy) sweets.
Look for creations like a delicate, lavender-scented pavlova with a sweet-tart rhubarb compote or a tropical baked Alaska, filled with passionfruit sorbet, sauced with blood orange caramel, and paired with intensely flavored brûléed pineapple.
It’s all about the croissants at this Pearl District patisserie, from rich buttery classics like almond or chocolate to inspired inventions such as pistachio rose or sesame thyme, all excellent for savoring over a leisurely brunch or paired with a latte for an afternoon linger.
Have your camera ready for the macarons, too; they’re lined up on the counter in an alluring, vibrantly colored rainbow.
In this two-level downtown space, with red leather banquettes and a high tin ceiling, lunch à deux on a charcuterie plate that might feature beef tongue pastrami, chicken liver mousse, a deviled egg topped with smoked trout, or the beloved burger.
Save room for the sweets, though. The chocolate rye cake with smoky mocha ice cream and the plate of regularly changing bonbons are pure delights.
Chef-owner Kristen D. Murray blends her Scandinavian heritage with her French pastry training at this cute downtown storefront, which bills itself as a “pastry luncheonette.”
At the white wooden booths and long marble counter, Murray serves light lunches, from quiche to a regularly changing lefse (Norwegian flatbread), but the real reason to stop into this sunny spot is to linger over fika, the Swedish term for coffee and cakes. Expect currant-rosemary scones, tarte tatin, brioche rolls flavored with anisette and chocolate, or whatever goodies Murray has baked that day.
And if you think this sweet spot couldn’t get any cuter, it’s named for Murray’s pet rabbit.