Want to explore some of Portland’s delectable new eateries with your family? The nice thing about negotiating with even the pickiest young eaters is that when there’s sugar involved, kids tend to get a lot more adventurous. And in 2022, Portland got a generous serving of exciting and inventive new dessert shops, serving up goodies like New Zealand-style ice cream, vegan paletas, French-Asian pastries, and reimagined cinnamon rolls. So grab your kids and head to one of these tempting new treat spots.
Kate’s Ice Cream. Even the most ardent dairy lovers will agree that plant-based ice cream is good. And Kate’s is top-notch. Offering everything from decadent sundaes and cookie sandwiches to simple gluten-free cones, this Mississippi Ave. scoop shop puts a dairy-free twist on classics like Cookies and Cream and Mint Chocolate Fudge. You can also find more exotic offerings such as Rose Water Cardamom Almond, as well as rotating seasonal flavors.
Artisserie Fine Bakery. This brand-new French bakery in the heart of Nob Hill features a colorful spread of pastries and macarons. It’s the kind of place where your kids will peer through the glass, eyes wide with anticipation, as they ponder which enticing treat to choose. Do them a favor and get a few!
Kinnamons. Let’s face it: most cinnamon rolls are pretty irresistible. But Kinnamons’ showy treats reach a whole new level of deliciousness. Your kids will love how each roll is like a miniature cake, complete with fun toppings such as strawberry lemon curd and dulce de leche. You’ll appreciate their bright flavors and balanced sweetness. (Check out our Instagram Reel here of Kinnamons’ opening.)
Bee’s Cakes. Looking to order an extra-special cake for your child’s birthday or another fun occasion? (They’re currently taking Christmas and Chanukah orders.) There’s a new option in town in the Roseway neighborhood. Bee’s frosted creations are gorgeous and wonderfully imaginative. The cafe also offers yummy pastries and sweets for walk-ins.
Kulfi. If you haven’t tasted the creamy goodness that is kulfi, a refreshing Indian frozen dessert, it’s time to head to this Alberta gem ASAP. Even on a chilly winter’s day, Kulfi serves up crave-worthy pops and treats that showcase a blend of culinary traditions and super-fresh ingredients. Hit up this shop after enjoying one of the countless restaurants on Alberta for a memorable family outing.
Mikiko Mochi Donuts. Portland is not lacking in good donut shops. But for a truly exceptional doughy treat, we recommend bumping this sweet little spot on 28th Avenue to the top of your list. The donuts here are made from mochiko flour and are baked instead of fried, making for a texture that is spongier and more moist than a typical donut. They’re the perfect base to showcase robust flavors like Passionfruit Curd and Thai Tea with Condensed Coconut Milk. And a rotating seasonal selection means your family will never get bored.
Nico’s Ice Cream. We admit we had never heard of New Zealand-style ice cream before, but after trying the wonderfully fruit-forward offerings at Nico’s, consider us a fan. Just choose a fruit like marionberry or strawberry and watch as it gets blended with vanilla ice cream in their cool machine (kids will love to see the transformation). The result is a creamy cold treat bursting with flavor. Add on a topping like rainbow sprinkles or toasted coconut flakes for some extra yum.
Champagne Poetry. You know how children seem to have an innate desire to destroy pretty things? Let them devour an edible work of art at this popular French-Asian patisserie. From rose-shaped mini chocolate mousse cakes to pillowy cream cheese buns, the desserts here are truly stunning. For an extra treat, get an order of the delectable soufflé pancakes to share as a family.
Ice Queen. Be warned: Your family may never go back to humdrum popsicles after trying the paletas at Ice Queen. This joyful vegan shop offers yummy frozen bars in flavors such as Apple Bottom (sour green apple), Oatchata (oat-milk based horchata) and Tamal de Chocolate (masa ice cream with a Mexican chocolate filling). You can also get soft serve, sauces and toppings galore. Delicious!
Tanaka. With its tempting selection of katsu sandwiches and breads, this downtown Japanese comfort food spot has plenty of savory options to enjoy. But with sweets like miso chocolate chip cookies, bread pudding and yuzu roll cake, the desserts are an equal draw. And if your kids haven’t had milk bread, make sure to order some extra slices — its buttery-soft texture is absolutely irresistible.
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