In a town already recognized for outstanding doughnuts, new outfits are bringing fresh twists that your family will love.

Blue Star, Voodoo, Pip’s. Portland’s doughnut game is already world-renowned. But some newcomers are putting their mark on the sweet fried treats we all love.

First up, HeyDay (along with Chewyy PDX and Mikiko) is part of the mochi doughnut trend.  I tried to prep my kids that since HeyDay uses rice flour in addition to wheat flour, the doughnuts may have a different texture than they are used to. My 8-year-old daughter, Adela, seemed puzzled. “But they’re doughnuts, right? I’ll like them.” 

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HeyDay operates as a pop-up, so picking up an order requires some advanced planning. Follow it on Instagram (@HeyDayPDX) or Facebook to get the weekend’s menu and find out when to go to the website to pre-order. For example, I ordered on a Tuesday for a pickup at La Perlita the following Saturday. Heyday does sell some doughnuts for walk-ups on the day of, but it’s a limited amount and they often sell out. Pro tip: So, if you want to guarantee you’ll get some mochi doughnuts, you’ll need to pre-order. 

HeyDay doughnuts are made for Instagram. The business uses the social media outlet to spread the word, and the photogenic, uniquely shaped and charmingly decorated rings cry out to be posted on your feed.

The menu changes weekly. We tried the gingersnap, raspberry cheesecake, dark chocolate peanut butter, white chocolate matcha and vanilla bean sprinkle flavors. Surprisingly my kids, husband and I all agreed the raspberry cheesecake was the tastiest flavor. The kids didn’t like the herbal and earthy matcha doughnut, but I couldn’t stop eating it. Overall, Adela was right. She liked the mochi doughnuts.

A few weeks later, we tried Fills Donuts.  The shop downtown is a collaboration between chefs from the Bakery at Bar King and Noble Rot. And the Berliner-style filled doughnuts have been generating quite a buzz.

I’d been trying to find a time to head to the downtown storefront, but with distance learning and packing for a move, it didn’t happen. Then I realized I could use DoorDash. Full confession: I’ve never used a restaurant delivery service because 1) my husband hates getting cold takeout and 2) picking up takeout ourselves from local spots means restaurants don’t pay service fees. But given the circumstances, I felt OK about trying DoorDash to order from Fills. It was super-easy, and 45 minutes later a driver delivered a big box of doughnuts to my house. (Pro tip: Grab that box with two hands; I nearly dropped the order because I didn’t expect doughnuts to be so hefty!)

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We ordered a mint-chocolate mousse-filled Grasshopper, Boston cream pie, apple cinnamon, maple butterscotch bacon, chocolate hazelnut and pimento cheese. As the name implies, all of the doughnuts were filled. Fills threw in a white chocolate yuzu, too. And was I glad they did. The doughnut with citrus-flavored custard dusted in peppered sugar ended up ranking the highest with the grown-ups. My son loved the apple-butter-stuffed doughnut and my daughter, who loves mint chocolate, liked the Grasshopper the best. The delivery of delicious treats definitely added a fun boost to a Tuesday of distance learning! 

The various custard or pastry cream fillings were all excellent in consistency and flavoring. (I’m drooling a little thinking back to the whisky-flavored custard in the maple bacon.) And I was oddly taken by the savory pimento cheese doughnut. Once I reframed my thinking and considered it more cheese-stuffed bun than doughnut, I actually loved it. I could see pairing it with a steaming bowl of veggie-packed minestrone for a perfect lunch. Find out more at fillsdonuts.com.

Denise Castañon
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