Alternative bluegrass music plays softly over the car stereo while the windows are down, letting in the wind and a view of Mt. Hood, the snow-capped mountain in the distance. Welcome to Portland: home of the motto, “Keep Portland Weird!”, tons of hiking trails, sustainability-centered companies, and delicious Portland, Oregon food!

This year for spring break, I joined a group of students from Rollins on a trip to Portland, Oregon. Along the way, I captured somewhat of a food diary by snapping photos of meals I had when dining out. This article features some of the best foodie joints you can go to when visiting downtown Portland!

VooDoo Doughnuts

McKenna Leaden

The first stop we made after settling into the Airbnb was VooDoo Doughnuts. With the glittery brick wall, thirty minute wait, and cash-only vibes, it lived up to its hyped-up expectations.

Walking inside VooDoo was definitely an experience— paraphernalia hanging all over the walls and ceilings, bright colors, a winding line, and their infamous pink boxes. Instead of a Tiffany blue box, these pink cardboard ones are gold around Portland.

With choices of raised yeast doughnuts, cake doughnuts, and vegan doughnuts, I was overwhelmed. The names comically and creatively described each delicious combination of frosting and candies.

I had the “Old Dirty Bastard” (excuse my french) doughnut, which had Oreos, peanut butter, and chocolate frosting. I settled for this one instead of my first choice, the “Memphis Mafia,” which I had been dreaming about throughout the whole line, until that came to a screeching halt after the cashier said they were all out of the mafia.

This bad boy is essentially a banana fritter with cinnamon and topped with chocolate and peanut butter sauces and the real deal—chocolate chips and nuts. I’ll just have to go back a second time. Or, lucky for me, and all the other Orlando people out there— Voodoo Doughnuts recently opened a new location in Universal Citywalk, next to the NBC Sports Grill and Brew.


McKenna Leaden

Another venue with a neat interior was Pine Street Market. One of the girls on our trip was told about this market by a native Portlander, and everyone was so grateful. It is the perfect place to visit with a large group because inside the trendy market, there are nine cafés.

Each café has their own counter and serves tons of different options: steamed lattes, gourmet corn dogs, and large bowls of ramen or fiery smokehouse street-style options. Every one from the group was satisfied— and a little jealous of the next person’s food, too. My choice was an acai bowl from KURE, pictured below. 

Several long tables and chairs are set up throughout the ‘market’ to enjoy a meal with friends and take a rest from walking around the lively streets of Portland. It reminded me a bit of East End Market here in Orlando, just bigger and situated right amidst the city skyline. 

Healthy Options

McKenna Leaden

Shoutout to all of Portland’s healthy restaurant options, as well. We went to the Greenleaf Juicing Company where I had the quinoa bowl, “Harvest,” fired up with peppercorn, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, raw cashews, and more. To my surprise, the meal was served warm, but that made it ten times better than I expected and sustained my energy for a while.

Lastly, since I was exploring the city known for healthy and earthy tastes and behavior, I had to indulge in my love for kombucha. At each stop my group and I took— whether at a general store on our way to the mountains, the local Fred Meyer grocery store, or the cozy Townshend’s Tea shop on Mississippi Avenue, there was fresh kombucha. My preference of kombucha is berry, and the favorite one I had that week was the Blueberry Mint by Humm.

Sadly, this was the extent of my food diary for that week. I definitely wish I could have tried more, but my flight called and I had to come back to Orlando. I encourage you all to go explore new places such as Portland! Hike, eat healthy (have the occasional doughnut!), and try the kombucha!