Welcome to our guide to the best dessert in Portland. The City of Roses is one of our favorite cities for great food in the entire country, so it’s no surprise that the dessert selections are top-notch. From gourmet donuts to artisan froyo to chocolate chip cookies, we have you covered.
The Very Best Dessert in Portland
What’s in this guide: phenomenal sweet treats made by local companies that will bring you to your knees because they are just that good. What’s not in this guide: big dessert chains (don’t get us wrong– they have their time and place!), pop-ups, or brand new spots (we like to give new restaurants a minute). Want more sweets? Check out our guide to the best pie in PDX and the best donuts in PDX. Onward!
14. Cakes & More: Papa Haydn
Papa Haydn has been around for decades and is a great spot for beautiful, decadent desserts by the slice. Think cakes, cookies, cheesecake, and tortes. Order the Mt. Adams Cake, made with hazelnut-coconut cake, praline, Viennese buttercream, wild huckleberry compote, and a huckleberry buttercream. Feeling chocolate? Get the german chocolate or triple chocolate cake.
13. Cupcakes: Saint Cupcake
Cupcakes are hard to nail. They’re often dry and overbaked, and sometimes the frosting is too sweet and overpowering. Not at Saint Cupcake. These are the best cupcakes in town, and they’re consistently moist, flavorful, and frosted to perfection. The red velvet, toasted coconut cream, and Salty Captain (chocolate cake with caramel buttercream & sea salt) are the top-selling cupcakes, but even if you land on a more traditional flavor you cannot go wrong.
12. Soft Serve: Sugarpine Drive-In
There’s soft serve ice cream and then there’s GOOD soft serve ice cream. If you’re in the mood for the latter, head straight to Sugarpine Drive-In in Troutdale, which isn’t only one of our very favorite places to eat in the PDX area, but they also serve one heck of a soft serve cone. Choose from vanilla, chocolate, swirl, or even vegan flavors like vanilla oat or strawberry coconut and add toppings to your heart’s content such as rainbow sprinkles, cookie crumb, coconut oat brittle, and honey hot fudge. Oh boy.
11. Rice Krispy Treats: Pizza Jerk
You might already know that Pizza Jerk makes some of the best pizza in town, but what you might not know is that they make some of the best rice krispy treats you will ever consume. Period. Made with browned butter, a touch of butterscotch, and sea salt, you will never have rice krispy treats better than these.
10. Ice Cream: Lovely’s Fifty Fifty
Lovely’s Fifty Fifty is actually a pizza joint (that makes extremely delicious wood-fired, naturally leavened, vegetable-forward, organically and locally-sourced, heavenly pies), but the ice cream here is some of the very best in town. Come here for flavors like salted caramel, malted milk ball, buckwheat honey toffee, or fig leaf vanilla bean. The ice cream is creamy, flavorful, and simply to die for.
9. Gourmet Donuts: Blue Star Donuts
Ask anyone what some of the best donuts in Portland are and Blue Star will eventually make its way into the conversation. Made with brioche dough and high-quality artisanal ingredients, these donuts are the real deal. We highly recommend getting a box of 12 and sampling as many flavors as possible, but our old standbys are the buttermilk old-fashioned, valrhona chocolate crunch, and real maple bacon.
8. Ice Cream: Fifty Licks
There is a lot of great ice cream in Portland, and Fifty Licks serves some of the best at their three brick & mortar locations throughout town. Come here for innovative, funky flavors like coconut lemon saffron, lavender salted caramel, toasted milk, or timeless classics like chocolate AF or Hood Strawberry. We recommend a double scoop at the very least.
7. Froyo: Eb and Bean
When you think of frozen yogurt, you might be a little underwhelmed by memories of national chain froyo joints that were good but not great. Eb and Bean is so much more than your pedestrian frozen yogurt experience. Their rich, delicious, high-quality frozen yogurt is organic, probiotic-rich, and practically tastes like ice cream. Enjoy flavors like vanilla bean, valrhona chocolate, passionfruit, or double almond marionberry, and pick from your choice of toppings such as toffee crumbles, local honey, oat streusel, or chocolate sprinkles.
6. Pistachio Gooey Butter Cake: Tusk
Tusk is one of the best restaurants in Portland. We love eating here for any meal whether it’s brunch (our fav), lunch, or dinner. So it comes as no surprise that their sweets are seriously phenomenal. The best? Their pistachio gooey butter cake. It’s perfectly gooey and soft on the inside with a slightly firmer crust, and the pistachio flavor is truly to-die-for. It’s some of the very best dessert in Portland.
5. Cake & Pie: Milk Glass Mrkt
Milk Glass Mrkt is a magical, quaint cafe and bakery that serves some of the best baked goods in PDX. Follow their Instagram account to see regularly updated menu items from homemade donuts to hand pies to cake. Our favorites in months past: their sweet potato pie, maple pie with orange cream, and any of their homemade cakes by the slice.
4. Pie: Lauretta Jean’s
If you’re looking for the best pie in Portland, your one stop shop is Lauretta Jean’s. Located on Division Street in SE Portland, this bakery serves pie (all made from scratch, of course) that will make your heart sing. You’ll also find cakes, cookies, cream puffs, cinnamon rolls, sticky buns, scones, biscuits, and a great minimalist breakfast menu here, but the pie is what they are unquestionably known for. Favorite slices include the salted honey, dutch apple, and chocolate oatmeal pies- some of the best dessert in Portland.
3. Chocolate Chip Cookies: Coquine
The best chocolate chip cookie in Portland is found at Coquine, one of our favorite places to eat in town. Made with smoked almonds, salted caramel, and high-quality chocolate, you’ve never had a chocolate chip cookie quite like this one. Perfectly crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, you’re bound to fall head over heels for this local favorite.
2. Miniature Donuts: Pip’s Original
Portland is a total donut city. There are a LOT of great donut shops, with more popping up regularly (we’re not complaining)! But if we could only devour one (or 12) donuts from a Portland donut shop, it would be one of the miniature made-to-order, inhalable donuts from Pip’s Original Doughnuts & Chai. Order two of each flavor and split with a friend.
1. Ice Cream: Salt & Straw
Salt and Straw has over 20 locations nationwide, but this PDX original still remains a delightful novelty and, in our opinion, serves the best dessert in Portland. You’re here for some of the creamiest, flavorful, high-quality ice cream you will ever enjoy. Their regular menu flavors and rotating specials are exceptional, and we love that they support local artisans and farmers for unique flavors like Arbequina Olive Oil (amazing with hot fudge), Sea Salt with Caramel Ribbons (our all-time favorite flavor), or Salted Malted Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.