Coffee Guide: International Bakeries

Pastries without Borders: 6 Globe-Trotting Portland Bakeries

Swedish cinnamon knots to Japanese kare doughnuts, butter is a universal language.

By Kelly Clarke, Karen Brooks, and Benjamin Tepler February 20, 2017 Published in the March 2017 issue of Portland Monthly

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Oyatsupan Bakers

Oyatsupan Bakers

Mix and match the ultimate Asian pastry tray at this austere Beaverton bakery, which stocks its bright, self-serve cubbies with whimsical, chocolate pudding–filled cornets topped with icing eyeballs and teeny, super-flaky croissant-dough apple pies with matcha tea custard. The must-try is a belly-warming kare doughnut, with rich, spice-laden Japanese beef curry, rolled in crunchy panko and deep-fried for maximum weird happy times. —KC

World Foods

From the dizzying array of sweet and savory Middle Eastern baked goods, try the buttery, elastic za’atar croissant, warmed to order, which tastes somewhere between a breadstick and a spice bazaar. On the sweet side, sample date- and rose-stuffed ma’amoul cookies and the bricks of halvah, alternating layers of sweet sesame with super dark chocolate. —BT

Roman Russian Market

The crown jewel of this warren of frozen pelmeni, whole dried fish, and Euro deli delights? The gargantuan bakery case: a carnival fun house of fruit-stuffed crêpe pyramids, sugar-crusted cookie “peaches,” and slab cakes as big as your torso, sold by the buttercream-smeared pound. —KC

Broder Nord

The northern location of cult brunch spot Broder is the restaurant group’s Scandinavian bakery HQ, courtesy Bakery Bar alum Jocelyn Barda. A tiny pastry case holds the day’s fresh-baked fika, from frosted almond tartelettes to apricot-thumbed walnut shortbread cookies. The real gem is the weekend-only Swedish cinnamon knot, liberally flavored with cardamom and showered with little balls of pearl sugar. —BT

Mei Sum Bakery

At this tiny Cantonese bakery, there’re buns and more buns, corn sausage to pineapple taro to—yes—hot dogs and cheese, plus mini tarts, sponge cakes, and porky pastries. Not all flavors are amazing, but Mei Sum has some delights, including the Chinese analog to Snowballs and Twinkies: coconut-shrouded mochi balls and cream-filled sweet flower cake. —KB

Yesenia’s Bakery

This Hillsboro panadería flaunts a squadron of self-serve bakery cases packed with subtly sweet, fresh-baked Mexican treats: Technicolor conchas, flaky, whorled puff pastry orejas, piggy-shaped cochinitos cookies, and empanadas stuffed with pumpkin paste or pineapple goo. Snag a slice of springy, sticky-wonderful tres leches cake, and you’re set. —KC

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