Flour Power

The 8 Best Pastries to Make Your Morning

From classic cinnamon rolls to raspberry rose cruffins, pair these numbers with coffee for an excellent start to the day.

By Karen Brooks and Katherine Chew Hamilton June 15, 2022 Published in the Summer 2022 issue of Portland Monthly


Portland is absolutely overflowing with great bakeries and pop-up bakers, churning out loaves made with whole heirloom grains, personal-sized cakes, pies galore, Vietnamese treats, and croissants of all kinds (including our favorite, chocolate). But breakfast pastries are their own beast—exciting enough to get you out of bed in the morning, yet not sugary enough to knock you out for the rest of the day. From Portland's signature breakfast treat, doughnuts, to bomboloni from Portland's buzziest new employee-owned restaurant, we've chosen the best of the bunch.

Assorted Doughnuts / Mikiko Mochi Donuts

Some of Portland’s fluffiest, chewiest doughnuts live here, with a delightfully buttery flavor despite the fact that they’re dairy and gluten-free, and baked rather than fried. Tart, mouth-puckering passion fruit–filled doughnuts are a staple, while citrusy yuzu gets the party treatment with Funfetti sprinkles. 300 NE 28th Ave —KCH

Raspberry rose cruffin / Twisted Croissant

Irvington, Sellwood-Moreland
This shop signature, which towers so tall it can barely stand on its own, juggles delicate oozing vanilla custard and thick, fresh raspberry jam with just a touch of rosewater glaze. It’s reminiscent of a strawberry shortcake on a summer day. 2129 NE Broadway and 1625 SE Bybee Blvd 


Image: Karen Brooks

Pain Suisse / JinJu Patisserie 

Internet food sleuths are still debating who invented this little-known treat, a kind of ecstatic eclair filled with pastry cream and chocolate chips. Was it August Zang, founder of the legendary Boulangerie Viennoise and possibly the inventor of the croissant in Vienna in 1839? Only this much is known: it’s fantastic, and few places make it. It’s a new special at JinJu, a little shop of dessert and laminated dough desires, and one of the best things you can eat. 4063 N Williams Ave —KB

Cinnamon roll / Nana’s Guilty Pleasures

The fluffy, warm cinnamon rolls of your dreams—and free coffee to boot—live at this little cart next to the home of Kim Sutter, a.k.a. “Nana.” Ask for as little or as much cream cheese frosting as you’d like—but this one is so tangy and lightly sweetened that we go for the max, what Nana calls “gag me”–level extremes. 6108 SE Milwaukie Ave 


Image: Michael Novak

Chocolate babka / Tabor Bread

Mt Tabor
Settle for no lesser babka. Tabor Bread’s mini sourdough number, made with a combo of high mountain flour, hard white wheat, and spelt, is the best we’ve tried in town. It’s a perfect storm of butter, fluffy dough, dark chocolate, and tang that you could proudly bring to any party—or eat all by yourself. 5051 SE Hawthorne Blvd 

Ciambella / Bella’s Italian Bakery

Say ciao, bella, to the ciambella—a delicately sweet coffee cake round that fits neatly in the palm of your hand, fluffy as a marshmallow. On top: a crumb dusting with an unexpected combo of aromatic cinnamon and ginger and a shout of tangy lemon zest. 9119 SE Woodstock Blvd 


Image: Karen Brooks

Bomboloni / Café Olli 

This new all-day café has earned a spot in Portland’s doughnut conversation with its take on the Italian bomboloni—big, yeast-raised, brioche dough “bombs” rolled in sugar. Watch for them on weekends, with ever-changing bodacious fillings, chocolate custard to malted vanilla pastry cream. 3925 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd

Katie roll / Baker and Spice 

Living somewhere between a croissant, a cinnamon roll, and a morning bun, this creation rolls up buttery laminated dough with a cinnamon sugar filling, a few surprise juicy golden raisins, and a light snowfall of powdered sugar. 6330 SW Capitol Hwy —KCH


Image: Michael Novak

Chocolate Croissant / Bakeshop

Everything you could want in a chocolate croissant is here—the elegance, the wickedness. You taste the tang of good butter. The exterior is all bronze and shatter. Tunneling inside: fruity, bright dark chocolate custom-made for the shop by Portland’s esteemed Woodblock Chocolate. But what really makes it sing is the Old World addition of rich, nutty, cocoa-y French Rouge de Bordeaux flour hand-milled into each batch. 5351 NE Sandy Blvd (Sat–Sun only) —KB 

Top image of Mikiko Mochi Donuts by Michael Novak