Voodoo Doughnut Disappoints

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Portland, United States

When I told people I was going to Portland for the World Domination Summit people raved about Portland as a food city and told me I absolutely must go to Voodoo Doughnut for a maple bacon doughnut.

I must preface that I am not a dessert person. I’d rather have an appetizer than order something sweet.

Cakes and pies just don’t do it for me. However, I have eaten a maple bacon doughnut at Beast Restaurant, where I had the 6-course whole beast meal, and loved it because it was a savory dessert.

I mentally prepared to wait in line.

This was a big deal because I don’t believe in waiting in line for food.

There is enough good food in the world we shouldn’t have to wait an hour to get into some trendy restaurant.

No food is THAT good.

voodoo doughnuts

But Portland is all about Voodoo Doughnuts and so I wait for 20 minutes for the privilege to order a maple bacon donut and I also get a Mexican chocolate donut (chocolate with sugar and cayenne pepper). The verdict?


I had to strategically bite so you could get some of the bacon strip with the overly sweet maple.

Unlike at Beast where its chopped all over, this was unnecessarily difficult. I did like the Mexican chocolate doughnut’s spice but it was kind of dry.

Definitely not worth waiting in line.

Join the Conversation

  1. I completely agree. Just went last weekend, and the Maple Bacon was overrated. I’ve had a better one in New Orleans. I enjoyed the other one I got (called Ol’ Dirty Bastard)…albeit sweet.

    The line was about an hour long, and this man came running through screaming, “For God’s sakes people….they are just donuts!!!!” Yep, they were.

  2. Just took my boyfriend there a few nights ago. It’s a fun place but definitely over hyped. It seems to be on all the travel shows but most of my Portlander friends would never recommend it first. There are so many other great places to eat!

    Sorry you were disappointed!

  3. I feel like this is typical of the “OH MY GOD IT”S TOTALLY WORTH THE WAIT!!!” kind of trendy places. Usually it isn’t worth the wait. It’s just something people pretend to enjoy because it gives them something to talk (brag) about later.

    But you’re in the Pacific Northwest so I’m sure you’re eating/have eaten/will eat some really delicious food and I can’t wait for those posts!

  4. The Travel Tart says:

    Hmm, doughnut with bacon – Only in America!

    1. Nomadic Translator @latinAbroad says:

      exactly what always thinking. LOL

  5. Oh! I’ve heard so much about those Voodoo Doughnuts! It’s too bad they’re such a disappointment.

    In other news, are you going to try frequenting the CNE this year? They’re featuring bacon!

  6. Chrystal McKay says:

    Its funny, because as a sugar addict this doesnt sound good to ME. I don’t know why people say donuts are delicious, they never are. But at least you tried. I sure hope that the rest of Portland’s food scene was enticing though!

  7. Emily in Chile says:

    Sad that it didn’t live up to the hype!

  8. Tom @ Waegook Tom says:

    Whaaaaat! Now then, this whole concept of the maple bacon doughnut sounds AMAZING but…strategic biting? That’s just plain ole’ irritating!

  9. Antoinette | love.antoinette says:

    That looks mighty obscene! DOesn’t even look nowhere near appetizing! The best bacon donuts I’ve ever had was at this place in Brooklyn – dulce de leche bacon donuts at a tiny restaurant in Williamsburg. I still have cravings for those things every so often.

  10. I don’t think it’s one of those things you’re supposed to love. It’s like skydiving: scary to think about, you can say you’ve tried once, but you wouldn’t do it every day. I liked it ‘cuz it reminded me of when I get pancake syrup on my bacon…it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be…

  11. Dustin Main - Skinny Backpacker says:

    Voodoo doughnuts was a giant letdown. Just a regular doughnut, just 2x the price.

    So overrated.

  12. I like that, you don’t believe in waiting in line for food. I tend to agree, but never formulated that opinion into words on my blog.

  13. I’ve yet to have a donut that was worth a 20-minute wait in line. Forget that!

  14. Wayyyyy to sweet. We ordered one too, and I could only take two bites. Then I took the bacon off and threw away the donut. In a way, it’s kind of like having your pancake syrup run into your breakfast bacon – only they need to tone down the overly sugary maple frosting. I will say that I loved their big apple fritters.

    To be fair, I’m not a sweets person either – I’d rather have a big mound of garlic mashed potatoes. However, donuts aren’t exactly top-of-the-line bakery items – I’d opt instead for a quality chocolate croissant or the real-deal beignets in New Orleans.

  15. When bacon goes wrong.

  16. What a shame! We also chose to pass on it while we were in Portland, mostly because we were only there for one full day and I didn’t want to spend a large fraction of it waiting for a doughnut! Good to know that we made the right decision…

  17. Jeff @ GoTravelzing says:

    Have you ever seen the Voodoo Maple Bacon Beer? I have not tried it but it does not sound good to me.

  18. 20 minutes wait for a doughnut! It had better be amazing. I bet that Voodoo doughnut used artificial maple flavour too.

    You can you tell I’m Canadian from my spelling, and I demand real maple flavour, not from a chemical lab.

  19. I so agree with the not waiting for food line…life is too short!!

    Love your blog!

  20. Stephanie - The Travel Chica says:

    I went in expecting it to be disappointing because everyone told me it is overrated. But I loved it! I enjoyed the maple bacon bar because it was so fresh, and the flavor combo worked for me. And I ordered a blueberry cake doughnut, and I it was the best one I’ve ever had.

    Note I did not wait in line and would not have even had a doughnut if I didn’t happen to walk by during a non-busy hour (weekday late morning).

  21. A Cook Not Mad (Nat) says:

    Heard this one too many times. There’s nothing more disappointing than having to wait in line only to find out a place was overhyped.

  22. Bobbi Lee Hitchon says:

    Ugh. Hate that. I’ve never visited Voodoo before, but I do want to and still will to see for myself. But I have experienced the let down of a visiting a place that everyone raves about only to have to food be just okay.

  23. Gerard ~ GQ trippin says:

    We tried this same donut in Portland and honestly had the same reaction. Thank goodness at least for us we didn’t have to wait in line. If you want a real mind-blowing bacon donut. Go to Dynamo Donuts in San Francisco. Apple bacon maple donut. OMG.

  24. Mark Wiens says:

    Yah, strips of bacon doesn’t look like it works very well, it would need to be small bits of bacon to get a complete bite every time. Too bad this wasn’t better…

  25. A good maple long john is my favorite donut in the world. How disappointing to have a bad one, especially after that wait. 🙁

  26. EarthDrifter says:

    I suppose that eating a donut or two is like performing voodoo on your stomach, and with bacon, even more so. It doesn’t feel good after. The place does appear to have a nice atmosphere though.

  27. Good to know! I have it on my hitlist for Portland, but my husband won’t wait in line for anything so it would be a big deal if I got him to and it wasn’t that great!

  28. To be clear, I’m in no way affiliated with a baker or bakery of anything…BUT, after reading the totally fair post and all of the “echo” comments, I feel like there’s one more side to this story.
    Yes, there are probably better maple-bacon doughnuts out there…and there should be, the idea’s been around for quite awhile now. The magic fun that is Voodoo doughnuts is that they’ve been coming up with combos like that for years, constantly pushing new flavor ideas as well as the notion that doughnuts can be a great thing ANY time of day. And as one who has been far too familiar with the crush of a late night crowd in their all-too small space, when I heard that they instituted a line, I was impressed. And though I’m no longer in the area, when I heard from friends that after the wait they didn’t feel rushed by the staff…in fact, they’ve all commented on how helpful they were…I can totally appreciate how they’re trying to upgrade the overall experience.

  29. I saw this kind of thing in Tokyo with Krispy Kreme. People would wait for 4 or 5 hours in line, in the rain.

  30. Cornelius Aesop says:

    I’m not sure about a bacon doughnut, but hey as long as it is pork that is popular and not monkey – I’m happy. I also heard you can get married at that place, at least that is what the Travel Channel has lead me to believe.

  31. The only thing that looks good in that photo is the bacon. Good to know I should save my money for bacon and french toast and dip the bacon in syrup.

  32. Roamingtheworld says:

    I agree with you about waiting in line for food. It’s kinda ridiculous and yet I’ve had 2 friends visit SF recently and I’ve stood in a 20 minute + line for ice cream. There are more than a handful of places that have queues in SF. It’s delicious but I don’t really believe in waiting in line so if it wasn’t for taking friends out, I wouldn’t bother.

    yeah, I’ve had voodoo a few times. There good but the hype may be over rated.

  33. I was there about 3 years ago, stopped by thinking “Oh yeah, I’ll try one of these “must-have” donuts! Saw the line-up and went “NOPE! No donut is worth 1/2 an hour of my time!” Glad to see I wasn’t wrong!

  34. What a shame. Nothing worse than a disappointment in something that’s been overhyped.

  35. I can’t say bacon strips on a doughnut look all that appetizing – and I’m Canadian! I love my bacon and maple!

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