Under a spell at Voodoo Doughnut

Ellen Albanese for The Boston Globe
It can be hard to choose at Voodoo Doughnut.

PORTLAND, Ore. — “Good Things Come in Pink Boxes,” says the sign at Voodoo Doughnut. And if your idea of a good thing is a maple-frosted doughnut with a strip of bacon or fried dough topped with banana chunks and chocolate chips, Voodoo Doughnut is your happy place. You’ll know you’re in the right spot by the candy pink gates, neon purple picnic tables — and the line outside the door.

Inside is sensory bedlam – bright colors, loud music, a massive ceiling light in the shape of a confetti-topped doughnut, floor-to-ceiling stacks of pink boxes, and an assortment of confections that will change the way you think about doughnuts.

Friends and Portlanders Kenneth “Cat Daddy” Pogson and Tres Shannon opened Voodoo Doughnut in 2003 with the signature Bacon Maple Bar. Today there are three stores in Portland, as well as shops in Eugene, Ore.; Denver, Colo.; Austin, Texas; and Universal Studios in Hollywood, Calif. The Portland, Denver, and Austin stores are open 24/7.

Ellen Albanese for The Boston Globe
Voodoo Doughnut makes more than 40 varieties.

The most popular varieties include Voodoo Doll, Bacon Maple Bar, Old Dirty Bastard, and Portland Cream, said Sara Heise, director of marketing. Cake doughnuts start at 75 cents; the most expensive doughnut, at $6.50, is Cock-N-Balls, a chocolate-frosted, cream-filled doughnut shaped exactly as you would imagine.

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Memphis Mafia was an explosion of flavors and textures. We bit into the yeasty pull of a fritter, dusted with sugary cinnamon, drizzled in chocolate and peanut butter, and topped with chocolate chips, chewy banana, and crunchy peanuts. It tasted a little of every dessert or pastry we’ve ever had. Old Dirty Bastard was not nearly as extravagant, but more than sufficiently sweet, a chocolate-frosted doughnut topped with chopped Oreos and peanut butter; it positively cried out for a glass of milk. Voodoo also makes vegan doughnuts and creates memorial “tribute” doughnuts honoring celebrities who have recently left this world.

Voodoo Doughnuts, 22 SW 3rd Ave., 503-241-4704,

Ellen Albanese can be reached at