Portland Guide to Sweet Shops, Pastries, and Chocolate. Part 2

<updated 3.12>

Part 2. N through Z. Part 1 is here.

New Cascadia Traditional

Hot Cinnamon Rolls

This is a completely gluten-free bakery offering breads, pastries and cookies. New Cascadia sells at the Portland Farmers Markets, but they also have a new storefront cafe near SE Hawthorne with coffee, tea and other beverages. Cookies include peanut butter chocolate, ginger lemon, and a vegan chocolate chip version. Pastries include things like fruit pies, cinnamon rolls, cupcakes and brownies. Whole cakes are available by special order.

NewCascadiaTraditional.com

  • 1700 SE 6th Avenue (at SE Market), Portland OR. 97214
  • Phone: 503-546-4901

Northwest Sweets

More of a petite atelier than a vast emporium, expect a mixture of old fashioned penny candies shelved alongside a few more sophisticated treats. Portland’s resident candy expert, and sometime contributor to this site, Joanna Miller, gave an extensive review to this newcomer here. Indeed, proprietor Steve Gazda seems to have an equal opportunity sweet tooth; taffy and bottle caps sit next to red wine enhanced dark chocolate turtles, classic pâtes de fruits, and soft chewy caramels in a variety of exotic flavors.

NWSweets.com

  • 740 NW 23rd Ave., Portland OR. 97210
  • 503-360-1350.

Nuvrei

Nuvrei Bakery


Nuvrei sells wholesale to many of Portland’s fine cafes and restaurants, so you might already be familiar with their brioches, chocolate chew cookies, and Wild Berry Danishes. Yet, Nuvrei also has a tiny little storefront located in a Pearl District basement. Orders can be placed, including special orders for cakes by calling ahead. Look for the bakery hidden below street level on NW 10th st. You’ll know you are there by the odor of baking pastry.

www.Nuvrei.com

  • 404 NW 10th Avenue, Portland OR. 97209
  • (503) 546-8430

Papa Haydn

Triple Chocolate Torte

 

A venerable Portland dining institution, Papa Haydn is a full restaurant that is most well known for their huge selection of desserts. Desserts are available for carry out, and are often from the ooey-gooey chocolate and dairy rich school of pastries, but hey there’s nothing wrong with that. Expect a large selection of New York style cheesecakes, panna cotta, and crème brulee alongside Dobos torte, Cassata cake, and a variety of cream and fruit pies. Whole cakes are available for order with 24 hours advanced notice, and they do offer an extensive custom wedding cake service.

www.PapaHaydn.com

  • 5829 SE Milwaukie Ave, Portland OR. 97202
  • (503) 232-9440
  • 701 NW 23rd Ave, Portland OR. 97210
  • (503) 228-7317

Pearl Bakery

Palate of Macarons

 

These pioneers have been baking artisan breads, cakes and other pastries since 1997 in Portland’s Pearl district, when the area was still a gritty semi-warehouse district. As the neighborhood grew upscale, they’ve expanded the cafe offerings over the years to include soups and sandwiches, but the baked goods still hold court. Alongside croissants, scones and cookies, look for their signature Gibrassier – a traditional treat from Provence made from a sugar dusted brioche-type bun infused with anise. Other specialties include Parisian macaroons, several types of tarts and layer cakes, and a rare sighting in Portland bakeries, traditional Gateau Basque, which is really a crumbly double crust tart stuffed with pastry cream and cherry preserves.

www.PearlBakery.com

  • 102 Northwest 9th Ave, Portland OR. 97209
  • (503) 827-0910

Petite Provence

Petite Provance Cake

 

Petite Provence has three formidably sized locations in the Portland area, and one in the Dalles, making them more Grande Provence than Petite. And even though this self-proclaimed boulangerie and patisserie has an extensive menu more suited to a restaurant, including sandwiches, soups, salads and full breakfast, they do indeed offer a huge selection of pastries. Look for French favorites such as croissants, pain aux raisins, and palmiers alongside more Yankee sweets such as Bear Claws, fruit turnovers and coffee cakes. Dessert pastries are indeed quite Gallic though, including Chocolate Mousse, Strawberry Charlotte, and a classic apple and salted butter caramel Tart Tatin. Custom catering orders and wedding cakes are also available.

Provence-Portland.com

  • 15964 SW Boones Ferry Road
    Lake Oswego, OR 97035
    Tel: 503 635 4533
  • 1824 NE Alberta
    Portland, OR 97211
    Tel : 503 284 6564
  • 4834 SE Division
    Portland, OR 97206
    Tel : 503 233 1121

Piece of Cake Bakery

Wedding Cake

 

This bakery in the Sellwood neighborhood runs the gamut from elaborate tiered fantasy wedding and other cakes, to basic desserts, cookies, and other treats. Cakes come in a huge amount of types and flavor combinations. These include standards such as carrot, lemon poppy seed, and Devil’s Food, alongside oatmeal cake, apple rum, berry, and chocolate peanut butter. They even provide options such as sugar free, vegan, and gluten free. You name it, they can probably make it. Living up to their namesake, Piece of Cake has all of their cakes for sale by the slice, while whole cakes come to order in several sizes. Pies include fruit versions as well as a signature Key Lime. Cupcakes, brownies, and tiramisu round out the offerings. This is not a place to visit if you are claustrophobic –  it is jammed from counter to ceiling with sample cakes, cake decorations and other bakery accouterments such as bride and groom toppings, ribbons and boxes. They do wedding cakes and custom orders, of course.

Pix Patisserie

Amêlie

 

Pix is the Parisian princess of the Portland sweet shops, showing up in international guidebooks and is a de facto stop for many visiting guests and locals alike. Part quirky late night “date” bar serving champagne and other cocktails, part daytime cafe with the usual fixings, and part dessert shop, the funky French thrift store decor and late night hours only add to the vibe. Yet, Pix is also a serious patisserie and chocolatier featuring classic small pastry offerings such as Dobos torte, Gateau Opera, Macarons, and various creative creams, cakes and tarts. Their signature Amelie once won the Patis France Chocolate Competition. It is made with orange vanilla crème brûlée atop a glazed chocolate mousse, caramelized hazelnuts, praline crisp, and Cointreau génoise.  Chocolates include house soaked kir cherries covered in dark chocolate  and a variety of infused, stuffed and flavored selections. Pix also makes their own ice-creams.  The original location on SE Division is quite small and often packed with nearby Reed College students, while the north Williams location is a bit more of a mixed crowd and roomier. Look for special events at both locations such as their prix fix dessert dim sum, spirit and dessert pairings, or kitschy movie nights.

www.pixpatisserie.com

  • 3402 SE Division St., Portland OR. 97202
  • 503-232-4407
  • 3901 N Williams Ave., Portland OR. 97227
  • 503-282-6539

Random Order

Fresh Blueberry Muffins

 

Random Order is a neighborhood cafe that makes cakes and other baked goods, and also sources from bakeries such as the Pearl Bakery. Yet when it comes to house made pies, this is where Random Order really shines. Expect a dozen or so choices on any given day, including Banana Rum cream pie, Vanilla Apple Salted Caramel, or Oregon Cherry. Random Order has a full liquor license and is open till around 11 pm,  making it a perfect stop for an end of the evening Spanish Coffee and a slice of Chocolate Cream pie, or a warm up with a glass of champagne and a slice of Marion Berry pie before a night on the town. Pieces available by the slice, or whole pies are available upon special order. Contact them for details.

www.RandomOrderCoffee.com

  • 1800 NE Alberta, Portland, Oregon
  • Shop: 503.331.1420
  • Kitchen: 971.340.6995

Sahagún

Caramels at Sahagun

Owner Elizabeth Montes is one of the Portland pioneers in our region’s burgeoning artisan chocolate scene. Read Food Dude’s classic love letter to Sahagun, or an excellent interview with Montes here. Montes is serious about her craft and philosophy which is to, “…devise a way to slow people down hoping to prolong their chocolate experience and to resurrect the appreciation for an anciently worshipped food whose luster had been tarnished by decades of a low quality, over-sugared and preservative-laden imposter.” Sahagun certainly lives up to that statement- chocolates here are dark, complex and intense in both classic and surprising flavor combinations (chilies are a favorite addition). Sahagun’s most well-known chocolate is the creamy caramel – an explode-in-your-mouth concoction of salty liquid caramel surrounded by a dark chocolate shell. Other treats include ‘Sun Drops’, described as “little bittersweet spheres gushing with Sunflower Seed Butter and Raw Blackberry Honey”. The little storefront on a hard to get to one-way street off West Burnside is worth the hunt – it’s here you’ll find one of the most adult and complex hot chocolates in town, as well as other offerings such as their iced chocolate, made with creamy coconut milk in lieu of dairy. Mail is order available.

www.SahagunChocolates.com

  • 10 NW 16th Ave., Portland, OR 97209
  • 503-274-7065

St. Cupcake

Hot Fudge on Vanilla

One of the first cupcake-specific businesses in Portland to capitalize on the nation’s cupcake craze, several years later this bakery, now with two locations, is still going strong. While some cupcakeries feel the need to focus on mile high fluffy frosting or supersized versions, St. Cupcake honors the cupcake’s humble history while adding on their own signature flair. Even simple vanilla gets high honors here – moist and covered in sprinkles with butter cream or cream cheese frosting, it’s a classic. Other flavors include Red Velvet, Hot Fudge on Chocolate, and the Fat Elvis – a banana chocolate chip pound cake cupcake topped with salty-sweet peanut butter fudge and a banana chip. Several vegan cupcakes are also available. Special orders can be called in or ordered online – and St. Cupcake does offer deliveries for larger orders.

www.SaintCupcake.com

  • 407 Northwest 17th Avenue (at Flanders), Portland, OR. 97214
  • 3300 SE Belmont, Portland OR. 97209
  • (503) 473-8760

St Honore Boulangerie

Chausson au Pomme

A quintessential Parisian style cafe-bakery-patisserie, or at least an American fantasy version of one. We’ll let you be the judge of St. Honore’s quality and authenticity, but feel free to read our hotly debated review from 2007. A variety of croissants, brioches and other classic French sweet breads share space with tarts, custard flavored Canelets, and Chouquettes – sugary, puffy baked pastry balls made from buttery pate á choux dough. Desserts include several French classics such as Eclairs, Napoleons, fruit and pastry cream filled Mille Fleurs, and the like. A great selection of sandwiches and salads are also available, making this a great place to end a hike in Forest Park.

www.SaintHonoreBakery.com

  • 2335 Northwest Thurman Street, Portland, OR 97210
  • (503) 445-4342
  • 315 1st St Lake Oswego, OR 97034
  • (503) 445-1379

Sweets Etc.

Billing itself as “Portland’s largest old fashioned candy store”, Sweets Etc. does indeed have row upon row of American and European penny candies, including 15 different types of liquorices, and a large selection of gummis. Yet, this store in the heart of Multnomah Village also has a sophisticated side, carrying items from many specialty domestic and foreign chocolatiers such as Michel Cluizel from France, Caffarell from Italy, and Ke Kau Chocolatier from Eugene. Handmade fudge, truffles and bon-bons are made in store. Looking for that unusual German candy you once had as an exchange student, or that crumble candy bar you remember from your English grandmother? Then ask them, on the odd chance they don’t carry it, they can probably help track it down.

www.SweetsEtc.com

  • 7828 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland OR. 97219 (in Multnomah Village)
  • 503-293-0088

Sweetpea Baking Co.

Fresh Baked Cookie

100% vegan, Sweetpea offers standard bakery fare, sans animal products, including cakes, cupcakes, cookies and other pastries. Boston Cream Pie, Banana Peanut Butter, Chocolate Decadence, Lemon Chiffon are but a few of the flavors. They can make cakes, gluten free in many cases, and can make some baked goods soy free as well. Custom orders, including wedding cakes, are available. The storefront is also a cafe offering soups, sandwiches and coffee/espresso beverages.

www.sweetpeabaking.com

  • 1205 Southeast Stark Street, Portland OR. 97214
  • (503) 477-5916

Tulip Bakery

Donut Holes

 

Once upon a time in most American cities the term “bakery” conjured up images of places like Tulip – simple linoleum floored and florescent lit storefronts selling basic breads, row upon row of cookies, sticky buns, and custom cakes with fancy frosting and cursive writing. Located in the St. Johns neighborhood, Tulip Bakery is one of a few of its type left in Portland, but continues to provide the neighborhood with coffee cakes, seasonal items such as hot cross buns, and yes, cookies and cakes. This bakery is indeed cute – look for their whimsical seasonal window displays and a fancy vintage neon sign above the door. Do look past the design though, to try one of their freshly made maple bars made with real maple. Cash only, just like the days of yore before there were debit cards and ATM machines.

  • 8322 N Lombard Street, Portland OR 97203
  • (503) 286-3444

Two Tarts

Peanut Butter Creams

 

Two Tarts bakery is probably best known for their silver dollar sized cookies including Hazelnut Baci stuffed with dark chocolate ganache, peanut butter or cappuccino creams, and intense little chocolate chews. Although the sizes look better suited to a doll’s tea party, these cookies pack a lot of flavor into small portions. Two or three are more than enough to satisfy. Available at many Portland cafes, Two Tarts also has their own comfortable storefront bakery and cafe with menu additions such as zingy lemon bars, “Tart Crispies” made from organic crispy rice and their own house made marshmallows drizzled with chocolate, and a chocolate chip and fleur de sel chocolate chip cookie that has developed a cult following. Mail order available – call them for details.

www.TwoTartsBakery.com

  • 2309 NW Kearney, Portland OR 97210
  • (503) 312-9522

Van Duyn

Van Dangos

In business since 1927, this is what many might consider to be a good old fashioned upscale chocolatier in the Belgian tradition. Chocolates come wrapped in fancy gold foil boxes, and are filled with various flavored chocolate covered fruits, cordials, nuts, caramels and creams. Truffles are a specialty, as are homemade nut brittles and seasonally available penoche -an incredibly rich version of fudge made with brown sugar, butter, milk and nuts. Mail order available online.

Lloyd Center

  • 1212 Lloyd Center, Portland OR 97232
  • (503) 281-2421

Quimby Place

  • 2360 NW Quimby, Portland OR 97210
  • (503) 227-1927

Your thoughts are welcome

  1. mara says

    I think you may want to relocate the two sentences “Look for the bakery hidden below street level on NW 10th st. You’ll know you are there by the odor of baking pastry.” to the Nuvrei section. :)

    Maaaaan, I am so hungry for dessert now!

  2. says

    I can’t figure out Petite Provence – beautiful decor, perfect croissant – but not the pear one that has a canned pear on it (Yuck!) and terrible entrees that are made from ingrdients all from Sysco and marginally edible. I ate there once, that was plenty. Life is too short to waste on marginal food… Good article Food Dude

    • Nancy says

      I, too, have had atrocious pastry from Petit Provence, really terrible. And it was not one pastry: we sampled about fourteen breakfast pastries and cookies: all were lousy. The places are cute, which must be why they’re packed, ’cause it ain’t the goods.

      • sabernar says

        Same experience here. We tried Petite Provence 3 times to make sure we weren’t missing something, but every time, their pastries were borderline inedible. The chocolate was cheap and horrible tasting. The breads were below average. What a disappointment. We’ll stick to Little T and Fleur de Lis (and Pix, and several others in the list).

    • Irene says

      I don’t disagree about PP’s pastries; on the other hand, if you ever go and sit down for breakfast, their oatmeal is out of this world. Also, not to be nitpicky or anything – and I love you FD – but isn’t this CBF’s article?

      • Food Dude says

        Huh? It says “by Cuisine Bonne Femme right at the top of the page. However, I edited it, so was responsible for that screwup (also added the lines in question)

      • says

        I had the corned beef hash at Petite Provence in Lake Oswego a few months ago and it was excellent.

        They had sweet pastries and other cloying things like that there, but all that stuff is the same to my pedestrian tastes and I generally eat granola bars dipped in Nutella when I want something like that.

  3. pdxyogi says

    I agree about PP. They make these ridiculously enormous (why oh why? and they call themselves a French bakery? you’d never see anything like that in Paris!) macarons that are not good at all.

    Have pretty much forgotten about Papa Haydn. 20 years ago they were all there was in the dessert realm. Now so many others have caught up with and surpassed them.

    Recently discovered, to my pleasure, Sweetpea!

    Sorry to see Blue Gardenia left out. Best cinnamon rolls in town.

    Sahagun has a new product (patent pending!) which is coffee with the look & shape of a chocolate bar! Called “Ka Pow” (get it?).

    Happy to see Sugar Cube open after a two-month closing. Wish she were at Hawthorne pod instead. Is there anything good on Mississippi pod other than SC?

    The ambiance of Piece Of Cake reminds me of Sanford and Son.

    • Glerg says

      Mississippi pod now has a Garden State Cart as well as the Big Egg, Though I am a stalwart fan of Bunk’s breakfast they, hands down make the best egg sandwich in town. And it is superb with a side of chickpea fries from GS. And the girls are hawt!

  4. says

    Oh, well you know Food Dude actually helped me quite a bit with both Part 1 and Part 2 of this article…he deserves some shared credit.

    I did miss a few places, especially from Part 1, so what I’m going to do is do an update and add those places in the next few weeks. If you can think of any more glaring omissions, let me know.

    pdxyogi “The ambiance of Piece Of Cake reminds me of Sanford and Son” – Best. Line. Ever. You nailed it EXACTLY.

    I tried not to “judge” any of the above picks since this is more of a neutral guide and not a review of each, but it’s good to know about the experiences people have had at PP. For some reason a horrible “authentic” French Patisserie is more annoying to me than just a bad regular bakery. Why is this?

      • meimoya says

        sorry, that was snarky. I think it actually must have to do with expectations vs. reality. We’re pulling harder for an “authentic” French bakery/patisserie/what have you to be great. I really thought I liked St. Honore the first time I went there because the space was so pleasant, it smelled great, and I had a nice salad and a lemon tart. I went back and had a croissant, and…oh, well!

    • Jubas says

      I don’t think that Petite Provence is the best of all the French Patisserie that Portland has to offer, but I think that it is important to understand what it is, and what it has to offer. I have a friend who is French, whose family has a house in Paris, and who lives in Germany with her husband and children. She was so happy to discover PP when she was walking around and she went there every morning to buy baguette and croissant because she said that it was authentic, and that it was a great REAL French bakery. This is from a woman who drives to France to buy baked goods once a month because she cannot find any in Germany to her liking. I do not like a lot of the service that I get there, but I think that you must adjust your expectations. If you don’t like what they offer, then don’t go there, but know that what they serve is not Americanized in anything but the sizes IMO.

  5. Debra says

    OK, I may be missing something here, but why isn’t Helen Bernhardt bakery included? They’re *the* great old-fashioned bakery in the Pacific NW, and there’s nothing even close to their selection of traditional American pastries. They are also one of the few places that still makes layer cakes regularly, and they even offer a good selection of doughnuts, muffins, and cookies.

    Granted, it ain’t French-inspired (at least, most of the items aren’t) but I am baffled at their omission from this article. Virtually everyone I’ve ever taken over there has loved it, from gourmand to gourmet.

    • Joe F says

      After DoveTail closed it’s doors I’ve been hard pressed to find a place that makes a great sticky-bun that is more than just a cinnamon roll or pastry roll with nuts added, but my incomplete search has at least led me to Helen Bernhardt’s and she does the classic well.

      You just need to remember not to ask for their “Sticky Bun” but the 5 inch by 7 inch ‘thingy’ next to it that feeds a family of 6 for $6.50

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