Powell’s Books and Voodoo Donuts in Portland, Oregon

Whenever we visit my in-laws in Washougal, Washington (right on the Columbia River Gorge), I usually demand that we visit Voodoo Donuts and Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon. It’s become a kind of annual pilgrimage. A weird homage to gratuitous amounts of sugar and more printed words than I could ever hope to consume in my lifetime.




For those of you who don’t know, Powell’s is known as “The Book City” and it really is that. This place is so large that they have kiosks in every room of every floor handing out maps to the multi-storied store. From new books to used books to extremely rare and out of print books, this store has it all. This is the place book lovers die and expect to wake up in, if they’ve been very very good.
So I am usually found stumbling through the halls of Powell’s in a blissful book lovers stupor. But despite all that, I don’t usually buy anything at Powell’s Books. In fact, I’m uncertain if I have EVER bought a single book from Powell’s. Instead, I spend hours browsing titles and books on my Amazon.com wish list, double checking the awesomeness of my upcoming purchase before ordering it online. This trip I was all up on the dairy goat, homestead, green and sustainable living books. So I spent the evening adding books toΒ my wish list and then left the store with a phone full of potential purchases for half the price of the novelty book paradise. Hey, I’m a book lover. But I never said I was a CHEAP book lover, haha.
While mom browsed books and took photos of “want to haz” titles, Tessa and daddy played in the childrens toys section, which was conveniently located just one aisle over from the section I was trolling. By the time I wrapped up my shopping, half the toys in the plushie aisle were strewn all over the toddler section. (Don’t worry, we cleaned it all up before taking off.) But yeah, my child is a stuffed animal and board book junkie. Once I make her a coffee addict, she will indeed be my mini me, haha.




This year for our outing to Portland we headed out fairly late in the day, so we were treated to some of the nighttime lights in the city, still strung up with festive Christmas twinkle lights, including the giant Christmas tree in Pioneer Square. We mostly viewed the outdoor sights from the car because, umm, well, it was cold. Haha. Also, there were TONS of blackbirds circling the sky. So many that even the locals were stopping in the streets to just peer up and WATCH them. That’s never a good sign. To protect from the possibility from an impending repeat of “The Birds”, I thought it best to tour the city from the warmth of the car. Ya know, when not waiting in line for donuts.





There is always a HUGE line for Voodoo Donuts. I’m talking, a wrap around the building in the freezing cold for over half an hour line. This world famous donut joint is about 80% novelty and hype and 20% sheer sugary yumminess. I am a sucker for both of those things, so Voodoo Donuts is now in my blood. Especially their must-try maple bacon donut of awesome.







In addition to the maple bacon donut, we usually buy a Voodoo Dozen (I mean, you wait in line that long, you need to get SOMETHING out of it, amiright?) so we get a nice little sample of some of their unusual offerings. Each time we end up trying something new and then spending the week trying to finish the box. (To date, we never have.) Our Portland rampage was just last night and so far we are only three donuts down. SO. MUCH. SUGAR!
Anyhoo, that was pretty much the extent of our night in Portland. But c’mon… books and donuts, can it get any better? I think not.

Have you heard of Powell’s or Voodoo Donuts? Or, better question.. would YOU try the maple bacon donut if you got a chance? Hehe..

Gingi Freeman

Gingi is a photographer, cosplayer, amateur chef, crazy cat lady, anime otaku, bookworm, generic geek, world traveler, conservative Christian, homeschooler, devoted military wife and stay at home new mother of two little girls. Gingi blogs about anything and everything that is relevant to being a supermom, stay at home wife, homeschooler and geek girl! You can contact her at gingifreeman@gmail.com or via the contact form on her website at www.domesticgeekgirl.com

42 thoughts on “Powell’s Books and Voodoo Donuts in Portland, Oregon

    • 30 December, 2014 at 11:24 pm

      Thank you! And thank you for stopping by! I look forward to keeping in touch!! ^_^

  • 31 December, 2014 at 12:12 am

    What a really cool excursion! I could spend hours and hours in a bookstore and donuts?! You’re speaking my kind of language. I was trying to read the donut menu to see what I would select but I got stuck on maple. Mmmmm, maple.

    Thanks for sharing… and Happy New Year!

    • 31 December, 2014 at 12:15 am

      Yeah, I’m a sucker for the maple bacon donut. It’s so delightfully decadent.. haha. Thanks for stopping by my page! I’m looking forward to following your blog!!!

  • 31 December, 2014 at 1:08 am

    Hi there. Stopping by to return the favor. Looks like a great trip. Visiting the Pacific Northwest is on top of my bucket list but this Florida girl will try to find a warmer time of year for that!! Those donuts look delicious. I probably wouldn’t be able to finish them either unless I shared with some people… There is only so much sugar you can consume. Your Tessa looks adorable!!l

    • 31 December, 2014 at 1:22 am

      Awwww thank you! And whereabouts in Florida are you? We just moved from Pensacola Florida a couple months ago! Missing that state something fierce!

  • 31 December, 2014 at 1:46 am

    I live here and haven’t been to Voodoo yet, tho I’ve heard a lot about it …especially the cxxk and balls and yes, I misspelled that on purpose. Welcome to the NW on the coldest freaking day of the year!

    • 31 December, 2014 at 2:01 am

      Lol we were just talking about how cold it is! I don’t mind cold with snow, but just plain cold? Ack!

    • 31 December, 2014 at 2:26 am

      They are crazy yummy! Just all sugar sugar sugar lol..

  • 31 December, 2014 at 2:52 am

    I think browsing a bookstore, no matter how good and making a list of potential buys to purchase at a lower price is a good idea. I know I love shopping around for deals and will certainly make a list of wants to search for.

    I also love a good used book store, for the smell, the allure of the mountains, and the neat little treasures that can sometimes be found. This reminds me, we probably need to visit a used book store soon. πŸ™‚

    • 31 December, 2014 at 5:24 am

      YES! you can spot a true bookworm by their ability to “get” the appeal of used book smell, lol! My hometown doesn’t have a single book store anymore. Not a one. The closest book store is only new books and it’s about a 45 minute drive away! So visiting Powells is a strategic book planning time for me lol

  • 31 December, 2014 at 4:39 am

    I’ve been to Portland once and yes we checked out both Powell’s and Voodoo Donuts! And I normally don’t buy books (borrow them from the library instead) but I HAD to buy something from Powell’s just to say I did lol. I don’t remember what I ordered at Voodoo though.

    • 31 December, 2014 at 5:25 am

      Lol I need to buy something from Powells as a kind of “thank you for letting me peruse your junk” haha.. Did you get a chance to check out their rare book room? It’s AWESOME!

  • 31 December, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    Alright, this looks like bookstore heaven to me. I am pretty sure I would spend a week in there and then leave with hundreds of new books. I love that they have new and used books. I love hanging out in bookstores, I can do it for hours! And they have stuffed animals as well! Perfect! πŸ™‚ And that cat sweater?! It is perfect! πŸ™‚ Where can I find this? :))
    Thank you so much for stopping by!

    • 31 December, 2014 at 3:21 pm

      Haha, I actually stopped a chick in the street asking her where she got her cat sweater since I wanted it so bad! She told me Target.. I forgot all about it but my husband remembered, and he got it for me for my birthday! That was last August.. And yes, Powells is book heaven!

      • 31 December, 2014 at 6:29 pm

        Aww, that is so sweet from your husband! Such a great sweater. I love all cat-related things!

        • 31 December, 2014 at 7:02 pm

          Hehe same here! We are crazy cat people.. Started by fostering just one kitten and now we have five furry babies lol!

          • 31 December, 2014 at 7:51 pm

            5 cats! Aww! That is fantastic! I love all crazy cat people! πŸ™‚

          • 31 December, 2014 at 8:06 pm

            Haha, we get mixed reactions.. Some people think we are crazy, others think it’s neat.. πŸ˜‰ Do you have any kitties at home?

          • 31 December, 2014 at 9:31 pm

            {I cannot reply to the last message, I do not know why.}
            I don’t think it is a crazy at all. There should be more crazy cat people, crazy animal people in general. πŸ™‚ I have two cats living with me, plus my dad’s cats who I consider mine too. πŸ™‚ And there are also two bunnies living with me!

          • 31 December, 2014 at 9:57 pm

            Lol, I think we’ll get along splendidly, haha.. I swear, crazy cat people need a secret handshake or something, lol. I notice my blog tends to limit the amount of responses in a given thread.. NO IDEA WHY.. But it does. Hurm. I’m kind of wondering if it’s a WordPress thing or something.. Blogger pages have really awesome response and comment layouts. I really like the “This person recently blogged this post” feature on some blogs.. I really want to learn how to get that on mine!

          • 31 December, 2014 at 9:32 pm

            Well, I guess the replying did work after all! Sorry for the confusion! πŸ™‚

          • 31 December, 2014 at 9:57 pm

            Lol no worries, it’s my blogs fault I’m pretty sure haha

          • 31 December, 2014 at 10:32 pm

            Haha, a secret handshake would be a fantastic thing! That is such a great idea. πŸ™‚
            It is a bit confusing that I cannot specifically reply to the last comment you left. I don’t know why that is and why it limits the amount of responses. Maybe it is a WordPress problem. I wish I would know more about that stuff. πŸ™‚

          • 31 December, 2014 at 11:00 pm

            What do you use on your blog? If you don’t mind me asking??

          • 1 January, 2015 at 9:20 am

            Hmm, good question. Nothing special I would guess. I mean, it is just a blogger blog so whatever blogger provides to leave comments. I never changed anything there. Sorry I cannot help there, I wish I would know more about that stuff!
            Happy new year!

          • 1 January, 2015 at 12:23 pm

            No worries, happy new year!!

  • 31 December, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    Thanks for popping by. Nice to hear from you! Those donuts look great! πŸ™‚

    • 31 December, 2014 at 4:36 pm

      They were quite yummy!! Thanks for stopping by! I look forward to following your blog! ^_^

  • 31 December, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    Amazing look, girl.

    β˜†:*´¨`*:.β€’.ΒΈΒΈ.‒´¯`β€’.β™₯ Happy New Year β™₯.‒´¯`β€’.ΒΈΒΈ.β€’..:*´¨`*:.β˜†

    • 31 December, 2014 at 8:50 pm


  • 31 December, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    That reminds me of a maple bacon donut I once saw on the Food Network and tried in San Francisco. No line, though! At least in line, you managed to get some gorgeous shots!
    And books and donuts? Girl after my own heart.
    So yes, you know my answer about maple bacon. The donut with blue frosting and red sprinkles is intriguing me!

    • 31 December, 2014 at 9:58 pm

      Haha, I just had the blue one for breakfast. Honestly, I could not tell for the life of me what in the world the flavor was beyond “too much sugar” haha..

  • 2 January, 2015 at 7:30 am

    My favorite donut at Voodoo is the one with Oreos on top! I’m so glad you were able to visit Portland for a bit–I live in the metro area.

    • 2 January, 2015 at 4:32 pm

      That’s mine too, after the maple bacon! I usually ask if they can sneak one into the voodoo dozen and this year they put in THREE! hehehe.. I love Portland, it’s a beautiful area!

  • 3 January, 2015 at 1:26 am

    Oh Powell’s looks so nice! I would adore going there. I bet the atmosphere is very warm and inviting. I think Barnes and Nobles is too sterile for me. Too much sugar? Ha! I’d like see that. I bet I could finish a dozen, lol.

    • 3 January, 2015 at 4:07 am

      Lol, I think if you consume that much sugar, you will warp into another dimension. Yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s a scientific fact.. Discovered by Einstein.. Or something.. Hehe. Anyhoo, I agree with the Barnes and Noble assessment. Indie bookstores for the win!

    • 11 February, 2015 at 2:41 am

      Thanks, I agree! πŸ˜‰

  • 11 February, 2015 at 3:51 am

    A half hour wait?!?! Dang, those better be some good donuts! Powells and Voodoo Donuts have been on my must visit in Portland list for years!

    • 11 February, 2015 at 3:54 am

      They are rather good… but its mostly for bragging rights! πŸ˜‰

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