Did you know Portland Oregon was named after Portland Maine? And that Portland Maine was named after the Isle of Portland in Dorset, England? Today, Portland Maine is a tourist town with a huge marine influence. In this article, we’ll learn more about the background of the city, and where to find the best donuts in Portland Maine. Grab your coffee and let’s go!
Best Donuts in Portland Maine
1. The Holy Donut
The word Portland is derived from Portlanda, an Old English word that refers to the land surrounding a harbor. And Portland Maine is a peninsula, which is a swathe of land with water on most of its sides. It’s like an island, but one tiny bit of land called an isthmus links it to the mainland. Native Americans called the area Machigonne, which means the great neck.
- Name: The Holy Donut
- Address: 177 Commercial St. Portland ME 04102
- Website: https://www.theholydonut.com
- Phone: 207.331.5655
- Hours: 7 am to 5 pm daily
The local name makes sense because if you look at Portland Maine on a map, it looks like a head and a neck leaning into the Atlantic Ocean. But let’s talk about the Holy Donut. Owner Leigh Kellis started in 2010 with the support of her parents. She supplied local coffee shops before opening her own storefront. Specialties include rice doughnuts and potato doughnuts.
2. Eighty 8 Donut Café
The city of Portland Maine has lived through four great fires, and to celebrate its resilience, the city has a phoenix in its official seal. A phoenix is a mythical bird that explodes into flames when it dies, then gets reborn from the ashes, just like Portland Maine. The first westerners on the peninsula came from England and were led by Captain Christopher Levett.
- Name: Eighty 8 Donut Café
- Address: Portland, ME 04019
- Website: https://www.eighty8donuts.com
- Phone: (207) 653-3071
- Hours: Mon to Fri – 8 am to 5 pm; Sat – 9 am to 4 pm; Sun – 9 am to 3 pm
Lots of donut shops start with a pop-up stall or a distribution deal at local coffee houses before opening their own outlet. Eighty 8 Donuts started with a food truck named Ms. Rosie that still drives around Portland Maine, even though they now have a storefront at Sugarloaf Mountain lodge. But their valley store is only open during ski season, so follow that truck!
3. Tony’s Donut Shop
Like many explorers, Captain Levett had grand plans for this new territory. When he landed in 1632, he started a trade and fishing village that he named Casco Bay. He wanted to bring more people to the settlement, so he went back to England, leaving a stone house and ten men to maintain the settlement. Back home, he wrote stories to encourage and invite others.
- Name: Tony’s Donut Shop
- Address: 9 Bolton Street Portland, ME 04102
- Website: https://www.tonysdonutshop.com
- Phone: (207) 772-2727
- Hours: Mon to Fri – 5 am to 6 pm; Sat – 5 am to 4 pm; Sun – 5 am to 5 pm
Seeing as Captain Levett wrote a book about his adventures in the colonies, we can assume he had a way with words. You know who else is blessed with enterprise and wit? Tony’s Donut Shop. The store’s favorite quote? “Life is like a donut … sometimes you’re in the dough … and sometimes you’re in the hole!” Pay them a visit to sate your doughnut craving.
Unfortunately, the guys who were left in charge of Casco Bay couldn’t make it work. By the time Captain Levett got back to the US, Casco Bay was dead, so he sailed to John Winthrop’s colony in Massachusetts instead. This new colony took over Casco Bay in 1658 and renamed the peninsula Falmouth. There’s still a fort in Portland Maine named after Levett though.
- Name: Duckfat
- Address: 43 Middle Street, Portland, Maine 04101
- Website: https://www.duckfat.com
- Phone: (207) 774-8080
- Hours: Thur to Mon – 11 am to 10 pm; Tue – 11 am to 3 pm
As long as we’re talking about waterfront cities, let’s glance at Amsterdam. When Nancy Pugh and her husband Rob visited in 2003, they were inspired to open a Portland eatery. Duckfat (good name!) offers all types of food, but they’re known for their Belgian Frites (fries) and doughnut holes. Both are fried in duck fat and served in paper cones with dipping sauce.
5. The Cookie Jar
Casco – now Falmouth – was a strategic spot for both trade and fisheries, so it was often targeted by military rivals. The city was destroyed in 1676 by the Abenaki (a Canadian First Nations tribe) and again in 1690 by the French. Another attack came in 1775 when the Royal Navy (from England) burned the city down. A new port was built, and it was called The Neck.
- Name: The Cookie Jar
- Address: 554 Shore Road Cape Elizabeth, Maine 04107
- Website: https://cookiejarbakers.com
- Phone: 207-799-0671
- Hours: Tue to Sat – 6 am to 5.30 pm; Sun – 7 am to 4 pm; Mon – Closed
Since we’re talking names, they can be misleading. Nothing Bundt Cakes doesn’t have donuts (though they do have bite-sized mini bundts in cupcake cases). Fortunately, the Cookie Jar has a broad selection of donut puns. They’ve been around since 1949 and in addition to delectable donuts, the bakery serves cookies, sandwiches, whoopie pies, and custom cakes.
By 1786, Falmouth Neck residents had branched off to form a city they called Portland. And by 1820, Portland was the capital of Maine, though the capital was later moved to Augusta in 1832. Then in 1851, the Maine Law prohibited the recreational brewing and selling of booze. This messed with the Portland economy and culminated in the Portland Rum Riot in 1855.
- Name: Dutch’s
- Address: 28 Preble Street Portland, Maine 04101
- Website: https://www.dutchsportland.com/
- Phone: 207. 761.2900
- Hours: Wednesday to Sunday – 8 am to 2 pm
If you’re looking for a quick doughnut fix, it makes sense to visit a coffee house. Portland Maine has some great ones including Black Cat Coffee and Coffee by Design, but they mostly outsource their pastries to Holy Donut. But if you visit Dutch’s on a Saturday, you can try their special doughnut flavors. They’re not on the regular menu though so they sell out fast!
Portland Maine is pretty close to Canada, which explains the Abenaki attack of 1676. And it was among the only ports that didn’t get iced out in winter, so it became a key point for shipping to Canada. Its position allowed it to play a significant role in the locomotive space. Lots of steam engines were built there for boats, trains, and railroads during the 1900s.
- Name: Dunkin’
- Address: 1378 Washington Ave Portland, ME 04103
- Website: https://locations.dunkindonuts.com/en/me/portland/1378-washington-ave/304697
- Phone: (207) 797-8339
- Hours: 5 am to 5 pm daily
Sometimes, you just want a bite of something familiar, and franchises are great for that. So if you’re in Portland and craving your Dunkin’ fix (formerly Dunkin’ Donuts) you can visit any of their outlets. So far, they have 8 stores, so check the hours and locations to see what works for you. Some branches close at 5 pm while others stay open until 10 pm plus drive-throughs.
8. Lil’s Café
As a port city and a manufacturing hub, Portland Maine attracted swathes of workers from Italy, Ireland, and Canada. But as the railroad improved and icebreaker ships got popular, the city lost much of its Canadian business, which then moved to Halifax in Nova Scotia. In 1899, Deering was reluctantly annexed by Portland Maine, which helped the economy grow.
- Name: Lil’s Café
- Address: 7 Wallingford Square, #106 Kittery, ME 03904
- Website: https://www.lilscafe.com
- Phone: (207)703-2800
- Hours: 7 am to 3 pm daily
As business interests in Portland Maine spread further afield, their delicacies dotted the region. So if you want to stay within city limits, you can pick any of the 8 Dunkin’ outlets. But if you’re willing to drive 45 minutes, you can check out the doughnuts at Lil’s Café in Kittery. Their crullers (twisted dough coiled into a ring) are divine, and they have tons of pastries.
9. Crumbl Cookies
The next great fire – in 1866 – wasn’t a military thing. It was set off by someone’s July 4th fireworks. It was bad enough to wipe the city out, taking business buildings, churches, and homes. And although Deering residents voted against annexation in 1899, this expansion of the city’s limits helped it recover from the 1866 fire. By 1970, Portland hosted a huge mall.
- Name: Crumbl Cookies
- Address: 95 Rock Row Ste 160, Westbrook, ME 04092, United States
- Website: https://crumblcookies.com
- Phone: +1 207-887-0907
- Hours: Mon to Thur – 8 am to 10 pm; Fri to Sat – 8 am to midnight
The Maine Mall pulled business away from the downtown area to the southern suburbs. Portland Maine didn’t recover until the tourist economy gained traction in the Old Port area. It grew into a creative hub with charter schools, tech academies, and eventually, the Maine College of Art. Speaking of creativity, try the Old Fashioned Doughnut at Crumbl Cookies.
10. Reilly’s Bakery
Portland Maine is almost completely surrounded by water, but since it’s the Atlantic Ocean, waterways lead offshore and aren’t used much for inland transport needs. So while it’s a marine city, people don’t commute by boat. Instead, the city has well-developed pedestrian pathways and is often described as a walking city. It also has a rich architectural heritage.
- Name: Reilly’ Bakery
- Address: 232 Main St Biddeford, ME, US 04005
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/reillysbakery/
- Phone: +1 207-283-3731
- Hours: Wednesday to Friday – 6 am to 1 pm
The tourism sector cashes in on these factors, and walking tours are a large lure in Portland Maine, pun intended. When you’re talking about businesses in the area, Portland-South and Portland-Biddeford are often lumped together, so you should check out Reilly’s Bakery in Biddeford. This family bakery is run by four generations of the same family and still thriving!
11. Frosty’s Donuts
With such a massive waterfront, you’d assume Portland Maine is a beach town. In reality, the area can get quite cold. Its summers are short and its snowy winters can be extensive. But the port remains navigable even in winter – that was its initial claim to fame and fishery. The highest temperatures hit 90°F (four days a year) while the lowest extremes can get to 0°F.
- Name: Frosty’s Donuts
- Address: 54 Maine St. Brunswick, ME 04011
- Website: https://www.frostysdonuts.com
- Phone: (207) 729-4258
- Hours: Friday to Sunday – 7 am to 2 pm
Portland hits zero for about 10 days in a year, and they’re not necessarily consecutive. So if you’re willing to drive half an hour to 45 minutes, you can pop by the aptly named Frosty’s Donuts in Brunswick. They offer a wide range of cake doughnuts and raised doughnuts aka yeast doughnuts. Their Boston Creams and coconut creams will make your taste buds sing!
12. Congdon’s Doughnuts
While Portland Maine can get cold and icy, the areas by the beach are more likely to get rain and sleet because of the warm ocean. But this can be a downside too, because of global warming and rising sea levels. Scientists predict a rise of between 10” and 17” by 2030. The city hosts Maine’s largest port and population, so it’s a massive economic center for tourism.
- Name: Congdon’s Doughnuts
- Address: 1090 Post Rd, Wells, ME 04090, United States
- Website: https://congdons.com
- Phone: (207)646-4219
- Hours: Thursday to Tuesday – 6 am to 2 pm
As long as we’re doing doughnut road trips, Congdon’s is worth the drive. It’s about half an hour out of Portland Maine and boasts a bakery, café, and drive-through. You’ll notice they spell their name the European way since 1955. Neither spelling is wrong by the way, though finding an available domain or business registration could push you one way or the other.
13. HiFi Donuts
Portland Maine isn’t the state’s administrative capital, but it’s the most thriving business hub around, hosting national banks, multiple corporate headquarters, a temperature-controlled storage facility for perishables (Americold), an AI research center, a thriving restaurant culture, and tons of festivals. Housing is subsidized and the unemployment rate is about 3%.
- Name: HiFi Donuts
- Address: 30 City Center Portland, ME 04101
- Website: https://hifidonuts.com/
- Phone: 30 City Center Portland, ME 04101
- Hours: Tue to Sat – 6 am to 4 pm; Sun – 9 am to 2 pm; Mon – Closed
Speaking of technology hubs, HiFi Donuts is a top spot. They don’t have indoor dining at the moment – though this could change as things open up. You can still walk in to make an order or pick one up. They make old-style donuts and while they have close to thirty flavors of basic cake doughnuts, crullers, and yeast doughnuts, they retain their traditional recipe.
What’s your favorite donut spot in Portland Maine? Give us directions in the comments!