Portland’s Best Fritters Come From Donut Queen on 58th and East Burnside
We are privileged to have it in our city.
By Matthew Korfhage
The apple fritter is the double-down of doughnuts, a thing of both great promise and great peril.
Done right, fritters offer everything you could ever want from a doughnut. It's a balancing act every bit as miraculous as any cronut, a negotiated truce between fluffy cake and fried dough. Its exterior is so lumpen that fritters require a feat of engineering bordering on the magical to achieve perfect crispness without burning the fritter's edges.
Well, at tiny bare-bones doughnut shop Donut Queen, next door to the East Burnside QFC, Yusra Mohamed works that impossible magic on every single doughnut she makes.
For more than 20 years and through multiple owners, Donut Queen has stood at the edge of Tabor. And for about as many years, the shop has advertised the "Best Donuts in Town" on a little wooden sandwich board, a quality evinced by a doughnut originally painted as a glazed rainbow.
For as long as we can remember, that sign was a lie. Then the place was sold to the current owners, who moved up from San Diego. They dramatically increased both the price and the quality. Now, their fritters are unmatched.
These fritters may as well be made of rainbows. For a mere $2, each one is the approximate size of a healthy newborn baby and retains its moisture within while attaining just the right crispness at the edges. And each fritter is glazed just enough to remind you that even in these troubled times, it's still possible for life to be sweet. Among many contenders, this is the finest fritter in Portland right now, and we are privileged to have it in our city.