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Ask Eater: Where Can I Find a Late-Night Dessert in Portland?

A reader is seeking something other than “grocery store cake slices.”

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Dessert in the cooler at Pix Patisserie, Portland, Oregon.
Desserts from Pix.
Brooke Jackson-Glidden is the editor of Eater Portland.
Welcome to Ask Eater, an Eater Portland column where the site’s editor and reporter answer questions from readers and friends. Have a question for us? Submit your question in this form with the subject line ‘Ask Eater.’

Where can I find good late night dessert in Portland (after 8 p.m.)? You can only have so many grocery store cake slices.

-Suzanne K

Hey, Suzanne! As someone who regularly has a 10 p.m. sugar craving, I am all over this. Finding desserts after 8 p.m. is actually fairly easy, depending on what you’re looking for. Many restaurants close at 9 p.m. or 10, which means popping in for a Canard Paris-Brest or Papa Haydn boccone dolce shouldn’t be an issue. Ice cream shops like Salt & Straw close at 11 p.m., and also appear on delivery apps. I’d head to Cheese & Crack for a sundae if I were looking for a taste of something sweet just after 8 p.m.

However, if the sugar craving hits at 8 p.m., and you’re like me, dressed in sweats or pajamas the second you finish your work day, you might not be on the road until 9 p.m. Or, you might feel uncomfortable rolling into a place within its final hour open. So, to keep things interesting, let’s focus on places that close at midnight or later, shall we?

For a takeout dessert at any time of night: The Pix-O-Matic is a 24-hour patisserie vending machine on East Burnside, from the pastry chefs that brought you the late, great Pix Patisserie. That means, if you desperately need a macaron or a rich chocolate almond cake at 3 a.m., this is the place to go. My go-tos at Pix include the Tiki-Tiki, a mango and passionfruit mousse with coconut meringue and an almond cake base, or the Amelie, an orange-vanilla crème brûlée over glazed chocolate mousse with caramelized hazelnuts and praline crisp. I find that those who are a little stoned particularly enjoy the Pix-O-Matic, because it’s outdoors and contactless — which means no challenging social interactions with servers or fellow patrons, if that’s something that appeals to you.

For cake and a cocktail: The brand-new dessert and pastry bar Libre serves apple cakes with mole ice cream and corn husk meringue with sweet corn mousse until midnight on the weekends. Pastry chef Gabriella Gonzalez Martinez has worked everywhere from glitzy celebration restaurants to pop-ups, and her desserts often balance nostalgia and bold flavor combinations. Those intimidated by mole creme brulee with bone marrow caramel ice cream can opt for easy crowd-pleasers like Felices Los Dos, aka vanilla cake with mango coconut ice cream and passionfruit chamoy. The bar churns out mezcal milk punches and pandan horchata mocktails as pairings.

For sundaes and lattes: It has been closed for repairs for a few weeks, but Rimsky Korsakoffeehouse — often known as Rimsky’s — is perhaps the longest standing late-night dessert option in town, serving chocolate-raspberry fools and mocha fudge cake since 1980. Its string-light fever dream of an interior, within a converted craftsman, is often filled with Central Catholic high school students and Portland lifers, who will linger at the cafe’s mysteriously moving tables until midnight. Keep an eye on Instagram for reopening information.