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Several Mikiko doughnuts sit on black tables with boxes nearby Mikiko / Official

Portland’s Knockout Ube Treats

Where to find traditional and modern sweets made with the distinctive purple yam

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A brilliant purple yam, ube is a quintessential Filipino ingredient, the foundation of traditional preparations like halaya jam. Thanks to the tuber’s irresistibly bright violet hue, though, it has also become an Instagram-famous ingredient, adding a splash of color to treats of all stripes.

Beyond its bright color, ube lends an earthy sweetness and a little nuttiness to dishes that incorporate the yam, from ube ensaymadas at Pinoy bakeries to ube mochi pancake mix on the shelves of Trader Joe’s. So it makes sense that food businesses around Portland have been using the eye-catching starch in creative ways, glazing doughnuts and mixed into ice cream.

This map is dedicated to restaurants, pop-ups, and food carts using ube in both classic and inventive fashions. For another Southeast Asian ingredient having its moment, Eater Portland’s pandan map is also worth a look. Note: The points on this map guide are not ranked; rather, they’re organized geographically.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Mikiko Mochi Donuts

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1221 NW 21st Ave
Portland, OR 97209
(503) 208-2852
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Anyone who’s been paying attention to the local pastry scene knows that mochi doughnuts have been taking over Portland. Formerly delivery-only, Mikiko now sells its chewy, baked rice flour-based goods out of the Northwest Portland bar West. While the fanciful flavors change from month to month, the pop-up has been known to sell a version glazed with ube and dusted with li hing, sour plum. Takeout is available at West from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays.

2. St. Barbra Pinoy Bakery

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2311 SW 6th Ave
Portland, OR 97201
(503) 444-7170
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This small Filipino bakery in downtown Portland is the local go-to source for Pinoy baked goods like pandesal, ensaymadas, and hopia. It also uses ube to great effect in less traditional treats like cheesecake and scones. St. Barbra Pinoy Bakery is open for takeout.

3. Wailua Shave Ice Portland

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1022 W Burnside St unit o
Portland, OR 97209
(808) 652-9394
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Due to Southeast Asian influences and purple Okinawan sweet potatoes being a staple in Hawaii, vibrant violet desserts also thrive in the aloha state. Among other attention-grabbing options, downtown’s Wailua often offers a stunning ube version of shave ice, flavored with coconut milk and topped with fluffy ube foam and toasted coconut. Wailua has implemented pickup procedures, but online pre-ordering is a must.

Wailua Ube Shave Ice
Krista Garcia/EPDX

4. Heyday Doughnuts

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721 NW 9th Ave
Portland, OR 97209

Heyday Doughnuts, one of three local mochi doughnut businesses, uses a blend of wheat and rice flour to create its distinctive springy texture. Most of the offerings are fried, though the wildly popular ube version is baked. Orders can be placed for weekend pickup at rotating locations, including La Perlita. Check out Instagram for the next pop-up.

purple doughnuts on a purple plate
Heyday Doughnuts’ baked ube
Krista Garcia/EPDX

5. White Elephant Asian Fusion

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4233 N Mississippi Ave
Portland, OR 97217
(503) 766-9855
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North Mississippi’s White Elephant Asian Fusion is true to its name with fun mashups like the pho’rench dip and the Thaiger Woods, a half-lemonade, half-Thai iced tea homage to the Arnold Palmer. The food cart also serves Lao classics and Thai mango sticky rice in colorful variations using pandan and ube for extra pizzaz. 

6. Magna Kusina

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2525 SE Clinton St
Portland, OR 97202
(503) 395-8542
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During dinner, Southeast’s Magna is the place for luscious Dungeness crab noodles slicked with crab fat and comforting braised brisket kaldereta, but it’s also worth stopping by during the day for the selection of baked goods, including a large, soft-and-chewy ube cookie drizzled with pandan glaze.

Magna ube cookie with pandan glaze
Krista Garcia/EPDX

7. Doe Donuts

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4110 NE Sandy Blvd
Portland, OR 97212
(503) 333-4404
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Instead of putting ube in one of its many doughnuts, Doe went with a vegan ice made with the colorful tuber instead. The seasonal frozen dessert is made with oat milk and ups the ante with the addition of tahini and salted caramel. Doe is open for takeout and delivery.

8. Halo Halo

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4520 NE 42nd Ave
Portland, OR 97218
(503) 930-3018
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Following a now-familiar trajectory, Halo Halo was once delivery-only but has landed at a brick-and-mortar space for pickup. The bakery offers a true mix of desserts like blueberry vegan calamansi cheesecake, pandan mamon, and a bounty of ube sweets like crinkle cookies, ube cheese-filled pandesal, and ube butter mochi. Order online and pick up at Bindle, a one-stop shop for local artisans that operates out of Cully’s Tiny Moreso.

Halo Halo’s ube buttered mochi
Krista Garcia/EPDX

9. Tambayan Restaurant

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6014 SE Foster Rd
Portland, OR 97206
(503) 777-4217
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Halo-halo, the classic evaporated-milk-and-shaved-ice sundae topped with colorful candied fruit and legumes, coconut jelly, leche flan, and a scoop of ube ice cream (likely Magnolia brand), is nearly guaranteed to be on most Filipino menus. It’s been a special at Magna, and it’s a permanent fixture at Foster-Powell’s Tambayan. Tambayan is open for delivery and takeout Wednesdays through Sundays.

10. Leslie’s Lumpia

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7238 SE Foster Rd
Portland, OR 97206

Leslie’s Lumpia has taken creative license with the namesake fried egg rolls. In addition to more traditional savory versions, it also offers on-trend quesabirria, as well as Buffalo chicken lumpia. For desserts, there’s the Ube Love Turon, filled with the sweet purple yam and topped with an ube drizzle, plus the Ubebe Flan, an ube and leche flan layered hybrid. Order online and pick up weekends at the Portland Mercado.

11. Zero Degrees

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8220 SE Harrison St #3
Portland, OR 97216
(503) 208-2774
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The cross-cultural Jade District chain that sells horchata, bubble tea and curiosities like Flamin Hot Cheetos elotes also offers a “Camo Series” of milkshakes, named for the colorful striations that mimic camouflage. The ube milkshake is a white-and-violet hodgepodge that also includes Oreos in the mix. Zero Degrees is open for takeout and delivery.

12. Fork And Spoon Food House

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10634 NE Sandy Blvd
Portland, OR 97220
(503) 867-7716
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Parkrose Filipino restaurant Fork and Spoon House often incorporates ube into its desserts, from its version of halo-halo to puto, or sweet steamed buns. Sometimes, specials like ube cream cheese pie pop up on the menu; those interested can check out Facebook and keep an eye out. Fork and Spoon Food House is open for takeout and dine-in, but sometimes the restaurant closes unexpectedly — it’s smart to call ahead to be sure the house is slinging treats.

1. Mikiko Mochi Donuts

1221 NW 21st Ave, Portland, OR 97209

Anyone who’s been paying attention to the local pastry scene knows that mochi doughnuts have been taking over Portland. Formerly delivery-only, Mikiko now sells its chewy, baked rice flour-based goods out of the Northwest Portland bar West. While the fanciful flavors change from month to month, the pop-up has been known to sell a version glazed with ube and dusted with li hing, sour plum. Takeout is available at West from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays.

1221 NW 21st Ave
Portland, OR 97209

2. St. Barbra Pinoy Bakery

2311 SW 6th Ave, Portland, OR 97201

This small Filipino bakery in downtown Portland is the local go-to source for Pinoy baked goods like pandesal, ensaymadas, and hopia. It also uses ube to great effect in less traditional treats like cheesecake and scones. St. Barbra Pinoy Bakery is open for takeout.

2311 SW 6th Ave
Portland, OR 97201

3. Wailua Shave Ice Portland

1022 W Burnside St unit o, Portland, OR 97209
Wailua Ube Shave Ice
Krista Garcia/EPDX

Due to Southeast Asian influences and purple Okinawan sweet potatoes being a staple in Hawaii, vibrant violet desserts also thrive in the aloha state. Among other attention-grabbing options, downtown’s Wailua often offers a stunning ube version of shave ice, flavored with coconut milk and topped with fluffy ube foam and toasted coconut. Wailua has implemented pickup procedures, but online pre-ordering is a must.

1022 W Burnside St unit o
Portland, OR 97209

4. Heyday Doughnuts

721 NW 9th Ave, Portland, OR 97209
purple doughnuts on a purple plate
Heyday Doughnuts’ baked ube
Krista Garcia/EPDX

Heyday Doughnuts, one of three local mochi doughnut businesses, uses a blend of wheat and rice flour to create its distinctive springy texture. Most of the offerings are fried, though the wildly popular ube version is baked. Orders can be placed for weekend pickup at rotating locations, including La Perlita. Check out Instagram for the next pop-up.

721 NW 9th Ave
Portland, OR 97209

5. White Elephant Asian Fusion

4233 N Mississippi Ave, Portland, OR 97217

North Mississippi’s White Elephant Asian Fusion is true to its name with fun mashups like the pho’rench dip and the Thaiger Woods, a half-lemonade, half-Thai iced tea homage to the Arnold Palmer. The food cart also serves Lao classics and Thai mango sticky rice in colorful variations using pandan and ube for extra pizzaz. 

4233 N Mississippi Ave
Portland, OR 97217

6. Magna Kusina

2525 SE Clinton St, Portland, OR 97202
Magna ube cookie with pandan glaze
Krista Garcia/EPDX

During dinner, Southeast’s Magna is the place for luscious Dungeness crab noodles slicked with crab fat and comforting braised brisket kaldereta, but it’s also worth stopping by during the day for the selection of baked goods, including a large, soft-and-chewy ube cookie drizzled with pandan glaze.

2525 SE Clinton St
Portland, OR 97202

7. Doe Donuts

4110 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland, OR 97212

Instead of putting ube in one of its many doughnuts, Doe went with a vegan ice made with the colorful tuber instead. The seasonal frozen dessert is made with oat milk and ups the ante with the addition of tahini and salted caramel. Doe is open for takeout and delivery.

4110 NE Sandy Blvd
Portland, OR 97212

8. Halo Halo

4520 NE 42nd Ave, Portland, OR 97218
Halo Halo’s ube buttered mochi
Krista Garcia/EPDX

Following a now-familiar trajectory, Halo Halo was once delivery-only but has landed at a brick-and-mortar space for pickup. The bakery offers a true mix of desserts like blueberry vegan calamansi cheesecake, pandan mamon, and a bounty of ube sweets like crinkle cookies, ube cheese-filled pandesal, and ube butter mochi. Order online and pick up at Bindle, a one-stop shop for local artisans that operates out of Cully’s Tiny Moreso.

4520 NE 42nd Ave
Portland, OR 97218

9. Tambayan Restaurant

6014 SE Foster Rd, Portland, OR 97206

Halo-halo, the classic evaporated-milk-and-shaved-ice sundae topped with colorful candied fruit and legumes, coconut jelly, leche flan, and a scoop of ube ice cream (likely Magnolia brand), is nearly guaranteed to be on most Filipino menus. It’s been a special at Magna, and it’s a permanent fixture at Foster-Powell’s Tambayan. Tambayan is open for delivery and takeout Wednesdays through Sundays.

6014 SE Foster Rd
Portland, OR 97206

10. Leslie’s Lumpia

7238 SE Foster Rd, Portland, OR 97206

Leslie’s Lumpia has taken creative license with the namesake fried egg rolls. In addition to more traditional savory versions, it also offers on-trend quesabirria, as well as Buffalo chicken lumpia. For desserts, there’s the Ube Love Turon, filled with the sweet purple yam and topped with an ube drizzle, plus the Ubebe Flan, an ube and leche flan layered hybrid. Order online and pick up weekends at the Portland Mercado.

7238 SE Foster Rd
Portland, OR 97206

11. Zero Degrees

8220 SE Harrison St #3, Portland, OR 97216

The cross-cultural Jade District chain that sells horchata, bubble tea and curiosities like Flamin Hot Cheetos elotes also offers a “Camo Series” of milkshakes, named for the colorful striations that mimic camouflage. The ube milkshake is a white-and-violet hodgepodge that also includes Oreos in the mix. Zero Degrees is open for takeout and delivery.

8220 SE Harrison St #3
Portland, OR 97216

12. Fork And Spoon Food House

10634 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland, OR 97220

Parkrose Filipino restaurant Fork and Spoon House often incorporates ube into its desserts, from its version of halo-halo to puto, or sweet steamed buns. Sometimes, specials like ube cream cheese pie pop up on the menu; those interested can check out Facebook and keep an eye out. Fork and Spoon Food House is open for takeout and dine-in, but sometimes the restaurant closes unexpectedly — it’s smart to call ahead to be sure the house is slinging treats.

10634 NE Sandy Blvd
Portland, OR 97220

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