3449 NE 72nd Ave; 503-284-2752; Open daily 5 a.m.–10 p.m.; Sat–Sun 5 a.m.–5 p.m.
Why We Like It At the risk of getting punched by a headphoned gang of skinny-jeaned, greasy-haired white boys, we’re all for the inventiveness of the perennially trendy Voodoo Doughnuts (“Triple Chocolate Penetration,” anyone?), but when it comes to satisfying our die-hard doughnut jones, Annie’s is where it’s at. First of all, the doughnuts are modest, manageable. And while the display case might look a bit drab at first, the glazed or cream-filled doughnuts within are never disappointing: they’re what Romantic philosopher Matthew Arnold would call “sweetness and light.” In other words, everything a culture should strive for.
The Scene Jesus-lovers’ screeds stream from the television in the corner while grizzled old men with Hussein-like beards scarf down old-fashioneds and unleaded coffee. Most people run in, leave their sunglasses on, and get their doughnuts to go.
Backup Plan The cake doughnuts sold each morning at Staccato Gelato (232 NE 28th Ave; 503-231-7100) are of a different breed than the ones at Annie’s: they have more heft, and are just as satisfying. Sesame Donuts (multiple locations; sesamedonut.com ; 503-297-8175) run a close second to Annie’s—we can never bring ourselves to order anything but their specialty: sesame doughnuts, of course. And on the way to Mount Hood, the huge glazed braids of dough at Joe’s Donut Shop (39230 SE Pioneer Blvd, Sandy; 503-668-7215) will give you enough gusto to climb any mountain. —CD
2201 N Killingsworth St;503-735-4652; Breakfast served weekdays 6 a.m.– 2 p.m.; weekends 7 a.m.–2 p.m.; beatervillecafe.net
Why we like it The words “vegan friendly” can chill the soul of a breakfast aficionado, but don’t let the abundance of tofu here scare you. Beaterville’s scrambles are deliciously messy mélanges of egg, cheese, veggies, and meat, or, if you must, meat substitute. Hewing to the cluttered-interior theme of hubcaps, rusted grilles, and other automotive ephemera, the Thunderbird, best of all, features freshly pulled hunks of turkey, bacon, cheddar cheese, tomato, garlic, and spinach.
The scene Hipsters, children with two mommies, and grizzled NoPo dwellers crowd inside what could be your Mamaw’s house—if she had a fetishistic love of automobilia.
Backup plan Vita Cafe (3024 NE Alberta St; 503-335-8233) boasts an impressive array of handcrafted veggie scrambles—even their seitan is homemade. The garden scramble at the Cup & Saucer Cafe (8237 N Denver Ave; 503-247-6011) is so good even a carnivore might fall in love. (Especially if you add a dab of Secret Aardvark habanero sauce.) Byways Cafe (1212 NW Glisan St; 503-221-0011) has made a name for itself with its hearty farm-fresh scrambles. —B. Blasengame
The Heathman Restaurant & Bar
1001 SW Broadway; 503-790-7752; Breakfast: Mon–Fri, 6:30–11 a.m.; Sat–Sun, 7–9 a.m.; Brunch: Sat–Sun, 9 a.m.–2 p.m.; heathmanrestaurantandbar.com
Why we like it Cooks contrived hash centuries ago when looking for ways to use leftover potatoes and meat. In the ensuing evolution of kitchen wizardry, chefs have found a way to make hash of almost anything—chicken, polenta, shiitake mushrooms, even caviar. Pacific Northwesterners have regionalized the beautifully malleable dish with fresh local bounty such as salmon, oysters, and razor clams, and around here it’s hard to beat the smoked-salmon hash at the Heathman. Chef Karl Zenk browns shredded russet potatoes and mixes them with house-smoked salmon, onion, capers, and sour cream. After flattening the mixture on a grill, he tops it with a pair of perfect poached eggs. The result is smoky and salty, with a bit of capery tang, and while other hashes fill you up and weigh you down, this eats surprisingly light. Little wonder that it’s the Heathman’s signature dish. (For Zenk’s recipe, go to Portlandmonthlymag.com.)
The scene Downtown power-breakfasters and business travelers dining amid unintimidating elegance. Snag a table by the window and watch the foot traffic on SW Broadway.
Backup plan The oyster hash at Bijou Cafe (132 SW Third Ave; 503-222-3187): cubes of herbed potatoes, roasted onion, and juicy Willapa Bay oysters dredged in spiced corn flour. Try it with smoked Tabasco sauce. —Paige Williams