Food Specials

Everything We Can't Wait to Eat and Drink in Portland This October

Apple Fritters, Goth Cocktails, and More
October 12, 2023
Bite into an apple fritter full of orchard-fresh flavor at Doe Donuts. (Doe Donuts)
Do you believe in October supremacy? As blue skies and sunny days give way to a crisp chill in the air and changing foliage, autumnal flavors abound. We've gathered a list of seasonal specials around town that we can't wait to try, from goth cocktails at Dirty Pretty to bourbon blondie apple fritters at Doe Donuts. For more culinary inspiration, check out our food and drink guide.


Black Lagoon Halloween Bar Pop-Up at Dirty Pretty (October 15-31) List Past Event List
Break out your best goth finery: The "whimsical but moody" cocktail bar Dirty Pretty is hosting Black Lagoon, a ghostly Halloween-themed experience proclaimed "Canada's Best Pop-Up Bar" by Canada's 100 Best in 2022. The experience, dreamed up by bartenders Erin Hayes and Kelsey Ramage in New Orleans in 2019, features dungeon-esque decor and deliciously morbid libations like the "Hellfire Fizz" (Lot 40 Dark Oak Rye Whiskey with carrot, turmeric, fresh lemon, Lustau Amontillado, Greek yogurt, Bitter Queens Caribbean spice bitters, absinthe, and seltzer), the "Book of Blood" (a take on the classic margarita with Montelobos Mezcal, Giffard Pimente D’Espellette, fresh beet, fresh lime juice, miso falernum, and absinthe), and the "Death Rattle" (Lustau Brandy, Lustau Amontillado Sherry, pineapple and lime juice, spiced oat orgeat, saline, and Bitter Queens Caribbean spice bitters).

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Doe Donuts List
Carly Sitner and Crystal Wegener's vegan doughnut shop can always be depended on to come up with the most enticing flavors, and it's definitely bringing the autumnal vibes with its October menu. I'm particularly intrigued by the bourbon blondie apple fritters (made with fresh local apples, bourbon apple glaze, and blondie crumbles), banana cream pie long johns (banana cream pie filling, whipped cream, house-made graham crackers, and banana chips), and pumpkin dulce de leche old fashioned. Other flavors include taro milk tea (jasmine tea glaze, taro cream, and brown sugar boba pearls), black currant buttered toast (fresh black currant glaze with buttered, salted breadcrumbs), black sesame (sesame cocoa glaze with sesame drizzle), and pumpkin pecan roca (real pumpkin glaze with pecan roca candy pieces). If your tastes lean more savory than sweet, there's even a chili mac doughnut stuffed with house-made chili and mac and cheese.

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90 Day Sundaé at Ice Queen
List Remind List If you, like me, are already an aficionado of trashy reality TV television, 90 Day Fiancé needs no introduction. For the uninitiated, the TLC series chronicles the trials and tribulations of long-distance couples who have three months before a visa expiration date to decide whether or not their union should end in nuptial bliss, leading to hilariously unhinged results. (As Marie Kondo once said, "I'm so excited because I love mess.") Ice Queen owner Rebecca Smith is a fellow fan of the franchise, and to celebrate, she's screening each episode of the 10th season with a projector on Sunday nights, complemented by a menu of themed specials with some cheeky references sure to delight devoted viewers: "Big Ed's Past-Life Regression Shamrock Shake" (vanilla soft serve whipped with oat milk, mint, and chocolate chips), "K-1 Miso" (swirls of soft serve topped with house-made miso caramel, almonds, and pretzels), "Jovi Juice" (a tropical beverage), and "Meemaw's Seksi Strawberry Surprise" ("We don't want to have to jump an orange bitch but you're gonna have to pull up to find out what this one is"). Settle in with some plant-based treats and get ready for some delicious garbage. 

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Mikiko Mochi Donuts List
Mikiko Mochi Donuts owners Emily Mikiko Strocher and Alex McGillivray are going all out for Halloween with a gaggle of cheeky ghoulish flavors. The "Ecto Cooler" pays tribute to the slime-colored orange-tangerine Hi-C drink released as a Ghostbusters II tie-in in the '80s (remember that one scene from The Bear where Carmy makes a homemade batch for a children's birthday party and inadvertently tranquilizes a bunch of kids with Xanax?) with a green tangerine and pandan glaze, while the "Dirt 'n Worms" recalls the dirt cups of my youth with chocolate pudding, gluten-free crushed Oreo "dirt," and mutilated gummy worms. Other inspired offerings include the "Jack 'O Lantern" (a Thai tea glazed doughnut with black sesame condensed coconut milk drizzle), "Purple People Eater" (an ube glazed doughnut with a candy eyeball), "Personfruit" (a passionfruit glazed doughnut with passionfruit curd, adorned with candy bones and eyeballs), "Horrorchata" (an horchata-glazed doughnut filled with horchata pudding, cinnamon, and matcha puffed rice); "The Slasher" (a vanilla glazed doughnut with raspberry "blood splatter"), and "Witches' Brew" (a "cauldron-hued" sensory delight with pandan coconut pudding and popping lychee "bubbles").

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Mis Tacones List
This queer Chicanx-owned vegan taqueria, which Chelo List chef Luna Contreras recently mentioned as one of her favorite spots in Portland, is spicing up its menu this month with plenty of creepy cuteness, with festive decor to match. Opt for the black rice horchata, which is a perfect Goosebumps-cover-esque shade of purple, or check out the ghostly "Black Magic Margarita," festooned with a healthy dose of edible glitter. Plus, the local Mexican panadería pop-up La Casa De Mamá will be in the house for brunch each Sunday, bringing treats like pan de muerto.

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Goth tiki drinks from Blank Slate Bar List

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"Boogie Gourd" pumpkin ale from Boss Rambler Beer Club List

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The "Eye Scream" sundae from Cheese & Crack List

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Tart and apple cider caramel frozen yogurt from Eb & Bean

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The "Autumn Revival" cocktail from Gumba List

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Fall flavors from Kate's Ice Cream List

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Pumpkin maple cake from Lauretta Jean's List

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Pumpkin ice cream from Mike's Drive-In

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The pumpkin crémeux from Papa Haydn

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The fall harvest sandwich from Sugarpine Drive-In List

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The "Lion's Fib" cocktail from Thunderbird PDX List

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Ghost cupcakes from Unicorn Bakeshop List

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A pumpkin toffee sundae from Zuckercreme List

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