Portland’s Best Cinnamon Rolls

Favorite sign of the day

Favorite sign of the day

This was not our first, or our second...nope, not even our 3rd outing looking for cinnamon rolls. This was our fourth outing looking for the Best Cinnamon Rolls in Portland, and today was a double success.

Cinnamon rolls from Sugar Mama's

Cinnamon rolls from Sugar Mama’s

Sugar Mama’s Cafe

SW 3rd & Alder
Portland, OR
(503) 224-3323 – you’ll want this number to you can call in and have them hold a cinnamon roll for you.
Sugar Mama’s Cafe

For those that follow along on Facebook, you know that I was headed to Sugar Mama’s. They have been on my list forever. They actually closed down then I had to wait for them to reopen. That was quite a process, but I followed along, waiting and waiting for these famous cinnamon rolls that so many people spoke of.

They have 3 options here. Your classic Cinnamon Roll, Pecan Roll and Maple Bacon Cinnamon Roll.  We weren’t interested in the Maple Bacon (don’t judge us) but we were definitely interested in the other two. We ordered those 2 and then waited with anticipation.  I mean seriously, I have waited for nearly a year to try these, then I had to wait for Friday since that’s the only day they do them. You would think that last 5 minutes wouldn’t be so bad.

Pecan roll from Sugar Mama's

Pecan roll from Sugar Mama’s

Both rolls looked fabulous. They are really big, but not overly large like Fat City. The Pecan roll was loaded with pecans in a very good way. It had great flavor, and it was very moist. The one we did get was a little burnt on one of the edges, which I didn’t like, but I made sure to not get that side. We were all happy with this pecan roll.

The Cinnamon Roll was a huge hit between the four of us. We pretty much decided right then and there that we finally found Portland’s Best Cinnamon Roll. The flavor was sweet, but not overly sweet. It was moist all the way through. Every element about this cinnamon roll was spot on.

I loved that when your order coffee they bring out a carafe and leave it. They also have a full breakfast menu and a sign on the door that says the best Biscuits and Gravy.

Some people like edges, some like the middle. They were super sweet about letting us pick out cinnamon rolls to take home. See it never hurts to ask.

Perfect size :: $3.75 each
Sugar Mamas' Cafe on Urbanspoon


Even though we felt like we had discovered the best cinnamon roll in town, we still decided to try another place we had on our list. We crossed the river to SE Portland for this next one.

Cinnamon Rolls from Flying Cat Coffee

Cinnamon Rolls from Flying Cat Coffee

Flying Cat Coffee

3041 SE Division St
Portland, OR
(503) 234-0910
Flying Cat Coffee

This place is super cute. It feels extra cozy when you walk in with the low ceilings and cat stuff every where. I’m not a cat person, but it still made me smile. In the very back was a cute little play area for kids and up front was some funky furniture to get comfortable on. We settled on a little table to gather and talk and enjoy our treats.

I should back up and say this. When we first walked in we immediately began looking in the pastry case, since that is what first welcomes you once you are in the door. We didn’t see any cinnamon rolls, but then we looked again and kind of pointed and said, “Do you think those are the cinnamon rolls.”  See we are always on the look out for the big pillowly cinnamon rolls and these were NOT that. We asked and sure enough those were them. She then asked what we had heard because we were not the first people coming in looking for her cinnamon rolls . Here it was 10:30 am she was almost out.  At first we weren’t sure if we wanted to try them, but after that comment, we were totally trying them.

Cinnamon Rolls from Flying Cat Coffee

Cinnamon Rolls from Flying Cat Coffee

She grabs 2 for us then takes them and heats them up.  I love that we didn’t even need to ask. When she brings them out, she also has 4 pumpkin cookies on our plate. She said that was our palate cleanser after our cinnamon rolls.  We go through the whole thing where I make my friends all wait while I try and get the best shot I can. All the while my friend has the knife in her hand ready to go.

OMG! These Cinnamon Rolls are special, different and fantastic. Fantastic!! There are 3 parts to this cinnamon roll. The usual slightly crunchy outside, followed by a layer of moist yet crystallized sugar that has seeped out and become crunchy on the bottom, followed by the incredibly moist center. If that is not enough it is topped with what tastes like a cream cheese frosting.  The dough is very rich. We later begin talking to Jan, who has made the cinnamon rolls, and she says she uses lots of butter. You can really tell from the richness. She also went on to tell us that the dough takes 4 hours to make and she even shared with us her secret ingredient in the dough. If you want to know what it is, you need to go in and ask her. Make sure you call ahead because she does not have them every day.

Although not super big they were priced right at just $2.00 each.

Flying Cat Cafe on Urbanspoon

We sat there completely satisfied. We began to think through the 2 cinnamon rolls that we had thoroughly enjoyed and began to discuss which was our favorite. You need to know we were completely happy with both. We have never had such a successful day of tasting. Interestingly enough 3 out of the 4 chose Sugar Mama’s because it’s was very traditional. I on the other hand chose the Flying Cat Coffee cinnamon roll.  All I have to say to you is this, you will not be disappointed with either one. If you go to either place make sure you tell them that me and my friends sent you.

Are you holding out on me? Do you know of a place with great cinnamon rolls that we all need to know about?






  1. You must try the cinnamon roll french toast at Fleur De Lis Bakery & Cafe. It is on their weekend brunch menu. It is THE BEST IN THE WORLD! Their cinnamon rolls are fantastic everyday but when they become French Toast it is beyond words to explain!

  2. Peter Laughingwolf says:

    I probably don’t have the same taste in Cinnamon rolls as you have, but until you’ve tried the cinnamon rolls at Grand Central Bakery, you don’t know what else cinnamon rolls can be (as in real food). Get there early or call ahead. They make one tray of rolls every morning at each bakery and sell out by mid-morning. Grand Central knows how to do whole wheat yeast dough that’s light and tasty, as good as the cinnamon rolls I make at home.

  3. The Sugar Mamas’ serve up the most delicious cinnamon rolls I’ve tasted in Portland! Thanks for your review; more people should find their way to this friendly restaurant. Weekdays I choose their fluffy biscuits & traditional gravy-my favorite dish on the breakfast menu. Easy to find, downtown on
    SW Alder btwn 3rd & 4th.
    See you there!

  4. The pecan roll looks delicious!!

Speak Your Mind