With two terrific restaurants, Lincoln and Sunshine Tavern, 2012 Best New Chef Jenn Louis is among the leaders of Portland, Oregon’s laid-back yet ingredient-obsessed food scene. Here she reveals her favorite coffee in the Northwest, where to stay and how to avoid acting like a tourist in her city.


In this Article


Portland's Ristretto Coffee Roasters

Courtesy of Ristretto Roasters

Go-to Coffee: Ristretto Roasters

“I love their cappuccinos; they pull everything double ristretto [which means twice the coffee grinds for a single shot] and use great local milk. They’re not large, huge cups of coffee. I was just in Italy, and Ristretto is doing a very authentic job.”

Cheap Eat: Dim Sum at Ocean City Seafood Restaurant

“I love these little steamed shrimp balls: They’re like shrimp pâté covered with grains of rice. Somehow it looks like white sea urchin.”

Good for Groups: Podnah’s

“It’s Texas-style barbecue. The chef, Rodney Muirhead, trained in fine dining before he opened a BBQ joint. I love the smoked chicken and brisket. They do brunch as well, and the biscuits are amazing.”

Cocktails: Sweet Hereafter

“I’m a bourbon drinker, and it’s kind of a bourbon bar—really woodsy inside and comfortable. It depends on how stressed I am whether I order neat or on the rocks.”

Dessert: Grand Central Bakery

“I buy bread from Grand Central for my restaurants. They’ve been in business forever, and the quality is great. For myself, I get this little chocolate Bundt cake with chocolate glaze.“

Favorite Hotel

The Nines Hotel

Courtesy of The Nines

The Nines

“The hotel is lovely and well-located downtown. They do a really nice job of making you comfortable, and the rooms are very modern. It was a big renovation project.”


Powell's Book Store

Powell’s Books Courtesy of Powell’s Books

Powell’s Books

“The main location is a full block and many stories high, and it’s phenomenal. They have new and used books and an offshoot for cooks and gardeners.”

Things To Do

Eastbank Esplanade

“I love to walk around Portland. All the neighborhoods are so different. Tourists tend to stay downtown, and Portland isn’t really about downtown. I would urge them to come visit the east side. One of the walks that’s cool is the Eastbank Esplanade; you can stroll along the river and see all the boats.”

Council Crest Park

“It’s probably the highest point in Portland, and on a clear day in the summer you can see all the mountains: Mount Hood, Mount St. Helens, Mount Adams, Mount Jefferson and Mount Rainier. It’s really pretty, grassy; you can bring a picnic.”

Louis Names Must-Try Dishes at Her Restaurants...

Jenn Louis

Photo © Alexis Achten / Jasmine Photography


“The octopus starter. It’s braised, we grill it and we toss it with a little sherry vinaigrette and pimento. The salad it comes with changes depending on the season.”

Sunshine Tavern

“I really like the pizzas. I also love the fried chicken sandwich: a toasted brioche bun with fried chicken and a salad with blue cheese dressing, celery and chiles.”