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Insider’s Guide to Portland, Oregon


Whether you’re visiting Portland for the first time or the tenth, there’s always something in the way of food and drink to discover. And there are few better people to point us in the right direction than Jenn Louis. Here are her stats: She’s a locally loved chef for her fantastic cooking at her two restaurants, Lincoln and Sunshine Tavern and she was named a Food & Wine Best New Chef in 2012. Of course your first two stops in PDX are likely to be her restaurants, but for the rest of your time in town, Jenn gave us a slew of her favorite spots.

Need more insider information? We’ve got guides to Nashville and Chicago from some top-notch locals, with plenty more on the way.

Best Wine Bar

I love SE Wine Collective; it’s super urban, delicious wines, a great place to enjoy a glass of wine and to check out the behind the scenes too!

Best Cocktail Bar

Club 21 is a hipster bar that’s decorated in garb from a Wisconsin basement. It’s sort of like a rec room. But really, this dark bar is just what it looks like—a drinking hall.


Best Coffee Shop

Easy. The home of my favorite cappuccino is Ristretto Roasters. All three locations are great, but check out the one in the Schoolhouse Electric Building.

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Best Afternoon Snack

Old school doughnuts done right from Coco Doughnuts—you can taste the buttermilk in the buttermilk doughnuts and they’re just delicious.


Best "Meat and Three"

The best BBQ in town is Podnah’s, and it’s Texas-style. I can’t keep from ordering the Plato Tejano, it’s smoked brisket, beans, and flour tortillas with a side of jalapeno mac and cheese.

Best Late-Night Bite

One thing that always does the trick after a late night? The pies from Sizzle Pie; they’re thin crust with all kinds of toppings.

Best Breakfast

I like Ocean City Dim Sum. They make dumplings that are super tender, the chicken feet are savory, and the snow pea shoots are perfectly garlicky. Just add some Jasmine tea for a great breakfast.

Best Hidden Gem

Ok, I’ll reveal. Taqueria Portland (7007 N Fessenden St., Portland). They have some of the best soups in town including barbacoa, posole, and menudo. This little joint always brings be back to Mexico with warm flavors and soccer playing on the TV.


Best Park

Portland is the city of roses for a reason. Washington Park Rose Garden is a test garden that’s stunning when in bloom in June. Enjoy a picnic in the park, it’s a great way to spend the afternoon.

Best Shopping

There are super-duper modern home shops here, with everything from artistic, to useful and beautiful pieces of art, as well as kitchen gear and household items. I particularly like Canoe and Alder and Co.

Best Museum

A great hands-on museum for all ages is the OMSI, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. The Willamette jet-boat tours nearby are awesome for visiting guests and Portlanders!

Photo credits: Jenn Louis portrait courtesy of Jenn Louis; Ristretto Roasters courtesy of Ristretto Roasters; Podnah’s Pit courtesy of Podnah’s Pit; Washington Park Rose Garden via Shutterstock

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