clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Cafe Olli’s Taylor Manning and Siobhan Speirits Share Their Favorite Portland Restaurants

Where the couple snacks on sandwiches, grabs takeout, and more

Cafe Olli owners Taylor Manning and Siobhan Speirits sit in a booth at the restaurant.
Taylor Manning and Siobhan Speirits.
Thom Hilton/Eater Portland

Welcome to Dining Confidential, a monthly column in which local chefs talk about their favorite places in Portland, highlighting their own restaurant’s ethos, sharing fun personal takes, and fostering a community spirit. Know of a chef you’d like to see featured? Let us know via our tip line.

Taylor Manning and Siobhan Speirits are the husband-and-wife duo behind Cafe Olli, Northeast’s beloved all-day pastry and pizza joint that’s still attracting weekly crowds a year and a half into its run. The turnout in that first year was so strong that the two decided to start 2023 with a break. “We decided to take the first 10 days of January,” Manning says. “It was a necessity to kind of regroup.”

“We got absolutely slammed – we’re very grateful for that,” Speirits adds. “But like, we definitely were not totally ready for it. It just felt really great to take some time away. On a mental level, it was very beneficial.”

Once those 10 days were up, the two dove back into cafe life — sunburned, rejuvenated, and ready to take on a different challenge: a slow winter season that was difficult for the Portland restaurant community as a whole. Still, customers continued to show up at Olli’s beautifully airy space, with its huge windows and cozy central oven, for chocolate cake and inventive pizzas with toppings like nettles and polenta. We caught up with Manning and Speirits to chat about their favorite eats in Portland, from takeout dumplings to mammoth BLTs. This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

The doors of Cafe Olli.
Cafe Olli.
Thom Hilton/Eater Portland
Eater: Do you have a specific dish in Portland that you think about a lot?

Speirits: Mine would probably be the burger from Bellwether Bar. I think about it on a regular basis.

Manning: It reminds me of a European pub. I really love getting a cocktail there after work. Wonderly is another good cocktail spot, right on our way home.

SS: The fried cheese curds at Wonderly, I think about those on a weekly basis. They’re super crunchy on the outside and they put them in this hot honey. I hope they never take them off the menu. They’re like mozzarella nuggs.

TM: Speaking of mozzarella, we really love Gabbiano’s; they order wholesale bread from us. Their mozzarella shot glasses? Oh yeah. And their chicken parm is so good. It just takes me home.

SS: But you never want to make it at home. So you’re like, ‘Where can I go to get a really bomb chicky parm that’s the size of a dinner plate?’

TM: Ruthie’s is a spot for me. Anything they do with potatoes, potato salads, every single iteration they’ve done. It’s perfect stoner comfort food.

SS: I love them because they completely embrace who they are, the stuff that’s special to them, and then just do it in their own way. I think there’s so much to be said for that.

The fish sandwiches are truly iconic at this point.

SS (to Manning): You’re The Sandwich King.

TM: I love sandwiches. The Baker’s Mark makes probably my favorite in town, their T.B.L.T on Dutch Crunch bread, I could probably have that every day.

What are your favorite takeout spots?

SS: We love Dwaraka Indian Cuisine. My family is Scottish and there’s a really large Indian community in the U.K., so curry was a staple growing up. Their chicken korma with naan and samosas, so good.

TM: Akasaru Ramen, which we actually had last night. I normally get their shoyu and a side of gyoza and chicken karaage.

SS: I’m a sucker for Matt’s BBQ Tacos. I grew up in Texas, so a breakfast taco is the perfect meal to me.

TM: Master Kong.

SS: That one we really love.

TM: We always order way too much. But it’s nice to have some leftovers.

What’s your order?

SS: Lots of dumplings, the hand-rolled Chinese dumplings they do. Xiao long bao.

TM: A couple pork buns.

SS: Scallion pancakes, a must. We usually get the broccoli or bok choy, it’s more of a gesture than anything, really, because we’re getting all this meat and stuff. ‘Maybe we should get at least one green thing…’

A chef places pieces of cheese on uncooked pizza dough at Cafe Olli.
Pizza at Cafe Olli.
Thom Hilton/Eater Portland
You guys are really on the same wavelength — these takeout spots are very expert. We started out talking burgers, but I want to hear more.

TM: I could crush, like, twenty steam burgers at Canard.

SS: Oh, yeah. Or the ones at Expatriate, too.

TM: And you get two! Expatriate is, I think, one of my favorite places. That’s probably my favorite burger in town.

SS: And Super Deluxe.

TM: I love the chicken nuggets at Super Deluxe.

You run a great breakfast place that’s also a great pizza place. So, what’s your breakfast spot?

SS: Little Griddle, for me. It’s my favorite. I like a little sweet-savory breakfast, so I’ll get their sausage egg biscuit and a chocolate chip pancake and it sets me up nicely for a mid-afternoon nap, you know?

And what about pizza?

SS: If we’re not eating here, I have a real soft spot for Domino’s Pizza with ranch and an ice cold glass of rosé. The dream.

Do you ever go wacky with a Domino’s order?

SS: I used to, with some regularity in college, order a bacon and pepperoni pizza and a liter bottle of Sprite. I would drink some and then I would leave it just slightly unscrewed on my desk for, like, a day or two so it’d go flat.

TM: What?

I literally saw a meme the other day that was like, ‘Hot girls put a Sprite by their bed at night so they can wake up and drink it flat in the morning.’

SS: Don’t knock it till you try it. It’s delicious.


5424 Northeast 30th Avenue, , OR 97211 (503) 867-5309 Visit Website


4727 Northeast Fremont Street, , OR 97213 (503) 288-4520 Visit Website


3634 SE Division Street, Portland, Oregon Visit Website


734 East Burnside Street, , OR 97214 (971) 279-2356 Visit Website

Master Kong

8435 Southeast Division Street, , OR 97266 (971) 373-8248 Visit Website

Bellwether Bar

6031 Southeast Stark Street, , OR 97215 (503) 432-8121 Visit Website

Akasaru Ramen

2712 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211 Visit Website

Matt's BBQ Tacos

2216 Southeast 50th Avenue, , OR 97214 (503) 956-7455 Visit Website

Dwaraka Indian Cuisine

3962 Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard, , OR 97214 (503) 230-1120 Visit Website

Cafe Olli

3925 Northeast Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard, , OR 97212 (503) 206-8604 Visit Website


5411 Northeast 30th Avenue, , OR 97211 (503) 719-4373 Visit Website

The Baker's Mark

1126 Southeast Division Street, , OR 97202 Visit Website

Little Griddle

3520 Northeast 42nd Avenue, , OR 97213 (503) 752-7956 Visit Website

Super Deluxe

5000 Southeast Powell Boulevard, , OR 97206 Visit Website