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Cafe Nell
Cafe Nell

Cafe Nell Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://cafenell.com/
  • Email: info@cafenell.com
  • Phone: (503) 295-6487
  • Hours of Operation:
  • Cuisine: French
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes

Getting there

  • Cross Street: NW 20th Ave
  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from Cafe Nell
Located in the heart of Northwest Portland, Café Nell serves French inspired American classics simply prepared from Northwest ingredients. Entering its fifth year, Café Nell has become known for lively brunches featuring signature cocktails which never fail to impress. A full bar, friendly atmosphere, rotating taps, and a glowing fireplace create a welcoming environment. During summer, our patio seating is perfect for happy hour, or a candle-lit dinner on a warm Portland evening.Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Brunch
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeighborhood Gem
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Diner Reviews
  • "Clean, Lightful, and Airy. We loved this place for brunch/lunch. The Monte Cristo was a WIN!!! It was SOOOO wonderful that I think of it from time to time...hahaha. Yes I'm serious though. Recently, my love and I returned for dinner with reservations. We were seated promptly by the windows, service was great, but we found the place quite loud. The ambiance, with mostly candlelight, was a highlight. The food was very good but not outstanding! That is why I will return many times but mostly for lunch or brunch. Go check it out!"
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "Took mom for her almost 80th, with the whole family. Perfect choice. Will, our waiter, was amazing. Great service, great food."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "Went there for Portland dining month. Had Oxtail for the main course. It was fantastic!"
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "Great neighborhood cafe to meet for business. Good location in NW Portland with easy access from all neighborhoods. Good menu with a nice small brunch menu served during the week."
    Dined on 2/24/2014
  • "Where better to spend a rainy day with a fireplace and great brunch. The hamburger looked like a real winner, too . Next time!"
    Dined on 3/2/2014
  • "With so many good restaurants in Portland, why waste your time eating someplace that has less than stellar performance. For example, the ciopinno was bland, the mac and cheese was good, steak delicious with a tasteless Bernnaise Sauce, the bread pudding was ho-hum."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "The table was fine for our foursome. We all ordered drinks and began to talk, but, and I realize not everyone would mind, my soup came about four minutes after I ordered it! I then had to eat it while my wife and our friends talked. The soup itself, Potato, Corn and Ham Chowder was very thick and arrived lukewarm. It tasted fine, but I kept thinking about what made it so thick (flour??). My buddy and I both ordered the Bavette Steak Frites medium rare. Mine came medium, while his was perfectly medium rare. The fries were barely warm and soft, not hot and crisp as expected. A good but not excellent experience."
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "We had lunch at Cafe Nell... the menu sounded terrific! The ambience at this little "cafe" is great... with a bright red fireplace in the middle of it. And, we had a great time... just a few suggestions: a) Roasted Kale salad -- not really "roasted" kale, but still good. Added salmon to it, and it was ok... but a bit fishy! Had their special flatbread -- and it was tasty, but a bit greasy. I'm trying to watch my carb intake, or I would have had one of their hamburgers with fries, which looked incredible! I will go back... because I loved the feel of the place!"
    Dined on 2/20/2014
  • "The food was good and the service was good as well. Small intimate restaurant with great selection of wine and specialty cocktails. Valentines Menu was nice and it was difficult to choose on which dinner! We will be back to try the other selections!"
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Cafe Nell is one of our go-to restaurants when we are scheduling dinner before a BodyVox performance. But I guess we hadn't been there for a little while, as this was the first time when the new chef and menu. The asparagus / egg appetizer is gone (darn), but the roasted brussel sprouts salad was excellent and my grilled salmon dish (I'm a salmon fiend) was also excellent. There were two others in my group and their salads and entrees (lamb ragu; ciopinno) also were raved about. But for this evening what made it special was that this was a Friday night of a snow storm, and we had reservations for 5:45 p.m. They closed at 6:00 pm.., but the server never made us feel rushed to get out. It was quiet, with only 2 other tables."
    Dined on 2/7/2014
  • "It is great that you can get a reservation for brunch here. Most restaurants in town do not accommodate that request which can be frustrating when you have guest from out of town, and when you are hungry in the morning :) Great food, good prices, and a nice atmosphere. Friendly and enjoyable!"
    Dined on 1/19/2014
  • "I came with a big group. We had not ate since breakfast and it was already dinner time so we were really hungry. Some of us ordered dishes that were very small portions, which was a little dissapointing. However, the food was all very good and the ambience was great."
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "Cafe Nell is not a super gourmet restaurant, but it is a nice place for lunch/brunch. I haven't visited yet for dinner but will try it soon."
    Dined on 1/10/2014
  • "Good little neighborhood place that tries hard to please. The cocktails are the star. The specials entrees the that two in our party ordered were quite well liked. I had trouble finding an entree I wanted and settled for a small plate of a trio of meats in a too of a hot sauce. However the salad of carrot/ginger/micro-greens was the right follow up to cut the sear of the other dish. The waiter staff was professional and competent. The dessert was wonderful and the coffee Portland good. I will go back but will order more carefully next time"
    Dined on 1/10/2014
  • "We've been going to Cafe Nell for years... it is one of our favorites. Reminds me of the cute little restaurants in Paris with the beautiful fireplace and decor. Welcoming, great food, fantastic atmosphere, adorable bar."
    Dined on 1/4/2014
  • "Bustling on NY Eve. Delicious gnocchi. Smallish portion of pork tenderloin, but good flavor. Overall good experience, will return."
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "Food and wine was great, service very good despite a packed house. It was noisy, but hey, it was New Year's Eve and the place was packed. I plan a return visit!"
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "We were disappointed. The restaurant itself is nice and cozy. I loved that it was quiet and we didn't have to yell for conversation. Our service was ok, as in, enough, but rather on the infrequent side. My scallops were overcooked and the steaks were tough. Out of our three entrees, only the pork loins were considered good."
    Dined on 12/23/2013
  • "We loved the ambience and food. Nell so kindly came by and wished us well, greeting us and making us feel welcomed while looking radiantly beautful all at the same time. We felt so relaxed and William our Waiter was engaging, fun andgreat at making our meal enjoyable. We felt like we were with family and sharing a meal! How wonderfully warm and inviting is that??! Great dining experience and we will be back with more friends and family!"
    Dined on 12/24/2013
  • "We had a fish, beef and pork dish. All were beautifully cooked and presented. Service was delightful and friendly. Thumbs up."
    Dined on 12/24/2013
  • "First time dining at Cafe Nell. Although several special holiday parties, excellent attendant service. Oysters, scallops, and risotto all were excellent. Offered a 2006 pinot noir by the glass. Would definitely recommend and return."
    Dined on 12/20/2013
  • "While Jack Frost was nipping at your nose outside, Cafe Nell offered a lovely warmth festooned with holiday cheer. This was the perfect spot for our annual seasonal ladies luncheon. The food was delicious and the staff graciously split our portions. Two of the guests split the huevos rancheros on the brunch menu -- truly a feast! Two of us split the corn chowder and french dip on the lunch menu. We ended by sharing berries and cream and a chocolate raspberry trifle and freshly brewed coffee. In a word, yum!"
    Dined on 12/13/2013
  • "The venue is great for a date and the food was excellent."
    Dined on 12/12/2013
  • "This is my first time at this restaurant and it was fabulous! The food and service was great!"
    Dined on 12/7/2013
  • "We were just looking for new places to eat on OpenTable and found Cafe Nell. It didn't look like much outside (although it was night and very cold), but the interior was cozy and warm. There is not a lot of room to walk around, but it didn't feel crowded. The food was delicious and, somehow, they even managed to have fresh Oregon berries for dessert on a cold December night. Will definitely return!"
    Dined on 12/6/2013
  • "When we ordered we asked our waiter to let us enjoy our pre dinner drinks and not bring our food to soon. 1/2 an hour later he returned to us and told us quite casually that our entrees (Steak Frittes - a house specialty) were no longer available. He dropped some menus on the table and told us to order something else. We got the same off hand treatment from a manager when we said that this seemed unreasonable since we had ordered at least half and hour ago. This, combined with the relatively mediocre quality of the entrees that we did finally get made this a less than pleasant dining experience. We will not return to this restaurant and will advise our friends to do the same."
    Dined on 11/30/2013
  • "Lovely location off the beaten track in the Alphabet District. Inviting exterior. Food very good, but shy of excellent, at haute prices. And very slow service. Overall, as much as I wished to love the place, I left with mixed impressions."
    Dined on 11/16/2013
  • "This was the third time I've had a meal at Cafe Nell and it was as good or better than the other times. I wanted to lick my plate because the sauce on my chicken was so good but I didn't have time because my friends started dipping their food in it. It was a little loud but the service was great. Overall, a very good time!"
    Dined on 11/15/2013
  • "The food and service were fantastic. The only problem I had was the echo in the room made it loud and also our waiter placed us in seating that faced other people so it was very awkward. Other than that your date night promotion was awesome."
    Dined on 11/14/2013
  • "Nell is a wonderful gem in the alphabet area of Portland. It also has its' own parking lot which is a rarity for this area. The menu has many choices and the staff was polite, attentive and professional in serving the wonderful and tasty dishes. I would not hesitate to recommend this gem to all my friends."
    Dined on 11/16/2013
  • "I have been wanting to go here for a while and glad I finally did! There were 3 of us and we shared 2 salads and did a round robin with 3 entrees. Everything we tasted was fantastic! Definitely one of the better meals I have had in PDX this year. I am keen to go back soon and recommend to anyone who enjoys great food and wine."
    Dined on 11/14/2013
  • "I eat at Cafe Nell about three times a month and love to take friends and out of town visitors there. The clams and fries are delectable..buttery and pungent with garlic . The owner is gracious and friendly and always happy to see me. It reminds me of little neighborhood bistros in Paris."
    Dined on 11/11/2013
  • "I felt the food was not great & a bit high on price. I would recommend Cafe Neil as a place for drinks & a nice ambiance vibe."
    Dined on 11/9/2013
  • "I can always count on this restaurant for great food at any meal. Usually the service is equally good, unfortunately on this particular occasion is was not."
    Dined on 11/2/2013
  • "It has been a while since I went to Cafe Nell. There were 9 of us ordering different things like specials of the day and sandwiches, salads etc. Over all they a/were all complimentary of the food and service."
    Dined on 10/30/2013
  • "Perfect ambience. Perfect eggs benedict. Perfect birthday breakfast. One of my very favorite places."
    Dined on 10/19/2013
  • "My friends and I went here for dinner before a movie and it was excellent. We all loved our food, the cocktails and wine were fantastic and our server was hospitable, warm and fast. What else could you ask for in a dinner?"
    Dined on 10/19/2013