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Natural Selection
Natural Selection

Natural Selection Details

  • Dining Style: Fine Dining
  • Website: http://www.naturalselectionpdx.com
  • Phone: (503) 288-5883
  • Hours of Operation: Dinner: Wednesday - Saturday: 5:30pm - Close
  • Payment Options: AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Vegetarian, Modern European
  • Executive Chef: Aaron Woo
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Wine

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 31st
  • Public Transit: The Trimet Bus #9-Powell/Broadway can be boarded on Broadway Ave in the Portland City Center. The bus crosses NE Alberta at 27th, a few blocks from our location. Broadway and Radio Cabs are a good option for travelers. Ample bike parking available.
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Ample parking available on the streets surrounding the restaurant. Please note that Alberta Street is closed to traffic on the last Thursday of each month, June through September, for the Last Thursday Arts Festival. Please allow extra transit time, as well as additional time for parking.
A word from Natural Selection
Natural Selection is a restaurant built on vegetables, fruits, and grains, featuring finely crafted meals paired with choice wines and spirits.

Served in a warm European-style setting, the menu combines both rustic and modern cooking techniques while highlighting the flavors of France, Italy & Spain.Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Service
Diner Reviews
  • "We went for a special occasion and took the 4-course dinner. We had a good time while eating well prepared vegetarian food"
    Dined on 8/27/2014
  • "Vegan or not, Natural Selection should be on your list. The present ion, pacing, and pure passion shown by the kitchen and front of the house staff are all top notch and the food is to die for!"
    Dined on 8/22/2014
  • "Each of us had the one of the two tasting menus. The food was really remarkable and inventive. Plus, the service was impeccable. The staff explained each dish very well and were truly friendly and appreciative. Everything was a highlight, yet the bruleed peaches for dessert really stood out for me."
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "The service and table settings were upscale but the noise level and ambience detracted from the overall experience. The tables were very close, and the party next to ours was so loud that we could barely hear each other talk. The first course dishes were excellent but quite pricey, but the main dishes were disappointing and very expensive for the ingredients they contained. My dish was taken back and redone because it was too salty, and returned less salty but minus the beans. In fact, without the beans there was no concentrated protein source in the whole dinner. We were given a dessert on the house because they felt bad about our experience--and the dessert was the best dish! WE have much better vegan food at a third of the price."
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "It's like an art gallery for food. Looks great. Tastes great."
    Dined on 8/13/2014
  • "Innovative and very tasty. Lots of great flavors. The deserts are 'good' but the mains/apps, and so on were spectacular."
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "This was an outstanding dinner experience. It's a tiny place with a small menu, but everything on that menu is prepared with creativity. This is vegetarian food at its best - no TVP or tofu masquerading as something else - just the vegetables shining in their glory. Service was top-notch and professional, fine-dining level. A surprise, and a very pleasant one!"
    Dined on 8/6/2014
  • "Terrifically inventive vegetarian. Beautifully presented. Had the tasting menu and really liked each course. The aranncini was a bit over done but that was the only less than perfect moment. The watermelon amuse bouche was worth adding to the menu."
    Dined on 7/31/2014
  • "Came to Natural Selection with my husband for my birthday. The food was amazing! I was perfectly full and content at the end out our meal. All the staff were friendly and very attentive. I look forward to returning soon!"
    Dined on 7/31/2014
  • "Natural Selection was fantastic in all respects. We were in from out of town, staying in downtown Portland without a car, but managing the bus system to get to NE Alberta Street was well worth the effort. At NS, the food was spectacular - fresh, intriguing, and prepared flawlessly. We did the wine pairing, and each wine choice was of the the highest quality and matched perfectly. We are not vegetarians, but have always appreciated excellent vegetarian meals, and NS is the best we have had in any city on our culinary journeys."
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "These folks are artists whose pallet is vegetables and whose audience is you. We traveled 2000 miles for our second visit and it was as wonderful as the first."
    Dined on 7/24/2014
  • "One of the most amazing meals I've ever had! Innovative, healthy and incredibly delicious! The wine pairings were fantastic! I cannot wait to go back! A great dining experience!!!"
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "Please open a sister restaurant in Scottsdale....I will personally invest if you would consider the idea. Our community needs and would support the healthy living that Natural Selection models. Todd LaPorte Chief Financial and Strategy Officer Scottsdale Lincoln Health Network 480-882-4904"
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "We ordered both tasting menus with the wine pairings and were wowed with every dish. The wine pairings complemented the food very nicely. The presentation is beautiful, and the service is attentive and friendly. We love that the entire menu is vegetarian, so we can enjoy everything without wondering if the dishes contain meat products. We will definitely be back, and will bring friends on our next visit!"
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "We enjoyed each aspect of each meal from the opening of our palate to the cleansing of the palate for dessert. Our waiter explained each item we ate which was great, prices were a bit steep for us, so, glad a friend cared enough to give a gift card. Overall we'd come back."
    Dined on 7/16/2014
  • "Best vegan food in town. Presentation is second to none. Very creative menu. Friendly service. To top it off a $15 corkage fee. A can't miss restaurant."
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "Took my bf here for his birthday. I mentioned the occasion on our reservation, and the kitchen gave us an extra course to celebrate! We had such a great experience, a flawless 5 course meal. The food, service, and timing of each course was spot-on. Such a gem, we can't wait to come back!"
    Dined on 7/10/2014
  • "I don't know how Natural Selection manages to make a dish like "Wild Rice & Beets" or "Beans & Carrots" as to-die-for scrumptious as they do, but impeccable produce and painstaking attention to detail are certainly involved. The wine pairings were spot-on, too."
    Dined on 7/9/2014
  • "Awesome food with awesome presentation. Great drinks. Great atmosphere. Great service."
    Dined on 7/9/2014
  • "Superb. Flavor profile is spot on. They are culinary artists who have fun turning their (vegie) source material into food magic."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "Our dinner was delicious - bursting with texture and freshness - filled with unique flavors. The service was wonderful - friendly, knowledgable, and unhurried. The atmosphere of the restaurant is elegant but kind of funky, with mismatching silverware that is actually made of silver, and etched glassware that looks like something your grandmother might keep in her china cabinet. The price makes it appropriate for a special occasion, but wow, was it special. We will definitely be coming here again."
    Dined on 6/26/2014
  • "This place proves just how tasty vegetarian can be. 4-course prix fixe dinner, entirely vegetarian, & EVERYTHING was delicious. My favorites were the "chestnut pasta with rapini" (just the right amount of spicy, from the chili, & sweet, from the golden raisins), & the "beets & parsnips" (great flavors & textures). This is not a quick meal - food is served over a 2-hour period (which they tell you), & in our case there were some definite lags in the service. That said, the service was very friendly (they were apologetic about the lags) & the quality of the food more than made up for it. The only other minor quibble was that for the "peas & carrots" entree (labeled as non-vegan), the menu was unclear as to what the non-vegan component was."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "we had a reservation, and after being told to we'd have to wait to be seated, two other parties that arrived after us were seated first. after standing outside for almost 20 minutes, the atmosphere was loud and cramped, there were unreasonably long gaps in between courses, the portions were extremely small, all courses were over salted. we spent our wedding anniversary evening here, and we wish we hadn't. we could have had a way more pleasant and delicious experience for half the cost anywhere on Alberta."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "Natural Selection takes you on a luxurious food journey, fusing together exquisite and amazing combinations of foods and flavors that you would never dream of. EVERY course was a delectable delight, and the portions were just right so that you could truly savor and enjoy the course you were on and not get too filled up by the time dessert arrived. The presentation of each course was also visibly delightful. A gifted chef, to say the least! The service was also EXCELLENT. Do not miss out on this extraordinary dining experience!"
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "I enjoyed my meal but not sure it was worth the cost"
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "My wife and I went for an anniversary dinner. The dishes showcased the fresh vegetables, with added flavors and sauces serving to gently highlight -- but certainly not overpower -- the natural tastes. Ambience and noise levels were a comfortable quiet -- not too loud, but also not eerily silent. We enjoyed our dinner and would definitely dine again."
    Dined on 6/12/2014
  • "I don' know which to put first, the beauty of the food or how delicious it was. I just loved dining at Natural Selection, and even an omnivore would enjoy it."
    Dined on 6/11/2014
  • "Our party of 4 had the full course dinner with the wine pairing. The food was delicious and beautifully presented. The wines selected with each course complimented amazingly... obvious that some careful consideration went into the choices. The pace was perfect: we never waited nor did we ever feel rushed. I couldn't have asked for more from the servers. This was my second visit in 3 years and, once again, a wonderful dining experience. I highly recommend for anyone looking for a restaurant where you step out onto the sidewalk after your meal and just say "wow" to each other."
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "We were there for my daughter's birthday, an annual event now. The food was, as always, superb and in trying the wine pairing for the first time, it is not to be missed. Everything was beautiful and delicious"
    Dined on 6/4/2014
  • "Natural Selection's great staff always make an already excellent dinner experience even better. And even if you are not a vegetarian, and especially if you're a foodie, you will enjoy their creative and delicious menu creations. After three visits, I have yet to be disappointed. Five stars for sure!"
    Dined on 6/4/2014
  • "Lived up to all i had read about it. Just incredible food! Also excellent service. I counted 10 tables and 7 staff. Timing was perfect. Thought we would never be there 2 hours and were there 2.75. It was an experience really. Very calming atmosphere. Went with 2 veg and one not and we all loved it. I have been to veg places all over the world and this is for sure one of the very best. Little expensive but worth it."
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "Food was very good, but we were quite put off by seeing the female cold chef popping cherries into her mouth while preparing the food, wiping her nose with her hand and not washing her hands once. Other staff members seemed more conscious of hygiene. "
    Dined on 5/28/2014
  • "natural selection creates artistic displays of very well cared for veggies. along with that comes a pricetag that most non-vegetarians may be weary of paying, but it is worth it for a celebration and special occasion. maybe just throw a few reminders to the omnivores that the price they pay for their meat is artificially low much of the time, and in reality comes with a hefty environmental pricetag, and they'll come around. "
    Dined on 5/22/2014
  • "This place had fantastic vegetarian food with a real attention to preparation and detail. The price is very fair and the service is fantastic. "
    Dined on 5/22/2014
  • "I took my fiancé here for his birthday celebration while we were on vacation in Portland. Not only did each course impress his distinguishing palate, they were like works of art! Seriously, the presentations were so beautiful I almost didn't want to eat them! I had to take a photo of every one. You can tell that everyone there cares about what is on your plate. Everything was wonderfully paired and exceeded my expectations! The service was impeccable. I also really appreciated the timing of everything. Being a four course meal, it took about 2 hours to experience. Everything came out promptly, but we never felt rushed. From start to finish, this meal was perfection! I cannot recommend it highly enough! "
    Dined on 5/21/2014
  • "one of the best vegetarian restaurants in the country"
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "Natural Selections is our favorite restaurant for special occasions. The food is exquisitely presented, and we appreciate that and the explanation of it by the servers, which slows us down and helps us savor its special and so satisfying flavor combinations. On the last visit we opted for the wine pairings, which we highly recommend. They were superb and perfect accompaniments to the food. "
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "I have never had any interest in being a vegetarian, but if Natural Selection had a location near me I would be a strict vegetarian at least once a week. Our meal was not only vegetarian but mostly vegan as well. Not one of my dinner party missed any meat. It is also very easy ordering dinner here. They only offer a four course prefix meal. They do offer two selections for each course. I only regret I have a two hour flight to dine here. "
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "For our anniversary and our 1st trip to Portland, my husband and I chose this place because it is vegetarian and because I fell in love with the concept the restaurant, which is focused on bringing out natural flavors in vegetables and playing with texture to create a true foodie experience. This place delivered on all levels. Food was delicious, especially the Butternut Squash and Pear soup, which was served cold that day because it was so hot out. I could have licked the bowl. Service was even better than 5 stars and the ambiance was perfect and very romantic. Couldn't have asked for more! On our next trip to Portland we will be back to see what else Chef Woo has on the menu."
    Dined on 5/14/2014
  • "We knew from reviews that we could expect a fine dinner, but the total experience far exceeded our expectations. The two of us enjoyed everything from the warm welcome at the entrance to the last bite of the delicious desert, coconut gelato with aged sherry. The wait staff was very knowledgeable and took the time to respond fully to questions during the order process. Not wanting to pass up anything on the creative menu, we ordered different courses and shared. When the beautifully presented courses arrived, the waiter carefully pointed out ingredients. Every course was a feast for the eyes and stomach. We were pleased that the diner facing the wall was able to view the food preparation via wall mirrors. There was much to observe."
    Dined on 5/14/2014