Tapalaya
Tapalaya

Tapalaya

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.tapalaya.com/
  • Phone: (503) 232-6652
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner: Monday - Thursday 4:30PM - 9:30PM
    Friday & Saturday 4:30PM - 10:30PM Sunday 4:30PM - 9:00PM
  • Payment Options: Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Creole / Cajun / Southern, Tapas / Small Plates
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Entertainment, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Area, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: We are happy to cater your event, large or small! For more information, please contact Chantal Angot at 503-232-6652.
  • Entertainment: Live Music Every Thursday from 6-9pm.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Between Burnside & Couch
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: Convenient parking in the shared Whole Foods lot, in addition to tons of street parking around our friendly neighborhood.
A word from Tapalaya
Tapalaya is the worlds first tapas (small-plates) restaurant serving Cajun/Creole cuisine. Everything on our menu is made from scratch, with love. The plates of food are small (appetizer or side items size) and perfect for sharing and pairing. Menu items highlight New Orleans favorites: Jambalaya, Collard Greens, N"awlins BBQ Shrimp, Corn Bread and Po'Boys (just to name a few). Join us for Live Music every Thursday and Happy Hour Every day (4:30-6:00pm).
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Tapalaya reviews from OpenTable diners
28 reviews since July 27, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.1
    Service4.4
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelEnergetic
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (17)fit for foodies (12)good for groups (10)kid-friendly (4)romantic (3)special occasion (3)hot spot (3)great for lunch (2)vibrant bar scene (2)great for outdoor dining (1)Show More
  • Reasonable Cajun small plates
    risinggr
    Dined on 11/22/2014
    I have a rather sensitive to heat pallet unlike my partner who eats very little so I was hoping to spark his interest. He had the tried oysters though he prefers fresh. I had the seafood special of muscles and giant prawns. There was no significant broth and the muscles had a strong flavor. We had the bread pudding with their home made buttermilk ice cream. The ice cream was great. Tapalaya is a good restaurant for people to sample Cajun cuisine if they are unfamiliar with it as the small plates don't require the financial commitment of Acadia, for example.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food and atmosphere both need work
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/21/2014
    We tried this restaurant on a Friday night. When we walked in the noise was almost deafening. This is not a place you want to go for a quiet meal and good conversation. The food was incredibly middle of the raod Pork belly skewers that were mushy and soft. Rillades and Grits that were bland and uneventful and last but most importantly the Beignets were tough and leathery. Not a very good dining experience all around. I would be willing to put up woth the atmosphere if the food were better.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • food was great!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 11/21/2014
    Food was great, but the service was mediocre. Just unfriendly. We we're seated next to a loud group (this is the second time we were there) and they accommodated us by allowing us to move. But the volume was still extremely loud and hard to hear the other party your with. Wish something could be done about that
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fit for a Southern Vegetarian
    abbyrae
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    Being from the south and a vegetarian, it is always difficult to connect with my roots through food. Tapalya was so much fun for me because they serve southern style food with a gourmet twist and have vegetarian choices. I is also very affordable and very delicious! We went because of Chinook book but we WILL be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Quick trip to the Big Easy
    Velma716
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    A warm, inviting atmosphere with great food and service. You can pick from a wide range of dishes which are fun to share; or not :) The high wood ceilings absorb noise so though it was bustling, I could hear my table mates and servers. Service was uniquely good for Portland. Our server was knowledgeable about the food, made some great suggestions, and checked in on a regular basis. Food came out as was ready and we enjoyed sharing a number of dishes. We thought the prices were reasonable. ($145 for 9 dishes and 2 bottles of wine). We really enjoyed our evening and will return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delish!
    Daniepdx
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    Everything we had was amazing. Except for the coconut pork. It wasn't good at all, in our opinion. But the service, drinks, and all of our other dishes were AMAZING!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Way to Get to Know Creole
    Dolleeduck
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    The food was stellar. We loved the crawfish and grits, awesome. The fried chicken was great. Only drawback was that it took awhile to get our drinks, but because of the food, we didn't mind.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Exceptionally awesome
    SuperblueVIP
    Dined on 9/18/2014
    We shared the fried green tomatoes (perfectly crispy and fresh with cornmeal), pork belly chunks on a stick (tender, really tasty) and the red beans and rice (pretty spicy, I prefer a bit milder). They had a three piece jazz band playing, adding to the delightful experience. I didn't think I liked jazz. Changed my mind. The service was pleasant and efficient. It's a small place, so ocassionally you're sitting pretty close to others, but even still, it is worth it. Probably not the best place for small children, set up for more of an adult scene/experience. This was our first visit and we plan to go again as soon as we can.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Another lovely evening
    Spril
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    We introduced our party of nine to Tapalaya and everyone loved it. We enjoyed drinks and dinner then succumbed to dessert. Service was great and our waiter offered to split tabs for us. Love the small plates, and the extra bowls on the table let us taste and share with each other.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • It was a GREAT EXPERIENCE!!!
    WayneWaka
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    This was the first time we ate here! Everyone was very friendly and service was GREAT! Kelly was our server...she was FANTASTIC!!! It was nice to tray many different dishes. We tried like 20 Different things. You need to really need to check this place out!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, romantic, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • AMAZING!!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    This truly is a neighborhood gem! My partner and I came to find this place as a suggestion on YELP! I am so glad we decided to try it out. Usually he doesn't go for the really "spicy" stuff that cajun/creole food is known for. But, this was OUTSTANDING. Just the right amount of spice to enlighten your palate, but at the same time not overpower it. Service was amazing as well. Highly recommend and we WILL be back!
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • good food and music
    trlamb
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    Four of us dined on a Tuesday evening, when Reggie Houston was playing. We sampled at about 7 items from the happy hour and regular menus. All the food was tasty, and the service was very good.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Cajun
    11goose19VIP
    Dined on 8/18/2014
    The menu listing is better than the actual execution. This was our first visit to Tapalaya. At noon we were the only table being served. The food is average. The pulled pork Po'boy sandwiches were ordinary. However the black eyed pea salad was well prepared.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • First time
    new2pdx
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    A group of 6 of us had dinner for the first time here on a Thursday. Food was great - service was attentive - and music was outstanding
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding Evening
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    My wife and I have dined here before and really loved the place. We decided to come here a 2nd time for our first date night in a few weeks; we just recently had a newborn and haven't been out much! The service was excellent (Waitress was Laura), the food was excellent (try the BBQ Pork Belly Skewers - absolutely amazing) and the overall staff and atmosphere was excellent. We highly recommend this place to eat at - lots of great choices using small plates. They have great happy hour options too!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 13 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 27, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.5
    • Food4.2
    • Ambiance4.1
    • Service4.3
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 182 reviews are from the Tapalaya reviews archive.
  • Dinner after visit to museum!
    norton
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    Great atmosphere and authentic Cajun food. Had dinner with friends after visiting Portland Museum.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A real taste of New Orleans
    Southerntransplant
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    Amazing food, friendly and attentive service, delicious, inventive drinks, and fun, eclectic atmosphere. Truly a neighborhood gem, worth a drive across town; one of our favorite spots for a fun, casual night out. Have never had anything we didn't like, but the favorites that call us back again and again are the risotto jambalaya, fried chicken (drizzle on a little of the Bourbon pecan syrup!), crawfish étouffée, red beans and rice, and crawfish Monica. Labeled as "small plates" but unless you're really hungry 2-3 to share per person is ample. Highly recommend trying the margarita with house-made cucumber vodka. The cucumber taste w/ the salt and sweet-sour of the margarita are a perfect sip of refreshing flavor! Great mint juleps, too!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Easy Dining
    WestSide
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    Small plate approach to Cajun dining. My wife and I enjoyed the chance to mix and match the dishes. Many vegetarian options for traditionally not vegetarian Cajun dishes. We chose 7 for the two of us. That was more than enough, but we couldn't pass up the cornbread.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Never a bite thats not perfect
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 6/26/2014
    Tapalaya is consistently the best food I ever eat. Every single item is cooked and flavored perfectly. This food is unlike anything else in Portland.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • <3 Tapalaya
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    My husband and I live near 28th St., and Tapalaya is easily one of our favorite restaurants. We had our wedding dinner here this past weekend while our family was in town, and my parents can't wait to go back. The fried okra and chicken are my favorite items on the menu.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tapas@Tapalaya
    Yumkdfaves
    Dined on 5/30/2014
    We couldn't stop at just a few little bites! Delicious pork belly skewers and the Grillades and Grits we moved on to Rissoto Jambalaya...the 4 of us kept ordering & sharing til we couldn't eat any more:) hmmm I think we'll be going back there!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Southern Comfort
    Katmanduc
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    Every dish we ordered was a winner. It was like eating in a Louisiana small town café with wonderful surprises. We ate family style so we could all try the different dishes. Who knew I would love fried okra.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • New Orleans has competition !
    DiningDez
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    I've been to New Orleans several times over the years and your food is authentic and does not disappoint . The drinks are delicious .
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding
    Posh
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    This is a gem of a neighborhood restaurant!!! The. Food was excellent and service attentive. It was a great choice for a Mother's Day celebration. We will return.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointed
    Not4bday
    Dined on 5/6/2014
    My son and husband took me there for my birthday in 2013 and we had a wonderful time. I took my husband for his birthday last week 2014 and it was horrible. Really rude servers.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wait staff
    luvdajazz
    Dined on 5/6/2014
    Could practice friendly. Asked waitress what was on tap and she replied its up there! Up there was a small blackboard hanging on a post with 4 beers scribbled on it. The waiter never smiled.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful
    webfoot
    Dined on 5/1/2014
    Went for a birthday dinner. Food was great as was the music. Would highly recommend.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Late-Night Find, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Consistent excellence
    Bevaru
    Dined on 4/29/2014
    I never know which pleases me more - the scrumptious food or the excellent music of Reggie Houston and Janice Scroggins. Both satisfy and leave you smiling!
    Special Features:
    Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Southern Delight
    JonesDAVIP
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    Food and service was on point. We ordered a variety of dishes and was not disappointed.
    Special Features:
    Kid-Friendly, Fit For Foodies, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Better Than I Thought
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    This was my first time to TapaIaya with my fiancée and close friends and their 3 children. Our reservation was made through OpenTable for 7 o'clock. This place was a bit loud, but most places on a Saturday would be. We loved the idea of small plates and enjoyed the variety of foods to our choosing as we, children included, are big eaters. It was priced fairly well and the food was cooked to order. Being said that, the food came out relatively fast. Overall, I would recommend it. As I would tell anyone, just try it once and decide for yourself.
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Late-Night Find, Neighborhood Gem, Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Food!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 4/25/2014
    This was our first visit. Everything we tried was amazing! The portions are just the right size and great authentic flavors. And the desserts are AMAZING! We will back (again and again)
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot, Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ok service
    joonbiVIP
    Dined on 4/25/2014
    I have dined at this place a few times. The service was always pretty good. For some reason on this night the service was really bad. The waitress didn't bring 2 items that we ordered. When I asked our waitress when our corn bread and Mac and cheese were coming out, she said she didn't hear us order them. We ordered the 2 food items again and waited and waited for the food to come out. It never came. When I asked her where our food was she apologized and stated she forgot to tell the cook. We left still hungry and disappointed. I will be back because the previous times I dined at this place the service was pretty good.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nothing but AWESOME
    reluctantfoodie
    Dined on 4/22/2014
    Have been here twice, with groups, GREAT Happy hour treats, happy prices, and Laura is one of the most AWESOME waitresses in Portland, just makes you feel at home and does a fantastic job taking care of everything our group needed!
    Special Features:
    Kid-Friendly, Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good place.
    JohnBVIP
    Dined on 4/5/2014
    This was our second visit. I think we are going to add it to our short list of favorite places. The first time wasn't a fluke. Love the Creole tapas.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A fun experience
    Whitney
    Dined on 4/4/2014
    Good food - no complaints there. Service was awful - pretty sure she was stoned. Constantly forgot our drinks and food items. Had to flag her down repeatedly to get refills, etc. She could have pushed the drinks and upped the bill and her tip. Very disappointing.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • First time visit
    Beth
    Dined on 4/4/2014
    So delicious. Will definitely be back. Awesome fast service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Another Festive Evening at Tapalaya
    DrinkyVIP
    Dined on 3/25/2014
    The food at Tapalaya never disappoints - our favorite meal is a fried shrimp po' boy and any version of the vegetarian jambalaya. The jambalaya changes based on what seasonal veggies are fresh & plentiful - this time it was kale with roasted cauliflower and brussels sprouts. The serving is perfect for sharing. Tapalaya's mint julep is perfectly balanced - just the right amount of booze & sweetness. We can never have just one. Our server, Laura, was delightful, and the music was excellent - if you like good jazz, go on a Tuesday when Reggie Houston and Janice Scroggins are playing.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Lively place, lively food
    TariVIP
    Dined on 3/22/2014
    A great time. Lots of fun food, with plenty of vegetarian and gluten free options. Kelly was an excellent server. We will definitely return. Best Cajun food I've had outside of New Orleans.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mostly good Cajun & Creole
    buzz
    Dined on 3/22/2014
    The étouffée was only fair. It was watery and tomato based rather than roux based. Everything else was great especially the fried food which was excellent. Great flavor and not greasy. Our server was outstanding! Very informative and attentive. She took extra care of our guest whose English wasn't great. Will definitely return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Secret Lunch
    ilex
    Dined on 3/16/2014
    Very quiet at lunchtime on a Sunday! The portions are smallish (I mean, they are officially small plates), but the food is good. I didn't see what all the fuss is about the mac and cheese. Tasty, but pretty standard. The fried oysters were delicious. Our waitperson was on top of it and cleared dishes as we emptied them. No dessert options, but there's a gelato place a block or two down.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.