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  • Tapalaya

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  • Address:
    28 NE 28th Ave
    Portland, OR 97232
    Northeast Portland
  • Cuisine:
    Creole / Cajun / Southern
    Price: $30 and under

Tapalaya Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.tapalaya.com/
  • Email: tapalaya@gmail.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).Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeighborhood Gem
Diner Reviews
  • "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."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "So delicious. Will definitely be back. Awesome fast service."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 3/25/2014
  • "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."
    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."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 3/16/2014
  • "Our college crowd of 10 had a great time tasting and sharing different plates. Love Tapalaya for its flexibility in toning down some of the spicy dishes for us lightweights. Looking forward to our next visit."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "Take it from a Southerner, this creole food will not disappoint. Everything here from drinks to food to dessert is amazing."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "Staff at Tapalaya were very generous, and in all amazing. I told them of a last minute change in group size, but then had another change after half the group was seated. We really appreciate them willing to move around the tables to accommodate our group. And also, they were especially nice about giving my friend a surprise candle on a cake when I asked. To add a cherry on top, the cake was even on the house :) It was a fun experience overall, definitely a recommendation!"
    Dined on 3/13/2014
  • "I loved this place! They had so many different items on the menu and it's nothing like I've seen anywhere. I'd highly recommend this place for foodies, as you can try several different dishes since they serve tapas style."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "If you need a New Orleans fix without flying there, this is a great place to go. It's more down home New Orleans as far as vibe, which I love, but the food is upscale. Great menu, including poboy's. The shrimp and grits are spectacular. It's all small plates so sharing with a few people is a great way to go."
    Dined on 3/12/2014
  • "Only complaint is that the music was so loud that it was hard to hear the waiter and there wasn't live music that night. :( Love the atmosphere & food was good! Price was good too. Definitely want to come back."
    Dined on 3/5/2014
  • "Great food. Excellent service. But way too noisy. Conversation impossible without yelling. Would not recommend."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "Best greens I've had in quite a while! And the pot likker was outstanding as well!"
    Dined on 3/4/2014
  • "If it weren't for the excitement of our crowd of Southern transplants trying to make the best of one of our favorite holidays here in Portland, the rating would have been worse. The food was exactly what we were there for but we were also hoping that it would be as hopping as the place was in 2013. No sir. It was a bust. We were fine with the lackluster event night initially, then we ordered. The server ignored one member of our party of three ENTIRELY. Our first drink order took more than 20 minutes to arrive (and the place was slow) *and* the drinks were served about 5-10 minutes apart. Three drinks. 5-10 minutes apart. What? The food also arrived in a staggered fashion and was small for the prices. Thank goodness it was tasty."
    Dined on 3/4/2014
  • "Tapalaya is the only place I have found in Portland that offers truly authentic Southern food! It really makes me miss New Orleans, and satisfies all of my Southern comfort-food cravings. The food quality is incredible, very very fresh compared to other restaurants. And the service is amazing, always flawless. My husband and I have made this our favorite restaurant, and we will be back over and over again."
    Dined on 3/4/2014
  • "The Pre- Mardi Gras atmosphere was definitely in the air or maybe this is always the case at a Creole inspired restaurant. Service was good not great-- always find it odd when waitstaff asks how everything is before we've taken our first bite. Love the New Orleans tapas concept- everything was tasty down to the Cafe du monde - like beignets. I would recommend better presentation of their French 77 cocktail which came in a glass looking like it was half consumed by someone else. We will definitely return for the food & possibly the music on Tuesdays & Thursdays and Happy Hour. Restaurant was packed at 6 but was less busy by 7 on a Saturday night."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "We went with a group of adults and older teens. The tapas style meant that we could all sample a variety of dishes, which was good since we were not always familiar with the Cajun/Creole menu. Sometimes, this type of food is too spicy for me, but I didn't find most dishes to be that way. Leave room for dessert! The only criticism I have is with the size of some of the plates, such as corn bread, which really was so small that only one or two people could really eat it."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "Tapalaya is a fun neighborhood hotspot! Good food at good prices! Waitstaff was friendly and attentive."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "We enjoyed the menu very much and liked the small plate theme so we could try a bunch of stuff. It was a packed night and the noise level was very loud which was a bit distracting. The price was not bad for the quality of the food but a bit more on the spendy side from what I am used to. Go during HH to get a better deal. The fried chicken and warm potato salad were great but our fav was the beef cheeks in a savory dark sauce with heavely grits."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Go to Tapalaya frequently; always a great night out!"
    Dined on 2/5/2014
  • "Enjoyed the small bites of several favorites from visits to New Orleans. Especially enjoyed the pontchartrain trout. Was able to relax and order in waves with no pressure to finish up. Will be back."
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "Celebrated a family birthday dinner at Tapalaya on Saturday night, having made reservations earlier, which was a must. Small plates of Cajun and Creole were just right for sharing: seafood gumbo, crawfish etouffee, grilled prawns, fried grits, red beans and rice, cornbread, beet salad, popcorn shrimp, and fried oysters. Excellent cocktails (the Crazy Marie was likely the spiciest Bloody Mary any of us have ever had); creme brulee and beignets (a little too doughy) with coffee for dessert. There was a band, but honestly the room was so loud, we could barely hear them. Service was friendly and attentive. We just wished seating had been a bit more cushy and that the volume level would have made it easier to visit. Overall, an 8 out of 10."
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "Our party of four, all first-timers, had a great dinner and wonderful evening. We tried and shared small plates with good advice from our waitress. Not a music night so we could easily talk across the table. Love the smoky pulled pork and the warm French potato salad - with fried potatoes - is a must. The kitchen makes dishes more or less spicy depending on individual tastes. Love the flexibility. Can't wait to return."
    Dined on 1/24/2014
  • "I really enjoyed the idea of Cajun Tapas. There were 4 in my group, so we ordered a variety of dishes. The Jambalaya was a group favorite and the crawfish fritters are a must... they were fantastic. The lighting was a little too dark at our table, but the overall atmosphere was nice. The music was a little loud, but not so bad that we couldn't talk to one another. I would definitely go back."
    Dined on 1/4/2014
  • "We love coming to Tapalaya and always have a great experience."
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "We, a group of 8, went to Tapalaya for NYE dinner. Excellent Cajun food, mixed drinks and dessert! Our wait staff were very accommodating and friendly. We'd love to go back! Thanks, Tapalaya!"
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "Food was disappointing, extremly salty, would not go back"
    Dined on 12/13/2013
  • "We had a reservation for 7:15 and we were seated within five minutes. The service was attentive without being overbearing. We did have to get some extra silverware as there wasn't enough for our table. The menu isn't extensive but what is offered is not your usual Portland restaurant offerings. The food was good and the "small plates" servings were just right. Great dessert menu. We especially enjoyed the flaming creme brulee presentation. We will definitely return."
    Dined on 12/13/2013
  • "noise level made conversation impossible for me with hearing aides Dined there Saturday evening; place was full"
    Dined on 11/30/2013
  • "Always love Tapalya; ordered a scotch on the rocks expecting cubed ice as per usual restaurant style and was delivers an epic glass over an ice block! Superb!"
    Dined on 11/24/2013
  • "Excellent, reliable restaurant with a very exciting and low cost happy hour! A must for locals and out of towners!"
    Dined on 11/17/2013
  • "The tasty food and the welcoming atmosphere always makes it worth a visit to Tapalaya, but the mellow music of Reggie Houston and Janice Scroggins makes the ambiance. It's always a pleasure!"
    Dined on 11/12/2013
  • "We really enjoyed our dinner at this restaurant. The food was very good and the prices was very affordable.. Great happy hour menu."
    Dined on 11/10/2013
  • "Don't miss the creamed cauliflower with its special spices [aromatic not hot']. We had the trout fried, which was wonderful. The chicken liver brochette was delicious. The roasted veggies were great with a lovely sauce. It wasn't my favorite etouffe' (like Jakes better) but it was still tasty. Prices are very reasonable. It was cold in the restaurant so be prepared. We weren't there on a music night, but imagined that it would be loud in that small place."
    Dined on 11/3/2013
  • "Amazing place. Great food and fun music. I have food sensitivities and they were great about it!"
    Dined on 10/24/2013
  • "Great food and fantastic music! We've been showing up on Tuesdays for some time to enjoy the mellow music of Reggie Houston and Janice Scroggins. The small plates are great to sample and share. It's always a good time!"
    Dined on 9/17/2013