Besaw's

4.4
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444 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Northwest
A Portland institution since 1903, Besaw’s has reopened its doors two blocks from its original locale, reintroducing its blend of contemporary Pacific Northwest cuisine and impeccable service standards. The new location offers gorgeous custom wallpaper (an homage to their old garden) and timeless design (you'll also quietly appreciate the sound-absorbing panels hidden behind the pressed tin ceiling tiles.) Serving classic dishes from meatloaf to perfectly cooked roasts, and using the best products from local farmers - Executive Chef Dustin Clark (formally of Wildwood) and his team consistently delight and impress the palate. Besaw's IS bona fide comfort food and a proud staple of the dining scene in Portland.

With our sister bar, The Solo Club, next door and shared delightful patio space, we accept reservations for parties of 1 to 400!
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What 444 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.3
service
4.5
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
80% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined a day ago
Overall5food4service4ambience4

Tasty, wholesome food at reasonable prices. Nice atmosphere and helpful, friendly staff.

OT
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2020
Overall4food3service5ambience5

Our servers were amazing!!! So accommodating to our kids. The Parker rolls were over the top but, unfortunately, we were a little underwhelmed by the entrees.

OT
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on January 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely cocktails and atmosphere. We all enjoyed our meals. Sticky toffee dessert was out of this world, but I was too full of hanger steak to finish it.

k
Portland
31 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We can recommend the salad, which was butter lettuce large enough to be shared by 2. The hanger steak was cooked perfectly and the accompaniments were excellent. The lasagna was loved by an Italian chef. The meatloaf is always excellent. The desserts were tasty and just the right size. Service was lovely and thoughtful. We forgot to get a pizza to go for lunch the next day. Another wonderful experience at Besaw's.

OT
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience3

This is one of my favorite breakfast spots. It’s always crowded and generally a wait. But the food is delicious and the service has always been great even with a packed restaurant.

Went for dinner for the first time with a group of 8. Food was mediocre and service was terrible. There were quite literally less than 10 tables occupied in the restaurant. There was zero reason service wasn’t excellent, or even satisfactory. Our waitress was never to be found. 2 times we had to get up and find her and ask her for items. We are not overly needy either. We were enjoying time with our friends and trying to be patient but we eventually got fed up.

For a group of 8 the gratuity was an automatic 20%. Was this why she didn’t care about helping us? There was no host or manager around at the end of the night to ask about altering this tip.

I’m going to have a hard time returning to our beloved spot as this experience just tainted it for us.

Besaw's
Responded on January 9, 2020

Hello, I believe I responded to your review on Yelp but again wanted to apologize for any experience less than stellar you may have had at Besaws. We always want to provide the highest quality experience and anything less is unacceptable. Please accept my sincerest apologies and thank you for your honest feedback. Best, Bob Davis MOD

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Delicious comfort food. Great atmosphere. Nice people.

D
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall3food4service1ambience3

Poor service really dragged down my review. It took 35 minutes to get our beverage order, while the next table got their similar order in about 5 minutes. When confronted, the server blamed it on a backup at the bar, but we saw our beverages sitting ready for more than 20 minutes. The server just messed up badly, never came to our table, and then blamed it on his co-workers. The rest of his service was average at best. The food was adequate in quantity and quality, but not better than adequate. Overall, disappointing.

Besaw's
Responded on January 9, 2020

Dave, I'm truly sorry that this was your dining experience at Besaws. These issues are totally unacceptable and not the level we strive for. There is no excuse and it is my responsibility as manager to correct any less than stellar standards. Again I personally apologize and hope you will give Besaws another opportunity to serve you. Best, Bob Davis MOD

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B
1 review
Dined on December 9, 2019
Overall4food2service4ambience4

Unmet expectations: Since Besaw's is within walking distance of our condo we wanted to add it to our list of neighborhood restaurants. This was for a birthday dinner. We had three different dishes Handmade Pasta, Besaw Burger and Fall Vegetable Pastiche. We treated the pasta as a side which was served along with the other food. The pasta's sugo could have been good but was too salty and the pasta itself was more like texture of dumplings. Burger was good, cooked as ordered and hot when served–no complaints just pub food. Pastiche, according to my wife, was good but not delicious. I took a couple of bites but seemed mostly quinoa.

Service was very good for early dinner. Food came quickly. Not crowded so we were able to linger without feeling rushed. There seemed to be a cold draft when door were opened even with curtain. We appreciated the complimentary sparkling water and offering of teetotalers LYCHEE TICKLE cocktail which was tasty.

Finally, we will probably try the brunch at some time in the future as this seems to be the preferred meal at Besaw's. So we can recommend you try for yourself but not necessarily for dinner.

Besaw's
Responded on January 9, 2020

Sorry to hear that you had a less than stellar experience at Besaws. It is our goal to give every guest the highest quality service, food and experience possible. If this isn't the case then we have failed. It is my responsibility as manager to make sure that these high standards are met. Again I personally apologize that you didn't enjoy your food to highest degree. Please consider giving Besaws another opportunity to meet and exceed your expectations. Best, Bob Davis MOD

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L
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

I’m so glad that the new Besaw’s is the same great dining experience as the old location. We loved it then, and we love it now.

CW
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on December 6, 2019
Overall3food2service5ambience5

Our steak bites were so tough we couldn't eat them. Complained and weren't charged, didn't eat them. Pasta had issues with the meet too. Salad was good, but not what we ordered.

B
Seattle
6 reviews
Dined on December 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Good food and good atmosphere. Parking was easy...not in the busiest part of town...yet.

OT
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience2

Disappointing thanksgiving dinner. As frequently happens at Besaw’s, they ran out of menu items. So disappointing since reservations were booked up a week in advance and you’d think they could better forecast how many prime ribs would be needed. I ordered salmon as my second choice, only to be told later that it would be a whitefish at the same price. They also ran out of Parker rolls. Served us 4 slices of pre-sliced bread instead at $4!
The turkey was dry. Servings small, especially for Thanksgiving. They were probably running out of that too, so were serving up the last bits.
Also, if you have any dietary restrictions, are vegetarian or vegan, good luck! They have a limited menu to begin with, so finding a vegetarian meal was difficult if you are avoiding cheese with rennet or are a true vegan.
Considering the missing menu items, you’d think we’d get more than an apology. No concession was given at all.
As I said earlier, we booked the reservation in advance, and it was one of the last ones. Considering it was a special occasion, you’d think they would have been better prepared.
I’ve been to Besaw’s a few times since the move and each time I’ve been disappointed by something. They usually run out of the good dishes or desserts. Best to have an early reservation, or go somewhere else.

LI
1 review
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall3food2service4ambience5

The ambiance is nice. The service was hit or miss and the food was mediocre. We checked in for our reservation 5 minutes early. Our table wasn't ready so we sat at the bar. After a while a bartender came up to us saying she's really busy and she has to do a flip with some customers. She said she will eventually get to us but first she'll give us some waters. The waters were nice but a cocktail menu would have been much better. We waited 10 minutes until we were approached by another bartender, who asked if she could help us. We said we'd love some cocktail menus and then to order some drinks. She was great and helped guide to the right cocktail. We were seated. Service was fine but the food was disappointing. When you're paying over $25 for an entree, it should be good. The turkey was so dry, it was hardened. And there wasn't enough gravy or any accoutrements to make up for the dry and hardened bird. Our waitress wasn't around after putting the entree on the table, so we were just forced to eat it in misery. We weren't going to take a chance on dessert, so we left after that. Number one rule for servers from an ex server: Check in 5 minutes to see how entrees are. Then you have time to send it back to the kitchen or have customer order something else.

DZ
1 review
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious food, lovely decor, friendly staff, I'll definitely be coming back!

OT
Miami
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food and amazing service. Went for brunch and the chicken and waffles and grits are to die for!

LB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Relaxed atmosphere and very tasty food. A nice option for a night out with friends.

L
Portland
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and great service!!

c
Portland
4 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience3

Food was great, cocktails not so much....service was ok, mediocre at best which was disappointing because we expected great things from Besaws

s
Vancouver
6 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had such a fantastic waiter, Jennifer. Brussels sprouts were so amazing we ordered them twice. Just a really nice experience.

O
San Diego
66 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2019
Overall4food3service4ambience5

We dine at Besaw's periodically when in Portland; the ambiance is exceptional--quiet, comfortable, tables not too close together with booths. Service is generally good as well. Cocktails a bit modest in size--would expect a more generous serving at a fine dining venue, but well made nonetheless. This last time, though, the food didn't seem quite up to what we have enjoyed in the past. I was always curious about "The Meatloaf" on their list of Classics--the presentation was exceptional, no doubt about it, but it was hard to find much meatloaf under the bed of onion rings. So a bit disappointing. My date had rockfish on a bed of chowder; innovative presentation and described as very good, but probably not memorable. We'll be back hoping that this experience is not the new norm but a mark of a fine restaurant is consistency which we didn't experience this time.

d
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience5

The food was tiny. $22 for a small piece of Lasagna is not reasonable, even when paying for ambiance. The burger was good and it came with a salad, but it was barely a salad. It was just some greens with dressing. They put zero effort into the salad. The salt and pepper squid was very good. I have dined at many fine restaurants around the world ad I understand the concept of getting something smaller and paying more for it at a nicer place, but it was not the type of place where I Would expect that. All 4 people in my parts thought of going for an additional snack after the meal. The rockfish and salmon were 5 ounce portions, which is quite small. The rockfish was said to have a chowder with it on the menu, which the waiter told us was actually just a base on the plate, which seems odd. When the plate arrived, there was maybe a drip of cower and the fish was not deboned. Overall, the experience was lackluster. For the price, you could spend a few dollars more and eat at Tasty N Alder or a competitor. I give it points for the ambiance and the nice location in the Slabtown area. They decor and overall energy was nice and it's probably a good date restaurant, if you are not actually hungry.

GN
Portland
19 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was great

OT
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The staff was INCREDIBLE! Food was amazing too.

PF
Portland
8 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food & service.

PC
Portland
1 review
Dined on September 19, 2019
Overall3food2service4ambience3

Personally I was let down by the menu due to lack of options and not very appealing. We actually decided not to have dinner & had only a drink which seemed watered down but then I guess that depends on how people like their drinks & an appetizer of melon wrapped with prosciutto which was not good, very salty & prosciutto was like jerky. The little treat the waitress gave us at the end, which was made with graham cracker & mascarpone cheese was actually very good. I use to go to the old Besaw's that was on 21st years ago quite often while working for Consolidated Freightways. Then the menu was wonderful so we were excited to go but it was a let down.

OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on September 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The dinner at Besaw’s is a hidden treasure. Great service, great food. Recommend Besaw’s to anyone who appreciates high quality fare at a reasonable price. We have utilized them for several events as well as just dining out. And better yet they are a privately owned local business. Farm fresh, local, delicious, comfortable, classic.

OT
New England
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall3food4service1ambience5

I really wanted to love the new Besaw’s, as we loved this restaurant when it was in its original location. The ambiance was very nice; however our server (who was new) was fairly abrasive. She didn’t know anything about wine, and suggested that all white wine tastes the same to her, which was dismaying since we were prepared to order an expensive bottle. Fortunately the manager intervened and was able to help us find a great bottle. Also, the menu didn’t match the restaurant’s web site, which led to some disappointments (no more fried chicken, no beet salad). The food we did have was good, and I would go back just for their Parker House rolls. I’d like to see Besaw’s stick around, but there’s definitely room for improvement on a service level.

LG
Portland
1 review
Dined on September 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food and ambience were lovely, but our server Aaron made experience truly memorable. THANK YOU!

MF
Memphis
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The wait staff were very competent and friendly.


We were very pleased with the experience and will suggest the restaurant to friends who visit the area.

GE
Portland
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2019
Overall3food2service4ambience4

The food was disappointing. The dish with the raviollis was terribly undercooked and hard like cardboard. It was also way too salty with too many capers. The salad of different types of lettuce was over dressed and just shoved onto the plate. The soup was great though. The drinks were fine. The service was good.

I have been coming to Besaw's for 30 years and this was the worst meal I have ever had.

Thank you,
Gerry O'Scannlain

L
1 review
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

We had a nice evening. Three ladies shared a beet salad and a mixed green. Then we shared two entrees, both delicious, the hangar steak and the salmon. The waiter recommended the Ken Wright Cellars Pinot noir, which was excellent. The crowd was light, but overall great.

OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on August 15, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Loved our burgers, shared a very tasty beet salad with goat cheese and pecans and mint. Excellent.
Good beer with our meal. A very fun date with my hub!

JN
1 review
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I had a great dinner at Besaws. The atmosphere is awesome, the staff were incredibly friendly and the food was delicious. I took a work colleague visiting from another state here and he really enjoyed his experience as well.

e
Portland
11 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Besaw's is always good. I had a relaxed dinner with an old friend and the staff was engaging and personable. Food was excellent, as well. Besaw's is reliable and wonderful.

C
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall3food4service5ambience4

Keep finding fancy names and descriptors for dishes but the end result isn't what it used to be (2017).

OT
Los Angeles
86 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience2

We had requested an outside table but there was a private party so we ate inside food was really good the ambiance not so much inside -great service

S
Chicago
1 review
Dined on July 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Waitress was attentive and other servers as well. Not loud at all so my friends and I could have a conversation and hear each other. Food was amazing!

c
Portland
6 reviews
Dined on July 16, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Dining area was spacious and noise level low enough to comfortably visit with others at the table. Wait staff was excellent and attentive without being bothersome. Food was good to excellent. Alaskan Prawn ravioli starter was quite expensive and flavor bland. The pork schnitzel was a bit dry and very bland. Really needed to be seasoned. The bit of herbed tomato sauce beneath it helped flavor it. Nice wine selections.

OT
1 review
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had the hanger steak with curried kale and smoked potatoes - best meal I've had in years. This is coming from someone that's eaten in Tel Aviv, London, Milan and all across the west coast as well as throughout Portland in that time span. Wonderful!

M
Portland
48 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was wonderful. Nice weather = pleasant outdoor dining.

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