Permanently Closed - Natural Selection

4.6
793 reviews
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$30 and under
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Vegetarian

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About

This restaurant is permanently closed.

Dine on vegetarian cuisine inspired by the flavors of France, Italy and Spain at Natural Selection. Its casual setting features an open kitchen that offers patrons to view the skillful chefs prepare their meals. Natural Selection offers a variety of dishes made with vegetables, fruits, grains and other organic ingredients. Patrons can choose their meal à la carte or from a four course, prix fixe menu. Kabocha squash soup, potato gnocchi with creamed leeks or braised escarole with matsutake mushrooms make for flavorful fare. This restaurant also serves desserts, as well as vegan and gluten-free options.

Natural Selection offers wine and other beverages to pair with meals. Its doors are open Wednesday through Saturday. This European-style bistro is wonderful for enjoying dining out with friends, colleagues or family.

Dining Style
Fine Dining
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Cuisines
Vegetarian, Modern European
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Hours of operation
Dinner: Wednesday - Saturday: 5:30pm - Close
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Phone number
(503) 288-5883
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Payment options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Aaron Woo
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
31st
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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.
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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.
Additional
Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Wine
What 793 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.6based on all time ratings
4.7
food
4.6
service
4.4
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
97% of people would recommend it to a friend
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r
Portland
12 reviews
Dined on June 9, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Sadly, the reason for our visit was that the restaurant was closing. It was one of our favorite special occasion places, and we're sorry to see it go. Good luck to Aaron and the crew!

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D
Portland
117 reviews
Dined on June 9, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were very pleased to snag a reservation to dine at Natural Selection before it shuttered its doors for good. The experience was stellar, as always! The final weeks' menu was outstanding -- fresh, delicious and beautiful in appearance. We will miss having Natural Selection as a local dining option.

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OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We visited this restaurant to celebrate a birthday. The overall dining experience was wonderful. The food menu was designed such that it melts in your mouth. The wine pairings adds to the excellent taste. This is the place for vegans to experience carefully prepared and presented dishes that are exquiste.

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AM
Portland
4 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Superb food; superb service -- 2 hours of total fun, stuffing myself with healthy food.

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OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on June 4, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Ever since I was first served the best gazpacho I've ever had in my life by Aaron Woo at an otherwise fairly boring Portland VegFest right when Natural Selection opened, it has been my favorite Portland restaurant. Every single bite would provoke a smile. Every element of each dish was skillfully planned and executed. The staff was fantastic. Watching the chefs work was always fun. It was an event I was always looking forward to, and it was always worth every penny. I am going to miss having you around.

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OT
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on May 28, 2016
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

Very tasty and interesting vegan food but the main course was so small, it was actually depressing-- especially for the price. I had to eat dinner when I got home

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 25, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

delicious, fancy vegetarian food
one of our favorite places

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JL
Portland
36 reviews
Dined on May 6, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

OpenTable. You ask "how was your visit to Natural Selection?".

It was superb and marvelous!!!
Get a reservation and go already!

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OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on May 4, 2016
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Natural Selection is a great spot for fine dining and special occasions. It's a bit precious in presentation, but the quality of the food does hold up, even if the portions are somewhat small. Friendly staff present the food carefully and without being overbearing. It's definitely a special occasion stop, not your every day drop in.

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z
Portland
30 reviews
Dined on April 29, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

An amazing, well priced prix fixe experience. And make no mistake, it'll be an experience. Everything was spot on, tasty and well-presented. The wine pairings were also perfect.

Perfect place for a treat that'll make you feel awesome afterwards!

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j
Portland
10 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

My friend and I were in Portland for a getaway and booked dinner Wednesday night at Natural Selection. I am vegetarian, an artist and a huge foodie. You know that dinner you remember the rest of your life? Well, this is it. So often a restaurant experience doesn't measure up on some level or another, but this one did. It was the whole package. Creative, gorgeous food that was so delicious! Creative terrific drinks (both cocktails and mocktails) served by a wonderful, smiling woman who took care of everyone there. An open kitchen of 5 young guys who were so quietly focused, relaxed and into each dish they were putting together and sending out that it was truly impressive. 4 incredible courses of local vegetable and fruit jewels with an amuse bouche and palate cleanser–all with amazing flavors. Can't rave enough about this experience! We ordered and shared both of the selections for each course, so literally ate everything in the restaurant– and all fantastic. Thank you, thank you Natural Selection! You've restored my faith in dining out and taken vegetarian dining to a new levels.

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j
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on April 23, 2016
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

Dined at Natural Selection for my birthday dinner with my guy. We started with delicious cocktails (whisky sour (no egg whites) and a sazerac) and then each did the vegan options of the fixed-price plus wine pairing meals.

The soup! The celeriac, basil, & coconut soup was so incredibly delicious. I wanted to order another. It was creamy but light, earthy but slightly citrusy... It was too good.

Course no. 2 was ruby streaks, golden frills, & manchego salad (without the machego). This was also really tasty. The pickled cherries were the unexpected best part.

Course no. 2.5 was an off-menu dish of tempura sorrel... also really tasty (and unexpected).

Course no. 3 was herb roasted red potatoes with rapini. This was the weakest dish of the night. It was good, but everything else was so good/great that this seemed anticlimactic. Also would have enjoyed a protein of some sort here.

Dessert: rose water and pistachio tea cake with a rhubarb compote. PERFECT.

Overall a really great meal, cozy atmosphere and nice location.

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SR
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food! Delicious vegan food and ample portions which was appreciated.

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RP
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on April 16, 2016
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Wonderful vegetarian food and reasonable for a four course high quality meal. I only wish it had not been a 30-40 minute wait between the second and third courses (and no acknowledgement of the long wait or apology, which would have been sufficient). Still, my overall impression was positive, it is an attractive bistro, and the food was delicious and memorable.

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OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on April 7, 2016
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

The whole experience took too long. Only some of the courses were really good. The tables are close together so you might have to listen to your neighbors who will most likely be pretentious. For veg/vegan with extra time and money this might be a good option.

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F
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved the food and the service. Even non vegetarians will be impressed!

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A
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on March 25, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

We thoroughly enjoyed our dinner at Natural Selection. The food was creative, beautifully plated, and delicious. We did the wine pairing along with the four courses which we'd highly recommend.

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OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on March 23, 2016
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We enjoyed our dinner and the delicious courses! The flavors were memorable and enjoyed the presentation. I have been a vegetarian for more than 25 years and appreciated the care and attention as well as the wait staff's explanation of what we were eating. My only food feedback is the broccoli rabe was too tough to cut or we needed sharper knives. The crumble was too sweet.

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JM
Portland
45 reviews
Dined on March 19, 2016
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

Very disappointed. I've been eating here since Natural Selection opened and for years have considered it one of the best vegan restaurants in the country; if not the world (and I've eaten in many world-wide). But, the last three times I ate here (I don't give up easily) I have been disappointed by what has turned out to be attractive but bland, tasteless food. I think the chef/owner is stretched too thin as I didn't see him at the restaurant the last three times I ate there. When he was at the helm the food tasted amazing. The same thing happened to Blossoming Lotus, used to be amazing, then changed hands and it went down hill. I'll spend my money at Departure where I have never had a bad meal or bad service. They also have a great vegan menu. Sorry Natural Selection, three strikes (at your prices) and I'm out.

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OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on March 18, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My wife and I didn't know what to expect. We were referred to Natural Selection by a friend. All he said was, "Just Go". The food was marvelous. The ambiance was nice. I was very entertained watching the meticulousness with which the staff prepared each and every plate. Highly recommended is an understatement! I can't wait to go back.

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OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on March 17, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This restaurant is hands down amazing. The vegetarian food is excellent. With each course, there came a vibrant new flavor. I always look forward to going to New Seasons whenever I am in town and am never let down by the cuisine or friendly knowledgeable service. I hadn't been in in a year and yet the matradee and hostess still remembered me. The ambiance was amorous and set the mood for a fun-loving and relaxing evening.

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OT
Fargo
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We are always looking for a comfortable sit down veg restaurant with locally sourced food.
The food was present beautifully and delicious. The wine pairing was excellent. The cocktails
were wonderful and inventive. We would take our non-vegetarian friends there. Looking forward to returning.

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OT
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on March 12, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We've been vegetarians for 25 years and this is the first truly gourmet vegetarian restaurant in the area. Just the right amount of food in the four courses, interesting combination of flavors, artful presentation, great service paced very well, and on top of that, it's fun to see the (amazingly) relaxed kitchen at work! We will recommend and definitely return.

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TT
Portland
5 reviews
Dined on March 12, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I have a promise to visit this wonderful gem of a restaurant at least three times a year. It's the best for special occasions and romantic outings. The entire experience is special- even as a non-vegetarian, I look forward to the delicious creations without longing. Each dish is prepared with creativity, skill, and love. You will find beauty, complex flavors, attentive service, and an overall wonderful experience at Natural Selections

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OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on March 11, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

The food was incredible and the wine pairing is absolutely mandatory. The staff made us feel at home -- casual and friendly but professional and allowed us room to talk and enjoy our evening. Our reservation was for 8:30 and the restaurant closes at 10 but we left at 10:40 with plenty of folks who had arrived before us still enjoying their food and sipping wine. It was a great evening and absolutely worth the expense. Thank you so much for such a positive experience.

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OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on March 10, 2016
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 3

As we drove by, I almost kept driving. How could a great restaurant be here? I'm glad I gave them a chance. The server could have been more engaging however, he was informative, polite and pleasant enough. The food was the star although a couple minor elements did detract from a five star rating, notably the main course was not as good as the pre-courses and the blueberry desert was much to sweet. ON the all positive side-the wine pairing was great

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GG
Portland
7 reviews
Dined on March 5, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Offers a fantastic fine dining option for vegetarians and vegans who are tired of "finding something" on the menus of most restaurants. Every course was creative, beautifully presented, and delicious. I can't wait to go back.

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C
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on March 4, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Creative, beautiful, local sourced food prepared with care -- best meal I've had in a Portland restaurant! Thank you for a most delicious dining experience.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 4, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding food and service. You really get what you pay for. Server pays attention to detail and makes the diner feel welcome and engaged. A fan from Florida.

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P
Portland
7 reviews
Dined on February 27, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

It was a fantastic experience. Great food, great service.

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OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on February 26, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Loved the food so fresh. Everything tasted awesome. Will definitely go back.

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DD
Portland
4 reviews
Dined on February 24, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The menu changes regularly. Your waitperson's advice will be good.

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OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on February 20, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

food was great no rush to eat. The servers were friendly & explained each dish with patience

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AC
Portland
1 review
Dined on February 20, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Natural Selection is a dream come true - an oasis of gourmet Vegan taste combinations that even a meat eater would love! As a vegetarian for the past 20+ years, this was hands down the best 4 course meal I have EVER eaten. Dining at Natural Selection was an affordable culinary adventure that explored texture, pairings, flavors, and color combinations without giving up taste or serving size. My compliments to the chef!

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J
Portland
40 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Even though winter produce gets a bit tired about now, NS managed to pull together a fabulous dinner for four of us. As always, Flavors are complex and not easily decipherable, but well balanced and unique. Presentation is always perfect and service professional and yet personal. Love it. Can't wait for summer

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OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on February 19, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

My partner and I came for a belated Valentine's Day dinner on 2/19. We've been twice before, and it's always such a treat. We did the 4 course prix fixe menu, $45 per person, and each ordered from one side of the menu so we could try all of the dishes. We also did the wine pairings which was an additional $29. It's definitely worth it in my experience. The servers are so well trained, and they really know the menu from top to bottom. Nothing was rushed, and it was really a lovely experience. I would highly recommend NS to anyone, vegetarian or not!

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OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on February 19, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is just an extraordinary dining experience, no matter the style of cuisine. From start to finish each bite was delicious, satisfying, and left you anticipating the next. The wine pairings were in step. The wait staff personable and timely. This place is now on my permanent list of places to frequent!

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OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on February 18, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The team at New Seasons elevate vegetables to nobility. They are inspired and inspirational in the variety of dishes they create, and the resulting flavors, textures, and presentation are fantastic. New Seasons is my favorite restaurant in all of Portland!

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OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Flavors are complex and delicious. Vegetables are taken to new heights. Wine selections and mixed drinks are also complex, delicious and pair well with the food.

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OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on February 6, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food, timing, staff and ambiance was outstanding!! Love the open kitchen, fresh food and delivery. I recommend this restaurant to anyone who is looking for something outside of the norm. I like that I was able to reserve my table online and it was ready for us even though we arrived a bit early.

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