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Permanently Closed - Natural Selection

4.6
793 reviews
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$30 and under
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Vegetarian
Top Tags:
  • Fit for Foodies (1619)
  • Special Occasion (1332)
  • Neighborhood Gem (992)

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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
4.6  based 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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revalani (Portland)
5.0  Dined on June 9, 2016

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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vipDrinky (Portland)
5.0  Dined on June 9, 2016

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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OpenTable Diner (Portland)
5.0  Dined on June 8, 2016

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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AudreyM (Portland)
5.0  Dined on June 8, 2016

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

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OpenTable Diner (Portland)
5.0  Dined on June 4, 2016

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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OpenTable Diner (Portland)
3.0  Dined on May 28, 2016

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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OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on May 25, 2016

delicious, fancy vegetarian food
one of our favorite places

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vipJLiciaWay (Portland)
5.0  Dined on May 6, 2016

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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OpenTable Diner (Portland)
4.0  Dined on May 4, 2016

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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vipzukefresh (Portland)
5.0  Dined on April 29, 2016

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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judybeauty (Portland)
5.0  Dined on April 27, 2016

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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jennjenn (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on April 23, 2016

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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vipSarahR (New York Area)
5.0  Dined on April 20, 2016

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

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RedPanda7 (Atlanta)
4.0  Dined on April 16, 2016

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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OpenTable Diner (Portland)
3.0  Dined on April 7, 2016

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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vipFrania1 (Los Angeles)
5.0  Dined on March 30, 2016

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

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Anne (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on March 25, 2016

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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OpenTable Diner (Portland)
4.0  Dined on March 23, 2016

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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JasperMarks (Portland)
2.0  Dined on March 19, 2016

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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OpenTable Diner (Portland)
5.0  Dined on March 18, 2016

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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