Nel Centro

4.6
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1880 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian

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Pre/post Theatre
Hip Italian eatery in the Theatre & Arts District of downtown Portland, Nel Centro is a vibrant, fun and delicious expression of Riviera cuisine.
Perfect for dinner before a show at the Keller Auditorium or Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Nel Centro will make your special night out even more memorable. Or join the power lunch crowd at Nel Centro for an array of scrumptious salads, innovative pizzas & fresh market fish.
Nel Centro features a full scratch bar, swanky patio, private dining rooms and one of the city's premiere wine lists. Come visit and experience the luxury of the Riviera in downtown Portland.
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Private Dining

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Specials

New Year's Eve Special Menus & Offers

Join us for New Year's Eve as we serve our regular menu along with Chef Luis Escorcia's most memorable special dishes. **A credit card is required for all reservations. $50 flat fee for cancellation less than 24 hours notice or for a no-show

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

What 1880 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.4
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
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ID
Portland
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Terrific place with excellent people, food and service!

N
Portland
3 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of Portland's best restaurants. Outstanding food and experience every time

BM
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was amazing and Matt, our server, was a natural! Thank you for great recommendations, Matt!

OT
Portland
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I had a really great dining experience! The food, ambience, and service is above average..HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

D
Portland
2 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and service. Wine program is outstanding.

CA
Portland
2 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience4

All vegetable salads should be served with at least a couple of slices of french bread. My choice was to eat a salad without bread, which I can't––or order a serving of focaccia, which is not right for salad.
The restaurant is rather rigid in its offerings, i.e. serving their chicken rotisery only for dinner, and no 1/;4 portions for lunch (only cold chi9cken in sandwiches)

LS
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Lunch business meeting for 5 of us, one from Tokyo, Japan, one from New York and three from Portland. Excellent service and food, we were seated near a window so there was plenty of light and space. Very enjoyable lunch and the out of town guests were very impressed. Highly recommend Nel Centro!

NW
Portland
23 reviews
Dined on December 5, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

I eat at Nel Centro several times a year when I stay at the hotel. It does not have an extensive menu, but changes enough that there's always something new to try. If you are a fan of soup, theirs are excellent - usually rich, and a good blend of flavors. I had the squash soup and the salmon that was on special - both were excellent. I usually go with the house wines (red or white, depending) and the cocktails are excellent.
Good service and ambience too.

R
Portland
32 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Excellent food and service!

TP
Portland
10 reviews
Dined on November 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A consistently good experience

BD
Portland
24 reviews
Dined on November 26, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

We really do love this place...great food and wonderful staff! It was really nice and quite besides the large group next to us. Excellent service, fast and courteous! Thanks!

GR
New Mexico
1 review
Dined on November 22, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

This was advertised as Mediterranean themed food. Wouldn't quite say that since I have been there. But it was very good. Service was excellent. Everything arrived timely and warm. Wine list was good not great but sufficient for the types of food being served.

Would I go again? Not sure. There are so many choices in Portland, OR it needs to distinguish itself a little more.

It is a good choice and well located in the downtown area.

L
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on November 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our server, Mark, was wonderful. He was friendly and gave us perfect service. Our food was just so tasty and we all loved it. Thank you so much for everything. We will return!

OT
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

First time there, excellent meal for both of us and great service!! The kind of food and experience I will go back for..highly recommend.

OT
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience1

Food and drinks were amazing and wonderful service! Would be back next time we are in Portland!

RE
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Perfect spot for a business lunch and for great conversation. The waitress was attentive, friendly, and helpful in describing the menu and choices.

FG
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on November 14, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

great place to go for pre-theater evenings. Make a reservation in the dining room.

BB
Portland
1 review
Dined on November 13, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience3

Food was excellent. Waiter was a little strange as he asked about the lemon wedge in the iced tea and misunderstood the reply and then just plucked the lemon wedge off the side of the glass with his hand.

SB
1 review
Dined on November 11, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Great food, upscale atmosphere, good service. This place has it all!

AH
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was outstanding and my server was extremely attentive

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our meal was amazing and the service was great. Next time I'm back in town I'll definitely be back!

S
San Francisco
69 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience3

This has been a favorite for a while. Our last visit the food was mediocre. The pasta tasted like it had sat under the hot lamp for a while. The salad were good and my brother enjoyed the short ribs.

The restaurant was also unusually quiet for a Saturday night.

What has happened to this great place?

e
Portland
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

I am told that the ravioli is outstanding! It must be- it was sold out by the time we were there at 5:45! The food is very nice and inventive. Everyone enjoyed their meals very much.

p
Portland
6 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We stayed at the motel there, so ate dinner and breakfast at Nel Centro. Good menu choices, three of us opted for the osso bucco and it was excellent! Lobster bisque was the fourth choice, and she said it was very good. Nice service, good martinis and drinks, nice wine list, just very comfortable. The breakfast menu was so fun, with options we generally don't see on a breakfast menu, including baked eggs and polenta, practically to die for. Really good. We probably will stay here again and eat here again when we come down for one of the Keller Broadway plays.

SB
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great place to go before or after an event in Portland. Also nice for special occasions or on a date.

JL
Portland
7 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience3

We regularly go to Nel Centro, with a regular group, prior to a show at the theater. This time we went with a group of ten people and I was concerned that would be a challenge to get us served and off to the theater on time. Not only was the service exceptional, our waiter did an outstanding job. The food at Nel Centro is always great; a creative menu without being silly. I feel the prices and portions are appropriate. I would highly recommend Nel Centro.

JM
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Excellent Food. Attentive and charming waitress. No complaints. A wonderful experience.

MM
Portland
12 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

We have lunched at Nel Centro frequently before afternoon performances at The Keller. Since our last visit the Saturday schedule and menu has changed. Brunch is now offered till two. There is no lunch menu, and the lunch items on the brunch menu are more limited. We found new things to try, and both brunch items were perfectly prepared and delicious. The servers were welcoming, cheerful and gracious.

SV
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Food was ok but not special. Portion was small and overall pretty overpriced! Cocktails were all on the bitter side.

BL
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Lovely relaxed pre-theater dinner

DS
1 review
Dined on November 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

What a great find ! Excellent service and exceptional cuisine. Various items made in-house. Sausages, ice cream, mascarpone etc. Rotisserie chicken and potatoes rustic with fresh herbs. Tiramisu bomb, sublime, best ever. Would visit again.

MR
Portland
19 reviews
Dined on November 7, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

I can always rely on Nel Centro for the best. This was a special get together and, as always, it was a great time with friends and food. Our server was very attentive. Made us feel a bit rushed, but I think he was just trying to be on top of everything. I’m looking forward to my next visit.

LI
Portland
29 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent service and food. One of our favorite places to eat especially before a play.

DP
Portland
1 review
Dined on November 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The service was nice and fast, Jack was great, and the food was good. Great place for a lunch date!

KJ
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great choice for pre or post Keller show. My only issue is that the tables are very close together and the noise level can be very high. Dinner menu is always great as is the table service.

GG
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall3food3service5ambience4

Cold drafts at our table. The food was a little too salty. Service was wonderful.

BS
Portland
22 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My friend and I had a tasty breakfast in quiet booth and were served with warmth.

J
San Francisco
66 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience3

We are visitors to Portland. We had a very nice experience and recommend the restaurant highly. I ordered the salmon special and it was delicious. My wife thoroughly enjoyed her chicken dinner as well. And kudos to the server. He made sure that we did not receive the entree until after we finished our cocktails.

T
Portland
48 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Perfect service, food, and wine.

GS
Portland
8 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Nel Centro is the place my kiddo and I like to have a meal before the opera. The food is always good and the service is excellent

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