Nel Centro

4.6
icon/ic_reviewCreated with Sketch.
1981 Reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$30 and under
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Italian

Top Tags:

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.

Get it delivered

What 1981 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
4.5
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
Sort by
Filters
OT
OpenTable Diner
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on March 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful! Food was delicious and service outstanding

CM
ChristenM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 13, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience4

This was our 2nd visit to Nel Centro, the first time we had happy hour at the bar because the place was packed. And we were impressed with the level of service on that visit, but were blown away for our visit this time for our anniversary. I had booked via OpenTable and had either clicked a checkbox for Anniversary or put it in the notes. When we arrived our menus (that they print themselves) said "Happy Anniversary" on them and 2-3 wait staff said happy anniversary to us as well. Big delight factor! :) So we were sure this place must be newly open with that level of service, but when we asked they said they'd been in business for 11 years. Wow, I've never been so impressed. Thier tiramasu bom is da bomb and their house red wine is better than most restaurants' non-house wine. Can't wait until the summer months when the back patio area is open. WE WILL BE BACK.

KK
KateK
Portland
1 review
Dined on March 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our waiter Rory was fantastic!

E
vipEater10000
Portland
443 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We started with the mixed green salad, which was properly dressed. We all had fresh pasta dishes that were delicious. The service was excellent and the wines by the glass were very good.

DB
DeniceB
Kansas City
2 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience5

The dining month menu was disappointing. The salad was right out of a Fred Meyer mixed greens package. The panacotta was not inspiring. Pasta was good, but not enough to save this lackluster experience.

MA
vipMaryAnne
Portland
41 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Nel Centro has always been one of our favorite places and Saturday night's experience was another home run. From the exceptional food, great cocktail menu, excellent and friendly service to their well decorated dining room, they hit it out of the park yet again. And there were seven of us heading to a show - they were prompt but they didn't rush us at all!

S
Sandavia
Portland
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely space and perfect before a show. The food was fresh and delicious. The wine list was fairly extensive but we didn't need to worry about that with our knowledgeable server. We will be back again.

A
Anonymous
Portland
7 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Overall, a nice dinner after a theatre matinee. Happy Hour drink prices seemed high and bartender kept asking if we needed more drinks. Chef made it clear to waitstaff that substitutions are not available for side items. Food quality and pricing seemed reasonable.

JS
JordanS
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Service was prompt and cheerful, food was extremely well prepared and the ambiance was very energetic (maybe a little too noisy). All in all, a very nice experience.

HC
HelloCP
Seattle
1 review
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved this experience! Perfect wine, great service, delicious food. We each ordered just an entree, which was a small portion. Best to get a starter or salad if you are looking for a full meal. Love this restaurant. The environment is so warm and lovely. Makes for a charming night out!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Portland
4 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious food and fabulous service. 👍

OT
OpenTable Diner
Portland
1 review
Dined on February 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was great! Would come back, wish it was a little busier.

JB
JuliaB
Portland
1 review
Dined on February 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The hostess was fantastic, getting us a booth instead of a table. Very sweet! And the waitstaff works as a team...we had a specific waiter, but many others saw to us. It was very nice.

SG
SteveG
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on February 26, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Service was awesome, food great. Was a busy night, but food was delivered quickly. They validated Valet parking plus discounted our meal because we were attending a concert at the Schnitzer. Will be back soon!

t
vipthoughtitover
Portland
32 reviews
Dined on February 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

One of our favorite places for dining before a concert at the Schnitzer or Keller--and David Machado has been a great supporter of the performing arts. This time we had the charcuterie plate (just right size appetizer for three), the salmon special and the pork osso buco, all excellent. We'll be back many times.

CM
CarolM
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

We had brunch here with my grandkids and it was just great. Food was very good, service very attentive and it was a lovely, quiet restaurant.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
8 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was our 34th Anniversary, and we wanted a special restaurant before the Ballet. The waiter was a real all-star, and timed the meal to precisely correlate with curtain time at the Keller Auditorium. The food was superb (crab pasta and short ribs), the salad inspired and the dessert amazing (tiramisu and a chocolate moussey thing). The remarkable thing was that someone (we suspect a couple of young ladies at the next table) bought our dinner anonymously as a gesture of kindness! If you’re reading this, we wanted to thank you for the lovely, and generous gesture. All in all, probably the nicest dinner we’ve had since we moved up here 3 years ago. Top notch all around.

J
vipJohn
Portland
20 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

The menu has a diverse selection with some really good appetizers, and fresh made pasta selections are all excellent. The service here is always first-class, and one of the reasons we keep returning.

CM
CherylM
Portland
1 review
Dined on February 19, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Nel Centro can be somewhat loud, and unless you are in a booth you may find it hard to have a private foundation. Wait staff is awesome.

p
pdxpauls
Portland
5 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Business lunch was great - food and service efficient and unobtrusive. I can bring clients to NC and have a great meal AND discussion. Thanks much!!

MS
MichaelS
Portland
1 review
Dined on February 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Nel Centro is one of my favorite places. The food is excellent, service is outstanding.

R
Ramreads
Portland
6 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Would love to have a child’s menu.

SJ
vipStevenJ
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Great food and service. I wish they had a little bit more on the menu for selection.

EB
EllenB
Portland
4 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We all 4 ordered different entrees and each one was delicious.

S
Skye
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Dinner at Nel Centro before a show at the Keller. The service was outstanding. Food and wine pairings were spot on. Would definitely return!

BM
BrookeM
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food is beyond delicious, the service is outstanding and the ambiance is warm & elegant. Considering how amazing everything is, the prices are SO reasonable!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Portland
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely fantastic, food was delicious and the ambiance is stunning.

MW
MichaelW
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This has been our favorite restaurant in Portland for years, especially if we have an event at Keller Auditorium. The food is always excellent, the service impeccable and the price very reasonable. Outstanding place.

WC
WillCortez
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We got married on 2/14/20 at the Mult Cty Courthouse and came to Nel Centro for lunch with our wedding party. This will go down as one of the best dining experiences we've ever had.

Nel Centro coordinated with my wife on dropping off our cake prior to the ceremony and they even showed us the table. When we did finally arrive, they moved us to a different table as a large truck parked itself outside the window and really ruined the view, ambiance & lighting for photos...this move was prompted by staff and not us. It was so very thoughtful.

They took our order and let us dine in the restaurant during their off-peak hours. They served our cake and even boxed up all leftovers for us.

We are eternally grateful to our hostess and wait staff. They made a very magical day even better.

-will & ruth
Ptld, OR

N
vipNickal
Portland
10 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, enticing specials, courteous and knowledgeable staff.

DM
DwightM
1 review