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Party Size
For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM
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Booked 46 times today
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Nel Centro

4.5
1352 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Top Tags:
  • Pre/post Theatre
  • Special Occasion
  • Happy Hour

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. Join the power lunch crowd at Nel Centro for an array of scrumptious salads, innovative pizzas & fresh market fish. Reserve a table for Sunday brunch - truly a treat in a city known for long brunch lines.
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.

Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Italian, French, Mediterranean
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Hours of operation
Monday through Thursday: 6:30am - 11:00pm
Friday: 6:30am - 12:00am
Saturday: 7:30am - 12:00am
Sunday: 8:00am - 11:00pm
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Phone number
(503) 484-1099
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Executive chef
Luis Escorcia
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Private party facilities
Private parties, meetings and banquets are available in our five attractive private dining rooms. Gorgeous patio available for events. Ask about The Colosseum, a game-themed event space featuring shuffle board, pool table, life-size Connect Four, Wii and X-box.
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Private party contact
Dede Wilson: (503) 484-1096
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Catering
Book your next party at Nel Centro. Call Dede Wilson, Catering Manager, at 503-484-1096.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Columbia
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Parking details
Valet parking is available adjacent to the restaurant at the Hotel Modera, 515 SW Clay Street.
Additional
Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Specials

Mother's Day Menus & Specials

Bring the whole family on Mother's Day to honor mom in the most delicious way possible.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

What 1352 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.6
service
4.4
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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5.0Dined 3 days ago

Nel Centro never disappoints - always a great meal and great service. Easy walk to the Schnitz!

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5.0Dined 3 days ago

Superlative food, wine, and service. Russell, our server, was able to give a textbook description of wines appropriate for our taste and food, and I’m usually a beer drinker but got their amazing wines with our well-prepared Italian food. I’m eager to go back and try other items.

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5.0Dined 4 days ago

This is always good - we have had lunch, dinner & happy hour here and have never been disappointed. Very fresh and tasty food. One of the better Happy Hour menus in Portland with lots of choices and some very good healthy options, and not just bar food. The space is contemporary and bright and perfect place to meet before a show.

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5.0Dined 6 days ago

Nel Centro is a very good choice for any business or social gathering. It's a great place for a business breakfast and after-work drinks as well. The menu has something for everyone, the servers are professional / the service is great, and the ambiance conducive to connections!

We often select Nel Centro when hosting job applicants or for business meals because the food is so good (imaginative, using local food, a good representative of the local food culture). We can hear one another and track large conversations at the larger tables (round tables or a long table ... even a private room, though I haven't used that yet!). The booths are perfect for a smaller group. The decor is tasteful, current, and understated.

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5.0Dined 6 days ago

The food was good and the server was excellent, prompt courteous and friendly. The tables by the window are light and excellent for conversation in an otherwise fairly noisy place.

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4.0Dined 6 days ago

Nel Centro is my go to place for Happy Hour, Lunch and Dinner.
The food is of good quality and the prices are reasonable.
I like the bright and cherry atmosphere and the service is usually very good.
I do recommend this restaurant.

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5.0Dined on April 18, 2018

My wife and I both felt our dinner at Nel Centro was the best meal we have eaten out in more than a year. Everything exceeded our expectations, including the excellent service.

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5.0Dined on April 18, 2018

The location is perfect for dinner before a Keller event. The food is so so good and the service is impeccable. Thank you!

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5.0Dined on April 16, 2018

We were really impressed with the service and especially the food. The Dungeness crab spaghetti was amazing.

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5.0Dined on April 16, 2018

Great food and service. We had a very enjoyable time. I'm looking forward to going again.

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5.0Dined on April 15, 2018

Wonderful dinner! Thanks Nel Centro!

!!!!!!!!!!!!

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4.0Dined on April 15, 2018

Steak was perfect. Ordered two fish specials which were both dry from over cooking unfortunately, but the veggies underneath the fish were really nice. Chicken dish had no comment either way. Second time for dinner.

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5.0Dined on April 15, 2018

We met for dinner before the opera and plan to do so again before the next opera, on May 4.

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5.0Dined on April 14, 2018

The food was delicious and the atmosphere was perfect.

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4.0Dined on April 10, 2018

We are always happy to return to Nel Centro. The food is excellent and always well presented. The menu is limited and doesn't change a lot throughout the year, though there are daily specials, but everything is always fresh and the combinations of flavors are pleasing. We appreciate the discounts for arts events.

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5.0Dined on April 8, 2018

The service was fantastic. The came promptly and it was delish!

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5.0Dined on April 8, 2018

Nel Centro is one of my favorite restaurants in Portland. It is the perfect place to go before going to Keller Auditorium. This last time we went for dinner before Hamilton and it might be the best dinner we've had! I had the Potato & Spring Garlic soup and it was so smooth and delicious. My husband and I both had the special of the day - perfectly cooked halibut with potatoes, asparagus and green beans with a lovely sauce...simple and spectacular. The desserts were amazing too...especially my Lime Meringue Tart with mango caramel. Swoon worthy!! They had a rum punch "the rum where it happens' for Hamilton fans so that was fun! We've always had good meals here and love their breakfast but this dinner was so delicious I had to take the time to write a review.

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4.0Dined on April 7, 2018

We typically will go to Nel Centro before seeing a show at The Keller because we love the food and service. This was no different with the exception of waiting quite awhile before a server approached our table (10 mins). Service and food were pretty slow but we loved being there and it definitely isn’t the norm! Will definitely be back!

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4.0Dined on April 7, 2018

Very nice experience.

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3.0Dined on April 6, 2018

Eating here several times. The corned beef sandwich was crunchy and the slaw bland.

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5.0Dined on April 6, 2018

Enjoyed the menu and setting and what made it amazing with the delicious meals was our server Emily. She was not only pleasant (demeanor) but responsive,informed and had a light touch (attentive to table but not disruptive/interruptive). We enjoyed our experience!

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5.0Dined on April 6, 2018

Delicious dinner. Our service was welcoming, attentive (not overly) and knowledgeable of the menu and wines. I like the urban ambience.

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5.0Dined on April 5, 2018

Delicious menu offerings and an extensive wine list. Nel Centro has a very pleasant atmosphere with excellent service and a great dining experience. It's located centrally so is a fine place to gather before performances downtown. A treat!

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5.0Dined on April 3, 2018

We took advantage of a great location and ease of seating in downtown. The food and service were excellent. We'll be back!

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5.0Dined on April 2, 2018

Fabulous food and service. One of the best restaurants in Portland. Plus, valet service means you don’t have to search for parking.

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5.0Dined on April 1, 2018

Great dinner. Great place.

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5.0Dined on April 1, 2018

We had a great time having brunch the other day! Our service couldn’t have been better - our server anticipated needs and brought extra plates so we could share a specialty pastry, without even being asked! She was also very accommodating about special requests / ie ramekin of butter on the side, etc.

The food was also delicious with many usual food items prepared with interesting twists.

We’ll definitely be back!

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4.0Dined on April 1, 2018

Calamari appetizer is always quite good. Not rubbery.
Short ribs with polenta and broccolini did not disappoint. Beef was very tender and moist.
Pappardelle with ox tail ragu was quite tasty as well.

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3.0Dined on April 1, 2018

Food (fish/steak) was average but recommend sitting outside as the inside feels more like a
a Denny's/IHOP.

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4.0Dined on March 31, 2018

Great location for pre-Hamilton-dinner. Service and atmosphere are great while food is good but not stand out. On the other hand, brunch here is awesome.

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5.0Dined on March 30, 2018

Great dinner, fun people watching! .food was a little slow out of the kitchen on a busy pre-theater night.

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4.0Dined on March 29, 2018

We went for our 30th anniversary before a show and the service was exceptional.

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5.0Dined on March 29, 2018

We made reservations here before a date at the Keller Auditorium. What a great find. The food was excellent - we both had pasta dishes and I had a bowl of the potato-garlic soup. So very good. Out server Matt could not have been more spot on. We will definitely return. There were many things on the menu we’d like to try and the place has a great upbeat vibe.

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5.0Dined on March 29, 2018

Nel Centro continues to be one of my favorite restaurants. The service is great and the food is consistently very good. Love this place!

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5.0Dined on March 29, 2018

The food was OUTSTANDING! Delicious and beautiful on the plate. Our sever was courteous and knowledgeable and made excellent recommendations, all of which we took and loved. They knew we were there for dinner before a show, and they worked hard to make sure we got to our show on time. I would highly recommend them for anyone who wants a tasty food before seeing a show at the Keller.

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5.0Dined on March 28, 2018

Nel Centro was an exceptional restaurant , we were attending an event which’s was time sensitive. The restaurant and its staff were very attentive to the timing and had our meal ready without us feeling rushed. The food was very well prepared and plated beautifully. I would recommend Nel Centro as a dining destination if your travels bring you to downtown.

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4.0Dined on March 25, 2018

We were looking for somewhere near the Keller to have a bite to eat prior to seeing Hamilton and that opened early enough so that we did not need to be rushed. We had reservations and were quickly seated in a booth near the front of the restaurant. The special sconces were absolutely wonderful and the steelhead hash was fabulous.Service was responsive but not intruding. We will definitely return...hopefully in the summer so that we can enjoy the patio seating.

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5.0Dined on March 25, 2018

Lovely server; wonderful food. Best of all...noise level outstanding. Actually able to have a conversation in a normal tone of voice. Love this place.

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4.0Dined on March 25, 2018

Service was quick. Matt was very friendly and made sure we got to our show in plenty of time. Food was delicious! Nice atmosphere. I want to come back to sit on the patio sometime.

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5.0Dined on March 25, 2018

What a great find! Thoroughly enjoyed our dinner before the show.

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