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Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.04mi
  2. Distance: 0.16mi
  3. Distance: 0.21mi
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  1. Distance: 0.04mi
  2. Distance: 0.16mi
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About Nel Centro

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.

1408 SW 6th Ave
Portland, OR 97201
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Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Italian, French, Mediterranean

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

Cross Street:
Columbia

Dress Code:
Business Casual

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(503) 484-1099

Website:
http://www.nelcentro.com/

Catering:
Book your next party at Nel Centro. Call Dede Wilson, Catering Manager, at 503-484-1096.

Parking Details:
Valet parking is available adjacent to the restaurant at the Hotel Modera, 515 SW Clay Street.

Executive Chef:
Luis Escorcia

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.

Private Party Contact:
Dede Wilson: (503) 484-1096

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

Nel Centro Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.4

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.4

service

4.6

ambience

4.4

value

4.1

Noise

Moderate

93% would recommend it to a friend

Pre/post Theatre (18)
Happy Hour (12)
Good for a Date (11)
See All
Business Meals (11)
Special Occasion (11)
Creative Cuisine (10)
Fun (9)
Good for Groups (9)
Romantic (9)
Vibrant Bar Scene (8)
Good for Anniversaries (8)
Great for Lunch (7)
Great for Outdoor Dining (7)
Quiet Conversation (7)
Good for Birthdays (7)
Fit for Foodies (6)
Local Ingredients (6)
Late-night Find (5)
Notable Wine List (5)
Bar Seating (4)
Casual (4)
Healthy (4)
Quick Bite (4)
Seasonal (4)
Authentic (3)
Handcrafted Cocktails (3)
Hot Spot (3)
Neighborhood Gem (3)
Sunday Lunch (3)
Cozy (3)
Afternoon Coffee (2)
Great for Brunch (2)
Comfort Food (2)
Great Beer (2)
Paleo Friendly (2)
Worth the Drive (2)
Disabled Access (1)
Organic (1)
People Watching (1)
Good Vegetarian Options (1)
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1272 reviews
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 (Portland)·Dined 2 days ago

Some of the most excellent food I have had. Served beautifully and portioned just right. Servers are attentive and friendly. We had a show to go to after dinner at the Keller, and they always ask so they can get us out on time. We have never had an issue with time. I make reservations on-line, so it's very easy and convenient. I highly recommend this restaurant if you have not tried it!

Tags: Afternoon Coffee, Good for Birthdays, Business Meals, Late-night Find, Happy Hour, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Portland)·Dined 2 days ago

Excellent, as always. Always wishing for more pasta options with meat as opposed to veg or seafood though.

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food4
ambience5
service5

 
 (Seattle)·Dined 2 days ago

Brunch with jazz was awesome!!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Portland)·Dined 3 days ago

Great service. Need more fish on the menu. What happened to halibut? It hasn't been offered our last three visits.

Tags: Paleo Friendly, Special Occasion, Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Portland)·Dined 3 days ago

Dinner before a play at the Keller

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Portland)·Dined 3 days ago

Busy place especially at happy hour which is available at the bar or the cool outdoor space (which could use some more heaters in winter.) The Beef short ribs weren't as flavorful as I would have expected and the polenta was bland and gummy. The rib-eye steak was presented alone on the plate- or so you thought, the kale (very tasty) was hidden underneath. Underwhelming presentation. Nice wait staff, attentive and helpful to get you on your way to a show.

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food3
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (Portland)·Dined 3 days ago

While our server was excellent it took 3 times for the kitchen to get one of the dishes we ordered correct. One of the people in our party ordered flat iron steak, medium well. All of our meals were delivered, but the server said it would be a couple more minutes for the steak. When it finally came, it was more on the rare side, very red in the middle, rather than medium well. It was sent back and the server said that it might be best if she ordered something else from the menu as the steak may take a while. So she ordered gnocchi. It came quickly, however it was cold. Not even a bit warm! So that was sent back and by the time a plate of warm gnocchi came, the rest of us were done with our meal. The only consolation was that she was not charged for the meal. The server was very gracious and apologetic, but I don't know what was going on in the kitchen that night!

Tags: Creative Cuisine
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food2
ambience3
service3
value3

vip
 (Las Vegas)·Dined 3 days ago

Saturday lunch (12:30PM).... apparently understaffed (as it was mentioned). Several server mistakes and very long wait times for the simplest things like a beer took FOREVER. Extremely disappointed. Food was OK... pizza was weak. Charcutterie plate was great. For the price you would expect good service and when the server WAS there you would at least expect him to get it right.

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food3
ambience4
service1
value2

 
 (Portland)·Dined 3 days ago

While they only serve their bar menu on Saturday, it was filled with great options. We had the rotessire chicken sandwich. The chicken was moist, the aioli terrific, the bacon crisp, and the foccocia was buttery and crisp. I would definitely go back. We’ll try the brunch next!

Tags: Good for a Date, Disabled Access, Happy Hour, Pre/post Theatre, Good for Groups, Quick Bite
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined 4 days ago

Nel Centro did a great job with our large group - holding our tables, giving us attentive but not too attentive service, and the food was delicious to boot (mmm oxtail pappardelle!). Definitely recommend if you’re looking for a downtown dining experience.

Tags: Good for Groups, Romantic, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Portland)·Dined 4 days ago

Russ, our waiter, was awesome from when we sat down & all through our dining experience. We split the rib-eye steak which was a special, delish!

Tags: Healthy, Late-night Find, Authentic, Good for Birthdays, Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined 4 days ago

Maybe it was an off night, but my friend and I had dinner before the Broadway show, and it was AWFUL. My $22 Rosotto was not only cold and flavorless, it tasted old. My friends gnocchi was similarly underwhelming. It took over an hour for us to get out entrees. We made it in plenty of time for our 5:30 show, and the staff was very friendly.

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food1
ambience3
service3
value2

 
 (Portland)·Dined 4 days ago

Great spot is going to a show at the Keller or the Schnitz. The food and drinks are good. The staff was great. Although dinner was slow we were out in time for our event.

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food3
ambience3
service3
value3

vip
 (Portland)·Dined 5 days ago

Would like to see more vegetarian options on the menu.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience3
service5
value3

 
 (Portland)·Dined 5 days ago

Everything we tried was delicious: beet salad, rosemary focaccia bread, squash cappellacci, and cardamon bread pudding. It was quite loud on a Thursday evening with a busy bar scene and

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Happy Hour, Pre/post Theatre, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food5
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (Portland)·Dined 6 days ago

Great food, good choice in drinks, overall really great experience!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Portland)·Dined 6 days ago

My family of 6 attended dinner on Valentine's day. Service was perfect. Our server was attentive, answered all of our questions, attended all of our needs promptly, and was very sweet. We ordered a round of guava margaritas, which were very well balanced, and then started with the calamari and a pizza. The calamari was crisp with a lovely aioli, and the pizza had a softer thin crust, but was incredibly flavorful.

For dinner we had the papardelle with oxtail ragu, the calamari bolognaise, the short ribs, and the pork tenderloin. All of the dishes were very good, well seasoned, and well garnished. The oxtail ragu had some orange flavor to it that my husband wasn't expecting, but I thought it was lovely.

We usually never get dessert, but on Valentine's day, we splurged and shared a tiramisu bombe and an earl grey opera cake with bergamot compote. I loved the tea notes in the opera cake, though my husband thought it was too subtle to taste, and the tiramisu was executed with a fun presentation and tasted absolutely delicious.

The large windows and modern style made the restaurant feel sleek but warm. Overall, we had a wonderful night!

Tags: Romantic, Great for Brunch, Seasonal, Bar Seating
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Portland)·Dined 6 days ago

Never disappoints. We eat here before going to shows in the area and they always get us out on time and the food is really good every time.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined 6 days ago

Amazing restaurant and food, very good ambiance. Was a little loud due to the fact it was packed for Valentine’s Day but non the less staff was super attentive and friendly. Pricing is decent, you’ll get enough food for your buck.

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food4
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Portland)·Dined on February 8, 2018

Great location, always a good vibe, and consistently good food.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Portland)·Dined on February 8, 2018

Great customer service from hostess to waiter.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Portland)·Dined on February 8, 2018

I regularly eat at Nel Centro for business lunches and find the environment to be pleasant, if not a little loud, with a solid menu and options for those with all types of food preferences. I'd love to see more gluten-free options, but I'll continue to eat there without them.

Tags: Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Portland)·Dined on February 7, 2018

Finally tried Nel Centro and enjoyed it. The specialty cocktails were inspired (the Lush Life was delicious!) and the food was super tasty. I found the ambiance lacking; the open floor plan and brighter-than-expected lighting made it feel more like a diner, but this is not diner food nor pricing. Would have liked it a bit more cozy. Overall though it was a terrific dining experience and we are still talking about how good the food was. The pork tenderloin was perfectly cooked and the flavors were spot on. We will definitely go again.

Tags: Happy Hour, Notable Wine List, Good for Groups
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food5
ambience3
service5
value3

 
 (Portland)·Dined on February 3, 2018

Amazing food and great waiter.

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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (Portland)·Dined on February 2, 2018

Our experience was superb. The waitstaff/mgmt. completely accommodated an error I had made when trying to figure out how to retrieve Open Table points reward. Open Table system is ridiculously and unnecessarily unclear on just how to accomplish that. Gone are the good old days when you simply accumulated points and requested a reward certificate which could be used at an Open Table restaurant. But this isn't about Open Table. It's about Nel Centro. We have been a fan of this restaurant since the beginning and they have never disappointed food-wise or service-wise. And they certainly didn't disappoint this evening. We will always come back!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Comfort Food, Late-night Find, Special Occasion, Worth the Drive, Local Ingredients, Authentic, Pre/post Theatre, Romantic, Great for Outdoor Dining, Great for Lunch, Cozy, Quiet Conversation, Fun, Business Meals, Seasonal, Happy Hour
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Hawaii)·Dined on January 30, 2018

I enjoyed a birthday dinner with several friends and it was a beautiful evening. The service was excellent, the cocktails interesting and tasty. Our meals were wonderful. The short ribs with creamy polenta served as a lovely meal!

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Special Occasion, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Portland)·Dined on January 28, 2018

Duck comfit is excellent that is one of the main reason brings us there

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Portland)·Dined on January 28, 2018

Service was incredible and fast. Got our table, water, and food right away. Waitress was friendly. Food was very blend, almost tasteless. Portions are a bit small for the price. No options for kids. It’s a very elegant place, but we are not coming back since we did not like food.

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food2
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Portland)·Dined on January 27, 2018

We booked a reservation for 4. We were quickly seated at a nice big booth. Drink order taken and specials shared with us. We ordered drinks with limes. Neither came with limes. We asked again for limes. No limes were delivered. Finished those drinks and ordered second asking for limes again. This time the drinks came with limes. Ordered apps and dinner. While waiting for dinner more drinks were ordered. 30 minutes for a beer and a glass of wine. Also tried to deliver an app we didn’t order and then tried to charge us for it. The food once it arrived was good but the lack of attention from our waiter left a bitter taste in our mouth.

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food5
ambience3
service1
value3

 
 (Portland)·Dined on January 27, 2018

We went to Nel Centro for lunch before a play. The waiter was especially good, attentive, but not hovering. Our lunch was delicious and served properly.

Tags: Healthy, Good for Birthdays, Worth the Drive, Good for Groups, Special Occasion, Afternoon Coffee, Good for Anniversaries, Pre/post Theatre, Vibrant Bar Scene, Business Meals, Fun, Fit for Foodies, Quiet Conversation, Local Ingredients, Great for Brunch, Creative Cuisine, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Portland)·Dined on January 26, 2018

Very solid place for a pre-theatre meal. Decent prices, menu selection and portions. Drinks were really good too.

Tags: Fun, Business Meals
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Portland)·Dined on January 26, 2018

Nel Centro was the perfect stop before going to the Kellar Auditorium to catch a play. I loved being able to make a reservation, and the food was SO rich but so good.

Tags: Good for a Date, Pre/post Theatre, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Quiet Conversation
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (Portland)·Dined on January 26, 2018

We can always count on Nel Centro for wonderful food and stellar service. It's our favorite go-to before a show at the Keller because we can park once.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on January 26, 2018

Wonderful location for pre-theater dining. Within walking distance of Keller Auditorium; offers valet parking. Food and service were both excellent.

Tags: Hot Spot, Late-night Find, Great Beer, Good for Groups, Fit for Foodies, Bar Seating, Vibrant Bar Scene, Creative Cuisine, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Portland)·Dined on January 25, 2018

Great spot to eat before heading for a show. Be prepared for a noisy experience. I'm so glad they've put pizza on the dinner menu. We had pizza, calamari and a variety of salads and it was all tasty.

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food5
ambience5
service4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 25, 2018

Nel Centro is part of the same building of our hotel. We drove 3.5 hrs. to Portland to see Book of Mormon which was a Christmas present for my husband . Allowed an hour and 40 minutes for dinner before the musical. Our wine was served timely. We waited a quite a while for our appetizer and we had to leave for the theatre before or entrees came. I had mentioned something to our waitress about our schedule. She just kept telling us our dinner would be out in 2 minutes. Three couples seated after us on all sides had been served and 2 were already finished with their meals before we left.
To had insult to injury, we walked downstairs the next morning to have breakfast. At 10:59, we were told they stopped serving breakfast at 11 and could return the next morning.
We have always enjoyed our stay at the Modera Hotel and the attached restaurant was handy. Looks like we will have to find a new hotel as well .

Tags: Happy Hour
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food1
ambience2
service1
value1

 
 (Phoenix)·Dined on January 25, 2018

Fabulous spot for biz lunch. The young woman who greeted me (I'm confident she's much more than a hostess) was amazing. I was super-early and she made me feel very welcome, got me some hot tea as well. Great first impression for the venue (and hotel). I will def return and recommend!

Tags: Great for Lunch, Quick Bite, Business Meals, Healthy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Portland)·Dined on January 22, 2018

Went for lunch, service was polite and efficient. The house white wine was delicious and reasonably priced at 8 dollars. The corned beef sandwhich was nothing special and they forgot to dress it with slaw. They took the other half back and fixed it, still not impressed. I did love, love thetuna nicoise.

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food3
ambience4
service4

 
 (Portland)·Dined on January 20, 2018

Wonderful food! Great service.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Portland)·Dined on January 20, 2018

The service was outstanding. The portions appear to be small but the food is worth every penny and we did not have room for dessert. I was very appreciative of the server, Matt, who was knowledgeable and helpful. The location and open window setting also was a positive and added to the overall experience. We went back the following morning for the Brunch menu and the biscuits and gravy were other worldly.

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food5
ambience4
service5
value3

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