Alto Bajo

4.3
151 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary American
CRAFTpdx is a Northwest inspired restaurant in the heart of downtown Portland, Oregon. We specialize in locally sourced, seasonal food & beverage. Our menu inspiration pulls from our teams diverse culinary background, which allows us to offer our guests an ever changing menu selection. We work intimately with local producers and growers, which is reflected not only in our dishes, but also in our curated beverages as well. We invite you to wander in and excite your taste buds with our thoughtfully crafted cocktails & cuisine.

Specials

Happy Hour Every Day from 2-6 pm at Alto Bajo

$3 Tecate tall boys
$9 House Craft Cocktails
$5 Draft IPA and Pilsner
$6 Draft Cider
$6 Red, White and Sparkling Wine
$6 House made Sangria
Food Specials

Terms and Conditions:

Valid For: 1 - 20 people

Starts: May 11, 2019

Ends: May 12, 2118

Availability: Mon-Thu 2:00PM-6:00PM

What 151 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.3
service
3.9
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Quiet
73% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Portland
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

The place is out of business. We showed up with 6 people with a confirmed reservation from open table and Surprise! No restaurant!

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JP
1 review
Dined on June 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Food was amazing, absolutely outstanding and now what you'd expect from a Mexican restaurant. High end, contemporary with a flash of fusion. Smoked Brisket Burritos were out of this world.

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VT
Portland
1 review
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious Food,Great service, Excellent!!! Nice place

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MR
1 review
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

We had a very disappointing experience at Alto Bajo. We had dinner reservations for 5:45pm. As we perused the menu, we noticed that happy hour ran until 6pm. My companion and I placed our drink orders immediately and received our drinks within the first 5 minutes of arriving - the drinks were kindly delivered by the bar tender. As soon as the drinks arrived we were ready to place our food order. However, the waitress kept bypassing our table. This is a very small establishment and although I tried to catch her eye several times, she didn't return to our table to take our food order for 15 minutes. As we were ready to order, we asked about happy hour and were told, "oh, sorry, happy hour just ended." It became clear at that point that she intentionally waited until happy hour was over to take our food order. Irritated, we asked for a few minutes to think about if we wanted food and asked that she give us a minute. That minute turned into another 15 minutes as she repeatedly bypassed our table several more times. At this point, all we wanted to do was leave. However, yet again, we couldn't get our waitresses attention. When she finally did return we asked for the check. When the check came, I realized that she had overcharged me $2 - charging me $14 for a $12 glass of cava. Almost an hour in, we had no food, had only gotten one drink each and had been overcharged even for that. This experience was so unnecessary and frustrating.

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SF
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love everything at Alto Bajo! Every meal I have ever had is delicious. The meats are juicy and tender, the margaritas are fresh, and I love the churros.

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JW
1 review
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 1

Very good food. Not the best Mexican I have ever had, but very good and quite reasonably priced. The menu choices are very limited. Not necessarily a problem, but something to keep in mind if that is important to you. The service was friendly, but the food came out way too quickly. We had our main dish well before we were done with our appetizers. The server just kept piling additional plates on our (too) small table. In the unlikely event I ever went back for dinner (see below) I would be very clear with the server about the pacing of the meal.

The big problem with the restaurant is the setting. The dining room is not just adjacent to the bar, it is essentially IN the bar. And the bar/dining room has very bad acoustics. Our table was near the far end of the room but the actual bar was still only about 25 feet away, and with basketball games on the TVs over the bar it was very, very noisy. Basically it had all the ambiance of a sports bar that evening. It was difficult to carry on a conversation with my wife. Also, the dining room is on the ground floor next to a busy street with large windows looking out. It made for a nice lighted space on an early spring evening, but the non-stop traffic of homeless people walking past the window was unpleasant. We were aware the hotel is in a part of town that is frequented by the homeless, which is something we are used to as Portlanders, and that was not a factor in our decision to spend the night there. But having that experience as part of a romantic dinner was not ideal.

With that said it looks like a fun bar. I might go back to the bar for drinks and small plates for happy hour with friends. But never for a nice dinner out.

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D
Portland
143 reviews
Dined on February 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

This was our first time to Alto Bajo. It is in the Hi-Lo Hotel in downtown Portland. They were serving brunch, and it was fantastic! We started with the sikil pal (chilled pepita dip with watermelon radish, jicama, and cherry spiced puree') served with flavorful, crunchy housemade tortilla chips. Beautiful! We shared two mains - the taco wedge salad was lovely - great flavors and the guacamole rice bowl with seasonal mushrooms, which were a great addition to the other bowl ingredients. The house made hot sauce made everything even better! Service was excellent. We are looking forward to having dinner there soon. Highly recommended.

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MS
Portland
9 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Very good food. Really delicious and healthy. Drinks were just Ok; not bad but not amazing. The place itself is not very fancy-looking but not ugly. I would go back for the food.

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OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Very delicious food and helpful and friendly staff! Totally recommend to anyone who loves a super cool atmosphere and a fun take on Mexican food!

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JW
1 review
Dined on October 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food was absolutely fantastic and I was in company with picky eaters!

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OT
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Lovely atmosphere and excellent food quality.

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C
1 review
Dined on August 30, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 5

The food isn’t very good. Heated-up quality about it. Bland flavors. Chips are hard and tough. Weird sugar added to dishes. So so expensive. Many good ideas on menu. Excellent service. It’s just poorly executed.

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T
Portland
17 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

I was disappointed. I love Mexican food, and was looking forward to contemporary mexican food.
The menu sounded interesting, however, the taste was not that interesting. I am sorry to say.

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BH
Portland
10 reviews
Dined on August 13, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The preparation of standards like enchiladas borders on the exotic, and the flavors were outstanding. We cleaned our plates!

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s
1 review
Dined on August 8, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

I was so disappointed to see that their menu had changed and took my two favorite things off of it. I ordered the market salmon and it was undercooked and was just served on top of corn and onion. Everyone else there also thought the food was just meh. The waitress said the chef had changed and you could really taste the difference.

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s
Portland
4 reviews
Dined on July 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Alto Bajo was great! It's about a year old, still looks brand new. Bright, modern southwestern decor (light wood tables, decorative real cacti and pretty patterned textile booths). The food and drinks were so delicious and plated beautifully - colorful, refreshing and without unnecessary inedible garnish. Made for a lovely meal and some great birthday pictures. We will be back!

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DD
Central Coast
3 reviews
Dined on July 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome food! Fresh ingredients and you can taste the effort and care put into making the food. The best black beans, I’ve ever had. Delish salsa and sauce on entotamadas. Wonderful server!

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C
Portland
10 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

The Gigantic Carnitas plate was really amazing. The Pork was done to perfection and the black beans were to die for. The red cabbage added just the right amount of crunch. We shared a Mexican version of the wedge salad and it was so good I could have had two. The Margaritas were really good and the rose wine the bar tender recommended was dry but flavorful, just how I like it. Our server Madisen was really friendly, helpful and we would definitely recommend her and the restaurant to others.

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C
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on June 30, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Super yummy and friendly. I just don’t understand why the mole would cost so much. Also all chicken is thigh meat if you are into that.

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C
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Alto Bajo is slowly being discovered as a wonderful downtown Portland dining option. Featuring modern Mexican cuisine with an Oaxacan flair, I was really impressed with my overall experience. The house made chips, guacamole and salsas were the perfect start to the meal. My dining companion had the barbacoa tacos, and I enjoyed the entomatadas. The entomatadas were like a mix between an enchilada and empanada, and SO delicious. YUM! I also enjoyed the Nayarit rice and refried beans. Everything was just wonderful! We will be back.

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GE
Seattle
67 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

First off, this is a restaurant inside but somewhat separated from the HiLO Hotel lobby. Problem is the bar and restaurant are not contiguous and if you are a single for dinner, you get to sit at a table by yourself rather that sitting at the bar and eating there and feeling like you are in the restaurant instead of the hotel lobby.

The food, guacamole with salsa was tasty, accompanying chips were way over salted and I like salt!

Had the house margarita with reposada tequila, rocks and salt. Good cocktail, just a bit short.

Entree was the rabbit wrapped in bacon with green mole and veg. TOO SALTY! Also too much mole, the dish was swimming it it.

All said, they are pushing the envelope for Portland, both the flavors (in a good way) and the price. They have the right idea, just need to execute!

Hope they survive and are able to improve on their execution.

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OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 4

We went when they just opened, and the food was delightful, now is like a "fonda" food not bad how ever they can make better plates. The ceviche was delicious! Please show México in a different way no big plates! And we miss that wonderful spicy flan!

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AB
Portland
17 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Lacked zest in what you would expect in Mexican food. Very small portions for high price. This restaurant is a hotel connected business at the Hi Lo. It could be very good if they understand people don't want to pay $15 dollars for a single burrito on a o,ate with nothing else. Food was not hot. I won't be back. Waitress excellent

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MF
Portland
1 review
Dined on May 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I've been here a few times and each time the food and drink have been outstanding. The drinks are fantastic (the cadillac margarita is one of the best in town, and I've had my share!) and the vibe is a great combination of cool/hip/modern, but still quiet/professional so you don't have to scream to hear whomever you are dining/drinking with. The brisket burrito is off the hook!

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OT
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on May 13, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 3

Mother’s Day

Service was atrocious (Zach) - one of the worst servers I have had in years.

Some food was outstanding and others was very mediocre.

Not sue if I will return

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OT
Atlanta
4 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2018
Overall 2food 4service 4ambience 1

We had a 7:15 pm on a Friday, and we were the only ones at the restaurant for the entire duration of our meal... I don’t know why this was, but the lack of atmosphere very negatively affected my experience despite my tasty chicken dish. I suspect the combination of a limited menu and a location with little foot traffic might contribute to the emptiness.

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OT
Portland
24 reviews
Dined on April 28, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Well-executed non-traditional Mexican(ish) fare at a modest price point in a cheery space. Don't expect a conventional menu - my vegan chile relleno was filled with pine nuts, lentils, and cherries and baked rather than fried, and accompanied by a side of foie gras refried black beans. Adventuresome without being too precious and affordable. This is classy casual dining and an excellent value - we plan to return with friends.

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AB
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on April 21, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 3

I thought that ambiance was neat. I thought that food options were a bit limited and they ran out of the one dish that I was looking forward to trying (it was probably popular because the other items were a bit too adventurous. I decided to be adventurous and tried the rabbit but I was not a fan. I also thought that it was over-seasoned and almost too salty to eat. I did eat it though because I was hungry! The cocktails were good, at least! It could be that I ordered the wrong dish, but I probably won't be back since it is also too pricey to take that risk.

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MC
Seattle
1 review
Dined on April 21, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

The menu that is online is not at all the menu that they offer at the restaurant. Their dinner menu only has a few options. Not bad options, but if you are going with a big group and want enough variety for everyone, I would reconsider. Food was good, but it took forever and there were very few people in the whole restaurant.

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b
Tallahassee
30 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Holy cow we love this place!!! Super cool menu! (Beware it is different then Open Table menu). Lots of flavorful and unique dishes. Even for breakfast! Healthy fresh ingredients and large portions. We will be back and highly recommend!

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OT
1 review
Dined on April 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 4

Dim the lights and attentive service will make this an A+. Food is fantastic. Glad the menu is simple/short w each item done to perfection

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NH
1 review
Dined on April 2, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

I ordered the poblano chile relleno. It was ok but the pumpkin puree was a bit thick. I had hoped they would have more vegetarian options.

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b
Portland
58 reviews
Dined on March 27, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Alto Bajo is attached to the new Hi-Lo boutique hotel located at the corner of SW 3rd and Stark. We were there for the Portland Dining Month special $33.00 diners. Our impression is that for volume, you get your money's worth - large portions. The starters were the high lights of the meal, excellent Empanadas and wonderful ceviche. The second course was large but slightly undercooked chile relleno, and a huge serving of grilled chicken with slaw and pickled onions. Both of the main slightly missed very good, but the rice and black beans sides met that standard. Desert was a chocolate cake with flan topping - interesting. With a very good guacamole, one wine, 2 beers and tip the total was slightly over $100.00.

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U
Portland
49 reviews
Dined on March 24, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

What a great first time visit! The Dining Month starter and entrée we’re superb. The dessert wasn’t great but the overall experience was so positive we will definitely return .

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d
Hawaii
4 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 4

Found everything between the 4 people very spicy and surprisingly spicy as there was no warning. Service was a bit slow and drinks were on the weaker side but we were still served so can't totally complain. A good night out for a double date - great interior setting. Wouldn't be rushed to go back and the value for Dining Month was not there - just order off the menu as you'd like.

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JG
Hawaii
45 reviews
Dined on March 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Nice and spicy! Loved it!

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CN
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on March 18, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

Used to enjoy this place, brunch was horrible and service was so slow. Eggs tasted microwaved, only good thing were margaritas but we had to flag someone down to get a second round, our server never offered, and even after we ordered we had to ask a second time to finally get them. Very disappointed.

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b
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on March 17, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

We were a few minutes early for our table, so we asked if we could wait in the bar and the hostess told us to 'come back and find me when it's your reservation time". Um, isnt it her job to come tell us when our table is ready? Found that very rude. Took forever to get the three courses (dining week, but it wasn't THAT busy). Empanadas were too spicy to eat, two of the moles were too bitter to eat, chicken was cotton-dry. Relleno was just meh. Not rushing back.

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B
Portland
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We tried the March dining options and were stuffed. Margaritas were also excellent.

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s
Portland
10 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 4

The ambiance and design is lovely but the meal was Very disappointing. We ordered from PDX Dining Month menu. My mezcal margarita, was, a wonderful beginning. It went down hill with each following course. The empanadas were tasty but not exceptional, the chili relleno was boring and odd with nuts in it. My husband’s came out with chunks of unmelted cheese. He asked if they could melt the cheese, and his replacement dinner was brought out after the rest of our group had finished eating. The dessert flan was nothing exceptional and the gluten free alternative was downright weird with a showy presentation of dried mango, and bland rice crisps and almond milk to pour over it - so bland! A lot of $ for not so great food.

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