Cafe Nell

4.6
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930 Reviews
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$30 and under
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American







Located in the heart of Northwest Portland, Café Nell serves French inspired American classics simply prepared from Northwest ingredients. Celebrating 10 years, Café Nell has become known for lively brunches featuring signature cocktails which never fail to impress. A full bar, friendly atmosphere, rotating taps, and a glowing fireplace create a welcoming environment. During summer, sidewalk patio seating is a neighborhood favorite for happy hour, or a candle-lit dinner on a warm Portland evening.

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Sun 9:00AM - 9:30AM 2:30PM - 3:15PM 4:00PM - 5:00PM 8:00PM - 9:00PM
Mon - Thu 11:00AM - 11:30AM 5:00PM - 5:45PM 8:30PM - 9:30PM
Fri 8:30PM - 9:15PM
Sat 9:00AM - 9:30AM 2:30PM - 3:15PM 4:30PM - 5:30PM 8:30PM - 10:00PM

What 930 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
4.5
service
4.6
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
97% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Portland
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Absolutely fantastic service. Our server made suggestions, was engaged and friendly.

OT
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food and drinks were outstanding, some of the best food in Portland. The only thing better than the food was the service. Will definitely go back.

D
Portland
20 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have been here many times. They have changed their menu and added new starters and entrees. We had the albacore steak and the pork chop for the main course...excellent.

NK
Portland
4 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always great. Good food, good people.

OT
New Orleans
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A perfectly intimate, very beautifully appointed restaurant that really takes the time to bring local ingredients to the table. Tim the manager is so knowledgeable and kind and was also a delight to speak to.
The wine list was outstanding perfectly balanced between west coast standouts and European classics. The lamb pasta was hearty and deeply and beautifully balanced.
If we lived there we would be there all the time...you feel so wonderfully welcome. Alas we will have to settle for coming each time we visit Portland.
It’s a wonderful place to have a romantic evening, you can actually hear your dinner mate talk! It was the star of our trip!

TB
Las Vegas
5 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely place with wonderful food, with most of us having the chicken & mashed potatoes, and we loved them. The portions seemed perfectly sized for us all. It was terribly noisy, as the restaurant was very busy, which would be my ONLY hesitation to coming back. The parking lot is a fabulous perk!

SM
Portland
12 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent as always from the host to the bartender to the server!

LR
Portland
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I went to Cafe Nell with a large group of friends and they handled all our orders so well. The service was friendly and accommodating. The food was delicious as were the cocktails!

JC
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall 2food 5service 5ambience 2

We have had the pleasure of dining at Café Nell on a number of occasions.
Saturday night...the food and service were excellent. However there were 2 large groups in the dining room that completely dominated the small room. The noise level was higher than any place I have visited. We could not even have a conversation and simply ate and departed.
In future if we make reservations over the weekend we will enquire as to the group involvement. We also heard the same comments from other diners who were affected.
This will not stop us from dining at Café Nell, in fact we have reservations this Thursday(11/17/19)but I will enquire regarding group attendance.
Thank you...John Cooper

Y
Portland
1 review
Dined on October 8, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

The food was great. I got the chicken breast; it was moist and juicy and quite delicious. It came with mashed potatoes and spinach, which were also delicious. My guest got the Vegetables Bourguignon, which was equally delicious. The only thing I would have wished for was larger portions. The vegetable dish cost 2 dollars more than the chicken dish, and both meals could really have been larger. The huge bowl used to serve the Bourguignon only made it look smaller. My meal really could have had more of the side vegetable (spinach... yum!), and the crispy moist breast was very small.
This is a great restaurant, but order sides and appetizers if you want to fill up.

TB
Portland
7 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food and service are always top notch at Cafe Nell! Love the cozy interior and it was nice to be there on a quiet night and enjoy great conversation.

L
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best happy hour in Portland

JL
Portland
10 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always love Cafe Nell. Great service, nice place where you can still converse with your table mates without shouting. Wonderful cocktails
And excellent food. This is our go-to place in NW Portland.

OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Stellar! It’s was our first time at Cafe Nell (Party of 8) and they were more than accommodating. The food was delicious and the drinks far exceeded our expectations. We will definitely be brunching there again.

OT
Portland
4 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We chose this restaurant based on reviews and proximity to our friends’ hotel. It is much more charming in person than the website shows. It has a French cafe vibe which we really liked. The service was excellent and they all seemed to really care that we enjoyed ourselves. The manager came by and asked some questions after the meal which was nice. The food was excellent and well priced for the area. The place was completely full and we were able to carry on a conversation without distraction from other tables. We will definitely go back again.

MR
Portland
19 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I had a friend visiting from our of town. I knew I could count on Cafe Nell for an excellent lunch. Of course, my friend loved the place. As always, food and service were the best. Christopher, our server, could not have been better.

K
San Francisco
26 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Party of 8 was crammed into very small space with two separate tables who really could not visit with each other.

LC
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We were here with a large group. All of our food was delicious, accurate, and prompt. Everyone cleaned their plates! The wait staff was very courteous. They gave us a bit too much space - We would have happily ordered dessert and another couple bottles of wine. I will absolutely be recommending Cafe Nell and be back!

D
Portland
5 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

The location is lovely, nestled amongst the trees. It has a parking lot!! That a lot gets this place lots of extra points. Food is yummy, but what makes this place special is the people. Ritchie our server is my favorite. He makes sure you have a fun and memorable experience while catering to your every need.

j
Portland
9 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

As always the food at Cafe Nell was not disappointing. The server (we've had him before) was a hoot in addition to knowing enough about the items on the menu to explain the ingredients, preparation, etc. and he had the knack of being able to show up at just the right time when we had a question or needed a refill. We didn't have to ask for a thing as he anticipated what we would like and need. Cafe Nell is always a treat.

ME
1 review
Dined on September 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, great service. Uncomfortable chairs, but overall a good experience.

B
Portland
16 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a most pleasant happy hour, chatting with friends at an outside table. The food was great and our server was exceptional.

2
Portland
9 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Classic neighborhood joint. Consistently excellent. Will be back soon.

OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Just all around super. Love this place.

RP
Edinburgh
50 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband and I had a date night at Cafe Nell and it was wonderful. We had been there for brunch in the past (highly recommended) but this was our first time for dinner. Our server was fantastic, with great recommendations for cheese, wine and dessert. My steak frites were perfect and my husband enjoyed the lamb. Looking forward to the next dinner at Cafe Nell.

MR
Portland
19 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a treat. My friend’s birthday lunch was great. As all my visits.

JB
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on September 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and great service!
Cozy atmosphere. I will definitely go back.

S
Portland
52 reviews
Dined on September 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place for a quiet dinner with friends fromFlorida.

RM
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on September 15, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

The Cafe was pretty empty for the first 30 minutes of our reservation. Our server was kind though seemed very busy with prepping for something else. We discovered 30 minutes into our meal a large table next to us was to hold a large party. The party ended up being far too many people than the restaurant had set up for, so we ended up dealing with scowls from the patrons, who seemed to be glaring at us to leave to make room for the extra room in their party. The restaurant is rather small but the front desk/host should have been a bit better about letting the large group wander the restaurant and glare at the patrons.

Food and cocktails were great, always seems like high quality ingredients are used. Overall, will definitely come back.

RC
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I invited my “empty nesters” to dinner. We really enjoyed sitting outside. The food was delicious and the service was great! The big hit was the Mac and Cheese and Nell Burger.

MR
Portland
19 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

No matter the season or occasion, Cafe Nell is always the perfect choice.

DB
Kansas City
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Charming venue with excellent food. We're happy to find places that aren't big, noisy barns. This suits us perfectly. Good food and service, lovely ambiance -- and you can actually have a conversation with the people you're dining with because the noise level is tolerable.

E
Portland
436 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

We both stared with the potato soup, which was delicious. We also shared the mac & cheese + French dip. Both were really delicious, though we didn't save room for dessert. The service is also very good.

L
Portland
4 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good brunch and quick service

PD
Portland
51 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A True Neighbor Gem. Cafe Nell has got it right and captured the essence of PDX. Spectacular ambiance, Fantastic Service. Thank you Mary for taking care of us with your hospitality. Cafe Nell will be my ‘go to spot’ for showing off PDX to my visiting/ out of town family and friends.

MW
Portland
7 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I had been to Cafe Nell about 17 years ago and even tho live close by, have just not had it on my radar screen. But it will be now as everything was great.

OT
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We had a late 8:45 dinner on a Saturday night. Place was still busy and full. We started with oysters, then shared a salad and I had the vegan option and my husband had the lamb steak.. everything was delicious and the service was very attentive. We had been here for brunch and lunch but not dinner and we would definitely return.

d
Hawaii
7 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

Small portions for the price. Slow and forgetful service. Wouldn’t come back anytime soon.

BT
Portland
1 review
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 1

The food was good enough...by spoiled by the poor service. 20mins after sitting down, waiter came to table with water. Gave him
complete order then. Salad came before drink order, dinner much later. We were one of the first tables to be seated. Read reviews the next day. The service is the biggest complaint. Why aren’t owners doing something about this? Won’t go back.

D
Portland
21 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Always good food and service at a reasonable price. Not the cheapest place but you get what you pay for.

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