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Cafe Nell, Portland, OR

Cafe Nell

4.4
4.4
2520 Reviews
$30 and under
American
Located in the heart of Northwest Portland, Café Nell serves French inspired, eclectic American classics simply prepared from Northwest ingredients. Celebrating 14 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. Indoors, Sidewalk and Oasis patio seating are all a neighborhood favorite for a tasty lunch or a candle-lit dinner on a lovely Portland evening.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 47 times today

Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Cuisines

    American, French, Bistro

  • Hours of operation

    Mon–Fri 11:00 am–11:00 pm Sat, Sun 9:00 am–11:00 pm

  • Phone number

    (503) 295-6487

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Private party facilities

    Cafe Nell is an intimate venue for private parties of 50 to 100 guests.Maximum capacity of 80 for a sit-down dinner, and up to 120 for buffet-style.

  • Private party contact

    vanessa@cafenell.com: (503) 295-6487

  • Neighborhood

    Northwest Portland

  • Cross street

    NW 20th Ave

  • Parking details

    Complimentary parking courtesy of the offices of Legacy Health (entrance a block away on Lovejoy between 19th & 20th) Weekdays after 5 pm. Saturday/Sunday All Day. Street parking also available. Paid parking is available 4 blocks south at 16th and Kearney.

  • Public transit

    Two block walk from StreetCar at 18th & Lovejoy.

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Gluten-free Options, Indoor Fireplace, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine

Popular dishes

What 2,520 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.4
4.4 based on recent ratings
  • 4.3Food
  • 4.4Service
  • 4.5Ambience
  • 4Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • Portland / Oregon

    Great for Brunch

  • Portland / Oregon

    Outdoor Dining

  • Portland

    Great for Brunch

  • Portland

    Great for Lunch

  • Portland

    Neighborhood Gem

  • Portland

    Outdoor Dining

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Filters

  1. GC

    GCGCT

    New York Area

    51 reviews

    5.0

    51 reviews

    Dined 3 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    My husband and I enjoyed walking to this restaurant in the Alphabet District. We sat outside, enjoyed a bottle of sparking wine and two entrées - an amazing beet salad and a pesto pasta - plus an excellent strawberry rhubarb crisp for dessert. We liked that we could have a meal that was not too heavy, and portions that were not too large. The service was outstanding, which helped to make the overall experience feel special.
  2. LS

    LewS

    Seattle

    11 reviews

    4.0

    11 reviews

    Dined 4 days ago

    overall4food5service5ambience4
    Very nice lunch. Superb wait person, good food, a bit elevated menu prices. Outdoor seating could stand some upgrading.
  3. S

    Steve123

    Portland

    8 reviews

    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined 6 days ago

    overall5food5service3ambience5
    We went to Cafe Nell for brunch and everything was amazing! Their drinks and food never fail to impress. Service may have been a bit slow that day, but everything else made up for that.
  4. j

    janeh

    New Mexico

    12 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    12 reviews

    Dined 6 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Excellent as always. Food was great on a hot night. Service as well.
  5. A

    Aidan

    Chicago

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 7 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great food, excellent Bloody Mary's and a romantic environment. Cafe Nell was a lovely place for a gorgeous brunch. The bloody marys had an excellent spice to them and the eggs Benedict was good. The vegan hash, for what it was and what it was priced at seemed a little stingy. But we had great service and can't complain much. Thank you.
  6. K

    Kvshrz

    Philadelphia

    10 reviews

    5.0

    10 reviews

    Dined 7 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    6 star service if I could . Made a birthday night memorable
  7. DL

    DanaLou

    Portland

    17 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    17 reviews

    Dined on August 5, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We celebrated a 70th birthday and the waitress was very patient with us. She took a group photo and was extremely gracious about it. The food and Mimosas good and the Bloody Mary was spectacular‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️
  8. AE

    AllisonE

    Portland

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 4, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We had a group of 7 for my daughter's birthday. The atmosphere was exactly what we wanted. We went at opening (11:00 weekday) so it was not yet busy. By the time we left it was filling up but our service was never lacking. Drinks and food were both great. Between us we tried a variety of beverages, food and dessert. Everyone was pleased with their orders. We will definitely be back.
  9. P

    Prtt

    Portland

    40 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    40 reviews

    Dined on August 3, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    We dine at Cafe Nell 3-5 times per month It is our go to place to dine in Portland... highly recommend it.
  10. m

    marvinandabby

    Portland

    45 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    45 reviews

    Dined on August 2, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Always great food, drinks, and service. Wonderful outside seating available.
  11. AS

    ArouraSeeker

    Dallas

    17 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    17 reviews

    Dined on August 1, 2022

    overall4food3service5ambience5
    Great place to grab drinks. I cannot recommend the food but our custom margarita was perfection. Easy parking and cute patio dining make it a keeper. Just eat before you go. Bartender is outstanding
  12. K

    penaltyKill

    San Francisco

    27 reviews

    vip
    1.0

    27 reviews

    Dined on July 31, 2022

    overall1food1service3ambience4
    We went to cafe nell on sunday the 31st,we had a reservation. we were seated late and put in what was referred to as “the blind spot”. After sitting at the table for 15 minutes i went to the hostess station to ask for water which we got 19 minutes later. We were able to get a coffee and an ice tea after another 20 minutes. Our busy server and i do not blame him at all finally took our order and we waited for another 25 minutes when i finally just gave up. Server was apologetic and requested i wait so they could get my info but i just wanted to leave at that point,it was hot,we were ignored,i don’t need that in my life. I loved Cafe Nell,have been there 4 other times and the waitstaff and the food plus that delightful tent make it well worth going. I am done with cafe nell,the whole experience just left me with a foul vibe. maybe if it’s too hot in the kitchen you close down for the day and give the staff a break,you can do that! it’s allowed.
  13. R

    Ribby

    Portland

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on July 31, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    It feels like escaping to Paris for a leisurely lunch with friends. Love the outdoor covered patio and the food is yummy too.
  14. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Austin

    2 reviews

    3.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on July 30, 2022

    overall3food4service3ambience5
    I ordered the steak au poivre and it was over cooked. They made me a new one which was perfect. The server gave excellent service however I was disappointed no one from management touched base with me about the recook which was disappointing. I even asked to speak to the manager and was told there wasn’t one. Ambiance was amazing.
  15. P

    Portlandlocal

    Portland

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on July 24, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    We had a really pleasant family brunch. We were looking for a nice location where we could have some time to talk. The food and service were good and the ambiance was excellent! We will definitely go back at some point
  16. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Portland

    4 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on July 24, 2022

    overall2food1service3ambience3
    This was a pleasant outdoors brunch on a beautiful Sunday morning, but add in distracted service, poorly prepared food and an outrageously expensive bill and the experience was horrendous! Cold coffee, repeated requests for the same thing and not a single check in on how we were doing explains the service. Rubbery poached eggs, microscopic crab cakes, cold hollandaise and cold geriatric potatoes explains the food. $10 for two silver dollar sized crab cakes and a $75 bill - 2 coffees plus two eggs Benedict - explains the cost. Seriously?
  17. W

    Wienerin

    Portland

    25 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    25 reviews

    Dined on July 24, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    We sat outside which was very pleasant. Beautifully designed former parking lot.. you’d never know. Very nice and attentive server. My frozen lemonade with limoncello was delicious. Food beautifully presented. My only complaint is that my husband was looking for a seafood pasta; there was a fettuccine with pesto on the menu and the waitress suggested adding shrimp and salmon. What surprised me was that the 3 shrimp were an additional $15 and the smallish salmon was, too, which made his dish a total of $49 which it definitely was not worth it. We will go back as, on the whole, it was a pleasant setting, good service, but no more seafood pasta.
  18. PH

    PatrickH

    Portland

    12 reviews

    5.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on July 24, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Michael was great.
  19. GH

    GeorgeH

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 23, 2022

    overall3food3service3ambience4
    Usually much better than this. Seems understaffed. Had such a wonderful steak/frites dinner there recently I ordered it again. Guess you 'can't come home'. Arrived barely room temperature with frites kind of limp and warm vs hot and crisp. Mix up with the bill (we brought another couple with us after building up their expectations based on our experience a couple weeks ago). Oh well - they've been great over the years so we'll step back and wait a bit before we return (but we will return).
  20. M

    Madge

    Portland

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on July 20, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Delicious food, great service and wonderful ambience
  21. JL

    JoLa

    Portland

    24 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    24 reviews

    Dined on July 20, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great meal at Cafe Nell. Delish cocktails. The oysters were fabulous! Everything about it. Cafe Nell continues to be top notch
  22. P

    Portlander

    Portland

    35 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    35 reviews

    Dined on July 18, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Always a good experience at café Nell.
  23. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Portland

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on July 18, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    It was nice and tasty, really enjoy my time and food
  24. MR

    MichaelR

    Portland

    42 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    42 reviews

    Dined on July 17, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Cafe Nell never disappoints. The best Benedict in town. Always a treat to visit.
  25. TL

    TomL

    Portland

    21 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    21 reviews

    Dined on July 17, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    The cocktail drinks, food and service were very good.
  26. SS

    StephenS

    Los Angeles

    8 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on July 17, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Wonderful service
  27. RT

    RubyTues

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 17, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience5
    Have been here for both brunch and dinner. Love the atmosphere, great place to bring dogs. Most seating is outdoors and separated from other diners which is really nice, especially during a pandemic. Staff are always friendly and courteous. I found the service to be very variable-- sometimes the staff are really attentive, waiting time for food is quick, and the drinks are great but sometimes waiting time for food is long (even when it's oddly not busy), and the drinks have been so-so (for a $12-15 cocktail, I expect it to be awesome). Most things I have ordered have been really great- recommend the french toast and benedicts for brunch. The mussels and frites were really tasty for dinner. My husband ordered the pork dish for dinner and was disappointed. Overall, it's a place we love to go to meet with friends and will definitely go back.
  28. PD

    PDXGUY

    Palm Springs

    44 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    44 reviews

    Dined on July 16, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Love this gem. We go every time we’re in town, often multiple times during our visit. Our server today, Adam, was excellent!
  29. SS

    SusanS

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 15, 2022

    overall3food4service4ambience5
    We had a reservation and were told when we arrived that it would be a 30 minute wait because of walk ins. Shortly after, we were seated at the worst overflow table in the house. After complaining, we were seated at a great location and service was prompt.
  30. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Portland

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 15, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Our experience here at Cafe Nell is always amazing.
  31. LS

    LoriS

    Orlando

    17 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    17 reviews

    Dined on July 15, 2022

    overall2food2service3ambience3
    Cute restaurant, service was fine, food was mediocre at best. Everything was overly salted and/or over cooked. Very disappointed.
  32. R

    Ronda

    San Francisco

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on July 14, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience3
    We definitely enjoyed our evening. We requested outside and loved the fresh air.. only downside was our table for two was really tiny and no place to put our 4 feet! Food and service good. Out of the Prosecco on the menu but the Cava was a fine second choice.
  33. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Portland

    2 reviews

    2.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on July 14, 2022

    overall2food3service2ambience3
    The service was terrible… Waiter told us that they didn’t have very many wines in stock from the menu. He then could not make any recommendations on what wine we should drink that they did have. We had to ask for orders be taken after about 45 minutes. Food was nothing exciting and the service was not great.
  34. PH

    PatrickH

    Portland

    13 reviews

    5.0

    13 reviews

    Dined on July 9, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Dany is a wonderful server.
  35. MA

    MariA

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 9, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience5
    Loved our wait person, Trevor. He was great. I thought the prices were a bit high. I love the ambience and the outside seating.
  36. CM

    CynthiaM

    Naples

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on July 9, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Outstanding. As always. Thanks for the pup bowls and treat!
  37. P

    Portlandia

    Portland

    34 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    34 reviews

    Dined on July 7, 2022

    overall3food4service4ambience1
    Too Noisy - I requested the outdoor back area and the reception people said it was full. Only those who made reservations had access. I made a reservation too. My guest and I were seated outside along the street. The leaf blowers and pressure washers were out in full force. It was difficult to hear my lunch partner above the noise. This is the second time in a week that I have been seated along the street at Cafe Nell. I will now ask to be seated inside or in the back or dine elsewhere.
  38. SD

    SusanD

    Portland

    15 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    15 reviews

    Dined on July 6, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Excellent lunch. Impeccable service provided by Christian.
  39. LW

    LauriW

    Portland

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 5, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Had a very nice lunch with delicious food and drink and a great waiter, Paul, in the wonderful covered outdoor area. All good with the exception of two items: 1) It was a bit chilly that early afternoon and the ceiling fan made it a little less than comfortable, although on our part we did not ask if the fan could be turned down or off... 2) Near the end of our meal a contractor started to use a drill on what looked like an exterior repair and it was a little obnoxious but we were dawdling after our wonderful respite from the day and it reminded us that it was time to leave:-). Thank you Cafe Nell!
  40. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Portland

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 5, 2022

    overall3food2service3ambience4
    The food was just ok? I went twice in the last week because we love the space but the food was just ok! The service is also a little slow but that would be ok if the food was great! Everyone is very nice and friendly!

Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitizing

    • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
    • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
    • Common areas deep-cleaned daily
    • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Physical distancing

    • Limited number of seated diners
    • Distancing maintained in common areas
    • Extra space between tables
  • Protective equipment

    • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Screening

    • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
    • Staff is vaccinated
    • Proof of vaccination required to dine indoors
    • Contact tracing information collected

FAQs

Cafe Nell offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (503) 295-6487.

Cafe Nell is rated 4.4 stars by 2520 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 47 times today
Google Map for Cafe Nell

1987 NW Kearney St, Portland, OR 97209

Additional information

  • Cross street

    NW 20th Ave

  • Neighborhood

    Northwest Portland

  • Hours of operation

    Mon–Fri 11:00 am–11:00 pm Sat, Sun 9:00 am–11:00 pm

  • Cuisines

    American, French, Bistro

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Parking details

    Complimentary parking courtesy of the offices of Legacy Health (entrance a block away on Lovejoy between 19th & 20th) Weekdays after 5 pm. Saturday/Sunday All Day. Street parking also available. Paid parking is available 4 blocks south at 16th and Kearney.

  • Public transit

    Two block walk from StreetCar at 18th & Lovejoy.

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Gluten-free Options, Indoor Fireplace, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine

  • Phone number

    (503) 295-6487

  • Private party facilities

    Cafe Nell is an intimate venue for private parties of 50 to 100 guests.Maximum capacity of 80 for a sit-down dinner, and up to 120 for buffet-style.

  • Private party contact

    vanessa@cafenell.com: (503) 295-6487

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