Cafe Nell

4.7
1562 Reviews
$30 and under
American

Cafe Nell is currently open for outside dining only, in our custom-designed, safely distanced patio and sidewalk seating.


Now rain- proofed and heated! 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.

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • 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
What 1562 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.8
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
OpenTable Diner
Pittsburgh
21 reviews
Dined 17 hours ago
Overall4food3service5ambience5

Great ambiance, food was okay, a bit pricey for the small portion you get. Both meals I ordered key ingredients were puréed rather than mixed in, for example scallops were puréed. But, I’d go back again, just would ask more questions on the menu.

c
vipcawoodbury
Portland
7 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall4food5service3ambience4

The server acted as though we had Leprocy. She kept backing stay and barely reaching to hand us food and the bill. She had a mask on and I get Covid is no fun but to treat customers like they are contagious is. Or a comfortable feeling. We wouldn’t be at the restaurant if we had been exposed or feeling sick. Not a pleasant experience.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience5

If you are looking to dine comfortably outdoors in Portland, then this is the spot

FP
FoodiePDX
Portland
6 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience4

For covid times it is very good. The food comes warm and the heaters work. We enjoyed our meal!

DL
DanaLou
Portland
12 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Cafe Nell has been my "go to" place for outside dining over the past several months. I have no complaints except the last two times I made reservations via Open Table, and received a confirmation, the restaurant had no reservation for me. There seems to be a "glitch" in the system somewhere.

BA
BillA
Portland
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall3food3service2ambience2

They’ve done a great job reinventing their space during a Covid reality. However, the good is just fair, and is too expensive given the quality, and portion size(s). The service, which is usually good (especially during this tent service time) was quite poor.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Portland
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall1food1service1ambience1

We were the only patrons at the restaurant. Even still the waitresses could not be less attentive to our table. They should just stay home at let other people try to work. That alone would be okay; however the food was cafeteria quality terrible yet they charged $19 for simple breakfast entries. This place is going to achieve a self fulfilling prophecy and go bankrupt if they do not improve their service and quality of food. We understand Covid has changed everything; however bad food and bad service will not keep your doors open Nell.

S
vipShay48
Portland
65 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our favorite place.

Report
EF
ErinF
Portland
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My husband and I went out on a very rare date night. We found Cafe Nell to be intimate, COVID-safe, delicious and lovely. We really enjoyed our time out of the house and were so happy that we spent our evening at Cafe Nell!

T
Tomcat
Seattle
3 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall3food3service3ambience5

I ordered the pear and cranberry crisp for dessert. It came with apples and blackberries. I don’t care for blackberries. I was disappointed the waiter didn’t offer to bring a different dessert or take it off the bill. Poor service for an upscale restaurant.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Portland
5 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Cafe Nell has done an amazing job handling dining during Covid. The outdoor area is plenty warm and tables are spaced well. Menus are fresh and service is excellent as usual. Love visiting!

J
Jennifer514
Portland
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience4

We loved the ambience under the tent in the Oasis(?) room. Food was very tasty. Cocktails were excellent. We will definitely be going there again.

LJ
vipLaurelJ
Portland
3 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Our service was slow this time around and the food seems to have slipped a bit. It took almost 20 minutes before we were able to place our food order. The crab salad at $22 was overpriced for its size and amount of crab; it was maybe two tablespoons worth. Not much else besides romaine lettuce. The Parisian scramble and huevos rancheros were great.

JM
vipJohnM
Portland
9 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Overall the experience at Cafe Nell was quite good. They are managing socially distant dining and service quite well. The food was good. The one small glitch was a failure to bring a coffee while the rest of the party had dessert. Overall, a very good experience and recommended.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Portland
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best outside dining set up in Portland thats COVID friendly. I cant stop raving about this place!!

KM
KathyM
1 review
Dined on February 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had a reservation and was seated right away. Outdoor seating was warmed (pandemic times). The food was excellent (monte cristo) but was a bit on the pricey side. Worth it and would eat here again.

E
Edie
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on February 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Cafe Nell has done an outstanding job of transforming the parking lot into a lovely outdoor covered dining area. Nice ambiance and super warm with the heaters. The food was excellent: great eggs Benedict and burger. Could go lighter on the salad dressing (or ask for it on the side). Lovely brunch!

S
vipSacorbin
Portland
9 reviews
Dined on February 20, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Wonderful brunch, small menu but good food. Outdoor seating with plenty of heat lamps.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Portland
14 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Given covid, the temporary outdoor dining area is exceptional. Large, heated, decor and lighting all great. Food and service are excellent. Only criticism is limited appetizer menu. Would like to see easier sharing options like calamari and fries. Our group of 4 spent a lot on drinks (very profitable for any restaurant) and would have enjoyed better apps to have with them

j
vipjaneh
New Mexico
7 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Awesome as usual!!

LR
LindaRoses
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on February 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The outdoor seating experience is wornderful. Definitely a grand experience.

T
vipTomi
Portland
14 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very friendly service and very good food

L
Lisa
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Amazing outdoor ambiance and heating. One of the only places on V day and they took very good care of us!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We love this place! We had our first date at Cafe Nell, and have been celebrating every year here, as well as several dates in between! Great food and service and we are proud to support them. They have gone above and beyond to make sure their customers are safe and have a great experience.

S
Sven
Portland
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Very impressed with how Cafe Nell has intelligently utilized space to create a cozy and classy outdoor seating area. The neighboring parking lot has been converted into a heated tent with a central bar area. I actually hope they keep this even when the weather turns warm and the COVID-19 pandemic subsides! The one comment I would make it that it did get a bit cold despite the dedicated heater unit for our table. Granted, it was an unusually cold day (upper 30s F). It might help to have more than one heating unit per table on particularly cold days?

Food is amazing, loved the muscles and frites, arugula salad and scallop "pillows".

MH
MelodyH
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We really enjoyed our anniversary dinner there. Good overall especially in these covid times

TV
TamaraV
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was outstanding, the drinks were delicious and the service was friendly and attentive. The heaters were an absolute bonus to an already beautifully finished outdoor dining experience!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Portland
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best brunch ever.

JW
JoanW
Portland
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience5

The heaters and outside dining is wonderful. I felt very safe as well. The service was very slow and I didn't get many items I had requested. One was brought to me very late, but I wasn't charged for it in the end. I do enjoy going to Cafe Nell. I also understand the challenges due to Covid.
Keep up the good work!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Portland
1 review
Dined on February 7, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Always great.

I
Itsaturtleworld
Portland
1 review
Dined on February 7, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

They are well set up for Covid safety precautions. The food is fresh and plated beautifully. They are known for their cocktails for a reason, as they had a unique assortment. The pear cranberry cobbler is a lovely, not too sweet dessert. We’ll be back as there were so many other dishes and cocktails we’d like to try.

O
vipOlivegirl2
Portland
9 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Candayse was an amazing server, in fact I have had her wait on me twice now. Very attentive and very nice. Food was great!

AK
AshtonK
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

It was a beautiful space and by far the nicest COVID-safe eating experience in NW Portland.

SG
ShannonG
1 review
Dined on February 7, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a wonderful time. The service and food were great. The restaurant has put a lot of work into making our “new normal” a pleasant dining experience.

We will definitely be back!!

MB
vipMaureenB
Portland
21 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was lovely!! Thank you.

MW
MarkW
Portland
1 review
Dined on February 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

They have gone to such great lengths to build an outdoor venue that is inviting, safe, WARM (heaters at every table) and large enough to keep tables a great distant apart. Very impressive!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2021
Overall2food2service3ambience4

The food was poor and cold. The people were crabby and unfriendly. I doubt we go again.

M
vipMarbles
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on February 5, 2021
Overall5food4service4ambience4

Lovely cafe, offering COVID safe dining and heating. Food is varied and tasty, they focus on crowd pleasing dishes—such as muscles or steak frites. Be sure to check out the bar selection, it’s not on the menu, but bartender can make a mean margarita!

CA
ChristineA
Cleveland
2 reviews
Dined on February 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely fabulous! Gorgeous outdoor space. Delicious food and cocktails. I'll be back!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on February 4, 2021
Overall5food3service5ambience5

Amazing outdoor ambiance

FAQs

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

Cafe Nell is rated 4.7 stars by 1562 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.