Cafe Nell

4.5
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906 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 906 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.5
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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MR
Portland
16 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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

JB
Hawaii
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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

S
Portland
50 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place for a quiet dinner with friends fromFlorida.

RM
Portland
3 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
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 7 days ago
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
17 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
432 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
2 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good brunch and quick service

PD
Portland
50 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
20 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.

E
Portland
433 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

This place is very consistent. Importantly, many of the the servers are consistent, indicating a solid establishment. We both had the Gazpacho, which was delicious. We also enjoyed the stuffed avocado and the huevos rancheros. The service was very good.

MM
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on August 26, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food and excellent service

DM
Portland
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 5

Yes but the server we had was way over her head. Took 15 to just get to the table. Didn't come back to check if we needed more drinks - had to flag her down and then she brought the wrong ones. She was really checked out - stressed? We were there twice as long as we should have been due to delays

NC
Phoenix
14 reviews
Dined on August 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The server was WOW! Food delish and we sat outside. The server made the experience special. Handsome gentleman. Very knowledgeable.

KK
1 review
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband and I went to a Sunday brunch. I was pleased to see they had a vegan option. It was not only colorful and eye appealing it was very tasty. I will go back for it again.

l
Houston
8 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We found this great place after a long travel day from Texas to Portland. We sat outside at a small table close to the street. It reminded us of a sidewak cafe in Europe.
The Mac and Cheese is a must for a starter or as part of a meal. 3 of us shared one order.
For entrees, we had the salmon, the baked chicken and the steak. All were very tasty.
Service was not rushed, but neither were we. Our waiter was very personableand gave us good recommendations.

MB
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Nice ambiance, menu variety, well prepared and excellent food. Just wish they offered a gluten free bun for the burger.

M
Portland
6 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love Cafe Nell. It reminds me of being in a little Paris cafe. All of the waiters are attentive and very nice. The food is well prepared and delicious. I have only had brunch or lunch , but I would love to have dinner here or come for Happy Hour.

DF
1 review
Dined on August 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary here. We sat outside. Great food, great service. Great for a special occasion. We loved everything we ordered. Will definitely return.

S
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on August 14, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Cafe Nell is so charming! It may be my new favorite place, especially in summer when we can sit outside.
It's on a quiet street and simply everything about it is wonderful

YS
Portland
8 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 4

Sunday brunch for five. Very friendly and well informed server. Good menu and good quality well prepared food. Both drinks and food price on the high side. $15 for a bloody mary (even with a strip of bacon) is pretty outrageous.

BB
Portland
4 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Food was great - their version of quiet table for my 87 year old friend is next to the hostess stand. Waiter was in constant hurry all night and seemed very irritated and didn’t even interact with us - not the usual Cafe Nell experience I have had in the past disappointing night for 110.00 for

VS
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Enjoyed various brunch options including my favorite water.

PD
Portland
6 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

After moving to SE Portland from NW a couple of years go, we return occasionally to Cafe Nell -- and are always astounded at the quality, the sophistication, the overall excellence of both the food and the overall experience. This time, for example, we were particularly struck by the cocktails menu -- every one was a drink you might actually want to try, not just some clever combination of odd ingredients that might well be pretty good but that you wouldn't learn anything from. A remarkable place, Cafe Nell.

OT
Portland
9 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always great!

OT
San Diego
6 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything about Cafe Nell exceeded expectations. The food was superb, the Cobb salad the best I've ever had anywhere. The staff was friendly and attentive, without being obtrusive. Great ambience, a great place to take a friend to impress and enjoy.

LM
Portland
12 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We were so lucky to get the BEST table outside, on a nice evening. Our server was terrific, very personable, attentive & professional. He got really busy but didn't neglect us at all. I always feel relaxed when I'm at Cafe Nell. This may be intentional on your part, or not, but you've succeeded in creating a lovely atmosphere -- not hectic or hurried, just always very nice.
We are noticing that some Happy Hour menu items that are also listed as "entrees" are somewhat different -- not just smaller plates of the main recipes -- a bit less interesting, maybe different (or fewer?) ingredients. The HH prices are amazing, though -- terrific value for what still can be a lot of food!
I have not been impressed with the 2-dozen-plus wines on the summer "rose" wine list. I hope this promotion has been a success from a business perspective, but they all seem really thin. A few wines you've featured in the recent past -- the Storypoint Chard, for example -- have been outstanding ( we are looking forward to more of that style.

Z
San Diego
7 reviews
Dined on August 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Visiting Portland for the first time, this was a great find. The food and service was excellent. The out door seating under trees was perfect for a warm summer night.

R
Portland
47 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 3

Enjoyed our brunch. A little pricey.

CC
Portland
1 review
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 3

Poor service and food was bland.

OT
Portland
21 reviews
Dined on July 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A true neighborhood gem! Loved the food, our waiter was so great, and the place is charming.

M
Portland
13 reviews
Dined on July 30, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

They have a very pleasant outside seating area, which is lovely in the summer.
Some of the entrees are excellent, others not as good, so stick with their staples: mussels, chicken, excellent salads. The wine list is excellent by the bottle, more limited by the glass.
Overall a very good choice

CD
Portland
20 reviews
Dined on July 30, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

French fries with mussels were soggy.

C
Portland
29 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Lovely NW space for weekend brunch. Cool ambience and excellent food.

JC
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have been fortunate to visit Café Nell, in our neighborhood, on many occasions but this was the first time that we have joined you for breakfast. As always it was excellent.

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