Cafe Nell

4.5
779 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.

Specials

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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 779 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
4.6
service
4.6
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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TP
Portland
3 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our server was awesome! Food was delicious as always!! One of my very favorites for breakfast/brunch. ❤️

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S
Portland
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Without Portland dining month menu, the food may be a little expensive. Giving the location of the restaurant and the atmosphere, we would be interested in checking out the breakfast sometime later.

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TR
Portland
7 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love this neighborhood gem! The food and service are always spot on!

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KT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delightful. Exceptional service. Exceptional food!

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D
Portland
12 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Cafe Nell just continues to be one of our most favorable restaurants in the Portland area. With its great food and attentive service they are hard to beat

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SR
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We enjoyed 3 courses at Cafe Nells and all 3 were excellent. The chicken dish had great flavor. The salad and dessert were also very nice. This was our first trip to the restaurant. We tried it during Portland Dine out Month. And we will return! Also, parking was available which was awesome!

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SB
Seattle
5 reviews
Dined on March 13, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 3

Your restaurant is so darling! I just wish the food was as wonderful. Our steaks were over cooked, the onion soup was inedible, and everything was way under seasoned.
There’s nothing I love more than a corner bistro, I hope you take this former restaurant pro’s experience with the kindness that is intended. Keep working on the food, because everything else is there!

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NT
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on March 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great, friendly service, delicious food, lovely ambiance.

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D
Portland
13 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food and service both top notch. We have dined here many times and would highly recommend Cafe Nell

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GW
Portland
5 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service was great. Food was cooked right and served in a timely manner. Would go back again for any reason.

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OT
San Francisco
22 reviews
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Great neighborhood brunch spot. Super cute art deco French bistro vibe. Friendly and accommodating staff. Can't wait to come back when it's warm and we can eat outside.

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MB
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Cafe nell was exceptional, our waitress was so kind and attentive, and the food was amazing. I felt like I was in a cafe in paris! such a wonderful place. I’ll definitely be back!

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CC
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

Some dishes were not very flavorful. The hazelnut encrusted goat cheese salad had neither, just some sad walnuts, with no explanation or apologies. Good service and lovely interior.

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OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on February 28, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Entrees were a bit cold.

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SB
Portland
7 reviews
Dined on February 26, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Would definitely recommend Cafe Nell as the food was great, service was excellent and ambiance was unique. Only issue was the consistent smell of propane from the fireplace.....a little off putting.

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TZ
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 2

The last two times I have been there, it was just too crowded and noisy. Last weekend we were seated near the door and new guests had to wait such that the waiter couldn't even get near the table to serve us, so we had to wait a half hour to order. The food is fine but the dining experience is not great.

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PA
1 review
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a fan favorite. I live to bring people visiting Portland to this place. It’s so fantastic and they always say how much they loved it.

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OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Birthday party. Great ambiance, cocktails, and food. Good for dates

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DH
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service is excellent and food is spectacular! We went for breakfast and the Benedict and cinnamon rolls is to die for

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AS
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Excelent service and atmosphere, but maybe the Risotto was a wrong choice. Too many spices, quite strange. My husband had the lamb that was very good. Overall a good experience, waiter was perfectly efficient yet discreet.

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JK
Vancouver
4 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I ordered Eggs Benedict for my brunch, and I loved it.

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KR
Central Coast
15 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Very cozy, comfortable spot on a rainy night.

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RS
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 4

Had reservations for 2 on Valentine’s Day. We arrived to find the restaurant overbooked with many unhappy couples clogging the foyer. Like most others, we left to find dinner somewhere else. The staff were unapologetic.

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Great date spot with excellent food and drinks

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DM
Seattle
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Valentines Day date ❤️

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PM
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

it was so overbooked that we waited 45 minutes to be seated. we couldn't stay because we had to pick up our son and didn't have time to eat. we were dissapointed.

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D
Portland
13 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 2

30 and were not served our entrees until almost 8:00pm. It was absolutely jammed pack and not a great experience.

However, we will come back, just not on Valentine's Day!

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OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 4ambience 3

Service was great. Food was horrible. Pork Osso Buco was a pile of fat. Yellowfin tuna has absolutely no taste. We should have been given money to eat this garbage.

Very disappointing and extremely expensive.

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JL
Portland
4 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 2

I concur with the other reviews from Valentine's Day. It was way too crowded and the food was not good. I had the Coq au Vin and the chicken was over cooked and DRY. My husband had the filet, which he did enjoy. The salads were only Meh. All in all, $130ish for that meal was disappointing.
We have eaten at Cafe Nell before, and will likely go back...just not on Valentine's Day.

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TE
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 5

We liked this restaurant though did not have a stellar experience. We went there for Valentine's dinner and perhaps it was just too much for the restaurant's capacity as it was in our opinion, overly crowded, service was a bit slow and each dish was short of being outstanding. 5 stars for the location and ambiance and everyone was very friendly, just a bit too overworked. We will definitely go back again and hope for the five star experience another time.

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S
Portland
50 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

We ate at Cafe Nell on Valentine's Day - had made a reservation 3-4 weeks ago for 5:30. The cafe called us a few hours before and asked if we could come at 5:15 instead. We agreed but it did rush us a bit. It would have been great customer service to give us a free desert or something for changing our plans to meet their needs.

The food was very good but they had added tables to the restaurant (I'm assuming for the night) and it was VERY crowded - couldn't even walk between some of the tables. We could easily overhear our next door table talking as it was about 10 inches away. You had to scooch sideways to get in or out.

The lady waitress was delightful and we enjoyed the food and red velvet cake for dessert.

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o
Portland
26 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Since college, my best friend friend I have dined out on February 13. No spouses, no kids, just us because we aren't picky and we never let each other down, and it isn't "Galentine's Day", it happens to be my birthday. We had a great time. The food was lovely. The waiter was, perhaps, trying just a little too hard to impress with his foodiness, but his sparkling wine recommendation was on the mark, so a little excessive mansplaining can be forgiven. I had been to Cafe Nell before, for brunch, and was so delighted. Dinner did not disappoint. For starters we split the Coquille St. Jacques tart, and also split the roast beet salad. They were dreamy. She had the pork Osso Bucco, and I had a lamb over polenta plate that was yummy. The lamb was perfect. My only quibble was dessert, and the menu had changed from what was on the website. Was hoping for the chocolate + espresso pot de creme, but made due with the cheesecake, which had a boring crust. My friend had the deep dish brownie and ice cream, and raved about it. All in all, it was a fine experience, and we were able to womansplain to the waiter about the great sources of local ice cream, so he ended up being enjoyable, too.

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E
Portland
426 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

The service was really excellent, and the food was very good. The hamburger is consistently very good and the Monte Cristo was prepared very well.

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was our first date anniversary and you made it fantastic!

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OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great ambiance with a cozy fireplace in the dining section. Will definitely be back.

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OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Christopher was AMAZING. A 10/10 experience.

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e
Atlanta
4 reviews
Dined on February 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Quaint, cozy, with good service. Food was unbelievably amazing. Had the Pork Osso Bucco and it was phenomenal.

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AD
Portland
19 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 2

The food was lovely, hot fresh and really fast!. Very loud though and despite reservation had to wait for almost 20 minutes. Fortunately the bar was available and the drinks were good and the bar tender was super friendly and efficient. Might try to see when they are less crowded since it is well worth a revisit

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OT
Phoenix
30 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

The food was beautifully presented and the service was excellent.

We had an early dinner as we were on our way to a dance performance -

We’ve been before and always had a good experience.

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KS
Hawaii
4 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love Cafe Nell -the bar is charming, our dinner was in front of the fireplace, the people watching amazing. One of our favorite date night spots - and we LOVE LOVE brunch. Bring it!

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