Cafe Nell

4.6
843 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 843 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
4.5
food
4.6
service
4.6
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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LW
Portland
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Second time to Cafe Nell - both times great food and lovely service. Brunch for Father's Day - everybody went away very happy with their food (love the spicy red pepper jelly for corn bread muffins!) First time lunch with girlfriends - delicious salads. Easy parking, fun to sit outside on a warm day. Wish we lived a bit closer, this would be my local go to place!

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JO
Portland
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our server Richie was wonderful. Our order arrived quickly, the food was excellent

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ZM
Portland
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Nice restaurant. Tamara is a great waitress. Monte Crisco and standard Nell Benedict were amazing. Bloody Mary has lots of fixings, but could use a little more attention to the actual drink.

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C
Portland
15 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

I always love going there--has a great neighborhood feel and the food is deelish! The last time we were there service was a bit slow but they were packed so I understand.

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OT
Portland
9 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved the outdoor seating

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

Fabulous food, service, and ambiance!

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PA
Seattle
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always food, staff and atmosphere is the best! They made my engagement diner extra special.

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j
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Not sure how they made that turkey burger, but it was absolutely delicious! Much better than I expected. Noise level was low because we were eating outside. I did notice near some of the outdoor tables, (not mine), .there was music playing from speakers above. Personally I have absolutely no use for that. Being a died in the wool music aficionado, it's a funny comment for me to make. But I go out to dinner to talk with my friend, so if I have to strain to talk over the music, I will choose another restaurant in future.

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d
Portland
24 reviews
Dined on June 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Vanessa and her crew are TOPS in our book!
The food is very consistent as is the service!
We love to go here and for sure we’ll be back!

Thanks again Crew and Vanessa!

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D
Portland
17 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Posted many reviews always great food, excellent service. No more can be said

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m
Portland
4 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

Charming atmosphere and good service, but the food was a disappointment. Ordered salmon which was of inferior quality. Perhaps this place is better for breakfast or for cocktails.

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l
Portland
21 reviews
Dined on June 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Richie is my absolute FAVORITE! Service is always impeccable- food yummy & drinks/wine delish!

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m
Portland
21 reviews
Dined on June 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Burger salad is the best! Nice to have free parking too.

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TK
1 review
Dined on June 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing place to have a meal and cozy place to have a drink. Food is great, service is great, ambiance is fantastic.

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DV
Portland
1 review
Dined on June 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was our third time to Cafe Nell—we LOVE it—it is our new “go-to” place to take friends. We have now been there for Happy Hour, lunch, and brunch, and all have been great. We especially think it’s wonderful and a great idea that they offer brunch every day, not just on weekends. Their off-street parking is also a bonus, especially in NW PDX! The wait staff is very friendly, attentive, and fun! The menu offers something for everyone and everything we’ve had has been delicious. All around GREAT place.

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j
Portland
43 reviews
Dined on May 29, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 2

Cafe Nell has really gone downhill. We’ve been there dozens of times over the past few years and this visit will be the last. The service was awful and food hit or miss. Some friends really liked their entrees a couple not so great. The steak was cold and the fries terribly over cooked!
The wine list - small and they were out of a couple reds by the glass. The ambiance was also not what it used to be. So sad. Looking for a new favorite go-to.

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OT
South Dakota
1 review
Dined on May 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We recently relocated to Portland, home to an embarrassment of riches with regard to dining options. That said, this was our second dinner at Cafe Nell; I've also stopped in for a cocktail. Everything (oysters on the half shell, steamed mussels, lively salads, to vegetarian, seafood, and meatier entree options) has been lovely. Equally well conceived and executed. We'll be back to try brunch and lunch...and of course, look forward to many more dinners.

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D
Portland
18 reviews
Dined on May 24, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Always good food with decent portions served by friendly caring wait staff.

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PS
Portland
1 review
Dined on May 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent service, always; delicious food, always; lovely outside dining

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SF
Portland
28 reviews
Dined on May 23, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Great food, very Portland experience, unfortunately reservations don't mean much. A reservation should have an additional hour wait for a table with no apology, explanation or options.

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MP
1 review
Dined on May 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of our favorite outdoor places is now also one of our favorite indoor places! Great ambience, excellent service and delicious food. I started with a Mary Nell, the signature Bloody Mary that is a meal in itself - spicy and delish. My husband was very happy with his mussels and frites, and I would highly recommend the vegan hash - a beautiful melange of spring vegetables and tofu, I felt healthier just looking at it! Our server was delightful, brightening an otherwise grey day with his warm smile and engaging personality. Needless to say, we'll be back!

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R
Portland
12 reviews
Dined on May 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great brunch!!

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SA
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on May 19, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

Our family had a fabulous brunch here. It felt very festive. There was something on the menu that made all of us happy, from ages 10 - 92!

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JB
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on May 19, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

This is a great place for brunch. My partner and I like to share items so we get 2 menu items and split them. The tables for 2 only have enough room for the 2 plates and 1 bread plate. Be sure to request a bigger table if you are into sharing. The GF cornbread muffins are a terrific starter.

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TC
Chicago
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

My friend's stuffed avocado was awesome. My huevos rancheros were meh.

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CW
Portland
5 reviews
Dined on May 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The service was incredibly solicitous. I had a lovely Oregon Royale for an aperitif. I tried to order the linguine with clam sauce, but they were out so I had a chicken burger, which exceeded my expectations. The salad that accompanied it was a little overdressed but still quite satisfying. I was left with no room for dessert so I didn’t even see the dessert menu.

I’ll definitely be back the next time I’m in Portland.

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b
Portland
5 reviews
Dined on May 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

If you love classic French bistro style food and a thoughtful wine list this is your place. The ambiance transports you to France and the restaurant feels lively but not so noisy you can't hear your dinner companions. The service is casual/attentive (just what you expect in the Pacific Northwest) and not the least overbearing. If this restaurant were in my neighborhood, I'd be there at least once a week.

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NO
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 1food 4service 1ambience 4

Absolutely wouldn't recommend no matter how good the food was (which, it actually was quite good). Truly awful service. We waited a half an hour to have the "pleasure" of ordering and receiving drinks and another hour for food beyond that. Had to ask for water, parts of meal where cold when we received it. Never asked if we wanted more wine or drinks. Waitress we ordered with never ended us delivering food only the initial drinks, so we were never checked in on at all. Plates weren't cleared when we were finished. Once we asked for the check the waitress asked how everything was to which we explained "horrible service" and she seemed surprised. Really? We hadn't seen you in an hour and a half and you're surprised? She responded not with sorry, but that it was a team effort, which is fine, but with that team there was no check in an no accountability. My husband and both worked in the service industry for 10 years or so, and were flabbergasted at how you could actually avoid eye contact and check in as much as this "team". Even with an excellent menu, it's not worth it.

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PS
Portland
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 4

Food was excellent, service was very slow, maybe they should hire more staff

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TC
Portland
5 reviews
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Brought out of town guests and everyone loved their meals. Was a great experience overall and will come again.

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OT
Portland
13 reviews
Dined on May 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love this place! Would love to have the option to get salads and entrees split in the kitchen, so willing to pay a service charge! Please??!!
We have small appetites and don’t mind spending the money!

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RA
1 review
Dined on April 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My bf and I went to celebrate our anniversary. They gave us a nice cozy table as requested. The ambiance and the service were great! The food was sooo amazingly good. It was a bit pricey for the amount of food you got. I think the portions are small on purpose so you’ll have room for dessert after. Lol. I had the pork dish and my bf had the steak bites and we shared the pear ginger crisp and Granny Smith apple turnover. It was all very tasty. We enjoyed it.

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TS
Portland
4 reviews
Dined on April 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Amazing food and great server. Made my birthday special!

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a
Dallas
21 reviews
Dined on April 28, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

The server was nice but the service was slow this visit. Because of that my meal was not warm. The kale bruschetta was interesting and our salad was good.

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MR
Portland
11 reviews
Dined on April 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service, great food, great setting.

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JC
New England
2 reviews
Dined on April 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

food was outstanding. manmosa just what the Dr. ordered.

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D
Portland
4 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Atmosphere was amazing and I loved parking was so easy with private parking lot located in the back. Christopher was our server and he was very attentive, kind, and had great recommendations. Best salmon eggs benedict and bloody mary we we have ever had. Man-mosa was also pretty incredible and the perfect size for a mimosa lover.

I highly recommend this place and will be going back.

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2
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great neighborhood joint. Consistently excellent.

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OT
Portland
26 reviews
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We have eaten here several times recently and really enjoyed the casual and friendly ambiance, the good service, cozy charm, and especially the well executed menu. It is the kind of restaurant that every neighborhood should have but that is increasingly hard to find in this fast-changing city. We had excellent service from our waiter Michael (I think that was his name)—attentive and well informed. The menu changes frequently, which is nice, and there are always a few excellent standard dishes—steak frites, roast chicken—on the menu as well. My husband’s steak was excellent and I loved every bite of my spicy (but not too spicy) linguine with clams and chorizo.The noise level is moderate enough that we were able to talk without having to raise our voices. Cafe Nell has its own small parking lot, which is a real plus. This is a real gem and we will be dining here on a regular basis!

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JJ
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

This neighborhood gem never disappoints. On a spring evening with the windows open it’s very inviting. Creative, casual menu options are as solid as any of the higher profile, trendy Portland restaurants.

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