Cafe Nell

4.6
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957 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 957 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
97% of people would recommend it to a friend
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PD
Portland
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always love our experience at Cafe Nell

JC
Portland
5 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Cafe Nell has become almost our restaurant of choice. We continue to have great experiences.

John Cooper

JC
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Overpriced for the food we received. Vegan entry was sparse with “fresh foraged mushrooms” and the potatoes were underdone. Lamb Raghu was not hot when delivered to the table, enjoyable, but not up to what I had expected. Sadly we will not return anytime soon.

SM
1 review
Dined on December 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always enjoy Cafe Nell. Your wait staff that I/we have had usually very friendly and fun!

MH
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on December 2, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Terrific place. Food was delicious with one exception. Creme Brûlée was horrible. Worst I’ve ever had.
Small bar area is cool. Bar keep was great.
Waitress was extremely friendly and knowledgeable. Great personality.
I will definitely be back

OT
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on December 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We absolutely love this place! Food, drinks, and service are always great!

JL
Portland
12 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We celebrated our anniversary at our favorite spot. Great ambiance with a table next to the fireplace. Yummy oysters on the half shell. Tasty entrees. Nice evening!

GL
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We ej\njoyed the evening very much. Our waiter was excellent and the food was great. We will definitely be back.

OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We went to Cafe Nell for brunch on a Saturday at noon. The decor is absolutely gorgeous. The staff were all very friendly but our server Christopher was the best ever!! We had so much fun here. He helped turn my “Man-mosa” into a “Mom-mosa” while my daughter really enjoyed the meal-in-a-glass Bloody Mary. This drink is truly a work of art! We shared the stuffed avocado, the apple turnover, and two specials which included an amazing cinnamon roll French toast. It was such an enjoyable dining experience. We didn’t feel rushed at all and it was such a lovely place you wished you could hang out all day. Can’t wait to try mite of their menu.

OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on November 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Ritchie is the best waiter!

D
Portland
21 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience3

As usual good food and service. It was very loud which is not the restaurant’s fault. Just a couple of large groups with loud voices.

OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic!

KD
Portland
5 reviews
Dined on November 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Cher concert. Mom’s night out. We had a fabulous time. Our server and the food were excellent!! We’ll be back!

G
Portland
11 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Good. Good.

NW
Portland
14 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is our favorite neighborhood restaurant. Always good food and good service. Not stuffy in the slightest. Very comfortable.

K
Mississippi
4 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Very nice staff with good food!!

WG
Portland
6 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall5food4service4ambience5

I took my wife and two friends to Cafe Nell for Sunday brunch and we all thoroughly enjoyed it. The ambience is wonderful, with a European Bistro vibe and charming decor. The food is very good, some menu items are outstanding and some less so, but overall I think the food is very good. Portland is a huge weekend brunch town and Cafe Nell is one of the few places that accept reservations. Instead of waiting in line for an hour to get in, we walked in and were seated almost immediately even though we were a few minutes early on our reservation. I've eaten at Cafe Neil for weekend lunches and dinners a few times this year and it's become a favorite destination. I would recommend it to anyone seeking good food, fantastic ambience, and fair prices.

OT
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall1food3service1ambience3

Unfortunately Cafe Nell left everything to be desired. Our server had no interest in paying attention to our group. The restaurant was like being in a sweat lodge! We brought the temperature issues up several times and only after an hour and a half did they crack windows and turn off the fireplace. A conversation with a staff member confirmed that it was like an oven. Then after it got back to a normal temperature 30mins later the windows were closed and the fireplace back on.
We had to get up and request drinks 8 different times. So every request to multiple people and multiple times to the same person fell on deaf ears.
The food was delivered by a runner in a very tiny restaurant and even at that our server never checked in to see if things were to everyone’s liking.
It is a shame that a nice quaint neighborhood restaurant has such terrible service.
I originally was not going to write a review, although 3 other people had expressed to me that they all had similar treatment.
So it goes without saying that if you are looking for customer service, this is not the place.

G
Orange County
124 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic place for brunch. Hidden gem in a neighborhood. Food was all Delicious. Has a little critter on our bread but that’s what you get with fresh. For our of town travelers, perfect place to go.

OT
Amarillo
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious food and excellent service!

P
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We love coming to Cafe Nell for its food, ambiance and decent wine selection. The staf is attentive, knows when to show up and when to leave you time to enjoy your diner without feeling rushed.
The restaurant never feels cramped even though the establishment is or modest proportions.
It is a great place if you're looking for an intimate dinner, where one is able to have a conversation and enjoy good food.

Good price, quality balance.

We'll be back.

Steven Ploem.

M
1 review
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

The ambiance, decor and setting of the restaurant transports you to a cozy yet modern little bistro somewhere in Europe. Delicious menu options with a nice variety to choose from. On the pricier side but worth it for a special occasion.

d
Portland
27 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Another Birthday made special by my partner, Steve!
Reservations for 2 and what a great time! Vanessa you do everything right. From the start with a bottle of wine, salad and soup to the entrees steak frites to the finish of two great desserts chocolate lava cake, ice cream and a Creme brûlée. Rickey was our waiter and we just love him! Professional, funny, entertaining and attentive describes him waiting on us!
You know we’ll be back!
Thanks Cafe Nell

HG
Portland
6 reviews
Dined on October 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our experience was extraordinary! Drinks were great, food was super! The best part was our wait person! We will definitely recommend and go back often.

OT
Phoenix
32 reviews
Dined on October 29, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

We always bring out of town guests to Cafe Nell. It’s consistent, service is always great. Friendly staff, nice location always fun!

RT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on October 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

great food, service and ambiance. Adorable cafe that serves delicious hand crafted food. I'll be back.

OT
Black Forest
6 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Beautiful atmosphere

OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Absolutely fantastic service. Our server made suggestions, was engaged and friendly.

OT
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food and drinks were outstanding, some of the best food in Portland. The only thing better than the food was the service. Will definitely go back.

D
Portland
22 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We have been here many times. They have changed their menu and added new starters and entrees. We had the albacore steak and the pork chop for the main course...excellent.

NK
Portland
5 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always great. Good food, good people.

OT
New Orleans
4 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A perfectly intimate, very beautifully appointed restaurant that really takes the time to bring local ingredients to the table. Tim the manager is so knowledgeable and kind and was also a delight to speak to.
The wine list was outstanding perfectly balanced between west coast standouts and European classics. The lamb pasta was hearty and deeply and beautifully balanced.
If we lived there we would be there all the time...you feel so wonderfully welcome. Alas we will have to settle for coming each time we visit Portland.
It’s a wonderful place to have a romantic evening, you can actually hear your dinner mate talk! It was the star of our trip!

TB
Las Vegas
5 reviews
Dined on October 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely place with wonderful food, with most of us having the chicken & mashed potatoes, and we loved them. The portions seemed perfectly sized for us all. It was terribly noisy, as the restaurant was very busy, which would be my ONLY hesitation to coming back. The parking lot is a fabulous perk!

SM
Portland
12 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent as always from the host to the bartender to the server!

LR
Portland
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I went to Cafe Nell with a large group of friends and they handled all our orders so well. The service was friendly and accommodating. The food was delicious as were the cocktails!

JC
Portland
5 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall2food5service5ambience2

We have had the pleasure of dining at Café Nell on a number of occasions.
Saturday night...the food and service were excellent. However there were 2 large groups in the dining room that completely dominated the small room. The noise level was higher than any place I have visited. We could not even have a conversation and simply ate and departed.
In future if we make reservations over the weekend we will enquire as to the group involvement. We also heard the same comments from other diners who were affected.
This will not stop us from dining at Café Nell, in fact we have reservations this Thursday(11/17/19)but I will enquire regarding group attendance.
Thank you...John Cooper

Y
Portland
1 review
Dined on October 8, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

The food was great. I got the chicken breast; it was moist and juicy and quite delicious. It came with mashed potatoes and spinach, which were also delicious. My guest got the Vegetables Bourguignon, which was equally delicious. The only thing I would have wished for was larger portions. The vegetable dish cost 2 dollars more than the chicken dish, and both meals could really have been larger. The huge bowl used to serve the Bourguignon only made it look smaller. My meal really could have had more of the side vegetable (spinach... yum!), and the crispy moist breast was very small.
This is a great restaurant, but order sides and appetizers if you want to fill up.

TB
Portland
7 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food and service are always top notch at Cafe Nell! Love the cozy interior and it was nice to be there on a quiet night and enjoy great conversation.

L
Portland
5 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best happy hour in Portland

JL
Portland
12 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always love Cafe Nell. Great service, nice place where you can still converse with your table mates without shouting. Wonderful cocktails
And excellent food. This is our go-to place in NW Portland.