Cafe Nell

4.5
819 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 819 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
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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TC
Chicago
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

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

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CW
Portland
3 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
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 5 days ago
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
9 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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MB
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

This was our first time at Cafe Nell and we were pleasantly surprised. The food was excellent. We ordered the lamb - fantastic; the pork - great; and the chicken - the best!

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OT
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We loved our dining experience at Cafe Nell. The service was excellent, and the food was delicious! The decor of the restaurant is beautiful, and they also have outside seating. Another thing that Cafe Nell has is parking, which is pretty amazing for a NW Portland restaurant. What a special place!

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BM
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 3

Nice place. Pretty small and they pack you in there. A bit high priced but food was very good and service was also good.

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OT
Portland
6 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

We had nearly a 30 min wait with zero check-ins by the staff. We received a comp mimosa after I made a comment. Once we were seated, the table was too small for 5 people. Several mistakes on food orders. I have been a regular over the past several years and was all around disappointed. Bummer.

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OT
1 review
Dined on April 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a delicious meal and friendly professional service. Love the location and trendy neighborhood vibe.

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OT
1 review
Dined on April 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love this place and will see you soon!

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d
Portland
20 reviews
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We double dated for brunch with our friends Chris and Christian!
Always a great greeting the minute you arrive! Our table was all set up when we arrived! Our waiter Richey was very attentive, funny, gracious and there for our needs!
The owner Vanessa is quite a lovely lady! We love that she always stops by to make sure we have what we need and that everything is to our liking!
We love this place, from the first word of hello to the last sip of our Manmosa (a mimosa served in a pint glass)! We will definitely be back!

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OT
San Francisco
21 reviews
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

We love this place a lot. Not sure what was happening but it took an hour to get our food. We saw guests who arrived well after we did all around us get the same orders of pancakes and French toast all around...but we waited. Hoping it was just a random bad day in the kitchen.

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MH
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have been here many times! As always, the ambience, service and food are stellar! I absolutely love Cafe Nells! We will definitely be coming back!

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PD
Palm Springs
29 reviews
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A Portland treasure! One of my “must visits” while in town. Nothing better than Al fresco brunch on the weekends! Perfection.

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JB
1 review
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 4

I ordered wild mushroom hash. There were no mushrooms in it. Just cubes of potato. I called later to let them know I wasn't happy. Was told a manager would call me. No one has. Expensive cubes of potatoes.

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OT
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went here with dinner friends and teenager kids as we are all out of town. Great ambiance, feels I got the true local Portland experience. Good selection of food so everyone with food restrictions could order. Everything was great. I must say if you can handle the carb intake go for the Mac and Cheese.
Service was fast but not like you were pushed through. Walked right in at my reservation time and we sat down.
Definitely would go back

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D
Portland
14 reviews
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Cafe Nell is fast becoming our “go to” restaurant in Portland. The food is tasty and nicely presented. The service is attentive without be overbearing. Try this place, you will like it.

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FD
Portland
14 reviews
Dined on April 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Quaint little neighborhood find... its size and the fact that its hidden in the residential blocks of Northwest PDX adds to the intimacy and the exceptional service makes it feel personal. Add in the luxury of off-street parking (a rarity in NWPDX) and you have extra incentive to give it a try.

Great food, charm and service... what more could you want?
Drinks? Yeah, those are good too!
Enjoy!

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CR
1 review
Dined on April 7, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 2

We probably won't be returning. Very noisy and crowded. Had to wait over 10 minutes, even though we had a reservation. Food was average at best and expensive for what it was. I almost never write unfavorable reviews - but this was truly a disappointment for the reasons and ratings we listed. Service once we were seated was good.

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OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on April 7, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 5

If you have any food sensitivities (i.e. gluten, lactose, etc), they will not substitute anything (bread, potato’s). You have to buy what you want as a side. Disappointing!

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W
Chicago
49 reviews
Dined on April 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Charming French restaurant with a lively bar scene. Lots of neighborhood folks, not clique. My only disappointment is that they insisted the frites were "real". They are not. Real French frites are like shoestring potatoes, skinny and crisp. The salmon was great as was the salad. Really a good place I would return to.

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LL
New Orleans
24 reviews
Dined on April 2, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

One of the best things about this place is they have their own parking lot, which is a bonus in downtown PDX! That said, the food was pretty good. I tried the burger salad which, if you're avoiding carbs, is a delicious option - a burger on top of a salad. My two counterparts had more normal burgers and enjoyed them as well. Service was a bit slow, especially given the place was not crowded at all.

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OT
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely waiter, good lunch!

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OT
1 review
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 4

Service was fantastic and I really, really wanted to love this place. The food was fine but not great.

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RJ
1 review
Dined on March 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved everything about this place from the ambience to the staff and of course, the food and wine. Our first Portland dining experience was 5 stars all the way!

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OT
San Francisco
21 reviews
Dined on March 24, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We had a lovely time as usual here!

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LS
Portland
1 review
Dined on March 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always great food and fun servers!

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TP
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on March 24, 2019
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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