Cafe Nell

4.6
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1021 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 1021 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
4.7
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
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GB
Portland
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Great food and ambience they were busy but the food is worth the wait great
wait staff

ML
Portland
6 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience4

I'd recommend Cafe Nell for the most part. It's a friendly and attractive space, quite small. The staff was very friendly and helpful on a busy and crowded night. The patrons were great we thought. It felt like a happy, neighborhood sort of place that's comfortable and welcoming for all.

We asked for a quiet table and were given a tiny one in the bar area. That's not a complaint at all. The bar was likely more quiet than the dining room. Other than the too-loud music from an overhead speaker the sound level was fine.

The food was good though not consistent. My pork chop was overdone a bit. My wife's salmon was excellent. A vegetable succotash came with my chop and it was very tasty. The basil "salad" had not much taste at all. Our wine was fine. Desserts were good.

KD
Portland
6 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food came out piping hot. Excellent service!

OT
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Very cozy restaurant but limited on options for people who are dairy free. Food was rather high in price but the service was excellent. Would recommend to others

AB
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall2food2service4ambience2

Cute spot but much too cramped for my preference. Food was ok but not great. Wine was good. Service was great. If you want to go sit in the bar area for a drink and quick snack.

SM
Portland
13 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Valentines dinner with friends. Wait was longer than expected, but enjoyed ourselves in the bar:). Dinner was great, host was great, server was awesome & Vanessa always a delight!

OT
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Valentines Dinner Date! The menu was for the special occasion... small but definitely delicious! Looking forward to going back for the full menu ❤️

A
Portland
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very packed on Valetines 2020.

LW
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Michael is a wonderful server! Food was excellent. Really appreciated that they subbed veggies for bread & potatoes for me.

PM
Portland
18 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Birthday dinner for my daughter and her friends. Had a great time. Food was delicious, such a cute atmosphere. Our waitress was very attentive and nice. Overall I would recommend.

OT
Portland
6 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience5

The chicken was amazing! The only bad thing was the dessert came out so hot he blistered his hand. It was delicious though!

n
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on February 4, 2020
Overall4food5service2ambience5

I love this little restaurant. Excellent, inventive food, authentic French ambience, lovely location. The only (occasional) problem is that the service is very slow. Or more precisely, inconsistent. Most tables seem to be served very promptly, and a few much less promptly. But mostly it's an excellent experience, so it's worth taking the chance that one's table is one of the "slow" ones that day.

KF
Portland
12 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fabulous dinner....wonderful,family night out!

SL
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

I appreciate your staff making last minute accommodations for my party. Not every restaurant will do that, let alone be gracious about it. Thank you for making things easy and comfortable.

OT
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall3food1service3ambience4

Soggy kale salad with what looked like a chopped in half piece of salmon that was not worth the extra $7! Luckily Cafe Nell survives on its cozy ambience because the food has become very mediocre. My friend had what looked like a stodgy beef sandwich with a heavy layer of melted cheese. Not very appetizing. I used to come here often but sadly I won’t be rushing back.

DV
Portland
1 review
Dined on January 29, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Food, service excellent as always. However, seems a LITTLE pricey.

S
Portland
13 reviews
Dined on January 28, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Lovely spot for a quiet lunch with a creative and varied menu.

J
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Superb! Great spot for a casual get together.

HC
Orange County
29 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We ate at some great places in Portland over the past weekend and this was a favorite for sure. Great brunch menu with solid options! My daughter and I split a cinnamon roll and the Eggs Benedict salad. Both were over the top delicious. Yummy latte and coffee as well. Super cute decor as well!

OT
Las Vegas
2 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had the Roasted chicken, Lamb chop, and harvest Martini's...everything tasted absolutely amazing! The interior was beautifully done. The staff were all very kind. Willing to say may be a favorite spot!

TB
1 review
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always my favorite great service, yummy food and amazing atmosphere.

DF
1 review
Dined on January 23, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service can’t be beat. Friendly, knowledgeable unpretentious wait staff. Cozy environment. While the food is very tasty, the portions for some items seem a bit small for the price, particularly salads. I keep going back! It is a gem— and they serve brunch during the week.

MR
Portland
20 reviews
Dined on January 21, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Cafe Nell never lets me down. Always just the best. Steve, our server, is always friendly, courteous, efficient and super fun. The food always highest quality, inventive and delish. I love, love Cafe Nell!

M
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Lovely service - great food - we'll definitely be back!

CP
Portland
72 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service, atmosphere and food. Great for an intimate dinner or a group.

PT
Portland
18 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience4

Just ok, way better places in the neighborhood to go. Wine by the glass was awful. Service was exceptionally slow and the meal was mediocre. Recommend going elsewhere.

r
Portland
8 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our favorite restaurant in NW. The roast chicken is superb. Steak Frites a close second. Salivating just writing about it. Cozy, with fireplace, attentive helpful staff- a wonderful experience. You, too, will be coming back again and again.

KL
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I returned to Cafe Nell again and again because the food is always good, the ambience and service is top-notch, I love the space and you have parking! David is my favorite waiter but they are all superb.

OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall3food4service4ambience4

Went to brunch. Food was good and I would recommend

CW
Jackson Hole
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

From beginning to end, nothing but a great place to be with friends, share good food and drink. Service, atmosphere, plates, and cocktails - all top notch. Don’t hesitate, get here now!

R
Portland
32 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Café Nell is always one of my favorites. The food and service is excellent!

ML
Portland
4 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience5

Always a cozy treat to come here, especially in the winter when the fire is going in the main dining room and the lighting is just so. Great ambiance and delicious food. Service was a little slow/scattered, but they had a couple of large parties to contend with. I highly recommend this restaurant for friends, family or for a date.

OT
Hawaii
2 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Too noisy with a table that had a company meal taking place. Moved to the quieter bar.

JL
Portland
8 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious food, a cool ambiance, great service and the prices were reasonable. One of the biggest bonuses was there is a parking lot. I know that sounds weird, but it is so hard to park in NW that it makes coming down to dine a chore.

OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2020
Overall3food4service3ambience5

I love Cafe Nell and usually do my birthday brunch there every year. This year was a bit of a let down. I had a reservation and yet my family (who drove for an hour to meet me) and I ended up waiting nearly 30 min to get seated. Once seated it took another 10min for a server to come by. The food was good, but it didn't feel like they cared that much and definitely didn't do anything to acknowledge it was a special occasion or make up for the lengthy wait (they usually bring me a cinnamon roll with a candle).

J
Portland
9 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience5

I’ve always loved Cafe Nell but this brunch was an anomaly. Ran out of English breakfast tea, served dry toast without jam or butter, and breakfast potatoes were cold and not crispy. A disappointment!

D
Portland
24 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Our favorite go-to place because of the quality of the food, the great service and the nice atmosphere.

OT
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall3food2service5ambience5

We had a late reservation to celebrate the New Year, but when we ordered our entrees, sadly many options were sold out. Seems a miss not to plan for the late night crowd on New Year’s Eve.

P
Portland
69 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our server last Sunday evening, Dec. 29th was FABULOUS! Love him.

OT
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall2food5service1ambience5

Overall the food and atmosphere was great! I had the roasted chicken and it was amazing. Although the customer service we received was sub par at best. Unfortunately the service was slow despite there not being many people in the restaurant. I was celebrating my birthday with my friends and when were finished with our meals, I asked the waitress if there was any sort of free birthday dessert, she told me yes and to pick out any dessert. I ordered the brownie which was delicious, but was shocked when received my bill to find that I was charged for the dessert. I asked the waitress why I was charged since she said it was free, and she said “only the candle is free.” What a joke. I felt gypped. I had to just suck it up and pay for it but left the restaurant feeling really deceived. I don’t know if I’ll be back, maybe it was just a bad night but definitely didn’t feel the best after my experience at Cafe Nell, unfortunately.