Cafe Nell

4.6
1774 Reviews
$30 and under
American

Cafe Nell is currently open for outside dining, in either our custom-designed, safely distanced patio or sidewalk seating. Limited indoor seating is also now available.

Now rain- proofed and heated! Located in the heart of Northwest Portland, Café Nell serves French inspired American classics simply prepared from Northwest ingredients. Celebrating 13 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.

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
Physical Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 1774 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
4.5
service
4.7
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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a
vipannette
Portland
13 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall4food5service4ambience5

was over priced. for example $15 for small butter lettuce salad

DT
vipDTDweller
Portland
16 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

They've created a wonderful outdoor dining area! Our server was very fun and attentive.

E
Emily
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Love what they've done with the patio. It's very enjoyable with shade and trees, can't believe it's in the middle of the city. Impressed my coworkers and I'm sure I'll be back!

LM
LeslieM
Portland
16 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service4ambience5

We are so happy to be able to come back to our favorite restaurant! The construction of the outside pavilion is a wonderful design, and we hope it never goes away.
The service was a little slow -- probably because the place filled up pretty quickly after about 5:30. We had come early (4:45) but didn't leave until after 7! We will come again soon.

LN
LNelson
Portland
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The crab salad was excellent along with the service. Beautiful atmosphere .
I felt the salad portion could have been a little larger

JM
JeannieMcg
Portland
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall4food4service3ambience5

I love the setting but Nell needs at least 2 more servers in the covered area. Crab salad could've used more dressing (I know - we could've asked). $20 bucks for a lunch entree isn't inexpensive. I would recommend Cafe Nell but would tell them to not be on a lunch hour, and it's on the expensive side for lunch.

B
Bermudagirl
Portland
7 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Good food but I thought the salads could be bigger.

p
pdx333
Portland
19 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This has been the nicest outing we've had since we're vaccinated! The setting is incredible, spacious, clean, and the staff were outstanding, with fabulous customer service. We never felt rushed, and enjoyed such a leisurely outing. We'll be back again soon.... and are telling all our friends!

AN
AN72
Portland
10 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Beautiful setting, great food and wonderful service.

M
vipMargot
Portland
6 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We have loved going here about once a month during the pandemic. Thankful for Cafe Nell.

DF
DonF
Portland
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Another Great Evening ..Great Food ..Great Service...

LL
vipLisaL
Portland
4 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall3food4service2ambience3

I have always had good luck here but not this time. They are definitely short staffed . It took forever for them to seat us. Once we were seated it was about 10 minutes before we saw our waiter and got water. I had ordered a drink and that didn't come for another 10 minutes. Once our food arrived, they had forgotten a biscuit and then delivered it absolutely plain. No butter or jam. We had to ask for the check and then waited for over 10 minutes to get it. I was super disappointed in the service especially given this is not an inexpensive restaurant.

H
Heidiv
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The new “Oasis” outdoor area is perfect! Heaters, lights, plants, covered area is beautiful! Great food and perfect service

m
vipmary228
Chicago
19 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I had a wonderful Mothers Day dinner here. Excellent cocktails, charming ambiance. King Salmon was excellent, as was the Steak Frites.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Portland
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall3food3service3ambience4

Mother’s Day. Male waiter was not particularly welcoming. I asked it they could make a latte and he answered sure. We were just a table he was not engaged at all. :(

S
Shelly
Portland
15 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Great place to meet up with family/friends. Fantastic outdoor space! Yummy food and drinks

LJ
LJVPDX
Portland
9 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great atmosphere in the tent! Felt transported out of Portland! Staff were were great and food was excellent.

JT
vipJulieT
Portland
11 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience3

Salad was a bit over-dressed and asparagus was a little mushy. It was really loud at times.

KL
KathrynL
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I have been to Cafe Nell several times, both for dinner and brunch, and it is fantastic every time! The food is great, the service is excellent, and the patios they've created for outdoor dining are lovely. This past time we went it was quite a chilly day, but when they turned our table's heater on it was toasty warm and comfortable! Can't say enough good things about this place.

JA
JoAnnH
Portland
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall4food5service3ambience5

We took mom here and she was thrilled. Even with the new rollback on restrictions our table was perfect and warm. The food was delicious and she enjoyed herself. Food was fast and came out warm.

I would love to go here again

j
jimbob777
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on May 7, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Best outdoor space I've seen. But prices are steep (much higher than pre-COVID) and not on par with the quality of the food, unfortunately. Brown lettuce in salad, tired strawberries on cheese plate... all small, silly complaints given the big picture, I realize, but still—not what I'd expect for the price. Staff is wonderful, but spread thin and overworked.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on May 6, 2021
Overall2food3service1ambience2

They did seat us until 45 minutes after our reservation, then they didn’t take our order for over 40 minutes and food showed up about an hour later.

JP
JoePDX
Portland
11 reviews
Dined on May 6, 2021
Overall3food2service3ambience5

Evening started on a poor note. We were seated at approx. 7:20 for our 6:30 reservation. When we arrived we were told there were two parties in front of us, then we saw at least 3 or 4 other parties be seated. Several trips to the hostess station inquiring about when we would be seated, with the last being quite pointed, but not rude. Two of the entrees arrived at barely room temperature with greasy soggy fries. This was our first meal out since pandemic started, anxiously anticipated, but not a happy evening unfortunately.

KW
KimW
Portland
6 reviews
Dined on May 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Met some close friends and had a great round of drinks followed by som very tasty muscles.

JS
JanS
Portland
5 reviews
Dined on May 2, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

A perfect spot -- and probably 3 times more space than their indoor restaurant. Wonderful atmosphere and lovely food.

BG
vipBillG
New York Area
42 reviews
Dined on May 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The wait prior to being seating was a little long but the service and attentiveness from then on was outstanding. The food was excellent. The set-up was the most thoughtful environment that we have experienced since the pandemic started. The bonus was meeting the owner of the restaurant. We applauded her excellent effort in these difficult times.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on May 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great ambiance and food, great service. We love Vanessa!

MI
MITZIF
Portland
1 review
Dined on May 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great everything! 2 Sundays in a row of great! Would go again! Highly recommended!

JJ
JasonJ
Seattle
4 reviews
Dined on May 1, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The wait staff was great the meal was amazing and the noise was not an issue for being outside.

PM
PatM
Portland
1 review
Dined on May 1, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Love tented outdoor seating area. Food is always awesome.

IG
IanG
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on May 1, 2021
Overall2food2service1ambience2

Went for Sunday brunch on my wife’s birthday
Sunday 5/1/21
Food was ok but small portions
Server was pleasant
Finished our meal at about 2:30
We ordered a piece of apple pie for dessert
At 3:15 we got up and left.
We had the server take the piece of pie off the check.
Because of COVID-19 restrictions and social distancing they were NOT very busy.

CA
vipCABB
Portland
5 reviews
Dined on May 1, 2021
Overall3food4service2ambience5

I would love to give a more positive review, but the experience we had does not allow it.
I will summarize:

Drinks - ok
Food - good
Service - poor
Ambience - good

I will return to give them another chance with customer service and drinks.

C
Candyce
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on May 1, 2021
Overall3food3service5ambience4

Thought the food was basic for the price. Especially for such a small portion.

JL
vipJoLa
Portland
22 reviews
Dined on May 1, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Another great brunch at Cafe Nell. It was a cool morning so they very kindly brought over a heater and we were very comfortable.
Food and service both stellar! We continue to come back!!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on April 30, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Lots of people waiting – we waited over a half hour even though we had a reservation. Food was good but not great. The server was lovely and they had lots of covered, heated, open air seating.

FP
FancyPants
Portland
4 reviews
Dined on April 30, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Beautiful outdoor seating area!
Felt like dining in Europe!

WP
vipWolfPack
Portland
4 reviews
Dined on April 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Please bring happy hour back.
Love sitting on the sidewalk.

KL
vipKirstenL
Portland
5 reviews
Dined on April 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Warm, lovely and attentive service; the best, healthiest and cutest environment around; and the food is wonderful, flat out.

MR
MichaelR
Portland
26 reviews
Dined on April 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Always the best. Even under the current circumstances we had a wonderful time.

C
Candy
Portland
1 review
Dined on April 29, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience5

During Covid, one of the nicest outdoor venues we've found. Really lovely outdoor ambience. Nice menu. Service was a bit slow, but probably caused by challenges of staffing during Covid.

FAQs

Cafe Nell offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (503) 295-6487.

Cafe Nell is rated 4.6 stars by 1774 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.