Enable JavaScript to run this app.
Skip to Main Content
OpenTable logo
  1. Home
  2. United States
  3. Portland / Oregon
  4. Portland
  5. Northwest Portland
Cafe Nell, Portland, OR

Cafe Nell

4.3
4.3
2650 Reviews
$30 and under
American
Located in the heart of Northwest Portland, Café Nell serves French inspired, eclectic American classics simply prepared from Northwest ingredients. Celebrating 14 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. Indoors, Sidewalk and Oasis patio seating are all a neighborhood favorite for a tasty lunch or a candle-lit dinner on a lovely Portland evening.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 24 times today

Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Cuisines

    American, French, Bistro

  • Hours of operation

    Mon–Fri 11:00 am–11:00 pm Sat, Sun 9:00 am–11:00 pm

  • Phone number

    (503) 295-6487

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Private party facilities

    Cafe Nell is an intimate venue for private parties of 50 to 100 guests.Maximum capacity of 80 for a sit-down dinner, and up to 120 for buffet-style.

  • Private party contact

    vanessa@cafenell.com: (503) 295-6487

  • Neighborhood

    Northwest Portland

  • Cross street

    NW 20th Ave

  • Parking details

    Complimentary parking courtesy of the offices of Legacy Health (entrance a block away on Lovejoy between 19th & 20th) Weekdays after 5 pm. Saturday/Sunday All Day. Street parking also available. Paid parking is available 4 blocks south at 16th and Kearney.

  • Public transit

    Two block walk from StreetCar at 18th & Lovejoy.

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Gluten-free Options, Indoor Fireplace, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine

Popular dishes

What 2,650 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.3
4.3 based on recent ratings
  • 4.3Food
  • 4.3Service
  • 4.5Ambience
  • 4Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • Portland / Oregon

    Great for brunch

  • Portland / Oregon

    Great for outdoor dining

  • Portland

    Great for brunch

  • Portland

    Great for outdoor dining

Sort by

Filters

  1. K

    Kiff

    Seattle

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined 3 days ago

    overall4food5service5ambience4
    Pricey but good
  2. B

    Brian

    Portland

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined 7 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The food and service was wonderful and the cobb salad I had was excellent
  3. SA

    SheriA

    Portland

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 7 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience3
    Great food. Friendly, knowledgeable waitstaff, fireplace didn't work and some "outside" items stored in the dining area that made the interior not as cozy as expected. Otherwise, a good place to be.
  4. GR

    GreatRestaurant

    Palm Springs

    3 reviews

    3.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on November 27, 2022

    overall3food2service2ambience3
    Short on staffing, inexperienced but very nice. Drinks, food took awhile. Cobb salad was ok. Cream brûlée was mediocre at best.
  5. S

    Sally

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 27, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Excellent brunch options for a wide range of appetites. The dining build-out into a large outdoor space is marvelous -- lots of intimate, heated nooks, with tasteful decor details. Someone with great design sense created this unique space -- loved it!
  6. P

    Prtt

    Portland

    45 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    45 reviews

    Dined on November 27, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience4
    We are regulars and Cafe Nell, is our go to place for lunch, brunch and dinner... quality is always right on as we expect...
  7. U

    Unimpressed

    Salt Lake City

    2 reviews

    3.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on November 26, 2022

    overall3food3service2ambience5
    Not busy, but our waitress was aloof and barely checked on us after we ordered. Portions were tiny for Brunch. I left hungry. The setting is beautiful, but I doubt that we will go back anytime soon.
  8. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Portland

    4 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on November 22, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Fantastic!
  9. SG

    SaraG

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 20, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    This creative solution during COVID has become a staple to our group for announcements, catch ups, sharing. The outside space is so creatively done and felt “safe” while COVID was still in early phases.
  10. M

    Markelam

    Portland

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 20, 2022

    overall3food3service3ambience4
    Mussels and fries were excellent. At $27, the salad was massively overpriced. Bread (brought as an afterthought, when we were almost finished eating) was dry and tasteless—supermarket bottom shelf quality. Overall verdict: how does this place stay open?
  11. CC

    CstoChad

    Portland

    5 reviews

    4.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on November 18, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience5
    Unfortunately, the large outdoor seating area was being "touched up". The other outdoor area was very tight seating wise which didn't allow for private conversations. Seating inside was limited to barstools, which can be a challenge for me, but the staff was extremely flexible in getting us a place that ultimately was good. Excellent food and service as always.
  12. BW

    BillW

    Seattle

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 18, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    Limited menu that was different from the menu we looked at online.
  13. MR

    MarcR

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 17, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Friendly professional service, good wine, coffee and chocolate mousse, and very nice main courses for lunch with good quantity to eat.
  14. MR

    MichaelR

    Portland

    48 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    48 reviews

    Dined on November 16, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    It was so nice to be back in the dining room again. The autumnal risotto was incredible as was our server. While I’ve always enjoyed great food and service at Cafe Nell, this was one of the best experiences.
  15. G

    Greg

    Portland

    11 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on November 15, 2022

    overall2food2service2ambience2
    I had the huevos rancheros. No evidence of chorizo and/or pork sausage. Just a corn tortilla topped with some black beans, cheese, generic salsa, two nicely fried eggs and 4 avocado slices. Very disappointing. We’re unlikely to return.
  16. J

    Jason

    Portland

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 13, 2022

    overall2food2service1ambience3
    Wow this place has really gone down in terms of Service and food quality. We had a group brunch at the nice patio area, we had a waitress with the worst attitude ever seen. One plate of food came out cold and she said it’s because it’s cold outside, other dishes were hot. Slow, unwillingness to help or listen. A mediocre Crab cake Benedict, waitress never came back to check on us, had to stand up to the bar to order more drinks, etc, etc. Oh but they added gratuity to the table of 7. Don’t deserve it, never going back, what shame.
  17. TH

    TorrieH

    Washington DC

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 13, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    Nice place to have a ladies brunch, would like to come back when it’s warmer To try out their patio.
  18. SZ

    SuzZ

    Portland

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 13, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience5
    Always good food, super nice staff, and wonderful ambiance.
  19. c

    cnorman99

    Portland

    85 reviews

    5.0

    85 reviews

    Dined on November 12, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience4
    Had a good meal with friends. Will definitely return for another visit.
  20. N

    Nelly

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 11, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Cafe Nell Has been a personal favorite for a long time and the food is as tasty as ever and the staff are great. Highly recommended
  21. FF

    FrenchFoodie

    Portland

    7 reviews

    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on November 9, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Music was too loud otherwise great
  22. MH

    MaryHelenC

    Portland

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 6, 2022

    overall3food4service4ambience2
    We were seated outside and the sides of the open air structure were wide open. It was very cold outside and we were quite uncomfortable. The waitress tried to move a heater closer but we were forced to eat our meal with our coats on. Disappointing.
  23. DM

    DawnM

    Portland

    3 reviews

    1.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on November 5, 2022

    overall1food3service1ambience3
    Took 30 to get water and an hour to just get our drinks. Approached hostess and staff three times and met with indifference. Food was good once we received it but not good enough to makeup for horrible service. It's too bad our previous experiences at Cafe Nell were really good
  24. J

    Jess

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 5, 2022

    overall3food2service5ambience4
    Unfortunately we were disappointed in the meal. It did not seem worth it for the money. Small portions and simplistic recipes with not great presentation. Not exactly sure why it’s as expensive as it is for what they serve. The venue and the service was excellent, however. Very cute restaurant although most tables inside were high-top so difficult to sit on for an extended period of time.
  25. BC

    BranCat

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 2, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Came here for a date. Atmosphere was very romantic, service was spectacular and the food was divine!
  26. JR

    JRenee

    San Diego

    13 reviews

    5.0

    13 reviews

    Dined on November 2, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    First time here. The restaurant was lovely, good service and good food. I would eat here again.
  27. MD

    MichaeleD

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 31, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    The food was excellent, as always at Cafe Nell. I am a frequent diner there and enjoyed hosting two friends in the warmed outdoor space for lunch.
  28. NW

    NWGuy

    Portland

    20 reviews

    5.0

    20 reviews

    Dined on October 30, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great local hangout with a variety of good food and really good service. Much improved over several years ago when it was just average.
  29. s

    sophocles

    Portland

    23 reviews

    5.0

    23 reviews

    Dined on October 30, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    we dined in Nell's "outdoor" area on a Saturday night. There is ample space between tables (with barriers back to back), and individual propane heaters (thanks, Nell; sorry, planet). our sever was very accommodating to our need for a private conversation mid-meal, and very enjoyable to talk with overall. I have been told that their vegetarian options are overly salted - caveat emptor - but my salmon salad, and my companion's shrimp dish were both very well prepared. this space is the most indoor of all outdoor areas, so if you are very concerned you may want the street shed area instead - the spacing was good enough for us. Nell did a great job of quadrupling the dining area with this parking lot conversion, kudos!
  30. MO

    MichalO

    Phoenix

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 29, 2022

    overall4food3service4ambience5
    Beautiful patio and good service. French toast was surprisingly dry considering how many good reviews I read about it. Everyone seemed to like their food fine but I didn’t hear any raves.
  31. SP

    SarahP

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 29, 2022

    overall3food4service3ambience3
    Food was good. Just very cold and our heater wasn’t working. Had our coats on the whole time so we ordered hot toddy’s to warm us, which were not very hot at all. And then when we were done with our food and drinks, 30 mins went by with anyone checking on us, I think we were forgotten.
  32. BH

    BlueHwyGal

    Portland

    18 reviews

    4.0

    18 reviews

    Dined on October 28, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    Charming place, lovely in warm weather, cozy in cold. Huge drink selection, much smaller food list. Some portions huge (omelet) others scant (crab). A bit spendy, so I hope staff is well-paid…
  33. P

    Prtt

    Portland

    45 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    45 reviews

    Dined on October 26, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience4
    We frequent Cafe Nell 3 to 5 times per month. We love it.... great place to dine
  34. AH

    AvaH

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 25, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We sat in a booth that was not on the street and looked like it was inside but one side allowed fresh air in while a Dalek-style heater provided plenty of warmth. The decor was charming, the server kind, and the food marvelous. I had an eggplant salad entree, my friend swordfish and my husband risotto, all served in a timely fashion and each cooked and seasoned to perfection. This has become our go-to place, never disappointed, for anytime we need dinner downtown.
  35. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Portland

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 23, 2022

    overall2food2service3ambience1
    Bring your parka! Was very chilly. Definitely needs more heaters.
  36. JG

    JayG

    San Francisco

    7 reviews

    4.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on October 23, 2022

    overall4food4service3ambience5
    Great place to eat , service left a lot to be desired but other than that it was great
  37. S

    Soosuu

    Portland

    14 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    14 reviews

    Dined on October 23, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The ambience at Cafe Nell’s is delightful. We sat in the tented area which is an amazing place. They have spared no expense in creating a truly inviting environment. Food was predicable good, drinks where in point, service was excellent. We will be back!
  38. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Portland

    12 reviews

    5.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on October 22, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great food and love the decor! Service was wonderful. The coffee was good and perfect for an overcast and cooler Fall morning.
  39. NK

    NancyK

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 20, 2022

    overall2food4service2ambience1
    We were really disappointed with our Cafe Nel lunch yesterday after years of enjoying brunch and dinner at this location. The facility is tired and looking shabby and dirty. Opening my rolled napkin, I was very hesitant to set my service ware on the grimy looking table surface. It was not a welcoming place to set a $20 pasta. Although we had a reservation, the host was pretty snippy when explaining that we would just have to wait. Table service was pretty slow too.
  40. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Portland

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 18, 2022

    overall3food3service4ambience4
    Partner and I were very excited to celebrate our anniversary here after reading the menu online, only to see that it was an entirely different set at the restaurant. They were also out of both of the entrees we were interested in, and several wines by the glass. Our server was kind, and working with what he had, but the food was also appallingly subpar for the price. The cheeseboard had two blues, and a goat, along with seven accoutrements, all but one of which clearly came from a jar. The salad greens tasted bitter, the chicken was a fried patty, and the mashed potatoes tasted like a refrigerator. The pork was dry, under which had under seasoned, and soupy risotto. We gave up on dessert after that. All for $150, not including tip. Save your money, go somewhere else.

Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitizing

    • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
    • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
    • Common areas deep-cleaned daily
    • 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
    • Staff is vaccinated
    • Proof of vaccination required to dine indoors
    • Contact tracing information collected

FAQs

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

Cafe Nell is rated 4.3 stars by 2650 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 24 times today
Google Map for Cafe Nell

1987 NW Kearney St, Portland, OR 97209

Additional information

  • Cross street

    NW 20th Ave

  • Neighborhood

    Northwest Portland

  • Hours of operation

    Mon–Fri 11:00 am–11:00 pm Sat, Sun 9:00 am–11:00 pm

  • Cuisines

    American, French, Bistro

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Parking details

    Complimentary parking courtesy of the offices of Legacy Health (entrance a block away on Lovejoy between 19th & 20th) Weekdays after 5 pm. Saturday/Sunday All Day. Street parking also available. Paid parking is available 4 blocks south at 16th and Kearney.

  • Public transit

    Two block walk from StreetCar at 18th & Lovejoy.

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Gluten-free Options, Indoor Fireplace, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine

  • Phone number

    (503) 295-6487

  • Private party facilities

    Cafe Nell is an intimate venue for private parties of 50 to 100 guests.Maximum capacity of 80 for a sit-down dinner, and up to 120 for buffet-style.

  • Private party contact

    vanessa@cafenell.com: (503) 295-6487

Copyright © 2022 OpenTable, Inc. 1 Montgomery St Ste 700, San Francisco CA 94104 - All rights reserved.
OpenTable is part of Booking Holdings, the world leader in online travel and related services.
Booking LogoPriceline LogoKAYAK LogoAgoda LogoRentalcars LogoOpenTable Logo