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Cafe Nell, Portland, OR

Cafe Nell

4.3
4.3
2533 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

8:00 PM


Booked 41 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 2,533 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

    Outdoor Dining

  • Portland

    Great for Brunch

  • Portland

    Great for Lunch

  • Portland

    Neighborhood Gem

  • Portland

    Outdoor Dining

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Filters

  1. n

    newoaklandexperience

    San Francisco

    5 reviews

    4.0

    5 reviews

    Dined 1 day ago

    overall4food5service4ambience4
    Our server was outstanding--very friendly, efficient and personable. She was also very accomodating when serving our wine. Cafe Nell was out of the original wine I had chosen. When she brought my second choice, she asked if I wanted to taste it, before she poured the whole carafe. I appreciated her consideration. We had a bit of a wait for the food, however we chalked that up to Covid related staffing problems that are everywhere. The food was outstanding! Two of us ordered the King Salmon, and the preparation was perfect (Our server asked the preferred level of cooking upon ordering.) The other two in our party ordered the Vegan Risotto, which can be altered to include parmesan and grilled chicken. Everything was so delicious--tender salmon and the sauces complimented the entrees, without overpowering them. We highly recommend Cafe Nell!
  2. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Nashville

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined 2 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great dining experience from top to bottom. Stellar service, great flavors, helpful staff, well chosen wine list etc.
  3. P

    Prtt

    Portland

    40 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    40 reviews

    Dined 5 days ago

    overall4food4service5ambience4
    Our go to dine out place in Portland. We love it.. great place !!!!
  4. RR

    RedRooster

    Portland

    28 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    28 reviews

    Dined 6 days ago

    overall4food5service4ambience4
    Just lunch with my bff. It was fun, food was good and so was the service! Nice place to hang out and have drinks with friends!
  5. FM

    FoodieM

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined 6 days ago

    overall2food2service1ambience5
    Excellent coffee and ambiance however, the service was horrible! Our strawberry pancakes only came with 2 strawberries and when asked for a side of strawberries we were told “we can’t do that.” Also, if you’re wanting more than 2 ounces of syrup it’s additional $3 for 2 more ounces! Though the coffee was delicious, it was spilled all over the outside of both of our mugs and filled the saucer it was sitting on. I was very disappointed in this place.
  6. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Portland

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined 6 days ago

    overall2food2service4ambience5
    Too expensive for the quality of food. Also, charging $3.00 for maple syrup when you ordered pancakes is pretty ridiculous.
  7. T

    Tacomabr

    Seattle

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined 6 days ago

    overall1food1service1ambience1
    8 person table. Drink orders were taken 20 minutes after seating, dropped off and waited around for another 30 minutes without anyone checking in on us. Walked inside to pay our bill and had dinner elsewhere. Overheard the woman in front of me wondering where her salad was she had ordered 40 minutes prior.
  8. C

    Cali

    San Francisco

    2 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    2 reviews

    Dined 6 days ago

    overall3food3service4ambience4
    Nice place and local vibe. You can tell that it’s been around for a while and part of the neighborhood. They were short staffed but were attentive and apologetic. Nowadays, it’s important to be understanding and kind to staff.
  9. KH

    KimberleeH

    Portland

    10 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    10 reviews

    Dined 7 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We took my 102 year old father out with family from out of town. It was fabulous. Adam, our server went above and beyond to help Pop feel comfortable and even convinced the kitchen to make a very boring omelet for my father. The meal was delicious. The seating was perfect with someone in a wheelchair. Your folks were amazing. And being able to make a reservation for brunch when you have someone that elderly is wonderful. We will be back regularly.
  10. t

    terrir

    Caribbean

    40 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    40 reviews

    Dined 7 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Very nice ambiance with great food in a semi outdoor setting. Would definitely go back!
  11. RM

    RickyM

    Portland

    13 reviews

    5.0

    13 reviews

    Dined 7 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The restaurant and the patio are beautiful/charming, the service is always friendly and never too obtrusive, and the cocktails and food are always superb and fresh.
  12. J

    Jimmy

    Portland

    3 reviews

    4.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on August 12, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience5
    Fun, creative setting outdoors. Staff was super accommodating, friendly and helpful. Food was great. Excellent cocktails.
  13. MR

    MichaelR

    Portland

    43 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    43 reviews

    Dined on August 12, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience4
    It's always fun to bring a "newbie" to Cafe Nell. It never fails, they are always impressed. The only problem is when asked to make a menu recommendation, I can't. I explain that everything is so good, I can't single any one dish out for a recommendation. Always a treat to visit.
  14. GC

    GCGCT

    New York Area

    51 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    51 reviews

    Dined on August 10, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    My husband and I enjoyed walking to this restaurant in the Alphabet District. We sat outside, enjoyed a bottle of sparking wine and two entrées - an amazing beet salad and a pesto pasta - plus an excellent strawberry rhubarb crisp for dessert. We liked that we could have a meal that was not too heavy, and portions that were not too large. The service was outstanding, which helped to make the overall experience feel special.
  15. LS

    LewS

    Seattle

    11 reviews

    4.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on August 9, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience4
    Very nice lunch. Superb wait person, good food, a bit elevated menu prices. Outdoor seating could stand some upgrading.
  16. S

    Steve123

    Portland

    8 reviews

    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on August 7, 2022

    overall5food5service3ambience5
    We went to Cafe Nell for brunch and everything was amazing! Their drinks and food never fail to impress. Service may have been a bit slow that day, but everything else made up for that.
  17. j

    janeh

    New Mexico

    12 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on August 7, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Excellent as always. Food was great on a hot night. Service as well.
  18. A

    Aidan

    Chicago

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 6, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great food, excellent Bloody Mary's and a romantic environment. Cafe Nell was a lovely place for a gorgeous brunch. The bloody marys had an excellent spice to them and the eggs Benedict was good. The vegan hash, for what it was and what it was priced at seemed a little stingy. But we had great service and can't complain much. Thank you.
  19. K

    Kvshrz

    Philadelphia

    10 reviews

    5.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on August 6, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    6 star service if I could . Made a birthday night memorable
  20. DL

    DanaLou

    Portland

    17 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    17 reviews

    Dined on August 5, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We celebrated a 70th birthday and the waitress was very patient with us. She took a group photo and was extremely gracious about it. The food and Mimosas good and the Bloody Mary was spectacular‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️
  21. AE

    AllisonE

    Portland

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 4, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We had a group of 7 for my daughter's birthday. The atmosphere was exactly what we wanted. We went at opening (11:00 weekday) so it was not yet busy. By the time we left it was filling up but our service was never lacking. Drinks and food were both great. Between us we tried a variety of beverages, food and dessert. Everyone was pleased with their orders. We will definitely be back.
  22. P

    Prtt

    Portland

    41 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    41 reviews

    Dined on August 3, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    We dine at Cafe Nell 3-5 times per month It is our go to place to dine in Portland... highly recommend it.
  23. m

    marvinandabby

    Portland

    45 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    45 reviews

    Dined on August 2, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Always great food, drinks, and service. Wonderful outside seating available.
  24. AS

    ArouraSeeker

    Dallas

    17 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    17 reviews

    Dined on August 1, 2022

    overall4food3service5ambience5
    Great place to grab drinks. I cannot recommend the food but our custom margarita was perfection. Easy parking and cute patio dining make it a keeper. Just eat before you go. Bartender is outstanding
  25. K

    penaltyKill

    San Francisco

    27 reviews

    vip
    1.0

    27 reviews

    Dined on July 31, 2022

    overall1food1service3ambience4
    We went to cafe nell on sunday the 31st,we had a reservation. we were seated late and put in what was referred to as “the blind spot”. After sitting at the table for 15 minutes i went to the hostess station to ask for water which we got 19 minutes later. We were able to get a coffee and an ice tea after another 20 minutes. Our busy server and i do not blame him at all finally took our order and we waited for another 25 minutes when i finally just gave up. Server was apologetic and requested i wait so they could get my info but i just wanted to leave at that point,it was hot,we were ignored,i don’t need that in my life. I loved Cafe Nell,have been there 4 other times and the waitstaff and the food plus that delightful tent make it well worth going. I am done with cafe nell,the whole experience just left me with a foul vibe. maybe if it’s too hot in the kitchen you close down for the day and give the staff a break,you can do that! it’s allowed.
  26. R

    Ribby

    Portland

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on July 31, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    It feels like escaping to Paris for a leisurely lunch with friends. Love the outdoor covered patio and the food is yummy too.
  27. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Austin

    2 reviews

    3.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on July 30, 2022

    overall3food4service3ambience5
    I ordered the steak au poivre and it was over cooked. They made me a new one which was perfect. The server gave excellent service however I was disappointed no one from management touched base with me about the recook which was disappointing. I even asked to speak to the manager and was told there wasn’t one. Ambiance was amazing.
  28. P

    Portlandlocal

    Portland

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on July 24, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    We had a really pleasant family brunch. We were looking for a nice location where we could have some time to talk. The food and service were good and the ambiance was excellent! We will definitely go back at some point
  29. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Portland

    4 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on July 24, 2022

    overall2food1service3ambience3
    This was a pleasant outdoors brunch on a beautiful Sunday morning, but add in distracted service, poorly prepared food and an outrageously expensive bill and the experience was horrendous! Cold coffee, repeated requests for the same thing and not a single check in on how we were doing explains the service. Rubbery poached eggs, microscopic crab cakes, cold hollandaise and cold geriatric potatoes explains the food. $10 for two silver dollar sized crab cakes and a $75 bill - 2 coffees plus two eggs Benedict - explains the cost. Seriously?
  30. W

    Wienerin

    Portland

    25 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    25 reviews

    Dined on July 24, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    We sat outside which was very pleasant. Beautifully designed former parking lot.. you’d never know. Very nice and attentive server. My frozen lemonade with limoncello was delicious. Food beautifully presented. My only complaint is that my husband was looking for a seafood pasta; there was a fettuccine with pesto on the menu and the waitress suggested adding shrimp and salmon. What surprised me was that the 3 shrimp were an additional $15 and the smallish salmon was, too, which made his dish a total of $49 which it definitely was not worth it. We will go back as, on the whole, it was a pleasant setting, good service, but no more seafood pasta.
  31. PH

    PatrickH

    Portland

    12 reviews

    5.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on July 24, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Michael was great.
  32. GH

    GeorgeH

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 23, 2022

    overall3food3service3ambience4
    Usually much better than this. Seems understaffed. Had such a wonderful steak/frites dinner there recently I ordered it again. Guess you 'can't come home'. Arrived barely room temperature with frites kind of limp and warm vs hot and crisp. Mix up with the bill (we brought another couple with us after building up their expectations based on our experience a couple weeks ago). Oh well - they've been great over the years so we'll step back and wait a bit before we return (but we will return).
  33. M

    Madge

    Portland

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on July 20, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Delicious food, great service and wonderful ambience
  34. JL

    JoLa

    Portland

    24 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    24 reviews

    Dined on July 20, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great meal at Cafe Nell. Delish cocktails. The oysters were fabulous! Everything about it. Cafe Nell continues to be top notch
  35. P

    Portlander

    Portland

    35 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    35 reviews

    Dined on July 18, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Always a good experience at café Nell.
  36. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Portland

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on July 18, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    It was nice and tasty, really enjoy my time and food
  37. MR

    MichaelR

    Portland

    44 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    44 reviews

    Dined on July 17, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Cafe Nell never disappoints. The best Benedict in town. Always a treat to visit.
  38. TL

    TomL

    Portland

    21 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    21 reviews

    Dined on July 17, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    The cocktail drinks, food and service were very good.
  39. SS

    StephenS

    Los Angeles

    8 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on July 17, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Wonderful service
  40. RT

    RubyTues

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 17, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience5
    Have been here for both brunch and dinner. Love the atmosphere, great place to bring dogs. Most seating is outdoors and separated from other diners which is really nice, especially during a pandemic. Staff are always friendly and courteous. I found the service to be very variable-- sometimes the staff are really attentive, waiting time for food is quick, and the drinks are great but sometimes waiting time for food is long (even when it's oddly not busy), and the drinks have been so-so (for a $12-15 cocktail, I expect it to be awesome). Most things I have ordered have been really great- recommend the french toast and benedicts for brunch. The mussels and frites were really tasty for dinner. My husband ordered the pork dish for dinner and was disappointed. Overall, it's a place we love to go to meet with friends and will definitely go back.

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 2533 OpenTable diners.

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

Make a reservation

2 people

8:00 PM


Booked 41 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

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