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Party Size
For 2
7:00 PM
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Cafe Nell

511 reviews
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$30 and under
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Top Tags:
  • Neighborhood Gem (28)
  • Cozy (25)
  • Good for a Date (20)

Located in the heart of Northwest Portland, Café Nell serves French inspired American classics simply prepared from Northwest ingredients. Entering its fifth year, 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, our patio seating is perfect for happy hour, or a candle-lit dinner on a warm Portland evening.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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American, French, Bistro
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Hours of operation
11 am - 10 pm Monday - Friday
9 am - 10 pm Saturday
9 am - 10 pm Sunday
9 am - 1 am New Year's Eve
11 am - 3 pm New Year's Day
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Phone number
(503) 295-6487
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Payment options
AMEX, MasterCard, Pay with OpenTable, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Cross street
NW 20th Ave
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Parking details
Complimentary parking available in private parking lot. Street parking also available.
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Public transit
Two block walk from StreetCar at 18th & Lovejoy.
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Gift Card
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Weekend Brunch, Wine


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Sun 9:00AM - 9:30AM 2:00PM - 2:00PM 2:15PM - 3:00PM 5:00PM - 6:00PM 7:00PM - 8:00PM
Mon - Thu 11:00AM - 11:45AM 5:00PM - 6:00PM 8:30PM - 10:00PM
Fri 5:00PM - 6:00PM 8:30PM - 10:00PM
Sat 9:00AM - 9:45AM 2:00PM - 2:00PM 2:15PM - 3:00PM 5:00PM - 6:00PM 8:30PM - 10:00PM

What 511 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3  based on recent ratings
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
  • 5
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OpenTable Diner (Portland)
5.0  Dined 4 days ago

Loved it, we’ll be back

OpenTable Diner (Portland)
5.0  Dined 4 days ago

We met before a performance at Comedy Sportz. There were 5 of us. We were seated on time and ordered a bottle of wine. Everything from the flat bread to the salads and main courses was excellent. We tried the vegan carrot dinner and the special chicken and the steak and fries. Everything was great. The service was a trifle slow but we got to our performance on time.

OpenTable Diner (Anchorage)
4.0  Dined 4 days ago

The staff were very cognizant of me and my friends getting together; did not rush us; gave us time. The Bloody Mary was INCREDIBLE with not only the taste, but in the presentation. The ambiance of Nell's is always a pleasure. Thank you...

OpenTable Diner (Portland)
2.0  Dined 4 days ago

The waitress was the only good thing about the restaurant. It was overpriced bland food.

OpenTable Diner (Portland)
4.0  Dined 5 days ago

The service and the atmosphere are outstanding. I loved how friendly the server was. The place itself is cozy and warm, so you feel welcomed the minute you walk in the door. We started with the steak tartare. It was very good. Totally recommend it. My husband had the linguine with clams and chorizo. Spicy! Huge flavor bomb. My husband loved it. If you’re shy with spice, stay away from this one. I had the pork chop and it was so extremely dry. I had to drink water, pretty much, after each bite. The flavor was good though. We will try it again and some other dishes. We think it’s definitely worth putting on our rotation. I’ll just stay away from the pork chop.

OpenTable Diner (Portland)
2.0  Dined 6 days ago

The waitress was very kind & elegant. My husband did like the lamb pasta and the ambiance was really good. Overall, the date night ended not so good due to reasons I wish to not disclose. I didn't find the food all that appetizing and believe the best part of the experience was the sparkling water that was offered when we sat. Due to my husbands findings during our meal, the manager was kind enough to resolve the issue respectively. I wish I could have done more for the waitresses kind service, yet no opportunity. I guess we will try another restaurant for date night if not our usual at Salty's on the Columbia.

Thanks for everything.

OpenTable Diner (Portland)
4.0  Dined on February 14, 2018

I really love this place. Great brunch experience, so I decided to book Valentine’s dinner here. By the end of the dinner everything was wonderful, but it definitely got off to a rough start. First, our reservations were bumped half an hour back which was fine because it was obviously going to be busy.... but holy heck was it busy!

My girlfriend and I weren’t even able to make our way to the host because we were blocked out by another couple. When we did get seated in the main dining room, it was at the smallest table (was it really a table?) that was crammed right next to multiple other couples and right by where the servers were running food and drinks.

Thank goodness our reservation was bumped though because half of the dining room cleared out in ten minutes allowing us to move to a more comfortable table without fear of getting food spilled on us. After that, everything was perfect! Fabulous service, atmosphere, cuisine, and cocktails. Amazing house-made truffles!

The icing on the cake was the call from Vanessa asking me how everything went. Wow! Now that’s good customer service. Ready to go back again for brunch and maybe another night for dinner.

OpenTable Diner (Seattle)
5.0  Dined on February 14, 2018

2nd year in a row dining at Cafe Nell for Valentine’s Day. We hope to come back next year as this has become a tradition.

OpenTable Diner (Phoenix)
4.0  Dined on February 14, 2018

Great Valentines Day dinner!

Eatout2nite (Portland)
5.0  Dined on February 10, 2018

Took my teen granddaughter for post movie dinner. We ate in the bar where conversation is easier as noise level is lower. She wants to plan a family dinner here later this month . Delightful experience.

OpenTable Diner (Portland)
5.0  Dined on February 6, 2018

Loved it. First time and def will return.

OpenTable Diner (Portland)
5.0  Dined on February 4, 2018

My husband loved his Monte Cristo. Wonderful ham and cheese plus crisp French toast. It was an absolutely, deliciously hammy, leftover later that night. He really appreciated the FRESHLY made iced tea. I enjoyed the wild mushroom omelet with herbed cheese and an absolutely fabulous New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. The omelet was cooked to perfection (no brown); the mushrooms, earthy; herbed cheese, pleasantly creamy and piquant. The server (Rowan) was exceptional. They have a number of interesting specialty drinks: we’ll check those out next visit. Off street parking adds to the charm.

PjinOr (Las Vegas)
5.0  Dined on February 4, 2018

Got seated quickly and order taken promptly.
Food was hot and fresh.
Sausage Hash was very flavorful and filling
Heuvos Rancheros has just the right amount of heat.
Top notch brunch.

PJvB (Portland)
4.0  Dined on February 3, 2018

First time toCafe Nell and was very impressed. The steak tartar was a must.

OpenTable Diner (Portland)
5.0  Dined on January 30, 2018

I love this place - it is one of the hidden gems of Portland. Cute cozy little place and great food. Cool kind of speakeasy 20s beauxs arts atmosphere- specially in the bar.