Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
About Cafe Nell
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.
Portland, OR 97209
American, French, Bistro
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
NW 20th Ave
$30 and under
AMEX, MasterCard, Pay with OpenTable, Visa
Complimentary parking available in private parking lot. Street parking also available.
Two block walk from StreetCar at 18th & Lovejoy.
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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Cafe Nell Ratings and Reviews
We have been to Cafe Nell before, and were very disappointed with this visit. The coffee came cold the first time, and then when our food arrived, it was not hot either. The potatoes were dry and cold and tasteless. It was brunch and we had hoped for a delicious meal, but ended up leaving thinking "we won't be returning".
Sorry for the bad review, but too many great places to eat around town.
Cafe Nell is truly a gem! It is warm, cozy and romantic with a lovely fireplace that adds to
it's charm! There for a birthday, we received excellent service from an attentive, knowledgeable
server who made our special evening a joy! Our food was excellent in every way, as were our cocktails and desert! Not a large or small menu, but very adequate for most any taste with many wonderful choices. All our selections were wholesome, well prepared and presented
in a very pleasing fashion. I felt like I was dining in a fine European Establishment and I look forward to returning in the future! Oh, also should add that even their prices are reasonable
for such exceptional dining!
I've always been a fan of Cafe Nell, but honestly, the food at our brunch yesterday was surprisingly mediocre. Disappointing portions and lack luster flavors. Makes me wonder if there's a new head chef or new management...? Not sure. But the ambiance and service was still excellent.
We had friends in town and hadn't been for a while to Cafe Nell but we were reminded how wonderful this little tucked away gem is. The ambience is beautiful with an open fire and rich colors, a great little bar, awesome friendly helpful staff and the food just topped it off. It was a great night out and cannot recommend it enough. Great for a special occasion or a date night or dinner with friends. We will be back soon.
Sophisticated yet cozy, refined yet relaxed! You can have the best burger or a gourmet French dish. This was a perfect place to get together with friends and feel like we were at home. The service is outstanding and the food delicious. I would highly recommend this restaurant and will return the next time I’m in Portland
Lunch on New Year's Day was packed at Nell's. A large party wa drinking their brunch and became increasingly louder. Service was exceedingly slow. The cappuccino was returned as it was lukewarm, but replaced 5 minutes later with a hot one. The wait for our food was lengthy and seemed even more lengthy because it was difficult to have a conversation due to the noise. The food was very good. We ate quickly and left. Not the leisurely, relaxed meal we had looked forward to for our new year beginning. We will not book again at a crowded time slot.
We had 3 pm reservations for Sunday. We arrived closer to 2:30 and were seated promptly. My husband had the bacon cheeseburger and absolutely loved the freshness, texture and perfectly cooked burger -- which is house blended. My Cobb salad had perfectly grilled chicken and a wonderful selection of both traditional Cobb ingredients and some clever and tasty substitutions. My husband loves sparkling Rose: theirs was very good. We saw a couple other plates of Eggs Benedicts (they offer a few variations) and one of shellfish. Those looked very tempting.
We are already planning our next visit (we live NE; it's NW). We appreciated the quiet atmosphere Sunday afternoon offered.
Lunch with a friend. The cafe was packed, but our table was ready as soon as we walked through the door. Several people waiting to eat without reservations. My risotto was just okay, but my friend's grilled cheese with pumpkin and apple was amazing and huge! Order it! I live in the neighborhood so will be going back soon.
Have been to Cafe Nell many times. The attention to detail has slipped. Love their fireplace and it was going when we were seated but went out by noon. They were a full restaurant however we waited 10+ minutes for another carafe of water then 10 more for the offer if something to drink. Ultimately flagged down the wait staff to order the cheese plate which was delicious but came with no explanation of which cheeses.
Lunch arrived just in time for one of our guests to eat and run back to work..... the garlic soup was thick and barely warm. The au jus looked like salad dressing and salad was served with no offer of bread........ other diners were not being served very promptly either.
I've always enjoyed Nell however it has slipped down many notches.......
The restaurant was bustling, and we waited a few minutes before tables became available but the service was attentive and we were well taken care of as soon as we sat down! The cocktails were eclectic, a perfect vibe to complement the cozy ambiance. From starters to entree, the food was lick-the-plate good. Only wish we had saved room for dessert!
Brought two colleagues here for dinner this evening and was not impressed. I’ve dined here many times. Tonight was not a good night. Service was slow and inattentive. He forgot to bring my salad and neglected our water glasses (especially a problem for one of my colleagues who was only drinking water). The food was good and we sat next to the fireplace, which made for a cozy evening despite the service problems.
Seated quickly, thanks. Very busy.
Had to wait well over 30 minutes to finally get our initial drink order and was never approached once by our waiter during that time. I asked if he had forgotten about us but blamed the bar. Then we watched him go pour the mimosa, and brought my coffee drink (Luke warm at best-it had obviously been sitting at the bar for quite some time).
Finally took our brunch order.
I asked for just a little hot coffee to be poured into my room temperature coffee drink. He never returned. I asked another waiter for just a little hot coffee to add, and I was delivered a new cup of coffee. All I was wanting was a warmup! Ugh.
Then our meal came. Wrong items, but too much time had passed by this point and we just ate it. At this point we just wanted to get it over with.
But the meal had pretty blatant flaws aside from being wrong. Zero blue cheese on the steak Benedict. Mentioned the toast had no butter, but then none was brought - in fact he just asked if he could take it away!?
We pointed out the errors (not as a complaint, really, but just to be informative) and he brought over two free mimosas even though we didn’t really want them.
Likely will never return.
Wonderful food, but very rude service. While we were waiting for our checks after finishing our meals, another waiter (not our server) came over and asked us to leave because other guests were waiting for our table. We had not finished paying, and being asked to leave like this made us feel very rushed and unappreciated.
I have eaten at Cafe Nell’s twice, both times I left completely satisfied: service, food, atmosphere all exceedingly pleasing. Extra points for fireplace and parking lot. It is small and cozy, high quality on all fronts. Because there is a lot of glass and tile, the dining room can be loud. One of my favorite places in PDX.
In all the years I have been going to Cafe Nell I have never had a bad food experience until now. I was very disappointed--the risotto was bland and watery. The cider-brine pork chop tough. Drinks were just ok and the meal was very expensive. Given the competition in Portland for great tasting meals and affordable prices Cafe Nell better up their game. My partner will not go back again--I might try it in a few months. Very sad experience.
Cafe Nell offers a fabulous brunch! My wife enjoyed the chicken paillard, it was just the right size portion for brunch. My Parisian eggs were done just right. They were very creamy and complemented nicely by the fried potatoes. Also, our waiter, Jeffrey was attentive and very nice. A great experience.
The service is usually great but this night the server was not exceptional. We did not get water glasses filled until after we had been seated for 15 minutes and already ordered drinks. There were 4 of us and we only were provided 2 menus. Nothing glaringly bad, just lack of attention to detail. So I have to say average service. Food was tasty and prepared well.
We absolutely love this place. It is truly a neighborhood gem near Slaptown. The food is really interesting French bistro style. Service by Mary was great and our table for 9nwas in a cozy corner that allowed us to enjoy our family reunion! Simply a winner!!
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