Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.12mi
  2. Distance: 0.28mi
  3. Distance: 0.33mi
  4. Distance: 0.41mi
  1. Distance: 0.12mi
  2. Distance: 0.28mi
  3. Distance: 0.33mi
  4. Distance: 0.41mi

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.12mi
  2. Distance: 0.28mi
  3. Distance: 0.33mi
  4. Distance: 0.41mi
  1. Distance: 0.12mi
  2. Distance: 0.28mi
  3. Distance: 0.33mi
  4. Distance: 0.41mi

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.

1987 NW Kearney St
Portland, OR 97209
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Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
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

Cross Street:
NW 20th Ave

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, MasterCard, Pay with OpenTable, Visa

Phone Number:
(503) 295-6487

Website:
http://cafenell.com/

Parking Details:
Complimentary parking available in private parking lot. Street parking also available.

Public Transit:
Two block walk from StreetCar at 18th & Lovejoy.

Additional:
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Weekend Brunch, Wine

Specials

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Details
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

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Cafe Nell Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.4

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.3

service

4.4

ambience

4.4

value

4.0

Noise

Moderate

93% would recommend it to a friend

Neighborhood Gem (30)
Cozy (22)
Great for Lunch (17)
See All
Good for a Date (16)
Fit for Foodies (15)
Special Occasion (15)
Creative Cuisine (15)
Romantic (14)
Casual (13)
Quiet Conversation (13)
Local Ingredients (12)
Great for Brunch (12)
Business Meals (10)
Sunday Lunch (10)
Good for Birthdays (10)
Handcrafted Cocktails (9)
Seasonal (9)
Good for Anniversaries (8)
Bar Seating (8)
Comfort Food (8)
Fun (7)
Afternoon Tea (6)
Good for Groups (6)
Happy Hour (6)
Gluten Free Options (5)
Pre/post Theatre (5)
Vibrant Bar Scene (5)
Great for Outdoor Dining (5)
Afternoon Coffee (4)
Quick Bite (4)
Good Vegetarian Options (4)
Kid-friendly (3)
Healthy (3)
Worth the Drive (3)
Authentic (2)
Great Beer (2)
Notable Wine List (2)
Organic (2)
Paleo Friendly (2)
Scenic View (2)
Tasting Menu (2)
Vegan (2)
Disabled Access (1)
Hot Spot (1)
Late-night Find (1)
People Watching (1)
Waterfront (1)
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491 reviews
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vip
 (Portland)·Dined 5 days ago

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.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience3
service3
value1

 
 (New York Area)·Dined 7 days ago

Fabulous dining experience. My friends from L.A. said it was the best food they had in Portland.

Tags: Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Portland)·Dined on January 7, 2018

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!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Good Vegetarian Options, Special Occasion, Romantic, Good for Birthdays, Cozy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on January 7, 2018

Fantastic ambiance and great food!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on January 6, 2018

Our server Matt was AWESOME ! The service was great and the food was amazing! We will definitely be back!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on January 6, 2018

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.

Tags: Kid-friendly, Afternoon Tea, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for Groups
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience4
service4
value2

 
 (Portland)·Dined on January 6, 2018

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.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Neighborhood Gem, Vibrant Bar Scene, Good for a Date, Bar Seating, Cozy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on January 6, 2018

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

Tags: Tasting Menu, Late-night Find, Local Ingredients, Quiet Conversation, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine, Romantic, Handcrafted Cocktails
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on January 4, 2018

I was just a little disappointed that the amount of greens in the Cobb salad seemed less than on previous visits--next time I'll make sure to ask for lots of greens.

Tags: Healthy, Fit for Foodies, Afternoon Tea, Seasonal, Great for Outdoor Dining, Local Ingredients, Cozy, Organic, Sunday Lunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
·Dined on January 1, 2018

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.

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Scenic View, Waterfront
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience1
service2
value3

vip
 (Portland)·Dined on January 1, 2018

Our server couldn't have cared less about our experience, our food was cold, he did nothing about it and at least we left quickly for him

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience2
service1

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 31, 2017

Food was 50/50, veg pasta was crap, special lamb pasta good, signature steak frites was poor. The killer was a mandatory 20% tip added in advance for your convenience! Not going back soon!

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food2
ambience2
service3
value2

 
·Dined on December 31, 2017

The food was tasty but high priced and low quantity the servers were friendly but didn’t seem to come around often

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Business Meals, Good for Anniversaries, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Romantic, Great Beer
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service2
value2

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on December 25, 2017

Wonderful Christmas Eve spent here. The food was okay, the service was great. We'd go back!

Tags: Quiet Conversation
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Portland)·Dined on December 23, 2017

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.

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Good for a Date, Great for Lunch, Business Meals, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Portland)·Dined on December 21, 2017

As always great main course, cocktail & dessert...in a lovely setting.

Tags: Afternoon Tea, Cozy, Casual, Afternoon Coffee, Happy Hour, Pre/post Theatre, Great for Lunch, Good for Birthdays, Gluten Free Options, Bar Seating, Fun, Healthy, Handcrafted Cocktails, Fit for Foodies, Business Meals, Authentic, Paleo Friendly, Comfort Food, Local Ingredients, Seasonal, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Portland)·Dined on December 21, 2017

This is an ideal place to eat before a concert in Grace Cathedral.

Tags: Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (Portland)·Dined on December 20, 2017

We were greeted warmly, and the service was very pleasant throughout. We had the turkey burger and the huevos rancheros, and both were good.

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food4
ambience4
service4

vip
 (Portland)·Dined on December 19, 2017

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.

Tags: Fun, Afternoon Coffee, Bar Seating
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service4
value3

vip
 (Portland)·Dined on December 19, 2017

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.......

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food3
ambience4
service2
value2

 
 (Portland)·Dined on December 17, 2017

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!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service4
value3

 
·Dined on December 16, 2017

Everything from the food to the cocktail list was great!!

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Local Ingredients, Romantic, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service3
value5

 
 (Atlantic Canada)·Dined on December 13, 2017

Great atmosphere and value for money. My lamb dish was pretty unexciting. I am not vegan but the accompaniment was pretty bare and a little more flourish would have been appreciated.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Gluten Free Options, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Portland)·Dined on December 12, 2017

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.

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food4
ambience3
service2
value3

 
 (Portland)·Dined on December 10, 2017

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.

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food2
ambience3
service1
value1

 
·Dined on December 10, 2017

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.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience4
service1
value3

 
·Dined on December 10, 2017

The restaurant was nice and the staff is excellent. However the drinks are horribly expensive and the food is pretty expensive as well for small portions.

Tags: Fit for Foodies
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food4
ambience4
service5
value2

vip
 (Portland)·Dined on December 10, 2017

One hour into meal told to have coffee & dessert in the bar, they needed the table for next party. That is you’re finished at 7 for a reservation that started at 6. Ruined experience

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food3
ambience3
service1
value2

 
·Dined on December 9, 2017

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.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Great for Brunch, Healthy, Comfort Food, Local Ingredients, Sunday Lunch, Cozy, Gluten Free Options
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Portland)·Dined on December 9, 2017

Met a friend for Happy Hour. The Mac-n-Cheese was VERY good. The $5 Portlandia Champagne Cocktail with ruby Port was quite tasty. Daniel, the bartender, makes a fantastic Manhattan. Cozy atomosphere. Would return.

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food4
ambience5
service4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 7, 2017

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.

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food1
ambience4
service4
value1

vip
 (Orlando)·Dined on December 5, 2017

Really cute place with a great selection of appetizers and entrees. Our server, Jeffrey, was very knowledgeable, professional and attentive. Loved everything we ordered and everything he recommended. Will definitely be back!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Portland)·Dined on December 3, 2017

We always enjoy going to Cafe Nell. Tonight we had a large party and the restaurant was busy. Service was a little slow and felt understaffed. Our server was knowledgeable, helpful and personable when we had her. The food was delicious. 😊

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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Portland)·Dined on December 3, 2017

Easily one of my favorite restaurants, anywhere. I wish it were quieter but I know that is not something that is generally within your control.

Tags: Fit for Foodies
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food4
ambience3
service4
value3

 
 (Portland)·Dined on December 2, 2017

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.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (Portland)·Dined on December 2, 2017

The owner is very kind and sensitive to customer service - very accommodating.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Portland)·Dined on November 27, 2017

Good ambience, great service

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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Portland)·Dined on November 26, 2017

Going to be a new standard for Brunch for our family. Delicious options and a cozy friendly neighborhood bistro.

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Fun, Kid-friendly, Seasonal, Neighborhood Gem, Handcrafted Cocktails, Creative Cuisine, Great for Brunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Portland)·Dined on November 25, 2017

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.

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food5
ambience5
service3

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 25, 2017

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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food5
ambience5
service5

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