Cafe Nell

4.3
2167 Reviews
$30 and under
American

Cafe Nell is currently open for outside dining, in either our custom-designed, safely distanced patio or sidewalk seating. Limited indoor seating is also now available.

Now rain- proofed and heated! Located in the heart of Northwest Portland, Café Nell serves French inspired American classics simply prepared from Northwest ingredients. Celebrating 13 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. During summer, sidewalk patio seating is a neighborhood favorite for happy hour, or a candle-lit dinner on a warm Portland evening.

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • 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
What 2167 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.3
service
4.5
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
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PK
PatriciaK
1 review
Dined a day ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The outdoor dining experience was very pleasant and the heaters gave a comforting feeling. The server and the rest of the staff were amazing. Today was my second time coming in and I will definitely have to keep coming back. The food was deliciously prepared giving complementing the beautiful aesthetic!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Portland
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Thought it cheap that I was charged for cheddar as a substitute for blue cheese, restroom far away . Probably won’t go back no wow factor for me.

PP
PlatePat
Portland
2 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Good and service was very good.
I would like to have some soft easy background music during our meal.

S
Spot
Portland
22 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Great place if you're looking to distance while being in an outdoor setting, which is more and more set up to keep you warm and comfortable.

FI
vipFoodieInTraining
Portland
6 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Staff is courteous and food is delicious. We were seated outdoors as requested.

VK
ValerieK
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Food was very good. I ordered the salmon and asked that it be cooked through but moist. It was certainly moist but parts were not cooked all the way through. I'm used to eating sushi with raw fish so it didn't bother me. However, those who may not want uncooked seafood may want to make it very clear that it's important. The wait staff was very friendly and nice and helpful. We reserved outdoors and asked for tables with the low chairs and they got our request right so that was a big plus (we don't like the high chairs). The bathrooms were a far walk and confusing to find but one of the wait staff actually led me there so i was grateful. You may want to have another bathroom nearer to the outdoor seating? You do need more bathrooms because the two were in use for a long time so there was quite a line of us.

KH
KarlH
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Cafe Nell is a small restaurant with a romantic setting and excellent food. Great for a date!

CG
CarolynG
Sacramento
4 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a marvelous evening. The atmosphere was so elegant and cool. Food was great also and I loved our waitress.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Portland
10 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food4service4ambience5

I love dining at Cafe Nell and most times my experience and service has been exemplary! It was a little off yesterday, but I will definitely return because I love this dining experience on the patio and no one is perfect everyday!

See you again soon 🥰

SB
ScottB
Portland
11 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had a really great brunch, and amazing Bloody Mary!

MB
vipMaureenB
Portland
46 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Beautiful environment.
Fun cocktails.
Delicious crab salad.
Great service!!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Baltimore
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious food with great outdoor heated seating

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service, food and ambiance was awesome.

JJ
JuneJones
Portland
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Excellent outdoor patio area. Plenty of seating and space. Excellent spot for a business meeting.

KM
KateM
London
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall3food3service3ambience4

Very slow service, ok food, not overly accommodating

JA
JeniseA
Portland
5 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Great neighborhood bistro restaurant with good food, service and comfortable vibe.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall2food3service5ambience4

Very small portions. Food was ok. Price was exorbitant

D
vip76Duck
Portland
17 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Great meal. Due to an unseasonal downpour, under the tent was a little wet. Great service. Kind of adventure...

F
Food2me
Portland
12 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was excellent and we couldn’t have been happier with the service.

MR
MichaelR
Portland
34 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our first time sitting inside. All good. Of course, the food and service was the best.

M
vipMftlunch
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2021
Overall1food2service2ambience1

Charged us 17 dollars for a lackluster side fruit bowl. Food was not warm. Soggy French toast.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2021
Overall4food3service4ambience3

Good food, good drinks, good service. Only downside was being seated a an awkward table with a tree in the middle. Made it hard to sit across from my partner. They had to move to sit next me so we could talk. There were also no heaters by our table. Otherwise it was great time.

RD
RedDawn77
Portland
4 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic meal! Great service and perfect atmosphere. We enjoyed every aspect. We will be back!

DD
vipDavidD
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2021
Overall2food3service2ambience1

Bad. Restaurant dirty

Report
b
beerann
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2021
Overall4food4service3ambience5

The food was presented beautifully! The ambiance couldn’t have been more perfect. I especially loved the heater! The food tasted excellent. I would definitely come back!

MR
vipMichaelR
Portland
35 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

While my friends had been to Cafe Nell, they’d not been in The Oasis. They loved it. Of course, we all enjoyed our lunch. The service and food always the best.

ME
MargeE
Portland
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Terrific service and delightful surroundings. They have done a great job of providing a safe eating experience.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We celebrated my birthday at Cafe Nell and is was a great experience!

EG
EricG
Portland
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience1

The seats were wet and while they said there was outdoor heating, there was none. Left cold and wet.

J
Janet
Portland
1 review
Dined on October 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Had a nice indoor dinner during COVID. The salmon special was fantastic, as were desserts!

P
vipPrtt
Portland
31 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

AS all my reviews state Cafe Nell is our go to eating out restaurant Vanessa and Crew have put together an excellent place .. quaint,, safe with great protective eating tables. we frequent Cafe Nell 3-4 times per month We love it

f
foodlover
Portland
13 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Took a dear friend for her very special birthday. A lovely evening, everything was outstanding. Except one thing: on a $170+ tab they charged an extra $1 for extra salad dressing. How cheap!

JS
JayS
1 review
Dined on October 3, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Cafe Nell has a great outdoor seating atmosphere. They did a wonderful job transforming the outside into a beautiful space that is very pleasant to dine in. The owner stopped by our table to check-in, which was a nice touch. However, a couple of things I want to note:
- The dishes are fairly overpriced. We went there for breakfast and although the food was phenomenal it wasn't worth the sticker price.
- It's obvious they are understaffed. They might be overseating patrons because while we were there I only saw 2 servers handling the entire outdoor area. Our server was very friendly, but it was slow at times because she had so many tables on her plate and that's not her fault. The one thing that kept being an issue was the silverware. We were sat with no silverware and had to ask for it when our food came. After eating our appetizer our silverware was taken away but never replaced. And it took a long time to get a new set while our food was getting cold. It was strange to not have silverware ready for dining.
- The home fries are not that great. They seem to be frozen and heated up, that was the only lackluster food item - all other dishes and ingredients seemed to be fresh. With the price, I was hoping for higher quality breakfast potatoes.

Overall, although there were some drawbacks, I did like the experience and that's part of what you pay for. It was a lovely brunch in a beautiful setting with delicious food. They are definitely working hard to create a great experience, I would just suggest to management that they seat as many patrons that their servers can handle.

KB
KimB
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Off the beaten path in a reat spot in a Nob Hill neighborhood of Portland. Went for brunch on a Sunday morning and the food was excellent. Service was spot and and will be returning!

BF
BillF
Portland
1 review
Dined on October 2, 2021
Overall2food2service3ambience3

Overpriced - had two children who asked just for noodles given that there was nothing appealing to them. Granted, it’s not a kid’s restaurant. The plain pasta was fine, but the charge was actually $28 for a serving of naked spaghetti! Really?The rest of the dinners for the six adults was fine/ok, but similarly overpriced for the quality. Noticed that the place was semi-empty on a Saturday night. Not hard to figure why. Would not recommend overall. Total bill was like $400 - overall
not a great value.

SR
SheRa
Portland
7 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2021
Overall3food2service5ambience4

I had the lemon mascarpone berry pancakes. They sounded good but were totally boring, and dry. Also they were $16. My friend got green tea, I was surprised to see a single bag of green tea and a pot of hot water was $5.00. it's nice inside and they take reservations, my friends had eggs benedict that was good.

SH
ScottHpdx
Portland
5 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Thank you for a really great outdoor experience. Had the risotto with Salmon. It was amazing.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on October 1, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

I was disappointed that they didn’t have their heaters at the tables. I recommended it to friends saying they did such a good job of outdoor dining, which they do… But we were cold!

MB
vipMaureenB
Portland
46 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great waiter. Great menu!

r
rainwalker
New Orleans
2 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2021
Overall2food3service3ambience2

We made a reservation on Open Table for an inside table for party of six on a Thursday night. On arriving, they said they had no record of that and implied it was our error. So we sat in the former parking lot at an unheated table and waited for over an hour before our ok but unexceptionable food arrived. I don't think they will be seeing a Michelin star anytime soon.

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 2167 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.