Cafe Nell

4.6
1396 Reviews
$30 and under
American

Cafe Nell is currently open for outside dining only, in our custom-designed, safely distanced patio, or sidewalk.





Located in the heart of Northwest Portland, Café Nell serves French inspired American classics simply prepared from Northwest ingredients. Celebrating 10 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 1396 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.6
service
4.8
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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MS
MStevenson
Portland
1 review
Dined on November 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Nobody is doing it better in Portland right now than Cafe Nell. The outside space is well organized, well run, and premium. The food, service and environment is outstanding. It's the only restaurant I will dine at during this pandemic. I frequent this place at least 3-4 times a week. Going to miss it during this lockdown. Going to have to order to go just so I don't go through withdrawals!

KB
vipKathleenB
Portland
6 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The safest ,most beautiful and well planned place to sit outside to have a meal . It has been a have and a sanctuary. Thank you Vanessa for all that you did and all that you invested $$$$ to create a magical safer place for our community during this very difficult time.

JG
JanetG
Portland
1 review
Dined on November 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The ambience is so inviting in Cafe Nell’s outdoor dining space under the giant canopy. Our food was delicious and we celebrated a birthday with cocktails! Great service!

L
Lisa
1 review
Dined on November 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Cafe Nell has an amazing outside patio. We had a great meal- the french onion soup was yummy! The people working their were so friendly. We spoke with Vanessa the owner and she was super nice. With restaurants being only open for take out now, they all need our support.

WF
vipWhitneyF
Portland
4 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious as always? They have made an incredible effort to create an outdoor "indoor" environment to enjoy a meal out while still feeling safe. I look forward to returning as soon as the "freeze" is over.

CS
CandleS
1 review
Dined on November 15, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Great place to dine outdoors. They really put a lot of thought into the outdoor Covid-19 experience. The ambience is great, with private area table, bushes all around. I only gave it a lesser star value because I got a little dripped on in the rain of our Sunday brunch birthday celebration, and I find it slightly overpriced. The vegan hash, the sausage hash with an egg, and the eggs benedict were all fantastic. The waiter attentive and respectful, and all the staff friendly and accommodating giving a wide clearance when needed. I will be back after the current restrictions are loosened.

LA
LisaA
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on November 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

They have a great outside setup for Covid. The tables are very spread out, each table has 1-2 heaters, the area is covered, the wait staff is masked and keeps their distance and every patron's hands are sprayed with hand sanitizer before seating. I love the cocktails here and the food is always great! Please patronize this fabulous spot.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Orange County
1 review
Dined on November 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

They have a wonderful set up to respect social distancing outside. And an added bonus— so many heaters!

KW
KathleneW
1 review
Dined on November 13, 2020
Overall4food4service2ambience3

The food was great but we had to complain about the server. We were left in a cold unheated outside area for well over 15 minutes before we had to flag someone down to light the heater and notice we were seated; our server barely came by and wasn't friendly. She charged us for an item we didn't order and we had to complain to a manager. Off day for the server? Maybe, but that shouldn't be.

W
Wppdx
1 review
Dined on November 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was the first I had been to Cafe Nell since Covid started and it exceeded my expectations. Seating felt incredibly safe, the servers were amazing, it was like being transported into an outdoor oasis. I could not recommend it more. When they open again we will 100% go back!

RR
RebeccaR
1 review
Dined on November 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

They went out of their way to make us comfortable eating outside with 2 heaters. Great food and outstanding service. They are trying very hard to make all the rules work for their customers. We need to support them, go out and dine at Cafe Nell.

s
vipswpdx
Portland
6 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Vanessa and the staff at Cafe Nell have gone out of their way to provide a safe, comfortable, attractive outdoor dining area. They are to be commended for going "above and beyond" during these challenging times due to Covid.

P
vipPortlander
Portland
31 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of my favorite restaurants in Portland has taken its parking lot and turned it into a pandemic-safe outdoor extension. I applaud this effort to keep this neighborhood jewel alive. A great meal there last evening with my son. Five stars to the owners, staff, and designers. The new space is lovely in its own right and the food remains top notch.

S
vipShay48
Portland
61 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

It was an enjoyable evening with friends outside our bubble and your Oasis design makes that feel very safe. It did take 3 different heating units to get one that worked (think the others were out of propane).

We have reservations again next Sunday with another set of friends outside our bubble - just hoping it isn’t quite as cold as it was last Sunday.

T
vipTerrif
Portland
36 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We had an outdoor experience at Cafe Nell. I felt quite safe as our table was protected from others and was far enough away. Our waiter was helpful and observed the Covid protocols.

We ordered oysters, which were delightful and a charcuterie plate...delicious.

GL
GregoryL
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food, excellent service. Felt very safe sitting outside with tent and heat lamp.

KM
KristyM
Portland
1 review
Dined on November 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was great, as always. Even on a 40 degree morning we were comfortable on the patio with the heaters. One of my favorite brunch spots in town.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Portland
1 review
Dined on November 7, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Amazing dinner out on a rainy, cold, breezy night. They have expanded into the adjoining parking lot to become the premiere outdoor fine dining location in NW Portland. Highly highly highly recommend.

KB
vipKathleenB
Portland
7 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Consistently gives me a feeling of safety and ambiance at the same time ..

i
vipintrepidepicure
New York Area
30 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great covered outdoor set-up with plenty of heat to make it comfortable.

MS
MStevenson
Portland
1 review
Dined on November 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This place has become my ‘go to’ during this pandemic. They have done an incredible job building an outside restaurant that keeps everyone safe without compromising experience. Food and cocktails delicious. Staff is friendly and professional.

p
pdx2747
Seattle
5 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience3

I ordered the grilled salmon, which was very good. My friend ordered the lamb shank. It looked great. Unfortunately, it was dry. We were disappointed.

S
vipShay48
Portland
62 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely spot. Our favorite for outdoor dining.

KM
KatelinM
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The ambiance here is incredible! They’ve done an awesome job of creating an outdoor oasis that’s warm enough in the winter. We felt very safe with all of the precautions in place and the food and drinks were top-notch.

JE
JohnE
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Cafe Nell has adapted well to covid social distancing with well separated outdoor seating. There are covered outdoor tables set up on their former parking lot with plastic shields between tables and open air on one side.

We thoroughly enjoyed our entrees of turkey burger with goat cheese and avocado, and the Nell stuffed avocado with bay shrimp. They were nicely plated and as always, tasted wonderful. The avocado were perfectly ripe.

We also enjoyed a Harvest Martini made with vodka, lemon, and pear puree. Though a nice drink for a sunny afternoon, the taste was dominated by lemon with the pear puree barely perceptible. Next time I’ll try asking them to halve the lemon and double the pear.

LE
LocalEater
Portland
1 review
Dined on November 1, 2020
Overall1food2service1ambience4

The forgot to submit our order to the kitchen, which was for cold shrimp salad in avocado. It took over an hour for that order to come out, and the home fries didn’t arrive until we were already done with the main course. We then ordered hot tea which was served cold. I typically love this place, but they just couldn’t seem to get anything right that day. Very disappointing experience.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on November 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Hands down the BEST covid buildout covered outdoor patio in portland. It’s like you stepped right into the Hamptons

JC
JackC
1 review
Dined on November 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely outdoor setting. Feels warm and festive. Really enjoyed it

BH
BillH
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing meal!!!! Incredible service...just be aware if you eat inside it’s a bit chilly because they need to leave the doors open.

HC
vipHeatherC
Portland
18 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience3

LOVE that I could make reservations for Saturday brunch. With the weather changing, it was a bit chilly even in their revamped outdoor eating area. They have great covering, but only a few small heaters. Even with that on, we ate breakfast as quickly as possible because it was so cold. I had a few dietary requests, and they were more than happy to accommodate. My new favorite breakfast is eggs benedict with no bread/potatoes with tossed greens on the side. Yum!

P
Ploemy
Portland
5 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience4

The Steak frites was the best I've had at Cafe Nell ever and I've had a few. Cooked to perfection and very tender.

Love what Cafe Nell has done to their outdoor seating. The gold standard in Covid dining in Portland for sure.

The cost of dining at Cafe Nell has increased. We don't drink a lot so it is definitely the food prices. I have to assume that the cost of doing business has also gone up for Cafe Nell and all other restaurants in Portland that manage to stay open during covid. We are grateful we can still go out to a restaurant every once in a while despite the hurt to our paycheck.

Service was okay, a big slow at times which seems to be a recurring theme at Cafe Nell.

All in all a Wonderfull dinner and as with all places there are always a few things one could improve on.

We'll be back (again).

Steven Ploem.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Portland
1 review
Dined on October 30, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience3

We loved it so much we went ahead and made another reservation for next week - the food was delicious!

CK
ChristalleK
Portland
1 review
Dined on October 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our time at cafe Nell was wonderful. Our server Sam took incredible care of us. One of the best times we’ve had out in Portland. Sam made my birthday really special. Will definitely return!

SG
vipSuzyG
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on October 29, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience3

Love that Cafe Nel has full outdoor dining, but where are the extra patio heaters and lights?! Our table was outside in the cold and dark. Food was absolutely delicious and the service was excellent. Mussels & fries were better than anything I ate in France. Seafood linguini was so tasty and a little spicy, totally yummy. Definitely going back but they really need to get the patio heaters situation sorted ASAP.

LF
vipLisaF
Portland
12 reviews
Dined on October 29, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Cafe Nell has done an excellent job dealing with Covid and still providing a quality dining experience.

T
Tazziemarie1
Portland
13 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fabulous food. Great service as always!

M
Michael
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The outdoor dining situation is wonderful, they really figured out how to make one feel comfortable while still sitting outside.

TS
vipTomS
Portland
16 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food and cocktails. Spacious outdoor seating area. Staff taking COVID precautions very seriously. Some outdoor heaters, although I hope they bring in a few more as winter approaches.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Portland
4 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Doing a great job with safety procedures! Awesome food and service as usual. Need more heaters outside but I’m sure they will get more as it gets cooler.

RM
vipRichardM
Portland
11 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2020
Overall4food3service5ambience5

Outside space and service was great. Food very mediocre.

FAQs

Cafe Nell offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (503) 295-6487.

Cafe Nell is rated 4.6 stars by 1396 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.