Culture

4.2
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55 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Mediterranean
We are Culture, a brand-new breed of Mediterranean restaurant in the heart of Portland’s iconic Hawthorne Boulevard.
Culture is the only place on the west coast where you can order shawarma that is cooked and served to you right at your table!
Come try Portland's newest tableside dining experience!

Our bar features distinctive, delicious Middle Eastern-inspired craft cocktails, spirits, beer, and wine.

*Please make a reservation for our tableside shawarma. Prep time without a reservation is at least an hour.
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Private Dining

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What 55 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.2based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.5
service
4.1
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Key West
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Brunch on the weekends is awesome!!!

CL
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience1

I booked what I thought would be an amazing dinner at Culture, for Valentine’s Day. At first, the ambiance and entertainment were on point. The seating, however, was very awkward and was put together very cheap and with poor tastes. I would of thought paying a minimum of $120 plus the added wine (Dinner was $200 with exceptional tip for poor service) would have filled our bellies and at least been able to hear my date talk/be worth the money that I worked hard for. The food was sub-par, which also took more than 30-45 mins between courses. Not only did the wait time for each course take entirely too long, each course I could have made myself for 1/16th of the cost and probably would of taste better. Not to mention the servings were enough for one person, if that. It took us so long to get our entree meal, that the kitchen had to (without my date and I even asking) send out an order of Sashimi/Sushi (which was also sub-par). Being that this establishment was one of the highest rated of its type on google, I would have thought that this experience would have been different. I am not asking for any hand-outs or give-Me’s however I do think that this establishment should reimburse/fix this issue because I guarantee that I am not the only one that has made this complaint. I took this time to write this review because we were so displeased and still hungry after dinner that my date and I went to MOD pizza right after and spent $40 bucks (fraction of the entire rip-off dinner) because we were still hungry. I am more than willing to provide receipts if necessary.

AC
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall3food4service4ambience2

We did not know there was a Valentine’s Day menu. 60$ for a salad, 3 scallops and a shared desert. Outrageous price for the meal. The food was good, not outstanding. Went because of their menu online. Special menu was not that interesting. The musician was pretty bad. They did turn down the volume when we asked.

OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Terrible food and service! We went there for Valentine’s Day and it was a Prix Fixe menu they were offering so nine came with a burrata salad, risotto and a SHARED dessert for $60!!! The salad lacked flavor and the risotto was not even edible! I took one bite and I couldn’t eat anymore! It was overcooked and dry and they didn’t bring me out anything else but a small cup of soup and still charged me the full $60!!! I was shocked and asked why they would still charge me if the food was not edible and they didn’t even bring me out a different entree. The server then had her manager give us a 20% discount on my meal! Never again will I ever go back! They tried to squeeze as many tables as possible where we were literally elbow to elbow with other guests. So disappointed with my valentines dinner experience here!

AW
Portland
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience3

Enjoyed a nice Valentines Day dinner there. Great live music! Portions were quite small for the price however. Would go back when it’s not a special occasion in hopes of not paying $120 (a salad, entree - I had scallops as my main and got three medium sized scallops with nothing else on the plate but sauce, and shared cheese & fruit with only one kind of cheese and four strawberries, not including drinks) for two.

The food was really tasty, but not worth the price and portion. Again it was Valentine’s Day so I know most places up charge a bunch...but this was a bit steep.

j
Portland
41 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall2food4service5ambience3

How disappointing! We went to Culture to celebrate Valentine's Day. There was a prix fixe dinner - one appetizer, one entree and a shared dessert for $60 each, pricey but could have been OK. Unfortunately, although well prepared, all three courses were very small leaving us hungry and feeling ripped off. In addition, the food wasn't their usual Mediterranean fare.

OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing attention to detail and magical Valentines event. Singer was great. Staff was amazing and food was creative and well done

AG
Portland
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food,the service was Amazing. Definitely recommend and will be returning

g
Portland
37 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall2food2service4ambience3

Other middle eastern restaurants around town that are better and less expensive.

PD
Portland
18 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Very nice bar, starter courses are great, entrees are a great deal!

JC
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience3

The only negative I have was that due to the high ceilings, the noise level can be a bit much. However, the staff was more than kind to move us to an area away from a noisy group. The food and service are excellent. Pricing is very reasonable (a pleasant surprise). Will definitely be back! Thanks so much!

D
Portland
61 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Good selection of tasty dishes from around the Mediterranean (did not try the tableside shawarma). Servers recommendations were spot on. Portion sizes large enough to share. Background music (ethnic) was moderately loud. I imagine that later in the evening with a full house and live music it could become quite noisy.

TP
Portland
57 reviews
Dined on February 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We live in the neighborhood and had been wanting to go to Culture. We finally did it and are really pleased we did! The food and service were very good. Tasty and attractive Mediterranean dishes...a real variety from every corner of the region (North African, Middle Eastern, Southern French, Spanish...!). We will return soon to try the Shawarma meal. The only reason for the lower star on "ambiance" was the t.v. in the bar. It's just not something we care for. But, the place is otherwise very cozy.

LJ
Portland
1 review
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

The team at the restaurant works well together. Our server did a great job with recommendations. The octopus appetizer was just right.

JL
1 review
Dined on January 30, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I really hope Culture catches on. I've been there three times and I've been very happy with everything every time. They all seem to work hard at making it a welcoming, warm environment and the food has been great every time. I love the variety of the menu. I do wish the happy hour lasted till 6, though, and they'd continue to play the middle eastern music longer into the evening. Small things. Overall, it's great. And there is always parking!! A real plus in Portland these days. Division restaurants are impossible to find parking for. So, c'mon over to Hawthorne!

PS
Portland
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience4

The food was excellent! My hat off to the chef. The staff was attentive, checking each others tables. I was surprised that the noise was low. We could hear each other talk. We will be back

KM
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Thank you all for making my birthday brunch party amazing! Everything was perfect from the food to the service. I will definitely be coming back!!

NG
Portland
5 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Absolutely delicious food!! Everything we ordered was amazing, and we ordered a lot. Service was great and we can’t wait to return. They also have very good cocktails.

SD
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We had such a wonderful time at Culture! The wait staff were friendly and helpful without being intrusive. The ambiance was beautiful and charming. But most importantly, the food was outstanding!! My husband and I each got something we'd never tried before and the food was flavorful, exciting, and perfectly prepared. The only reason I didn't give 5 stars across the board is because the music was a little louder than we prefer, but that's a matter of opinion that not everyone will share, and was certainly not a deal-breaker. We will absolutely be back!

MP
Portland
6 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience4

The mains and appetizers were tasty and well presented. The drinks were made from interesting ingredients - everyone at the table enjoyed tasting each others drinks. My only complaint was the overuse of salt in the accompaniments.

WW
Portland
7 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had wonderful service and even better food. The brunch menu had a great variety of options and the bottomless mimosas were a perfect compliment.

DF
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Great group place to eat. We had the beef schwarma. It was very good. The staff was attentive. Good ambience. We will be back.

JM
1 review
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great for large groups, we shared the tableside Shawarma and really enjoyed it!

MP
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on December 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We enjoyed our meal and visiting with friends. The service was excellent and the food was very good.

ND
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 11, 2019
Overall4food3service5ambience5

Went for the Kaleidiosound dinner show. The show was great and the service was fantastic. The food was good but not amazing. I would go back for another show/music but not just for dinner.

DJ
1 review
Dined on December 8, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

A unique and fun restaurant with excellent food you won’t easily find at other establishments. A perfect place for a group of friends just looking to hangout over good food and drinks.

OT
Boise
4 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We decided to try out Culture to celebrate my wife’s 40th birthday. So glad we did. The evening was great from the service to the amazing food. Everything was wonderful and will definitely be going back. Glad to have this new restaurant in the neighborhood.

BF
1 review
Dined on December 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My husband & friends (& me!) absolutely loved our dinner@ Culture. The food was fantastic & the experience so unique w/ table side shawarma cookers. Everyone bringing us our food were very informative of what they’d served & how to eat. We’ll be back!

P
1 review
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience4

I liked the ambiance and our server was friendly but kinda awkward. Most of the food was great but the main course- the lamb shawarma- was the dryest, toughest shawarma I’ve ever had. I eat a lot of shawarma in the US and in Lebanon. Felt like overcooked steak. Definitely not tender and juicy as it should be. Overpriced for the quality. I did like the lemony tabouli and grape leaves. Fries seemed fresh and crispy. Happy hour menu looked like a better value.

BS
1 review
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was absolutely delicious! Service was super nice. Definitely coming back.

P
1 review
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We absolutely loved our experience at Culture! Our food was fresh and super flavorful. We went for the Shwarma option and really enjoyed the variety of foods included. The service was on point and our server, Jeff, was a solid guy. We would definitely recommend this place to friends and family...in fact, we already have!

CH
Portland
1 review
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great place Service was good. Food was excellent

SM
Portland
1 review
Dined on October 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent everything! Staff is extremely knowledgeable and friendly. Food was superb and very plentiful! Highly recommend Culture. It's a fun dining experience! We'll definitely go again :-)

OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service was great! The staff is very accommodating.

r
Portland
18 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We've now been to Culture a number of times since they opened not long ago. The food has been consistently excellent, and the service equally as great. The shawarma is a fun experience, either with a group or as a couple. There was a trio playing Irish music when we were there, though somewhat loud, it was interesting and they were very good. Highly recommend calling ahead so they can start the shawarma going, if you are ordering this course, otherwise it takes 60-90 minutes. The staff have been super-accommodating and have had our food ready when we got there.

M
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was my second time at Culture for brunch. I love it!
Great service, the food is delicious and you can't beat the bottomless mimosas.

M
San Francisco
21 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

We has a wonderful anniversary dinner at Culture. The service was delightful and we were there on the first Saturday of the month, which is when they have belly dancing and live Greek music. In terms of food, the Eggplant appetizer was the best, followed by lamb balls. Squid was tasty but skimpy in portion size. Moroccan chicken was was over-peppered. Rotisserie chicken was fun and tasty - possibly undercooked a bit. Baklava has great flavor but could have been flakier. In the past, we have enjoyed leg of lamb, which was fabulous and a salmon risotto which was also amazing. Overall, I recommend this place - very charming and fun.

GS
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall2food1service5ambience2

Did not care for food, prices on drinks and food were too high, unable to have conversations because music was too loud.

Culture
Responded on September 11, 2019

Hi Gail, we were hosting a special Greek Night on saturday which is why we had the live music and dancing. We are sorry you did not care for the food and would like to invite you back to join us during one of our regular dinner services. Thank you for your feedback.

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RE
Los Angeles
36 reviews
Dined on September 3, 2019
Overall3food4service2ambience3

Culture may be a new restaurant because there is much needed improvement to be had. They offer a special dinner with appetizers and then a main dinner. We were told that the meat would take 45-60 minutes to cookout that lots of appetizers would provide time to eat and enjoy while we waited for out lamb Kafka. We waited about 35 minutes for our soup to arrive. It was cold and had to be returned. Little plates of olives, hummus, pita, and veggies came next and while the portions were plentiful, nothing tasted especially truly amazing. The food was ok. After an hour we asked about our lamb and were told it would be another 20 min.
No one came to clear plates or ask if we needed anything.
When the lamb finally arrived it was so salty. The fries were delicious and the sauce brought with the meat was tasty.
The servers were nice but need training.
Our friends who did not order the meat ordered a la carte and really enjoyed their meals.

JS
Miami
2 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service, terrific atmosphere, and wonderful food!