Headwaters

4.4
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1173 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Northwest
Headwaters is located in the historic Heathman Hotel in Downtown Portland. In fall of 2016 after a dramatic renovation, chef/owner Vitaly Paley, his longtime wife/partner Kimberly Paley opened the reimagined dining room at the Heathman Hotel, their fourth Portland restaurant. The property, which possesses a storied culinary history, was constructed in the early Twentieth Century and is a member of the National Historic Register. Chef Vitaly Paley will be the third James Beard Best Chef Northwest winner to take the helm of the Portland institution, a long running dining destination in the Pacific Northwest. So named for “the source”, Headwaters will showcase local ingredients from Oregon’s diverse bounty, from farm to sea. The soulful menu is an expression and collaboration between Vitaly Paley and Executive Chef Michael Campbell with Pacific Northwest flavors flowing throughout.
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Private Dining

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What 1173 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.4
service
4.3
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
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I
Seattle
18 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Bright and fairly quiet place with attentive staff and delicious food. They accommodated our special requests on menu items — avocado toast with a poached egg, and eggs Benedict served on the crab cakes without an English muffin and with a salad rather than potatoes — YUM!

K
Richmond
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall3food5service2ambience4

Great food, horribly slow service. They were busy but we waited almost 20 mins for drinks. It didn’t get better from there. We weren’t in a hurry but entire meal took almost 3 hours.

a
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall3food4service1ambience2

Out service was poor. The waiter was more interested in other table, we were a table of 5. The food was good, but overpriced. I had told them it was a birthday, but when out desert finally arrived there was no candle. When I mentioned it to the waiter, he said " I was not told".
We all decided we would not return to Headwaters.

LJ
Portland
1 review
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall3food2service5ambience4

The best part of our dining experience was the server, who was just about perfect in every way. The food was, sadly, disappointing. The sole, afaborite fish of mine, was just about flavorless swimming in milky soup. The crabcakes, while better than the sole, wete certainly nithing to erite home about. Very disappointing experience.

OT
Grand Rapids
7 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

The seafood tower was awesome! The halibut was cooked perfectly.

RT
Portland
14 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

I was disappointed that all of the fish entrees come with the same accompaniment whether it was scallops, salmon or tuna. The night that we were there it was butternut squash puree with rice and pesto.
I ordered the halibut and it was very good, but could have used a more unusual side dish.
Our waiter was unfamiliar with the wine list, unfamiliar with the many things on the menu such as how things were prepared.
this is nothing like the sophistication of their original restaurant Paley's Place.

OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall2food1service5ambience4

What had happened to the Headwaters? Used to be a reliable high quality food place with excellent service. Service is still perfect, but food became just horrible. Is there any quality control in place whatsoever? Roasted tuna had arrived charred and drenched in oil with bitter pieces of burnt garlic and herbs on the top. Scallops were seared mercilessly on a very hot pan resulting in thick, tough, dark-brown crust. And whatever is served as khatchapuri could not be further from the original thing. Sprinkling some cheese on the top of a flat bread does not make it a pizza. Huge disappointment.

m
Memphis
28 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Convenient location for late lunch after museum visits. Oysters were delicious. Great friendly service.

OT
Seattle
1 review
Dined on October 29, 2019
Overall3food3service1ambience4

The food was average. The curry fries were excellent. I love mussels and ordered the baked mussels and didn't care for it. It tasted like fishy stuffing. I also ordered sole for dinner. l love seafood and prefer to eat it in it's TRUE state wo it being drowned with cream, and all the extra fluff. The female server was patronizing and not friendly.

J
Palm Springs
153 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always like this place whether at the oyster bar or in the dining room. Great menu for either sharing dishes or ordering for yourself. Lively atmosphere, sophisticated food, typically good and consistent service. One of my “go to” restaurants when I visit Portland.

r
Portland
101 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall4food3service4ambience3

I want to like this place. For the most part, the food is very good, the location is perfect (for pre-performance dinners at Schnitzer Auditorium) and the service is always great. The reason I'm not thrilled is I spent $33 for a halibut entree that was less than 4 oz and while well cooked, had little flavor. The rest of the meal was great, but over $175 for two (including a bottle of $45 wine) seems very pricey for such a small underwhelming experience.

O
Portland
8 reviews
Dined on October 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Excellent food and wine selection. Perfectly prepared. Server Mathew was timing things exactly as you'd wish and friendly. Lovely restaurant and location. Especially appreciate the bar menu availability to transfer to the library. The most gracious setting.

OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on October 22, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Excllent expression of local produce/ fish

Loved the smoked lentil soup

RH
Portland
1 review
Dined on October 21, 2019
Overall1food1service4ambience2

The shrimp crepe was alright. The fish and chips was among the worst I've ever had, with the batter being exceptionally heavy and greasy. The smells coming from the kitchen right behind us were suffocating. And the prices were extortionate, especially for the wine. $17 for a glass of decent red? Not on your life. I had water and got out of the place as fast as I could.

DL
Portland
5 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

The food was the hit of the night, along with the company of course - entertaining East Coast colleagues who were in the mood for some seafood, so we started with the local oysters and went on to the Salmon (cooked perfectly to rare), Halibut (best they ever had) & more. The only disappointment was the shaved brussell sprout salad was no longer on the menu.

OT
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service was great, never felt like we were waiting on service. The food was very good. The lemon sorbet is very good but very tart so it’s a good one to split or to have with coffee.

MS
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

We were running late for our reservation and attending a performance at the Schnitz. Our waitress was great working with our limited time frame.
Everything was delicious- Mixed Green Salad, Crab Cakes, Sole and BreadPudding. Enjoyed it all!

CW
Birmingham
1 review
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Wonderful food. Our waiter was attentive. The only reason I did not give service a 5 was my husband’s special request was forgotten.

OT
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Good food. Fun place. Will go back again

A
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on October 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great expeditious service.

M
Portland
1 review
Dined on October 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The food was delicious but the service was outstanding! Our server was exceptional and really made everything a top notch experience. My friends and I appreciated that the volume was decent too so we could hear each other speak. Overall, great experience.

OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall3food5service1ambience4

Food was to die for. The service was extremely lacking for an upscale restaurant. We came in for dinner before a show and back later for drinks. Both times, the service was horrible. Our waiter in the bar was actually rude. That was Red Robin service. I would love to enjoy the food again sometime, but the service is a huge deterrent.

SM
San Diego
9 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2019
Overall3food2service2ambience3

Food choices looked interesting but the meals didn't meet our expectations. My paella was basically incinerated, baby clams and baby shrimp like jerky. No saffron in this recipe. My wife's black cod was undercooked. Waitress had some difficulty getting our orders straight (we were a group of 4 people) and spent too much time trying to upsell us on the priciest menu items. Can't recommend it now.

EF
1 review
Dined on October 7, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

The best service I've had in years. Our waitress was friendly, helpful, and quick. She was patient with my wife, who asked a bunch of questions, and didn't appear annoyed with us. Great service!

C
San Diego
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food and service at Headwaters was amazing! We celebrated by partner's 31st birthday here with a delicious seafood feast. Everything from the smoked fish plate to the carrot cake at the end was so good. The butter broiled sole just melted in my mouth and we will definitely be back in the future.

OT
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food. Jessica was our server as she was extremely knowledgeable and super passionate. Yum yum yum.........

F
Cleveland
138 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

King Salmon is a must! Great menu. Great service. Cool venue. Urban chic. Good place for foodies!

LW
Portland
8 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience3

Food was excellent! Our server was new to the restaurant and did an excellent job. It wasn’t very crowded but was a tad noisy from just a couple of tables of 4 and 6. No carpet and high ceilings prob contribute.

KH
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

We had out of town guests who were looking to see a bit of the original Portland for the afternoon. Thought of Headwaters and the Heathman Hotel as a great place to start. Everyone had a great time and appreciated the special attention for brunch. Thank you!

B
Portland
25 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Our meal was delicious, servers friendly and helpful, but was disappointed I had to add to my order to get enough food to fill me!

KT
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Excellent meal, friendly and efficient service.

SH
Las Vegas
2 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall3food4service2ambience2

I thought the entrees were overpriced and it was extremely loud so unable to carry on a conversation with our friends.

M
Portland
1 review
Dined on September 24, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Food is fine. The price for the food, service and ambiance is way too high. They try to upsell items like an elite restaurant would. The experience of dining at Headwaters is not an elite one and I would not expect to pay the prices I did for a dining experience of this caliber. I won't go back.

JW
Miami
4 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Given its reputation, the food was underwhelming. The foie gras was indeed stellar, but the rest of the dishes fell short of brilliant. Two members in our 7-person party ordered fish-and-chips and rated them below average. (Yes, it's fish-and-chips, but they ARE on the menu.) The cocktail prices were higher than they should have been for basics like vodka on the rocks, and at 7 pm they were out of basic menu staples like steak. Deserved 3.5 stars but not more.

JE
Portland
1 review
Dined on September 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was our first time visiting Headwaters. We have found a new favorite! From drinks before dinner to a return visit for dessert after a show, the service and food was superb. Attention to detail and customer service must be their mantra, as it showed in every way. We shared the Paella which was fabulous, and one of the chefs sent a serving of their sturgeon which was outstanding. They have an extensive wine list that included many local wineries which we appreciated. We can’t wait for our next visit.

r
Portland
13 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was our first time eating at Headwaters. The service and food is everything we were expecting.

IM
Portland
9 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We stopped for some drinks and food before seeing Dan Rather next door. The oysters were still at happy hour pricing, but only in the bar, so we decided to sit there instead of the dining room. I had a Manhattan which was fantastic! Actually had 2! The oysters were very tasty. Then I tried the clam chowder. 3 of the 5 in our party had the clam chowder, one wasn’t a big fan of it, while myself and a friend really enjoyed it. My girlfriend had the smoked albacore toast. She really enjoyed it, was gone so fast, I didn’t get to try it. Which can be said of the fish and chips I had, I had them eaten before thinking about offering any to her. The pieces were big thick slabs of fish with just enough coating. Some of the best fish and chips I’ve had. We have been to Headwaters before and we will be back.

t
Seattle
33 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Excellent service and great menu for lunch---the noise level is appropriate for a conversation.

CW
Western NC
1 review
Dined on September 16, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

All around absolutely excellent. The staff here was incredibly accommodating and the vibe was lovely.

OT
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2019
Overall2food1service5ambience4

Wait staff was excellent. Food marginal

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