Headwaters

4.4
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1152 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Northwest

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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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What 1152 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
82% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Portland
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 4

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
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 3

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
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

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
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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

F
Cleveland
135 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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

LW
Portland
5 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

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
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

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
24 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

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
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent meal, friendly and efficient service.

SH
Las Vegas
2 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 2

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
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

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
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

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
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

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
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

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

OT
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 5ambience 4

Wait staff was excellent. Food marginal

OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 5

My wife and I went there for our anniversary. Check in was awkward because after we introduced ourselves, the receptionist took a phone call and was on the phone with another customer while we stood there awkwardly waiting for someone to help us. Dinner service was quite slow. Also, main dishes don’t come with sides. We had to separately order broccoli with our steak to add some greens to the meal, but then they forgot it, so then my wife had to sit there with a steak waiting for the broccoli to come. I guess I had much higher expectations for the service we would be getting, but frankly the service is much better over at Jake’s.

JJ
Philadelphia
35 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Excellent seafood selection.

MM
Hawaii
17 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Smoked fish platter appetizer was superb. The King Salmon entrée served skin up was mediocre, skin was soggy instead of crisp.

LJ
Portland
1 review
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall 3food 1service 5ambience 4

I was disappointed in the food at Headwaters, especially for the price. The crepes appetizer was More than charred, the ends were burnt. The charred broccoli was inedible and we sent it back, not something I usually do, but the char taste was "off"...not sure what...and the fish and chips were doughy, not cooked all the way. I think we arrived too early for the deep fryer to be hot enough to thoroughly cook the batter. On a good note, our server Zoe was amazing, she took everything in stride and recommended great wine.

j
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 10, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

food was great
Main course served 5 minutes before we had to leave for theatre

P
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

Did not enjoy the sweet sauce on the salmon. Too many dates in the salad. The "crispy cauliflower" was so deeply fried it tasted like a zeppoli.

JB
Portland
8 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 2

The food we had was very good, the wine list is interesting and fairly priced - but the room is too crowded/tables for two are too small for the glasses and service pieces. The tables are too close together and people were moving around trying to get enough space to themselves to have a private meal/conversation. Our server was alternately indifferent then seemingly intent on up-selling me on each course. So, this is a mixed review; the menu is interesting and adequate, our food that we ordered (especially the Octopus app) was quite good, but the ambience and service was lacking.

J
Seattle
15 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Almost everything was absolutely perfect. Creative cocktails and ocean fresh seafood tower, and a waitress who let us dawdle and talk and enjoy. My two companions dinners were also spot on, and I’m glad for that. The scallops especially were lovely. My trout was tasteless. The sauce and veggies were great, but instead of the sweet, fresh, succulent trout I was expecting, the crispy skinned fish was as tasteless as cardboard. Not what I expected. Id come again, but order more carefully.

JS
Seattle
4 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

It was like dining in a warehouse. No ambience due to the cavernous room and lots of hard surfaces.
The food certainly did not live up to the owner's James Beard awardee's credentials. For example the salmon tartare was very oversalted and the crab cakes were pretty much tasteless and squashy. The menu in general was uninspiring. Very disappointing

OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing service. Food was amazing! Everyone enjoyed what they had. Cocktails were good as was the wine selection. Will definitely be back!

RC
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely the best restaurant experience ever! The food was incredible and the service was outstanding!

NW
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We really enjoyed the Happy Hour menu and drinks were great. I ordered the Smoked Tomato Soup and Brocollini both were fantastic! The regular menu item my husband ordered - Sea Scallops with vegetables - was a small portion - 3 Scallops and a small amount of vegetables in a sauce underneath. Felt it needed rice or more veggies to make it a more filling meal for him.

KK
1 review
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I had a lovely lunch with a friend. Everything was just great.

AD
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Great seafood options cooked to perfection. I recommend the Octopus appetizer and the Pan Seared Halibut as your entree.

n
Portland
6 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 4

This is the second time I’ve been and almost did not come back because the first time the food was overly salty. The second time was exactly the same one dish almost inedible due to the salt. One of our orders was completely forgotten. It does happen but based on the cost it’s not worth a third try and would not recommend there are far more options in Portland.

G
Seattle
16 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Excellent food. A little pricey, but good food and good preparation. Waiter's wine knowledge limited, but honest. The quality of the food makes up for an ordinary decor. Can handle a large number of people.

PS
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on August 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The crab cakes are amazing, as is the Heiress cocktail 😉
You really can’t go wrong with anything on their menu. Delicious for all meals of the day 😁

E
1 review
Dined on August 14, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

The scallops were great. Salmon was ok- somewhat bland.
But the service was unbeatable- thanks for a great evening guys!

MP
Portland
11 reviews
Dined on August 12, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Good, but not great. Not the Heathman Hotel restaurant of old. Menu is not as extensive or as diverse. Food is well prepared but not exceptionally imaginative.

F
Portland
7 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 2

A lot of hype. Small portions. Crowded tables. Loud.

PP
Minneapolis
22 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love the portion size not too large

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