Smallwares

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4.6
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105 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Northwest
Smallwares has reopened in the Boise-Eliot neighborhood shopping district. The new location has floor to ceiling windows which provide plenty of natural light, an open kitchen with a chef’s counter, and an elegant patio.

Chef/owner Johanna Ware has a rotating menu with many global influences and an eclectic and unique flavor profile. Smallwares has a diverse wine list compiled of all organic and biodynamic choices, an exotic cocktail selection, and sake. Come in for a casual meal with your family or celebrate a special occasion with us.
What 105 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
4.6
food
4.7
service
4.5
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
100% of people would recommend it to a friend
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BR
Seattle
3 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dinner at Smallwares is always a delight. This is one of our favorite Portland restaurants, and we usually order the omakase chef’s tasting menu, so we can experience a variety of what's new and seasonal. During our latest visit, Chef Joanna threw some great off-menu surprises, and we could tell she was making an effort to give us dishes we hadn't had before. Love the personal service, and - as always - great food!

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KP
Portland
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

If you haven't been to Smallwares, go... go now. We went twice in one weekend... brunch and dinner. Brunch was wonderful, with sweet and savory options that made everyone happy. Dinner was as good if not better. Tons of veg and meat focused options. Service was friendly and helpful, and proactive.

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i
Portland
4 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

go here. the food is delicious, the environment is very relaxed, the drinks are strong and they have a nice patio area.
Also if you have a kid they will bring their food first.

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AC
Portland
1 review
Dined on June 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

What a great and unique brunch!
Oysters, the wedge salad, pancakes that are not anything close to Aunt jemima, kimchi breakfast burrito and all spot on! Great, small cocktail menu and such friendly service.

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g
Portland
7 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always an amazing meal at small wares ! Will always go back !!!

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OT
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Be patient with the kitchen and you will be rewarded with great, creative food. Service was attentive and friendly.

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MB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

The food was perfect—complex without being fussy, flavors all in balance. Unique but intentional menu choices. I could have eaten 12 of the 6-minute eggs! They were amazing. The service was very friendly but a little slow, particularly the bar orders. The servers seemed slammed despite the restaurant being only half-full; maybe they were short-staffed. We’ll definitely be back!

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OT
Portland
15 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Amazing and unique food, flavors and drinks ala Asian fusion and comfort food. Pretty expensive for small portions. ie $24 for a small plate. Nice treat but prices higher than downtown.

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

The shrimp egg yolk dish was so hot I got blisters in my throat and

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P
Portland
14 reviews
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent service and food. Accommodating for our pre-teen/teens and plenty of items to choose from for some dietary restrictions.

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OT
Pittsburgh
1 review
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

We came in for dinner on a Friday night. We enjoyed the ambiance and seating options, which made for a comfortable date. The cocktails were great and reasonably price. The service was excellent - friendly, fun, professional, and informative; we were having a somewhat sensitive conversation, and it seemed our server noticed and managed her visits accordingly - so thoughtful! The food was also good, but the quality didn’t always measure up to the price (especially the vegetarian options). All in all a great visit and we look forward to trying out some new menu items when the time comes. Thanks!

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GF
1 review
Dined on May 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was stunning and delicious. Complex and unique flavor profiles across the board that elevate every dish is what they deliver. Joshua is such a kind person and very attentive and everything came out with excellent timing.

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K
Portland
15 reviews
Dined on April 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good in unique & delightful. Portions are generous. Chef prepares exciting sauces that really compliment main ingredient. Will be back soon.

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MD
1 review
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food. A place you must eat if you travel to Portland.

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SK
1 review
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Awesome! Had the omakase and it was 10 courses, including 2 desserts.

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PD
Portland
11 reviews
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Very impressed with Smallwares! Very interesting dishes on the menu, with unusual but tasty combinations of ingredients. Great restaurant to share dishes. Each selection was beautifully presented, and arrived in a way that let you savor each one. Service was very good -- helpful, but not weirdly obsequious or interrupting.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Delicious food and cocktails! Friendly service. The cocktail took a while to come but it was worth the wait each time.

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BB
Portland
1 review
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was a special occasion, so we splurged and did the omakase. Every dish was so different, and the flavors were intense and outstanding. I was in love with the jasmine cream fruit dessert and the wine pairing. Can't get the tangy dressing on the tempura kale out of my mind. I wish I'd written down our full menu. Although they were small dishes, there were so many that we were quite full by the time dessert arrived. A very memorable evening with friendly and attentive service.

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FD
Portland
4 reviews
Dined on March 19, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We enjoyed the whole dining experience. Our pre-fix meal was interesting & tasty. Service was good too.

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d
Portland
31 reviews
Dined on March 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Nice reboot in the new space, and still good, with a fusion-y "inauthentic Asian" style.

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TT
1 review
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 4

Was disappointed with the food at Smallwares. The flavors were commonplace. The Fried Kale - apparently a favorite of many - was a big bowl of semi-sogginess. There was too much salt in many of the preparations and nothing to elevate the cuisine.

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PJ
Portland
1 review
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Quite unusual choices and tastes. We only tried a couple of items, but they were very inventive and delicious. The jerk cheeseburger was great. It was very empty for Sunday brunch, and hope that more people come and sample the goods.

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a
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

creative food and excellent service. I would recommend Smallwares

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F
Portland
1 review
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Restaurant admitted understaffing, which was a surprising occurrence given it's Portland Dining Month and establishments should be operating well equipped. PDM courses were delicious, nonetheless, and I hope to come back soon to try a slew of other tasty menu items.

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P
Portland
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Great food and chefs menu was awesome!

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M
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food!! Great vibes! Loved it! The food was so creative but blended well together. We went in valentine’s day when they had a set menu and it was outstanding!

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CR
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Had a wonderful experience. Came for date night and had the chef’s tasting menu. Everything was delicious, with excellent, attentive service to boot. Thank you.

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CS
1 review
Dined on February 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Smallwares offers a creative menu and excellent food. The Chinese sausage pancake and six-minute egg were amazing. We also loved the clams. The service was outstanding - attentive and professional.

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CN
Portland
4 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 4

smallwares used to be our favorite restaurant with their ox tale stew, fried kale and extraordinary menu. We visited for the first time since moving locations and were disappointed in the menu options and with two out of the five dishes we ordered. The service was fantastic, as always and the new location is beautiful and in a prime spot for foot traffic (and and easy drive). This is going to sound totally weird but I feel like the passion for the food was lost in transition.

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Loved this place..... Great variety of small Asian inspired dishes. Tempura kale and octopus salad were the highlights.

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SD
Portland
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Overall, the food is inspired and wonderfully fun. The staff is clearly passionate and it's a great experience. If they edited their recipes a little I think their food would really sing.
Some dishes were just a hair too salty, resulting in a meal that starts to feel too one note... which is unfortunate since there are clearly many ingredients being fused to create their flavors.
Maybe it's the overuse of fish sauce, or the type of fish sauce they use. But in some dishes salt becomes the one dominant note and is too aggressive. Had to stop eating the clams and chawanmushi due to this problem. The chawanmushi would have been fantastic if it weren't for the overly aggressively salty toppings. It's such a shame because the custard was beautiful and the texture on the toppings were perfect!
Also, the cocktails feel very confused. Too many elements competing with each other makes for a muddled and far too complex experience. Maybe try subtracting one ingredient from each drink.
I'd go back and try again... maybe an off night. I'm a salt lover, but it was too much for me.

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OT
Portland
6 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I highly suggest chefs tasting menu!! It’s worth every penny and the experience is amazing!

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j
Portland
11 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

we went with the chef’s menu and were not disappointed. absolutely delicious! we will definitely be going back!

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KD
Seattle
37 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We were visiting town for a concert and found smallwares knowing nothing about it. The food was excellent. Several of us had the steak, the most expensive item on the menu. The server did not explain that the entree sizes are small, so once we were served we realized we'd need to order more food. We added the brussel sprouts, which were excellent. Overall, we enjoyed our meal.

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BC
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

The $45 tasting menu delivered about $80 worth of food per person -- not too much, just an excellent value and tour through the menu. Individual dishes were creative and had consistently well-balanced, well-accented textures and seasoning.

The chawanmushi with a bay shrimp topping was exceptional, evoking classic French food through a pancultural lens. Smart.

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A
Portland
33 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

My first visit was two days ago for a great dinner so I returned today to try brunch. I want to return to taste it all! Great flavors, fresh, an Asian twist and innovative healthy choices!

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JK
Denver
3 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

An excellent experience overall.

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M
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 5

I highly enjoyed my meal (food was great, minus the lamb, and the drinks were suprub - I especially liked the whiskey drink with masala). However, my father and mother did not feel similarly, critisizing the fattiness of the lamb and the taste of the fried chicken and salad. We enjoyed the ambiance, especially for a new years dinner, but the service was definitally slow. I had read that this would be the case in reviews and it is understandable it would be slower with the new years crowd.

Overall I enjoyed it. Perhaps it's better for a younger - late twenties to fourties crowd?

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TC
Portland
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved it!!!

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OT
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic food, good service and nice ambiance

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