The Picnic House

4.5
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918 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American

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The Picnic House, opened in 2012 by Portland restaurateurs Aaron and Jessica Grimmer across the street from the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, has become one of the staples of downtown Portland’s flourishing culinary scene, welcoming guests to enjoy its seasonal, picnic-inspired New American cuisine, historic space, and heartfelt hospitality. The lunch menu consists of a seasonal rotation of artisan sandwiches, inspired salads, and housemade soups, while the Executive Chef Jessica Grimmer's dinner program adds curated meat & cheese boards and bright, savory grilled offerings to the mix. The Grand Room of The Picnic House sits in the nearly century-old lobby of the original Heathman Hotel and retains the original hand-tiled floor and fluted wood columns.
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What 918 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.4
service
4.5
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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MC
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a great dinner and unique cocktail menu. Loved my iced chai tea with rum concoction. Dinner prices were high compared to our regular se pdx places, but ambiance made up for it.

MR
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went there for dinner before a show army Arlene Schnitzer hall. My husband had the burger and I had the turkey sandwich and we split the Mac and cheese. Everything was really good but the Mac and cheese was fantastic. For dessert He ordered the white peach sorbet and I ordered the tiramisu. We shared both and again both were really good but the white peach sorbet was the better dessert. Our server was friendly, helpful and attentive. We thoroughly enjoyed the evening and will definitely go there another time when we are in Portland.

C
1 review
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our 1st dinner destination in Portland and we will definitely be returning. Loved the sampler as I could try 3 different dishes and have enough to share !

RL
Portland
1 review
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 1ambience 3

We arrived on time for our 5:45pm reservation. They put five adults at a table meant for four. One hour later we still had not received our order, despite letting the server know we needed to leave for a show. When the food came one of our party wasn't served and needed to get her dinner in a to go box, and the others had to eat their dinner within 10 minutes. Altogether horrible service.

JM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 11, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 5

Incredibly rude service.

LG
1 review
Dined on September 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

First, I have to say 'Bring Back the Roasted Veggie Sandwich'!! I love the Picnic House, but yesterday it was almost overpoweringly noisy!! Will I go back? You bet I will. The food is great and the food servers are super. Great value for money.

G
Portland
4 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love this place. See my other review for gushing adjectives.

GN
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Surprised at how unbusy it was for a Thursday night. Two great salads, and two of the best soups I’ve ever had. Did not try entrees, but what we had was outstanding. Excellent wine list too.

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

Great lunch specials!

FG
Portland
19 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Lovely ambiance, taking care to utilize the aesthetics of an historical building. Good options prepared well, with great complimentary flavors. Went on labor day, so the lack of patrons made for extra-good service. We'll definitely try it again.

TB
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I had some of the best King Salmon I have ever had, super fresh and the sauce put it over the top. Loved the crispy skin too. My husband had the fried chicken and he loved it too.

OT
Portland
4 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was great

SC
San Diego
8 reviews
Dined on August 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Got the picnic basket with a salad, broccoli and Brussels spouts and a burger. Too much food for me, but all of it was fantastic!

k
Portland
10 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great lunch menu!

AN
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Came here with 10 girls for a bachelorette party. The hostess and our waiter were so accommodating and lit some sparklers (upon request) as the bride-to-be was walking in. The decor was very unique and made for some great photos. Most importantly, the food was amazing!

G
Portland
5 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love this place. Every dish I’ve had has been exceptional, and the designer cocktails are immaculate. Really cool ambience too. Friendly, knowledgeable wait staff that isn’t afraid to endorse the best stuff. 10/10

OB
London
26 reviews
Dined on August 14, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Food was good but uneven. Mushroom soup was delicious but salad was soggy and drenched in dressing. Personnel was friendly and efficient. Nice space.

WF
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is quickly becoming one of our favorite spots! The food is delicious, great service, fabulous bar, great location especially when visiting the museums or concert venues in the area!

JA
Seattle
1 review
Dined on August 6, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Cute place, big tables, vintage and good food. I highly recommend.

AK
1 review
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 2

The portion size for cost was poor.
The quality of ingredients poor: diced canned beetroot not good enough for a beetroot salad.
Had made a booking with a specific request to be private and we were placed in the middle of the room before we requested to move.
Quality of service not up to ‘tippable’ standards.

Y
Portland
64 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 4ambience 5

The food was really poor which is really disappointing as we have been there before for lunch and it was good! The grilled cheese was like cream cheese and bread, gnocchi was not chewy and was more like bread. Mac and Cheese was under cooked. Seems like they spend more money on the decor than the food. I’m not sure the chef was working when we came.

AE
Portland
1 review
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 4

I generally really look forward to meals at the Picnic House. I love the atmosphere and enjoy the 1/2 and 1/2 options with choice of soup, salad and/or sandwich. However, this trip I was pretty disappointed. 1st I love their soups but am unable to currently eat dairy so this generally limits me to their soup of the day, which, when I inquired regarding it I was told, "We have no soup of the day, today". OK, so no soup. Next, decide to order a main salad and abandon my beloved 1/2 because the only non-dairy sandwich option was not speaking to me. Decide on my salad and we waited for quite a while, to order. The waiter took my order, with expressly no cheese, to only return a bit later to let me know that that particular salad is premade with the cheese mixed in, and asked if that would that be a problem? Yep, allergy. OK so then waiter to goes to get a menu so I can change order and is gone for several minutes before her returns to take my 2nd order. I ordered a full salad with chicken. while the portion was bigger than the 1/2 portion that I generally get, it was not substantially bigger or. I was given 3 slices of chicken for a steep add on and was still hungry and ended up ordering bread to fill up on. Not the best showing by far. I still like the food but value for money definitely doesn't add up unless you do the combo meals.

MV
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on July 30, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Great location and walking distance to shopping and other attractions in Portland. Back of restaurant is dark so ask for seating up front by street windows if this is an issue. We ate the pick 3 from the menu. Mac n' cheese options were very goodand indulgent. Brussel sprouts were over fried and dripping in oil so hard to eat. Soup was too salty to finish and salad was also dripping in dressing although this is my fault because could of asked for dressing on the side. Waiter was very nice. Also serve local wines.

J
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on July 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food is fresh and delicious. Service is done with a smile. Efficient, quick, attentive. Whenever I visit Portland, I go to Picnic House at least once.

MT
1 review
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

The food is awesome and the price is good. Service is so so.

KL
1 review
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 2

We waited almost an hour of our lunch order even though it was just soup and sandwich combinations. Then when the orders came 1/2 were wrong and when I went to tell our server she just stared at me dumbfounded and did not say a word so I walked away. Later she became all defensive and said she wanted to say something but thought I didn’t want to talk - however she passed by our table repeatedly and never once asked how things were going or offer to do anything to remedy or concerns. I would not recommend for a large party unless you want to wait an extensive amount of time for mediocre food. Very disappointing. I have dined there before this and was hoping to impress our out of town friends but sadly it was an embarrassment.

a
Portland
37 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Good food and really friendly and nice server but asked for an egg on my salad and got chicken. Asked for vanilla ice cream and got salted caramel. Oh well...

CU
Portland
8 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Picnic House serves delicious food in a relaxed atmosphere. We actually forgot to order our appetizer and I’m glad we did: between the porch chop special I had and the lamb chops my partner ate, we were stuffed.
The room is a little loud (lots of hard surface for sound to bounce around) but otherwise it was a great dinner. We will be back!

SO
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 2

Not the best food - weird sauce on a pretty good salmon. The burger was good but Jack rabbits is best for a burger.

G
Sacramento
22 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful food and the service was professionally done. We have eaten here three times and are always pleased

OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing place for lunch, always a go-to spot for me.

The mushroom soup is so good

DB
1 review
Dined on July 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I eat there often with Clients, for the money the food is ALWAYS EXCELLENT and super enjoyable. The Half Sandwich and soup is what I always do and recommend! Great atmosphere and staff!

B
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on July 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Good for lunch and options for soup, salad and sandwich for fixed price. large area so very noisy but food is good for quantity and price

DO
1 review
Dined on July 12, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Fun but pricey. Wait staff is excellent. Cocktails were interesting and unusual. Tasty,too.

OT
Aberdeen
1 review
Dined on July 10, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 4

Great waiter

F
Portland
4 reviews
Dined on July 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went to see Wicked. Nice place for food and great service!

ML
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Exceptional service and excellent food, the ambiance was romantic and we had a fabulous time. We will definitely be back!

OT
Minneapolis
12 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent. Every single thing was delicious. Fantastic service and cool space. Sausage Plate - Mac and Cheese - Fried Brussels

DC
Portland
1 review
Dined on July 3, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Our group all requested the varied lunch combo option of soup/salad/sandwich and all the meals were very delicious and nicely presented although the two people having soups mentioned these to be a bit too salty! It was also rather noisy in the restaurant but we were okay with that for the most part.

CT
Portland
5 reviews
Dined on July 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The Picnic House is a great place to eat with clients, friends, and family. I particularly love the way they make their martinis, which in my opinion is one of the most subjective cocktails. The noise level in the restaurant can get loud during the lunch hour. I haven't seemed to notice it being as loud during happy hour, but I usually sit at the bar and am closer to the person I'm talking with, so can hear better anyways.

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