The Picnic House

4.5
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971 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American

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Pre/post Theatre
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 971 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
4.4
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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S
San Diego
15 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall3food3service3ambience3

The restaurant is nicely laid out and casual. The broccoli was excellent. The steak was just ok - not as flavorful as I would have liked. Drinks were very slow to come out.

OT
New England
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food4service4ambience5

Last minute reservation. The food was excellent especially the steak.

J
Portland
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food5service4ambience4

I can't get enough of the wild mushroom soup. It alone would keep me coming back.

LR
Portland
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great recommendations from our server

WU
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Food was great as usual. There was some confusion at first about what was available but it all worked out to our satisfadtion.

ID
Portland
37 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

excellent service salad was overly dressed.
very much a Portland atmosphere of patrons. tasty food. very good value. first-timers who will return.

L
Portland
14 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Pleasant efficient service, interesting food. The orange polenta cake was amazing.

OT
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Love this place. A bit bummed that the “shares” section of the menu is no longer part of the picnic menu options.

H
Portland
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Easy atmosphere, attentive waiter, good food

J
Portland
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food, service, and atmosphere! I would highly recommended this place!

K
Portland
10 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

What a warm friendly welcoming place. Our table was all set as we arrived and we were greeted and seated immediately. Our waitress was attentive and helpful in describing the menu items for us and our delicious soups, salads and sandwiches were served promptly. The location is good for walking around downtown Portland with a couple of parking garages nearby. Also convenient to MAX. Definitely recommend.

OT
1 review
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Love the dining experience at the Picnic House. The food is reasonably priced and all tastes amazing!

OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on December 20, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Great service, yummy cocktails and food...all around great spot for a staff holiday dinner.

I
San Francisco
35 reviews
Dined on December 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent venue, food, and service! Been there several times and never disappoints. Highly recommend!

c
Portland
4 reviews
Dined on December 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love this restaurant. Favorite for events! Had a great time!

MA
Portland
1 review
Dined on December 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a lovely dinner, would prefer too see a few more Vegan dishes, but made do.
The bartender was outstanding!
I prefer Vodka and Grapefruit, and usually have too settle for canned grapefruit juice, but this bartender squeezed the grapefruit fresh! I do not even do that at home!
Excellent!!

LR
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 6, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience3

Very enjoyable in advance of Symphony evening. Unusual but tasty menu. Ample portions. Served in a timely manner. Fully intend to return.

CR
Portland
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The restaurant didn’t have our reservation (made earlier that day), but it didn’t matter because we were seated right away.

OT
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Cool vibe with Exceptional food and drinks!

OT
Portland
15 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall3food4service2ambience3

First time visitors.

The good:
Spacious, good noise level, food smells and smoke was minimal in the restaurant so clothes do not end up smelling like oil and food. Taste of food was good.

The bad:
Steak portion was very small and was not enough for a normal eater as an entree.
The service did not feel authentic with not much attention to the table. It was the bare minimum.

D
Portland
58 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience3

Food (dinner) was nicely presented and tasty with interesting pairings of ingredients. Just a bit pricy for the amount served.

KS
1 review
Dined on November 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We enjoy the food and ambiance for lunch. We brought a friend who is a vegetarian and there was lots of choice for her as well!

OT
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great spot for a work lunch. Filled up quick around 11:45, so reservations highly recommended unless getting their early.

T
Dallas
9 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very cute place. The shrimp salad mushroom soup and s’mores dessert was yummy. Attentive staff. We will be back.

EK
1 review
Dined on November 14, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience4

8 of us had a relatively early dinner. We were seated promptly and had pleasant interactions with the staff. My salad with fried egg was good, but the mushroom soup was extremely salty. Two diners were shocked at the tiny amount of food on the falafel plate - given other portions and the $24 price tag, it was surprising to see the tabouleh to be a garnish rather than a salad on the plate. Overall the food was ok, but expensive for what it was. The atmosphere was pleasant.

S
Portland
12 reviews
Dined on November 14, 2019
Overall2food1service4ambience3

Not great value ($12-13) for a sandwich and potato chips. My friend's grilled cheese was one thin slice of cheese on a sea of aioli (which she had asked to be left off) - unappealing and inedible. Panini style doesn't work for a good grilled cheese. Turkey panini was also low on turkey and not especially tasty.

A
Portland
1 review
Dined on November 12, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Need to revamp their front desk approach at lunch. Big volume of diners came in at once at noon. The host could simply not manage. He provided no communication or direction and thus no line formed and it became a free for all to get his attention. More training may have helped him manage the situation. Heard many parties commenting on same.

S
Seattle
6 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall4food3service4ambience5

The tomato basil soup was delectable. The rest of the food was either average or slightly above average. The cocktails were also pretty tasty.

TG
Seattle
3 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food!

IP
Portland
4 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I have recommended it many times. It is the perfect place to dine before a play or concert.

OT
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Delicious!

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P
Seattle
10 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Yum! I always enjoy The Picnic House. Usually I come for lunch to enjoy a combination of soup, salad and or sandwich, for the best business lunch in Portland. But this time it was for dinner before a show at the Schnitz. Fantastic food, great service and such a perfect location for an evening out. Highly recommended!

L
Portland
15 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great for a pre-symphony dinner. Quick service, flexible options, good food

RD
Portland
4 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Waiter was fantastic. Hangar steaks and Fried Chicken was awesome. Burgers were ok.

CD
San Francisco
49 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Interesting menu, flavor profiles and combinations bold, missed the mark on the lamb shank, charcuterie was lovely, sausages delicious, Brussels sprouts lack luster. Staff was sweet but distracted.

B
Portland
19 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Picnic House offers a variety of dining choices. Their share plates are a favorite as well as their salads. They have an excellent cocktail menu and good wines by the glass. It’s an excellent choice if you have theater tickets or are spending an evening downtown. The service is outstanding!

c
Phoenix
6 reviews
Dined on October 24, 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience4

Relaxed atmosphere. Service was weak. Someone gave us water and then we didn’t see anyone for 10 mins. When I make a reservation for a business dinner then I feel responsible for everyone enjoying themselves. Server seemed slammed and said he was sorry about something every time he came to the table. Made us feel like he did t have time for us. The food was good.

J
Portland
5 reviews
Dined on October 24, 2019
Overall2food3service4ambience1

The service was good and the food good but not great. But it was so noisy, it was painful. Almost impossible to talk.

OT
Black Forest
7 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Perfect lunch spot

EB
1 review
Dined on October 15, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Mushroom soup stole the show, per usual! Dinner seems a little overpriced for the value- will probably stick to lunch in the future

Tweets by The Picnic House