The Picnic House

4.5
icon/ic_reviewCreated with Sketch.
932 Reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$30 and under
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Contemporary American

Top Tags:

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.
avatar copy

Private Dining

Book your next event with us

View details
What 932 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
4.3
service
4.4
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
Sort by
Filters
J
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The waiter was very helpful and attentive,
Brown rice salad delicious however would recommend a dressing on the side

EL
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very pleasant. The work team all enjoyed to lunch - something for everyone.

F
Portland
29 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

Greeted and seated by a lovely young woman at the front desk who also provided a carafe of water and two glasses. Good thing, because we were there at least 10 minutes and were not acknowledged by anyone. There was a table nearby with a waitress, seemed like we were in the same section, but she never approached us even after we smiled at her while she was at the other table. My partner walked next door to Barlow (same owners and food) and said it looked like they were paying better attention to diners there so we decided to walk over there. Right when we stood up, our waiter approached us. We said we were going over to Barlow because we hadn't been approached yet. He said he had two tables down below that he was taking care of, but encouraged us to head to Barlow. Got great service at Barlow from Emily!

One reason we chose Picnic House for dinner is because we were attending a concert nearby. We had given ourselves plenty of time to enjoy dinner and wine before the concert, but we started to get concerned that the service was so bad at Picnic House we might run into a time issue. Because of their location, it seems they would realize that many of their diners are there pre-concert and have time constraints. As it was, we did enjoy our dinner at Barlow (same food/kitchen as Picnic House), though it was a lot noisier there. Bonus for us was that we saved money since we hit Happy Hour at Barlow. Not sure we will try Picnic House again after this experience, but we will go back to Barlow!

JR
Seattle
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We had a tight timeline to make it to the symphony. Drinks and food came very fast and were delicious — fresh and flavorful. Always a great meal.

KR
Hawaii
2 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Picnic house was a great spot for lunch with friends. Good food, great pacing so we weren't rushed but also got to our event on time.

f
Portland
12 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Service was very slow, never did get water.
To the staff's defense, there was an event next door, most people arrived at the same time.
Wine was really past it's prime - it was a 2014 Chardonnay - too old and tasted a bit odd.

JR
Portland
5 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very good, friendly and efficient host and wait staff. Varied and interesting menu. Left my phone there and the kind gentleman found it, charged it and kept it safe until my return.

L
Denver
15 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good time, great food.

F
Portland
6 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

This was my first time to PH. I was intrigued by the menu, and was not disappointed! Plenty of food to fill up, and the quality was excellent! Got the “make it a picnic” and selected soup, salad and sandwich. The soup (Tomato) was off the charts delicious (they brought me a little taste of all three to help me decide, which made it harder to choose as all three were fantastic - mushroom, tomato, chicken vegetable!). The salad (Gorgonzola) was light, refreshing and not over soaked in dressing. And the burger one of the best I’ve had (cooked to my liking of MR). The only slight down side was that it was very loud. Hard to sit and visit with my friend. But for a delicious meal, would highly recommend.

d
Portland
11 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 3

We decided to go to The Picnic House for a pre-concert dinner. The food was good and we enjoyed the way the menu was set up. However, we had inexcusably bad service. We watched as table after table who came in after us received their food and after 45 or more minutes had to confront our slackluster waiter about why we hadn't been served. (had to wait 30 minutes just to get a beer!). Once I made the problem known though we recieved our food and it was good. We probably would have loved this place if our waiter had actually put in our orders when we ordered but that error really ruined it for us and we won't be back.

d
Portland
9 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

I usually order the same few dishes so I am never disappointed!

P
Portland
6 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was good, service was attentive. The noise level begins to get really loud as the restaurant gets crowded, so if that is not your thing, be sure to go early enough to avoid the crowd.

MC
1 review
Dined on September 19, 2019
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 on September 19, 2019
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
10 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
9 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...

GB
Portland
1 review
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 3

I would go there again. But there was a large party ahead of us and our food took an extremely long time to arrive. And our server did not keep us updated unless we asked.

1
2
3
24

Tweets by The Picnic House