The Picnic House

4.4
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944 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American

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Pre/post Theatre
Casual
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 944 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
4.3
service
4.4
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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S
Seattle
5 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
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
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food!

IP
Portland
4 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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

OT
Portland
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Delicious!

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P
Seattle
10 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
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
13 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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

RD
Portland
1 review
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

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

CD
San Francisco
48 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

J
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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

F
Portland
32 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience3

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
Overall5food5service5ambience4

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
Overall4food5service4ambience4

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
Overall3food3service3ambience4

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
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Good time, great food.

F
Portland
6 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience3

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
Overall2food4service1ambience3

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
Overall4food5service5ambience4

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

P
Portland
6 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

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
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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
Overall3food2service1ambience3

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
Overall2food3service1ambience5

Incredibly rude service.

LG
1 review
Dined on September 9, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

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
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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

GN
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience3

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
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great lunch specials!

FG
Portland
19 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

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
14 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was great

SC
San Diego
10 reviews
Dined on August 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great lunch menu!

AN
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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!

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