The Picnic House

4.5
903 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
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 903 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
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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k
Portland
8 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great lunch menu!

AN
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
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
3 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
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
24 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
4 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
20 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
3 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.

4
Portland
8 reviews
Dined on June 28, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Good food and service. Thanks!

SM
Portland
4 reviews
Dined on June 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great restaurant for dinner. Friendly servers, amazing tasting food, and convenient downtown Portland location. Everything we had was delicious from the vodka gimlet to each of our dishes. We went on a monday evening and it was pleasantly quiet so we could carry on a conversation. Highly recommend this restaurant, we loved it!

J
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, attentive and knowledgeable staff and the atmosphere was fun and lively without be overbearing or too loud. 10/10

OT
Western NC
1 review
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

The mushroom soup was amazing, but some of the other entrees were just okay. Staff was friendly and ambiance was nice. No kid’s menu.

OT
1 review
Dined on June 20, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 2

Service was slow.

SL
Charleston
2 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

The food was fantastic! Loved the brussels and broccoli, the mushroom soup, the picnic style eating. Would go back!

KB
Denver
1 review
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely food and delicious cocktails in a charming environment!

d
Portland
8 reviews
Dined on June 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Had a great dinner with my daughter. She ordered 3 salads (beet, rice and green salad) for $25 which she loved and was beautifully plated and I ordered the rice salad with chicken which is always a great choice.

OT
Portland
35 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

I had a delicious sandwich and enjoyed our lunch very much

RS
1 review
Dined on June 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The restaurant was adorable and food was delicious. We had the three item lunch, soup, half salad, half sandwich. The tomato bisque soup was one of the best I have had. The berries salad was refreshing and of course had to have the grilled cheese, which was also great. The staff was very attentive. I have already recommended this place to others.

LA
1 review
Dined on June 4, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

The server and food were good. It took way too long to get our food. An hour lunch turned into hour and a half.

H
1 review
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything we ordered was amazing! I would go back and have the exact same meal. Our server Jacob was friendly, attentive and did a great job. I can’t wait to go back!

OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on May 29, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Great ambiance. Felt like a true Portland experience.

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