About Cafe Nell
Located in the heart of Northwest Portland, Café Nell serves French inspired American classics simply prepared from Northwest ingredients. Entering its fifth year, Café Nell has become known for lively brunches featuring signature cocktails which never fail to impress. A full bar, friendly atmosphere, rotating taps, and a glowing fireplace create a welcoming environment. During summer, our patio seating is perfect for happy hour, or a candle-lit dinner on a warm Portland evening.
American, French, Bistro
Hours of Operation:
11 am - 10 pm Monday - Friday
9 am - 10 pm Saturday
9 am - 8 pm Sunday
NW 20th Ave
$30 and under
AMEX, MasterCard, Pay with OpenTable, Visa
Complimentary parking available in private parking lot. Street parking also available.
Two block walk from StreetCar at 18th & Lovejoy.
Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Corkage Fee, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Weekend Brunch, Wine
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Cafe Nell Ratings and Reviews
Cozy, comfortable, neighborhood feel ins ...
Cozy, comfortable, neighborhood feel inside and outdoor side walk cafe. Took my adult son and two of his cousins for dinner and the food was delicious, and relatively healthy compared to other Portland restaurants. Everything was fresh and locally sourced, server was friendly and helpful. All in all a very enjoyable experience.
We sat outside and had a great meal. We ...
We sat outside and had a great meal. We shared mussels and fries and ceviche among four of us. The mussels were so good one in our party ordered them as her entree. I had the roast chicken and would order it again. We'll definitely go back!
Our reservation was at 11:00a, a couple ...
Our reservation was at 11:00a, a couple people in our party were 10 minutes late. We ordered at about 11:20 but our food did not show up until just after 12:00. Server was hard to track down. The restaurant seemed very understaffed for Sunday brunch but they still decided to add an automatic 20% gratuity for our party of 6, so I guess they didn't care that our experience was not good. They only had enough soy milk for one latte so we had to decide who got it. Seems like that is something you make sure you have stocked before you open your doors for breakfast.
We were there around 6 pm on a Saturday ...
We were there around 6 pm on a Saturday night. It was not very busy but they had a single server and probably could've used another. They have a fair amount of outside seating on the sidewalk but do have windows which open to give the outside feel without being right on the street.
Our first time at this restaurant. Thre ...
Our first time at this restaurant. Three of us for lunch sitting outside under beautiful old growth trees. Very European feeling and quite nice. Our Caesar Salad with Salmon, Huevos Rancheros and Stuffed Avocado all were excellent. Our server Drew was very attentive and provided excellent service. We will return.
The food was just OK but the service was ...
The food was just OK but the service was excruciatingly slow with no concept of timing. We were a table of four. It took forever to get the first two entrees and by the time the second too came the first had finished eating. Server was extremely polite and apologetic though.
I went for brunch with my mother, and we ...
I went for brunch with my mother, and we both were served delicious bellinis with seasonal fruit. As a vegetarian, I opted for the veggie Eggs Benedict, while my mother ordered the classic. Both were superb - better than either of us could have created, we agreed! Cafe Nell is such cozy little place. Must return to try out the dishes for other meals of the day.
Wonderful pre Timbers brunch spot! Broug ...
Wonderful pre Timbers brunch spot! Brought our 6 adult children and had a wonderful brunch! Highly recommend the shrimp and grits ( and I'm usually not a fan) the bloody Mary's are to die for! A meal in themselves. And my favorite the man-mosas!
Cafe Nell is located in a bustling, arts ...
Cafe Nell is located in a bustling, artsy area of Portland. The building itself, looks as though it could have been an old bakery in the past with a deep red brick exterior, and then classic French Bistro inside. The open windows and the street seating make it very inviting and homey. We were greeted immediately upon entering by the bartender, who had to go all the way around, into the restaurant to get to the host stand. There did not seem to be a host/hostess. We were seated immediately and our drink orders were taken. Enjoyed a great Manhattan made with a locally made whiskey, ( they feature a lot of locally distilled liquors, beers and wine. Of the items we ordered, the grilled wedge salad was amazing, with a half head of romaine, ever so lightly charred and topped with heirloom cherry tomatoes, house smoked bacon and a homemade blue cheese dressing. The Burger was also a big hit at the table, and the star of the evening was the Halibut Sausage, made from halibut collar meat and herbs, charred on the grill and served atop a summer corn pudding with blistered green beans and baby sweet pea greens. The service was adequate, but for as slow as it was, it could have been a bit more attentive. I would definitely recommend this quaint little cafe.
We love Café Nell. I've never had a bit ...
We love Café Nell. I've never had a bite there that wasn't delicious or a second of service that wasn't excellent. It was perfect weather for eating outdoors this time, and we got in some great dog and people watching. However, we love it inside, too--lovely atmosphere. We'll be back soon and often.
I hosted my birthday brunch here. It was ...
I hosted my birthday brunch here. It was the first time that most of us have eaten there. Overall it was good. I think that the prices were a tad high for what we got. Our waitress did a good job keeping up with the group demands and no mistakes were made. :)
We had a friend's gathering for a party of 8 last Sunday (6/5/16) at Café Nell and everything was great! I love this local spot as they always have friendly service and the food is delicious! They are also very accommodating with allowing separate checks for larger parties which is almost unheard of in this industry. I have been to Café Nell many times and it is consistently awesome! The other great thing about Café Nell is that you don't have to wait two hours for brunch. It is truly a gem!
The server was very nice and accommodating, especially when we found out we needed to be outside for the HH. Some of the HH plates were disappointing, specifically the tomato and onion flatbread, but the cheese plate was laughable. One chunk of cheese no bigger than an inch by inch. Otherwise, I would try again and sit at the bar.
Pleasant room; uneven food
I should say first that the evening we were there Cafe Nell was having personnel problems due to a no show. The stress showed though the host, waitress, bartender person was a gamer and did her very best. Appetizer salads were imaginative and delicious. However, both entrees missed and not by a little bit. Confusing combinations prevailed and just didn't work. Try lamb ragout over a heavily creamed pasta; it just didn't work. We'd be inclined to try again as there is imagination here but it's hard to recommend to a friend without more consistency.
Took my mom here for Mother's Day brunch ...
Took my mom here for Mother's Day brunch. My mom raved about her dish and I thought my dish (classic eggs Benedict) was excellent, too. It's a little pricey but was worth it for a special occasion. I plan to come back and try the lunch menu.
Brunch took forever to get. Server says it was because of a large party. Never saw one. Recommend apple tart , not the biscuits and gravy. Very disappointed with the service. I will try again but not excited as I was before. Will not take friends until I feel comfortable that it will be a great experience.
We relied on Open Table to make a recommendation for a same-day Sunday brunch with family from out of town. Based on the reviews we selected Café Nell and could not have been happier. Everything was fantastic; setting, service, food. We will be back for sure!
Great service and food
A friend and I went to brunch at Cafe Nell. Eggs Benedict is a specialty, with lots of different variations. The sweet rolls the party at the next table had looked wonderful as well. The wait staff recommended a nice rose and were very gracious about turning my friend's Bloody Mary into a vegetarian drink, rather than one spiked with chorizo and bacon.
Charming Neighborhood Restaurant; Noisy Bar Scene
Cafe Nell would be a favorite spot, as the service is very good and so is the food. BUT an early Saturday evening supper (5:00)was marred by shouting patrons in the bar -- we could hear everything these folks 'said' but couldn't hear each other, even though we were in the back corner of the dining area.
I would recommend going to Cafe Nell about 1/2 hour after Happy Hour is over. The noise level gets much more acceptable, and everyone seems less stressed.
Would NOT recoomend at all
I will save you the long story and just say this:
1. This place had fine food, good, but nothing worth dreaming of or putting up with poor service.
2. Worst service we have had in past 5 years anywhere. It took 10 min to get a menu and 27 minutes (yes we timed it all) for a drink.
3. A special occasion that was left very unspecial except the company we kept.
4. The food that we did order took forever.
5. A drink spilled and it took 25 minutes to replace it that we got up and went and got it from the bar.
6. We were a casual group of women who were out for a Birthday and we are not demanding or divas. We like to laugh and have great food and wine. We got one of those three that night.
7. We felt invisible.
8. The restaurant acoustics are VERY loud too (but some peolple like that, so just FYI if you don't).
I have lived here my whole life, there are a ton of great restaurants and even ok restaurants with amazing service...this place has neither.
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