About Cafe Nell

1987 NW Kearney St
Portland, OR 97209
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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.

Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
American, French, Bistro

Hours of Operation:
11 am - 10 pm Monday - Friday
9 am - 10 pm Saturday
9 am - 8 pm Sunday

Cross Street:
NW 20th Ave

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, MasterCard, Pay with OpenTable, Visa

Phone Number:
(503) 295-6487

Website:
http://cafenell.com/

Parking Details:
Complimentary parking available in private parking lot. Street parking also available.

Public Transit:
Two block walk from StreetCar at 18th & Lovejoy.

Additional:
Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Corkage Fee, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Weekend Brunch, Wine

Promotions

1,000-Point Tables

Promotions

1,000-Point Tables

See availability for 1000 point tables

Details
Sun 9:00AM - 9:30AM 2:00PM - 2:00PM 2:15PM - 3:00PM 5:00PM - 6:00PM 7:00PM - 8:00PM

Mon - Thu 11:00AM - 11:45AM 5:00PM - 6:00PM 8:30PM - 10:00PM

Fri 5:00PM - 6:00PM 8:30PM - 10:00PM

Sat 9:00AM - 9:45AM 2:00PM - 2:00PM 2:15PM - 3:00PM 5:00PM - 6:00PM 8:30PM - 10:00PM

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Cafe Nell Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.2

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.2

service

3.9

ambience

4.2

value

3.9

noise

Moderate

89% would recommend it to a friend

Neighborhood Gem (28)
Great for Brunch (20)
Fit for Foodies (18)
See All
Great for Lunch (15)
Great for Outdoor Dining (14)
Special Occasion (12)
Romantic (10)
Good for Groups (9)
Kid-friendly (2)
Hot Spot (2)
Vibrant Bar Scene (2)
Late-night Find (2)
Scenic View (1)
Notable Wine List (1)
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Newest
215 reviews
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Cozy, comfortable, neighborhood feel ins ...

 
 (San Francisco)
·Dined 4 days ago

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.

Tags: Authentic, Local Ingredients, Good for Birthdays, Creative Cuisine, Handcrafted Cocktails, Fireplace, Great for Outdoor Dining, Fit for Foodies
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

We will be back. Nice neighborhood feel ...

vip
 (Portland)
·Dined 5 days ago

We will be back. Nice neighborhood feel in NW.

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food3
ambience4
service4

We sat outside and had a great meal. We ...

vip
 (Houston)
·Dined 5 days ago

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!

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

FABULOUS food and service. A great, quie ...

 
 (Portland)
·Dined 7 days ago

FABULOUS food and service. A great, quiet time at one of Portland's best!

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food5
ambience5
service5

Excellent and atmosphere Very romantic

 
 (Portland)
·Dined on August 19, 2016

Excellent and atmosphere

Very romantic

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food5
ambience5
service5

All around a good place to dine in NW Po ...

 
 (Portland)
·Dined on August 14, 2016

All around a good place to dine in NW Portland. Service was more than pleasant, the food was outstanding. The other customers all seemed very pleased to be there. We will be back, and back.

Tags: Great for Brunch, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Our meal was outstanding and the service ...

 
 (Portland)
·Dined on August 14, 2016

Our meal was outstanding and the service was OK.

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food5
ambience2
service2

Our reservation was at 11:00a, a couple ...

 
 (Portland)
·Dined on August 7, 2016

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.

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food4
ambience3
service1
value2

Been before but won't be back.

vip
 (Portland)
·Dined on July 31, 2016

Been before but won't be back.

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food3
ambience4
service2

We were there around 6 pm on a Saturday ...

 
 (Portland)
·Dined on July 31, 2016

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.

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food4
ambience3
service2

Our first time at this restaurant. Thre ...

vip
 (Portland)
·Dined on July 29, 2016

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.

Tags: Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Great for Brunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Great for Lunch, Late-night Find, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

The food was just OK but the service was ...

vip
 (Portland)
·Dined on July 28, 2016

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.

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food3
ambience2
service1

Made a reservation through Open Table an ...

 
 (New Orleans)
·Dined on July 26, 2016

Made a reservation through Open Table and they had no record of it.

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food1
ambience3
service3
value1

The food was quite good (my wife raved a ...

 
 (Portland)
·Dined on July 25, 2016

The food was quite good (my wife raved about the Salmon). The service was quite slow; the waiter could have dropped by the table more often.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience4
service3
value5

I went for brunch with my mother, and we ...

 
 (Portland)
·Dined on July 24, 2016

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.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Brunch, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

Wonderful pre Timbers brunch spot! Broug ...

 
 (Portland)
·Dined on July 23, 2016

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!

Tags: Good for Groups, Great for Brunch, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

Excellent Food but few people to serve, ...

vip
 (Miami)
·Dined on July 23, 2016

Excellent Food but few people to serve, which was a little bit disappointing in that sense. Service was not as good as the food!

Tags: Great for Brunch
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food4
ambience4
service3
value4

Service was slower than average. We orde ...

vip
 (Portland)
·Dined on July 22, 2016

Service was slower than average. We ordered medium rare steak but got something that was almost well done. Avocado and shrimp of the bruschetta was good, but bruschetta was very chewy. Clam linguini was good.

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food3
ambience3
service2

Cafe Nell is located in a bustling, arts ...

 
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on July 17, 2016

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.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

We love Café Nell. I've never had a bit ...

 
 (Portland)
·Dined on July 15, 2016

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.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

I hosted my birthday brunch here. It was ...

 
 (Portland)
·Dined on July 10, 2016

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. :)

Tags: Good for Groups, Great for Brunch
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food3
ambience3
service3
value3

I have enjoyed Cafe Nell very much durin ...

vip
 (Portland)
·Dined on July 5, 2016

I have enjoyed Cafe Nell very much during the past several months when I've had appointments in that neighborhood.

Tags: Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

I have eaten at Café Nell several times ...

vip
 (Portland)
·Dined on June 28, 2016

I have eaten at Café Nell several times in the past month – always for lunch – and I keep wanting to return. I recommend the café for its food, its atmosphere, and its friendly and helpful staff.

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food5
ambience5
service5

Always a great meal--this restaurant is ...

 
 (Washington DC)
·Dined on June 26, 2016

Always a great meal--this restaurant is truly a great destination for great service, fine food, and attractive ambiance.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Brunch, Great for Lunch, Late-night Find, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

The food was fine. However they did not ...

 
 (Portland)
·Dined on June 18, 2016

The food was fine. However they did not have our reservation when we arrived. Fortunately, they were still able to seat us.

Tags: Romantic
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

The food here is off the charts. The atm ...

vip
 (Portland)
·Dined on June 16, 2016

The food here is off the charts. The atmosphere is beyond charming and the staff members are quickly becoming my friends. One of my faves.

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food5
ambience5
service5

This was my fourth visit and my fourth t ...

vip
 (Portland)
·Dined on June 9, 2016

This was my fourth visit and my fourth time to experience the pleasures offered at this neighborhood eatery that serves fine food in an unpretentious atmosphere. I'll be back.

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food5
ambience4
service5

Consistently delicious!

 
 (Portland)
·Dined on June 5, 2016

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!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Brunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Hot Spot, Kid-friendly, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Special Occasion, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Nice, but...

vip
 (Chicago)
·Dined on June 2, 2016

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.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food3
ambience4
service4
value3

Pretty good, a bit spendy

vip
 (Portland)
·Dined on May 30, 2016

Pretty good, a bit spendy

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food4
ambience4
service3

Pleasant room; uneven food

vip
 (Portland)
·Dined on May 30, 2016

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.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food3
ambience4
service4
value3

Poor menu

 
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on May 13, 2016

No good selection from the menu early in the evening and they were not even aware that the featured items on the menu were nit available. The owner was not a bit disturbed by this info.

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food1
ambience2
service1
value2

Took my mom here for Mother's Day brunch ...

 
 (Portland)
·Dined on May 8, 2016

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.

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food5
ambience5
service5

Cafe Nells

 
 (Portland)
·Dined on May 8, 2016

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.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining
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food3
ambience3
service1
value3

Bloody Nell's are delicious!

vip
 (Portland)
·Dined on May 8, 2016

Bloody Nell's are delicious!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

This is a neighborhood gem.

 
 (Portland)
·Dined on May 1, 2016

Great food and presentation. Cozy ambiance. Good service. The turkey burger is to die for! Great find!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

Fantastic Find

 
 (Portland)
·Dined on April 24, 2016

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!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Brunch, Kid-friendly, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Great service and food

 
 (Portland)
·Dined on April 23, 2016

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.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Brunch
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food4
ambience3
service5
value3

Charming Neighborhood Restaurant; Noisy Bar Scene

 
 (Portland)
·Dined on April 17, 2016

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.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience3
service5
value4

Would NOT recoomend at all

 
 (Portland)
·Dined on April 16, 2016

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.

2 people found this review helpful.
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food4
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value3

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