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

Specials

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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

4.4

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.4

service

4.3

ambience

4.3

value

4.0

noise

Moderate

93% would recommend it to a friend

Fit for Foodies (12)
Great for Brunch (10)
Cozy (10)
See All
Fireplace (10)
Sunday Lunch (10)
Neighborhood Gem (9)
Casual (9)
Creative Cuisine (9)
Bar Seating (8)
Happy Hour (8)
Modern Decor (7)
Good for Anniversaries (7)
Great for Lunch (7)
Special Occasion (6)
Romantic (6)
Pre/post Theatre (6)
Local Ingredients (5)
Good for a Date (5)
Comfort Food (5)
Quiet Conversation (4)
Authentic (4)
Handcrafted Cocktails (4)
Seasonal (4)
Healthy (3)
Family Style (3)
Business Meals (3)
People Watching (3)
Late-night Find (2)
Organic (2)
Good for Birthdays (2)
Disabled Access (2)
Fun (2)
Hot Spot (2)
Worth the Drive (2)
Gluten Free Options (2)
Afternoon Coffee (2)
Tasting Menu (1)
Good Vegetarian Options (1)
Afternoon Tea (1)
Great for Outdoor Dining (1)
Vibrant Bar Scene (1)
Vegan (1)
Private Room (1)
Good for Groups (1)
Dining Occasion:
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270 reviews
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The ambiance was decent but the noise le ...

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined 5 days ago

The ambiance was decent but the noise level was too intense to actually allow a conversation with my guest with out shouting. The eggs were cold when they were served. The service was acceptable.

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food2
ambience3
service3
value3

Fantastic ambiance and friendly staff. g ...

vip
 (Portland)·Dined on January 6, 2017

Fantastic ambiance and friendly staff. good food. My lamb was a bit chewy tho and the service slow.

Tags: Romantic, Modern Decor, Late-night Find
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food3
ambience4
service2
value2

Lunches are tasty and pleasant. Dinners ...

 
 (Portland)·Dined on January 3, 2017

Lunches are tasty and pleasant. Dinners are good food but noisy

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Disabled Access, Happy Hour, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

We went for New Years Eve dinner after h ...

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on January 1, 2017

We went for New Years Eve dinner after having a wonderful experience at brunch a couple of weeks ago. This evening fell very short of our first experience unfortunately. Given the revelry of many patrons, I can't fault the restaurant for the noise level, but we could barely have a conversation between the four of us for most of the evening. We ordered and the first course arrived quickly however the waitress came back to inform us that they had run out of duck (7:30pm) so we had to rethink our options. After a while 3 of the 4 main courses were brought to the table and she said she would be right back with the fourth. However after waiting for almost 10 minutes, she appeared with the last entree and it had been an uncomfortable wait while everyone sat looking at their food getting cold. The final dish was scallops and there were only 4 on a plate with a little slaw under it and we were told that the chef had added the 4th due to the wait. It was very underwhelming for a $35 entree, even with the extra scallop. The Osso bucco was delicious, and the one duck looked a bit over cooked, but I didn't try any of it. The desert was a plate of 3 Crete brûlée of different flavors and it was mediocre at best.

That said, I will go back another time when it isn't a special occasion since the staff were great and we had such a nice experience the first time.

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food2
ambience4
service3
value3

Nice night. I believe 12/31 may have bee ...

 
 (Portland)·Dined on January 1, 2017

Nice night. I believe 12/31 may have been the first night of a new menu so we couldn't ask our waitperson for recommendations.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Creative Cuisine
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food4
ambience4
service3
value3

As always - fantastic! Nathan is the bes ...

vip
 (Palm Springs)·Dined on December 31, 2016

As always - fantastic! Nathan is the best!!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Always love eating at Cafe Nell. It's a ...

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on December 31, 2016

Always love eating at Cafe Nell. It's a cute cafe/bar in the Northwest neighborhood of Portland (Alphabet District) and has beautiful decor and a cozy, romantic feel. A must try!

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Happy Hour, Bar Seating, Casual, Romantic, Good for Anniversaries, Great for Lunch, Authentic, Cozy, Quiet Conversation, Modern Decor
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great food, service, and atmosphere!

vip
 (Portland)·Dined on December 31, 2016

Great food, service, and atmosphere!

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food5
ambience4
service5
value3

Third time here and I plan to keep going ...

vip
 (Portland)·Dined on December 31, 2016

Third time here and I plan to keep going back. The ambiance was special due to holiday decorating and set the stage for great service and food. Pork chop and Salmon were delicious and delivered to our table nice and hot. Great Pinot by the glass paired well with both entrees.

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food5
ambience5
service5

I was pleasently surprised on how good ...

 
 (Portland)·Dined on December 25, 2016

I was pleasently surprised on how good the food was. I will definitely be back!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Good for Anniversaries, Sunday Lunch, Family Style, Gluten Free Options, Cozy, Seasonal
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

We had a very pleasant Christmas Eve din ...

vip
 (Portland)·Dined on December 25, 2016

We had a very pleasant Christmas Eve dinner at Cafe Nell. We were seated at a table near the bar by the window. Despite being near the bar, it was quiet enough that we could hold a conversation at normal voice levels. Service was good and reasonably attentive, given that it was a holiday seating. We cannot comment on the regular menu, as the choices were from a special holiday menu. Both our entrées were excellent, with good presentation. This was our first time at Nell's and we would definitely consider returning.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Romantic, Special Occasion, Bar Seating, Happy Hour, Local Ingredients
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food4
ambience4
service4
value3

We had a very unfortunate birthday brunc ...

 
 (Portland)·Dined on December 23, 2016

We had a very unfortunate birthday brunch at this restaurant. It took over an hour to get our drinks after sitting down. There was no apology for the delay even though it took us 3 times to the bar to ask for service. After 45 minutes only 2 out of the 8 of us even had water. It was very disappointing as I was taking new friends to the restaurant and they will not plan to return. I've been to CN many times without anything but good service, I had even noted on the open table reservation that it was for a special birthday event, nothing from the staff was special. I cannot make a recommendation based upon our experience on 12/23, but still love the restaurant and hope for better experiences in the future.

Tags: Casual, Cozy
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food4
ambience4
service1
value2

A varied menu, and the food was great. ...

 
 (Portland)·Dined on December 23, 2016

A varied menu, and the food was great. The service was very slow, but I can't blame our server on that. It appeared she was the only server in the room.

Tags: Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service2
value4

been several times to cafe nell. always ...

 
 (Portland)·Dined on December 18, 2016

been several times to cafe nell. always consistent quality and service. made reservations for nine people and were seated the moment we walked in the door.

Tags: Comfort Food, Authentic, Sunday Lunch, Hot Spot, Vegan, Organic, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Lovely, lovely restaurant with beautiful ...

 
 (Portland)·Dined on December 13, 2016

Lovely, lovely restaurant with beautiful decor and fantastic food. Bloody Mary's to die for.

Tags: Modern Decor, Vibrant Bar Scene, Great for Brunch, Sunday Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Both our meals were excellent and our wa ...

vip
 (Portland)·Dined on December 11, 2016

Both our meals were excellent and our waiter Byron was the best! Everyone was friendly - a very enjoyable evening.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Good for Anniversaries, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Great food Great service We were made to ...

 
 (Portland)·Dined on December 7, 2016

Great food

Great service

We were made to feel very special by the owner

Highly recommend this place

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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

We went to Cafe Nell for brunch mostly t ...

 
 (Portland)·Dined on December 4, 2016

We went to Cafe Nell for brunch mostly to have their famous Bloody Marys but discovered the food was excellent too. We will definitely return for another meal.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Local Ingredients, Great for Brunch, Casual, Good for Groups
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Wonderful ambiance, intimate, welcoming ...

 
 (Portland)·Dined on November 27, 2016

Wonderful ambiance, intimate, welcoming and warm on a wet winter evening.

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Great for Brunch, Fit for Foodies, Fireplace, Good for Anniversaries
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food4
ambience5
service4
value4

Great brunch not super busy nice and re ...

 
 (Omaha)·Dined on November 26, 2016

Great brunch not super busy nice and relaxing

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food4
ambience4
service4

We had been to Cafe Nell once before for ...

vip
 (Portland)·Dined on November 25, 2016

We had been to Cafe Nell once before for Mother's Day - it was super busy but great. This time, a Friday at lunchtime, the food was very good but the service terrible. Our waitress was rude, forgetful, and only showed signs of thawing out when she delivered our bill. She really treated us poorly. It's too bad. The restaurant is a lovely neighborhood find, and the food solid. but why bother if you're going to be treated like that.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food4
ambience3
service1
value4

Byron was charming. Breakfast was excell ...

vip
 (Phoenix)·Dined on November 25, 2016

Byron was charming. Breakfast was excellent, and so was lunch.

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food5
ambience5
service5

Good menu of variety. Loved our lamb en ...

vip
 (Portland)·Dined on November 19, 2016

Good menu of variety. Loved our lamb entrée and Turkey burger with the trimmings.

Service pleasant and attentive. Nice cozy neighborhood dining. Good desserts, but to full to order one.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Cozy
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Attentive friendly service and good valu ...

vip
 (Portland)·Dined on November 17, 2016

Attentive friendly service and good value for well prepared and tasty food.

Tags: Healthy, Casual, Modern Decor, Bar Seating
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food4
ambience3
service4
value4

Our waitress was great. She held well un ...

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 13, 2016

Our waitress was great. She held well under pressure on a very busy weekend day.

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food4
ambience5
service5
value3

The servers were incredibly rude and unh ...

 
 (Portland)·Dined on November 13, 2016

The servers were incredibly rude and unhelpful. Waited 30 minutes for our reserved table. The food wasn't spectacular enough to make up for the poor service.

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food5
ambience1
service1
value1

Great NW neighborhood spot, just off the ...

 
 (Portland)·Dined on November 12, 2016

Great NW neighborhood spot, just off the busy main streets. Really good food and service, with a bunch of interesting cocktails. Lots of good choices on the menu.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Great for Lunch, Happy Hour, Fit for Foodies, Great for Brunch
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Great food, super cute location!

 
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on November 12, 2016

Great food, super cute location!

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food5
ambience3
service5
value5

Great service. Food is excellent. Will ...

vip
 (Portland)·Dined on November 6, 2016

Great service. Food is excellent. Will definitely come back again. Complimentary parking is a welcome change in that neighborhood.

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food5
ambience5
service5

We were so looking forward to trying thi ...

vip
 (Portland)·Dined on November 6, 2016

We were so looking forward to trying this neighborhood place! It has all the elements of a great spot-- cozy, ambiance, location. The food was disappointing and three items we ordered were not available-- but we weren't told until after we ordered and had been waiting for a while. Very mediocre Caesar salad-- no leafy parts of romaine, only the white stems. Lamb had an off taste. Chicken was well done. Apple crisp had barely cooked apples with what seemed to be barely cooked crisp, dry and sorely lacking butter. Not hot at all though we were told the baking dish was hot! Perhaps this was an off night? We really wanted to love this place!

1 person found this review helpful.
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food1
ambience4
service2
value2

We held a birthday party with 8 people. ...

 
 (Portland)·Dined on November 5, 2016

We held a birthday party with 8 people. We changed our reservation at the last minute from 12 to 8 and they were still more than willing to accommodate us. The server was incredible. She went above and beyond. She treated our children wonderfully, she made a special birthday sign for the guest of honor and was just overall super. The food was great. There was a great mix on the menu of standard fare as well as some out of the ordinary options. Everyone was very happy with their food. I will definitely being going back.

Tags: Business Meals, Fit for Foodies, Fun, Sunday Lunch
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Love the ambiance of this place. The fo ...

 
 (Portland)·Dined on November 3, 2016

Love the ambiance of this place. The food is delicious and the cocktails are delicious!

Tags: Happy Hour, Neighborhood Gem, Sunday Lunch, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

Had a hard time flagging down server for ...

 
 (Portland)·Dined on October 30, 2016

Had a hard time flagging down server for an ice tea refill. Not very attentive. Everything else was great as always!

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food5
ambience5
service3
value4

Date night ambiance is good at Cafe Nell ...

vip
 (Portland)·Dined on October 30, 2016

Date night ambiance is good at Cafe Nell. You took good care of, We enjoyed the city vibe meets rustic charm of your dinning room. The service is very good, almost great, our waitress was knowledgeable of everything Cafe Nell ( Raquel ) She made everything on the menu sound delicious, and helped us make a choice for the perfect plate. However I my dinner plate was a little boring, the steak with fries and hollandaise sauce, no vegetables, salad,anything green and fresh. I should've got the burger it had a fresh salad with it.

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food2
ambience5
service5

Had dinner with my sister, who I had not ...

vip
 (Portland)·Dined on October 30, 2016

Had dinner with my sister, who I had not seen for quite some time. The waitress was attentive but gave us plenty of time to talk and decide about dinner. The dinner menu is limited, but everything is fresh and delicious. We had a really nice evening and never felt rushed. Want to go back and try them for breakfast and lunch sometime soon.

Tags: Business Meals, Authentic, Cozy, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

For a Monday evening, they were very bus ...

vip
 (Portland)·Dined on October 25, 2016

For a Monday evening, they were very busy, which is a good sign. The server greeted us warmly and was very helpful to answer our questions. Plus, the overall service was very fast. The cocktails were good to start. We had the mussels and fries as well as a chicken breast dish. Each one was prepared very well, and the sauces were the highlights of each dish. We really had a very good weeknight experience.

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food4
ambience4
service5

Exceptional food and portion sizes. We s ...

 
 (Portland)·Dined on October 23, 2016

Exceptional food and portion sizes. We sat comfortably at a long table that seated 12. The Mary Nell (their Bloody Mary drink) was an appetizer as well! Our server was attentive, very friendly and had a smile on her face the whole time. We went for Sunday brunch at 12:15 with family and were not in a rush (nor rushed) and were done at 2. The noise level was a bit high, as the concrete/tile interior didn't dampen any of the conversations throughout the restaurant. We were so thankful for the parking lot for Cafe Nell, we had no trouble finding spots.

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food5
ambience4
service5

Fun, energetic ambiance with a good brun ...

 
 (Portland)·Dined on October 23, 2016

Fun, energetic ambiance with a good brunch menu. The brolini and the bromosa were excellent. Several unique drink options made in house. Wish the fire would have been on; I imagine it adds to the ambiance.

Tags: People Watching, Bar Seating, Fireplace, Great for Brunch
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food4
ambience3
service3
value3

A true neighborhood gem! Always great f ...

vip
 (Portland)·Dined on October 23, 2016

A true neighborhood gem! Always great food and wonderful service!

Tags: Fireplace, Sunday Lunch, Happy Hour, Good for Birthdays, Neighborhood Gem, Comfort Food
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

There were eight of us, and we absolutel ...

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 22, 2016

There were eight of us, and we absolutely had a wonderful time. We like this place for the quaint, homespun feel. The waitstaff has always been accommodating and knowledgeable!

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food4
ambience5
service5

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