Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.12mi
  2. Distance: 0.28mi
  3. Distance: 0.33mi
  4. Distance: 0.41mi
  1. Distance: 0.12mi
  2. Distance: 0.28mi
  3. Distance: 0.33mi
  4. Distance: 0.41mi

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.12mi
  2. Distance: 0.28mi
  3. Distance: 0.33mi
  4. Distance: 0.41mi
  1. Distance: 0.12mi
  2. Distance: 0.28mi
  3. Distance: 0.33mi
  4. Distance: 0.41mi

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.

1987 NW Kearney St
Portland, OR 97209
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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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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

4.3

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.2

service

4.2

ambience

4.3

value

3.9

noise

Moderate

89% would recommend it to a friend

Neighborhood Gem (45)
Good for a Date (26)
Cozy (25)
See All
Great for Brunch (25)
Fit for Foodies (21)
Fireplace (19)
Romantic (19)
Great for Lunch (17)
Bar Seating (17)
Sunday Lunch (17)
Fun (17)
Casual (16)
Creative Cuisine (15)
Special Occasion (14)
Quiet Conversation (14)
Good for Anniversaries (14)
Happy Hour (13)
Local Ingredients (13)
Good for Birthdays (13)
Handcrafted Cocktails (12)
Healthy (12)
Notable Wine List (10)
Authentic (10)
Comfort Food (10)
Pre/post Theatre (7)
People Watching (7)
Historic (6)
Gluten Free Options (6)
Good for Groups (6)
Good Vegetarian Options (5)
Modern Decor (5)
Late-night Find (5)
Paleo Friendly (4)
Seasonal (4)
Hot Spot (4)
Great for Outdoor Dining (4)
Vibrant Bar Scene (4)
Quick Bite (4)
Worth the Drive (3)
Kid-friendly (3)
Business Meals (3)
Disabled Access (3)
Afternoon Coffee (3)
Outstanding Value (3)
Organic (3)
Open Kitchen (2)
Family Style (2)
Wood Oven (2)
Afternoon Tea (1)
Scenic View (1)
Tasting Menu (1)
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357 reviews
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vip
 (Portland)·Dined 3 days ago

Great meal in a neighborhood gem. Nice quiet outside dining.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Chicago)·Dined 5 days ago

Great neighborhood spot for visitors from MN - great food!

Tags: Casual, Good for Anniversaries, Neighborhood Gem, Authentic, Healthy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (Indiana)·Dined on May 21, 2017

Good food, friendly staff, nice room

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (Cleveland)·Dined on May 21, 2017

Great little place to eat. Good food, but we had slow service and it was quite noisy inside.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service3

 
 (Portland)·Dined on May 20, 2017

Food was good. Waitress got everyone's order incorrect

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service1
value3

 
 (Portland)·Dined on May 16, 2017

A very disappointing meal, undistinguished food, amateurish service.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food1
ambience1
service1
value1

 
 (Portland)·Dined on May 15, 2017

I always forget Cafe Nell, remember it and then wonder how it ever fell off my radar. Not located on the traditionally popular NW streets of 21st and 23rd, or even the busy Lovejoy, Cafe Nell is the neighborhood restaurant that never fails to please.

Tags: Fun, Neighborhood Gem, Creative Cuisine, Good for Birthdays, Good for Anniversaries, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Great for Lunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service4
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on May 15, 2017

Made reservations here for Mother's Day, the location and on site parking were great. The hostess was super friendly, welcoming and nice. The menu was very similar to what can be found online, there were some items not on that nights menu. I chose to get the Steak Frites, one of my favorites. However this was less than desirable, the steak was cooked perfectly, but it was drenched in a pepper crust and the Bearnaise was absent of any flavor. My husband enjoyed his lamb. We ordered two pasta dishes for our kids, which came out in scalding oven hot plates (epic fail) and instead of plain butter, they opted to make them mac & cheese instead. Overall the food was good. Service was less than attentive, I over heard our server telling the table next to us that there were specials that night, she couldn't remember, we weren't told of or offered any specials. She was slow on service & attention. End review is that the food is good, wouldn't exactly go back but it wasn't a disaster, service could be improved, but the front hostess was really on point.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience5
service2
value4

vip
 (London)·Dined on May 14, 2017

Always excellent

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Portland)·Dined on May 14, 2017

Nell's was a great place for a late lunch on Mother's Day. We did have to wait for our reserved table but they allowed our grandchildren in the bar to wait while we had drinks. The concrete flooring allowed for children to be messy and not bother others much. The food and drinks were wonderful!

Tags: Bar Seating, Great for Lunch, Kid-friendly, Wood Oven, Great for Brunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Portland)·Dined on May 14, 2017

Good brunch selection

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service3
value4

 
 (Portland)·Dined on May 14, 2017

Great experience once we were seated, but I think they may have given our table away to a group in front of us, so our 10:30 reservation turned into 11. Everyone enjoyed their food! When the server came to clear the dishes, nothing was left on our plates. I enjoyed the chicken paillard and another favorite was the Benedict salad. Bloody Mary's are on the steep side, but they come with a meal! Great Mother's Day brunch.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (Portland)·Dined on May 13, 2017

The bloody Mary's were impressive. The staff seemed a little green (inexperienced). I would come back for brunch, but probably not dinner.

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Great for Brunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service3
value2

 
·Dined on May 12, 2017

Café now is a nice neighborhood restaurant, however it is extremely noisy and thus exhausting. Good food but not great. We had no problem with the service which was excellent. I enjoyed it most on a Sunday for brunch when we could be seated outside.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Casual, Great for Brunch, Cozy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience3
service4
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on May 11, 2017

Great Burger or Burger salad! Parking lot behind restaurant

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Portland)·Dined on May 7, 2017

The chef was competent and the atmosphere pleasant but service was incredibly slow.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience3
service2
value3

 
 (Portland)·Dined on May 5, 2017

Great service, nice ambiance and always good food. What's not to like.

Tags: Casual, Bar Seating, Good for a Date, Cozy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Portland)·Dined on May 3, 2017

Fabulous. Great wine calls, wonderful steak

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Portland)·Dined on April 30, 2017

We wanted to be adventurous with our choice for a restaurant to spend family time on Sunday for brunch. This was our first time at Cafe Nell. It was a good call and well-worth the drive from SW Portland!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Portland)·Dined on April 30, 2017

Always great food, drinks and service. The overall space itself is small but its charming throughout.

Tags: Good for a Date, Neighborhood Gem, Great for Brunch, Sunday Lunch, Great for Lunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Portland)·Dined on April 29, 2017

Amazing service ! A must go to place for brunch and great meeting place

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Happy Hour, Great for Brunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on April 23, 2017

We love Cafe Nell! We came in for brunch with a relative, and we had a to wait a few extra minutes after our reserved time. The hostess came over when we were seated at our now ready table with Prosecco for our wait, which was perfect as we were just about to tell our relative that we got engaged! What a sweet, special moment! The food was lovely and the service very down to earth and helpful. We already love this spot, and now have even more reason to love them!

Tags: Good for a Date, Romantic, Quiet Conversation, Fireplace
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service4
value4

vip
 (Portland)·Dined on April 23, 2017

Our brunch at Cafe Nell was delicious! The apple turnover was light and flaky, if slightly burned, and the pancakes and Benedict were both very enjoyable. The only issue we had was that the service was a little slow. Our server was great at first, but the kitchen took so long with our turnover that even she commented on it. There was one very large party, but otherwise the restaurant wasn't very busy. As it got more crowded, it got harder to get our server's attention and there was a long wait to get our check and to pay. I'd definitely recommend this place, just make sure you have plenty of time to linger.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service3
value4

vip
 (Grand Rapids)·Dined on April 22, 2017

Stopped by for a Saturday breakfast. Cinnamon roll was very good and omelets and other fair was very good. It is a nice quiet place with nice ambiance. While not tremendous it does make our top 5 breakfast places in Portland.

Tags: Cozy, Great for Brunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service3
value3

 
 (Portland)·Dined on April 16, 2017

Excellent food at a reasonable price and helpful and friendly service

Tags: Comfort Food, Handcrafted Cocktails, Sunday Lunch, Special Occasion, Healthy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Portland)·Dined on April 16, 2017

Lovely Easter brunch! Intimate, friendly and overall wonderful experience!

Tags: Bar Seating, Quick Bite, Fun, Handcrafted Cocktails, Late-night Find, Authentic, Romantic, Happy Hour, Fit for Foodies, Good for Birthdays
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on April 16, 2017

Perfectly cozy neighborhood gem with a great menu - something for everyone!

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Sunday Lunch, Neighborhood Gem, Great for Brunch, Fun, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on April 16, 2017

It is certainly a cute popular spot. I just found the food to be overpriced for what it was. I ordered the vegan hash and there were more onions in it than anything else. It lacked flavor. I was a bowl of onions with a few pieces of tofu, mushrooms, and potato. Nothing to write home about. I asked the server for a bowl of blueberries and toast for my 18 month old daughter and she said she would check to see if she could bring me some and never returned.
The staff was rude when I called to make reservations and would not give me a reservation. I went onto OpenTable and did it myself. There were plenty of openings. Now I regret booking our Easter brunch here.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience3
service2
value1

 
 (Portland)·Dined on April 16, 2017

The food and wine were excellent. The mushroom tart had wonderful fresh puff pastry and tasty well cooked mushrooms. I had a pinot noir that actually tasted like it's description, cherries and vanilla. For a few minutes our hostess was a bit overwhelmed closing out other tables, but it wasn't her fault, it looked like there wasn't enough staff on duty. Overall, the service ended up being great, and our hostess was very friendly.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value4

vip
 (Portland)·Dined on April 16, 2017

I gave you another try, Cafe Nell. You have a great neighborhood feel, an eclectic staff, and a nice menu. Last time I was there, the service was TERRIBLE, so it was hard to even remember what we ate. This time, our service was very good, but the food was just so-so, and not cheap. Just a bit disappointing. Don't think I'll be back.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience4
service4
value2

 
 (Portland)·Dined on April 16, 2017

Disappointed with overall experience. Lack of chef made ingredients with everything from Sysco croutons to grocery store french fries. Cocktails were devestated by melted ice. Service was lack luster for a slow service hour. Much to be desired for the price. Will not be back.

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food2
ambience3
service2
value2

 
 (Portland)·Dined on April 13, 2017

It was nice. Food was delicious, service was good. I like that they have it heir own Parking lot. It is quite expensive, however.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Bar Seating
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value4

vip
 (Portland)·Dined on April 9, 2017

Loved the coziness of the restaurant, the very good quality of the food, and the attentive professional waitstaff. Being able to park behind the restaurant is a real plus. There was a large party of people eating that night that was very noisy, which made it difficult to hold normal conversations. The noisy atmosphere really ruined what otherwise could have been a great evening for the 6 of us.

Tags: Authentic, Bar Seating, Cozy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (Portland)·Dined on April 5, 2017

A nice meal between errands. Service was great, food choices were interesting but on the high end for lunch between $14-18. We enjoyed our visit & would come again.

Tags: Gluten Free Options, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service4
value3

vip
 (London)·Dined on April 2, 2017

Excellent place

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Orange County)·Dined on April 2, 2017

Always enjoy this cafe for brunch, Happy Hour, etc. No matter how busy they are, the service is professional, friendly, and timely. Worth leaving my neighborhood for.

Tags: Family Style, Happy Hour, Great for Brunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on April 1, 2017

Love love this place. Where can you take your crazy mom and still have a great time? Cafe Nell!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Portland)·Dined on March 31, 2017

Great little restaurant in the NW Alphabet neighborhood, with a parking lot (a rarity in that area)! Great food and good wine selection.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Seasonal, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (Portland)·Dined on March 26, 2017

It's been three years since I've been back to Cafe Nell due to a prior bad experience. Not much had changed. Cold food, bad service, noisy atmosphere. It has such great potential I hope they find it. I won't be recommending it in good conscience

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food2
ambience1
service1
value1

 
 (Boise)·Dined on March 25, 2017

We went on a busy Friday night, so service was a tad slow, but not so much as to be a problem, friendly and competent. I had the steak frites, which was good--steak cooked nicely medium rare, and very good crispy fries. The butter lettuce salad was lovely. The only downside for me was that it was noisy, as many restaurants are these days. A quieter evening, lunch, or outdoors when the weather warms would probably work better for me or anyone who puts a high priority on being able to easily hear their table-mates.
One thing that was particularly nice was that the server divided the bill for us, so we didn't have to calculate our portions.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Fun, Cozy, Fireplace
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience3
service3
value3

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