Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
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.
Portland, OR 97209
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 Dining, 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
When we arrived there were very few other guests , but within a few minutes it was full ( and one very large party ) Our service was great when we arrived, but as soon as it got busy, we barely saw our server. The noise level was high and it was VERY warm temperature wise in the restaurant. Loved the ambiance and the food was good.
Cafe Nell is a little gem in the alphabet district. With a distinctive French influence, Cafe Nell will satisfy your craving from Sunday brunch, Happy Hour or just a bite at lunch or dinner. The bar is tiny and cozy with views out to the street; the dining room feels communal with long tables. There is an excellent wine list! BONUS: there is a parking lot!! In Northwest, that can be very helpful. Bon Appetit!
Very pleasant evening with our son and daughter-in-law, who were visiting. We found the food, which is American with a French flair, to be tasty, but a bit pricey. The service was friendly and excellent. The wine list was extensive, but not everything on the wine list was actually available. It's a very pleasant interior, and we will back again.
Service pleasant and efficient. Friend had risotto and it was very good. I had grilled avacado filled with Bay shrimp which was tasty but avacado slightly over ripe. Would have like bread served with salad for sure. Overall an enjoyable meal with good service.
Beautiful location, neighborhood gem.
Service was spotty. Was left outside waiting after being acknowledged uncomfortably long.
Service was good. Our waitress recommended a terrific bottle of Rose'
Food was just okay. Ordered the shrimp and avocado bruschetta and it was kind of bland. Had to add salt and pepper.
Risotto was just okay.
Beautiful location but food needs improvement.
This is a great place for lunch if you want to sit for a while and visit. It's always great to be greeted by the charming Vanessa. She brings Southern charm to the Pacific Northwest.
Their mussels and frites are really good. You'll find yourself ordering more bread to soak up all of the delicious broth.
our foursome, including a wine expert, had a lovely dinner at Cafe Nell.
the four entrees, and two starters, were excellent, good size portions; no complaints here. service was also very good.
our one dissatisfaction came when the requested wine was not available. we were offered a second choice by name (without knowing the price); this wine was really just ordinary. we finished the wine (it wasn't *awful*).
we told the server our opinion when ordering a second bottle; he found a better wine for our second bottle - at a lower price. it was not on the menu; had we know, it would likely have been the choice for the first bottle. overall, it left us with a slightly off feeling, that reduced our overall satisfaction with the dinner.
by the way, one of us prefers beer; the choices in this department are very limited - if that is your bent, Portland has many other options for you.
Met relatives for an early supper. We were the only ones in the dining room. I don't know why I felt a need to make a reservation! Anyway, the four of us had a nice time. I think I would have felt cramped if there had been more than four of us as the tables are close together. We enjoyed ourselves because it was early and things hadn't gotten busy or noisy. But, the prices are pretty steep. I may be back for a drink, but no one let us know if there were Happy Hour prices and I don't think they had any. $22 for a bowl of pasta is a bit over the top.
New to us, Cafe Nell was entirely comfortable. The food ,exactly the right amount on the plate, was prepared with care. It was delicious. The space was intimate without being claustrophobic. It was not completely filled when we were there. I suspect when filled it could become noisy. It seems to cater to a full range of age groups. I like that!
Food was not that great and we had three different waiters so we didn't know who to ask for what. The checks were mixed up and then left off my drink and added more to another check in the group. Finally fixed that then the charged the wrong cards for different amounts. If you don't know write it down. Too many wait staff when there was not a lot of people.
We had great service and great food. The group of 7 had various dietary restrictions and all of us could be accommodated. The noise level was a bit high, but we asked the waiter to turn down the music and he took care of it right away. Very comfortable and warm ambiance.
Both the regular burger and the turkey burger were fantastic. The brunch food looked great too. They were busy, but there was no wait for seating at around noon on Sunday. This is surprising given the cult-like brunch culture here in Portland where waiting in line for an hour or more is common.
We went for Wednesday Happy Hour (all evening on Wed & Sun) - great values - like a yummy Cabernet for $5 & fish tacos for $7. My fiancé loved the beef carpaccio - any excuse to eat raw beef :) We had awesome service & appreciated the big cold bottles of water they automatically put on the table. Ahhh.
They were slow when we arrived at 7pm. We were sat outside, and one of our party must've briefly dropped her napkin, because we discovered her lap, pants and blouse covered in about 100 ants 5 minutes after being seated. Turned out there was a large colony directly adjacent to our table.... it happens.
We requested to be re-sat inside; our server was apologetic. I believe we had ordered beverages but not any food items.
We retained the same server at the inside table. It then took quite some time to get our orders. We ordered a "flatbread" starter and salads. We ordered our entrees at the same time. We requested the starter ahead of time, noting it was primarily to satisfy the hunger of the 8yr old in our party.....
The starter and salads took a very long time, and came out at the same time (based on a reaction from our server when I was ordering a 2nd glass of wine, I suspect the orders weren't placed or went to another table). All were poor to lackluster.
Our entrees came out in a slightly hurried pace, salad plates cleared just about as we were finishing.
My salmon was very good. The 8yr old's fettucine was to her liking. The other 2 in our party had little comment about their food.
Overall the meal and service were average; the evening was not memorable except for the ants.... and the Cafe Nell team really did nothing to take away that event as the only "excitement" of the evening. I frankly didn't even reflect on that until the following day when someone asked me about the meal...... as I am not the type of person that is "looking" for a freebie or to hold an accidental event over on a business. But there you go- there were opportunities I think that were missed by the Cafe Nell team.
We sat outside for lunch and the staff was inattentive. Unfortunately, our table was placed right outside the kitchen door and we frequently smelled garbage. It was a perfectly beautiful day and for the price of our meals, I would have preferred any other outdoor restaurant. It wasn't terrible and I definitely wasn't impressed.
Service was extremely slow. Food items came out very late, updates were not communicated, nothing was brought out to compensate for the long wait/ nothing was comped. Eggs in benedict were cooked solid, biscuits were doughy and undercooked inside, potatoes were undercooked. Cinnamon roll was not warm. Most of the food was underwhelming.
Increíblemente deficiente la comida la calidad la presentación. La cantidad
Nada de francés ni siquiera risotto italiano
El chef no tiene idea de lo que es la buena cocina
Una ensalada marchita un risotto deciente de calidad
El Precio ALTO Yo tenía un cupón de 20$ que no alcanza para nada. Una Burla!
No lo repitan es desconsiderado con alguien que está acostumbrado a la buena cocina
We had been told my friends that Cafe Nell was really solid. We had an Open Table gift cert using my points for the dinner. The waitress while friendly, was mostly non-existent throughout the meal; we were one of few tables sitting inside (it was hot; I'm not eating outside in the same climate as in my apartment). It felt like they forgot us until we got up and asked for help. There was quite a bit of staff on what was apparently a slow night. The food was tasty but uneven. We both loved our beet salads. We both had the steak frites. My bernaise sauce was ice cold and even after it was heated, was barely lukewarm. My date had the same and his steak was cold and his sauce piping hot. His fries also were lukewarm. It is a beautiful place and I loved the decoration, but we left with a bad taste in our mouths. If we hadn't had 50$ off, we would have paid more than 100$ for terrible service and cold food.
Great little neighborhood spot just off the beaten path or NW 21st. Feels established and like it has a good quiet polished history. The quality of the food is very good. We enjoyed the southern-fried chicken sandwich, turkey burger and stuffed avocado. Nice spot for a quiet relaxing lunch.
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