Portland >Food & Dining > Cafe Wonder
128 NE Russell St, Portland, OR | Directions 9721245.540847 -122.663485
Neighborhoods: Eliot, Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods
great little find in the southeast. – We had heard about this place through friends, and decided to check it out on a spur of the moment. Even though it was a weekend, and the upstairs live music venue was going bananas with a line of people out the door, and spilling onto the sidewalk, it was an oasis of calm inside. The decor was sophisticated and inviting enough without being too daggy, and you felt welcome the minute you walked into the place. The waitstaff were friendly and informal, and i think that is what you should expect when you come to a 'cafe'. I would pop in here if i were after a quick drink before a night out if we lived in the neighborhood. we had a couple of drinks before dinner, and they were nice and strong, but not paint peelers. so, onto the food.. we had a burger, fries and the ahi tuna special. Our fries were stellar, full of flavor, and perfectly cooked. our burger and ahi were nicely done, and went down great with some of the local beer they serve. When our bill came, we were very pleasantly suprised, as we expected to pay about double what we did for what we got. The Cafe Wonder fills a niche quite nicely, one we havent seen before: serving reasonably priced, tasty, unpretentious food and drinks in a sophisticated, cozy space. Thanks Cafe Wonder! we will be back again for sure the next time we are in town!
GREAT AFFORDABLE FOOD - Nice vibe, too! – Cafe Wonder has awesome food and a fun, friendly staff. Located under Wonder Ballroom, things get hectic on show nights when antsy, gimme-now types bombard the small cafe (it seats about 70) wanting things NOW so they don't miss the show upstairs. Oy vey! Get a life, people! Better yet, eat at home and drink upstairs and leave the cafe to the rest of us!
On non-show nights it's a great place to have a fine meal featuring quality affordable food (veggie risotto, mac n cheese, grilled ahi, a terrific burger and probably the best fries in town), The vibe is low-key and there's a good beer selection and nice straightforward cocktails--nothing too frou-frou. Nothing on the menu tops $12 except the steak and frites and maybe a nightly special. Best kept secret: A $3 Late Night Menu at 9:30pm nightly.
All in all, a welcome addition to a neighborhood that lacks quality food at a good price. Check it out when there's not a big show upstairs (with big jerks crowding the joint!) and you'll leave happy.
One Time Only. – Service was atrocious. We went to their prix fixe Valentine's meal before the Camera Obscura concert. Our reservation was at 7:30. We got our first course at 8:30. The staff was wholly unprepared. We were delayed because the previous seating was taking their sweet time. This was after standing around for 20 minutes trying to get a drink at the bar. The bartender and hostess were too busy organizing debit card tabs to serve us. Then we sat at our table with a bottle of wine and nothing else, patiently awaiting the asparagus appetizer. Keep in mind, everyone got the same meal! They only offered fish or veggie entrees, and my girlfriend can't eat seafood. My Pan Fried King Cod over risotto was a step above Long John Silver's atop Rice-a-Roni. The Vegetarian Polenta was pretty good. By the time we finished dessert, we'd missed the opening band and the first few songs of Camera Obscura. Thanks, Cafe Wonder! I Wonder how long you'll be around?
FUN and se xy bartenders with a mixed crowd...Way cool place....Bartenders are very fun and friendly... – What a great place to relax and mix with friends of all kinds! 21-45, Straight-Gay, Goth-tatooed, Wild-Calm
If your alone or only two and want to have a blast sit at the bar and be entertained....
This place is great with some great food....Mac and cheese is fantastic and great pom friets (Fries).
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