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“Thanksgiving 'Great'fulness!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Higgins Restaurant and Bar

Higgins Restaurant and Bar
1239 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97205-2915 (Downtown)
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Ranked #50 of 3,617 Restaurants in Portland
Price range: $21 - $40
Cuisines: American, Italian, Seafood, Bar
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Doing business, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night, Dessert
Neighborhood: Downtown
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Thanksgiving 'Great'fulness!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

Higgins Restaurant was a cozy place for our Thanksgiving meal this year: excellent food and service, not too crowded but with a very jovial ambiance of activity - the dining rooms are split into different sections and levels. The menu offered several choices of soups, salads, main dishes and desserts - we tried some of each and agreed all were first class in combination of ingredients, preparation, presentation and taste. My boyfriend loved the fish chowder. I had to have the turkey entree (although there were tempting pork loin or salmon alternatives), which was very tender and juicy with cranberries perfectly cooked to maintain their wholeness so they popped their sweet tartness in your mouth! I couldn't resist going with the mood of the day by having the pumpkin soup AND pumpkin pie with spiced ice cream... All for a very affordable pris fixe. If you want to do this next year, be sure to reserve your table well in advance - I can see how this restaurant can become a tradition of its own. By the way, the Higgins Tavern in the back has top choices including our favorite: Belgian framboise beer on tap.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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380 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Portland, Oregon
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Was expecting better”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012

My spouse and I planned an evening out that included going to Higgins for dessert. After listening to the Portland Youth Philharmonic at the Arlene Schnitzer auditorium, we walked the two blocks south to Higgins Restaurant. It was a Saturday night around 9:45pm and the place was pretty packed. We were greeted immediately and asked if we were there for dinner. No, dessert and coffee, please. We were seated at a very small table in the bar. It was cozy and loud, but we were waited on right away. We ordered the chocolate cake with white chocolate ganache and milk chocolate ice cream and walnut pear cake with chai ice cream. The walnut pear cake was good, especially the candied walnuts and the chai ice cream. The chocolate cake would have been good if they served it at room temperature, instead of something that had been pulled from the walk in. The ganache was rock hard, as was the milk chocolate ice cream, making it pretty difficult to eat. We were on a date night, so we splurged on this place. Two desserts and two coffees cost $29.00, including tip. We enjoyed our evening, but I wouldn't make plans to return. Surely there is somewhere downtown that serves a sensational dessert? I'll keep looking.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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Portland, Oregon
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Great Food- Great Community Supporters”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

The food is ALWAYS excellent at Higgins. Doesn't matter if it's off the bar menu (AMAZING PASTRAMI SANDWICH) or in the dining room. The location is just as great! Perfect for a business lunch or dinner before a show. Right downtown and close to the theaters, shopping and hotels. They specialize in locally produced food so visitors to the Pacific Northwest should sample our local specialities. But besides the amazing food, Higgins is an incredible community partner. Since they opened, I solicited donations for the schools, arts, homeless cause and have never been denied. They are generous and truly care about our community. This is great food and caring community members. That's a win-win to me!

  • Visited November 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Top Contributor
229 reviews 229 reviews
126 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 64 cities Reviews in 64 cities
153 helpful votes 153 helpful votes
“Underwhelmed by the experience.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

The Mrs. and I wanted to nice fine-dining experience during our visit to Portland. We were choosing between the Heathman, the Veritable Quandry, and Higgins. Based on Zagat and other reviews I've read on yelp, etc, decided to give Higgins a try. We weren't looking for a Michelin 3-star experience, but we were still hopeful that this would be the highlight meal of our visit.

It was not.

First let me say that it wasn't that anything was bad. The food was okay. In fact, the salad I started with was quite nicely done. My wife had their "special" starter with smoked salmon, and that was quite good actually. But the rest of the meal was only so-so. I had the Whole Pig Plate, and it was really nothing to write home about. The portion was not bad, but it lacked both in presentation and in execution.

Tables were very close to each other, and the dining room was packed. It was quite noisy, and got increasingly warm as more and more people packed in. The chairs were uncomfortable and a bit short, so my legs got very tired. I was very surprised by the low quality of their silverware. They were more suited for a Krege diner than a fine-dining restaurant.

Our server was very nice,but the busser (a she) was not well-trained. She came to clear the plates after our starters, but my wife was just putting a piece of smoked salmon on toast into her mouth, so wasn't quite done. She removed her plate anyway instead of coming back in a couple of minutes as she should. The place was busy, but that's no excuse for service people to not be doing customer service. This was not meant to be fast food place, right?

The prices are not too bad at Higgins. Food is adequate if unimpressive. Our waiter was good, but busing needs improvement. The ambience is crowded and noisy, seats are uncomfortable. Well, we are transients anyhow, but we do come to Portland once a year. I guess Higgins is off our list now.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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Astoria, OR
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Just So So”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012 via mobile

We came into town for a special evening with dinner and the Oregon Symphony. We have never eaten at Higgins so thought we would give it a try. We arrived early with only 2 other tables being busy. We were seated at the "corner" (see review below) table. Our waiter was friendly and we were told the specials of the day, in detail. We had the halibut and cod. The fish was fresh and prepared properly. What came with the fish was just so so. The cod came "citrus incrusted" (I would have preferred fresh lemon instead) and had a very cheesy flavored polenta (Italian cornmeal) which flavor wise didn't go with the fish. It also came with seared baby onions and broccoli. My wife enjoyed her halibut (with diced potatoes, bacon & mushrooms and cauliflower).

There is a large wait staff here. Many were just standing around waiting for the place to get busy. But we sat with dirty plates in front of us for 10 minutes before being cleared away. Overall this was a disappointing experience.

    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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