HH Review: Emanon Cafe

Emanon Cafe
1000 NW 17th Avenue
Portland, OR 97209
Map It!
Business Hours: M-Sat 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sun 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Happy Hour: M-F 3 to 6:30 p.m., Sat 3 p.m. to close
Website | Twitter: @emanoncafe | Facebook Page
Menu | Lunch Money: $$ to $$$

When we tell friends we’re headed to Emanon we often get a confused look, followed by “Where’s Emanon?” or “What’s Emanon?” And, honestly, we kind of like it that way. You see, Emanon is a cozy neighborhood café/bar tucked away on a quiet block on the outskirts of the Pearl District.

But unlike uber-trendy, sometimes-pretentious Pearl restaurants and bars, Emanon is casual and low-key. It’s the perfect place to sit outside on a sunny afternoon and partake in some happy hour-ing. A nice chilled beer or cocktail and a bite from the delightful $4 food menu (currently featuring a dozen options) can take the edge off even the toughest, roughest day.

The $4 dishes are as simple as fries or onion rings and get more substantial with nachos, sliders or crab cakes. During happy hour micro brews are $4.50, well drinks are $3.50, a glass of red or white wine is $4 and a specialty martini is $5.

We’d just finished up a grueling day of shopping at IKEA (on a Saturday, no less), so we were ready to take a seat, soak up some sun and get our grub on! We met up with friends and grabbed a sidewalk table. Our friendly lady server arrived quickly to take our drink order and returned with our adult beverages zippy-fast!

Ahhhhhhhhhhh, it was like our own little piece of paradise! Well…as close to it as you can get in an urban NW Portland setting.

After a refreshing round of drinks we were definitely ready for some food. A certain friend (we won’t name the guilty party here) said he wasn’t all that hungry. Of course, as soon as our ultra-cheesy artichoke spinach dip and grilled shrimp dish arrived he suddenly found his appetite again.

We can’t blame him; the food was very good. It was better than expected for such a small neighborhood joint. The shrimp were perfectly grilled and the spicy, buttery dipping sauce was tasty. The artichoke spinach dip was AWESOME! It’s served with tortilla chips, which were very fresh and crunchy. The sliders are also highly recommended, but they were out of buns the day we were there.

Need a little more nourishment than the small HH plates offer? Emanon also has a full menu, which includes sandwiches, wraps, soups, salads, seafood and their impressively large breakfast menu is served all day. We hear the wraps and the fish & chips are delightful!

If you’re seated outside, Emanon is huge for people watching. Pedestrians, bicyclists, Radio Cab cabbies, skateboarders, famous Timbers players, Streetcar types, lost drivers—we’ve seen it all! And, once you’ve snagged a good sidewalk table, you’ll never feel like you’re being rushed to hurry up and vacate the spot.

Emanon is also entirely dog friendly, so expect to see some cute, well-behaved pooches around—there’s even a cushy dog bed just as you enter the café.

Overall, Emanon is a great place to grab a relaxing happy hour off the beaten path. Happy hour prices are happily not budget-breaking and splitting a few plates amongst friends can make for a terrific light meal. The service is great and orders come out quickly. Emanon is perfect for an alfresco happy hour on a sunny afternoon or enjoying the cozy inside bar area on a rainy one.

PROS: It’s a fun little chillaxing neighborhood joint.
The staff is awesome!
They’re super-duper dog friendly.
Extended HH on Saturdays.
Parking is pretty easy to find in the area, plus there’s lots of bike racks and it’s on the Streetcar line.

CONS: If you sit outside beware of bugs. (Usually this is not a big problem.)
They have a small staff, so if it’s busy service might be a bit slower.

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