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Dots Cafe

Map & Directions
(37 Reviews)

2521 SE Clinton St, Portland, OR 97202

(503) 235-0203

Today: 12:00 pm - 12:00 am
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BBB Rating
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Regular Hours

Payment method
mastercard, amex
Price Range
Southeast Uplift, Hosford-Abernethy
American Restaurants, Breakfast, Brunch & Lunch Restaurants, Bars, Brew Pubs, Night Clubs, Taverns, Take Out Restaurants, Caterers, Sandwich Shops, Vegetarian Restaurants, Hamburgers & Hot Dogs, Health Food Restaurants, Asian Restaurants, Vegan Restaurants, Restaurants
Other Information

Parking: Street

Wi-Fi: Free

Bike Parking: Yes

Attire: Casual

Good For Groups: Yes

Good for Kids: No

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Take Out: Yes

Cuisines: Burgers, Asian, Brew Pubs, Caterers, American, Sandwiches, Take Out, Hot Dogs, Breakfast, Brunch & Lunch, Healthy, Vegetarian, Vegan

Alcohol: Full Bar

Takes Reservations: Yes

Outdoor Seating: Yes

Price Range : Below Average

Pets Allowed: No


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Provided by Citysearch - 
Great Service, Awful fries!

A friend recommened Dots for a late night dinner and I was not impressed. The service was great and I really liked the ambiance but the fries were awful and the food was mediocre. Their fries are soft and tasted like card board and my patty melt was soaked in the oil that they used to sautee the mushrooms and onions. Overall great place to get drinks but wouldn't go there again for food!



Provided by Citysearch - 
Still as good as ever! The best grilled cheese in PDX and they make a mean lime rickey too!

I have been eating and drinking at Dot's since 1992. When I lived out of Portland for 12 years every trip I made back would mean at least one night at Dot's. The deluxe grilled cheese is my pick and don't forget the french fries YUM! You can eat healthy here and they have great vegetarian options. Bring cash or your checkbook they do not accept credit cards. Everyone knows about the crazy wonderful velvet decor, my favorite is the picture of spock!



Provided by Citysearch - 
Good food, reasonably priced, great ambiance

I am just visiting my boyfriend in Portland, so I had no idea what to choose when he asked me what I wanted to do for dinner. He took me to Dots and we had a great time. There is a great atmosphere; good art, a layed back feel, a pool table.
This is definitely a hipster hangout, and it was dimly lit and rather romatic as well. We shared the chips and salsa, which was fresh, authentic and spicy. He got the Farmer's Chicken Sandwhich, and I got a salad with grilled cheese. The dressings were awesome!
The bartender/server made my drink wonderfully, with just the right proportions.

And I agree with Annonymous - if you can't afford to tip, then you CAN'T afford to go out - Simple as that. Go to your own bank and withdraw cash (to avoid fees) to go to Dots, and you will be happy as a clam when you leave!



Provided by Citysearch - 
too cheap to tip?

wow. I can't believe someone would go on one of these things to justify not tipping their waitress because he had to use the atm. That's the biggest bunch of b.s. i've ever heard. They just work there, it's not their fault that they don't take cards and if you know that, why not just bring cash? oh yeah, because you're so spineless you need an excuse not to tip. wow. i bet you get a lot of dates with that kind of class!

anyway, though, I do love dots. It will be interesting to see what's going to happen after the smoking ban. I think it will be a lot more pleasant to be in. I smoke and still get grossed out. I love the vegan platter and gentle ben.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Great service, good food, quirky atmosphere

I'm surprised about the poor service reviews I've read on this site. I'm usually the first to complain about poor service, but can't find anything wrong with this place. We go a couple times a month when we want a kicked back atmosphere, great drinks and good food. Yes, ""good"" food, not great. You're paying ""good"" food prices and you get a consistent product which, in my opinion, is a definite step above the standard pub fare and is anything but, standard. Once again, service has always been top notch. I haven't pulled a late night session at Dot's in many years (we tend to go late afternoon or early evening), so maybe this is when the service declines, if at all?



Provided by Citysearch - 
Worth It! - Bring Cash and Deal With Not Using your Debit Card for Once

This bar is cash only. This is an inconvience, but any repeat customer should be able to come prepared. Cheap, good, greasy bar food. Fabulous selection of cheese fries, chili fries, tofu fries, you name it. The drinks are cheap, the staff is attentive. The lights are dimmed, and this is a great place to hang out with friends and get a couple of quick drinks if you are passing by. I will gladly bring cash, and enjoy the velvet wallpaper and the portrait of KFC founder Sanders. PLEASE tip the staff, it is not their fault that this place is cash only.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Why for no tip?! This is why.

I love the food here, the hummus plate is my favorite. However, with the lack of taking cards, I'm constantly at worry to go there. The ATM charges me a fee and so basically I figure this. If I'm eating at Dots, the ATM fee is your tip. So that's why I'm ""too cheap to tip you guys"". getting a credit machine can't be that much of a cost to you, you've got the business. MOVE ON!



Provided by Citysearch - 
Why is Dots so stubborn?

Do they seriously think that wonky ATM in the back is going to cut it forever? C'mon Dots, step into the 21st century and take debit/credit cards.

It is maddening and I avoid this place because of it. That ATM is sick.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Yummy to the tummy!

Dots has some of the best food in Portland, and I LOVE the environment! It is such a super fun experiance to eat there! And the Farmer's Chicken sandwich is to die for!!!



Spinach & Jack Quesadilla - YUM!

The food is delicious! Especially the spinach & jack quesadilla. Good size portions & cheap menu. Service can be slow at times, but a good place to relax and drink a few while you wait.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Don't order TO-GO!

I am only rating Dot's TO-GO service in this review. I am a pretty usual customer of Dot's since a group of us hang out on Clinton Street. Usually, I am more than satisfied with the food. But, I ordered a Jack and Chili quesadilla and some cheezy fries TO-GO around 7pm on a Thursday. The food was ready promptly (about 20 minutes, just as the cashier said). I took it across the street to the bar and when I opened the quesadilla, I was pretty disappointed. The quesadilla was just a tortilla folded in half and stuffed into the TO-GO container, not cut into pieces, and had a glob of guacamole on top with chips scattered all over the container. I didn't get any plastic utensils or napkins to eat with so I had to go back across the street to get some. I finally got to sit down and eat my food after cutting it into smaller pieces so I could eat it. The chicken was shredded, which is nice for a quesadillas, but it tasted like cheap, canned chicken. I am not a fan of super spicy food, so I made sure that the chili's were not too spicy. Unfortunately, I don't think there were any chili's in my food! All I could taste was canned chicken and some cheese. I am sadly disappointed. I really enjoy Dot's and the food usually, but last week's visit was not good.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Killer Cheese Fries at my Clinton Street Favorite!!!

This small dark eatery has been a local favorite of mine for several years now. It all started years ago. I was brought here to eat, right before my 1st GWAR concert. That's when I was introduced ti thier famous ""Cheese Fries"". I've been hooked ever since. The fries are oven baked with melted cheese, and really good. They also have a good turkey bacon sandwhich. It's a little greasy, while falling apart on contact. Dot's is a fun place to eat. The dark atmosphere is calming, with a good cup of joe. The evenings get busy, especially weedend nights. You don't have to wait long for your food, just to be seated. The customer service needs a little improving, and more in the evenings. This little place fills up quick, so be prepaired. But, if you like good cheese fries, then come on down to Dot's. I recommened it.



Provided by Citysearch - 
We love DOTS CAFE!

It's has a great atmosphere, good food, great drinks, and it's an over all good time. I would recommend it to anyone!



Provided by Citysearch - 
Funky atmosphere

The atmosphere is really cool and a lot different from other places. The velvety 70's style walls and pictures make it really interesting. The food was pretty good, but for the price they don't even include french fries--you have to pay for everything seperately. The service was really really horrible. They barely spoke to us, and never checked on us once. I would recommend this place for late night grub, or the munchies.



Provided by Citysearch - 
My favorite place in Portland

We love this place! The decor is fun and the servers are almost always super-helpful and happy, but the food is why we come back here. My favorite is the vegan vavoom (pita, cucumber, tomato, falafel, cucumber sauce, hummus, yum), and he goes for the burger with herbed cream cheese. Vanilla cokes rock. And you can smoke in here! Seriously good food and drinks.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Yummy, greasy sandwiches... disappointing fries

I loved the walls of Dots. It has some really unique wallpaper with interspersing silver and black patterns. The rest of the the place has a red glow to it. And the paintings on the walls are intriguing.

I had the Turkey Monterey, thanks to a brilliant recommendation that I read in the Citysearch review. Grilled sourdough, crammed full with turket breast, Monterey Jack cheese, tomato, lettuce, mustard and mayo. It was dripping grease down my fingers the whole time I was eating it. Yummy! It passed the ultimate greasy food test. It was grease-licking delicious!

I had the spicy fries which came with spicy tofu dipping sauce. That was tremendously disappointing. The fries were overtly salty at the bottom. My rock climbing partner had the exact same comment. Plus they felt like they have been either, fried once before and then again or been left sitting out for way too long. Too much oil had soak into the fries and they weren't crispy but soggy.

Go for the amazingly greasy sandwiches and skip the fries!



Provided by Citysearch - 
good neighborhood eats

This place will cure the munchies if your in the area of 26h and Clinton. with it's almost goofy decor, Dot's is an interesting place to hang out for a few munchies. Service was good and the food was fine.



Provided by Citysearch - 

As a Portland native I have been a DOT'S fan for a decade. This place never ages, its kinda got a timeless ambiance, always current in Portland sub-fashion.
For first timers this is kinda like entering the twilight zone.
The vegie burrito with the cilantro sauce is heaven, along with the cheese fries.



Provided by Citysearch - 
the hub of SE Portland

Dots is a charmer. The food is excellent, especially the quesedilla, and pepper chicken burger. The drinks are strong and newcastles on tap. the interior is a perpetual nocturnal slumber. The only thing missing is a jukebox, but the wait staff music taste is usually on spot.



Provided by Citysearch - 
You won't be disappointed

Dots has great food and for the price per portions it is indeed an excellent value! Try the BLT w/ guac and fries...yum! Service has been crap everytime I've been..the waitresses can be unfriendly and once they set your plates down forget refills on beverages or brews w/ out having to knock them over for it. Decor is awesome and the darkness inside at high noon is welcomed for a weekend hangover. Go to Dots you won't be disappointed!