- $20 toward classic French-bistro fare and drinks at Chez Machin
- Crêpes, savory breakfast tastes, classic café sandwiches, and a full bistro menu
- Locally-sourced ingredients
- Vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options
- Fabulous mussels
- French and local wine list
- Intimate interior and quaint décor with original Gus Van Sant painting
- Cozy patio
- Independently owned
Willamette Week recommends Chez Machin, and diners agree. Citysearchers, Yelpers, and TripAdvisors all give Chez Machin four-star averages, and 89% of Urbanspooners like it: > * Ooh-la-la. This cutesy French bistro/crêperie on the bustling Hawthorne District strip almost always exceeds expectations. Beyond an extensive list of sweet and savory crêpes are nifty quiches good for a man-sized appetite, tangy salads and incredibly awesome soups. – Willamette Week > * I love Chez Machin. I think they have the best crepes in Portland, coupled with a lovely wine list. Best of all they are very affordable and provide a lovely French cafe atmosphere perfect for intimate conversations with friends. – pdxava, Citysearch > * I love this place and come often. If coming on a weekend, be prepared for a truly french experience…don’t expect instant service! It’s well worth the wait, with friendly hard-working staff, old french standby’s (French onion soup, Croque Monsieur, salade nicoise) as well as great savory specials with a NW touch. – yummers, TripAdvisor > * Fabulous. Highly recommended. The staff was helpful and knowledgeable and very sweet…The back patio is nice. – Josh McCarthy, Urbanspoon
Qualité de vie. That's what Chez Machin's owner Diane found while living in France, and on many days, that "quality of life" meant eating lots and lots of crepes. Diane has since returned to America, but she didn't completely leave France behind. After all, diners can often spot her sporting a trademark red beret, and her bistro's menu reads like a love letter to rural French cuisine.
That means crepes, of course. To make them, chefs layer ultra thin pancakes over sweet fillings such as the La Délice's nutella, vanilla custard, and raspberry jam. Savory crepes grant the option to build your own custom buckwheat or white crepes with fillings such as smoked salmon. Chefs venture into other areas of French cuisine as well, from croque monsieurs for lunch to boeuf bourguignon for dinner—either of which pair well with the bar's selection of beer, cider, and wine.
Yet for all of the French atmosphere, there's one part of Chez Machin that's decidedly stateside: the artwork. A desert abstract, created by film director Gus Van Sant, stretches along one side of the bistro's covered patio. Black and white paintings from local artists Yo and Peach Mutsu line the hallway, and other paintings and drawings rotate in and out of the dining rooms, turning the restaurant into an ever-changing art gallery.