All, I’m back in school to get my Master’s and thus it’s been quite a while since I last shared some exciting travel experiences. However, I can’t stop thinking about last month when I ate Portland, Maine. It’s no wonder Bon Appetit named Portland the restaurant city of the year in 2018.
I was in Portland for a bachelorette party, and my friend who is getting married is quite the foodie. This was the perfect trip for her and my foodie friends. First of all, I had no idea what to expect up in this beach towns I expected a very nautical vibe. Indeed, Portland is quite the opposite and the feel was closer to those on the West Coast, in Seattle, or Portland, Oregon. Regardless of location, everyone in Portland is so nice, happy and loves where they live and which made for a great experience on my visit.
Breakfast in Portland, Maine
- Tandem Bakery: My favorite food stop of the trip. Not only was their coffee delicious, this little café is super cute and looks like a small bike shop that evolved out of an old gas station. Obviously, the food was the best part. I drooled over a breakfast biscuit loaded with pimento cheese, egg, and bacon. I wanted everything on the menu, but with only three days in the city that would have been silly. Instead, I grabbed an everything scone to go, and that was the perfect mid-afternoon snack.
- Marcy’s Diner: Marcy’s diner is a small breakfast stop known for its grilled muffins. While all the food was good, I’d suggest going for these staples, and being prepared to wait at least 30 minutes, as it is quite the popular place!
- The Holy Donut: If you are a donut lover, check out this all-natural donut shop for some creative flavors. The sweet potato donut is a must, but if you are only passing through, get a variety pack to share. You won’t be sorry.
Portland, Maine Lunch and Snacks
- Crown Jewel: This beautiful, instaworthy restaurant is located in Diamond Cove on Great Diamond Island, which I highly recommend visiting. You can take the ferry to the island and it’s a short walk from the docks. The restaurant gives a super beach vibe with its flagship crowned flamingo as part of its brand. I think we ordered almost everything on the menu to taste and share, however my favorites were the grilled wedge, sweet & spicy bacon skewer, crab & corn fritters, and lobster ravioli. Don’t forget to wash down the deliciousness with the apple beignets and salted chocolate cookie.
- Duckfat: I am not the poutine girl, but let me tell you, this restaurant knows how to do it. Their Belgian fries are smothered with cheese curds, duck gravy, chives, and a sunny side up egg if you’re willing to get messy! Only a few people from the party made it here and we heard it from the group the rest of the weekend because we couldn’t even make it home with more than few fries for leftovers.
- Maine Lobster Shack: I probably had about 5 different lobster rolls while I was in Portland, and this by far was my favorite place for the infamous sandwich. Order the Brown Butter Lobster roll, you’ll be in heaven.
- Portland Lobster Company: Another hot spot for lobster rolls, this place has outdoor seating right on the water and live music into the evening. Be prepared for crowds, but lots of fun!
- The Garden Café, Portland Regency: Located outside of the Portland Regency Hotel, this café is relaxing and perfect for some day drinking or snacks! The quesadilla was on point.
Dinner in Portland
- Drifter’s Wife: A foodie find, this urban restaurant is meant for share plates. Everything we had was fantastic. While the menu changes frequently, if the half chicken is available I’d suggest getting that and take on the carbs with the sourdough bread.
- Diamond’s Edge Restaurant: Our party had an outdoor lobster bake here in Diamond Cove and the service was top notch. The staff went over the top to make sure we had a good time. The atmosphere is a blast as you get to sit outside, relax, and enjoy the water while having a full seafood spread. I highly recommend visiting this place if nothing but to interact with the great staff. This is another place you’d have to get to from the ferry in Downtown Portland.
Don’t forget the Booze
- CellarDoor Winery at the Point: Just a few minutes away from downtown is Thompson’s Point, which is home to a few really fun places for libations. Stop in and check out this winery, which is also a beautiful event space.
- Bissell Brothers: While I didn’t get a chance to try the beer, Bissell Brothers Brewing Company is right next door and one of the most popular craft beer spots in the city.
- Stroudwater Distillery: If you are looking for a fun atmosphere with fresh drinks, this place has a great outdoor patio to play corn hole and enjoy the sun. I had a fresh vodka watermelon cucumber cocktail concoction and now wish I had this place around the corner!
Places to Stay
- Portland Harbor Hotel: If you are looking for something walking distance to everything, this hotel was in a great location, a few minutes from local bars, and had a beautiful outdoor patio and fire pit.
While I was only in Portland for three days, I think I ate like I was there for three weeks. Foodie friends, get your taste buds and tummy ready!