Portland, ME Travel Guide

USA  #1 in Best Places to Visit in Maine
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What to Eat in Portland, ME

For such a small city, Portland's dining scene packs quite a punch. And that's not just because of the lobster (though it does help). The city offers a variety of cuisines from around the world in addition to traditional Maine fare (often combining the two). But what stands out most about Portland's dining scene isn't necessarily diversity. Rather, Portland's mantra is all about keeping things as close to home as possible. When it comes to ingredients, Portland's commitment to utilizing locally sourced, sustainable fare is strong.

Critically acclaimed Fore Street, headed by James Beard Award-winning chef Sam Hayward, is seen as a leader in the city and state's farm-to-table movement. Although the menu is adjusted to fit the season, you'll want to sample the wood-roasted mussels, locally sourced oysters and the sustainable red fish. There's also Vinland, which takes farm-to-table to an entirely new level: The restaurant's rule is that every dish must contain ingredients from Maine, so staples like black pepper and olive oil aren't allowed. But this philosophy isn't restricted just to the city's restaurants. Portland's best microbreweries get in on the action, too. Peak Brewing Company brews with blueberries from a farm in Lincolnville, Maine, for its Sweet Tart Blueberry. Meanwhile, Allagash Brewery's Sixteen Counties beer, which honors the counties of Maine, brews with barley, unmalted red wheat and organic oats all from the state.

Duckfat, headed by James Beard Award winner Rob Evans (formerly of French Laundry), is lauded for its delectable panini, especially the duck confit panini, and Belgian-style french fries. There's also Blue Rooster Food Co., another popular casual eatery serving sandwiches, as well as an extensive hot dog and tater tot menu. And if you like Asian food, Pai Men Miyake is not to be missed.

Along with Fore Street, Piccolo is another must-try upscale dining establishment. Piccolo offers up a modern take on rustic Italian dishes from Southern and Central Italy. If seafood is all you're after, hit up Eventide Oyster Co., which boasts an extensive oyster bar in addition to a la carte seafood dishes, including its signature brown butter lobster roll and the revered New England clam bake. The Shop at Island Creek Oysters serves up outstanding bivalves, raw seafood and local brews in a fun, casual setting.  Bolster, Snow & Co., located in the Francis Hotel, features local and seasonal fare with a fun spin, such as a delicious lobster tartare. 

Find the Best Restaurants in Portland, ME

  • #1
    Standard Baking Co.
    #1 of 540 Places to Eat in Portland
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1246 reviewsTripAdvisor (1246)
    $ - $$ | American
    75 Commercial St, Portland, ME 04101-4703
    Read More »
  • #2
    Gorgeous Gelato, Portland
    #2 of 540 Places to Eat in Portland
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 1316 reviewsTripAdvisor (1316)
    $ |
    434 Fore Street, Portland, ME 04101
    Read More »
  • #3
    The Gelato Fiasco Old Port
    #3 of 540 Places to Eat in Portland
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 392 reviewsTripAdvisor (392)
    $ |
    425 Fore St, Portland, ME 04101-4396
    Read More »
  • #4
    Back Bay Grill
    #4 of 540 Places to Eat in Portland
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 746 reviewsTripAdvisor (746)
    $$ | American
    65 Portland St, Portland, ME 04101-2827
    Read More »
  • #5
    Evo Kitchen + Bar
    #5 of 540 Places to Eat in Portland
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 299 reviewsTripAdvisor (299)
    $ - $$ | Contemporary, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
    443 Fore St, Portland, ME 04101-4025
    Read More »
  • #6
    Emilitsa
    #6 of 540 Places to Eat in Portland
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 787 reviewsTripAdvisor (787)
    $$ | Seafood, Mediterranean, Greek
    547 Congress St, Portland, ME 04101-3307
    Read More »
  • #7
    Micucci Grocery
    #7 of 540 Places to Eat in Portland
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 256 reviewsTripAdvisor (256)
    $ | Italian, Pizza, Deli
    45 India St, Portland, ME 04101-4208
    Read More »
  • #8
    The Green Elephant
    #8 of 540 Places to Eat in Portland
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 609 reviewsTripAdvisor (609)
    $ - $$ | Asian, Thai
    608 Congress St, Portland, ME 04101-3304
    Read More »
  • #9
    Empire Chinese Kitchen
    #9 of 540 Places to Eat in Portland
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 452 reviewsTripAdvisor (452)
    $ - $$ | Chinese
    575 Congress St, Portland, ME 04101-3308
    Read More »
  • #10
    Vena's Fizz House
    #10 of 540 Places to Eat in Portland
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 266 reviewsTripAdvisor (266)
    $ - $$ | Bar
    345 Fore St, Portland, ME 04101-4112
    Read More »
  • #11
    Isa Bistro
    #11 of 540 Places to Eat in Portland
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 241 reviewsTripAdvisor (241)
    $ - $$ | American
    79 Portland St, Portland, ME 04101-2827
    Read More »
  • #12
    Tandem Coffee and Bakery
    #12 of 540 Places to Eat in Portland
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 160 reviewsTripAdvisor (160)
    $ - $$ | American, Cafe
    742 Congress St, Portland, ME 04102-3322
    Read More »
  • #13
    Union
    #13 of 540 Places to Eat in Portland
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 545 reviewsTripAdvisor (545)
    $$ | Contemporary, American
    390 Congress St, Portland, ME 04101-3514
    Read More »
  • #14
    Flatbread Company
    #14 of 540 Places to Eat in Portland
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1162 reviewsTripAdvisor (1162)
    $ - $$ | American, Pizza
    72 Commercial St Ste 5, Portland, ME 04101-4749
    Read More »
  • #15
    The Holy Donut - Park Ave
    #15 of 540 Places to Eat in Portland
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 2121 reviewsTripAdvisor (2121)
    $ | American, Cafe
    194 Park Ave, Portland, ME 04102-2910
    Read More »
  • #16
    Boda
    #16 of 540 Places to Eat in Portland
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 404 reviewsTripAdvisor (404)
    $ - $$ | Asian, Thai
    671 Congress St, Portland, ME 04101-3303
    Read More »
  • #17
    Becky's Diner
    #17 of 540 Places to Eat in Portland
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 2229 reviewsTripAdvisor (2229)
    $ | American, Diner
    390 Commercial St, Portland, ME 04101-4610
    Read More »
  • #18
    Vinland
    #18 of 540 Places to Eat in Portland
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 326 reviewsTripAdvisor (326)
    $$ | American, Contemporary
    593 Congress St, Portland, ME 04101-3309
    Read More »
  • #19
    The Highroller Lobster Co.
    #19 of 540 Places to Eat in Portland
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 261 reviewsTripAdvisor (261)
    $ - $$ | American, Seafood
    104 Exchange St, Portland, ME 04101-5003
    Read More »
  • #20
    BamBam Bakery
    #20 of 540 Places to Eat in Portland
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 269 reviewsTripAdvisor (269)
    $ | American, Cafe
    267 Commercial St, Portland, ME 04101-4623
    Read More »

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