Portland, ME Travel Guide

USA  #1 in Best Places to Visit in Maine
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Courtesy of Joe Potato Photo/Getty Images

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
    Back Bay Grill
    #1 of 660 Places to Eat in Portland
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 700 reviewsTripAdvisor (700)
    $$ | American
    65 Portland St, Portland, ME 04101-2827
    Read More »
  • #2
    Gorgeous Gelato
    #2 of 660 Places to Eat in Portland
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 1286 reviewsTripAdvisor (1286)
    $ | Italian
    434 Fore Street, Portland, ME 04101
    Read More »
  • #3
    Standard Baking Co.
    #3 of 660 Places to Eat in Portland
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1175 reviewsTripAdvisor (1175)
    $ - $$ | American
    75 Commercial St, Portland, ME 04101-4703
    Read More »
  • #4
    The Gelato Fiasco Old Port
    #4 of 660 Places to Eat in Portland
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 376 reviewsTripAdvisor (376)
    $ |
    425 Fore St, Portland, ME 04101-4396
    Read More »
  • #5
    Emilitsa
    #5 of 660 Places to Eat in Portland
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 758 reviewsTripAdvisor (758)
    $$ | Seafood, Mediterranean, Greek
    547 Congress St, Portland, ME 04101-3307
    Read More »
  • #6
    Evo Kitchen + Bar
    #6 of 660 Places to Eat in Portland
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 248 reviewsTripAdvisor (248)
    $ - $$ | Contemporary, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
    443 Fore St, Portland, ME 04101-4025
    Read More »
  • #7
    Isa Bistro
    #7 of 660 Places to Eat in Portland
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 225 reviewsTripAdvisor (225)
    $ - $$ | American
    79 Portland St, Portland, ME 04101-2827
    Read More »
  • #8
    Vena's Fizz House
    #8 of 660 Places to Eat in Portland
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 250 reviewsTripAdvisor (250)
    $ - $$ |
    345 Fore St, Portland, ME 04101-4112
    Read More »
  • #9
    The Green Elephant
    #9 of 660 Places to Eat in Portland
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 589 reviewsTripAdvisor (589)
    $ - $$ | Asian, Thai
    608 Congress St, Portland, ME 04101-3304
    Read More »
  • #10
    The Highroller Lobster Co.
    #10 of 660 Places to Eat in Portland
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 187 reviewsTripAdvisor (187)
    $ - $$ | American, Seafood
    104 Exchange St, Portland, ME 04101-5003
    Read More »
  • #11
    Micucci Grocery
    #11 of 660 Places to Eat in Portland
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 244 reviewsTripAdvisor (244)
    $ | Italian, Pizza, Deli
    45 India St, Portland, ME 04101-4208
    Read More »
  • #12
    Empire Chinese Kitchen
    #12 of 660 Places to Eat in Portland
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 413 reviewsTripAdvisor (413)
    $ - $$ | Chinese
    575 Congress St, Portland, ME 04101-3308
    Read More »
  • #13
    Flatbread Company
    #13 of 660 Places to Eat in Portland
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1107 reviewsTripAdvisor (1107)
    $ - $$ | American, Pizza
    72 Commercial St Ste 5, Portland, ME 04101-4749
    Read More »
  • #14
    The Holy Donut
    #14 of 660 Places to Eat in Portland
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1942 reviewsTripAdvisor (1942)
    $ | American, Cafe
    194 Park Ave, Portland, ME 04102-2910
    Read More »
  • #15
    Boda
    #15 of 660 Places to Eat in Portland
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 386 reviewsTripAdvisor (386)
    $ - $$ | Asian, Thai
    671 Congress St, Portland, ME 04101-3303
    Read More »
  • #16
    Vinland
    #16 of 660 Places to Eat in Portland
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 312 reviewsTripAdvisor (312)
    $$ | American, Contemporary
    593 Congress St, Portland, ME 04101-3309
    Read More »
  • #17
    Central Provisions
    #17 of 660 Places to Eat in Portland
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 921 reviewsTripAdvisor (921)
    $ - $$ | American
    414 Fore St, Portland, ME 04101-4027
    Read More »
  • #18
    BamBam Bakery
    #18 of 660 Places to Eat in Portland
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 255 reviewsTripAdvisor (255)
    $ | American, Cafe
    267 Commercial St, Portland, ME 04101-4623
    Read More »
  • #19
    Becky's Diner
    #19 of 660 Places to Eat in Portland
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 2050 reviewsTripAdvisor (2050)
    $ | American, Diner, Soups
    390 Commercial St, Portland, ME 04101-4610
    Read More »
  • #20
    David's Restaurant
    #20 of 660 Places to Eat in Portland
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 521 reviewsTripAdvisor (521)
    $ - $$ | American, Seafood, Soups, Asian
    22 Monument Sq, Portland, ME 04101-4082
    Read More »

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