Portland Restaurants

America’s "Foodiest Small Town" is how one magazine described Portland, which is practically bursting at the seams with fabulous restaurants to rival those of a major metropolis. It's worth it to splurge and try as many as possible while visiting. Fresh seafood, including the famous Maine lobster, is still popular and prevalent,
America’s "Foodiest Small Town" is how one magazine described Portland, which is practically bursting at the seams with fabulous restaurants to rival those of a major metropolis. It's worth it to splurge and try as many as possible while visiting. Fresh seafood, includi
America’s "Foodiest Small Town" is how one magazine described Portland, which is practically bursting at the seams with

America’s "Foodiest Small Town" is how one magazine described Portland, which is practically bursting at the seams with fabulous restaurants to rival those of a major metropolis. It's worth it to splurge and try as many as possible while visiting. Fresh seafood, including the famous Maine lobster, is still popular and prevalent, but it is being served up in unexpected ways that are a far cry from the usual bib and butter. There is a broad spectrum of cuisines to be enjoyed, and many chefs are pushing the envelope in their reinventions of traditional culinary idioms. More and more restaurants are using local meats, seafood, and organic produce as much as possible; changing menus reflect what is available in the region at the moment. Even the many excellent food trucks that have popped up across the city—several of which remain open in the off-season—reflect this trend. As sophisticated as many of these establishments have become in the way of food and service, the atmosphere is generally laid-back; with a few exceptions, you can leave your jacket and tie at home—just not your appetite.

Smoking is banned in all restaurants, taverns, and bars in Maine.

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  • 1. East Ender

    $$ | American

    It doesn't get much better than the Maine lobster melt with bacon jam and peppadew relish served at this pint-size restaurant; once you've had...Read More

  • 2. Eventide Oyster Co.

    $ | Seafood

    Eventide is not just any old oyster bar. Not only do they have fresh and tasty oysters artfully prepared with novel accoutrements like kimchi...Read More

  • 3. Fore Street

    $$$ | American

    One of Maine's best chefs, Sam Hayward, opened this restaurant in a renovated warehouse on the edge of the Old Port in 1996. The menu changes...Read More

  • 4. Gelato Fiasco

    $ | Café

    Proper Italian gelato and sorbetto here comes in traditional flavors, as well as more offbeat varieties like molasses peppermint stick, Wild...Read More

  • 5. Local 188

    $$ | Spanish

    There's an infectious vibe at this eclectic, Spanish-inspired Arts District eatery, a foodie hot spot as well as a longtime local favorite....Read More

  • 6. Portland Pâtisserie and Grand Café

    $ | French

    This is the perfect spot for a quick, delicious bite any time of day, but early risers will be rewarded with a wider selection of pastries at...Read More

  • 7. BaoBao Dumpling House

    $ | Asian

    Situated in a historic town house with traditional Asian decor in Portland's quaint West End, this dumpling house serves deeply satisfying Asian...Read More

  • 8. Becky's Diner

    $ | American

    You won't find a more local or unfussy place—or one more abuzz with conversation at 4 am—than this waterfront institution way down on the end...Read More

  • 9. Duckfat

    $ | American

    Even in midafternoon, this small, hip sandwich shop in the Old Port is packed. The focus here is everyday farm-to-table fare: the signature...Read More

  • 10. El Rayo Taqueria

    $ | Mexican

    For some of the best Mexican food in town, head to this hip spot housed in a former gas station. The flavors are as vibrant as the turquoise...Read More

  • 11. Elevation Burger

    $ | Burger

    There's nothing like tucking into a nice, juicy burger; it's even better when you can do so with a clear conscience. Elevation Burger serves...Read More

  • 12. Five Fifty-Five

    $$$ | American

    Classic dishes are cleverly updated at this classy and very popular Congress Street spot. The menu changes seasonally to reflect ingredients...Read More

  • 13. Flatbread

    $ | Pizza

    Families, students, and bohemian types gather at this popular New England chain flatbread-pizza place. Two massive wood-fire ovens are the heart...Read More

  • 14. Gilbert's Chowder House

    $$ | Seafood

    This is the real deal, as quintessential as Maine dining can be. Clam rakes and nautical charts hang from the walls of this unpretentious waterfront...Read More

  • 15. Home Catering Company

    $ | Deli

    Nestled in a former grocer's shop in Portland's West End, this deli has all the fixings you need for an impromptu picnic, a cozy night in, or...Read More

  • 16. Hugo's

    $$$$ | Eclectic

    Serving the freshest local organic foods is a high priority at Hugo's, and your server is sure to know everything about their various purveyors...Read More

  • 17. Lolita

    $$$ | Spanish

    Perched on Munjoy Hill near the Portland Observatory, Lolita has a sophisticated bodega vibe, where wood-fired dishes like scallops with hazelnuts...Read More

  • 18. Tempo Dulu

    $$$$ | Asian

    Probably the only place in Maine that focuses exclusively on top-notch Southeast Asian cuisine, Tempo Dulu offers both three-course and tasting...Read More

  • 19. The Holy Donut

    $ | Café

    Even if you're a health freak, you'll love the doughnuts at this place. Sweet and savory all-natural, potato-based doughnuts are glazed in flavors...Read More

  • 20. The Honey Paw

    $ | Asian

    Come for the salty wontons, piping-hot broths, and wok-fried noodles; stay for the turntable music, the well-stocked cocktail bar, and the soft...Read More

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