🦞If you know me- you know I like to pack my getaways with a helluva great time, unforgettable experiences, and everlasting memories. I’m keeping this plain, short, and simple. No frills, fluff, or bluff. My honest opinion– what I liked, what I didn’t, and what you NEED to do to experience this charming little town. I also saved a “Maine” highlight on my IG stories for more photos!
*Random note*- because let’s be honest I don’t know how to keep anything short ha! One morning, I happen to meet @portlandfoodmap while I was doing my normal breakfast run to Tandem coffee & he took note of me snapping a photo of my scone. We chatted for some time about our thoughts on restaurants.. He asked me “does every experience here need to blow you out of the water?!” my answer was short & simple- YES, I am here on the hunt for the ultimate foodie experience & I sure do want to be blown out of the water. So prepare yourself, this guide is everything.
WHERE WE STAYED: THE INN AT PARKSPRING — a very charming air bnb in a great location. It use to be a B&B but they recently dropped the breakfast portion to serve more air bnb guests. It has six guest rooms and includes a parking space. The host Katrina is very kind and accommodating! It is 10 mins from the airport and one block south of Congress Street (one of the main streets in Portland)!
BLEW ME OUT OF THE WATER SPOTS!
Scales Restaurant: every single thing about this place was amazing. Every single bite & sip had my jaw dropped to the ground. They take fresh & flavorful to a whole new level. The service was amazing, food was immaculate, and who doesn’t love a restaurant on the water!? It was hands down my favorite restaurant in Portland. The photos don’t do it justice.
Favorites: Pan Roasted Lobster, Butterscotch Sundae, & espresso martini *was the best one I had during the entire trip*
- Bite Into Maine: don’t waste your time trying to search for the best lobster roll because BIM has the BEST LOBSTER ROLL. Who would’ve ever known?! A food truck would take the cake, although I’m bias from living in Philly & truly believe food trucks carry some of the best hidden gems. I have never experienced anything like it. THE BREAD- the most amazing perfect crunch (think grilled chz bread), THE LOBSTER- so fresh tasting, THE OPTIONS- I am a classic girl so I love Connecticut style (just warmed butter). HOWEVER, letting you guys in on a little secret off menu item– THE MAINEIAC lobster roll! It combines the Maine (mayo & chives) & Picnic style (coleslaw, celery salt, & butter). I got this on my last day in Portland & it was definitely worth trying. You can find this food truck at Allagash Brewery & on top of the hill near Portland Head Lighthouse.
- Tandem: is pastry withdrawal a thing because I am unsure what I am going to do tomorrow when I can’t waltz over to Tandem for a kimchi cheddar scone and fully loaded savory biscuit. HOLY CRAP. I am NOT a pastry person, AT ALL. But holy wow Tandem rocked my freaking world. It was unreal good to the point that I got breakfast here every single morning. Seriously just wow, order online and arrive early to avoid the long line & sell outs because they sell out every single day.
- Crispy Gai: Authentic THAI STREET FOOD! Think- eat with your fingers good. The chicken wings & sticky rice are a must do with the Nam Jim Kai & Nam Jim Jaew sauce. Want to hear an added bonus?! The bartender is WILD. Creates beautiful yummy tasting concoctions I would never imagine liking. Unreal amazing. I hate rum/sweet drinks but my waiter (Austin- omg he was amazing) convinced me that I needed to try “Same Same, but Different” (rum, coconut milk, ginger, makrut lime leaf, galangal, and tom kha tincture) it was too good to be true. Not sweet at all just so damn good.
- Mr. Tuna: huge sushi gal over here & was SO impressed with this little place! We went to Public Market House to experience this sushi & went with the Chef’s Tasting Sashimi Board. Over on the eastern promenade Mr. Tuna also has a food truck *que an excited Jas* they only serve handrolls at the food truck but again, it was SO amazing and blew me out of the water, plus it was so nice to sit on the hill overlooking the Casco Bay and take in all the beautiful views. This place taught me what REAL sushi is suppose to be like- and that means NO imitation crab, they use the REAL stuff. *hand rolls ordered- Spicy Scallop & Crab, Spicy Salmon, & Spicy Otoro*
- Holy Donut: Known for their donuts made out of potatoes. I don’t understand the hype on this place. I really thought it was going to be a Tandem situation where I am not really a big pastry person but was going to love this place. I was not impressed! I think Fractured Prune or Duck Donuts is better to be honest! I like mine hot and fresh!
- Eventide: I was expecting this to be the place I called “best lobster roll in town”. The bun did not do it for me. You had to eat it so quick before it just became a soggy mess! This place has all of your Maine fare classics but to be honest I’d skip this place and just do it the right way and head over to Scales to get your Maine fare!
- Duckfat: I was truly so bummed. SO many people told me I couldn’t miss this place. Don’t get me wrong it was good but nothing special in my opinion! *Tourist Trap* for sure. Instead- go to Tomaso’s Canteen next door! *dive bar vibes*
- Honey Paw: this place is known for their cocktails and hand drawn noodles. The cocktails were not impressive and the service was absolutely horrible. They rush you and make it known they want you in and out. Even though the noodles were good I just couldn’t shake the horrible service. It truly ruined the entire experience. Limited menu.
- Blyth & Burrows (if adventurous- Tom Yum Punch) (Ship Captain Crew- bourbon infused with pecan tip smoke) (espresso martini is vietnamese inspired but did not blow me out of the water)
- The Portland Hunt & Alpine Club (order the popcorn for a snack- favorite cocktail: Green Eyes) Bonecrusher is good but on the sweeter side, the espresso martini is good but the best one is from Scales Restaurant
- Via Vecchia (GET THE MAI TAI!!) (Also- if you’re adventurous the caprese milk punch)
- Crispy Gai (Same Same, But Different)
GREAT RECS / MY QUICK THOUGHTS! *italicized: did not get to go*
|Bite Into Maine||Food Truck- Best LR / off menu item- Maineiac|
|Blyth & burrows||$1 oysters / amazing cocktail bar|
|Crispy Gai||BEST cocktails & thai street food|
|Crown Jewel||on Diamond Cove Island *take ferry ($10 roundtrip) lobster papaya salad is a must|
|Duck Fat||Fries / Milkshake|
|Eventide||Overrated! But if you go- order the Haze Hound cocktail|
|Forage Market||Wood Fire Bagels|
|Holy Donut||Potato Donuts, overrated!|
|Honey Paw||Hand Drawn Noods|
|Hot Suppa||Brunch *prepare for a long line*|
|Hunt & Alpine||Cocktail Bar|
|Little Giant Maine||cutie date night spot|
|Mr. Tuna||BEST MOST FRESH SUSHI|
|Portland Lobster Co (on water)||LR & Blueberry Beer|
|Scales||The Best Restaurant in ME|
|Slab||Sicilian Pizza (HUGE slices)|
|Street & Co||Scales Sister Restaurant|
|Taco Escobarr||Great Mexican Food|
|Tandem *go early they sell out||Scones and Loaded Savory Biscuit|
|The Highroller||Lobby Pop *lobster on a stick*|
|The Shop by Island Creek Oysters||If you like oysters this is the spot to go! $1.50 oysters, laid back amazing vibes|
|Union Restaurant||Under The Press Hotel|
|Verdana Noodle House||Vietnamese|
|Via VECCHIA||AMAZING COCKTAILS & VIBE|
|Coffee by Design|
|Coffee ME up|
|Speckled Ax (Wood Roasted Beans)|
|Tandem Coffee (just adore this place so much)|
|Uncharted Tea (Bubble Tea) *order the Navagio so good* Aidan got a lemon ginger tea & it was bomb too|
|Allagash Brewing *bite into maine is here*|
|Anoche – cider bar *next to Oxbow*|
|Austin Street Brewing *the brewery I am so bummed we didn’t get to visit!*|
|Lone Pine Brewing *was not totally impressed with this place*|
|Maine Beer Co (20 mins drive from portland) known for bomb pizza|
|Maine Craft Distilling|
|Oxbow Blending & Bottling (MY FAVE BREWERY OMG A MUST GO!!) vibes are immaculate|
|Shipyard Brewery *these beers are SO good!*|
THINGS TO DO:
|Acadia National Park *have to drive here*|
|Crescent Beach State Park|
|East End Beach *right below the Eastern Promenade*|
|Ferry to Diamond Cove Island (go to crown jewel restaurant) **highly rec doing this!**|
|Higgins Beach *1/2 mi from the HBM*|
|Higgins Beach Market *order the chicken wings*|
|Peak’s Island (need ferry) *did not get to do this but on my list for next time!*|
|Portland Head Light House *A MUST DO!!* absolutely breathtaking|
|Portland Schooner Sails|
|Sail Portland Maine (BYO)|
|Eastern Promenade *tons of food trucks, bring a picnic blanket & soak in the amazing views*|
Another successful foodie experience in the books. Portland is hands down a must go. We had the best time and my favorite part was how everything was walkable! So I didn’t feel bad having multiple breakfast, lunch, and dinners each day because we walked so much! Aidan + I are thinking about making this an annual getaway. We fell in love with this charming town where we got to share our love for delicious food. Let me know what you guys think, if you had any of the same experiences, or have any questions! Until next time maineiacs!