Where to Dine
This neighborhood restaurant is tucked away in the West End and has a great porch that overlooks the Fore River and the Casco Bay Bridge. Enjoy a charcuterie board or some steamed mussels with a specialty cocktail.
French bistro food at it's best, you will LOVE the steak frittes, boeuf bourguignon and everything in-between. The atmosphere is as French-inspired as the menu, plus a great (if small) wine list and a massive picture window overlooking Longfellow Square.
A local (no pun intended) favorite, this restaurant offers both weekend brunch, as well as dinner Monday-Friday and a great bar that's open until 1 AM. For dinner, you'll find Spanish-inspired cuisine and for brunch, items include a Summer Scramble, Biscuits & Gravy and a Breakfast Paella.
Little Tap House
Craft beer gastro-pub with a farm-to-table menu of simply prepared and simply good mid-priced staples. Try the cider-brined roast chicken or the burger (one of the best in town). Taps overflowing with locally brewed favorites. Creative cocktails.
Portland Lobster Co.
This waterfront restaurant is all about the location—order your roll at the counter and head outside to a picnic table overlooking Portland Harbor. Your lobster-shaped buzzer will let you know when your order is ready, and there's cold beer and live music to enjoy along with your roll.
Home of the original “hand slab” Sicilian-style pizza this restaurant and bakery also features a beer garden, well-stocked bar and a ginormous meatball sandwich. But is it the “slab” — which comes in individual, half and full sizes (enough for 8) — that will have your eyes rolling back in your head. In a good way. Bubbly hot cheese and flecks of herbs mingle with a sweetly spicy tomato sauce that conjures up visions of Sicilian grandmas stirring steaming pots.
If you're looking to get off the Portland peninsula, try The Treehouse above Pat’s Meat Market in the Deering Center neighborhood. The menu offers everything from Lobster Saffron Bisque, to Ravioli Crisps, to a Wild Mushroom Flatbread. Not to mention there's a jewel of a private 2nd-floor deck at the back of the building.
If you're looking for a true blue, old school experience, this is the spot for you. The Porthole offers breakfast, lunch and dinner and has live music multiple nights of the week, not to mention, it's home to Portland's largest waterfront deck.
The Honey PawBuzz-Worthy
Like bees to honey, people are flocking to Honey Paw - sister to perennially popular Hugo’s - for their savory stir-fried noodles, delectable dumplings, and pillowy potato gnocchi. The large communal table running through the center of the restaurant creates a sense of community, making it even easier to share your love for the array of small plates in front of you with your neighbor.
The Good Table
A restaurant run by family and friends, The Good Table has an extensive breakfast, lunch, dinner, and brunch menu offering everything from lobster eggs benedict, fish and chips, to blueberry crepes, and a lobster cod salad.
Located on bustling Commercial Street, Flatbread has a deck literally right on top of the water and is worth the wait. It features thin-crust, wood-fired pizza and a boisterous, kid-friendly atmosphere.
Boone’s Fish House & Oyster Room
This relatively Old Port restaurant is housed in a renovated a historic building right on Custom House Wharf on Portland’s Commercial Street. With decks on two levels overlooking Portland Harbor, you can dine on local seafood while watching lobstermen haul in their daily catches.
This cozy bistro, a longtime Portland favorite, turns out the comfort food classics that it has long been known for. Tuck into eggplant parmesan with spinach salad or classic seafood paella loaded with chicken, chorizo, mussels, clams, and shrimp. Whatever you do, don't pass on dessert – they're legendary.
Putting Boda in the same category as the rest of Portland’s Thai restaurants is like equating grandma’s from-scratch Tuscan with greasy-good college town pizza. It’s a matter of ethnic authenticity. The Thai food at Boda is simply – well – unAmerican. In a very good way. Don’t miss the crispy quail eggs appetizer or the bitter melon soup stuffed with minced pork.
Bite Into Maine
There's nothing quite like a Maine lobster and we think it tastes best in the form of a "roll." Bite Into Maine, which started as a food truck and now with three locations, offers up a list of lobster rolls made in various styles with tasty side dishes and a few dessert options.
Bite Into Maine
One of the best ways to enjoy fresh Maine lobster is in roll form, but not just any roll – the area's best. Bite Into Maine parks their food truck at Fort Williams and offers a variety of lobster rolls from Original, Picnic, Wasabi, Curry, or Chipotle. Nosh while you soak in the view.
Take just a 20-minute ferry from Portland’s Old Port to Peaks Island, to enjoy destination dinner at the Cockeyed Gull. It's a very small restaurant but offers up both a terrific menu and a great deck overlooking Casco Bay, the city of Portland and incredible sunsets — make a reservation first.
Lobster lovers that want the most bang for their buck should head to this small seafood shack located on less-than-scenic Forest Ave., where a jumbo roll comes packed with the meat from a 1-1/2 pound lobster.
Best oyster selection in Maine with a set of nuanced small plates designed to sate any appetite. The savory lobster stew with notes of paprika delights, and the lightly cured artic char melts on the tongue. For a unique twist on a classic, try the brown butter lobster roll. Cocktails are crisp and original.
A staple in Monument Square offering a variety of fish and seafood dishes with a twist. Think Moroccan-Spiced Skewers of Shrimp & Scallops and Ginger-Scallion Crusted Salmon. There are plenty of more "classic" options as well.
The main street in downtown Portland, Commercial Street is perfect for a day of shopping or eating – or both! Enjoy a drink at one of the many restaurants that offers outdoor seating or, during the colder months, grab a warm bowl of clam chowder.
Bao Bao Dumpling HouseBuzz-Worthy
New and cute as a button, this dumpling house is perfect in the colder months. Steaming hot dumplings and Asian teas are just the ticket for snowy nights. All the dumplings are exceptional, but don't miss out on the beef and curry (get them pan fried). The greens in oyster sauce dish is truly amazing, and the chrysanthemum tea will set you to rights if you are feeling sniffly.