The food scene in Maine's largest city continues to expand and impress—the biggest challenge of visiting Portland is deciding where to eat. Next time you're on a lark to Portland, here's what you need to know about the hottest new Portland restaurants.
We were a little sad when we learned our favorite Latin-American restaurant Sonny's was closing, but intrigued by word of the next concept. The owners rebooted Sonny's as Black Cow Burgers with a soda bar vibe. A menu of simple smash burgers, crisp French fries, and thick milkshakes make Black Cow a great lunch or casual dinner spot. The bar program, with local craft beer and specialty cocktails, still impresses. Just like Sonny's, Black Cow is a popular Old Port dining destination.
You'll have to wait a bit to experience this new Portland restaurant on Great Diamond Island in Casco Bay. It reopens Memorial Day weekend 2019, and you won't want to miss it during your summer stay in Portland. Take the Casco Bay Lines ferry to the island and enjoy a tropical escape at Crown Jewel. With a menu of creative takes on Maine food, like oyster sliders, butter-poached lobster, and New England shrimp toast, this gem of a café will be the highlight of your dining in Portland.
This Cajun-themed restaurant began as a food cart, with New Orleans-born chef Evan Richardson moving into this Exchange St. location in May. The full kitchen has allowed Richardson to further display his Southern cooking chops, with a menu of chicken and waffles, gumbo, pimento mac and cheese, and po'boys. There's local beer on tap and classic cocktails like Hurricanes and Sazeracs to complete that Big Easy feeling at this new Portland restaurant.