When my fiance (now husband) told me we would be going to Maine for his college roommate’s wedding, my mind drew a blank. My only thoughts of Maine were lobster and… well that’s about it. I was curious and excited to see what this part of New England was all about while taking a quick 3-day getaway.
Once we arrived, we learned two things about Portland from our cab driver:
- Portland has the best food and beers in the country
- Portland has the worst dressed population.
When we exited the cab, I was mildly disappointed to find everyone dressed somewhat fashionably in flannel. Hadn’t anyone told the cabbie that the 90’s were back? However, his statement about the food culture in Portland was spot on.
Everything we ate rocked me to my core. The list below are the best spots to feed your inner fat kid in Portland Maine.
Eventide Oyster Co.
Probably the best oysters around according to the locals and some friends from New York. And while I was an oyster virgin up until this point, I’m pretty proud that my first time was sampling Maine’s finest. But one of our favorites was the lobster roll with brown butter. Good God.
Exactly like the title, everything in this place is deep fried…in duck fat! The fries were like something the gods decided to share with the human race! The beers from the local microbreweries were refreshing and the sea salted duck fat caramel milkshake was better than any milkshake I’ve ever had. I felt no shame as my inner fat kid rejoiced.
The Inn on Peaks Islands
This was the location for the rehearsal dinner as Kevin was one of the groomsman, but what a location! This place is everything you think of when imagining New England. After taking the ferry and a short walk up the road, this quaint Victorian style Inn served a tender and flavorful Maine lobster and plump butternut squash ravioli. But my ultimate favorite was the Pumpkin Head beer (duh) served with a cinnamon sugar rim. Very Fall-esque.
This spot was the perfect first stop in the city: small bites and right in the heart of Fore Street. This place is perfect for sharing if you have a medium to large sized party. They’re not messing around with their Baja Fish Sandwich.
The Holy Donut
Holy God. This little place of awesome was only a 5-minute walk from our airbnb stay and quite the shining star in this quaint neighborhood east of downtown. What makes this place special is the use of actual Maine potatoes in their donuts! Healthy-ish? THE BEST flavors: Pomegranate, Sweet Potato, Sea Salt, Real Mojito, and Maple.
Don’t let the appearance fool you. It may look like a standard Irish pub, but the band, the super-friendly company and the great beer selection makes this place far superior to any ordinary O’Reilly’s. Allagash was by far my favorite beer in town and there was plenty of it here.
Portland Hunt and Alpine Club
This place is in the middle of it all, but hard to miss if you’re not looking for it. The large windows give the place an open vibe, but the cocktails make it feel very speakeasy. If you’re a fan of the bubbles, like me, go for their specialty Lunar Phases cocktail.