Welcome to Portland, Maine, a charming coastal city known for its vibrant food scene and culinary delights. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, exploring the city’s diverse range of restaurants is a must-do activity. From seafood shacks serving the freshest catches to upscale dining establishments showcasing innovative cuisine, there is something for every palate in this food lover’s paradise.
Portland’s culinary landscape is heavily influenced by its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, allowing it to offer an incredible selection of seafood. But it’s not just about the seafood – the city also boasts a thriving farm-to-table movement, with numerous restaurants sourcing their ingredients locally to create delectable dishes.
With so many exceptional restaurants to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide where to indulge your taste buds. That’s why we’ve curated a list of the top ten restaurants in Portland, Maine, that you shouldn’t miss.
Whether you’re a fan of traditional New England fare or seeking international flavors, these restaurants are sure to leave you satisfied. From cozy casual eateries to elegant fine dining establishments, each of these establishments offers a unique experience that celebrates the region’s culinary prowess.
So, get ready to embark on a gastronomic adventure through the vibrant streets of Portland, Maine. Let’s dive into the world of delicious flavors, impeccable service, and memorable dining experiences.
The Honey Paw
If you’re in the mood for a unique fusion of flavors, look no further than The Honey Paw. Located in the heart of Portland, this innovative restaurant combines Asian and American cuisine in a way that will tantalize your taste buds.
The menu at The Honey Paw features a mouthwatering selection of dishes that showcase the vibrant flavors of both cultures. Start your meal with their famous Crispy Pig Ear Lettuce Wraps, a delightful combination of crispy textures and savory flavors. For your main course, don’t miss their signature dish, the Khao Soi. This comforting bowl of curry soup with noodles, braised chicken, and pickled mustard greens is a true standout.
The Honey Paw also excels in its commitment to sustainability and supporting local farmers. They take pride in sourcing ingredients from nearby farms and fisheries, ensuring that every dish is made with the freshest and highest quality produce available.
When it comes to the ambiance, The Honey Paw offers a trendy and inviting atmosphere that complements the bold flavors of the food. The restaurant’s modern industrial design, with touches of Asian-inspired decor, creates a stylish and comfortable setting for a memorable dining experience.
Whether you’re a fan of Asian cuisine or simply looking to try something new and exciting, The Honey Paw is a must-visit destination for food lovers in Portland, Maine.
- Fusion of Asian and American flavors
- Sustainable sourcing of ingredients
- Must-try dish: Khao Soi
- Trendy and inviting ambiance
Prepare yourself for a mouthwatering indulgence at Duckfat, one of Portland’s most beloved restaurants. Located in the heart of the city, Duckfat is a small, cozy eatery that specializes in one thing: fries cooked in duck fat.
While the fries at Duckfat steal the show, the restaurant also offers a variety of gourmet sandwiches and salads that are equally delicious. Sink your teeth into their popular Duck Confit Panini, a heavenly combination of tender duck, homemade pickled vegetables, and melted Swiss cheese. The Cubano sandwich, made with slow-roasted pork shoulder and house-cured ham, is another standout option.
What sets Duckfat apart is its commitment to using high-quality, locally sourced ingredients. The restaurant prides itself on hand-cutting their fries from Maine potatoes and using only the finest meats and cheeses in their sandwiches. This dedication to quality shines through in every bite.
The cozy atmosphere of Duckfat adds to its charm. With just a few tables and a small bar, it’s a popular spot and can get busy, so be prepared for a wait during peak hours. But believe us, the wait is well worth it. The friendly staff and casual vibe make it a great place to enjoy a delicious meal with friends or family.
- Fries cooked in duck fat
- Gourmet sandwiches and salads
- Locally sourced, high-quality ingredients
- Must-try dish: Duck Confit Panini
- Cozy and casual atmosphere
Eventide Oyster Co.
For seafood enthusiasts, Eventide Oyster Co. is a true gem in the Portland dining scene. Located in the trendy East End neighborhood, this bustling oyster bar and restaurant offers an impressive selection of fresh oysters and an array of other delectable seafood dishes.
When you visit Eventide Oyster Co., starting your meal with a plate of their renowned oysters is a must. Their raw oyster selection is diverse, featuring a rotating variety sourced from the coast of Maine and beyond. The oysters are impeccably fresh, expertly shucked, and served with creative accompaniments that enhance their natural flavors.
In addition to their exceptional oysters, Eventide Oyster Co. offers a tantalizing menu featuring innovative seafood creations. Indulge in their famous Eventide Brown Butter Lobster Roll, which takes the classic New England favorite to new heights. The lobster is bathed in a rich brown butter vinaigrette and served on a homemade steamed bun, creating a flavor combination that will leave you craving more.
The ambiance at Eventide Oyster Co. is lively and energetic, with an open kitchen and a bustling bar. The sleek and modern interior adds to the overall dining experience, creating a welcoming and stylish space where you can enjoy your meal.
Offering a wide range of seafood delicacies, top-notch service, and a vibrant atmosphere, it’s no wonder that Eventide Oyster Co. is a favorite among locals and visitors alike.
- Wide selection of fresh oysters
- Innovative seafood creations
- Must-try dish: Eventide Brown Butter Lobster Roll
- Lively and energetic ambiance
- Sleek and modern interior
If you’re searching for a truly exceptional dining experience in Portland, look no further than Fore Street. Located in the historic Old Port district, this award-winning restaurant is renowned for its rustic charm, wood-fired oven, and commitment to showcasing the best of Maine’s local ingredients.
The menu at Fore Street changes daily based on the availability of seasonal ingredients. This ensures that every dish is prepared using the freshest and most flavorful produce, seafood, and meats. From roasted local fish to mouthwatering wood-grilled steaks, every item on the menu reflects the restaurant’s dedication to serving honest and flavorful food.
One of the highlights of dining at Fore Street is the open kitchen, where you can catch a glimpse of the talented chefs skillfully preparing your meal. The restaurant’s industrial-chic decor with exposed brick walls and wooden beams creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere, perfect for a memorable dining experience.
Fore Street also boasts an impressive wine list, carefully curated to complement the flavors of the dishes. The knowledgeable staff is more than happy to recommend the perfect pairing for your meal.
It’s worth noting that due to its popularity, reservations at Fore Street are highly recommended. This is a testament to the restaurant’s reputation as one of the finest dining establishments in Portland.
- Focus on local and seasonal ingredients
- Wood-fired oven adds unique flavors
- Open kitchen for an interactive dining experience
- Industrial-chic atmosphere
- Impressive wine selection
When it comes to exploring the vibrant food scene in Portland, Maine, Central Provisions is a must-visit restaurant. Located in the heart of the city’s Arts District, this trendy eatery offers a creative and contemporary twist on traditional New England cuisine.
The menu at Central Provisions is designed for sharing, allowing you to savor a variety of flavors and textures in each dish. From small plates to larger entrees, every item on the menu showcases the restaurant’s commitment to using high-quality, locally sourced ingredients.
Start your culinary journey with their delicious Crispy Pig Ear Lettuce Wraps or their inventive Tuna Tartare with avocado and nori. The menu also features small plates like Lamb Ribs with harissa glaze and Grilled Octopus with smoked paprika aioli, each dish bursting with flavor and creativity.
Central Provisions also offers an impressive selection of craft cocktails, skillfully crafted by their talented mixologists. From classic cocktails with a twist to unique creations inspired by the seasonal ingredients, you’re sure to find a libation that perfectly complements your meal.
The restaurant’s modern and stylish interior creates an inviting and upscale atmosphere, making it an ideal spot for a special occasion or a memorable night out. The attentive and knowledgeable staff further elevate the dining experience, providing recommendations and ensuring that every detail is taken care of.
Central Provisions embodies the spirit of the Portland food scene, combining innovation, local ingredients, and a passion for culinary excellence.
- Contemporary twist on New England cuisine
- Menu designed for sharing
- Fresh and locally sourced ingredients
- Impressive craft cocktail selection
- Stylish and upscale interior
Street & Co.
If you’re craving fresh and flavorful seafood in a cozy and welcoming atmosphere, Street & Co. is a must-visit restaurant in Portland, Maine. Located on Wharf Street, this charming establishment has been serving up delicious seafood dishes for over 20 years.
When you step into Street & Co., you’ll immediately feel the warm and inviting ambiance. The rustic and nautical-inspired decor creates a cozy atmosphere that makes you feel right at home. With dim lighting and exposed brick walls, it’s the perfect setting for a romantic dinner or a casual meal with friends.
The restaurant’s menu is predominantly focused on seafood, offering a wide range of dishes prepared with the freshest catch of the day. From classic dishes like Lobster Thermidor and Whole Grilled Fish to unique creations like Seafood Cioppino and Clams with Chorizo, every dish is a testament to the chef’s skill and the restaurant’s commitment to using quality ingredients.
One of the standout features of Street & Co. is their dedication to embracing the essence of Mediterranean cuisine. The menu highlights flavors and ingredients from countries along the Mediterranean coast, infusing the dishes with a delightful blend of herbs, spices, and olive oil.
The attentive and friendly staff at Street & Co. further enhance the dining experience. Their knowledge of the menu and recommendations for wine pairings ensure that you have a memorable and satisfying meal.
For seafood enthusiasts looking for a delightful dining experience in Portland, Street & Co. is the perfect choice. With its warm ambiance, exceptional seafood dishes, and Mediterranean influences, it’s no wonder that this restaurant is a favorite among locals and visitors alike.
- Cozy and welcoming atmosphere
- Focus on fresh and flavorful seafood
- Menu inspired by Mediterranean cuisine
- Standout dishes: Lobster Thermidor and Seafood Cioppino
- Attentive and friendly staff
Allagash Brewing Company
No food travel experience in Portland, Maine, would be complete without a visit to the Allagash Brewing Company. Known for its exceptional craft beers and commitment to quality, this brewery has become a staple in the city’s vibrant beer scene.
The Allagash Brewing Company is renowned for its Belgian-inspired beers, characterized by complex flavors and unique brewing techniques. From the classic Allagash White, a refreshing and citrusy wheat beer, to their limited release and barrel-aged offerings, there is a beer to suit every taste and preference.
Visitors to the Allagash Brewing Company can take a guided tour of the facility, where you’ll learn about the brewing process and the history of the brewery. The knowledgeable guides will walk you through the various stages of brewing, from the selection of ingredients to the fermentation and bottling processes.
Of course, no tour would be complete without a tasting. At the end of the tour, you’ll have the opportunity to sample a variety of beers, allowing you to fully appreciate the craftsmanship and complexity behind each brew.
Aside from the tours, Allagash Brewing Company also has a spacious and inviting tasting room where you can enjoy their beers on tap. The tasting room offers a casual and laid-back atmosphere, perfect for relaxing and savoring the flavors of their exceptional selection of beers.
For beer enthusiasts and anyone looking to experience the local craft beer scene, a visit to Allagash Brewing Company is a must. Immerse yourself in the world of Belgian-inspired beers and indulge in the flavors that have put this brewery on the map.
- Renowned for Belgian-inspired craft beers
- Guided tours and tastings
- Knowledgeable guides and brewing insights
- Spacious and inviting tasting room
- Variety of beers to suit every taste
Located in the heart of downtown Portland, Union is a culinary gem that embodies the essence of farm-to-table dining. With its focus on seasonal ingredients sourced from local farms and its creative approach to American cuisine, this restaurant offers a truly elevated dining experience.
The menu at Union is constantly evolving, reflecting the changing seasons and the availability of fresh ingredients. The talented chefs at Union skillfully craft each dish using produce that is at its peak of flavor. From starters like the Roasted Beet Salad with Vermont goat cheese to main courses like the Pan-Roasted Duck Breast with wild mushroom risotto, every dish showcases the restaurant’s commitment to excellence.
Union’s commitment to using locally sourced ingredients extends beyond the food. The beverage program at the restaurant features an impressive selection of craft beers, unique cocktails, and an extensive wine list. Their knowledgeable staff is always available to help you find the perfect pairing for your meal.
The ambiance at Union is elegant yet inviting, with warm lighting and a cozy, rustic interior. The minimalist decor allows the focus to be on the food, creating a dining atmosphere that is both refined and relaxed.
Union’s dedication to showcasing the flavors of the region has earned it a loyal following among locals and visitors alike. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply looking for an exceptional dining experience in Portland, Union is sure to impress with its commitment to quality and culinary innovation.
- Focus on farm-to-table dining
- Seasonal ingredients sourced from local farms
- Creative approach to American cuisine
- Impressive selection of craft beers, cocktails, and wines
- Elegant yet inviting ambiance
If you’re searching for a unique and whimsical dining experience in Portland, Maine, look no further than The Treehouse. Tucked away in the West End neighborhood, this hidden gem offers a cozy and intimate setting where you can enjoy delicious food and excellent service.
The menu at The Treehouse features a fusion of international flavors with a focus on comfort food. From hearty burgers to flavorful tacos and innovative small plates, there’s something to satisfy every craving. Don’t miss their famous Mac and Cheese, which comes with a variety of mouthwatering toppings to choose from, taking this classic dish to a whole new level.
As the name suggests, The Treehouse has a unique treehouse-like ambience, with charming decor and a cozy atmosphere. The warm lighting, wooden accents, and eclectic artwork create a comfortable and inviting space where you can unwind and enjoy your meal.
In addition to its delightful menu, The Treehouse boasts a carefully curated selection of craft beers, wines, and creative cocktails. Whether you prefer a refreshing IPA or a perfectly paired glass of wine, their knowledgeable staff can help you find the perfect libation to complement your meal.
The Treehouse also goes the extra mile in catering to dietary restrictions, offering a variety of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. This ensures that everyone can enjoy a satisfying and flavorful dining experience.
If you’re looking for a truly magical and off-the-beaten-path culinary adventure in Portland, The Treehouse is the place to go. With its whimsical ambiance, inventive menu, and commitment to accommodating dietary preferences, this restaurant promises a truly memorable dining experience.
- Fusion of international flavors
- Comfort food with a creative twist
- Charming “treehouse” ambiance
- Thoughtfully curated beverage selection
- Accommodates various dietary preferences
Empire Chinese Kitchen
For a taste of authentic and mouthwatering Chinese cuisine in Portland, Maine, make sure to visit Empire Chinese Kitchen. Located in the heart of the city’s bustling Arts District, this modern and stylish restaurant offers a contemporary twist on classic Chinese dishes.
Empire Chinese Kitchen takes pride in using locally sourced ingredients to create flavorful and high-quality dishes. The menu features a wide range of options, from traditional dim sum, noodles, and rice dishes to innovative small plates with a twist. Start your meal with their delectable Pork Soup Dumplings or indulge in their signature dish, General Tso’s Chicken, which is elevated with the perfect balance of sweetness and heat.
The vibrant and trendy atmosphere of Empire Chinese Kitchen adds to the overall dining experience. The restaurant’s sleek and modern design, with its exposed brick walls and stylish decor, creates a chic and inviting ambiance. Whether you’re having a casual meal with friends or celebrating a special occasion, Empire Chinese Kitchen provides an elegant setting for any dining experience.
Complementing the delicious food is the impressive selection of craft cocktails, wine, and Asian-inspired spirits at Empire Chinese Kitchen’s full-service bar. The talented mixologists create unique concoctions that perfectly complement the flavors of the food, providing a well-rounded and satisfying dining experience.
With its commitment to quality ingredients, contemporary twist on Chinese cuisine, and stylish ambiance, Empire Chinese Kitchen offers a memorable and authentic culinary journey in the heart of Portland.
- Contemporary twist on classic Chinese dishes
- Locally sourced high-quality ingredients
- Must-try dish: General Tso’s Chicken
- Trendy and stylish ambiance
- Impressive selection of craft cocktails and Asian-inspired spirits