Often called the food destination in America, a food mecca, “foodie” heaven, and many other food nicknames, Portland is known for having some of the best restaurants in the world. Here’s a definitive list of all of Portland’s classic and famous eats, plus a few extras that everyone should have on their radar.
1. Brown Butter Lobster Roll from Eventide Oyster Co.
Buttery, warm, soft. If you’re reading this and you’re in Portland right now, the next thing you should be doing is running to Eventide for this one-of-a-kind taste.
2. Breakfast Paella from Local 188
Combine two of the most important things to people who love food — breakfast and paella — and you get Local 188’s delicious dish that is full of everything you could ever want during Sunday brunch. Chicken, chorizo, mussels, and finished with an egg, this dish will have you frequenting Local 188.
3. Roasted Cauliflower from Central Provisions
Roasted cauliflower is only one of the many creative dishes Central Provisions offers. With twists off your most favorite classics like the burger, fish sandwich, and vegetables, everything here is full of interesting and delicious flavor. This cauliflower is crispy and topped with Feta, but is refreshing nonetheless, garnished with mint.
4. Breakfast Pastry from Standard Baking Co.
If you have a sweet tooth or a love for baked goods, this should be your first stop in Portland. Known for their fresh bread and their variety of cookies, cakes, and buns, Standard Baking Co. has been called one of America’s best bakeries a number of times. Be sure to try their sticky bun.
5. “Almond Milk Mocha” from Tandem Coffee Roasters
Not only decorated with intricate designs, the coffee at Tandem tastes better than any other coffee you will find in Portland. All of your favorite flavors will be crafted into the perfect cup of coffee that you can enjoy on the go along with a slice of their homemade banana bread.
6. Ceviche Roll from Miyake
Often referred to as the best sushi in Portland and New England, Miyake is a place you should be sure to visit even if you’re only in town for the weekend. There are many rolls to pick from, but hopefully your decision of what to order will be made easier after hearing about the Ceviche Roll. Japanese snapper is coated with with cilantro, truffle oil and oba, wrapped in soy paper and topped with tobiko.
7. Smoked Salmon Bagel from Dutch’s
It’s hard to come across a good bagel and lox, but look no further. This bagel is everything you could want in a breakfast sandwich. At Dutch’s, choose from a variety of bagels, cream cheeses, and toppings to create the best breakfast and get a good start to your day.
8. Benedict from Union
The tastiest (and prettiest) Benedict I’ve encountered in a while. If you haven’t eaten Sunday brunch at Union yet, make plans now. At Union, you don’t need to worry about anything being over or undercooked. They’ve mastered the classics and will offer you everything you could possibly need the morning after a fun night in Portland.
9. Mac ‘N Stack from Nosh
There are few things better than a cheeseburger, but one of those few things may just be a cheeseburger sandwiched between two mac and cheese buns. What’s not to like? Nosh twists all the classic, favorite sandwiches out there to make them their own and even more delicious than you could ever imagine.
10. Brussel Sprouts from Eventide Oyster Co.
The only other brussels sprouts in Portland rivaling those at Pai Men Miyake are Eventide’s fried brussels set atop a light and creamy sauce. These things are addicting so be sure to order enough for everyone the table. Even the people who say they won’t eat brussels sprouts.
11. Poutine from Duckfat
The poutine at Duckfat is like no other. Not only do they have the best fries in Portland, Duckfat has perfected every single aspect of this poutine dish, including the bits of cheese, chives, and duck gravy.
#SpoonTip: Don’t forget to add a sunny side up egg.
12. The Karlyn from Slab Pizza
Slab is known for their thick, doughy, and piping hot slices of pizza with all the toppings you could possibly want. This one’s a classic. Red sauce, extra pepperoni, and extra cheese, because everything at Slab is double: double the toppings and double the size.
13. Maple Bacon Donut from The Holy Donut
These donuts have been written up by many magazines, and for good reason. They aren’t just your average donuts. Made with Maine potatoes, these treats are extra doughy and more flavorful than any other donut you will try. Full of all the classic flavors, including a few out of the ordinary like Maple Bacon, The Holy Donut is the place people travel far and wide for.
14. Classic Whoopie Pie from Two Fat Cats
Maine is known for whoopie pies, and so is Two Fat Cats Bakery. This classic dessert is done just right here: chocolate with house made marshmallow buttercream frosting. This version has been featured on Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” and “Unique Eats,” and is the only place to stop for one of these treats.
15. Soft Serve Ice Cream from The Honey Paw
After stumbling upon The Honey Paw recently, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t been going there every single time I had previously been in Portland. They are known for their Asian-style cuisine, specifically their vast array of noodle and rice dishes. But you might miss their soft-serve ice cream if you’re not careful, and that would be a huge mistake. Along with their flavor of the day is their classic caramelized honey soft-serve topped with pieces of honeycomb and a chocolate magic shell.
16. Lobster Roll from The Lobster Shack
For that traditional lobster roll craving you might be having once entering Maine, this is the place to go. Beautiful views, fresh lobster, and a perfectly toasted bun make for a classic lobster roll and the quintessential Maine experience you must have before leaving the state.
17. Eggs Benedict from Hot Suppa
Hot Suppa is another one of those brunch places that should not go unnoticed. The eggs Benedict in particular is a must-have and some of the best hollandaise around. Not to mention the crunchy, salty hash browns that accompany this breakfast are amazing.
#SpoonTip: Order the Benedict with the friend green tomato base for a crunchy surprise under a perfectly poached egg.
18. All I Want Is (More) Chocolate Gelato from Gelato Fiasco
Attention all chocolate lovers, this chocolate gelato is what you’ve been waiting for your whole life. This is a brownie batter base with chocolate covered pretzels, house-made chocolate truffle, and brownie batter bites. If you’re not so much into chocolate, don’t worry because Gelato Fiasco has flavors on flavors on flavors and is by far the best gelato you will find in New England.
#Spoontip Gelato Fiasco has dozens of non dairy options everyday including their sinful dark chocolate noir (basically fudge) that every chocolate lover should experience.
19. Pork Bun from Pai Men Miyake
Juicy, doughy, saucy, and TASTY are the only words that come to mind when considering these buns. Seriously, do not go to Pai Men without trying this appetizer. House-made steamed buns are filled with pork belly, gochujang mayo and a pepper relish.
20. Spring Pasta from Blue Spoon
Blue Spoon is a favorite among Portland locals, the menu is full of tasty, creative plates that lure people back time and time again. A particularly popular dish is this pasta resembling a carbonara in many ways. Finished with spring onion, bacon, a poached egg, parmesan, and toasted breadcrumbs, this combination of flavors is hard not to love.
21. Almond Milk Acai Bowl from Maine Squeeze
While there are plenty of Portland bites on the not-so-healthy side of the spectrum, there are also many healthy (and still delicious) stops that must be noted. The best acai bowl around, this breakfast is full of fresh ingredients and everything you need in order to get enough energy for a busy day in Portland. The bowl comes topped with chia seeds, bananas, berries and Grandy Oats Granola.
#SpoonTip: Add on cacao nibs or dark chocolate for an extra yummy bowl.
22. Dessert from Walter’s
All of the desserts at Walter’s are incredible, especially this matcha mint chocolate chip ice cream and and fudge brownie topped with hot fudge and toasted popcorn. Also on the dessert menu is a s’mores tart, a triple chocolate mousse, a lavender creme brûlée as well as many more that will satisfy any kind of sweet tooth.
23. Maine Maple Popcorn from Coastal Maine Popcorn
Coastal Maine Popcorn is every popcorn lover’s dream come true. Upon walking into the store, you will be met with giant bags of popcorn, a vast variety of flavors, and the hardest decisions you will ever have to make. They do offer unlimited samples, though. Once you decide between sweet or savory, chocolatey or cheesy, you will be closer to finding the perfect popcorn flavor for you amongst what seems like hundreds. If you really can’t choose, Maine Maple is a classic and a choice you can’t really go wrong with.
#SpoonTip: Combine the coconut curry flavor with the Maine maple for a savory yet sweet and spicy combo.
24. Veggie Flatbread from Flatbread Pizza Company
There are a few places in Portland for pizza, and this one definitely makes the list of those top spots. The right amount of crunch and the right amount of doughiness, and topped with amazing combinations of fresh ingredients, these pizzas are a necessary stop on your Portland food crawl.
25. Ham and Cheese Crepe from Portland Patisserie and Grand Cafe
Every city known for food has a great crepe, and this is one in Portland that should certainly be noted. Cheesy and crispy and perfectly cooked, this savory crepe is good any time of day, and only one of the many delicious treats offered at Portland Patisserie.
26. Local Apple and Bacon Bowl from b.good
b.good is the best place to go if you’ve been overindulging. Everything they offer is fresh, healthy, but still tasty with a variety of dressings, vegetable combinations, and flavorful proteins. This combo is a winner with kale, avocado, VT slab bacon, local apples, pomegranates, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, scallions, red wine vinegar, and olive oil.
27. Soup from Aurora Provisions
Aurora Provisions is by far the best gourmet market in Portland, and is a necessary stop for any wine and cheese party, daytime (or evening) picnic, or craving for an awesome sandwich that you may be having. Aurora’s also offers outstanding prepared foods including cooked meats, vegetables, salads, and more that are great for dinner any night of the week. Make sure to try their soups, though. They vary daily and are always spot on.
28. Huevos Rancheros from Local 188
Just as pretty as it is tasty, this dish is another reason why Local 188 is a must-try for brunch. Served on a tortilla perfectly wrapping up all the flavor, this huevos rancheros dish includes all the tastes you’re craving in the morning, with just the right amount of Spanish twist.
29. Cinnamon Sugar Donut from Bard Coffee
Along with the famous coffee at Bard and the chill vibes perfect for getting work done or catching up with a friend, there are delicious snacks just like this sugary donut. Treats like these at Bard compliment their warm teas and coffee drinks that can be enjoyed in this beautiful shop or on-the-go.
30. Crispy Chicken Sammich from Nosh
Another mouthwatering meal from Nosh, this fried chicken and waffle sandwich is everything you could ever want in a sandwich and much, much more. Chicken is double fried in a buttermilk brine with 24 herbs and spices and topped with a poblano pepper mayo, American cheese, lettuce and tomato and Eggo waffles as the bread. Not sure it gets much better than that.
31. Miso Cod from Eventide Oyster Co.
As you can see, Eventide has more than one killer dish, and this is definitely one of them. Most certainly as delicious as it is colorful, this miso cod is light, refreshing, and perfectly seasoned (just like everything at Eventide). Great for lunch, dinner, or to share if you’re tasting many things at this restaurant.
32. Donuts from Urban Sugar
Another place completely worth the indulging, Urban Sugar has donut flavors you never knew existed and can’t get enough of. A couple of their most popular include “The Lucy” (chocolate cream, chocolate sauce, and chocolate graham cracker crumbs) and “Southern Sugar” (maple bourbon drizzle, maple pastry cream, and candied pecans). Their menu is complete with the classics and the not-so-classics, all amazing.
33. Brussel Sprouts from Pai Men Miyake
Brussels sprouts are all the rage right now, and for good reason. It’s places like Pai Men Miyake that have mastered the brussels sprouts dish that is sweeping the food world. Crunchy and overflowing with flavor, this side dish will quickly turn into the most desired dish on the table.
34. House Smoked Brisket Panini from Duckfat
Everything at Duckfat (especially the paninis) is outstanding, and you will be met with a difficult choice of what to get once you visit this spot. The brisket panini is a favorite here, including a fresh vegetable chow chow, melty cheddar cheese, and a sweet bbq sauce.
#SpoonTip: Don’t leave without getting an order of their famous fries (fried in duckfat) and a choice between five different sauces for dipping – truffle ketchup included!
35. Huevos Rancheros from Zapoteca
Another memorable huevos rancheros, be sure to try out Zapoteca’s popular dish during their Sunday brunch. Another restaurant full of Spanish flavor, this is a must-try when stepping foot into this foodie city.
36. #2 Egg Sandwich from Local Sprouts
This sandwich does everything a great breakfast sandwich should and even more. Served with scrambled local cage-free eggs on a perfectly toasted English muffin, the sandwich is finished with a house herb butter, house pesto, grilled tomato and Sunset Acres goat cheese. Add local bacon, sausage, ham, or tempeh if you choose.
37. Mashed Potato, Bacon, and Scallion Pizza from OTTO
Known for their unique pizza topping combinations, OTTO is a favorite amongst the Portland locals, which is always a good sign. Whether it’s pulled pork, mashed potatoes, squash, ricotta, pepperoni, or many many more types of toppings, you will find everything you could ever want on a pizza here at OTTO.
38. Baja Fish Sandwich from Central Provisions
Central Provisions is the type of place that you will want to return to every single visit you make to Portland. You’ll want to try everything on the menu. This lunchtime treat is a killer fish sandwich with an avocado aioli, red onion, lettuce and two pieces of grilled, buttery bread.
39. Wood Oven-Roasted Maine Mussels from Fore Street
Fore Street is one of Portland’s most well known restaurants, and reservations here should be made way, way in advance. If you are lucky enough to get in, there are a few staples on the menu that should not be missed, one being the garlic almond butter wood oven roasted mussels. Fresh from the Maine ocean, and perfectly prepared by the Fore Street professionals, this dish is a must-have.
40. Paitan Ramen from Pai Men Miyake
Another dish that cannot be missed during a Portland food crawl is the ramen at Pai Men Miyake. Chicken and pork broth, pork belly, soy marinated egg, scallion, ginger and nori create a magnificent and memorable array of tastes and flavors.
41. A Dozen Bagels from Scratch Baking Co.
On a Sunday morning before beginning that homemade brunch, swing by Scratch Baking Co. for a dozen perfect bagels and then your breakfast will be complete. Everyone knows really great bagels are not easy to come by, but these definitely qualify as some of the best around.
42. Chocolate Waffle from Bayside American Cafe
Bayside American Cafe is another breakfast spot that should not go unnoticed, mostly because of their unique and incredible dishes like this one. One of the most popular dishes, the dark chocolate Belgian waffles with fresh strawberries and whipped cream, will quickly make Bayside your new go-to.
43. Pulled Pork Benedict from Terlingua
Terlingua is a Portland favorite, offering all your favorite bites but with a Caribbean, Southwest, and Mexican twist. This Benedict is particularly flavorful. Sandwiched between two green chile biscuits are two poached eggs that are topped with a tobacco hollandaise.
44. Lobster from EVO
Chef Matt Ginn was the winner of Maine’s Best Lobster Chef in 2015, and this meal and restaurant is one that you should definitely experience. The food at EVO has a Mediterranean twist and the menu is full of fresh seafood in addition to meat and vegetarian dishes. Make sure not to pass up the lobster.
45. Fresh Collard Rolls from Green Elephant
Green Elephant is an Asian vegetarian bistro very popular amongst the city’s foodies. Vegetarian spring rolls and dumplings, brussels sprouts and edamame, and fried rice and noodles are only a few must-tries on the menu. Sweet, salty, nutty, crispy, and fresh, everything at Green Elephant is great for sharing, tasting, or ordering just for yourself.
46. Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream from Beal’s
Beal’s is your typical old-fashioned ice cream shop and home to a wide variety of flavors you’ve never heard of as well as the classics we all love. Whoopie Pie, Caramel Cream Ripple, Cookies & Cream, and Mint Chocolate Chip are just a few of the flavors you will find here.
47. Salt Bagel with Egg, Spinach, and Avocado from Union Bagel Co.
Union Bagel Co. is another breakfast spot that really knows what they’re doing. Bike over there on a sunny summer day, pick up a few sandwiches (including this salt bagel egg and cheese), and bring your picnic to the ocean for the perfect start to your day.
48. Thai Salad from Boda
Boda has Portland’s best Thai food, and their salads are especially noteworthy. This one made with fiddleheads and topped with shrimp, ground chicken, and fried shallots is a burst of all the best flavors. Delicious, sweet, and savory dressings as well as fresh ingredients, eating at Boda will make you feel like you’ve just arrived in Thailand.
#SpoonTip: Boda’s grill is open late night (12:45am) and is perfect after a concert or show in Portland.
49. Lobster on Linguine from Street and Co.
Street and Co. is another one of those Portland classics that all the locals love, and there are plenty of reasons why. Choose from different fish and shellfish to top incredible linguine. The lobster is a very popular dish, and what better place to get a great lobster meal than Maine?
50. Charcuterie from Grace
Grace is known for their beautiful dining space, their detailed presentation, and their exquisite food. This is the type of food you will not want to eat because it is so perfectly designed on the plate, but once you start eating you won’t want to stop. Get the charcuterie plate to share, and be sure to get a picture of it before you dig in.