A Foodie Weekend in the Old Port of Portland, ME

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Wall of Maine Spirits at Maine Beer and Beverage, Portland

People frequently ask me about must-see places for foodies visiting Portland. Most recently, I wrote up this list in an email, and then I thought I should post it here:


If I were going to spend a weekend in Portland, I'd want to be sure to check out:

Dining and Drinking:

  • Becky's Diner - local breakfast joint
  • Gilbert's Chowder House - local lunch joint 
  • Fore Street - fancy dinner 
  • Drifter's Wife - acclaimed hyperlocal dining, if you can get in
  • Silly's - casual and fun near East Bayside
  • Duckfat - trendy dinner 
  • Portland Hunt & Alpine Club - cocktails
  • Thirsty Pig - beer and sausages
  • Novare Res - beer 
  • Central Provisions - cocktails, beer and good food
  • Liquid Riot - noisy distillery with restaurant 
  • Holy Donut - potato donuts, go early 
  • Mount Desert Island Ice Cream - Lorna still raves about the tangerine-tarragon sherbet 
  • Gelato Fiasco is also highly regarded. Not an ice cream guy myself. 

Shopping

  • Vena's Fizz House - cool classic cocktail gear and lost ingredients 
  • Sweetgrass Winery tasting room, for the gin - across from Vena's 
  • Harbor Fish Market - amazing 
  • LeRoux Kitchen - excellent kitchen store 
  • Bull Moose Records - vinyl & CDs, stuff you thought nobody had, good staff 
  • Sherman's Books, especially good kids section 
  • Portland Food Coop is OK, not great 
  • Urban Farm Fermentory - wacky kombucha brewer 
  • Micucci - very good Italian market 
  • Maine Beer and Beverage - complete collection of Portland beers, ciders, meads, and spirits!
    Portland produces a lot of excellent beer and spirits, including:

Gins made in Maine

  • Maine Craft Distilling - Alchemy Dry Gin 
  • New England Distilling - Ingenium Gin 
  • Cold River Distilling - Traditional Gin 
  • Sweetgrass Winery - Back River Gin 
  • Wiggly Bridge Distillery - Small Batch Dry Gin
  • Stroudwater Distillery - Classic Dry Gin 
  • Hardshore Distilling Company - Original Small Batch Gin 
  • Liquid Riot, Portland Maine - double-expensive, I've never tried this one 

Field Trips within Portland 

Consider a trip to East Bayside, home of Drifter's Wife, Hardshore Distilling, Coffee By Design (roasters), Tandem coffee roasters, Maine Craft Distilling, Urban Farm Fermentory, Oxbow Brewing, Maine Meadworks, Maine & Loire Wines, and across the street from Silly's (lunch/dinner).

Also Thompson's Point: Stroudwater Distillery, Bissell Bros Brewing, Cellardoor Winery, and Bunker Brewing nearby.

If you want a brewery crawl, (which can take two days in Portland) there's a brewbus to make it easy.

These represent my own subjective tastes. If you want jewelry and other nice things, I can ask Lorna for her suggestions.

I have to stop now