I love both Portlands… Maine and Oregon, that is. I even wrote about them in the same story once! But my heart will always belong to the East Coast sister (the original!). I grew up going to Maine for a few weeks in the summer every other year to visit my grandparents in Harpswell, and we’d always spend at least a few hours in Portland. Even at 8, I fell in love with the cobblestone streets, hard-knock docks, and of course, the Pirate store on Commercial Street.
I’ve been back a few times since then, and only get more crazy about it every time! On a whim, I extended a recent New York trip and took the 90 minute flight up north to eat way too many lobster rolls and drink way too much beer. I’m beginning to feel a little bit like a local, having hit up some of my favorite spots from the last time again. So in my not-so-humble opinion, here are the best places to eat and drink in Portland, Maine!
This one was a new one since I had last been there–but Yelp had amazing reviews, so on my first night in, I swung in at around 10:30. The cute restaurant off of Middle street is always open until midnight, making it an awesome spot for a late-night snack. And snack I did on the best, most unique lobster rolls I’ve ever had! The dim sum-size roll was served topped in brown butter vinagerette on a steamed dumpling style bun (that sweet sticky style). The waitress also threw in a fried oyster bun, topped with kimchi and jalapeno–equally as awesome! I had to swing back the next night just to snack on them again.
Also, is this the cutest sink of all time or what?
Most people know of this Maine brewery because of their Shipyard Pumpkin Ale, pretty much the best pumpkin ale on the market if you like a true strong pumpkin taste. They sell 1/3 of their sales just when this seasonal is released. What I didn’t know was that they recently bought Sea Dog Brewery as well, maker of my all-time favorite Bluepaw (Blueberry Wheat) beer. I stocked up on so much Sea Dog merch (including a blue cute T with the signature white dog on the back), a few pint glasses, and even some blueberry wheat beer-infused soap! The brewery also gives free tastings every hour, and have quite the variety of beers from light to dark and really light to super rich.
Lobsters love Guinness indeed! This Irish bar is nice and cozy, with crannies upstairs and down just right for downing a pint. Plus, they’ll occasionally have Irish bands play; once the bar is hooting and clapping, the whole place comes alive in the true spirit of Ireland.