Portland, ME City Guide {UPDATE}

by anne

Today’s Portland, ME City Guide Update comes to us from Sarah Lapine, the owner and lead designer of Watershed, a unique floral design studio based in Portland, Maine. A native of the state and lover of all things Maine, Sarah has over a decade of experience as a flower grower and a degree in sustainable agriculture. When not in her studio playing with flowers, Sarah can be found cooking, knitting, running, gardening and exploring the great state of Maine. Today she shares some of the best, most delicious, and absolutely scenic areas of this coastal town. Thank you for taking us on this tour, Sarah! —Stephanie

Read the full guide after the jump!

Portland, ME City Guide

photos by Sarah Lapine

Be sure to check out all of the below listings on this Google Map!

Farmers’ Market – It is no secret that the people of Portland love food. They even love the raw ingredients, the more local the better. With farmers coming into the city year round, there is always access to locally grown produce, locally raised meat, as well as locally processed cheese, honey, syrup and even herbal tinctures. There are twice weekly markets in the summer, one in Monument Square and the other in Deering Oaks Park, as well as an indoor winter market in East Bayside. There are also a handful of smaller summer markets throughout the city that are run by local non-profit Cultivating Community. Check their website for days, times and locations.

East Bayside:

Tandem Coffee – Cozy coffee shop and roastery. Lovely decor. Excellent coffee. All around pleasing to the senses. On Mondays and Tuesdays the Cafe Crepe food truck is parked in the lot. Cafe Crepe flips up a variety of sweet and savory crepes, all of which can be made gluten free.

A Gathering of Stitches – Fiber arts studio with an amazing calendar of workshops such as pattern making, screen printing and knitting. Equipment and studios are also available to rent in this amazingly creative and light-filled space. AGOS is a gem!

Urban Farm Fermentory – If kombucha is your thing or if you’re just curious about the fizzy wonder beverage, stop in here for a tasting. UFF products, including their amazing hard cider, are sold at many local retailers and served in restaurants throughout the peninsula, but I advise you to make time for a visit to the mother ship. The building that houses UFF is also home to many other local food producers, as well as the winter farmers’ market. It’s a hub for good food, good drink and good people.

Maine Craft Distilling – You really could (and probably should) drink your way through East Bayside. There are so many great beverages being produced and sold in this corner of Portland. If you can’t hit them all, definitely make time for a visit to Maine Craft Distilling. They offer their own take on gin, vodka, whiskey and rum, as well as some other specialties. My favorite is the Chesuncook Botanical Spirit. You can taste the carrot. I like that.

Cultivating Community – My husband started and is the director of this uber-local non-profit, so it has a special place in my heart. Family ties aside, there’s a lot to love about this organization. Anchored by an urban farm and community garden nestled in this gritty neighborhood, Cultivating Community works with many local schools to set-up and maintain gardens, runs summer internship programs for area teens, delivers fresh produce to low-income seniors, helps new Americans start farms, and manages the city’s community gardens. As you make your way through the city, be sure to check out the Boyd Street Urban Farm.

Mayo Street Arts – A former church is now home to this dynamic and diverse organization. Live music, puppetry, dance and visual art are just some of the things you’ll find here. After school programs are offered for neighborhood youth, and the basement houses several art studios.

Portland, ME City Guide


Bubba’s Sulky Lounge – Eclectic would be an understated way to describe this Bayside institution. By far the best place to go dancing! Every Saturday is 80s night. Show up dressed in 80s attire and get in free. Check their website for other special events and theme nights.

Bintliff’s – Breakfast and lunch served daily in a funky building (inside and out). Expect a line on a beautiful summer day. It’s worth the wait!

Apothecary By Design – A local pharmacy that offers traditional medications, as well as many natural options. The staff are fantastic! If you go in with a question, you are sure to get thoughtful advice.

Bayside Bowl – Top notch bar food and an excellent drink menu. Live music every weekend. Bocce, skeeball and, of course, bowling. When it opened a few years ago, Bayside Bowl filled a void in the entertainment scene on the Portland peninsula, and it has been busy busy busy ever since. Plan to spend some time waiting for a lane on a winter weekend; fortunately, there is lots to keep you occupied while you wait.

Portland Flea-for-All – Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, this gem is two floors of vintage goodness. The first floor is divided into space for individual vendors, a mix of craftspeople and vintage/antique dealers, while the second floor is one big room of furniture, home goods, bikes and more. A food truck or two are often parked outside. I love stopping here on a weekend morning to check out the ever-changing inventory and grab a bite to eat.

Portland, ME City Guide

East End:

Rosemont – Great selection of local veggies, meats and cheeses, as well as wine and assorted grocery items. This is just one of the Rosemont markets in Portland. The flagship market is in the Rosemont neighborhood, just a few miles from the East End (but not on the peninsula), and the waterfront now also boasts its very own Rosemont. This small chain of local markets truly represents the essence of Portland. Funky and wholesome and all about Maine, Rosemont is the real deal.

KnitWit – It is cold in Maine. We knit. A lot. And this shop has everything you could need to keep your needles clicking away through the long winter. The amazing pattern selection (many from Maine’s own Quince & Co.) and equally impressive collection of yarn is sure to inspire. You can also stop in for some help with a project in progress. They’re good like that!

Lila Yoga – Beautiful studio. Amazing instructors. The best setting I’ve found to practice yoga.

Blue Spoon – Lunch and dinner served daily. Brunch on Saturdays. This small restaurant on the hill is the best for seasonally inspired dining. Great atmosphere. Great people. Great food.

Circa Home & Vintage – This shop is so much fun! From unique vintage items to handcrafted treasures and lots of neat stuff for kids, this store is full of wonderful finds. One of my first stops when looking for the perfect gift.

The Snug – Definitely the coziest place in Portland to get a drink. One side of this small bar is made up of little alcoves. When you’re tucked away in one of these nooks, you can have a real conversation or play a game while in a busy bar. This is definitely my favorite place to go out for a drink in the winter.

West End:

Caiola’s – A great place for a special dinner. My family does a lot of celebrating here. The back patio is a magical place to dine in the summer, while the front of the restaurant offers comfort and warmth in cooler weather. The beautiful wine cellar can be reserved for larger parties. And the food is divine!

Omi’s – Cozy, colorful coffee shop in a really cool building. Overlooking the Casco Bay Bridge and the city of South Portland, Omi’s is a great place to stop for a refreshment as you stroll the West End.

Hot Suppa – I must admit that the name kept me away for awhile, but once I finally made it through the door and had my first Hot Suppa brunch, I was hooked. Breakfast and lunch are served 7 days a week; dinner Tuesday-Saturday. The food is really good! And it’s unlike any other eatery on the peninsula. If you go for dinner, get the BBQ shrimp. It’s amazing!

Boda – When I first moved to Portland, my go-to Thai take-out restaurant occupied this location, and I was devastated when it closed; however, I could not be more pleased with what now stands here. The food is still Thai, but it’s different in a really, really good way. Fantastic cocktails, too!

The Percy Inn – The rooms in this historic West End inn are all named after writers. You can explore the land of Longfellow while staying in a room named after him. That’s pretty cool!


Holy Donut – I’ve never had much of a sweet tooth, but this funky donut shop (conveniently located around the corner from my house) has turned me into a donut fiend! I’m seriously obsessed with the gluten-free cinnamon sugar donut that is offered daily. Last summer, I stopped in to get donuts for my family on my way home from a run. I was short $.50 and the owner happily offered me a loan because she recognized me as a regular. This little anecdote highlights the generosity and all-around awesomeness of this shop, as well as my addiction to their donuts. If you go, be prepared to go back over and over and over again.

Mercury Inn – New on the scene and super cool. The Mercury Inn is a lodging option unlike any other in Portland. The rooms are light filled and decorated flawlessly. I don’t often covet the decor of an inn or b&b, but I would be happy to have everything at the Mercury Inn transported to my own home. The proprietors Tim and Jacob serve breakfasts made from local ingredients and work hard to ensure that the inn has a small carbon footprint. Sounds to me like a business worth supporting!

Hadlock Field – There isn’t a bad seat in this ballpark that is home to the Sea Dogs baseball team, double-A affiliate of New England’s beloved Red Sox. And you really can’t beat the ticket price. General admission is just $8 and reserved seating isn’t much more. For hours of classic summer fun, it’s the best deal in town!

Salvage BBQ – Order at the counter. Find a seat at a picnic table. And wait for your tray of BBQ to arrive. Casual ambience. Delicious food that is definitely worth the mess. You’ll be glad that your meal comes with wet-naps.

Old Port/Waterfront:

Duckfat – The best french fries ever. That is really all you need to know. Just go there!

Portland Trading Co. – Owner Kazeem Lawal curates an impeccable collection of menswear and accessories, both new and vintage. He also has a selection of unique publications, housewares and gifts.

Portland Regency Hotel & Spa – In the heart of the Old Port, this beautiful brick building was constructed in 1895 to house the Maine National Guard. The Armory Lounge, located on the ground floor of the building and open to the public, is a really cool place to go for a drink. It’s unlike any other spot on the peninsula. The hotel itself offers gorgeous rooms, many with excellent views of the waterfront and/or the Old Port.

Videoport – A guide to Portland would not be complete without a shout-out to this landmark. In a time when the once ubiquitous video store is hard to come by and anyone under the age of 18 would barely recognize a DVD, it is remarkable that this store still exists. And yet it does. For that I am grateful!

Novare Res – HUGE beer selection. Secluded outdoor patio for summer sipping. Darts, too! A great place to go with a group.

The North Point – Tucked away on a side street in the Old Port. Charming and rustic. An excellent choice for lunch or evening drinks.

Casco Bay Lines – Regardless of season, you can’t visit Portland and not head out to explore the islands. Peaks Island is technically a neighborhood of Portland; many residents and students commute to the mainland each day. While the ferry goes to several of the Casco Bay Islands, all incredibly beautiful, Peaks offers the most in terms of dining and activities; however you really can’t go wrong with a visit to any of the islands.  If it’s too cold for island exploration, at least take a boat ride.

Crema & Arabica – Sister coffee shops on opposite ends of the Old Port. Crema is larger and has a view of the water. Arabica is closer to shops and galleries. Both are fantastic!

Longfellow Books – Full of friendly, book-loving people and, of course, a great selection of books and magazines! I dare you to leave empty handed!

Portland, ME City Guide

Arts District:

Empire Chinese Kitchen – This is not your typical Chinese restaurant. You will not find baby corn or mysterious sauces at this Congress Street establishment. Instead, you will experience some of the most amazing food (Chinese or otherwise) ever! I recently ate here with a friend who has travelled throughout Asia, and it didn’t take her long to declare that this was the most authentic and delicious Chinese food that she’s eaten stateside. Go when you’re really hungry; you will want everything on the menu!

Green Elephant – Often overlooked for some of the newer, more talked about restaurants in this food city, the Green Elephant serves delicious Asian inspired food, all of it vegetarian.

SPACE Gallery – Art in its many forms can be found here. Film, music, sculpture, literature, dance…this organization offers it all! SPACE also works with local schools to provide field trips and programming for students.

OTTO – This brick oven pizza parlor has now expanded to include restaurants in the East End and South Portland, but the original location is still my favorite. Stop in for a slice to-go or sit down for a pie. Unique toppings and excellent crust.

More & Co – There’s so much I could say about the good folks of More & Co. Creative, inspiring, fun and kind, this is their vibe and it’s what you’ll feel when you walk in the door of the shop and studio on High Street.

Portland Museum of Art – Free every Friday night. Amazing exhibits and an excellent permanent collection. Take in every floor of art then peruse the carefully curated gift shop and have a bite to eat in the cafe operated by Aurora Provisions, another Portland staple.

Notable Locals –

Samuel James – Well known in Portland, Samuel is now gaining recognition throughout the world for his acoustic guitar and vocals.

Sam Hayward – James Beard award winning chef and owner of Fore Street, one of the East Coast’s premiere restaurants. An early adopter of and advocate for local foods, Sam has been a leader in the farm-to-table movement. He’s also a really nice guy.

Lincoln Peirce – Author of the Big Nate comic strip and books.

Angela Adams – Textile designer.

Joan Benoit Samuelson – Winner of first women’s Olympic marathon. Fixture in the Southern Maine road racing scene.

John Naylor & Molly Thompson – The husband and wife team who started and operate the Rosemont Markets.

Greta Rybus – Photojournalist extraordinaire!

Suggested For You


  • My husband and I are planning a trip to Portland this summer- I am so excited by all the attention it is getting from D*S

  • Thank you so much for this post!! I also have fond memories of Maine and was planning a weekend trip soon during the summer!! Thanks for the tips!

  • there is so much more we could have included… portland is such a lovely place. thanks for including us, anne.

  • thanks so much for this post! It would be great to know about some places to stay (inn, b&b…) in Portland …

  • hey.. andrea and i worked at a camp in maine that was about 30mins from portland.. so we would go there a lot on nights/days off.. fun little city!! i personally think best sushi is this place called fuji in oldport.. order the avacado salad… the sweet miso dressing that it is served with will make you go there one more time before you leave! it really is that good!!

  • The Maine Highlands are beautiful and relatively rarely visited – Look up Gulf Hagas, Debsconeag Lakes, and the East Branch of the Penobscot and the Northwest Plateau of Ktaadn …

  • Good question Rachel… I always refer friends to the Pomegranate Inn if they are looking for some place small but eclectic and the Harbor Hotel or Regency for something larger and right in the Old Port.

  • This makes me so, so sad to go through because I want to move to Maine so badly, but I have to wait over a year. You have no idea how tough it is!!

  • Thanks for including us (Eli Phant)- we are so excited to be surrounded by great people and incredible energy.

    Also, for more Portland Maine leads (places to stay, eat, shop, etc) check out the Indie Biz Directory at PortlandBuyLocal.org.


  • I fell in love with Portland Maine through the eyes of my dear friend Madeline McTurck. Her new blog:
    mainemorningduckreport.blogspot.com, a charming overview of the back cover and First Friday Art Night in Portland’s vibrant area. A must to log onto…thanks, Figgy

  • Thanks so much for including us in this great city guide. We are lucky to be in a city with such a vibrant art and design community. Like many cities, Portland has a First Friday Art Walk on the first friday of each month — the galleries stay open late and host receptions for new exhibitions. There is a online guide to participating galleries at http://www.firstfridayartwalk.com whihc is a good resource for visitors. Come see us!

  • I’d like to include one of my favorite shops where I prop for a lot of my magazine photo shoots. Blanche & Mimi is a combination of great new finds mixed with Brimfield treasure pulled together in a style savvy way by owner Hillary Sinauer. Definitely worth checking out. 184 Middle St. in the Old Port area.

  • Not Portland proper, but close enough. Stone Mountain Arts Center is the “handmade” venture of Carol Noonan and Jeff Flagg in Brownfield Maine, which is about an hour and 15 minutes northwest of Portland in the foothills of the White Mountains. Hosting a wide variety of music including folk, classical, country, bluegrass and lots more. Go to and find out.

    Brownfield is a weird little place in the middle of nowhere and is gently beautiful. Completely not hip and therefore wonderful.

    Disclosure: my boyfriend built the gorgeous timber frame barn which houses the arts center, and we’ve bought land there. And, hint, hint: the area needs a little breakfast/lunch place for all you creative foodie types looking for an adventure and a nice place to live……

  • small correction: it’s Portland Head Light, not Headlight, like a car. The light is located at Portland Head, a very beautiful spot. Thanks for the guide!

  • As a West Ender, thanks for mentioning our great neighborhood that is walking distance to downtown! I also recommend visiting http://www.portlandmaine.com for a list of all major events, maps and info. Portland is a very dog friendly place (and home of Planet Dog!) so bring Fido along!

  • Just thought I’d mention, a lot of the links in this post are broken. Too many redundant pieces of code.

    Thanks for the info nonetheless.

  • Sadly, Edith & Edna is no more (they have plans to re-open eventually in Freeport, I think), and Books, Etc. will be closing in a couple of months. There’s still so much to do/see/eat/experience here in the Original Portland, though!

  • planning on coming to the our gorgeous portland area and need a place to hang your hat? clean ,simple, furnished rooms for rent- ahhh relax- life on the farm: checkout dragonflyhoney.com

  • I live in San Francisco but I’m from Portland and it really it is a little gem of a town! We go back every summer. There is a great progressive and creative energy there. Great Music, amazing restaurants and as DesignSponge has attested , awesome arts and craft folk.

  • Happy memories of a trip to Peaks Island, off Portland, in 2006. I recommend the Peaks Cafe, near to the ferry landing. Also, the Cockeyed Gull. Both places are good to relax in, and enjoy good food and friendly staff.

  • SO happy to see this guide, and perfect timing with the kick off of summertime* I’ll have to plan a little escape sometime soon.
    And Stephanie, you must visit!!
    xx, Jane

  • Maine is my home and I am so happy that you did a post on Portland! Portland is our place to go and enjoy ourselves when we travel South. :) Great Job & Thanks!

  • FYI: Red’s ice cream recently had a fire :( They will probably reopen later this summer. Willard Scoops makes its own ice cream now and it is to die for.

  • Any idea if Julia Rothman created that Portland image for purchase or if it’s a one-off thing? As a native Portlander transplanted across the country to the other Portland, I’d love to have it to remind me of home.

  • Thanks for the post about Portland, I miss my home!

    I was just about to comment about Red’s too…it’s been a very sad time for South Portland since it burned.

    Also, I’m so glad you went to Ferdinand! I went to her store on a weekly basis when I lived there years ago. I love how cheeky and clever her designs are.

  • I would like to include Corey &Co. located in Portland’s “studio district”. The shop carries women’s clothing, accessories, and art. Featuring original clothing designs by the owner, Barbara, herself. Watch her designs come to life while you shop. The line is called B. Corey, and includes all one of a kind pieces. Follow her blog to keep up with what Barbara has thought up next! Visit her at

  • My city! Yay! and you hit all the great places, it is such an amazing little city to live in.

  • <3 my city. :)

    unfortunately Red's ice cream is repairing fire damages and is closed but will return soon. I am very happy to see my favorite places on the list. But also make sure you visit Material Objects, Asia West, Bull Moose Music and buy all your coffee at Coffee by Design (my favorite) or Arabica as we all would love the two corporate giant starbucks to go out of business.

  • I’ve aaaalways wanted to go to Portland, Maine (well, for about the past year). If I ever get the chance to go, I will definitely refer back to this post. Thanks!!

  • Just got back on 5/26 from a great trip to Portland. Highly recommend staying at the Chadwick Inn- great rooms, breakfast and hospitality! Loved our tasting dinner at 555! Took a short trip to Peaks island, just be sure to know which road is the shortcut back to the ferry. Fries and a double cream milkshake at Duckfat topped off our amazing foodie trip! We will be back!

  • I’ll second Tanya’s recommendation for Duckfat. One of the most delicious meals I have had!

  • Portland is the BOMB! San Franciso will always be my first love but Portland is a lose 2nd! It has a wonderful creative vibe and energy that is similar…and the food is fabulous! some of the best places to eat and no one has mentioned that…

  • I live in Portland’s west end neighborhood and I highly recommend Miyake (also in the west end on Spring St.) for the best sushi dining experiences EVER. Also, the Farmer’s Market in Deering Oaks Park is one of the best and oldest in the country. http://portlandmainefarmersmarket.org/

  • Just spent our anniversary weekend in Portland! Seconds on Miyake (its small so call ahead). Not mentioned but wonderful is Fiachre a gorgeous little garden shop. Thanks for the Portland guide!

  • my family just moved to portland, me from portland, or this year and are in love with this beautiful place.

  • karen gelardi works for angela adams. very biased review on her part.
    choose someone else to review portland.

  • I’m from Maine and lived in Portland for a few years…amazing little city. One thing for sure: you can get the BEST food there. NY Times even did an article on it. A foodie’s paradise.

    Rachel: If you want to stay in Portland somewhere a little ways off the Old Port, I’ve heard St. John’s Inn is adorable. 15min walk or so to the center of activity, and next to The Dogfish Cafe (worth a visit, too!)

  • Mount Desert Island Ice cream has it’s own location at 51 Exchange Street in the Old Port! The ice cream and gelato is fabulous!

  • My mother in law lives in Bath and we never miss having lunch at the Frontier cafe when we’re visiting – good pick, its the best! As is Ferdinand – their drumming squirrel t-shirt is a classic.

  • Sure- Ferdinand and angela adams are good stores but… there are so many other locally owned business who design and build there own products. Why are they left out?

    • Allots

      Feel free to suggest shops you feel are missing- this is an edited guide so not everything is intended to be listed, but rather the places that would appeal most to DS readers


  • I live in Cambridge,Ma. and just visited Portland. We found a WONDERFUL store called Furniturea. They design and locally build beautiful modern furniture and they will happily customize it. Where else can you find that? The women who work in the showroom are super friendly and obviously love their products. We will definetly be back to buy lots of their furniture.

  • http://www.greenelephantmaine.com/

    this is my FAVORITE place to eat. and i’ve only been there once. i’m so impressed with their vegetarian and vegan menu- (btw, i am neither of which) affordable and cheap, & classy decor. i’d road trip to portland just to eat there again.

  • It may not be a local fave, but as a part time Mainer (summer six weeks a year), I LOVE the Lobster Shack at Two Lights, it is so Maine. It is in Cape Elizabeth, you sit outside on benches, or inside the rustic totally cool shack. If it is foggy, it is so beautiful, and if it is sunny, it is so beautiful. Parking can get tight at peak hours! It is a beautiful 15 min ride from downtown.

  • thank you for this guide! I am going for a long weekend this week and am so incredibly excited!

  • Portland, Maine is my hometown and reading this guide makes me miss is. There are some wonderful recommendations here! As always, I love your city guides.

  • This Guide like all your city guides is Wonderful, but I was wondering if someday you will do region guides. For instance Coastal Maine can be one of the most exciting design shopping experiences of a life time. Just a thought.

  • Don’t miss these breakfast places: Marcy’s on Free Street (Arts District), Good Egg Cafe on Middle St (Waterfront/Old Port).

    Yummy :)

  • Add http://www.InnbytheSea.com to the Cape Elizabeth section. It’s right on Crescent Beach (white sandy beaches in Maine, who knew?) The restaurant is top-notch, very into locally sourced produce from surrounding farms. Spa is great too and they are one of New England dog friendliest resorts. Woof!

  • How could Grace Restaurant have been left off? Fantastic atmosphere in a Gothic-revival style church!

  • @RENEE. Grace is pretty recent. It likely opened after this article was written.

    I’m wondering how the Cryptozoology Museum didn’t make it. Those sculptures and artwork inspire some to belief in mythical creatures.

  • Thank you, Design Sponge, for these fabulous guides! I just spotted this post on Portland (my home city) for the first time. If you’re visiting Maine with little ones, Cute Potato: Your Guide to Kid-Friendly Maine is a great resource for handmade items, restaurants, shops, and events that appeal to kids and their parents.

  • I moved to Arizona 10 years ago from Maine I miss Maine so much n can’t wait to move back I love u MAINE

  • Great recommendations!! Just adored the shop Blanche & Mimi and we’re currently having delicious cheese and cocktails at Grace, a converted church. Great guide, great town!

  • hi grace, i’m planning a tentative trip to portland this summer and was wondering when this was last updated. any chance you guys could start to put dates on these, such as
    initial guide 1/1/2006, updated on 2/22/2013? i realize it’s a lot of work to go back and retroactively do it so i’m not suggesting that, just moving forward :)

    that said, i have consulted your design guides for every city i’ve visited that has one with wonderful finds since about 2007. thank you so much for putting these together over the years!

  • Would love to see an update of this city. Been coming here since I was a baby and I am in absolute love with it!! Proud to say my aunts started Aurora Provisions and glad that it’s made it on here :) I recommend El Rayo Taqueria and La Cantina for next time! It was their next project!

  • yay! we are throwing my sisters bachelorette in portland next month. the timing of this post couldn’t be better!

  • So cool! We just got back from a weekend here! Don’t forget to try Holy Donut!

  • We go to Castine every summer and I’m hoping we can spend some time in Portland this year. Thanks for the guide!

  • Ah I love Portland! I went to college in Maine and spent many an afternoon wandering around Old Port. Duckfat is AMAZING. My boyfriend is from Maine so when we go back to visit his family, I’ll have to check out some of these spots.

  • Thanks so much for including Circa Home and Vintage in the Portland City Guide. I’m so happy to be a part of the funky and thriving East End, and I love it when my customers help me get the good word out. Come visit soon!

  • What about Alaska? We have been a state for about 55 years. Too many great places here to consolidate in to one comment. We may not be attatched, but we are very connected. Just sayin’.

  • Great line up D*S! You really did your research! Next time visit Eventide Oyster Co. for the best oyster selection in Maine and a to-die-for brown butter lobster roll! xo

  • Two Fat Cats on India Street has the most amazing cupcakes.

    I’m not a frosting person AT ALL, but these delicacies remind me that not all frostings are created equal. Fruit pies drip with juice. Bakers are super patient while the kids change their minds 4 times before settling on their treat.

    And Casablanca Comics on Middle Street is fun to browse before buying.

    Lastly, a double ‘Yeah’ to a Peaks Island day trip and renting bikes from Brad’s Bike Rental and ice cream from Down Front!

  • I’m a Maine native and can never get enough of Portland even though I now live in Santa Fe, NM another great city. Love it, love it, love it.

  • Was here this summer and ate at Duck Fat three times. Didn’t even have the fries. Sandwiches are fantastic. We were hesitant at first because it just seemed so hipster Brooklyn, but we loved it and lovingly renamed it Hipster Lard.

  • I second Holy Donut. They have a new-ish second location in the Old Port (not exactly sure sure where). I highly recommend Standard Baking Company also!

  • I also forgot Material Objects, one of the best clothing and accessory consignment shops I have ever been to!
    Love Portland!

  • Great suggestions! I lived in Portland for years and so many of these staples mentioned were weekly, if not daily, stops! Coffee By Design is another favorite coffee shop and the Public Market in Monument Square is super, too.

    Tourists should note that everything on the peninsula is walkable with planning! I wouldn’t suggest going back and forth between East and West Ends all day, but finding parking can be tricky so know that it is super possible to walk around between most of these spots on foot! Hillytown packs plenty of surprises into a small space.

  • So glad to see this update of our family’s favorite local city! We also highly recommend dessert at the Gelato Fiasco in the Old Port, Silly’s for brunch (East End), Folly 101 on Exchange Street for gifts, and Standard Baking Co. on Commercial Street for beautiful breads and pastries.

  • Don’t forget to pick up a copy of “The Bollard” while you’re in town! Portland, Maine’s independent voice for local news and arts coverage. A free monthly publication, it is available in many locations throughout the city.

  • For incredible fashion in a beautiful old building check out Judith in the Old Port district. It reminds me of a boutique right out of Brooklyn, the owner is a native and the service is incredible. Super gorgeous and fun women’s designer clothing.

  • Hi!
    I love that this guide has been updated– sounds like there are so many new, incredible shops/restaurants that have opened since I last visited Portland. However, is there any way to also access the old, un-updated guide? This one is missing a lot of the great stuff from the last one (Ferdinand, Two Fat Cats, etc.) that I’d like to read about again.

  • We’re just finishing our first trip to Portland and used this updated post as our guide. Hot Suppa was a great recommendation and a must for breakfast! Wonderful town with great shopping and scenery everywhere. I would also recommend Restaurant Sapporo on Commercial Street for top notch sushi.

  • I highly recommend Scales in Old Port. Exquisite food! Yummy cocktails. Wonderfully charming atmosphere. Caring & attentive wait staff. Scales is not just seafood, they have a lovely selection of veggies as well. This is not to be missed!