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Portland, Maine is one of my favorite weekend getaways. Only two hours from Boston, Portland has some of the best seafood, bars and restaurants. I’ve been to Portland many times (mostly during the Winter/ Spring). Here are some of my favorite bars, restaurants, and things to do in Portland you’ll want to check out!
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Best Restaurants + Bars in Portland, Maine
The Holy Donut
The Holy Donut is THE spot in Portland you’ll want to stop by for breakfast. They have the most delicious donuts and it’s a Portland must-eat. My favorite is the maple bacon donut. They do have two locations in Portland.
Make sure to get here early because it gets super crowded and the inside is pretty small. Highly recommend the poutine, it’s amazing! They also have two locations in Portland, I prefer going to the Frites Shack (it’s a grab-and-go location), so you can avoid the crowds and eat at the brewery next door, Oxbow Brewing Company.
Vena’s Fizz House
Vena’s Fizz House for the coolest cocktails! Check to make sure they are open because last time I went they were temporarily closed.
Bar of Chocolate
The Bar of Chocolate has the most amazing desserts and dessert martinis. My favorite is the peanut butter martini and they have so many other fun flavors to choose from.
High Roller Lobster
I am super picky about seafood and the High Roller Lobster is the best one in Portland IMO. The service has always been amazing and they also serve alcoholic drinks.
Maine Mead Works
I had never heard of mead until my old co-worker recommended this place and we loved it! Mead is honey wine and it was pretty tasty.
Maine Craft Distilling
Lincolns is a really cool secret speakeasy type bar. All the drinks are $5 and cash only. To enter, look for a pair of red double doors on Market Street between Milk Street and Fore Street. Enter through the red doors, go downstairs, find the bookcase and pull it to reveal the entrance to the bar.
Old Port Slice Bar
Best late night pizza!
Fun country bar downtown. They also have swings here which makes a good picture for the ‘gram.
Club downtown (a little bit sketchy) but fun.
Things to do in Portland
Portland Head Light
We grabbed Holy Donut and brought it here to walk around.
Shopping in Old Port
This is the downtown area where almost all the bars and restaurants are.
Where to Stay in Portland
AC Hotel By Marriott Portland Downtown / Waterfront
Highly, highly recommend staying downtown. I didn’t stay downtown before (at the La Quinta) and it was a pain in the butt. Getting around Portland isn’t the most convenient (parking is typically terrible and the ubers can get pretty expensive) so staying downtown allows you to walk almost everywhere. We stayed at the AC Hotel the last two times we went and it was perfect because we only had to drive to the Portland Head Light.
Other Maine Locations for Combo-trips
If you want to make your trip longer or include other stops in Maine, here are some options:
Bar Harbor – Acadia National Park: haven’t been but it’s high on my list to go.
York, Maine: We went to Small Beach (pretty crowded, there’s also Long Beach which is larger) and stayed in a rental near the downtown area. The downtown area has a few cute shops and restaurants . It’s very similar to Hampton Beach IMO but smaller. Make sure to get there super early or you won’t be able to get a parking spot or spot on the beach!
Old Orchard Beach: About half an hour from Portland, Old Orchard Beach is pretty similar to the York, Maine area. There’s a boardwalk with tons of restaurants and an amusement park. “The Shack” has some good seafood and drinks!
On my Portland list for visiting next time:
Bayside American Cafe
Bam Bam Bakery
Standard Baking Co
Gilbert’s Chowder House
Portland Lobster Company
Portland Recommendations from you:
Top of the East – hotel with city views
The Cookie Jar – donuts
Front Room – breakfast or dinner
Hot Suppa – breakfast
Blyth & Burrows – cocktails
Luna Rooftop Bar – cocktails
Grill Room – dinner
Scales – dinner
Street & Company – dinner
Via Vecchia – cocktails or dinner
Mash Tun – bar w/snacks
Blue Rooster – late night food
Portland Lobster Company – live music with your lobster roll
Taco Escobar – lunch or dinner
Nosh – lunch or dinner
Pai Men Miyake – delicious noodle bowls/sushi
Lazzari – pizza
Boda – dinner
Bayside Bowl – roof top bar! (also bowling)