Eating well is easy in Portland. Bon Appétit named Portland America’s foodiest small town, the New York Times calls us “one of the best places to eat in the Northeast,” and there’s a debate about us vying with San Francisco for the most restaurants per capita.
The geography of our city lends itself to incredible culinary bounty and creativity. Here, tiny pink shrimp, haddock, cod, and lobsters pulled from the Atlantic intermingle on our tables with Maine-grown produce and locally-raised dairy and meats. We source these ingredients year round from our farmers’ market, Rosemont Market, and other local shops. Within the city limits, Portland’s many exceptional bakeries churn out baguettes and bagels, croissants, cookies and cupcakes. Here in Portland, we love to cook and we love to eat.
There’s a culture here of eating out and supporting the local culinary scene. The number of good —and we mean really good—restaurants in Portland is mind-boggling, and new players are always arriving on the scene. Our chefs woo and inspire us with dishes like Panko Crusted Day Boat Scallops, Sea Urchin Linguini, Truffled Lobster “Mac & Cheese,” and Camembert Cheesecake. James Beard award-winning chef Rob Evans, owner of Hugo’s and Duckfat, says “I think what makes it work is the community support…If we didn’t have people getting out to eat and trying different restaurants and being open to that, I don’t think it would work so well.”
Did we miss something? Suggest a resource.
Appetite Portland “documents the delights of this city’s restaurants and food stores,” with reviews and commentary on Portland restaurant scene chatter.
Blog About Beer, written by a local home brewer and beer afficionado, proclaims to be a resource for better beer, beer news and fun beer stuff.
Blueberry Files is the blog of a recent Portland transplant and foodie, with photos, recipes, and reviews.
Dine in Portland aspires to bring a fresh perspective to reviews and critiques of Portland’s restaurants. Also featuring recipes.
While Eater Maine does cover the whole state, you can use the sort-by-town feature to find out what's happening in Portland's food scene.
Immigrant Kitchens is the blog of professional cook Lindsay Sterling chronicling her adventures in the kitchens of local immigrants.
Megansmark is a Portland-based blog that takes a creative approach to cooking seasonally in Maine with locally-sourced ingredients.
Urbanspoon Portland has an impressive collection of Porltand restaurant reviews from critics, food bloggers, and Urbanspoon users.
Food Events, Groups, + Classes
Cultivating Community‘s mission is to strengthen communities by growing food, preparing youth leaders and new farmers, and promoting social and environmental justice. They run several neighborhood farm stands in Portland.
Local Sprouts is a culinary and cultural organization with the mission to provide people in Maine with creative local and organic food and holistic learning through cooking food for local community. To get a taste of what this means, check out the Local Sprouts Cafe, on Congress St., which serves healthy dishes made from local and organic food at affordable prices.
Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association sponsors food, agriculture, and farming-related events and workshops throughout the year, from mushroom cultivation workshops to conversations about how education can support agriculture in Maine. Check out their event calendar and don’t miss their annual Common Ground Fair in Unity each September.
Chef David Levi runs the Portland Food + Cooking Course, preparing food as an expression of season and place in Maine.
Portland Food Map is a comprehensive guide to food and drink in Portland, with regular food news updates via RSS, a graphic map of Portland’s restaurants arranged by category, and an exhaustive list of all things food-related—from fish mongers to doughnut shops, Indian restaurants to food blogs. Stay up to date on what’s cooking in the Portland food scene with their events calendar.
Rabelais is a one of the better-known food and cookbook stores in the country, run by the husband-wife duo Smantha Hoyt Lindgren and Don Lindgren. It’s located in the North Dam Mill in nearby Biddeford. The store sponsors many food-related events including a FoodFilms series and book signings. Check out their calendar.
The Portland Permaculture Meetup Group has over 700 members of all ages, ranging from local foods enthusiasts to local resilience and sustainable living advocates. Group activities include potlucks, workshops—permaculture design, foraging, and cold-frame building are some recent topics—as well as lectures, discussions, and film screenings.
Urban Farm Fermentory is a hub of creative fermentation located in an old reclaimed warehouse in the Bayside neighborhood. Beyond sauerkraut, pickles, and fermented beverages like cider and wine, here you will also find classes on everything from mushroom cultivation to composting.
Table Art Media is the Portland-based publisher of “Fresh from Maine” and its companion website that talk about the farm to table restaurant movement in Maine.