Portland, Maine

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Food + Foodies

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’ marketRosemont Market, the Portland Food Co-op, 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.”

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Food Blogs

The Blueberry Files is the blog of a Portland transplant, food expert, and writer, with photos, recipes, and reviews.

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.

Eating Portland Alive is the blog of a Maine-raised teetotaler who dines his way around the Portland area.

Food Coma is a blog about eating and drinking (a lot) in and around Portland, and sometimes cooking.

Immigrant Kitchens is the blog of professional cook Lindsay Sterling chronicling her adventures in the kitchens of local immigrants.

Portland Food Map is a complete resource for nearly every eating and drinking option in the city, as well as food and drink-related businesses, events, news, and more.

Snap Reviews is described as a "diary of dining our way through Greater Portland, Maine." A camera-phone shot and a few sentences capture moments in time at area restaurants and cafes.

The (207) Foodie is a Bangor Daily News blog that explores Portland's food scene.

Urbanspoon Portland has an impressive collection of restaurant reviews by critics, food bloggers, and Urbanspoon users.

Vrai-lean-uh is a blog about cooking and eating, including recipes, tips for feeding kids, and local restaurant reviews.

Food Publications

Community Kitchens is a local access cable cooking show on Portland's CTN5. Each month the hosts visit and interview a chef in their kitchen.

Maine Magazine’s website has articles on Maine food destinations and features on Maine food and drink.

Portland Monthly has a dining guide and an extensive archive of restaurant reviews.

The Portland Phoenix has a Food column, with a collection of restaurant reviews and articles on farmers, food purveyors, and local food culture.

The Portland Press Herald has a Food column, with restaurant reviews, recipes, and news.

The Bollard features a Food & Booze column, with restaurant reviews and tales of eating, drinking, and food shopping in Portland.

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 connect Maine's newest Americans--primarily immigrants from East Africa and Central America--with the land, skills, and resources needed to start farm-based enterprises.

The Eat Maine Facebook group, an offshoot of Maine magazine, is a guide to the latest Maine food news, events, what’s in season, and places to eat both on and off the beaten path.

Eat Maine Foods is the networking site of the Eat Local Foods Coalition (ELFC) of Maine. You can create a profile and connect with other local foods enthusiasts, find an event, or participate in the forum. Also, check out the Maine Food Map to find the nearest apple orchard or raw milk producer.

Elizabeth Fraser of Girl Gone Raw offers classes on raw food preparation. Eager to learn more? Attend one of the free monthly potlucks the second Sunday of every month at Elizabeth’s home on Munjoy Hill.

Local Sprouts is a culinary and cultural organization with a mission to provide people in Maine with creative local and organic food and holistic learning through cooking. To get a taste of what this means, check out the Local Sprouts Cafe, which serves healthy dishes at affordable prices.

Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association sponsors food, agriculture, and farming-related events 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.

Pocket Brunch is an intermittent multi-course brunch series held in various Maine locations, featuring local chefs.

Portland Farmers’ Market graces Deering Oaks with tables of fresh produce every Saturday, and Monument Square every Wednesday, from May through November. The Winter Farmers' Market at Urban Farm Fermentory in East Bayside lasts from the first Saturday in December until the second to last Saturday in April. 

The Portland Food Co-op is a grocery store, owned by members and open to the public, that offers a wide selection of high quality and fairly priced local, organic, and natural foods and household products. You can become an owner-member.

Portland Food Map is a comprehensive guide to food and drink in Portland, with regular food news updates, a 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.

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.

Rabelais is a well-regarded food and cookbook store run by 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.

Urban Farm Fermentory is a hub of creative fermentation located in a reclaimed warehouse in East Bayside. Beyond fermented beverages like cider, mead, and kombucha, you will also find classes on everything from mushroom cultivation to composting. The Winter Farmers' Market is held at UFF from December to April.