WHAT TO DO IN PORTLAND, MAINE
Honestly, we could write all day about the hundreds of incredible shops, restaurants, and experiences available in Maine’s urban center. Broadly speaking, anything you can find in your own big city can be found here, often with a local twist. Maine’s economy is driven by small businesses that populate our small towns and large cities alike, so there’s a beautiful range of options available. Portsmouth, NH is also an interesting and engaging city with a great art and restaurant scene. Both are easily worth a visit, or a lifetime.
Portland’s Great Restaurants and Breweries
There are far too many to mention even all the standouts by name, but we’ve broken it down into very casual, relaxed, and fancy. Within these categories, restaurants are organized alphabetically.
Casual Restaurants and Breweries
There are a lot of great cheap, delicious, casual restaurants in Portland. Way more than we can list, but here are a few that we’ve noticed.
Is a great little Vietnamese takeout restaurant focused on Pho and Banh Mi.
Is an entrenched crowd favorite in the old port of Portland. It’s a casual diner experience with great fresh seafood options.
Is a classic burger joint with shakes, fries, and cocktails. They’re open late, and a great place to go for nostalgic American cuisine.
Is a diner with a penchant for great sandwiches.
Is a Southern-themed restaurant with a diner-feel, great for a taste of Southern comfort foods.
Miss Portland Diner
Is a classic diner built in an old diner car. It has all the classic fare you’d expect from a diner with a little extra charm.
Relaxed Restaurants and Breweries
These eateries cost a little bit more, feel a little bit fancier, and feel more like “dining.” YOu won’t need a tie or high heels to fit in, though.
Is a great place to get a local brew, eat woodfired pizza, and watch the game or the beautiful old port.
Is a great marriage of casual atmosphere and formal dining quality.
Evo Kitchen + Bar
Offers Mediterranean cuisine with a twist. This almost made the “formal” list, so you’ll probably want to wear something nice here.
Has a rotating menu of excellent offerings at a reasonable price.
The Thirsty Pig
Is a nice relaxed-but-upscale hotdog and beer restaurant. It’s easygoing enough for jeans and a t-shirt, but you’ve never had a classier hotdog than you can find here.
Is a Latin American cafe and restaurant that offers casual, authentic Latin cuisine.
These are the kinds of places where you will want to dress up nicely and will be able to rave to your friends back home about.
David’s Opus ten
Has a limited menu of exquisite offerings that change every week.
Has a more flexible a la carte menu with a range of cuisines and delicious local ingredients.
Offers classic French cuisine in line with the best of classic fine dining.
Street & Co
Is a Mediterranean seafood-focused restaurant that has been delivering excellence in Portland for over 30 years.
Chic Italian eatery offering brunch, small plates, seafood & steak, fine wine & cocktails.
AROUND SOUTHERN MAINE
Like many cities, most outlets are outside of Portland proper, in or near the Maine Mall in South Portland. This is where you can find all the outlets and chains you’re familiar with, and a few interesting local finds to boot!
There are, of course, many great boutiques and unique shops in Portland, quite a few of the good ones can be found here.
What our guests are saying…
We had a wonderful stay at Purposely Lost! We stayed two nights at the new Fern Hollow Hobbit House. The house itself is beautiful and so cozy. The outdoor space is absolutely perfect! The large front patio with the firepit and private hot tub, overlooking the woods and lake was stunning! The location is great, close enough to town that you can just pop to the store and back, but far enough out that it feels extremely secluded and private. You can see two of the treehouses from the Hobbit House, but there's plenty of space and trees in between to not hinder your privacy at all. We had the best weekend getaway and cannot wait to come back again! Highly recommend!
- Marybeth S.
My family and I (2 adults and 2 kids) stayed 2 nights in the Canopy Treehouse last month and had a lovely time. The property was in a great location, but hidden just outside. You felt like you were in your own little world. We had tons to do between the treehouse, the hot tub and the pond.
Everything was clean and well maintained. And, I have an eye on that hobbit hole in the future. Thoughtful amenities
- Jason M.
I stayed for 3 days and nights in the Canopy Treehouse. It was awesome! It was very clean and had all the amenities you would need. It was very private, no one around. Great place for relaxation. The pond was gorgeous. I went solo and felt very safe. Management was a phone call away if needed and very responsive. Must go there to experience it. It was a 2 bedroom treehouse but had plenty of space. Did not feel cramped at all. I highly recommend this tree house. I plan on returning in the future.
- Debbie P.