Portland Maine Recommendations!

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Hi friends! Happy Monday of a long weekend (I’m not sure if President’s Day is a thing everywhere, but at my new job it’s a day off and I’m PUMPED!). We just got back from a trip to Portland, Maine which sparked the idea of this post to round up some of my favorite places in this small city. One greatest things about living in Boston is the fact that there are so many amazing weekend trips you can do within a 2-4 drive. This was actually our third time going to Portland, and it was a quick two hour drive from Cambridge on Friday night. We made it into our room by 9:30 PM, ate some delicious cookies and grabbed some tea, and hung out by the fire in our room.

With all that being said, let’s get into the recommendations we have from the times we’ve been, and where we still want to go in the future!

WHERE TO STAY: We’re a little bit biased, but we’ve stayed at the Pomegranate Inn each time we’ve been to Portland (which is saying a lot for a couple who likes to try different places out!). There are eight guest rooms in the Pomegranate Inn, each with a different and artistic personality. We stayed in room eight this visit, and couldn’t have felt more at home. There is a beautiful sun room, fireplace, and lovely decor throughout the room. The same is true for the rest of the Inn (seriously, there are leopard stairs!). They also have the most incredible breakfast - we tried mini bacon egg and avocado sandwiches, deviled eggs with chili oil, blueberry muffins, kale salad, overnight oats, avocado toast, and biscuits. The do everything “small plates” style, so you have enough room to try it all (Dan was seriously in heaven.) Oh - and the coffee is amazing. I also love that they have one larger table for guests to eat at in the morning - we met amazing people and heard amazing stories. We will continue coming back here :).

WHERE TO EAT: Portland has SO many amazing food options which is a serious requirement when we’re on vacation. Since it’s the middle of February and very chilly and icy in Portland, that meant we basically did a foodie tour around the city as our main activity for the weekend. It did NOT disappoint. See some of our favorites below!

Toast Bar: We didn’t get a change to try Scratch Baking Co., but this is a great little place for breakfast on the go. I grabbed the “Toast a Cado” and Dan tried the Hummus and really enjoyed it. Definitely want to go back sometime for the flight of toast - my kind of flight. We hit this up on the way out and before our drive home.

Yosaku: This is an AMAZING amazing sushi place…we’ve been multiple times whenever we go to Portland. It’s a small little place with not a ton of tables, but the most amazing sushi / fresh fish. It’s also low-key and pretty causal but still with amazing quality food. Would highly recommend!

Central Provisions: We didn’t get a chance to go due to a 2.5 hour wait (at 5:30!), but this is THE place to go in Portland. Everyone raves and talks about it, and it’s still on our list! Definitely get there early if you go, no reservations!

Independent Ice Co: Because of the long wait at Central Provisions, we tried this place instead. It was SO good and actually ended up being just the scene we were looking for (upscale bar food with amazing cocktails). We both got delicious burgers and really enjoyed the drinks (I tried a bourbon-based Sangria, and Dan tried an Old-Fashioned).

Holy Donut: We got this recommendation from SO many people, and I’m so thrilled we finally decided to go. I don’t tend to eat a ton of donuts (unless I’m at the beach, haha) so I don’t necessarily seek out donut places when we travel unless they’re highly recommended. As soon as I did some research and saw they had vegan donuts (and Dan could try them too), I was sold. We tried the vegan cinnamon sugar and lemon donuts and O M G - potato based donuts are the way to go! Highly, highly recommend!

Miyake: This is a delicious sushi place. It’s a bit more upscale/pricier than Yosaku and a completely different experience. If you’re looking for more ambience, then definitely try this place. SO good!

Sisters Gourmet Deli: Sometimes you just need a basic sandwich for lunch. If you’re looking for just a GOOD sandwich, this is your place! I got a classic turkey and cheese sandwich and it was amazing.

Taco Trio: The 4.6 stars on Google don’t lie - Dan RAVES about this place, and each time we go back he makes an effort to go. His favorites are chicken mole, carne asada, and pork carnitas. He also loved the salsa bar.

The Honey Paw: I still want to try this place! It’s a contemporary bistro offering Asian-inspired noodles & other bites with local craft beer. We’re adding it to the list for next time.

WHAT TO DRINK:

Liquid Riot Brewing Company: We grabbed lunch here on our most recent trip and I tried a rose cider (YUM!) and Dan tried a Guinness-esque brew. While the drinks were good, the french fries were even better. Great lunch spot, but it’s pretty crowded so get there on the earlier side on the weekend.

Allagash Brewery: We stopped by here the first time we went to Portland, and it did NOT disappoint. We tried a tasting for free (!!!), and were able to sit out side in the beautiful weather. Would totally go back once it warms up outside.

MJ’s Wine Bar: I’m obsessed with this small, local wine bar. The owner, MJ, has an amazing wine list and also cheese // chocolate // snack options. There’s something for everyone!

Still want to go to Bissel Brothers and Shipyard - on our list for next time!

OTHER THINGS TO DO:

Reve: Not everyone likes to work out on vacation, but I love starting my days with a good sweat before eating out. I took a couple cycle classes here on our most recent trip (so I could have a big appetite for the day!) and they were honestly great. Christine was SO tough, and I also loved that I didn’t need to have my own pair of cycling shoes.

9 Stones Spa: This spa is AMAZING. It’s seriously so relaxing - they have a beautiful sauna, I’ve had the most amazing facial and massage here as a Valentine’s gift. Would highly highly recommend as a gift for any occasion (and even for yourself!). Also love that they exclusively use Naturopathic products - swoon.

I seriously couldn’t recommend a trip to Portland more if you’ve never been. It’s such a relaxing weekend getaway, you will definitely eat and drink well. Would love to hear other recommendations you have in the comments below!

Xoxo,

Meg