Portland Maine Breakfast & Lunch Spots 2022.

Portland Maine Breakfast & Lunch Spots 2022.

Started coming to Maine 1970 from The NYC area. Lived in downtown Portland since '87. Moved out to the Morril’s Corner neighborhood which is 3 or so miles out from downtown… and SPARSE eatery wise.

Now this is by no means a comprehensive list-- just the places we go & a couple three that always get good local press.

According to their web sites all are still open but in these COVID times short staffing & reduced hours can/will affect us all. YMMV.

Becky’s Diner. Our go-to place for Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner (good priced specials after 4pm)-- a 5 minute walk from our old apt. We really miss not being able to go once a week.

Marcy’s Diner-- honestly, good food but I don’t know how they stay in business. They typically shut down for a month about now & will often be shut down.
I see they’re closed 2 days a week now & if it’s Raining Takeout & delivery ONLY? HUH? and I doubt those hrs are COVID related. It’s a TINY place & always had a line outside but still…

Dutch’s-- Great breakfast sandwiches & regular lunch ones.

Rosie’s-- Our former go-to Pub. My vote for best Burger in Portland (until just dethroned for me by Bruno’s this past fall) Dinner specials but I almost always got their Fish & Chips.

Portland Pie Co. Now this is a case of a first impression making a huge difference in subsequent meals. Their flagship was a 3 min walk from us. Went there our first night 7 years ago in our now old apt. Had a beer crust sausage/mushroom pie…started eating & immediately ordered another to take home with us (where I had 2 more slices). We ate there often & forgave them the couple disastrous meals.
Had their Lasagna & it was Fab!-- went back couple weeks later-- came out COLD in the center, sent it back, came out CARBONIZED…looked at it & said “You’re Kidding!” MGR brought out 3rd attempt & comped it.

Hot Suppa-- only ate there a few times despite walking by them almost everyday. Also a bit pricier. It’s also a Tiny place & slammed on the weekends.

Ruski’s is an odd place. It’s a Dive bar that’s very popular with 3rd shift workers from nearby Maine Medical Center & Mercy Hospitals.
(Mercy just closed down this & reopened on 1/4 in their NEW facility in Foreriver a couple miles away) They open early for them. Always slammed on the weekends. Former local food critic says best cheese burger in town. Had breakfast a few times-- good!

Yardie Ting in the Portland Public Market– Jamaican Meat Patties are something I crave & they get it done!

Taco Escobar their Bisteck is awesome!

Black Cow-- They do a good smash burger. A ridiculous amount of shoe string fies per order, & a really good chocolate egg cream. They also have a full bar for beer & cocktails.

Union at the Portland Press Hotel. Very upscale. Brunch one of the best in the city.

The Bayou Kitchen– Only spot I really regret never having been. Always great local press & slammed on the weekends. Warning-- Extreme FOOD PORN on their web site!

Bao Bao Dumpling house. Upscale dumplings, younger crowd. Good!

Golden Lotus-- Old school Americanized Chinese (My personal pref!) Pre-COVID had the best lunch combo prices in Portland. No idea now.

Zen Chinese Bistro-- trying for somewhat more upscale Chinese. A bit pricier, like a buck or 2 more but makes diff at our income. Inconsistent-- best Orange Chicken in town but sometimes not so much.
Ate there a lot despite the price-- literally a 60 second walk, 2 minutes if dawdling.


Thanks for all the great intel!

I was surprised (and pleased) how fresh the food at Golden Lotus was.

Have had credibly good fried seafood po boys at; Po boys and Pickles
Decent sicilian Slab pizza at ; Micuccis Grocery Store
and pretty fair BBQ at ; Wilson County BBQ

and I never go without visiting , at least once:


You’re welcome. Feel I should comment just a bit more on my Marcy’s criticism. It’s based on loving their food & walking past them to work every day for 12 years & once or twice a week to a different job & seeing the shenanigans & my dad owning a restaurant for 40 years who’s watchword was Consistency. :thinking: They were written up in Gourmet or Bon Appetite or someplace as having the best home-fries in the country some years ago-- I suspect their well used flattop contributes mightily to the food.

I do recommend them but be prepared for a 30 min wait if it’s not raining out :grin:


My mother-in-law lived in the senior assisted living place near Po Boys and Pickles before she passed, and I was always pleasantly surprised by how good the sandwiches were.

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There are so many joints that you mentioned that I had no inkling about at all. Thank you @WallaceReadsAlot!


more incoming shortly. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:


Continuing on with a few more places we’ve overlooked and/or get a lot of praise. While I concentrate on breakfast/lunch most are good for dinner too. A few places are mile or 2 out from downtown but worthy!

Sichuan Kitchen
Ate there 3 or 4 times pre-COVID. Good!

VEGAN: Vegan is not my thing but these guys get a lot of good local press & comments:


Shay’s Grill Pub-- ate their burger 2x pre-COVID. Good. BUT, has the smallest bathroom I’ve ever seen. Seriously it’s Old school Superman Phone-booth sized. They do have a another one.

Schulte & Herr-- GERMAN. Ate there a bunch they opened up years ago & they served breakfast-- both trad German & reg. They only do brunch & dinner now.

Nosh Kitchen Bar-- often written up for their “Best Burger in Portland” & their “Bacon dusted Fries”. I disagree. Good but not OMG good.

India Palace is our go-to for Indian, Good prices on lunch specials


Not Downtown

The Great Lost Bear-- huge # of beers on tap. A Portland institution for 30+ years. Good Burger!


I’ll put in another plug for Po’ Boys & Pickles! Excellent Roast Beef Po Boy! Was sad to see they had to close their new 2nd location on Federal St due to COVID.

Susan’s Fish & Chips-- nothing but Fried, really good. Be advised NO A/C if there in summer.

China Taste-- Americanized Chinese. not the greatest but so close to us that delivery arrives HOT! & they fix problems fast.


Finally for my bucket list for this year

DUCKFAT! Never been, really want to try a heart attack special of their fries & and a NINE Dollar Vanilla Shake. Boggles the mind it does…sure we’re decades past the 75 cent shake but gawd!


Thanks for your lists, I’m looking forward to Portland daycation season again. That’ll be soon since I’m getting low on the olive oil I like to get from Micucci’s (a favorite pretext for making the trip, not that we really need one). I also want to check out more of the low-frills fare on Forest Avenue.

We’re fans Po’ Boys & Pickles, not just for the great sandwiches but also their amazing macaroons. When they’re not sold out, that is; we’ve seen delivery drivers pickup orders of a dozen at a time.

On one trip last summer we noticed how busy Susan’s Fish & Chips (across the street) looked so we checked it out on our way home. Now they’re our go-to for fried seafood in Portland (oysters for me, thanks). We ate on their new-looking back deck and didn’t notice the lack of aircon.

Some years ago we were regulars at Duckfat (when the shakes were about $5, I think). Very much enjoyed the food but it’s become a bit too hard to get into on weekends. Maybe there can be a mid-week jaunt come spring.


these are great posts. thanks!

Also, if you go during Farmers Market season ,
Thirty Acre Farms makes a sauerkraut that is the real thing.

Which olive oil from Micucci’s does one get?

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Frantoia unfiltered EVOO is my go-to for dressing/seasoning, as opposed to cooking, use. It’s great on summer tomatoes, in caprese salad, mixed with labneh and za’atar, etc. I can get it closer to home (greater Boston area) but Micucci’s generally has a good price and I enjoy the feel of the place.

How does Thirty Acre Farms kraut compare with Morse’s (another place I enjoyed visiting pre-pandemic)?

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I heartily agree with Becky’s and Wilson County BBQ. For breakfast I also recommend the bagels at Scratch Baking in South Portland. And I liked lunch at Gilbert’s

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I’m putting in another plug for Bruno’s:

My wife has to go do med stuff today & volunteered to grab Chicken Piccatta (me) & Marsala (her) on the way back… I dared her to twist my arm. I always sub their “famous” garlic mashed for the rigatoni. Don’t know how famous but they are always good!

Note their lunch entrees are $10 cheaper then Dinner.


Nice! And didn’t you say they have your favorite burger in town?

Yes I did-- blew me away, frankly was expecting just an “adequate” from an Italian/American pub. My only critique of it was/is an Eight Ounce burger is really too much. I ate all of it! :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

I wish they’d put their “CHICKEN FRANCESE” on their lunch specials too-- I like it better then the piccatta.

I should note I had the Bacon Cheeseburger.


OK sold. The cannelloni app is also enticing. Will try Bruno’s next time I head down to Portland. Thanks!

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You’re welcome!

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Re. Duckfat - we spent a few days in Portland last summer on the way back from Acadia NP. Dinner night 1: 90-minute wait for a table. Dinner night 2, even with a 5:30pm arrival: still 90-minute wait. We queued up for lunch on Day 3 at 10:25am (they opened at 11am) and were the last table seated right at opening. So… plan ahead. BUT! The food was excellent.


Thanks for the data! Yeah it’s been that way almost since they’ve been open. Tourist season is always intense on the Maine…everywhere else too I guess. I’m hoping for an upcoming birthday to finally try them. Potatoes in all their glory is my thing but especially Fries!