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.
https://www.dutchsportland.com

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!
https://www.instagram.com/ruskistavern/

Yardie Ting in the Portland Public Market– Jamaican Meat Patties are something I crave & they get it done!
https://www.yardieting.com/#/

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!
https://thebayoukitchenmaine.com/portland-the-bayou-kitchen-food-menu

Bao Bao Dumpling house. Upscale dumplings, younger crowd. Good!
https://www.baobaodumplinghouse.com

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.
https://www.zenchinesebistro.com

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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:
https://standardbakingco.com/

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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:

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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!

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more incoming shortly. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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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:

https://greenelephantmaine.com

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

https://www.indiapalacemaine.com

Not Downtown

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

https://www.greatlostbear.com/glbmobile.html

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.

http://chinatasteportland.com/menu.shtml

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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