January 3, 2012

Readers' Choice

Mainers pick favorites in more categories than ever in our annual poll.

By Ray Routhier rrouthier@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Nemo Burian hoists a freshly baked potato, bacon and scallion pizza at Otto Pizza on Congress Street in Portland, the Readers Choice winner for best pizza.

Photos by John Patriquin/Staff Photographer

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Stylist Jessica Parzych, right, takes care of Krista Wood of South Portland at Head Games Salon for Hair & Body in Portland, the readers favorite for best hair and nail salon.

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Second Place: Beal's Old Fashioned Ice Cream, various locations

Honorable Mention: Red's Dairy Freeze, South Portland 


Coffee By Design

620 Congress St., 67 India St. and 43 Washington Ave., Portland; in L.L. Bean, Freeport

879-2233, ext. 202; coffeebydesign.com

Started by a local couple who appreciate good coffee, Coffee By Design is in some ways an educational center. You can learn about coffees from around the world from the staff while enjoying the brew.

Second Place: Dunkin' Donuts

Honorable Mention: Starbucks 


Standard Baking Co.

75 Commercial St., Portland

773-2112; forestreet.biz

Part of the Fore Street group of restaurants, Standard Baking has been the standard for high-quality baked goods around here for more than a decade. You must try the sticky buns.

Second Place: Scratch Baking Co., South Portland

Honorable Mention: Two Fat Cats, Portland 


Green Elephant Vegetarian Bistro

608 Congress St., Portland

347-3111; greenelephantmaine.com

Even folks who say they are meat lovers can appreciate the flavors at this place, from the coconut soup to the Thai basil fried rice.

Second Place: Silly's, Portland

Honorable Mention: Pepperclub, Portland 


Eric's Pizza Express

Commercial Street near the Maine State Pier, Portland


Eric Hughes, then 21, opened his Eric's Pizza Express last summer, and has quickly earned a following. Slices of pizza, from a cart, by the water. What's not to like?

Second Place: Mark's Hot Dogs, Portland

Honorable Mention: TIE -- Don's Lunch, Westbrook; Danny's on the Mall, Brunswick 



576 Congress St. and 225 Congress St., Portland

773-7099; 358-7870; ottoportland.com

Mashed potato, bacon and scallion. Sounds a little strange, but you just have to try it. This innovative pizza place has gotten rave reviews, and has been featured on cable TV food shows.

Second Place: Portland Pie Co., Portland, Scarborough and Westbrook

Honorable Mention: Flatbread, Portland


Ken's Place

207 Pine Point Road, Scarborough


Everyone seems to have their favorite seafood spot among the several near Pine Point, but Ken's is certainly a local institution, started in 1927. It serves burgers and hot dogs too.

Second Place: Susan's Fish- N-Chips, Portland

Honorable Mention: The Lobster Shack at Two Lights, Cape Elizabeth 



Portland Lobster Company

180 Commercial St., Portland

775-2112; portlandlobstercompany.com

This is a great place for a steamed lobster dinner outside, right smack dab in the middle of Portland's working waterfront. Plus, a great live music series provides pleasant sounds while you dine.

DiMillo's, Portland

25 Long Wharf, Portland

772-2216; dimillos.com

Some places boast a happy hour near the water. This one is actually ON the water, as in floating -- DiMillo's is on a former car ferry.

Second Place: Bayley's, Scarborough

Honorable Mention: None 


The Lobster Shack at Two Lights

225 Two Lights Road, Cape Elizabeth

799-1677; lobstershacktwolights.com

A simple, elegant lobster roll, with mayonnaise on the side. Plus, the view makes everything taste exceptional.

Second Place: Susan's Fish-N-Chips, Portland

Honorable Mention: Bayley's, Scarborough 


Buck's Naked BBQ

568 Route 1, Freeport and 4 Turning Leaf Dr., Windham

865-0600; 893-0600; bucksnaked-bbq.com

Barbecue with an edge. Buck's two locations both host "bike nights" for motorcycle enthusiasts, and the Freeport location has a "juke joint" with Saturday night dance parties. And the meats are slow smoked for up to 13 hours!

Second Place: Beale Street Barbeque, Bath and formerly South Portland

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Additional Photos

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Bayside Bowl in Portland is the Readers Choice winner for best bowling alley. It also has a bar, pub food and a performance space.

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The Lobster Shack at Two Lights in Cape Elizabeth wins the most votes from readers for the best lobster roll and for best outdoor dining.

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Novare Res Bier Cafe in Portland is the top vote-getter for best bar.

Staff file photo

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University of Southern Maine students Ry Russell, left, Tyler Wells and Patric Brophy run the Saco Drive-In, awinner with readers.

Staff file photo


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