Portage Tap House is in the village of Oquossoc in Rangeley. Photo by Leslie Bridgers

I spent too long living in Maine before I found an excuse to visit Rangeley. If you’re in the same position I was, consider this foliage season a good enough reason to head west.

There aren’t a ton of restaurants in town, but if you’re like me and need a dining destination to give your road trip purpose, plug the address for Portage Tap House into your GPS.

Past downtown Rangeley in the village of Oquossoc, the elevated pub opened a couple years ago, adding a more modern food menu and extensive craft beer list to the area’s offerings.

On my visit late this summer, I arrived the minute after the restaurant opened for lunch, and though the door was still locked, a friendly face through the glass indicated this was an oversight and quickly welcomed me inside, where I felt well tended to throughout the meal.

The clean, gray-dominated design is accented with symbols of the outdoor sporting life – a light fixture made from a canoe, oars leaning in a corner, an old sign for a lodge and a snowmobile map on the wall.

I sat at the large, horseshoe bar looking onto the wood-fired oven where the pizzas – including clam, meat lovers and vegan ($10-$16) – are made.


The website lists only one menu for lunch and dinner, but it covers all the bases for what you might want at either meal. Appetizers range from a soft pretzel with beer cheese ($7) to pork lettuce wraps ($11). Entrees include sandwiches and burgers, from black bean to bison ($12-$15), as well as a pork chop, strip steak, salmon and duck with potato and vegetable sides.

A haddock sandwich with a side salad at Portage Tap House in Rangeley. Photo by Leslie Bridgers

I had a haddock sandwich ($14) that is no longer listed on the menu, and subbed out fries for a side salad ($2), which came with more than I expected, including cranberries, pecans, goat cheese and frizzled onions. I might have stuck with the fries if I had noticed the house salad description, but it would have been a mistake. It was a delicious addition to my meal and is available to order on its own ($6) with the option to add a protein, including haddock ($10), which I can also recommend.

There are about a dozen Maine beers on tap, from breweries all over the state, along with ciders, seltzers and a couple old standbys, like Bud Light and Guinness. They’re all listed online, along with what’s headed for the draft lines next.

Aside from beer, pizza appears to be restaurant’s specialty. As tables filled up and the oven got to work, I started thinking about which one I’d order on my next trip to Rangeley, which I’ll never wait so long to take again.

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