Our top 10 restaurants are listing in alphabetical order. For our full list of Best 75 places to eat and drink in Greater Portland, click here. To check out a map of our full list, click here.

Ron Don mussels at Cafe Louis in South Portland. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Café Louis
Visit chef Evan Richardson’s buzzy, exuberant South Portland hotspot, and you’ll come away with a new appreciation for Costa Rican and Caribbean cuisine and cocktails. Service here is also superb, even when the skeleton crew who operate the 1,000-ish- square-foot space are slammed with customers. Don’t ask how they do it, just order a slushy Pura Vida rum punch and enjoy. Read the review.

173 Ocean St.
South Portland
(207) 536-0169

Cong Tu Bot

Deservedly, chef Vien Dobui was a finalist for 2020’s James Beard Awards for this hip, neon-toned Washington Avenue restaurant. Food here is Vietnamese, with an emphasis on small, comforting plates with vivid flavors. The menu is short, but provides plenty of runway to demonstrate how contemporary Vietnamese cuisine could/should evolve. Read the review.

57 Washington Ave. Portland
(207) 221-8022


Warm crab with scrambled egg, crab chili foam and carrots may well be the signature dish at Elda.

A well-deserved double-dip for chef Bowman Brown. For the past several years, he has been cementing his reputation as one of the most skillful, creative chefs working in Maine today. His fine-dining restaurant, Elda, has flourished in its enchanting and sophisticated new space upstairs at the Pepperell Mill. His prix-fixe tasting menu is equally elegant. At the street level, Bowman’s casual café, Jackrabbit, offers dishes that borrow from the same Scandinavian-Japanese palette, as well as sandwiches and pastries that deserve everyone’s full attention. Read the review.

14 Main St.
(207) 602-0359

A plate of spit-roasted pork loin at Fore Street. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Fore Street
The O.G. of Portland’s food scene, Fore Street was among the first local restaurants to focus on seasonality and local ingredients. Since it opened more than a quarter-century ago, it has earned national plaudits, like a James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef: Northeast award for chef-emeritus Sam Hayward back in 2004. Since then, the top-flight kitchen, wine program and service have kept pace with the city’s evolution into a dining destination. It remains one of the very best farm-to-table restaurants in New England. Read the review.

288 Fore St.
(207) 775-2717

The Garrison
As it has matured over the past few years, chef Christian Hayes’s seasonal, upscale Modern American restaurant has shed some of its buttoned-up sophistication, revealing an appealing punk sensibility just beneath. Dishes here are as spectacular as ever, in both execution and conception. The vibe, while still chic, has become mirthful and even little rebellious. A joy. Read the review.

81 Bridge St.
(207) 847-0566


The caramelized honey soft serve at The Honey Paw. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

The Honey Paw
Technically a “noodle bar,” with mostly walk-in seating, The Honey Paw’s best dishes often involve no pasta at all: charred cabbage with fermented soy, rare beef salad with smoked oyster mayonnaise, and super crunchy wings. And did I mention the seasonal homemade soft-serve?

78 Middle St.
(207) 774-8538

Charming might be the best way to describe Isa, from its classic French bistro interior to the sparkles of Central-and-South American flavor that effervesce across its menu. Don’t miss the grilled pork chop, roasted vegetable salad with spicy pepitas and (if you visit on a Monday) the transcendent rabbit burrito. Isa is a gem.

79 Portland St.
(207) 808-8533

Roasted pork loin at Judy Gibson restaurant in South Portland. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

Judy Gibson
Quietly and with little fuss, chef Chris Wilcox has turned this tiny South Portland restaurant into one of New England’s most creative culinary destinations. You might never guess from the concise, neighborhood-y menu, but Wilcox leans into ingenious texture-and-flavor matchups — aged gouda and mushroom conserva with beef tartare, whipped tahini with pickled mackerel — alongside a terse beverage list that both supports and enhances his vision. Read the review.

171A Ocean St.
South Portland
(207) 808-8649


Norimoto Bakery
Local gastronomes have been talking up James Beard Award finalist chef Atsuko Fujimoto’s phenomenal pastries for years, and it’s rewarding to see the rest of the country catch on. Fujimoto is a masterful baker whose repertoire of treats is grounded in European traditions and techniques, fine-tuned to allow for an occasional Japanese-inspired element. Peerless fruit galettes, sticky kouign-amanns and Gateau Basque with sweet azuki bean filling? Yes, please.

469 Stevens Ave.

The classic hummus bowl at Nura. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

Don’t let its origins as a food truck fool you, Nura is one of the area’s best spots for Levantine cooking, especially smooth, garlicky hummus that is the restaurant’s signature dish. If that’s not enough, there’s also crisp, Kermit-green falafel (served as a platter or sandwich), spiced fries that were born to be dunked in garlicky toum, and coriander-and-cumin-fragrant chicken shawarma. Anyone for lunch? Read the review.

1 Monument Way
(207) 536-0065

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