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.

Banh Appetit
Opened in 2019 by members of the extended family who once owned Huong’s (a former Best 75 winner), this unassuming Cumberland Avenue shop serves the area’s best banh mi sandwiches, hands down. Try the Nem Nuong, spicy grilled Vietnamese sausage on a crusty baguette. Bun (rice vermicelli bowls) and aromatic pho are menu standouts here.

171 Cumberland Ave.
(207) 613-9399

Bite Into Maine
When the sun is shining, head to the scenic Portland Head Light, where BIM parks its truck from May until October. But if you’ve missed tourist season, or it’s gloomy outside, BIM’s Scarborough commissary serves the same menu of fresh-picked lobster on butter-griddled buns. Try the mayo-dressed Maine-style and the drawn-butter Connecticut-style. Read the review.

Commissary: 185 Route 1 #2
Food truck: Fort Williams Park
Cape Elizabeth
At Allagash Brewing Co.
50 Industrial Way
(207) 289-6142

A dish ready for a diner at Central Provisions. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Central Provisions
Plenty of chefs tell you that they base their menus on what’s in season, but chef Chris Gould really means it, often altering his restaurant’s menu as frequently as every day. The kitchen produces imaginative, flavor-forward small plates. It takes around four small dishes to make a meal, but you’ll leave wishing you could have eaten more. Read the review.


414 Fore St.
(207) 805-1085

Crown Jewel
A tropical, flamingo-themed dining room in a former military blacksmith’s shop on a Casco Bay island might be the last thing you’d expect to find in Maine. But just go with it – a meal at Crown Jewel is an experience. Hop a ferry for a romantic journey out to Great Diamond Island and enjoy a boozy Crown Jewel Punch as you snack on new chef Jef Wright’s rendition of summer classics like deviled eggs, snap peas and smash burgers.

255 Diamond Ave.
Great Diamond Island
(207) 766-3000
Note: Crown Jewel is seasonal. See website for hours and dates of operation.


Oysters on ice at Eventide Oyster Co. (Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer)

During tourist season, snagging a table at tiny Eventide becomes an extreme sport. But those lines snake around the block for good reason. Big Tree Hospitality Group’s swashbuckling reinvention of the coastal seafood shack is appealing from start to finish, especially the fresh, local oysters from the raw bar, fried seafood sandwiches served on steamed bao-style buns and cocktails that range from bright to savory. It’s hard to admit, but Eventide really is worth the wait. Read the review.

86 Middle St.
(207) 774-8538


Forage Market
Stuck between New York and Montreal, two bagel-centric cities, Portland has no shortage of excellent examples of its own. Forage Market is one of the best, especially if your goal is to order a half-dozen bagels, some Browne Trading lox, and a few milky coffees.

123 Washington Ave.
(207) 274-6800

Friends & Family
Think of this Arts District restaurant as a wine bar, a snack shop, a speakeasy or a pizzeria – it makes no difference. You’ll be happy regardless. Friends & Family’s vibe is casual and friendly, and that goes double for Monday evening pizza nights, where the restaurant’s naturally leavened, thick-crusted Grandma slices are joined by thin-crusted round pies. Choose any bottle from the panoramic wall-o’-wine to go with dinner, and maybe an extra to take home as well. Read the review.

593 Congress St.
(207) 536-4022

Harmon’s Lunch
Leave your blazer and heels behind when you visit this Falmouth burger institution — essentially a retro quick-service shack that specializes in juicy, thin-patty cheeseburgers and extraordinary hand-cut fries. Be sure to order extra sautéed onions and some red relish. And bring cash; Harmon’s is too old-school for plastic.

144 Gray Rd
(207) 797-9857


Highroller’s Lobster Grilled Cheese. Photo courtesy of Highroller Lobster Co.

Highroller Lobster Co.
At this double-wide storefront space kitted out in lurid ’80s red, white and black, you’ll find some of the region’s most creative seafood dishes. Lobster and crab rolls are the main focus, but they’re given a new, offbeat sensibility with accompanying sauces that range from lobster ghee to charred pineapple mayo. Read the review.

104 Exchange St.
(207) 536-1623

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

Hot Suppa
Southern comfort food – everything from buttery grits to gumbo teeming with seafood and andouille sausage – is what continues to attract scores of brunch customers every day. Yes, you read that correctly. Hot Suppa now serves its comforting breakfast and lunch dishes from morning to mid-afternoon, seven days a week. Read the review.

703 Congress St.
(207) 871-5005


Il Leone
You can get there from here, but you’ll need to take a ferry to Peaks Island where for a few warm months each year, this fully outdoor Neapolitan-style pizza restaurant becomes one of the region’s finest pizzerias. Naturally leavened dough, high quality toppings and a team committed to learning and improving during the off-season make Il Leone a seasonal must-visit. Read the review.

2 Garden Place
Peaks Island (Portland)
(207) 370-1471
Note: Il Leone is seasonal. See website for hours and dates of operation.

While the Tam & Cam, a banh mi in panini’s clothing, gets all the attention at this cute, cozy South Portland sandwich shop, other sandwiches deserve your consideration – especially the traditional Cubano and the warming Kai Kata, a spicy, Asian-inspired breakfast sandwich. Japanese curry bowls are also a real draw here. Order ahead to avoid the lines.

744 Main St.
South Portland

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


The Amatriciana pie is topped with onions, thinly sliced pancetta, mozzarella and chunks of San Marzano tomatoes. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Start with meatballs and a serving of whatever wood-grilled vegetables (delicata, Brussels sprouts) are on the menu, then grab a blistered, oniony Amatriciana pizza, slipped from the glinting copper Le Panyol oven at the rear of the restaurant. Cocktails are also excellent here, which is why the space fills up late at night on weekends. Read the review.

618 Congress St.
(207) 536-0368

Liquid Riot Bottling Co.
Part distillery, part brewery, part restaurant/bar with an inviting wharf-front patio, Liquid Riot offers something for just about everyone. Not least of all a surreptitiously fine menu that features arguably the best french fries in the city (still). Read the review.

250 Commercial St.
(207) 221-8889

Karaage – Japanese-style fried chicken, left – and okonomiyaki – a savory pancake with pork belly, cabbage, seasonal vegetables, katsuobushi, aonori, benishoga and okonomi sauce. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

Chef Austin Miller never seems to stop updating his menu of Japanese street-food and izakaya classics like indulgent bacon okonomiyaki, takoyaki and smoky yakisoba. Sourcing matters here, and in dishes like a Maine pollock katsu sandwich or tare-glazed confit local chicken over rice, it makes the difference between OK and oishii (Japanese for delicious). Read the review.

339 Fore St.
(207) 536-4702


The cat is out of the bag about Maples, and I couldn’t be happier. With enormous English muffins, fruit scones, sprinkle-topped ricotta cookies and some of the region’s best bagels – all baked on-site – Maples is good enough to justify dropping crumbs all over the interior of your car on the drive back to Portland. Skip Maples at your own risk.

881 Route 1
(207) 846-1000

Monte’s Fine Foods
Half-market, half-Roman pizzeria, owner and chef Steve Quatrucci’s latest local venture is the kind of place that would be mobbed from open to close if it were in a bigger city. Fortunately for you, Portland leaves some breathing room for visitors to sample the superlative “pinsa” pies that range from traditional Margherita to wickedly tasty sopressata with hot honey (and, if you’re lucky enough to read this in the late summer, an heirloom tomato pizza worthy of a picnic in nearby Payson Park).

788 Washington Ave.
(207) 613-9873

Mr. Tuna
In its first brick-and-mortar space, Mr. Tuna has evolved into a full restaurant where chef Jordan Rubin’s famous Maine-sourced temaki feature alongside generous maki, nigiri, sashimi and an array of side dishes like Japanese potato salad and refreshing sunomono seaweed-and-cucumber salad. Try anything with Maine crab and scallop. Read the review.

28 Monument Square (in the Public Market House)
(207) 805-1240


Quiche with grape tomatoes, spinach and dashi custard and sausage-jalapeno pig in a blanket from Norimoto Bakery. Photo by Tim Cebula

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.

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

Other Side Diner
Nominally a classic Greek diner, this cozy, welcoming East Deering restaurant ought to be known for its beautifully conceived toasted sandwiches (curried chicken salad, pork belly grilled cheese, Japanese convenience-store-inspired egg salad “sando”) as well as its simple, yet perfectly executed omelets. There’s no better place to finish a walk around Back Cove than here. Read the review.

500 Washington Ave.
(207) 772-0002


Stephanie Beauchesne picks up a pair of pizzas for customers dining inside Otto’s Auburn restaurant. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Imaginative pies with flavors that actually work well together – jalapeno with ricotta and bacon, roasted pear with arugula and bleu cheese – are the secret to this local pizza empire’s great success. With nine locations now in Maine alone, Otto keeps chugging along, pandemic or no. And that’s no bad thing.

Several locations in Greater Portland and beyond.

Pai Men Miyake
Some of the area’s best appetizers and snacks live here: minty, fish-sauce-dressed Brussels sprouts; steamed, gochujang-drizzled pork buns; or my personal favorite, the Kewpie-rich broiled crab hamayaki. But don’t forget the best-in-town ramen program, especially the brothless, egg-topped Tokyo Abura. Read the review.

188 State St.
(207) 541-9204

Palace Diner
If I told you that quite possibly the best diner in the country occupies a 15-seat space, just off the main drag in Biddeford, would you believe me? In 2014, co-owners Chad Conley and Greg Mitchell kitted out a tiny, 1927 railroad dining car and immediately started making food that brought together high-quality ingredients and a captivating faithfulness to short-order tradition. Visit for breakfast or lunch (no dinner service) on a weekday to avoid waits that can extend beyond the two-hour mark.

18 Franklin St.
(207) 284-0015


The Purple House
When Krista Desjarlais bakes, the state takes notice. During the summer months, she makes ice cream on Sabbathday Lake in New Gloucester, but when the weather gets cool, she fires up the woodstove in a quaint North Yarmouth cottage and bakes. In 2023, she plans to offer cafe pastries and occasional dinners, lunches and cooking classes.

378 Walnut Hill Road
North Yarmouth
(207) 808-3148
Note: The Purple House closes for the summer season and will reopen in the new year on an irregular schedule. Check the website and social media.

Pork and tomato empanadas at Quiero Cafe in Portland Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

Quiero Café
You might be tempted to stop by this casual, counter-service South American café for a baked Chilean empanada and one of several dozen smoothies. And you wouldn’t be wrong to do so, but this pan-continental restaurant shines with its “Big Bites,” especially the patacon, a crisp-fried disc of green plantains topped with chicken, avocado, cheese and savory aioli. Read the review.

3 Deering Ave.
(207) 536-7033

Imagine how tough it would be to open a restaurant four months into a global pandemic. That’s what Ally and Randy Forrester did, when they relocated their award-winning, hand-stretched and naturally leavened pizza restaurant to Portland in 2020. Three years later, diners can finally devour one of their char-stippled pies in Radici’s mid-century modern dining room. When in doubt, go for a Stracciatella-topped pie and, if you’re in the mood, add anchovy bagna cauda for extra umami. Hours are still in flux, so check the website before making plans.

52 Washington Ave.
(207) 835-6012


Call them whatever you like: hoagies, grinders, subs … it makes no difference as long as you’re ordering one from this closet-sized Washington Avenue sandwich shop. A Philadelphia-inspired collaboration between Josh Sobel and Palace Diner co-owner Chad Conley, Ramona’s gets the overstuffed, vinegar-dressed sandwich right. Not sure what to eat? Try the tuna-filled Melrose (with extra Calabrian chili spread) or the echt-Italian, cannellini-and-broccolini-packed Paulie.

98 Washington Ave.
(207) 956-7194

The Fisherman’s Feast at Rose Foods in Portland. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

Rose Foods
Jewish deli standbys like crisp, golden-fried latkes; matzo ball soup and fat pastrami sandwiches (on rye, naturally) are as much of a draw as chef/owner Chad Conley’s open-crumb sourdough bagels and creative bagel sandwiches. Among the best: the Monday Morning – spread thick with chicken livers and schmaltz-fried gribenes – and the golden-beet-topped Greengrass. For now, the restaurant is takeout-only, but look for the dining room to reopen sometime this year. Read the review.

428 Forest Ave.
(207) 835-0991

Rover Bagel
These are not your bubbe’s bagels, but that’s OK. We’re all just happy that Rover returned to Biddeford. Now operating from a jaunty takeout window in Biddeford’s Pepperell Mill, Rover sells generously proportioned sandwiches like the bacon-and-honey-filled Shift Meal, as well as more straightforward classic pairings for its heavily browned and blistered bagels.

10 W. Point Lane, Suite 10-204
(207) 710-6248


Scratch Baking Co.
Locals know Scratch for its bagels (which sell out in nanoseconds every weekend morning), but the newly expanded bakery and sandwich counter is a versatile business that produces some of the region’s tastiest sweet treats: brownies and blondies, coconut layer cakes and scones – they’re all pretty fantastic.

416 Preble St.
South Portland
(207) 799-0668

Sichuan Kitchen

Suan la tang mian at Sichuan Kitchen in Portland. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

Owner Qi Shen’s menu of sinus-clearing, tongue-numbing dishes is a delightful departure from the tired crab-rangoon-and-egg-roll menus at many New England Chinese restaurants. Subtler dishes here are also excellent, especially the frilly cloud-ear mushroom salad appetizer and buttery-tasting wok-sautéed cabbage. Read the review.

612 Congress St.
(207) 536-7226

Slab Sicilian Street Food
One thing is guaranteed at Slab: You won’t go hungry. Offering Brobdingnagian wedges of puffy-crusted Sicilian-style pies, this downtown pizzeria has evolved into a Southern Italian crowd-pleaser with outdoor music and a terrific bar. Slices weigh in at a pound apiece, so order carefully.


25 Preble St.
(207) 245-3088

SoPo Seafood
Americans have been slow to embrace the notion of eating a nice meal inside a market, but when the right combination of ultra-fresh raw seafood and prepared dishes like grilled cheese with picked Maine crab and caviar with blinis appears, we can’t get enough. That’s the case at SoPo Seafood’s raw bar — really just a wing of the fish market. It’s an ideal spot for a pre-meal Knightville negroni and a half-dozen clams or a full, shellfish-based meal. Oh, and as you leave, pick up a few fillets of New England barramundi for later.

171 Ocean St.
South Portland
(877) 282-7676

Hot off a successful media blitz and top-to-bottom renovation of its entire space. Terlingua has morphed into a hybrid market-café that still serves some of the best smoked brisket you’ll find in the state. The outdoor patio is enchanting – a wonderful spot for a bowl of pork green chili and a pepper-rimmed spicy margarita.

52 Washington Ave.
(207) 808-8502

The smash burger at Thoroughfare in Yarmouth. Photo by Christian Hayes

What’s not to love about small-scale, locally sourced updates on fast food classics that are every bit as decadent as the originals? The “Filayo” surpasses any other American-cheese-topped haddock fillet you’ve ever tasted, and the smash burgers (even the vegan Impossible Smash) are a triumph.


367 Main St.
(207) 400-5192

Wilson County Barbecue
Tangy and fiery Eastern North Carolina-style pulled pork is the highlight of the menu at this lively East Bayside joint. Come for the BBQ, but stay for crisp-fried hushpuppies, shrimp po-boy sandwiches, nuclear-grade hot chicken and comforting sides, including the best chicken-and-pork Brunswick Stew you’ll find north of the Mason-Dixon. Read the review.

82 Hanover St.
(207) 956-7788

Woodford Food & Beverage
Few restaurants do bistro-style comfort food and cocktails as well as Woodford Food & Beverage does. Chef Courtney Loreg prepares some of New England’s best brasserie-style dishes here, especially anything braised, like her smoky lamb shank entrée. Fennel-spiced fries and tart, mustard-forward deviled eggs are also perennial winners on a menu that features no losers. Read the review.

660 Forest Ave.
(207) 200-8503

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