With summer in the air, seasonal spots selling plant-based eats are open. At the same time, Maine entrepreneurs are adding vegan products and expanding vegan menus. Here’s the latest vegan and vegetarian news from Maine.

Three Dollar Deweys in Portland has added two new vegan entrees, including this crispy Buffalo tofu sandwich. Photo courtesy of Three Dollar Deweys

Restaurant dispatches

The all-vegan S+P Social cafe, market and wedding venue in Newcastle that launched last summer reopened Memorial Day weekend, after the sisters-in-law behind the restaurant spent the winter “eating our way around New York City, Argentina, Puerto Rico + Australia,” as Shelby Faux and Payson Cunningham said in a recent newsletter. On Mondays and Fridays in June, S+P hosts Drinks on the Deck overlooking the Damariscotta River with mocktails, cocktails, beer, wine and small bites.

Further inland in Greenville on Moosehead Lake, the all-vegetarian Boja’s Bungalow is undergoing renovations. Owner Angela Higgins tells me that after starting work on the floors she decided to install a foundation, and the extensive renovation means the restaurant will be closed this summer, though it may open at the end of the season.

Meanwhile in Friendship, Joan Coletti, chef and co-owner of Wallace’s Market and Italian Deli, recently attended an all-day intensive at the Plant-Curious Cooking School at Frinklepod Farm in Arundel, and then swapped the deli’s weekly Meatless Mondays for a weekly Sunday brunch featuring vegan, vegetarian and pescatarian dishes such as a vegan bagel sandwich with plant-based eggs and sausage, vegan French toast, and an oat milk Sunday Sundae with strawberry sauce, chocolate chips, dairy-free whipped cream and nuts.  

The 22-year-old Chase’s Daily in Belfast, a popular vegetarian restaurant that had closed in January, recently changed course and is to open again. To make the restaurant sustainable, owners and farmers Addison and Peggy Chase, said they will charge more, limit the menu to pizza and salads, and close the restaurant in the winter.


On Commercial Street, the long-running Portland pub Three Dollar Deweys has added two more choices to its already hefty range of vegan entrees. According to owner Joe Christopher, doing so is good for his bottom line and for the planet since plant-based meals have the smallest environmental footprint.

“This is not a vegan place, but it is a crossover place,” said Christopher, who is not a vegetarian. “That person walking down the street isn’t going to go into the Green Elephant, but they are going to go into Deweys and they might give the vegan nachos or the BBQ jackfruit sandwich a try.”

After buying the popular bar in 2019, Christopher estimated that 15 percent of customers would order plant-based meals. But a few years and a pandemic later, Christopher says plant-based demand has been higher than expected, prompting the restaurant to expand its vegan offerings. The two new entrees are a crispy Buffalo tofu sandwich and a vegan poutine.

The Real Maine Italian from Midcoast Vegan has been selling out quickly at the Sunday market in Congress Square Park in Portland. Photo by Avery Yale Kamila

Sandwich bulletin

In Portland, the birthplace of the Maine Italian sandwich, Midcoast Vegan has been attracting lines and selling out of its vegan Real Maine Italian sandwiches at the Sunday market in Congress Square Park. Priced at $12, the sandwiches feature slices of Midcoast Vegan’s smoked ham and salami piccante topped with onions, tomatoes, green peppers, olives, salt and pepper on an Italian roll from Botto’s Bakery in Portland. The Congress Square Market takes a break during July and August and returns in September.

In other vegan sandwich news, Venture Foods traveled from Northridge, California, in May to serve its vegan fried chicken sandwiches to a steady line of customers on a cold night at Goodfire Brewing in Portland. This is the second time in recent months that an out-of-state pop-up selling vegan fried chicken has set up at a Portland brewery, revealing a hole in the Portland market waiting to be filled.


The Portland Public Schools, which offer a vegan hot lunch choice each day, have begun testing the Beyond brand of vegan meatballs on subs as well as chicken tenders.

Farmers market options

A new Portland farmers market, which launched this month in the parking lot of the Woodford’s Congregational Church, offers many vegan and vegetarian products. The Woodfords Corner Farmers’ Market runs Thursday afternoons from 3 to 7 p.m. On select market days, find Midcoast Vegan, with its plant-based meats and cheeses and its vegan Real Maine Italians; the bakery Mellifluous, which makes a vegan banana bread; the mushroom grower Wild Fruitings; and the small Pocket Farms Collective, based in the Woodfords Corner neighborhood. The food truck Eat it and Beet it, which sells a vegetarian beet burger, also parks at the market.

Food dispatches

The Whole Almond, Portland maker of small-batch almond and cashew milks, is now selling limited quantities of its new vegan yogurt at the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust’s Farmers Market at Crystal Springs Farm in Brunswick on Saturdays.

In April, the USA Today editors released their list of the best yoga retreats in the U.S, and the all-vegetarian Sewall House in Island Falls took the No. 2 spot.


This past March, the Bangor Greendrinks social networking event met at the Maine Discovery Museum for a gathering co-hosted by Edwards, Faust & Smith, CPAs, and the food menu was all vegan.

Sweets (saving the best for last)

The new vegan chocolate at Dean’s Sweets: dark chocolate cherry bourbon bon bons. Darren Setlow Photography, LLC

Portland-based chocolatier Dean’s Sweets has rolled out a new vegan treat: cherry bourbon bon bons. The cube-shaped bon bons enfold maraschino cherries “made with no dyes (or bleach!), preservatives, or corn syrup” in a dark chocolate shell. An 8-piece box sells for $21.50. Dean’s Sweets has long offered a vegan truffle assortment, with chai, coconut, orange and stout flavors. Find all its chocolates at 475 Fore Street, 54 Cove Street and online at deanssweets.com.

Portland-based online bakery Baristas + Bites has renamed itself B+B Bakery, and its newest product is vegan cupcakes. They’re available in raspberry lemonade, peanut butter chocolate, espresso chocolate and carrot cake. If you’re in Lewiston, the bakery case at the Cupcakery Café & Bake Shop always has vegan cupcake choices. And the popularity of Portland-based Norimoto Bakery‘s January vegan offerings has morphed into vegan croissants for sale every Wednesday.

Portland Arts & Technology High School opened its sugarhouse to the public for the first time over Maine Maple Sunday. Visitors could try samples of maple syrup over vegan or non-vegan ice cream. As part of the school’s Wabanaki studies curriculum, students installed 300 taps (offering a blessing of gratitude first), gathered the sap and boiled it down to syrup. All the syrup made at the school was used in the school’s cafeteria, with the exception of the syrup sampled by visitors on Maple Sunday.

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