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Eateries and Watering Holes in the News

Memorial Day weekend is here and that means the city is ready to welcome you with open arms in anticipation of your visit. Buildings, roads, restaurants and bars have been repaved, refurbished and new places to visit have been added for your absolute pleasure. One place of note has been in construction all winter; Bayside Bowl in East Bayside has added on a fabulous roof top deck which has an open and airy feel and overlooks parts of the city and the fabulous Back Cove. I for one am looking forward to a night of bowling followed by a cocktail or two above the city. The second hotspot I want to mention is Figgy’s Takeout and Catering. The West End treasure has fried chicken, sandwiches and sides that some people have adapted as their daily diet. There are picnic benches outdoors, a water bowl for your dog and the nicest window service this part of the eastern USA. Walk off your meal by strolling around this beautiful neighborhood. Historical architecture, other great eateries and music venues, in and around Longfellow Square, are the reason many call the West End home. Filling your day with culinary delights is easy in Portland, but one should not miss our outdoor farmer’s market.

The Portland Farmer’s Market is unlike any other within hundreds of miles. The farmer’s market takes place in Deering Oaks Park on Saturday’s at 7:00 a.m. and stays open until 1:00 p.m. Deering Oaks is the largest and most beautiful park in the city; perfect for a picnic. Walk over to Tiqa Cafe & Bakery, in a historic 1894 castle, on the State Street side of the park; opens at 7:00 a.m. and closes at 7:00 p.m. on market day. Fresh baked pastries and Coffee By Design coffee. There is plenty of public parking in the park and an easy walk from Downtown Portland or the Old Port. If you miss Saturday’s market, you can once again enjoy the bounty of our local farms at Monument Square Park on Wednesdays throughout the summer. Hours are 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Get there early to beat the crowds or visit at lunchtime and dine at several restaurants that offer al fresco dining. I mentioned Coffee By Design, but Portland is fortunate to have several coffee shops where you can while away the hours.

coffee shops in portland, maine

One of Portland’s newest coffee shops to Portland, Coffee Me Up, where Coffee by Design coffee is served. Make sure to tell owner Mateo or Alba Zakja (pictured here) that I sent you!

Coffee by Design is known for serving coffee coming from single origin microlots. Crossroads recently recognized the owners with several Business Leader Awards. There are mutiple locations throughout Portland; making it easy to find CBD coffee. Tandam Coffee Roasters has two locations and has the distinction of baked goods and breakfast sandwiches by the very talented Briana Holt. It’s worth waiting on line for one of Briana’s delicious offerings. Bard Coffee, a personal favorite, is known for Kalita pour-overs and outstanding service. Lastly, the Speckled Ax offers wood-fired roasted beans and uses local wood for roasting.

A cup of Speckled Ax Coffee

A cup of Speckled Ax Coffee

The Speckled Ax was the winner of a 2017 Good Food Award. Unfortunately, I cannot name every Portland coffee house in this blog. We’re fortunate to have many coffee shops with excellent coffee. As my last recommendation for today, make sure to try nitro-fueled coffee. If roasting methods or origin matter to you, have some java in Portland.

Christopher Papagni, Ph.D.
Food writer
Culinary consultant