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Where to Eat & Drink in Portland: New & Award-Winning

What’s New to Eat in Portland’s Old Port

Memorial weekend’s approaching fast and all of Portland’s eateries, bars, and excursion experts are gearing up for visitors who are coming to enjoy the bounty of great food and beverages we have to offer. That being said, there are two newer restaurants in Portland worth mentioning:

  • The 5 Spot, at 935 Congress Street, calls itself a “cheesesteak joint,” serving classic Philly cheesesteaks, homemade soups, and gourmet sandwiches you can sink your teeth into.
  • 66s Fusion, . The restaurant is located at 363 Fore Street and it is named after the famous Route 66. Give their sushi, ramen and Asian meat bun a try, you will not be disappointed.

Both restaurants are open for lunch and dinner so you can take a day and enjoy a meal at each!

More Maine James Beard Nominees to Visit

As promised previously, I’d like to give a shout out to other James Beard nomineeswho help make the food and beverage scene in Portland shine.

Cara Stadler has two restaurants; Bao Bao Dumpling House, in Portland and Tao Yuan Restaurant, in Brunswick (only 30 minutes from Portland and well worth the trip). Bao Bao dumplings are delicious and if you’re looking for something on the West End that is easy on the wallet, give this eatery a try. Another hot spot is Fore Street Restaurant. Fore Street has won too many awards to mention and is on many great restaurants of the world lists. Sam Hayward, the chef/owner, has been a pioneer of the farm-to-table movement and many chefs have come to Portland to cook this type of cuisine; due to Sam’s touting of our fresh ingredients. Lastly, when you’re ready for a brewskie or two, I’d recommend Allagash Brewing Company. Allagash is well known for their hand crafted brewing techniques and their flagship craft beer, the Allagash White. This James Beard nominee is the last in Maine to still offer a free tasting room experience with their beer flights, and besides being a prestigious James Beard nominee, they recently won an award from Maine’s Visit Portland for Hospitality and Tourism Excellence.

Allagash Brewing

Allagash Brewing Company tasting flights – Photo by Maine Foodie Tours

Speaking of Maine Craft Beer…

The micro brew beer scene in Portland continues to garner a great deal of attention. Matador Network has 12 million unique visitors to their site each month. They’re an independent travel publisher who knows a lot about where to go to get the best of the best. Matador recently ranked Portland, “The Top Craft Beer City in the World!” That’s no small accolade and well deserved it is! There are so many craft breweries in our area, it wouldn’t be fair to try to name them all; knowing I’d be sure to leave some off the list by mistake. Previously mentioned Allagash will tour you through the brewery and others around town are happy to do the same. Many of our breweries make use of local hops and grains, and of course Maine’s crystal clear and delicious water. I’ve lived in Portland for three years and have only been fortunate enough to visit about half of our current breweries.

You can’t leave us without sampling at least a few of these much talked about brews, and of course, we recommend grabbing a Maine Brewers Guild Map to earn some Maine craft beer swag

Christopher Papagni, Ph.D.
Food Writer
Culinary Consultant