Portland, Maine, a charming New England city, is a haven for food lovers. With its fresh seafood, farm-to-table produce, and a host of talented chefs, it’s no wonder that Portland has been hailed as one of the top food cities in America. From upscale dining establishments to cozy neighborhood bistros, the city’s culinary scene is as diverse as it is delicious. In this article, we will take you on a gastronomic journey through the top five restaurants in Portland, Maine, each offering a unique dining experience that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving for more.

1. Fore Street

Located in Portland’s Old Port district, Fore Street has been a staple in the city’s dining scene since it opened its doors in 1996. The restaurant’s rustic interior, complete with exposed brick walls and a wood-burning oven, sets the stage for a menu that celebrates the bounty of the local region.

  • The menu at Fore Street changes daily, reflecting the freshest ingredients available from local farms and fisheries. Signature dishes include wood oven-roasted mussels, turnspit-roasted chicken, and a variety of wood-grilled meats.

  • Fore Street’s commitment to sourcing local, sustainable ingredients has not gone unnoticed. The restaurant has received numerous accolades, including being named one of “America’s Top Restaurants” by Gourmet magazine.

2. Eventide Oyster Co.

If you’re a fan of seafood, a visit to Eventide Oyster Co. is a must. This modern oyster bar offers a fresh take on classic New England fare, with a menu that’s as creative as it is mouthwatering.

  • Eventide’s extensive oyster selection, sourced from Maine and beyond, is a highlight. Other standout dishes include the lobster roll served on a steamed bun and the brown butter lobster bisque.

  • Eventide Oyster Co. has been recognized nationally for its innovative cuisine, earning a spot on Food & Wine’s list of “The 40 Most Important Restaurants of the Past 40 Years”.

3. Central Provisions

Central Provisions, located in the heart of Portland’s historic Old Port, offers a unique dining experience with its small plates and craft cocktails. The restaurant’s globally-inspired menu is designed for sharing, making it a great place to enjoy a meal with friends or family.

  • The menu at Central Provisions is divided into sections like “Raw”, “Cold”, “Hot”, and “Hearty”, featuring dishes like spicy beef salad, pork and oyster stew, and smoked Maine mussels.

  • Central Provisions was a finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s “Best New Restaurant” award in 2015, a testament to its exceptional cuisine and service.

4. Duckfat

Duckfat, a small sandwich shop in Portland’s East End, may be casual in nature, but its food is anything but. The restaurant is known for its Belgian-style fries, which are fried in duck fat for a rich, savory flavor.

  • In addition to its famous fries, Duckfat also serves up gourmet sandwiches, homemade sodas, and milkshakes made with local gelato. The restaurant’s innovative approach to comfort food has earned it a loyal following among locals and visitors alike.

  • Duckfat has been featured on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” and has been named one of the “Best French Fries in the U.S.” by Food & Wine magazine.

5. Street & Co.

Rounding out our list is Street & Co., a Mediterranean seafood restaurant located in a charming alleyway in the Old Port. With its open kitchen and cozy atmosphere, Street & Co. offers a dining experience that’s both intimate and inviting.

  • The menu at Street & Co. features a variety of seafood dishes, from grilled whole fish to lobster diavolo, all prepared with a Mediterranean flair. The restaurant’s commitment to using fresh, local ingredients shines through in every dish.

  • Street & Co. has been serving up delicious seafood dishes for over 30 years, making it a beloved institution in Portland’s dining scene.

In conclusion, Portland, Maine is a city that takes its food seriously. Whether you’re a seafood lover, a fan of farm-to-table fare, or simply someone who appreciates good food, the city’s top restaurants offer something for everyone. So the next time you find yourself in Portland, be sure to indulge in the culinary delights that these five restaurants have to offer. Bon appétit!

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