Portland, Maine, a charming New England city, is a gastronomic haven for food lovers. With its fresh seafood, farm-to-table eateries, and innovative chefs, Portland offers a culinary experience that rivals any major city. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, exploring the city’s food scene is a must. This guide will take you on a culinary journey through Portland, Maine, highlighting the best places to eat and what to order.

Portland’s Culinary Scene

Portland’s food scene is a blend of traditional New England fare and innovative, globally-inspired cuisine. The city’s location on the coast provides access to fresh seafood, which is a staple in many restaurants. Additionally, Portland’s commitment to sustainability and local sourcing means that many eateries offer farm-to-table dining experiences.

Seafood in Portland

Seafood is a must-try when dining in Portland. The city’s proximity to the ocean means that the seafood is incredibly fresh. From lobster rolls to clam chowder, the seafood dishes in Portland are a culinary delight.

Eventide Oyster Co.

Eventide Oyster Co. is a popular spot for seafood lovers. Known for their fresh oysters and creative seafood dishes, this restaurant is a must-visit. Try their famous brown butter lobster roll or their New England clam bake.


Scales is another excellent choice for seafood. Located on the waterfront, this restaurant offers stunning views and delicious food. Their menu changes daily based on what’s fresh, but you can always expect high-quality seafood dishes.

Farm-to-Table Dining

Portland’s commitment to sustainability and local sourcing is evident in its numerous farm-to-table restaurants. These eateries source their ingredients from local farms, ensuring fresh and flavorful dishes.

Fore Street

Fore Street is one of Portland’s original farm-to-table restaurants. Their menu changes daily and features the freshest local ingredients. The wood-roasted meats and vegetables are a highlight.


Vinland takes the farm-to-table concept to the next level by only using ingredients from Maine. This means that even the salt and olive oil are locally sourced. The result is a menu that truly reflects the flavors of Maine.

International Cuisine

Portland’s food scene isn’t just about seafood and farm-to-table dining. The city also offers a variety of international cuisine, from Italian to Thai.

Central Provisions

Central Provisions offers globally-inspired small plates. The menu changes daily, but you can expect creative and flavorful dishes. The restaurant also has an extensive wine and cocktail list.

Empire Chinese Kitchen

For delicious Chinese food, head to Empire Chinese Kitchen. This restaurant offers a modern take on traditional Chinese dishes. The dumplings and bao buns are a must-try.

Sweet Treats

No culinary tour of Portland would be complete without trying some of the city’s sweet treats. From donuts to ice cream, Portland has plenty to satisfy your sweet tooth.

The Holy Donut

The Holy Donut is a local favorite. These donuts are made with Maine potatoes, giving them a unique and delicious texture. With flavors like dark chocolate sea salt and maple bacon, these are not your average donuts.

Mount Desert Island Ice Cream

Mount Desert Island Ice Cream offers unique and delicious flavors. Try the Maine Sea Salt Caramel or the Blueberry Sour Cream Crumble.

Whether you’re a seafood lover, a farm-to-table enthusiast, or a sweet tooth, Portland, Maine has something to offer. With its diverse culinary scene and commitment to local sourcing, Portland is a food lover’s paradise. So, the next time you’re in the city, be sure to explore its culinary delights. You won’t be disappointed.

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