A few months ago, my husband Alex and I took a little babymoon to Portland, Maine. We had heard from a bunch of island pals that Portland is a great foodie city, and an easy enough drive. I was having all sorts of crazy cravings that simply could not be satisfied by our on-island food options. We had no choice but to make the trip.
Portland is such a charming town and actually reminded me of Cincinnati – similar architecture! One thing that set Portland apart (other than being a costal city) was that the sidewalks are all brick. I was blown away by the amount of brick everywhere. Super charming. We enjoyed walking (waddling, for me) around town and had some really memorable meals. And of course, we had to pop in to the local cheese shop; The Cheese Shop of Portland!
Mary Chapman and Will Sissle, the owners of The Cheese Shop of Portland have this to say about their shop: “Great food is as profound as it is simple. A few great ingredients can become something over which family and friends convene, and can provide sustainability to the farmers and artisans who create them. We’ve searched long and hard for cheeses, charcuterie, pastas, preserves, oils, vinegars, breads and more that will elevate and inspire your everyday meals, and your most special gatherings.” Now this is a message I can get behind! The selection in the shop was really wonderful – metro shelves full to the brim with unique offerings and pantry items. So well curated, and so full of happiness!
Our trip to Portland also included meals at some really delicious restaurants. Here are the most notable:
- Twelve Maine – Exceptional experience, super refined American dining in an elegant setting. We sat at the bar and indulged in the pre-fixe menu. Plus we are pals with the all star pastry chef, Georgia!
- Crispy Gai – So fun and funky! We got a bunch of shared plates and just gorged ourselves.
- Quanto Basta – This place started as a food truck and grew into their counter-service brick and mortar. Excellent Neopolitan-style pizza.
- Tandem Coffee Roasters – Delightful coffee and baked goods. We got a pack of their instant coffee for our AirBnb and it was honestly delicious.
- Strata – Not a restaurant, but a knife shop! And it was so gorgeous with an awe-inspiring assortment of knives, glassware, and cookbooks! I squealed when I saw they had “Start Here” by Sohla El-Waylly. And then bonded with the shop owner over our love for Sohla!
Portland, Maine is absolutely worth a visit – be well and enjoy!