Portland Cheese Shop Visit! The Cheese Shop of Portland

A photo of the cheese case at the Cheese Shop of Portland, showing a wide variety of cheeses.
The cheese case at The Cheese Shop of Portland – featuring lots of New England favorites!

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!

Soft cheeses in the case at The Cheese Shop of Portland. Bloomy, geotrichum rind cheeses.
Some stunning softies in the case – great descriptions!
A close-up of the cheese called "Sugarloaf" from Kennebec Cheesery in Sidney, Maine.
We took home a little wedge of this local cheese – I can’t resist an Alpine style!

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!

Morgen and Alex outside the cheese shop, proudly displaying the cheeses they purchased.
Very excited about our hunks we took home!
We also got a cute sticker and a super tasty jar of peanuts!

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!
The lobster roll and parker house rolls at Twelve Maine.
The lobster roll is worth the hype at Twelve Maine
The chicken main dish at Twelve Maine
I got the chicken dish from Twelve Maine – so well composed!
The dishes on the bar at Crispy Gai
We sat at the bar at Crispy Gai and ordered a ton of dishes (and couldn’t say no to the “sauce flight”)
Two of the delicious pizzas from Quanto Basta - one has a whole blob of burrata!
Yes that’s a whole burrata blob atop my pizza from Quanto Basta
A cortado and a biscuit with cream cheese and hot pepper jelly from Tandem
A cortado and a biscuit with cream cheese and hot pepper jelly from Tandem
A huge selection of knives at Strata
Just LOOK at the knife wall at Strata. I could have spent all day in this little shop.

Portland, Maine is absolutely worth a visit – be well and enjoy!

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Grilled Cheese Night!

Thursday, November 16