Living in Maine

Well, folks, tourist season is officially under way in Portland, just in case you haven’t noticed yet. Love it or hate it, tourist season is an integral part of the Maine experience! Whether you’re new to Vacation Land, looking to pretend to be a tourist for a day, or just want to have some fun, here’s a new pocket sized guide to Portland! [clickToTweet tweet=”Find out the best food, drinks, and activities to try in Portland with our new guide!” quote=”‘Check out this new pocket sized guide to Portland for food, drinks, and fun activities.'”]. Catch you in the sun!

Food: AKA Lobster

There are so many places to go for an amazing meal in Portland that it seems impossible to choose. New restaurants feel like they open daily, making it a challenge to try them all. Here are a few of our favorites that are the epitome of the Maine experience! And yes, there’s going to be a few lobster rolls on this guide to Portland, because we know how crucial those are.

Brown Butter Lobster Roll at Eventide Oyster Co.

Lobster is to Maine what air is to other people. No, seriously, lobster is a big deal here! That being said, the brown butter lobster roll at Eventide Oyster Co. is by no means traditional, but it is pretty tasty. Think a steamed bun, like what you find with pork buns (or bao) topped with an overly generous serving of fresh Maine lobster, and smothered in brown butter. If you’re all about the lobster, get in line, because these are a hot commodity here in Portland, but they are absolutely worth the wait. And just in case someone in your party isn’t into lobster, Eventide has some of the best selections of oysters in the country. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Lunch & Soft Serve Ice Cream at The Honey Paw

You won’t have to go far for this next one, because The Honey Paw is located next to Eventide, as the same people owns them. Eating at The Honey Paw is a culinary experience that you won’t forget anytime soon. There’s a big focus on brothy soups and handmade noodles, as well as sandwiches, small savory bites, and appetizers. The menu is changing constantly depending on what’s seasonal, but if you’re looking for lobster, order it here.

When they are on the menu, the lobster wontons should be the first thing that you order. They are served in a savory lobster dashi, along with confit mushrooms. Yes, they are extremely difficult to eat with chopsticks, but they are worth the struggle after you take that first bite. To continue, try the Lobster Laksa, which is a work of food art. It’s almost too pretty to eat…almost. Filled with rice noodles, lobster, clams, and charred cauliflower, you’ll slurp up every bite, guaranteed. Want more food? We know you do! The Honey Paw serves a light but flavorful soft serve ice cream, topped with caramelized honey and a chocolate shell. There’s no better way to end a meal.

Bite Into Maine Lobster Rolls at Fort Williams Park

Bite Into Maine

At Bite Into Maine, you’ll get the lobster rolls you’re craving, as well as stunning Maine views. Bite Into Maine may look like a tiny food cart, but don’t underestimate these lobster rolls, because they are some of the best in Portland, and the state. 6 different kinds of lobster rolls are served, including Picnic Style, Maine Style, Connecticut, Wasabi mayo, Curry mayo, and Chipotle mayo. Those last 3 may sound a little scary, but the flavor of the rolls never takes away from the focus: the fresh, succulent lobster. The lobster rolls come out brimming with lobster meat, and always go too fast. If you’re looking for Bite Into Maine outside of Fort Williams Park, there a few more locations to check. This summer, Bite Into Maine will have their Airstream on hand at Allagash’s beer garden on Friday’s, Saturday’s, and Sunday’s. Early summer, their Commissary kitchen will be opening in Scarborough as well, giving you just one more place to find these great lobster rolls.

Poutine at Duckfat

Legendary poutine at Duckfat.

Besides the legendary lobster rolls, you can’t come to Maine without at least trying some poutine at Duckfat. For those who aren’t familiar, poutine is a Canadian dish that has become popular along the Eastern Coast. It consists of French fries, gravy, and cheese curds and is one of those dishes that you simply have to try before saying it sounds gross. At Duckfat, everything on the menu is fried in duck fat, hence the name! The fries are crispy and hand cut, and the gravy is warm, allowing the cheese curds to slightly melt. Many may imitate, but Duckfat has the best poutine in Portland. Want to take it to the next level? Make sure to ask about adding a fresh farm egg on top of your poutine. It’s life changing!

Scarborough Fish & Lobster For All Your Seafood Needs

This is technically outside of Portland, but it’s worth the short drive. At Scarborough Fish & Lobster, you’ll find all the seafood that your heart desires. Lobster, crab, mussels, and clams are all available to be bought by the public. There’s 2 ways you can enjoy this freshest of fresh seafood: you can buy your seafood at Scarborough Fish & Lobster to take home, or for a few extra dollars, the owner will cook your lobster and other seafood, and corn on the cob so you can enjoy it outside in the fresh Maine air. This second option is the best one, because you don’t have to take the mess home. For those that are from out of town, taking a few pounds of lobster to your hotel room is probably not reasonable. This lets you buy your lobster and eat it too!


There are plenty of places you can go for craft beer, or a delicious cocktail. These are just a few that we keep coming back to, repeatedly. From tiki cocktails at Rhum, to all the local craft beer on tap at Mash Tun, you’ll thank us for opening your eyes and including our favorite watering holes in the guide to Portland.

Rhum’s Tiki Cocktails

When you’re in Maine you’re already on vacation, but if you want to get even more away, there’s paradise to be found at Rhum. At least in the form of potent but exquisite cocktails at Rhum. There’s old favorites like the Mai Tai or the Singapore Sling, which are classics and well-loved tiki drinks. There’s also featured cocktails like the Bermuda Triangle, 2 cocktail limit Dead on Arrival, and the Thatched Roof. Whatever your poison, if you’re feeling tropical, this tiki bar is a required stop on the guide to Portland!

The Bar of Chocolate’s Dessert Martinis

Bar of Chocolate in Portland

Looking for the sweeter side of Portland? Look no further than The Bar of Chocolate for their dessert martinis. Stepping inside, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to another time in Paris. The Bar of Chocolate is intimate, but more importantly, they make drinks that you’ll remember. Chocolate lovers go for the Chocolate martini, which is one of the most popular drinks on their menu. Other notable cocktails include their Limoncello martini, which is puckeringly sweet, and their Espresso martini, which may keep you up all night.

Portland Mash Tun

If for some reason going to each individual brewery sounds like a chore, it’s easy to experience many of the best craft breweries from around the state at Portland Mash Tun. Named after a process used to make beer, Mash Tun has 27 beers on tap, making it easy to stop by and sample some of the best beers in Maine, all in one place.  Mash Tun’s downtown location in the heart of the Old Port means you can shop til you drop around Commercial and Exchange Street, and then try a few new beers in a relaxing, classic Portland bar.

Thompson’s Point

There’s a lot to do at Thompson’s Point, but one of the best activities is checking out the drink options. A good spot to check out first is Bissell Brothers, a local Portland brewery that everyone comes to. With their expansive tasting room and beers on tap, Bissell Brothers is a nice way to spend a few hours. When you’re tired of sipping beer, head over to Cellar Door Winery. Their wine (made locally in the state of Maine, of course) is available by the glass, or by tasting. The tasting allows you to try four of their wines at their beautiful bar and is a great spot for friends to mingle and enjoy the atmosphere. The last spot to try is Stroudwater Distillery for some extremely smooth hard alcohol. Cocktails are sorted by spirits, and are full of rich flavors. If you’re not into cocktails, try their flights, featuring their gin, whiskey, vodka, and bourbon.


Yes, there’s more to do in Portland than eat and drink until you explode, we swear. Many of these activities will let you to experience just how beautiful this state is, especially in the summer! There’s a little bit of everything: some boats, more beer, baseball, and even art! With these activities, this guide to Portland is well rounded for all sorts of fun!

Mailboat Tour of Nearby Islands

The mailboat tour is a bit of a hidden gem of Portland, and we’re really curious why it’s not a more popular activity! Courtesy of Casco Bay Lines, the mailboat tour lets you get on board with the mail as its being delivered to the various islands that are around Portland. The tour is about 2-3 hours long, and is a really fun way to spend a warm summer afternoon, especially when you bring your lunch with you! The mailboat tour mixes a little history in with your cruise, while you enjoy the truly stunning views that the islands have to offer, such as Great Diamond, Little Diamond, Chebeague, and Cliff.

Take In A Sea Dogs Game at Hadlock Field

Another fun outdoor activity is going to a Sea Dogs game. Yes, Maine doesn’t have its own Major League baseball team, but we do have the Sea Dogs at Hadlock Field. What could possibly be more All-American than sitting outside at a Sea Dogs game, drinking a local beer, and enjoying a hot dog? Going to a Sea Dogs game is a great family friendly event that everyone young and old will love.

The Portland Museum of Art

There’s plenty of culture to be found in Portland, and a good deal of that is at the Portland Museum of Art. Home to many collections of priceless art, you’re bound to find a new artist that you’ve never heard of, as well as experiencing unique collections and exhibits that can’t be found anywhere else. With over 18,000 artworks, there’s something here for everyone, like Andy Warhol, Louis Nevelson, and even a little Claude Monet. In Portland, you really don’t have to go that far to see something unforgettable!

Ride Along On The Maine Brew Bus

It’s not every day that you get to ride around and tour breweries, unless you’re on the Maine Brew Bus. It’s the perfect combination of drinking and sampling around the area, depending on which tour you choose. The Maine Brew Bus lets you drink and sample beer as you go around to a few predetermined breweries, without having to worry about driving anywhere! Brew Bus tours are a fun way to see Portland and the surrounding area while having a great time with friends or family.

There’s so much more that you can see and do in Portland, but if you only have a little time, these are some of our favorite places to frequent! Think we missed a spot that screams Portland? Let us know in the comments what you would include in your guide to Portland!