Now that we are back in the States,  it’s time for our first post about this wonderful country. And we’re looking at you Portland, Maine! If you’re heading to this part of the country, we’ve compiled our favorite things to do in Portland, Maine. Full disclosure this post is mainly filled with food and drinking activities… but when in Portland; eat, drink and be merry!

 

Top 6 Reasons why we
Fell in Love with Portland, Maine


1. Craft Breweries:

At first Google search, one might feel a bit overwhelmed with the number of craft breweries that call Portland home. At least that was the case for us as, and we only had one weekend to visit a select few.

  • Rising Tide Brewing Company:

Rising Tide is the perfect spot to drink some beer and enjoy the great summer weather in Maine. We ordered a sampler of 4 beers each and grabbed a seat at the picnic tables. Besides the beer, they also have a rotating line-up of food trucks outside so you can coat your stomach as you sample all the beers!

Rising Tide Brewery, Portland Maine

  • Shipyard Brewing Co.:

Shipyard is one of the more famous breweries in the area, partly due to their popular Pumpkin Head beer. People seriously go nuts for it! In fact, if you love their Pumpkin Head beer you can buy a growler to take home with you… or to chug after leaving the brewery.

They run small information/tasting sessions. If you want a full tour of the brewery, you will need to reserve in advance.

  • Other Breweries:
    • Allagash Brewing Company
    • Bunker Brewing Company
    • See full list of breweries in Portland from Beer Advocate

2. Kombucha Tasting:

We fell in love with the drink Kombucha while traveling through Bali. It was always available and not overly priced like you will find at Whole (Paycheck) Foods. Seriously, one 8 oz bottle can be almost seven bucks! In Bali, we would buy jugs for less than two US dollars. But we digress.

An unexpected, yet pleasant find while visiting Portland was the Urban Farm Fermentory. Like most places in Portland, this place has a hipster vibe. If you were to look up the word “Hipster”  in the dictionary you would see a dude with black rimmed glasses, chugging a glass of Kombucha. And rightfully so! Kombucha is awesome, and we love anyone who loves this delicious fermented tea drink!

Urban Farm Fermentory, Portland Maine

Urban Farm Fermentory is located in a warehouse-like space that offers visitors the opportunity to try not only Kombucha but also fermented cider and mead wines. We weren’t a fan of the ciders but thought we’d mention it for any of you cider enthusiasts.

You can try a tasting flight of six flavors of Kombucha, cider or mead wine for $5. If you like a particular flavor you can buy a growler to bring home for $12. We ended buying three growlers – Ginger, Hops, and Cascara. Addicted to Kombucha? We think so!

Urban Farm Fermentory, Portland Maine

Overall it is a great low-key place in Portland to sit, relax and sample some great tasting fermented drinks!

3. Lobster, Lobster and more lobster:

When most people think of Portland they instantly picture the delectable crustacean known as the lobster. Portland has had a blooming lobster industry and visitors flock here to get a taste of fresh lobster right off the boat. We did our research and sampled a number of lobster dishes. We know, we live a hard life.

  • Maine Lobster Co.: If you want to a lobster roll + outdoor seating along the boat basin, look no further than Maine Lobster Co. It is a popular tourist spot to grab a lobster roll, sitting outside while jamming out to a live band. However, you will be shelling out about $18 for one lobster roll! Hot damn lobster rolls can be expensive.
    Maine Lobster Co. Portland Maine
    Lobster Roll Rating: 3/5
    Reasoning: There was a lot of meat, but it was honestly just lobster on bread. Not much seasoning. Would recommend just getting a whole lobster.
  • Eventide Oyster Co.: If Maine wasn’t 5+ hours from New Jersey we would be going to Eventide at least once a month to order everything on their menu, especially their lobster roll. We went to Eventide for their Sunday brunch and would strongly recommend this to be on everyone’s to-do list. First off, this place lives up to the hype. When you do your research on Portland, you notice that everyone suggests to go here and we can attest that everyone is right! If you’re going for their Sunday brunch get there by at least 10:45 am (15 min before they open). Their Sunday brunch is popular for a reason and with limited seating, the wait can get long quickly.Eventide Oyster Co Portland Maine
    Eventide Oyster Co Portland Maine
    What to order: You honestly can’t go wrong, but we wanted to get a taste of everything and ordered a lot. Eventide offers fresh oysters so we said “fuck it” and ordered a dozen oysters to start. They were awesome and worth the money. Our second course was a lobster eggs Benedict dish, which prompted us to lick the plate because it was that good! And for our last dish, we ordered the LOBSTER ROLL! (Bet you could have guessed that).

Lobster Roll Rating: 5/5

Reasoning: Where to start – from top to bun, everything about this lobster roll was fantastic. The lobster meat was plentiful and tossed in a sweet brown butter sauce. Unlike your traditional lobster rolls that are served on a potato roll, this one was delivered on a sticky bun to give it a unique texture while letting the flavor of the lobster come through!

  • Lobster Shack at Two Lights: The atmosphere at Two Lights has a lot to do with our recommendation for this place. It’s located right on the ocean, making for the perfect scene when chowing down on a lobster roll. During the summer months, you can expect a line out the door. However, they are a well-oiled lobster roll/seafood turning machine. We ordered a full lobster, clam strips, and a lobster roll and were not disappointed.

Lobster Shack at Two Lights

Lobster Shack at Two Lights

Lobster Roll Rating: 4/5
Reasoning: Solid amount of meat with a good ratio of seasoning. Bonus of eating right along the ocean makes it taste even better!

4. Expanding Foodie Scene

  • Duckfat: People apparently go crazy for the fries at Duckfat, which was the main reason we checked out this place. Personally, we weren’t that impressed and may be the only blog that isn’t raving about these fries. Dare we even say skip the fries and go for their milkshakes! You can take them to go and walk around Portland slurping on a Duckfat milkshake.
  • Street and Co.: This is another restaurant that is on everyone’s list when they visit Portland and it didn’t disappoint! Located on one of Portlands famous cobblestone streets, and a {cobble} stone’s throw from the harbor you can expect to eat some great seafood here! We went with the mussels, scallops and freshly caught branzino.

Street & Co Portland Maine

  • Grace: A restaurant located in an old church? One might ask if that is sac-religious, but we were willing to give it a try! The decor of this restaurant was very unique. We ate in church pews and we loved the fact that they kept all the original stained glass. The food was also very good and would recommend eating here while in Portland.

Grace Portland Maine

  • *Eventide Oyster Co.: As mentioned in our lobster section, if you come to Portland you have to eat here!

Eventide Oyster Co Portland Maine

  • The Holy Donut: Go here for damn good donuts! We went a little donut crazy and devoured four very large and very delicious donuts.
    The Holy Donut Portland Maine

5. Sunset Sail and Wine Tasting with WineWise:

Two things that when combined will make a great weekend activity almost everytime! Preferably when you have someone to do the sailing while you chug the wine, which was the case when we booked a wine and sailing excursion with WineWise.

WineWise Portland Maine

WineWise Portland Maine

WineWise has a variety of tours, all including some element of drinking wine and exploring Portland. We opted to do the Sunset Wine Sails & Harbour Cruise focusing on the many styles of Pinot Noir. Erica Archer, sommelier, and owner of WineWise, took a group of 20 winos aboard the 74-foot sailboat named the Francis. We spent the next two hours tasting five different Pinot Noirs while sailing the beautiful Casco Bay. Erica is also the opposite of an uptight wine snob. Rather than lecturing us about wine, she made the learning experience fun and we had quite a few laughs.

WineWise Portland Maine

6. Lighthouses:

If you’re headed to Maine, expect to see lighthouses. There are several located within about 20-30 minutes from Portland. In fact, if you want to go lighthouse cray (as the locals would say), you can plan a road trip to see several in one day. We opted to check out Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth. There are several walks along the coast that offer some great views of the lighthouse.

No matter what you do in Portland, Maine, it’s hard not to fall in love with this picturesque New England town… especially with a full belly of wine, beer and lobster!

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