We hope you’ve packed your appetite. This month, we’re finishing our Hit the Road series with a foodie foray into Portland, ME. Whether you’re interested in taking a tour of a lobster boat or sampling award-winning pesto at Solo Italiano, this driving-distance destination is every foodie’s dream.
Before you start packing your bags, here’s everything you need to know about the area + our insider recommendations.
Drive time: ~2 hours from downtown
Est. population: 66,706
Avg. high in August: 78°
🎟️ Things to do
You’ve probably tried the signature Allagash White Belgian-style wheat beer, but there are so many other brews to sip, including some made with produce grown right on the property. The brewery has parking available on site + a food truck with traditional Maine eats.
Support local growers and winemakers with this choose-your-own-adventure experience. Visit a few stops on the Wine Trail, including Maine Mead Works, Sweetgrass Farm Winery, Urban Farm Fermentory, and Eighteen Twenty Wines.
Tour a Lobster Boat
Take to the sea on an authentic Maine fishing boat. During the 80-90 minute tour you can see the Maine coast, set lobster traps, and learn more about the daily life of lobstermen. There are a few companies offering tours, like Lucky Catch + Rocky Bottom Fisheries.
🍲 Memorable eats
This isn’t your average donut shop — these donuts are made with Maine potatoes, offering a unique flavor and texture with each bite. Pro tip: get there early to have a larger selection of flavors and toppings, since they sell out quickly.
Duckfat has been serving cones of golden, crispy duck fat-fried fries since 2005. If you like ‘em saucy, you can order a flight of dips for your fries, including garlic mayo, truffle ketchup, and thai chili mayo. Don’t skip the homemade sodas or shakes to accompany your fries.
This modern Asian-inspired restaurant is open Thursday through Monday and offers steaming broths, wontons, and wok-fried noodles. Pro tip: try the hand made noodle dishes.
If you are craving an authentic Italian meal, this is the place to go. The menu changes daily with fresh dishes from the farm + the sea, and gluten free pasta is available upon request. Pro tip: order a pasta with pesto — the signature smooth sauce won the 2008 World Pesto Championship.
Can you go to Maine and not eat a lobster roll? The answer is no, but if you can only have one roll, make sure it’s this one. Today, the restaurant features a modern space and secluded patio, but the food is just as delicious as it was when it made waves back in its food cart days.
🏨 Accommodations with award-winning cuisine
Blind Tiger, 163 Danforth St., Portland
Located in the West End near the Old Port, this historic hotel offers views + eats in close proximity. Stay in the Bon Vivor suite with the private rooftop deck for an intimate dining experience.
Portland Harbor Hotel, 468 Fore St., Portland
This boutique hotel gives guests nautical vibes next to the water + it’s conveniently located next to a location of The Holy Donut. The Bistro and Terrace dining options focus on locally sourced ingredients and offer a variety of small plates and main dishes.
Black Point Inn, 510 Black Point Rd., Scarborough
The newly renovated waterfront inn has two restaurants: the Chart Room + The Point. The Chart Room offers classic New England offerings like shrimp cocktail, lobster rolls, and burgers. The Point is a more formal and intimate dining experience with an extensive wine list.