Visiting Portland for the first time and wondering where to get your food and drink on? Or maybe you’re just a local looking for your next hangout spot? Either way, here are 4 places to eat and drink in Portland, Maine this December 2022, including a highly anticipated Thai kitchen, a long-time sausage and beer house, a brand new bakery, and a community-focused brunch spot.
The Newbie - Mitr Ping Yang Thai Kitchen
Featuring a menu suited for those cold winter nights to come and an inviting interior decor, Mitr Ping Yang menu highlights include their Northern Thai Sausage with ground chicken and pork, Thai herbs, garlic, chilies, roasted peanuts, and pork rinds (as shown above); their Tom Yum Num Sai with shrimp, mushrooms, chilies, cilantro, holy basil, and vegetable broth; and their Fried Chicken with garlic rice, chili garlic-lime sauce, and spicy sweet and sour sauce.
Open for takeout and dine-in at their new location, the Ping Yang style cooking technique is commonly found in the streets of Thailand. The food is charbroiled or grilled and accompanied by various sauces.
Open Tuesday – Saturday 4:30 PM – 9:30 PM.
Great for: Cold nights, Thai dishes, takeout, solo dining, warm service.
1281 Congress Street, Portland
For a closer look, check out Portland Old Port’s First Look: Mitr Ping Yan Thai Kitchen Reel.
The Staple - The Thirsty Pig
Pairing house-made sausages with the best Maine beer, The Thirsty Pig has been a treasured Old Port staple since its beginnings in 2011.
With a menu that changes almost daily, diners can get a taste of what’s normally available at The Thirsty Pig by viewing their sample menu online. Here they will find tempting eats (that can be confirmed through firsthand experience as being delectable as they seem) such as The Thirsty Pig’s Viking Dog with caramelized onions, bacon and cheddar cheese, Thai aioli, bbq, and/or their Grandaddy Purp with Pickled beets, melted cheddar cheese, and honey mustard. A casual eatery, The Thirsty Pig is counter-service.
A thorough rundown of The Thirsty Pig includes their expansive year-round back patio which has been prominent in Portland’s outdoor dining scene long before the days of COVID. Great for people watching year-round and giving your pup a place to hang out, during the winter most of the patio remains unheated, but there are four huts where up to four people can snuggle up in each and stay protected from the cold. Those sticking to indoor seating can still sleep well knowing that Thirsty Pig indoor dining is open for business and possessing a rustic and warm feel.
And lastly, to kick off the the holiday season, The Thirsty Pig’s holiday window display continues to add to the Old Port’s year-round charm. Painting itself as Instagram-worthy, the window decor sets an additional reminder that a winter trip to Portland is still bound to delight.
Open Monday – Thursday until 10:30 AM – 9 PM, Friday + Saturday until 10:30 AM – 10:30 PM and Sunday 12 PM until 7 PM.
Great for: Craft and local beer, live music, groups, causal eats, counter-service, watching games, house-made sausages.
37 Exchange Street, Portland
The Morning Stop - Zu Bakery
Portland has a new bakery that you need to know about. Quietly opening in the West End in mid-November of 2022, Zu Bakery evokes the romanticism of a 1930’s French bakery.
Considered a micro-boulangerie, a bakery that specializes in bread and especially in French-style breads, Zu Bakery is designed to be just that – an efficient bakery that produces a limited array of delicious, rustic breads and pastry. Offering a warm and intimate hub for the surrounding neighborhood, locals can stop in to see, smell and hear the sounds of baking on any given morning.
Narrowing down the menu further, Zu Bakery will provide fresh pastries and coffee in the morning, baguettes and other breads will gradually roll out mid-morning and throughout the day. In addition, there will be Pizza alla Romana, biscotti, granola, a few treats to go with your bread and a small, revolving selection of bottled wine.
Current hours are announced via Instagram. Recent hours have beenWednesday – Saturday 9 AM – 5 PM.
Great for: Fresh baked breads and pastries, baguettes, coffee, traveling to France without leaving Maine.
81 Clark Street, Portland
The Personal Pick - Ruby's West End
Portland’s West End continues to enchant with the cozy neighborhood brunch spot, Ruby’s West End.
Still fairly new (opening April 2021), Ruby’s West End has quickly made a good name for itself with their friendly hospitality and savory home-cooked plates (just like Grandma Ruby used to make). With comfort and kindness at the forefront, Ruby’s West Ends feels like heading home to a place of linen-covered tables, coffee mugs from travels and accompanying stories, and a mix-matched, hodge-dodge collections of silverware and decor given to by neighborhood friends. Diving into the menu, highlights at Ruby’s West End include their Chicken and Waffle, Croque Madame, Biscuits and Gravy, and Chilaquiles.
Recognized as a place “where the neighborhood meets”, Ruby’s West End often hosts community events such as their current Maine Needs Winter Donation Drive, the upcoming Poetry Reading Night on Thursday, December 8th with Portland Poets Society and their own Holiday Art Fair on Friday. December 2nd, 2022 with local makers and artists.
Open Thursday – Monday 8 AM – 2:30 PM.
Great for: Brunch, friendly service, comfort food, community gatherings.
64 Pine Street, Portland