Whether you’re visiting for the first time and wondering where to get your food and drink on or you’re a local looking for your next hangout spot, here are 4 places to eat and drink in Portland, Maine this March 2023, including a neighborhood taco bar and cafe, a James Beard nominated tapas restaurant, an American style bakery, and an Italian staple.
Everyone’s talking about the new neighborhood taco bar and counter-service cafe, Lenora.
Inspired by Mexican street food and the women of the Wild Wild West, Lenora has quickly becoming a hub for early risers and those working downtown in the Old Port. For a taste of the Southwest and Mexico stop in for their Breakfast Tacos with scrambled eggs, Jack cheese, salsa, flour tortilla, with option to add house-made chorizo, and the Bodega Sandwich with fried-egg, house-made sausage, American cheese on a bulkie roll.
In the coming weeks, Lenora will expand hours to include dinner and late night service. This will include a strong focus on their agave-forward cocktails and lager program.
Open 7 days a week for breakfast from 7 AM – 11 AM.
Great for: Coffee/espresso, breakfast tacos and sandwiches, early risers, downtown workers, Mexican-inspired street food, margaritas.
2 Portland Square
While most travelers and/or locals think seafood and lobster when it comes to Maine dining, Italian dining in town is a strong contributing contender to the flourishing restaurant scene.
One longstanding contributor to includes Roma Cafe, an Italian homestyle restaurant location in Portland’s West End. A friendly and warm neighborhood outpost set in the historical 1880s-era Rines Mansion, Roma Cafe stays true to the Italian way of life, offering romance in the form of white tablecloth dining and traditional Italian comfort dishes such as their Chicken Parmesan with spaghetti, house Mozzarella, pomodoro, basil, and their Mushroom Ragu with gemelli, confit garlic, pomodoro, tarragon. Exercising their skill in old-school Italian dishes and treats extends into the Dolci (something sweet) section of their menu with their Tiramisu Classico with coffee, chocolate, toasted peanuts, and the Cannoli with pistachio, orange ricotta, and chocolate. Buon appetito!
Open 7 days a week from 5 PM – 9 PM
Great for: Date night, Italian, pasta, salads, locally-owned, fine dining, takeout, ordering online, reservations.
767 Congress Street
Mixing mathematics with delicious home-baked pies, this March celebrate upcoming National Pi Day (3.14) with Two Fat Cats Bakery in Portland.
An authentic American-style bakery that has been around since 2005, Two Fat Cats Bakery specializes in fresh baked sweets from scratch made with real butter, and local eggs. With a location in South Portland and a new location in Portland’s West Bayside/ Back Cove neighborhood (moved from Portland’s East End), stop in to Two Fat Cats Bakery for pies like Sour Cherry and Wild Maine Blueberry. Pi-Day specials will include blueberry hand pie pies and mini pie sampler. Available for pre-order now through the 12th.
If pies don’t suit your fancy, Two Fat Cats additionally offers rich and moist cakes finished with classic Italian buttercream; sweets and treats like brownies, fruit-filled pocket pies, date bars, whoopie pies and more. St. Patrick’s Day and Maple Month specials include Irish Soda Bread, Irish Coffee Whoopie Pie, Maple Leaf Sandwich Cookie, Maple Oat Scones and more.
Open Tuesday – Saturday 8 AM – 4 PM, Sunday 9 AM – 12 PM
Great for: Pastries and scones, pies, breakfast, on the go, cakes, coffee, nationwide shipping, pre-order.
195 Lancaster Street
Being semi-finalist for not one but two James Beard Awards this year, including Outstanding Entrepreneur (Owner Krista Cole) and Outstanding Hospitality, definitely places you as the frontrunner of restaurants to try in Portland.
Sur Lie, a tapas restaurant serving American contemporary with an eclectic mix of influences from all over the world, has made a reputable name in the Portland scene with their thoughtfully sourced and beautifully presented plates, as well as their ability to deliver only the best experience. Menu highlights include the herbed Popover with Gulf of Maine Lobster, cream of corn, tarragon beurre monté, and scallion; Pork Belly with apple 5-spice chutney, cornmeal hush puppies, hoisin bbq, Fresno chile; and Crab Dip with baked pimento Gulf of Maine crab dip, cream cheese, scallion, cheddar cheese, and toast.
Additionally attributing to the success is the strong cocktail-focused bar menu with favorites like Hometown Hero which features popcorn infused bourbon, Ramazzotti, salted molasses, popcorn dust, and a Don’s sports card ‘74 vintage.
The stars align as this month, Sur Lie will be participating in Maine Restaurant Week from March 1st- 12th, 2023. They will be offering a special tasting 3-course tasting menu ($55 per person and the entire party must participate – no splitting). You can view the full menu online.
Insider Tip: With all the recent excitement and accolades, you can imagine that Sur Lie has been quite busy! We recommend reservations reservations but if you don’t have any try saving the experience for midweek, like Wednesday or Thursday.
Open Wednesday + Thursday 5 PM – 9 PM, Friday + Saturday until 10 PM.
Great for: Date night, romantic dinners, small plates, outstanding hospitality, cocktails, bar seating, reservations, seafood, American contemporary, Maine Restaurant Week.
Happy Hour runs all day Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 5 PM – 6 PM at the bar/lounge only.
11 Free Street