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 May 2023.
From an OG food truck making its return serving up bite-sized donuts, to a newbie that’s bringing both the bread and the friends, and a staple Mexican restaurant that’s just as enjoyable post-Cinco de Mayo, check it all out!
Put bread in the title and it’s pretty much a guaranteed hit, right? Well, carb lovers can rejoice on Portland’s newest opening, Bread and Friends, a daytime restaurant and bakery.
Launched by Maggie Rubin (operations/business), Jeremy Broucek (culinary), Tanner Rubin (bread), and Jess Rattey (pastry), a party of friends from the Bay Area, this team quickly made a name for themselves in the Portland scene back in 2021 by initially selling at local farmers’ markets.
Opening their bright and cheerful counter-service brick-&-mortar in early April, Bread & Friends’ whole premise is to foster community through delicious foods meant to be shared – which seems a mighty big ask if you’re looking for my opinion (Translation: I would not share the soft scrambled eggs with toasted sourdough to save my life. It’s that delicious.) The menu is inspired by the seasons and is “rooted in stories only food can inspire.”
So what does that mean? What does the menu look like? Well, if you’re visiting Bread & Friends expect a rotation of fresh pastries (Pop Tarts, Morning Buns, Croissants, and more), and elevated lunch and breakfast items (Herb & Fennel Salad, French Toast, Crispy Duck with Egg Sando, Soft Scrambled Eggs, oysters, Grilled Harissa Chicken, and more). The full menu is available online.
If you need a boost of caffeine, Bread & Friends has partnered with Bolt Coffee Co. to offer a full range of espresso and batch brew options (including decaf). Wine (sparkling, red and white), tea, and beer are also available.
Open Thursday – Monday from 8 AM – 2 PM
Great for: Breakfast and lunch, fresh bread, creative pastries, takeout, dine-in, solo-dining, small groups, coffee, wine and beer, oysters, friendly service.
505 Fore Street
Not over Cinco de Mayo celebrations? Finding yourself at a loss on where to dine for Taco Tuesday? Let us welcome in El Rayo if you don’t already know or are overdue for a visit at this staple.
A cool and playful hangout committed to fresh plates prepared with care and high-quality and locally-sourced ingredients, this Portland-based restaurant has been winning hearts with its flavorful Mexican food menu for years. A celebration of Mexican cuisine that is a feast for the senses, El Rayo’s fish tacos are legendary, the nachos irresistible, the quesadillas unbeatable, and the margaritas the perfect post-work refreshment – especially fit for this early summer.
Outside of the menu, El Rayo is an easy option for a quick work lunch or a casual and easy-going night out with the friends. Offering both spacious indoor dining and patio dining out on their back deck, check out El Rayo next time you’re looking to get out in Portland.
Open Monday – Saturday 11 AM – 9 PM, Sunday until 7:30 PM
Great for: Mexican food (tacos, burritos, enchiladas – the works) outdoor dining, indoor dining, margaritas, lunch, dinner, casual dining, group dining
26 Free Street
Alright, so hope you don’t mind but it’s back to food truck season. First up to bat for the 2023 season is an OG to the Portland food truck scene, Eighty 8 Donuts.
Rosie, Eighty 8 Donuts’ original food truck introduced to the scene originally in 2013, is back! Based out of Portland and always on the road, Rosie offers up bite-sized donuts made to order. Rosie frequently can be found on either the Eastern or Western Promenade, and a few other select locations – but don’t worry if you can’t catch her, Eighty 8 Donuts also has a counter-service donut shop in Portland’s Old Port.
Hot and fresh outta Portland, Eighty 8 Donuts’ packs a punch of flavorful fun. Have your donuts Sugar Dusted (sugar or cinnamon) or give them a go with Hand Dipped flavors like Maine Maple, Chocolate, Lemon, and Classic White Glaze. Getting creative, Eighty 8 Donuts steps it up a notch with their Speciality Bites such as Bamm Bamm Fruity Pebble topped, Cookies ’n Cream, Boston Cream and more! Menu is available to view online.
And because what’s donuts without coffee? Eighty 8 Donuts is proudly pouring Tandem Coffee Roasters – hot or iced.
Schedule is dropped weekly via Instagram. Federal Street location is open 7 days a week
Great for: Donuts, coffee, food at the promenade, fun
Counter-service shop in Portland is located at 202 Federal Street
Breaking the rules and venturing just outside city limits, this month’s Personal Pick is awarded to Saltwater Grille.
Why? Well, with an expansive waterfront patio boasting clear views of Portland’s skyline, it’s hard to deny that Saltwater Grille has it going on. Diners can enjoy the view of the sun setting over the Portland skyline and Casco Bay from both their large outdoor deck or inside!
In addition to breathtaking city views, Saltwater Grille offers both a lunch and dinner menu that is sure to satisfy any seafood craving. The menu itself is carefully crafted by their talented and distinguished chef. Experience the taste of fresh seafood with Saltwater Grille’s clam chowder, oysters, Bang Island mussels, calamari, baked stuffed haddock, steamed lobster and more. Seafood avoidant? Saltwater Grille’s menu is inclusive of all tastes. Their menu features a steak and frites dish, a veggie burger, chicken salad wrap, pork belly boa and more.
Open 7 days a week from 12 PM – 9 PM
Great for: Waterfront dining, indoor dining, patio dining, casual dining, lobster, seafood, oysters, lunch and dinner, reservations, cocktails, groups, couples, solo dining, beer, wine, and spirits.
231 Front Street, South Portland