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 November 2022, including an all-day brunch bar, dessert bar turned bakery and a Cajun inspired sandwich shop.
The Newbie - The Friendly Toast
If you consider yourself an avid brunch enthusiast, then let Portland’s newest all day eclectic brunch bar and restaurant, The Friendly Toast, entice you with its expansive menu of over 70+ food and drink items.
Signature selections include The Doughnut Stop Believin’ breakfast sandwich on French toasted donuts, Avocado Toast, Chicken Cordon Bleu Benedict, Churro Bites, Breakfast Burrito and more. Over at the bar, guests can sip funky cocktail creations featuring a wide variety of ingredients and flavors such as infused vodkas, house-made bloody Mary mix, and the Dreamsicle cocktail. Highlights include The Friendly Toast’s widely beloved Mimosa and Bloody Mary Flights.
Recently opening its first location in Maine and 10th location in New England in early October 2022, The Friendly Toast was founded in 1994 with humble beginnings in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Today’s reach includes locations in Vermont, New Hampshire, and multiple locations in Massachusetts.
Open Monday – Friday 8AM – 3PM, Saturday + Sunday until 5PM.
Great for: Hungover brunch, large groups, late lunch, creative brunch takes.
📍 211 Fore Street, Portland
The Staple - Shay's Grill Pub
Home to the famous $6 martini, including the ever-popular Hot & Dirty made with pepperoncini and olive juice, Shay’s Grill Pub has been serving Portland an upscale pub food menu in a casual atmosphere for years.
When it comes to the food menu, Shay’s in demand items are its burgers and sandwiches, such as the Coop’s Nashville Hot Sandwich with buttermilk fried chicken, hot oil, Nashville hot seasoning, pickles, mayo and lettuce; and the Cowboy Burger with cheddar cheese, bacon, Captain Mowatt’s Bar Harbor-Que sauce, topped with crispy onion rings. Don’t skip on the starters. Dine happily on the Snack Attack Burger starter with deep fried burger, American and cheddar, shredded lettuce, pickles, and burger sauce.
Open Monday – Friday 11AM – 9PM. Walk-ins only. Takeout available.
Great for: Work lunch, after work happy hour, casual dining, comforting staples.
Happy Hour: Drink + food specials Monday – Friday 4PM- Close. View menu here.
📍18 Monument Square, Portland
The Morning Stop - Gross Bakery
Editor’s note: Usually showcasing food trucks in this 3rd section, many food trucks have put their foot on the brake for the winter and have headed into hibernation. Instead, for the next few months we will be highlighting bakeries, coffee shops, and donut shops.
Sweet and savory baked goods to make your morning, Gross Bakery in Portland’s Old Port offers an array of seasonally based pastries, scones, biscuits, and more.
Sister to Gross Confection Bar, a dessert focused restaurant and bar open evenings, Gross Bakery’s menu consists of items such as the Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie, Everything Scone with Goat Cheese and Apricot Jam, Biscuits, Fruit Scones, Custard Buns, Breakfast Sandwiches, and more. Selection changes daily!
Everything order to-go, Gross Bakery is counter-service with the option to enjoy items at your own leisure with indoor seating. For your morning cup of coffee, espresso, and/or latte, Gross Bakery offers craft-roasted coffee with a focus on quality from their neighbors at Coffee By Design.
Open Thursday – Sunday 8AM-3PM. Order online here.
Great for: Morning treats and coffee, to-go savory and sweet bites.
57 Exchange Street, Portland
The Personal Pick - Po' Boys & Pickles
Stilling riding on the high of National Sandwich Day (November 3rd), Po’Boys & Pickles is the go-to stop for when you are craving a ‘lil New Orleans heat in sandwich form.
A small, easygoing joint, Po’Boys & Pickles has been constructing oversized Po’ Boy sandwiches (a Louisiana staple) along with other hearty Cajun in Portland eats since 2009. Traditionally, a classic Po’ Boy consists of toasted French bread stuffed with some type of fried meat, to which then the sandwich is “dressed” with tomatoes, romaine lettuce, pickles, mayonnaise and a generous spread of hot sauce for a Creole “kick.” Po’Boys & Pickles’ own menu consists of over 14+ Po’Boys, including seafood and vegetarian options. The Peacemaker (as shown above) is made up of mixed fried oyster and shrimp, lettuce, tomato, and red pepper mayo.
Venturing outside the selection of Po’Boys, additional menu highlights include The Atomic Patty Melt with Burger, Bacon Jam, Pickled Jalapeño, Cheddar Cheese, Roasted Garlic Mayo on Grilled Sourdough, Fried Onions, Fried Pickles, and Cajun Cauliflower Bites, Salads, Pulled Pork Potato Skins, Milkshakes and more.
Great for: Lunch, to go eats, southern flair, meat and seafood lovers, and vegetarians,
📍 1124 Forest Avenue, Portland