Another year gone by means another year of new restaurants, bars, coffee shops, smoothies joints and more in Portland, Maine. Seeing A LOT of new faces, tastes, and experiences to Portland’s growing food and drink scene, here’s the rundown of the new openings that happened this past year.
…But for every up there’s a down. This year, Portland also came face-to-face with saying goodbye to beloved staples. This breakdown will also guide you through the 2022 closings in Portland, Maine.
SMALLS – January
Starting off 2022, SMALLS Cafe opened the first week of January in Portland’s West End at 28 Brackett Street. A neighborhood cafe and marketplace offering light fare, coffee, snacks , wine, oysters, local art, home and wellness items, and more, SMALLS is Co-owned by Samantha Knopf, Arryan Decatur and Karl Deuben.
View more from SMALLS here.
The Frying Dutchman – January
The first of three new faces in Portland’s Public Market House, The Frying Dutchman opened in January by Owners Leon Vuong and Cody Leland. Located on the second floor of the market, The Frying Dutchman’s original menu was inspired by a trip to Holland in 2018 to which it included Dutch-style fries with house-made sauces and specialty desserts (Stroopwaffel and Beignets). Since then, the menu has expanded to include global street tapas, from Korean Cheese Corndogs to Curry Fried Chicken, Poutine and more. The Frying Dutchman was voted ‘Top 3 French Fries’ and ‘Top 3 Fried Chicken’ in the Portland, Maine Best of 2022 Awards.
View The Frying Dutchman’s menu here.
REGARDS – January
Highly regarded (pun intended), REGARDS opened to the delight of Portlanders in January. Located within the former home of Emilista at 547 Congress Street, REGARDS is inspired by chef and owner Neil Zabriskie’s and owners Cameron Lewin’s and Kimberly Lund’s collective times in Los Angeles, New York and Maine. Named Bon Appétit’s “50 Best New Restaurants 2022“, REGARDS explores creativity and community via food and drink, with a menu that also spotlights their close relationship with local Maine farmers and fishers.
View REGARDS’ menu online here.
The Grateful Cup – February
Serving Portland with high quality juice, smoothies and salads, The Grateful Cup opened in the East Deering neighborhood at 46 Veranda Street in February. With a menu that additionally includes coffee, wellness shots, and salads, The Grateful Cup’s main sellers are its Grateful Dead inspired smoothies such as the Berry Garcia smoothie (strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, mango, mint and apple cider) and the Raspberry Magnolia (banana, raspberry, peanut butter, dates, honey, and your milk of choice).
Check out The Grateful Cup’s menu online.
Paper Tiger – March
Back in March, Portland received official opening news of the island-style restaurant, Paper Tiger. Brought together by several people, including Michael Fraser, (Roma Cafe and Bramhall), and Marcus Alcantara, Paper Tiger’s menu is inspired by traditional fast food, oyster bars, and late night Chinese restaurants. On the menu, you’ll find raw bar offerings such as crudo and oysters, in addition to coconut wings, Cucumber salad, Monkfish and more. The bar menu is filled with a wide arrangement of craft cocktails including their play on a classic Scorpion Bowl, a Blue Hawaiian, a Mai Tai and more. The interior of Paper Tiger features waterfall tables and booths that can sit between 4 to 10 people, traditional bar seating, and a concrete bar facing out across the Old Port for prime people watching. During the warmer months, Paper Tiger offered expansive patio seating.
View Paper Tiger’s menu here.
Moonday Coffee – March
Espresso cart turned micro-coffee shop, Moonday Coffee Owner David Kessel was thrilled to become apart of Portland’s “lush coffee landscape”, with Moonday Coffee settling into its new home at The Black Box at 93 Washington Avenue this past March. Initially operating as a mobile espresso cart(s) on the Eastern Promenade and throughout Portland, Moonday Coffee continues to serve up cold brew and espresso-based drinks made with Speckled Ax coffee as well as a house-made chai.
View more from Moonday Coffee here.
Dila’s Kitchen – March
Dila’s Kitchen opened in March in Portland’s Public Market House after a round of soft opening days in early February. A Kebab-centric menu based around Owner Dila Maloney’s Turkish heritage, Dila’s Kitchen offerings include “Herbivore” and “Carnivore” Kebabs, Turkish soda, tea, and coffee, as well as, daily burger and sandwich specials such as the Konya Burger, Kumru (Sucuk) Sandwich and more.
Dila’s Kitchen’s daily specials and current menu items posted on Instagram and Facebook.
BayBowls – April
Bay Bowls announced their arrival onto the Portland scene back in April. Located within The Black Box at 93 Washington Avenue, Bay Bowls is owned and operated by the Matari family, who opened their flagship Bay Bowls in Brunswick in early 2021, with the new Portland being their second location. BayBowls offers a variety of vegan-friendly acai and pitaya (dragon fruit) based bowls and smoothies that are good for your health.
Check out Bay Bowls’ menu here.
Nom Cafe – April
Opening back in April, Nom Cafe is a Balkan-inspired breakfast / brunch spot located at 23 Forest Avenue in Downtown Portland. Off the beaten path, Nom Cafe quickly climb to the top as one of the “must-brunch” spots due to their colorful mimosa flights, Belgian waffles, mushroom toast, and shakshuka.
Check out Nom Cafe’s menu here.
Stars & Stripes Brewing – April
The popular veteran-owned and operated Freeport brewery, Stars & Stripes Brewing, opened their first location in Portland (second in Maine) in April of 2022. Initially considered an atypical location for a brewery in Portland (with most have taken up shop in the East Bayside neighborhood or along Industrial Way), Stars & Stripes’ new spot at 3 Spring Street quickly became a prime space of operation with a renovated deck that overlooks Portland’s downtown/Old Port. Offering all their Freeport favorites, from beer to wine and Prosecco on tap, Stars & Stripes’ Portland location also donates a percentage of proceeds to veteran organizations.
View Stars and Stripes selection of food and drink here.
Onggi Ferments & Foods – April
Resettling into their new location at 131 Washington Avenue in April – just steps from their former home at The Black Box on Washington Avenue – Onggi Ferments and Foods’ expansion included additional retail storefront offering in-house ferments, proprietary equipment, and fermentory alcoholic beverages, as well as in-house dine-in and to-go pastry and lunch service. Prepared food items and pastries includes their sourdough chocolate chip cookies and vinegar shrub sodas alongside new neighborhood staples.
View more and shop online at Onggi Ferments and Foods here.
Man & Oak – June
Man & Oak at 44 Oak Street officially became Portland’s newest bottle club and New England’s largest back in June of 2022. Hosting over 300 private bottle lockers, Man & Oak offers a unique experience for spirit lovers alike by featuring a relaxed luxury atmosphere where members can catch up on work, bring friends to gather, and/or meet others that share the same affinity. Accessing their own lockers, members can pour their own dram and/or make their own cocktail, all while in the comfort of the club.
View more and shop online at Man & Oak here.
Hi-Fidelity Brewery – June
Kicking off the summer season, Hi-Fidelity Brewery, a nano-brewery located at 200 Anderson Street in Portland’s East Bayside, opened back in June of 2022. A 3-barrel warehouse that offers low ABV beer (under 6%), the 30+ seat tasting room also includes a small kitchen for small plates and tapas for guests to enjoy. In addition to beer, Hi-Fidelity offers a rotating selection of cocktails, wine, cider and other non-alcoholic items such as coffee and tea.
Check out Hi-Fidelity’s selection of beer here.
Newscapes Brewing – June
East Bayside wasn’t the only neighborhood to gain a new brewery this summer, Munjoy Hill welcomed its newest microbrewery, Newscapes Brewing back in June. Located at 163 Washington Avenue, Newscapes Brewing opened ready to jam out every Friday and Saturday in summer with live music on the patio. Beers most notable included their Distinctive and Bold Ale (7.1% ABV), as shown above, and Munjoy Hill Double IPA (7.1% ABV). Beer with a good cause, a portion of the proceeds at Newscapes Brewing go to the IAFF 740 Distinctive and Bold Ale and the Engine 3 gets donated to the International Association of Fight Fighters.
You can view Newscapes Brewing’s food + beer menu here.
Queenie’s Castle – June
After being empty for almost two years (the previous cafe closed in 2020), the castle received news of a new tenant in June. Opening at the height of summer in July, Queenie’s Castle is Deering Oaks Park’s newest deli and ice cream shop. Named after Owner Victoria Queenie Thayer, Queenie’s Castle serves hot and/or iced coffees, muffins and breakfast sandwiches, in addition to beer and wine.
For menu, updates, and hours follow Queenie’s Castle on Instagram.
The Danforth – July
The West End gained a new neighborhood restaurant and bar this summer with The Danforth officially opening its doors in July at 211 Danforth Street – the former home of Little Giant. Categorized as an American restaurant, The Danforth offers a strong cocktail program based on quality and comfort, in addition to “nostalgic classics that serve as the foundation for new memories.”Owned and operated by Gin & Luck, the parent company of the popular Death & Company, with locations in NYC, LA and Denver, The Danforth’s menu consists of nourishing New England American fare made from seasonal ingredients, simply and honestly presented.
View The Danforth’s menu online here.
Twelve – July
Modern New England dining in a historic waterfront setting, Twelve restaurant opened their highly anticipated restaurant at 115 Thames Street this July. Prior to opening, Twelve was made Vogue’s “America’s Most Anticipated Restaurant Openings of 2022”. Portland’s newest seasonal American restaurant that pays homage to Maine’s best ingredients, Twelve is brought to Portland by Prentice Hospitality (EVO Kitchen + Bar, 58 Culinary, Fore Points Marina, and more), Chef Colin Wyatt of Eleven Madison Park and Daniel Gorlas of Per Se, (both restaurants located in New York City).
View Twevle’s Prix-Fixe and à la carte menus online.
Keg & Kraken – August
Moving into the former Kushiya Benkay spot at 653 Congress Street, Keg and Kraken opened in the late summer/ August. Owned by Jiraphon, Steve Richards and Nisachuan Young, Keg and Kraken’s menu consist of sushi, yakitori, in addition to Thai dishes and tiki-style cocktails.
View Keg and Kraken’s menu here.
Cabana – August
Bringing the Latin American flair to Maine, Cabana opened in July as Portland’s new intimate and energetic cocktail bar. At Cabana guests can sip on colorful cocktails, listen to lively tunes, and dine on both traditional and innovative takes on Mexican, Cuban and Dominican small bites. In addition to their bright cocktail menu, guests can enjoy an agreeable list of beer and wine, including both bubbly and rosé.
Find food + drinks specials and more via Cabana’s Instagram.
Alto Terrace Bar + Kitchen – October
Opening back in October inside the 4th floor of the new CAMBRiA Hotel at 25 Hancock St., Alto Terrace Bar + Kitchen is Portland’s newest boutique-hotel bar and lounge. Designed as the focal center of Cambria’s welcome area, creating an open concept bar and lounge, Alto Terrace Bar + Kitchen also features private tables for smaller parties, as well as long tables for larger parties. The crowning feature of Alto is the rooftop terrace featuring a full, covered bar that opens to outdoor tables and lounge seating with a central fountain and garden. Alto Terrace Bar + Kitchen offers breakfast, dinner and signature cocktails inspired by Maine authentic flavors. At the bar find the Munjoy Margarita, lots of Shipyard beer on draught, as well as an extensive wine list and canned beer options.
View Alto Terrace Bar + Kitchen’s menu here.
The Friendly Toast – October
The 10th location in New England and the first in Portland and Maine, The Friendly Toast announced its opening at the former Sebago Brewing Co. location in Portland’s Old Port in October. An all-day brunch spot, the restaurant and bar is known for its eclectic decor with vintage artwork and expansive menu with over 70+ items including the sourdough French toast (shown above) and Blood Mary and Mimosa flights.
View The Friendly Toast’s menu here.
Zu Bakery – November
Quietly opening in the West End in mid-November, Zu Bakery is a micro-boulangerie that evokes the romanticism of a 1930’s French bakery. Specializing in bread (especially those in French-style breads), Zu Bakery produces a limited array of delicious, rustic breads in addition to fresh pastries and coffee in the morning. Baguettes and other breads gradually roll out mid-morning and throughout the day. 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.
Check out Zu Bakery’s daily selections on their Instagram.
Dok Mali – November
The first of two Thai kitchens to open in November, Dok Mali opened in Portland’s historic India Street after a long awaited announcement. Inspired by the culture and flavors of the villages and streets of Thailand, Dok Mali offers a spectacular menu steeped in family heritage. Dok Mali’s menu features a wide array of mouth watering dishes such as ‘Mee Ka Te’ (shown above) with Rice noodles, ground pork, quail egg, peanuts, fresh herbs + cabbage in spicy curry broth.
View Dok Mali’s menu online on their website.
Mitr Ping Yang Thai Kitchen – November
November saw the welcome of Mitr Ping Yang Thai Kitchen after a long construction process and highly anticipated opening. Located at 1281 Congress Street, Mitr was brought to Portland by some of the members of the former Cheevitdee, which shuttered its doors in 2021. Ping Yang, a common cooking technique in the streets of Thailand, offers charbroils or grills food accompanied by various sauces. Mitr is currently open for dine-in, takeout and delivery.
View Mitr’s menu online here.
Full Turn – December
Late fall was a busy time in Portland! Additional openings included Full Turn, which moved into the former home of Baharat, which closed doors in September of 2022. A neighborhood spot highlighting seasonal ingredients with rotating menu concepts, Full Turn’s current menu ranges from fries, sticky chicken wings, smash burger, fried chicken sandwich and more. Full Turn is being led by Chloe Kessell and Melissa Pappas in collaboration with the owners of Baharat.
View Full Turn’s menu online here.
A&C Soda Shop – December
Relocating from its former Washington Avenue location (now Onggi Ferments and Foods), A&C Soda Shop (previously A&C Grocery) opened its new location at 501 Cottage Road in South Portland in December. A collaboration between Joe Fournier, Matt Moran (Nosh co-founder) and Michael Gatlin, A&C Soda Shop’s menu is burger and sandwich based (fried chicken and “real” Italians) with fries, milkshakes, and ice cream floats as additional offerings.
Find updates, specials and more from A&C Grocery via Instagram.
Bar Futo – December
Just making the cut in time for the new year, Bar Futo opened in Portland’s Old Port on Friday, December 16th. Located in the heart of the Old Port at 425 Fore Street, Bar Futo is a Japanese-inspired restaurant rooted in binchotan-fired cooking including skewers, large cuts of meat and whole fish grilled over Japanese charcoal (binchotan), and kakigori (Japanese shaved ice). Bar Futo is coming from the nationally acclaimed team behind Portland, Maine’s beloved Mr. Tuna and Crispy Gai, Chef-Owner Jordan Rubin and Partner Marisa Lewiecki.
View more from Bar Futo online on their website and/or Instagram.
Rwanda Bean – South Portland Location – April
After months of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Rwanda Bean Company announced in April that they will not be reopening their South Portland location at 185 Cottage Road. Grateful for all the memories and stories shared over coffee through the years, Rwanda Bean Coffee Company turned their full attention to their other two locations; the roastery + espresso bar at Thompson’s Point which opened in 2021, and their Deering Center location.
The Yard – May
The Yard at 82 Hanover Street in Portland’s West Bayside neighborhood announced their Memorial Day closing date in early May. Known as a premier live entertainment bar, The Yard offered a large outdoor patio, signature cocktails (including boozy milkshakes), a crafted bar menu, daily happy hours, fire pits, corn hole, and local talent. The Yard open in late 2019 originally under the name The Whiskey Barrel.
Baharat – September
A heartbreak for many, Baharat announced the closing of the Middle Eastern and Mediterranean restaurant and bar in August, with the last day of operation at the end of September. Known for their cocktail-focused full bar and a cozy, welcoming interior, Baharat originally began in 2013 as a food truck titled CN Shawarma. Their restaurant and bar at 91 Anderson Street opened in March of 2017 by husband and wife duo Clayton Norris and Jenna Friedman. Not the last to be seen and/or heard of the duo, Baharat’s owners helped launch the replacement restaurant, Full Turn, in collaboration with the new owners and team led by Chloe Kessell and Melissa Pappas.
Katahdin – September
Katahdin Restaurant, an American wood fire grill and bar in downtown Portland, shared that it will be closing its Forest Avenue location September 2022 with hopes to relocate. Established in Portland in 2000, Katahdin moved to their location at 27 Forest Avenue in 2010 and became known for their generous cocktails, inviting service, culinary talents, and featured flavors of the world. No news on their hopeful relocation.
Hugo’s – October
Hugo’s, a well-known and sophisticated fine-dining experience offering ambitious farm-to-table cuisine in Portland, announced its permanent closing in October after initially ceasing operations in March of 2020 due to COVID. A sister property to Eventide Oyster Co. and The Honey Paw, Hugo’s was part of Big Tree Hospitality, a Portland, Maine group founded in 2015 by Arlin Smith, Andrew Taylor, and Mike Wiley. Taylor and Wiley were named finalists for the prestigious James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Northeast three years in a row, until finally winning in 2017.
Copper Branch – November
After 3 years in the Old Port, Copper Branch, a casual vegan and vegetarian cafe/restaurant offering 100% plant-based meals and a wide selection of healthy whole foods, quietly exited Portland’s Canal Plaza. A Canadian based company, Copper Branch has locations in Montreal, Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, Vancouver, Halifax and in Nashville, United States. The Copper Branch in Portland was initially the companies third U.S. location back when it opened in 2019.
Hilltop Coffee – December
Closing in December, Hilltop Coffee announced the closure of their longtime location at 100 Congress Street to the dismay of many after a new building owner indicated they would not be renewing Hilltop’s lease. Saying goodbye the best way they knew how, Hilltop Coffee spent their final days talking to old friends over coffee while sharing doughnuts, cinnamon rolls, and other sweet and savory pastries one last time.