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Discover 5 Fresh Dining Destinations in Portland, Maine This Year

In 2023, Portland, ME has welcomed new businesses, including cozy clam shacks and unique bread-focused cafes. Let's take a look at some exciting spots you shouldn't miss (in no particular order)!

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Portland Clam Bar - 199 W Commercial St.

Portland Clam Bar can be found at the beginning or end of Commercial Street, depending on your perspective. It offers a retreat from the busy atmosphere of the Old Port. The outdoor area is quite spacious, furnished with ample seating, including picnic tables.


I recommend the clam chowder, a timeless favorite that comes with bacon, fennel, and giant-sized croutons - truly a delicious combination. The portion size might catch you off guard with its generosity. For a more unique culinary experience, give the "Jalisco Steamers" a try - featuring local Maine steamers paired with smoked brisket, shishito peppers, and jalapeños.

 

Bar Futo - 425 Fore St.

Situated in the heart of Old Port, right next to Gelato Fiasco, you'll come across Bar Futo – a restaurant influenced by Japanese cuisine. Their menu showcases small dishes like meat skewers, crispy eggplant, and chicken katsu.


The indoor seating is plentiful, and there's also an outdoor patio, allowing you to enjoy your meal with a stylish flair. Bar Futo is brought to you by the same creators behind Mr. Tuna and Crispy Gai, contributing to the vibrant dining scene of Portland.

 

Papi Portland - 18 Exchange St.

Located on Exchange Street in Portland, you can't miss the vibrant red doors that stand out amidst the brick buildings. These doors lead you to Papi Portland, the city's latest Puerto Rican bar and restaurant. The establishment boasts an Instagram-worthy interior and radiates a captivating and lively atmosphere.


Indulge in a variety of small plates, which might be a bit on the higher end price-wise, but undoubtedly scrumptious. This addition significantly enriches Portland's culinary scene and serves as an ideal choice for a memorable date night.

 

Bread & Friends - 505 Fore St.

Bread & Friends does double duty as a bakery and a chill daytime restaurant dishing out top-notch breads, pastries, and fancy sharing plates perfect for breakfast and lunch. Craving something distinct in your coffee fix? Give the smoked maple rosemary latte a shot. For something to share, I'd point you towards the demi baguette served with salted cultured butter and seasonally-changing jam, or the ricotta and jamon iberico – check out the pics below for a taste!

 

Lenora - 2 Portland Sq

Lenora has a bright open space with plentiful seating located in downtown Portland. The interior is quite charming, sporting a lovely terracotta hue, high ceilings, and a grand central bar. I suggest sharing some chips and guac, and then venturing into their array of tacos. We were particularly keen on the baja fish, yucatan fish, and barbacoa choices – definitely hits on our list!


Lenora also welcomes early birds with morning hours, serving up coffee and breakfast. Kickstart your day with a delicious and straightforward "bodega sandwich" paired with a satisfying cafe con leche.

 

Thanks for reading!

- The Maine Chick

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