* Updated 2022
After a long work week, I love to treat myself to a well-earned coffee or baked goodie. If it was acceptable to list "professional latte drinker" on my resume then I would!
The Portland area has so many great cafes and coffee shops to pick from. To help you find a delicious cup of joe, here is a list of my favorites (in no particular order), that I encourage you to check out. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so try one of these places below to start it out right.
LB Kitchen - 249 Congress St
LB Kitchen is a charming cafe located on the east end of Portland serving healthy lunch and breakfast (hence the name). You can expect to get brightly colored foods and drinks made with organic and locally sourced ingredients.
Suggestion: Try one of their vibrant "Wellness Lattes" such as "The Mint" shown below or the "Blue Chai".
Tandem Coffee + Bakery - 742 Congress St
Want both a good cup of coffee and a scrumptious baked treat on the side? Go no further, Tandem delivers both in their picturesque cafe converted from an old gas station. I have yet to get a coffee from Tandem that hasn't been Instagram-worthy. The line frequently goes out the door but it moves fairly quickly. As you're waiting, make sure you check out the lineup of mouth-watering pastries.
Suggestion: Try the loaded biscuit with clotted cream and jam and a mocha latte on the side.
Bayside American Cafe - 98 Portland St
Bayside is a small whimsical cafe offering spectacular food. A visit at the wrong time like 9 AM on a Saturday and you may have to wait an hour for a seat. Come here if you aren't in a time crunch because the food truly is worth waiting for. The menu offers creative options like the chocolate waffle, lemon blueberry french toast, and lobster frittata.
Suggestion: Try the cinnamon bun pancake. Even if you want to try something else, you can order this on the side and share it with the table if needed (but you might not want to).
Forage Market - 123 Washington Ave
Want to meet up with someone for a coffee date or need a space to work? Forage Market is great for both because of its stress-free parking and large open space. Make sure to order a bagel roasted from their wood-fired oven. They come out with a crispy outside and a fluffy inside.
Suggestion: Try a sea salt bagel with caper dill or house special cream cheese.
Omi's Coffee Shop - 372 Cottage Rd, South Portland
Located in South Portland, Omi's Coffee Shop is a convenient stop on your way to Willard Beach or Portland Head Lighthouse. Omi's goes the extra mile to set itself apart from the other coffee shops in the Portland area with its unique offerings of lavender, rose, and Maine honey-flavored drinks that are served in adorable little mugs (like the owl one in the picture below). If you are hungry, Omi's serves delicious breakfast sandwiches too!
Suggestion: Try a latte sweetened with Maine honey and pair it with a homemade blueberry or raspberry pop tart.
The Proper Cup - 500 Forest Ave
Fittingly named, The Proper Cup is where you can get "the proper cup" of craft coffee and espresso along with treats from local bakeries. The coffee shop offers plenty of space to work or meet a group of people. You will usually find students tapping away on their laptop keyboards or groups of people lost in a conversation over a cup of coffee.
Suggestion: Try the "Maple Smoked Sea Salt Latte" - espresso, maple syrup, steamed milk, and topped with alder-smoked salt. It's the perfect combination of salty and sweet!
Arabica Coffee Company - 2 Free Street
Arabica is a cozy coffee shop located near Monument Square in Portland. The vibe gives classic "Portland coffee shop" with its brick walls and high ceilings. Don't let the outside fool you, there's plenty of space to lounge around and read a book or get some work done.
Suggestion: Try a latte or coffee with the "Milky Way" flavoring, it tastes exactly like the candy bar!
Baristas + Bites - 469 Fore St
This cafe is a quaint little space located at the end of the Old Port commotion. You can usually find parking on Cross Street, so stop in for a quick breakfast, lunch, or even a treat. B+B is the home of Love Kupcakes, so don’t leave without tasting a cupcake. There are gluten-free, vegan, and mini cupcakes to choose from so there’s no excuse to pass on one of these delightful desserts. Read more about my visit here.
Suggestion: Try the "sconewich" a breakfast sandwich served on a bacon-cheddar-chive scone.
Rose Foods - 428 Forest Ave
Mostly known for their bagels and lox, Rose Foods serves a wide range of items like latkes, salads, granola and yogurt, and of course coffee. The interior is bright and clean with pink pastel counters making it one of the most photogenic cafes in Portland. Read more about my visit here.
Suggestion: Try a poppy bagel with herb cream cheese and whatever toppings your heart desires.
Artemisia Cafe - 61 Pleasant St
Located a few streets back from Commercial St., Artemisia Cafe is tucked away out of the Portland bustle. This cozy and bright little spot is a great place to enjoy your weekend breakfast with its scrumptious and hearty food. Read more about my visit here.
Suggestion: Try Artemisia’s signature graham cracker French toast.
Convinced to visit one of these cafes yet? Get yourself a coffee and a treat, you’ll thank me later.