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My Top 10 Favorite Cafes in Portland, ME

Updated: Jun 17, 2023

* Updated 2023


Following a strenuous week at work, I find immense pleasure in indulging myself with a thoroughly deserved coffee or delectable pastry. If only it were socially acceptable to include "professional latte drinker" on my resume, I would do so without hesitation!


The vicinity of Portland boasts an abundance of exceptional cafes and coffee shops, offering an array of options. To assist you in discovering a delightful cup of joe, I present to you my personal favorites (in no particular order) that I wholeheartedly recommend exploring. As breakfast sets the tone for the day, I suggest trying out any of these establishments below to kickstart your morning on the right note.


 

1. Bread and Friends - 505 Fore St

True to its name, Bread and Friends is an ideal spot to enjoy some delicious bread in the company of your pals! This bakery and cafe offers a delightful assortment of croissants, morning buns, cookies, and various other delectable treats. Additionally, they serve plated breakfast and lunch options, including mouthwatering dishes featuring eggs, potatoes, and more.


Personally, I adore pairing my latte with their delectable bread, such as the demi baguette served alongside cultured butter and luscious blood orange marmalade, as captured in the enticing picture below. It's an absolute delight that never disappoints!


Suggestion: Try the smoked maple rosemary latte as it offers a delightful balance of smoky flavors and natural sweetness.


 

2. LB Kitchen - 249 Congress St

Situated on the east end of Portland, LB Kitchen is a delightful cafe that specializes in serving wholesome breakfast and lunch options, as the name suggests. This charming establishment prides itself on offering vibrant and visually appealing dishes and beverages, all crafted using organic, locally sourced ingredients.


Suggestion: Try one of their vibrant "Wellness Lattes" such as "The Mint" or the "Blue Chai".


 

3. Tandem Coffee + Bakery - 742 Congress St

If you're in search of a place that combines exceptional coffee with mouthwatering baked treats, look no further than Tandem. This charming cafe, converted from an old gas station, offers a picturesque setting to indulge in both.


Every cup of coffee I've had from Tandem has been nothing short of Instagram-worthy. While the line often extends out the door, it moves swiftly, ensuring you won't be waiting long. While you wait, be sure to feast your eyes on their delectable array of pastries, guaranteed to make your mouth water.


Suggestion: Try the loaded biscuit with clotted cream and jam and a mocha latte on the side.


 

4. 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).


 

5. Forage Market - 123 Washington Ave

Whether you're planning a coffee date or seeking a conducive workspace, Forage Market is the perfect destination to meet your needs. With its hassle-free parking and spacious open area, it caters to both scenarios seamlessly. Don't forget to indulge in one of their wood-fired oven-roasted bagels, known for their delightful combination of a crispy exterior and a fluffy interior. It's an absolute must-try!


Suggestion: Try a sea salt bagel with caper dill or house special cream cheese.


 

6. 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!


 

7. Arabica Coffee Company - 2 Free Street

Nestled near Monument Square in Portland, Arabica is a warm and inviting coffee shop that exudes the quintessential charm of a classic "Portland coffee shop." The interior boasts brick walls and high ceilings, creating a delightful ambiance. Despite its unassuming exterior, you'll find ample space inside to relax, whether you want to curl up with a book or be productive with your work.


Suggestion: Try a latte or coffee with the "Milky Way" flavoring, it tastes exactly like the candy bar!


 

8. 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.


Suggestion: Try the "sconewich" a breakfast sandwich served on a bacon-cheddar-chive scone.


 

9. 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.


Suggestion: Try a poppy bagel with herb cream cheese and whatever toppings your heart desires.


 

10. Artemisia Cafe - 61 Pleasant St

Located a few streets away from Commercial St., Artemisia Cafe resides in a tranquil corner, tucked away from the bustling streets of Portland. This charming and luminous café provides the perfect setting to savor a delightful weekend breakfast, complete with scrumptious and satisfying dishes that are sure to please your palate.


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.

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