Portland’s Back Cove is a serene getaway tucked away in the northern side of Portland’s downtown district. Known for its beautiful mile-long trails that run the nearly circular length of the basin, Back Cove is one of the most popular yet least hectic parts of Maine. Enjoy our guide to the 10 best restaurants in the area.
Susan’s Fish-n-Chips is the perfect place to get your seafood fix in true Maine fashion. From two-person seafood platters that carry enough molluscs and scallops for four, to lobster rolls stuffed to the brim with tender meat, the portions are as generous as they are scrumptious. The super-friendly waiters and waitresses make an effort to get to know you before they hammer through the day’s specials, which makes this joint a diamond in the rough.
Address and telephone number: 1135 Forest Ave., Portland, ME 04103 +1 207-878-3240
Fishermen’s Grill serves the freshest seafood of the highest quality in generous portions. Try Mike’s take on some classics, like clam chowder and haddock sandwiches, and you’ll be convinced this is one of the best seafood joints in Maine.
Address and telephone number: 849 Forest Ave., Portland, Maine 04103 +1 (207) 699 – 5657
Thurston’s Wicked Good Burgers
Thurston’s Wicked Good Burgers serves fully loaded house burgers at impossibly good prices. You can add as many tantalizing patties as you like to beef up your burger to your liking, and the array of toppings and add-ons is seemingly endless. Take your meal to the next level with mouthwatering options like hand-cut French fries drenched in hot cheese, or crispy onion rings that are fried to perfection.
Address and telephone number: 699 Forest Ave Portland, ME 04103 +1 (207) 879-1377
Po’ Boys & Pickles
If you want to visit New Orleans without leaving Back Cove, stop by Po’ Boys & Pickles. Cajun cuisine is at its peak here, with dishes that hark back to the spicy flavors and piquant aromas of Louisiana’s culinary gem of a city. Locals love the tiny details about this place that make it so refreshingly good: the red pepper mayo used to coat the toasted sandwiches, the crispy strips of bacon you can add to any sandwich, the way the fish is blackened without being burnt – perfect Cajun eats.
Address and telephone number: 1124 Forest Ave Portland, ME 04103 +1 (207) 518-9735
Cafe, Restaurant, American, Fast Food, $$$
Abilene serves inventive New American dishes like a roasted take on the classic Caesar salad. The chefs at Abilene, Anna and Travis, trained with the best before opening their own establishment, and use only the highest quality ingredients to create their delicious homemade dishes.
Address and telephone number: 539 Deering Ave, Portland, ME 04103 +1 (207) 536-0855
Though the name invokes images of a corner bakery, Borealis Breads is a fantastic find for the foodie-minded traveler. This eatery boasts a full and innovative menu that can be adjusted to match the mood of the meal, whether it’s time for a quick breakfast or a leisurely lunch. The locals love the pizza here, and because the joint specializes in baking its own bread, you definitely won’t be leaving the pizza crusts on the side of your plate.
Address and telephone number: 182 Ocean Ave, Portland, ME 04103 +1 (207) 541-9600
Back Bay Grill
Back Bay Grill represents a standard of culinary luxury in Back Cove. There’s an exclusive dinner menu, an enticing dessert selection, a lounge overlooking Back Bay and an impressive wine list. Whether you’re a loyal local or a visiting tourist, you’ll find yourself coming back for the inviting atmosphere and excellent staff – not to mention the delectable filet mignon and delicious crème brûlée.
Address and telephone number: 65 Portland St., Portland, ME 04101
Gastropub, Restaurant, American, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, Vegan, Fast Food, $$$
If you’re looking for a casual gastropub, stop by Silly’s for a quick bite. The atmosphere here is always buzzing and energetic. The decor is retro, with napkin holders that look like antique lunch boxes and a dazzling array of colors painted on the walls. The menu is an ode to old-fashioned burger stands, but with a nod to the modern with creative vegetarian burgers and perfectly salted sweet potato fries.
Address and telephone number: 40 Washington Ave., Portland, ME 04101 +1 (207) 772-0360
LOLITA Vinoteca + Asador
Restaurant, Mediterranean, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-free, Fast Food, $$$
LOLITA Vinoteca + Asador
For a fine dining experience with an affordable price tag, stop by LOLITA Vinoteca + Asador on Congress Street. With a nuanced menu specializing in charcuterie items, LOLITA promises palatable pairings that will introduce you to an entirely new realm of dining. The friendly and attentive staff are always eager to help guide newcomers through the extensive and creative menu, and you can even see your food prepared and grilled in the open-flame fireplace close to the kitchen.
Address and telephone number: 90 Congress St., Portland, ME 04101 +1 (207) 775-5652
Saeng Thai House
Saeng Thai House has a menu that dabbles in upscale Thai cuisine with the tang of Thai street food, transporting you straight into the heart of Thailand with flavorful aromas and smooth spice blends. The prices are incredibly reasonable for the portions you get, especially the generous plates of Pad Thai that come with tofu, chicken, shrimp and more.
Address and telephone number: 921 Congress St., Portland, ME 04102 +1 (207) 780-0900