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May 15, 2007 09:46 AM

Portland on a budget

My husband and I will be in Portland for two nights and are looking for decent places to eat
but we are looking for moderate/inexpensive places. Looking for decent burgers/pub food, any ethnic food,decent calamari and chowder, any recommendations for a nice bar to get a drink and have a few appetizers. We will be staying near Old Port.

Thanks in advance

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  1. Haven't been in a while, but Village Cafe and Espo's used to be pretty good.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jackattack

      I would not pass on Village Cafe......
      Their veal dishes are excellent and so is all their food.....Espo's I also find Blah......
      Dogfish has a very limited menu, very tough to park, but good food. Fat Belly Deli has excellent sandwiches, and a big variety.

    2. I would pass on the Village Cafe, unless you want to go back and clean the kitchen yourself. Espo's is pretty blah too.

      Well, do not miss going to Henry VIII's in monument square for lunch. Best sandwiches in the city.

      For pub style food, I think Bull Feeney's is the best. Have dinner there on a Saturday night and check out Dave Rowe playing downstairs. Very fun time. Also a very busy place so you have to like a packed environment.

      Other less expensive food choices in the Old Port would be The Dogfish Cafe on Free st. If it is nice out, they have two decks to eat on. The Front Room on munjoy hill isn't all that expensive and it one of our best restaurants overall. Very very tasty burgers too. Good choice for breakfast or brunch as well, and you are a short walk to the Eastern Promenade which you'll want to visit anyway.

      Good luck.

      2 Replies
      1. re: grittys457

        We like both the Village and Espo's. Village has good veal parm. Espo's has giant meatballs and gives many scallops with whatever dish has them. We've not felt a need to clean the kitchen. Tried Henry VIII once: good sandwich, but skimpy on ingredients and considerably overpriced. Much better sandwiches at Full Belly Deli. Best burgers at Wild Willy's in S. Portland. Acropolis has good Greek food, better than Greek Spot. Thanh Thanh 2 excellent pho.

        1. re: grittys457

          I'd stay away from the Village and Espo's as well. I'll add David's, Caiola's and Ribolita along with the Front Room mentioned above.

        2. Try the new Bar Lola, for drinks and tapas, is getting a lot of good press and I'm not surprised given the owners/chefs/partners for this place--its on Munjoy Hill, not too far from the Old Port (walkable if the weather is good). Also, try the bakeries here--we have a wealth of some of the finest bakeries anywhere in the U.S. In the Old Port, there's Standard Bakery (you can get focaccia "pizza'" there, croissants, scones, fantastic bread, and other savory and sweet baked items) and Two Fat Cats (pies and cakes). Across the Casco Bay Bridge in S. Portland is Scratch Bakery--over the top great stuff across the board with breads, amazing bagels, delicious range of desserts, and there are cheeses and wine, too--and their sister cafe, One-Fifty Ate, just down the road from the bakery for deliciously prepared meals or coffee and bagels. In the Old Port for reasonably priced eating, there is always the Flatbread Co. for great pizza, though the place is a little dark and noisy (its a big hit with families, so there are lots of kids around). I agree with the recommendation for the Front Room--there is also the Blue Spoon--both of these are moderately priced, particularly for the quality of the food. There is also Duck Phat for sandwiches (panninis, salads, etc, and their milk shakes). You could go to Becky's Diner for Chowder, fish-n-chips, and other diner fare. Lots of options--these are just a few. Oh, one more thing, just my opinion, but I'd pass on both the Village Cafe and Espos.

          2 Replies
          1. re: liveforfood

            yes, Flatbread is great.
            head a bit north to Freeport for lunch buffet at the tavern at Harraseeket Inn for a fantastic, reasonably priced lunch buffet.
            and there's that place whose name I always forget that's on a side street on the port side in Portland with seating outside that has a very good, reasonably priced menu. Porthole?

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