HOME > Chowhound > All New England Archive >


one breakfast in portland

visiting portland, maine for only one day! any good casual breakfast places (child-friendly) as well as dinner?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)

    1. Francisco's..... tight fit but if you can get in the breakfast is great.

        1. I had a bad experience at Becky's - cheddar turned out to be velveeta - so I don't go there anymore. Lots of people love it though. We love Bintliff's but you have to have the time (and large appetite for it).

          5 Replies
          1. re: lupaglupa

            I'm thinking Becky's might be even more crowded now that they were feature on TV Diner. Altho they are expanding so that might help.

            1. re: Joanie

              Yes, but I'm still voting for Becky's.

              1. re: Harp00n

                Becky's is well over rated, I get what offered there on a daily basis in multiple places in NYC, which means to me it's average.

                1. re: 512elm

                  Since Portland has less than 1% of NYC's population, ergo restaurants, this is something of an apples & oranges statement. What would your recommendations be for breakfast in lieu of Becky's or The Porthole?

            2. re: lupaglupa

              I second this. Bintliff's is really, really good. And their cocktails are great too. I think it's well worth the time to go there. It's not that the service is slow, more that there's limited seating. Mmmmm... I'm thinking about my next visit to Portland now.

            3. Artemisia...small menu, but delicious!

              1. I like Becky's for a basic diner breakfast--counter service and booths. For lunch or dinner there are things like grilled cheese and tuna, meat loaf, haddock or clam chowder, fish and chips, etc. Also, the Port Hole on the wharf (across from Harbor Fish) is a good place for breakfast. A rustic old building with a bar inside--you can also sit out on the back deck if its nice out (not a pristine view or anything--its a working harbor--but its pleasant). Good omlets, home fries, pancakes, and grilled italian sausages there. I've never eaten dinner there. Both are extremely kid friendly and they open very early in the morning for fishermen crowd (I had a friend with a newborn who used to go there at 5 am for early breakfast with her baby who was wide awake at that hour!).

                1. One more thing--for kid friendly dinner, flat bread co. is a good choice.

                  1. Becky's is poisonous. I recommend Artemisia, The Porthole, or the Front Room. (See Dan Zarin's Breakfast Serial on the Bollard (www.thebollard.com) for reviews of breakfasts with a 2-year-old.) For dinner, I'd second Flatbread, but be warned that they only have pizza. RiRa (above Flatbread) has a good kids' menu and the upstairs has a nice view.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: sciencediet

                      "Becky's is poisonous."

                      I'm usually pretty well prepared to defend my Hounding opinions. But in this case I'm left damn near speechless. Would you please elaborate on your three word ...umm, review?

                      1. re: Harp00n

                        Greasy, heavy, leaden...the only thing I can eat there without wanting to fall over afterward is the fruit cup, and for SIX BUCKS I can go buy and chop the fruit myself.

                        1. re: sciencediet

                          Response from Irwin forthcoming I am sure......However I'll toss in my two cents. Becky's is very basic diner food. Nothing wonderful but satisfying after a long night that turns into an early morning. Expensive for what it is but still reasonable I suppose. I don't think it deserves all it's hype but I grew up on Greek diner fare, the best of the genre...Their hash (canned and salty I believe), coffee and pastry aren't great though, a true measurement of a good diner, IMHO

                          For my money, The Front Room is a great choice although very busy all the time.

                          1. re: sciencediet

                            It sounds like your stating your dislike for "classic" diner food, in general. Am I mis-reading you?

                            Aside to Noreaster; there's is no possibility, no way, that Becky's serves "canned" hash.

                            1. re: Harp00n

                              Diner food has its time and place and can be very satisfying. No, I am not stating a dislike for classic diner food quite the contrary. The New England diner is wonderful and Becky's is a fine example of it.

                              If the hash is not canned (I have no evidence either way besides taste) then it is too smooth and way too salty and needs some work.

                              1. re: Noreaster

                                The first sentence wasn't directed towards you. It was was to sciencediet.Who seems, if I'm reading him/her correctly, isn't into "classic" diner fare.
                                I would just tell you that I love good hash and I've never been disappointed here. I'm sorry if you have but "canned" is a serious thing to charge any diner with. :-))

                      2. Becky's is lousy and way overrated......

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: WillCookforArt

                          It's really fascinating how widely experiences and opinions vary among Hounds. Fore Street, for example, is probably still considered the darling of the Portland dining scene. I've had transcendent meals, I've had near misses and damn near outright failures here. On occasion. I've witnessed a waitstaff attitude that would lead you to believe that it's all about them. I still go there because, overall, there have been more pluses than minuses. You'll note that these are specifics, not drive-by......"lousy and way overrated".

                          1. re: Harp00n

                            I must be missing something in your text. Other than not liking a waiter's attitude, what about your experiences at Fore Street are "specifics" as you put it

                            1. re: Noreaster

                              The usual issues that you'd expect, but hopefully not get, at lesser dining spots; plates arriving late, cold, late & cold, wrong or not at all. All of these things have happened at one time or another to me or someone in our party. Why do I still go there? Because when they're ON Fore Street is the best in town, IMO.

                            2. re: Harp00n

                              In response....I have had several experiences with Becky's and I will NEVER understand the loyalty. The food was simply lousy!! Certainly not simple, fresh breakfast fare. Greasy, out of a can, limp and stomach acid producing. Can I offer specifics .....no, as it has been some time since I have ventured in but I can be sure it hasn't improved.

                              1. re: WillCookforArt

                                I've have no point of reference to proceed with a logical response to you here We're not talking tofu here. It's breakfast off a fry grille. Bacon, sausage, hash and home fries are by definition "greasy" and, OBTW, so is butter. You wouldn't like a full Irish breakfast, I'm thinking. The "canned" comment I've all ready addressed with Noreaster but I'm pretty sure you know that.