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Apr 16, 2009 09:26 AM

Is Becky's Diner Worth it? If not, what is yor fav breakfast place?

There are so many posts out there stating (including Rachael Ray) that Becky's Diner is a must. What do you guys think? Is it like greasy spoon or like banana bread french toast kinda breakfast? If you not a fan of Becky's...then where would you suggest?

Thanks :)

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  1. Some local Chowhounds swear by Becky's, others won't set foot inside. You will not get a consensus here.

    My take is that Becky's is OK diner food but nothing extraordinary (especially given the hype and potentially long lines).

    Alternatives I like are Marcy's, a good greasy spoon place w/ good mix of locals and visitors; and The Porthole, not as divey as it may first seem, w/ good omelets, breakfast specials, etc.

    Porthole Restaurant
    20 Custom, House Wharf Portland, ME

    Becky's Diner
    390 Commercial St, Portland, ME 04101

    Marcy's Breakfast & Lunch
    47 Oak St, Portland, ME 04101

    1. It is definitely on the greasy spoon side. Nothing fancy. Often crowded. You will not be missing a life-altering experience if you don't go.

      No banana bread french toast either. Go to Bintliff's for that.

      Bintliff's American Cafe
      98 Portland St, Portland, ME 04101

      9 Replies
      1. re: the_MU

        Thanks for input. I guess I figured the same. I grew up on Long Island where there wa a diner at every traffic light. Of course there were some better than others but not that I would rush over to one for breakfast. I will check Bintliff's. Also I heard that the Pommegranite Inn has awesome breakfast. Im going to check that out too.

        1. re: nytransplant

          just checked out Bintliff's up my ally. thanks the MU :)

          1. re: nytransplant

            I would not only skip Becky's, I would say Bintliff's is just as mediocre, just more expensive with a longer menu. Atmosphere is good, but they've been resting on their laurels for years. Try Caiola's or Front Room if you're looking for something more upscale, or Porthole for a more diner-like Portland waterfront breakfast.

            1. re: mminmaine

              Nytransplant, Becky's food is very similar to what you can get in any LI diner, although the portions tend to be smaller and they limit the number of coffee refills you can have.

              I wouldn't say Bintliff's is a revelation or anything.Their menu has a lot of options for different palates, and it's a comfortable space. I've been once or twice a year for the past decade, and they strike me as ... consistent.

              Haven't been back to Porthole in awhile. Unless this has changed, bloody marys there seemed to be made with Italian dressing mix or something -- they contained small chunks of rehydrated dried onion and other unidentifiable vegetable matter. Ick.

            2. re: nytransplant

              We were in Waterville, ME earlier this week for an overnight and were looking for a diner for breakfast, like Becky's, and had a heck of a time. It seemed that the only thing there was for breakfast in the Waterville-Augusta area was chain restaurants. Anyone have any recommendations that we might have missed?

              1. re: joan mar

                Worthy diner-style breakfast in Central ME:
                A-1 Diner, Gardiner
                Augusta House of Pancakes
                Bond Brook Pancake House

                more upscale:
                Slates, Hallowell
                Cloud 9 (inside Senator Inn),Augusta

                1. re: HDinCentralME

                  Thanks for the recommendations. We will give one of them a try on our next trip north.

                2. re: joan mar

                  Big G's in Winslow or Kennebec Cafe in Fairfield, both a short skip from Waterville. Early Bird in Oakland is decent, too.

                  1. re: jillso

                    I'll second the Early Bird in Oakland. We make it a regular stop when we visit our old summer camp in Oakland. It's just a few miles from Waterville.

                    Don't bother with Governor's in Waterville. Huge disappointment, ayuh.

            3. Beck'ys is mediocre except for its placement on Commercial St. You can get great breakfast fare at Hot Suppa on Congress st.

              4 Replies
              1. re: soxlover

                Strange--everyone has a different opinion, but also everyone has different tastes....
                I love Becky's. Excellent breakfast and lunch...... Her fish is about the best in town if you like fried. Her prices are low. Her fresh fruit plate is to die for.... I do not find it greasy, but do find Marcy's very very greasy, sometimes a line, limited menu, and such small quarters that you feel stuffed, which is not the case at Becky's..

                1. re: irwin

                  Becky's just got awarded by the Phoenix Paper:
                  Choose a City/Category Boston - Arts + Entertainment - City Life - Food + Drink - Shopping Portland - Arts + Entertainment - City Life - Food + Drink - Shopping Providence - Arts + Entertainment - City Life - Food + Drink - Shopping
                  THE BEST > PORTLAND > FOOD + DRINK
                  Previous | Next

                  Best Greasy Spoon
                  Breakfast is always available. Their coffee rocks, and the fried haddock sandwich tastes like the fish is caught as the orders arrive. But you know that. Less well known is the wonderful turkey dinner, an affordable platter of food, piled high with all the trimmings. Thanksgiving comes every day at Becky’s.

                  Becky’s Diner | 390 Commercial St, Portland | 207.773.7070 |

                  1. re: irwin

                    Irwin you are the biggest Becky's booster I have ever seen.

                    1. re: the_MU

                      Sorry, but I try to tell it like it is......
                      There is a reason why people stand in line.
                      She can't make everyone happy, but she really tries !!

              2. Becky's is horrible. Yes, it's just a greasy spoon but it's not even a good greasy spoon. I've never had a good meal there, breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I keep going back thinking maybe I just had an off meal since everyone raves about it so much. Enough is enough. The place is crap. The last time I had the the haddock sandwich it was the fishiest fish I had ever I thought it had turned and sent it back. If you want a Thanksgiving dinner check out Steve and Renee's Diner on Washington Ave on Sat night for all you can eat for 8.50 which blows Becky's out of everything and is in my opinion the best diner in Portland.
                Bintliff's is all right. It doesn't not my socks off like it once did.
                I always enjoy Local 188 but they only do brunch on Sat and Sun.
                I've only been to the Porthole four or five times so far but they've always been good.
                I haven't been to Marcy's in years. I always hated their sign that said they didn't do poached and if you wanted them that way then go to Denny's. Actually I do like my eggs poached and never went back.
                Hot Suppa is very good and usually where I go now when I want something besides just diner breakfast. I really like their corned beef hash. They're more hearty, less fancy.
                Sorry to ramble. I'm just sick of people constantly getting misled to Becky's when there are so many other good places to eat in Portland.

                1. I ordinarily might have suggested Eggspectation in South Portland, but I tried to go there this morning and discovered they are no longer in business! Anyone know when that happened? Signs indicate it's going to be turned into another brewpub. I then went to Becky's but there was a considerable wait for a table. I finally gave up and got a muffin from Hannaford's bakery.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: beaner2

                    Oh, no. Eggspectation? They did chain-quality food for higher prices than necessary.
                    Hot Suppa! is usually my go-to spot- they have a bacon of the day special (which is enough to get me in the door), a lobster benedict, and the most fantastic fried green tomatoes I've ever had. The tomatoes are worth getting as a side if you decide on something else for your main breakfast course.

                    Also, the Good Egg Cafe really is fantastic. They brew Coffee By Design coffee (not the best, but so much better than Folger's), and they have a decent menu with the regulars (pancakes, eggs) and a few more creative options.

                    Both of those are reasonably priced, also, which is important. The Front Room is costly, crowded, and overrated. They try to be a comfortable neighborhood place, but they just come up short every time. Heavy handed with the oil, not so with the friendly service.

                    1. re: tattooedportlander

                      The Front Room on weekdays is normally not crowded so fairly quiet. I think their breakfasts are very good and reasonable compared to most other choices around Portland. On weekends it's a different story because they're always busy and the place get very loud.