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first time visitor to Portland!

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My girlfriend and I will be visiting the Portland area in late June, Saturday to Tuesday. We will be driving up from Boston on Saturday morning. Since this will be our first time, I am looking for suggestions:

- maybe a place or two to stop on the way from Boston to Portland. brunch or lunch?
- must-go-to restaurants for lobster and specifically lobster rolls
- good breakfast places in the Portland area
- good italian
- bars/pubs

any other suggestions are welcomed!

Thanks

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  1. I'll get you started with a couple of suggestions:

    Brunch on the way up at The Friendly Toast, in Portsmouth, NH. It's a really nice small city to stop in and walk around, and The Friendly Toast has a fun, funky atmosphere, and very good brunch food.

    For breakfast in Portland, check out Hot Suppa. We went last time we were up there, and it was great.

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    The Friendly Toast
    121 Congress St, Portsmouth, NH 03801

    Hot Suppa
    703 Congress St, Portland, ME 04102

    1. Excellent pasta can be found in Portland at Paciarino, on Fore Street (there's also an excellent gelato place, Gorgeous Gelato, just down the block).

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      Paciarino
      468 Fore St, Portland, ME 04101

      1. Bars/pubs: Portland has a couple. I'd recommend Novare Res, Gritty McDuffs, The Great Lost Bear, and 3 Dollar Deweys.

        1. Breakfast: Front Room, Artemesia, Caiola's
          Italian: in addition to Paciarino, Corner Room, Ribollita

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          Caiola's
          58 Pine St, Portland, ME 04102

          Front Room Restaurant & Bar
          73 Congress St Ste A, Portland, ME 04101

          Ribollita
          41 Middle St, Portland, ME 04101

          Paciarino
          468 Fore St, Portland, ME 04101

          The Corner Room
          110 Exchange St, Portland, ME 04101

          1. Saw your post on the Boston board and was impressed w/ how knowledgeable the Boston Hounds were about the Portland scene.

            In Portland I would add Porthole for breakfast/brunch and Caiola's for weekend brunch; Marcy's for "hole-in-the-wall" breakfast.

            For the drive up maybe MC in Perkins Cove, Ogunquit, for lunch. (although it won't be a quick on/off the highway and can be slow navigating through Rte One).

            Lobster rolls are a contentious subject on this board...just Search "Lobster Rolls" to see. Perhaps a drive up to Harasseeket Lunch&Lobster in South Freeport, although it can get crowded/slow in prime time.

            Enjoy.

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            Caiola's
            58 Pine St, Portland, ME 04102

            2 Replies
            1. re: HDinCentralME

              Agreed on the lobster "contentiousness". It can be a touchy subject. For a decent meal in a great setting, you could always go to the Lobster Shack at Two Lights.

              http://lobstershacktwolights.com/

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              Lobster Shack
              225 Two Lights Rd, Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107

              1. re: HDinCentralME

                The house made corned beef hash at The Porthole is excellent. While in that area, it's vital to stop by the LeRoux Kitchen store to get some of their yummy balsamic vinegars, and olive oils. I'm a huge fan of Hugo's, and I love Chef Rob Evans lunch spot, Duckfat. I'm far less enthused by 555, enjoy Fore Street (though prefer the inventiveness of Hugo's over the relative simplicity of the dishes at Fore Street), and am dying to try Caiola's. The Portland Art Museum is top notch, and if art museums are your thing, don't miss it.

                Thanks for the kudos HDinCentralME! We Boston hounds search whever we can for quality chow, and the general Portland area is teeming with it. It helps for me that my wife has family in the Portland area, so I get up there fairly frequently.

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                Fore Street
                288 Fore Street, Portland, ME 04101

                Caiola's
                58 Pine St, Portland, ME 04102