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Best Breakfast/Brunch in Portland Maine

My husband and I had the opportunity to eat at the Porthole for the second time a weekend or two ago. We had the crab benedict, and the beef hash. Well, my husband had the beef hash and he gave me a bite and so I needed to order myself a new plate as it was so incredibly flavorful and outstanding. They do use local beef and in fact, they do concentrate on local when they can. The first time we went, which was when I first moved here, I don't recall it as memorable. I'm not sure if I just don't remember, or I was all nerves moving up to a new place, or maybe it's changed ownership. But whatever, I'm thinking it might have surpassed the Bayou Kitchen as our most favorite place to have breakfast.

We love the Bayou Kitchen though, although they are remodeling and have been closed for a time. I can't wait for when they open - I love their rice and beans so much, I usually order two servings. So yummy.

We initially thought that our favorite brunch was going to be Hot Suppa and for sure they make a great breakfast, but it's always busy and the wait can be long to get a table.

We've also had brunch at Petite Jacqueline - I actually had the cheeseburger which was amazingly yummy, but my espresso was cold and that was a bummer.

Do you folks have any other suggestions for an amazing brunch or breakfast place?

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  1. I think the brunch menu is really good, with some different approaches to classics and some unique dishes, at Artemesia.

    1 Reply
    1. Had a really good brunch at the Front Room. Brown bread is such a nice change with breakfast.

      1. I'm going to mix it up a bit...a place that always seems to fly underneath the radar (for over 10 years)!

        Madd Apple Cafe has a great Sunday brunch...had it again a few weeks ago...love it every time. It's located on inner Forest...near the intersection of Congress.


        1 Reply
        1. re: MidCoastMaineiac

          I've been wanting to give Madd Apple Cafe a try for some time. I'll definitely make that happen. Thanks. I'm also now have a list of other breakfast restaurants to try in Artemesia, Caiola's and the Front Room. Thanks folks.

        2. Bayou Kitchen is, far and away, my favorite. But as you note, they've been remodeling for an eternity now—and contrary their postings on Facebook dating back to February saying "it won't be long now!"—I'm truly wondering if they will EVER re-open.

          One of the many reasons I love Bayou is that I can go there for a great brunch any day of the week, whereas so many other places in town are Sat & Sun only.

          That said, I've had solid experiences at Sonny's, Local 188 and Petite Jacqueline when it comes to weekend brunch.

          6 Replies
            1. re: Kat

              We got to Hot Suppa before 10:00 am on a Sat & hot right in. Yummy andouille hash special & a fun, cozy environment. Next morning we checked out Local 188- just a few doors down. Much bigger space- more funky & ecclectic w/some Spanish inspired food. We had the breakfast burrito w/egg, beans, cheese, chorizo & greens and an egg scramble which we added cheddar, tomatoes & spinach. Both came w/good homefries & the scramble came w/a huge, fluffy English Muffin. Both are a great breakfast/brunch choice for anyone looking for a bit more creative start to the day.

            2. re: chubbywerewolf

              I keep driving by there and so far no luck. But I agree that Bayou Kitchen is really quite outstanding. I would be curious to know your thoughts on Porthole. Have you visited recently?

              1. re: nyawira

                Hot Suppa and Bayou are both great.

                I'm probably the most fussy person on cleanliness of a place, so I'm wondering if you guys that are talking about the Porthole actually walk in and look at the kitchen. Good lord, it's like somebody threw a vat of grease covering every single thing in sight. No thank you.

                1. re: grittys457

                  With all due resppect to cleanliness, one trip to the restroom at the Bayou Kitchen is all it took for my wife to never return. I've had to meet friends there or eat alone for the past several years. I personally love the place and the Pothole as well but place both in the same league when it comes to cleanliness. When the tourist arrive en mass its best to avoid the Porthole especially on weekends.
                  I do hope the Bayou is working the restroom issue in the rehab.

                  1. re: grittys457

                    Have you been to Porthole recently? I didn't actually walk in to the kitchen, but I did peak back there and it looked okay to me. Not as clean as a fine dining establishment might look or an open kitchen like at Grace, but it didn't look disgusting by any means. I do agree, though, that the Bayou looks pretty dirty, but boy those cajun rice and beans are to die for.

              2. Bintliff's Cafe is excellent. The salmon they smoke themselves is especially good.

                1. I just checked Facebook -- Bayou Kitchen reopened yesterday. Another option for my family trip to Maine in July!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Bob W

                    I was there for breakfast yesterday AM. It was spectacular. I had the heuvos rancheros and one pancake. Both were as good or better as I remembered them being.

                    I was actually a little bit worried that amidst the new equipment and decor, the place might not feel quite so special. But walking in the door and getting a look (and a whiff) of the red potatoe home fries cooking away on the grill, I almost got a little bit emotional.

                    The new decor and layout are really impressive. The restaurant now spans the full length of the building, so one could theoretically access it from both the Deering and Forest Ave. sides. There is, in fact, a door on the Forest Avenue side but I didn't see anyone using it so not sure if they have it locked or if people just haven't picked up on it yet.

                    I got there just as Carl (Karl?) was flipping the OPEN sign and within minutes there were a half-dozen patrons. But everything moved along very quickly and it was a very pleasant breakfast. I've already decided that the seat at the far end of the bar (on the Forest Ave. side) is my favorite seat in the house, at least if I'm dining solo and looking for a quiet spot to read my newspaper.

                    I expect that they'll be really busy all weekend. The waitress who I spoke with mentioned that they were sort of treating W,Th,F as a soft opening but even then they had twice as many covers on Wednesday as they do on a normal day before the remodel.

                    1. re: chubbywerewolf

                      I think I'll start a new thread on the reopening as the place deserves it. I could not agree more with chubbywerewolfs impressions. Most impressive is how they managed a complete expansion and rehab yet kept the same down to earth feel that it had before. I do part ways with cww when it comes to favorite seat. I like the one next to his favorite as I don't feel very comfortable on the end. I know it's bad form to sit in the middle of three stools but I'd gladly offer to move down one if a couple was looking to sit together.