Last week we loaded up the car for a road trip up the coast of Maine. With Adam on vacation and my foot finally starting to get better (more on that later), it seemed like the perfect time to make our way north for one last hoorah before we hunker down for another symphony season. We had so much fun on our last trip to Portland that we knew this would be a great place to start. We had a loose itinerary in mind with the goal to reach Deer Isle or Acadia National Park before making our way back to Boston at the end of the week. Here’s how it went down, where we stayed, where we ate and what we did!
With elsie in tow we knew that we needed dog-friendly lodging so we decided to stay at the Francis Hotel while in Portland. If we’re honest, we also chose the Francis because it’s directly across the street from Tandem Coffee and Bakery! (sorry, elsie) Sadly, upon our arrival, we learned that Tandem was closed for both days that we were there for their annual corporate retreat. Such a bummer! Anyhow, we stayed in room 1 which is a very spacious suite on the ground level of the hotel. Our suite felt more like an apartment than a hotel room which we appreciated a lot. The Francis Hotel is in a very good location, near plenty of restaurants, coffee shops, and we liked walking elsie around the neighborhood. Currently there’s some construction going on behind the hotel so be aware of this if you’re sensitive to noise.
When we woke up our first morning there we found this sign and bowl of treats outside our door! There’s nothing better than a hotel that makes us feel truly welcome with our pet. Elsie really loved the treats and I think she really liked the extra attention. This will be our go-to hotel when staying in Portland. Being able to travel with our dog saves us stress, money and shows us a different side to a city that we may not experience without her. We had a wonderful stay here.
No trip to Portland is complete without trying out some new restaurants and we have quite the list to get through.
Here’s where we ate and drank coffee:
Izakaya Minato - For dinner. We absolutely loved our meal here. We did the omakase tasting and threw in an order of tuna poke because why not.. Highly recommend!
Mr. Tuna - It was a little difficult to find Mr. Tuna but once we did, we were glad we did. I would go back here in a heartbeat. Pop onto their facebook or instagram page for the mr. tuna food truck locations. This was more like a snack for me so you can squeeze this in before or after a meal if you wanted to, in my opinion.
LB Kitchen - I ate here twice during this trip. If I’m honest, I don’t always have the stomach to eat out for several meals in a row and sometimes I don’t want to feel like a glutton. So, when I get that craving for veg and nothing but veg, I go here. It’s a dependable spot for healthy, good feeling food.
Little Giant - We had dinner with our friends here and it was a pleasant atmosphere and enjoyable night.
High Roller Lobster Co. - The wait was long, the lobster roll was ok.
Ten ten pié - We learned about this place from a pal at Allagash Brewery who used to bake professionally in Portland. When I asked him who had the best pastries in Portland, he mentioned this place. Once Adam saw that they had onigiri on their menu, we couldn’t leave town without stopping here. Adam also got a cookie that was so good it never made its way to me. grr..
All those who wander - Brand spanking new espresso shop in the Black boxes on Washington Ave. They serve Parlor Coffee (Roasted in Brooklyn, NY) Super cute, super good! The owner/barista used to work at The Shop in Providence, RI.
Little Woodfords - For coffee. With Tandem tragically closed during our visit this became our go-to coffee spot. Super cute.
Lastly, we couldn’t miss a tour and tasting at Allagash Brewing Company! Adam is such a beer lover and he was very excited to check out the behind-the-scenes action at the brewery and do a tasting. I was really impressed with all of the local farms they work with for their ingredients and their commitment to using as many Maine grown grains etc as possible. A must-do for beer lovers.
After Portland we drove up the coast to Lincolnville, Maine. Stay tuned for that post! Did we miss any must-sees or must-eats in Portland? Comment below with your tips! As always, thanks for reading.