Hi I'm Brad, a Sales Associate at SKORDO. I'm a recent transplant to Portland, Maine. My girlfriend and I moved to the city from West Virginia a year ago. We have definitely fallen in love with the area. I think calling Portland a city really isn't fair. It feels and operates like an oversized beach town.
Moving to Portland after one visit is a common theme and there are no exceptions here, but my inspiration to move may be a little different. While I love all of Portland's food, I chose Maine to satisfy my sense of adventure and I've found more fun stuff to do in Portland than I thought possible.
Photo of Mackworth Island State Park by Ross Browne
My weekends always start with an early morning run through the Old Port. I stop by one of my favorite donut spots for a mobile snack: Hi-Fi, The Holy Donut, or Eighty 8. Each are unique in taste, so you'll have to try them all. Depending on how extravagant my donut choice is, my run could carry me all the way to Mackworth Island State Park (eating along the way) to check out the fairy houses and hopefully time things with the Eastern Prom food trucks for my return to the peninsula.
The second part of my day is going to involve a lot of heights. There are so many spots for outdoor activities in Portland. Depending on the weather I'm either going bouldering at one of the hundreds of great rocky beach spots in the area or my favorite gym, Salt Pump Climbing Company. Either way pizza is a must. Everyone has their favorite in town: Bonobo, Portland Pie Co, Slice Bar; but for me the true best pizza spot is Pizzaiolo; amazing New York style specialty pies that look as good as they taste.
After a few hours of climbing I'm going to need some serious fuel and depending on my mood I have two spots. If I'm not completely exhausted, Gritty McDuff's Brew Pub is going to be my choice. Super hearty elevated pub food, phenomenal beer they brew in house, and a warm, energetic environment that's going to make for a really fun night.
If I’m not up for Gritty's, you'll find me at Gilbert's Chowder House enjoying a bread bowl of their super seafood chowder that's made from a guarded family recipe. Then to end things out for the night I'm headed across the street to the Portland Beer Hub. Jorgen has an amazing selection of local brews; beer of all types, cider, kombucha, seltzer, and some great non alcoholic options as well. A nice laid back atmosphere where you can either revel on your success or laugh about the days spectacular failures.
The next day I'll switch gears a little bit and enjoy a relaxing day. An all out breakfast is a must and Hot Suppa is my spot. A heavy southern style breakfast like I grew up with...grits, fried chicken, waffles, and sausage gravy that is as authentic as it gets. Be sure to start the dinner conversation during breakfast. One thing you learn very quickly in Portland is that you're going to need reservations. David's Restaurant in Monument Square is one of my favorite restaurants where you can get steak, duck, or seafood in a very intimate setting. It's a great spot if you're looking for a romantic date night in Portland. Another favorite is Via Veccia, a beautiful Italian restaurant right in the middle of Wharf Street and probably one of the most photographed spots in the city. It's another incredibly romantic spot with elegant seating and a bar that brings a great level of showmanship to the experience. A great thing with Portland is that it's difficult to find a truly bad dinner spot. Check out our full list for additional dinner ideas.
After breakfast and making dinner plans it's time to walk into Old Port and shop around for a couple hours. If we somehow manage to work up an appetite something small like Cheese Louise or Mr Tuna are perfect to hold things over until dinner... maybe. With the constant smells from the bakeries and seeing the chocolate shops you'll probably be snacking all day. Any remaining time before dinner has to be spent at the beach just enjoying the sun and cool water.
My late nights in Portland could take me anywhere. We have a great music scene that's starting to come back. Usually there are fun acts at the Portland House of Music or State Theater, if not Andy's Old Port Pub always has something going on along with several other bars in the area. If you're feeling something a little quieter, my favorite way to end an evening is to grab some ice cream from Captain Sam's and just walk around the wharfs.