Shannon's Portland Weekend
Hi, I'm Shannon, Store Manager at SKORDO. I am 24 and this is my third year living in Portland.
Thanks to my collection of restaurant, bakery and catering jobs and my following each plus every food business online, I stay connected to the cities food industry. I am grateful to folks like Portland Food Map and Food Truck a Lico for giving the quick 411 on where to be and what to eat at the click of a button. Each time I have friends come to town, I throw together a different list of must-do’s, but the following recommendations are a few of my favorite things to do in Portland.
It's all about winding down and celebrating the week being over. Start the night at Highroller Lobster Co's Happy Hour. Order oysters and their take on a Crunchwrap (think Taco Bell went to culinary school).
Ready for dinner? Head to Wayside Tavern for a shared entrée and an assortment of small plates. If you save room for dessert, you might just order something I made! Wayside is a great place to end the night. The restaurant's green glow and cozy atmosphere make it the perfect place for a full meal and after dinner drinks.
Jump start your day with a walk to Tandem Bakery. Pro tip: Order ahead online. The lines are long, but their order execution is seamless and you’ll be surrounded by dozens of happy-to-be-there folks of all ages.
From Tandem, walk up Congress Street, stopping in all the shops that peak interest. Flea for All is open Saturday and a must stop. Pop your head inside and see what’s new. Other can’t miss shops closer to the Old Port: Blanche + Mimi, Fitz + Bennett, Pinecone + Chickadee, and Gus + Ruby. If you're in town from April 24- November 24, you can stroll though Deering Oaks Park to see our abundant Farmers Market.
When you're ready for lunch, walk up to Ramona’s window to grab some sandwiches and park yourself at Fort Sumner Park just a few blocks away. Though unsuspecting at first, once you walk towards the edge you get an aerial view of the city. While you're in the neighborhood, check out The Shop for oysters, Strata for knives and kitchen gadgets, The Post Supply for home goods, + The Cheese Shop for cheeses and provisions.
Ready for more? Make your way to the Bayside neighborhood for a beer. You'll have a choice between Rising Tide, Lone Pine, Belleflower, Austin St + so many more all within a quick walk from each other. A beer here, flight there, you’ll be occupied for a few hours. BONUS: The Taproom Marketplace is tucked right along these breweries, making for a perfect intermission.
After sipping and shopping through the day, I like to settle on Washington Ave for a relaxing final meal. Teralingua has backyard seating that will feel like an escape from the city and their BBQ board is something special. Be sure to pick up your favorite sauces at their marketplace on your way out. If you can't get a seat here, Izakaya Minato is just a few doors down and their Omakase menu is the perfect family style finish to the day.
Vacationland is all about slowing down and walking your way towards the water with bites in hand. With that said, try a stop at Micucci’s Grocery Store on India St. They're my go to for picnic essentials. Grab a couple marinated jars + spreads, ask for a few meats and cheeses at the counter, snag some bubbly and cannoli out of the fridge, and a slab from the back. Just a little midday pick-me-up! With snacks acquired, head to the Eastern Promenade to set up a picnic and watch the sailboats.
The Eastern Promenade is home to a playground, a seasonally dog friendly beach, a baseball field, and plenty of rolling green fields. Typically, you can find five to ten food trucks parked near the playground any day between 11am - 6pm. It's the perfect dining destination for making sure theres something for everyone in your group. I like to leave room for Roll Call, Portland Twist, and Vy Bahn Mi. Kick back, take a digestive nap and soak in the sun. Days spent on the prom often result in the best lunch in Portland, Maine.
If you’re lucky, Thompson’s Point will be hosting a Makers Market, a Cabin Fever Comedy Night, or a Summer Sunset with music + food trucks. If not, you can fight off the Sunday scaries inside the dark and crowded Ruski’s Dive Bar. A completely judgment free zone with cheap drinks and breakfast served all day - nothing anyone can complain about.
If you have time for a 12-15 minutes detour out of town, Fort Williams Park is a drive worth making. Depending on the time of year, it may be windy, but it’s a stunning coastal view of the Portland Head Light where you can walk around the grass, play in the sand, or climb on the rocks. You’ll see various kites, dozens of dogs, and sometimes marriage proposals. In the summer you can find Bite into Maine serving lobster rolls out of their truck. I highly appreciate that you can split your roll to try any of their six signature styles (and they have gluten-free buns!). On the way back to Portland, make sure you stop at The Cookie Jar on your right hand side for their fresh maple + glazed donuts, 10/10 every time.