Every city needs a go-to pizzeria. Somewhere that you can split a few pies with your friends, or just grab a slice on the nights when one drink turns into four. In Portland, that’s Otto Pizza, which make some of the best and most interesting pies in the area and is slowly taking over New England. Here you’ll find pizzas topped with everything from cheese tortellini to chicken, pear, and fontina, but make sure to try The Masher, with mashed potato, scallion, and bacon. There are five Otto locations in Portland, but if you want a break from downtown, check out the Cottage Road location in South Portland, which is located inside a converted gas station and will be a little less crowded than the original Congress Street shop.
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Empire Chinese Kitchen
Empire in the Arts District is good for just about any occasion, with great Chinese food, cocktails, and an attached music venue.
The Bearded Lady’s Jewel Box
Head to the Bearded Lady’s Jewel Box for the drinks and decor, but stay for the DJ sets and great staff.
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When you’re looking for a Portland classic where everything is cooked over a giant open hearth, go to Fore Street.
Duckfat in Old Port is a tiny spot serving not-so-light dishes like poutine with duck gravy, brisket sandwiches, and milkshakes.
When you need to eat something that isn’t seafood, head to Salvage BBQ in West End for some classic barbecue, homemade pies, and live music.
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