Back Bay Grill opened in the late 1980s, which in Portland restaurant terms makes it pretty ancient. There’s nothing hip or cool happening at this local staple, but when you need a spot to celebrate an anniversary, your last night in town, or if you just want to dress up a little, this is the place to go. The menu includes classics like beef tartare and seared foie gras, along with plenty of fresh seafood and hand-rolled pasta. They also have one of the largest wine selections in town, so if you’re with someone who likes to ask their server 10 questions about a bottle before they try it, make sure to come here.
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When you need to get away from the Old Port, head to Isa in Bayside for pasta, seafood, and some quiet.
Rising Tide Brewing Company
Rising Tide Brewing is a smaller brewery in Bayside with a great outdoor area that tends to stay a bit calmer.
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The Portland Hunt + Alpine Club
We’re not sure whether to call the Portland Hunt & Alpine Club a bar or a restaurant, but fortunately this Scandinavian spot works well as either.
When you need a family-friendly spot, or just want to sit on the water, head to Flatbread Company for some flatbread pizzas.
Drifter’s Wife is the kind of spot where you stop by just for a glass of natural wine at the bar, and end up staying all night.
Suggested by our writers
When you’re looking for a Portland classic where everything is cooked over a giant open hearth, go to Fore Street.
Central Provisions in the Old Port does small plates better than most, with a wide-ranging menu and a bar downstairs.
The Honey Paw
Head to The Honey Paw for vinyl, cocktails, and a mix of noodle and rice dishes from across Asia.
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