Over the last several years, Portland has become quite the culinary destination. Tourists from all over pour into Maine in the summer months to enjoy the beauty of the coast and the food scene, especially in the Old Port. For locals, though, it means lots of crowds and fewer tables at the great spots. Here are a few of my favorite go-to off season places to go before the tourists come back:

🦪 Eventide is the gold standard of Maine oyster bars…and it has my favorite lobster roll ever. It is renowned for its sustainably sourced oysters and creative small plates and you simply can’t go wrong here. This is why in the summer months you’ll find a line wrapped around the block. During winter months it is always a go-to for lunch or an early dinner!

🥕 Fore Street is the OG of the Portland restaurant scene, and since it was opened in 1996, the foodie scene in Portland has taken off. The open wood fired grill and oven at @288forestreet make it a perfect dining spot in the colder months. It is dedicated to showcasing the best of Maine’s seafood and produce and it has the coziest bar seating in town.

🍜 Dok Mali just opened at the end of 2022, but there’s no doubt this place is going to be super popular with the tourists. Bringing Thai street food culture to Portland with a cocktail menu that will blow your mind, at @dokmalimaine you can close your eyes and be transported out of the frigid Maine Winter to the bustle and warmth of a Thai night market.

🥃 Portland Hunt + Alpine Club is another nationally celebrated hot spot serving some of my favorite cocktails and Scandinavian-style food. They also have an awesome N/A cocktail selection too 💃🏼 With the Alpine vibes at @huntandalpine it just feels right during winter.

There are many more…but this is just a start of the gems to take advantage of before the crowds return. What places are your coveted spots?