The Maine Attraction


The Maine Attraction. Aren't I so witty? Jokes aside, the main thing on my agenda in Maine really was food. Yes, I mentioned it previously, (here and here to be exact) but I don't think I was clear on how serious I was about that. 

Like many others, I am a firm believer that if you want to learn about an area, the best way to do it is through the food. What did I learn about eating in Portland? That people are not just serious about their food, (my kind of people!) but that they are serious and committed to making sure that everything ingredient is as locally sourced as possible. From vegetables, dairy, maple syrup, and of course seafood, there was not one thing I ate that I wasn't able to trace back to its original home. 

It's safe to say that I sampled every delicious morsel possible that Portland and the surrounding areas had to offer. The fact that any of my clothes fit by the end of the trip was a true miracle, but given a few more days, that may have not been the case...

Left to right: Lobster at DiMillos, gelato from Gorgeous Gelato, Coastal Maine "Maine Maple" popcorn, onion tart and gnocchi from Ribollita, poutine from Duckfat, whoopie pie from The Cookie Jar, the best gelato ever from The Gelato Fiasco.

DiMillo's on the Water
25 Long WharfPortlandME 04101
DiMillo's is always on the agenda when we are in Portland. The food is good, but I think eating on a boat and being on the water is the real charm. I ordered the lobster as usual, (I really just wanted the fries/butter...gross I know), but it was the lobster mac and cheese that my sister ordered that had me wanting more. Previously, the thought of lobster and cheese together was unappetizing to me, but they do go together. Beautifully.

Gorgeous Gelato
434 Fore Street, Portland Maine 04101 
I knew I couldn't pass up going to Gorgeous Gelato after reading that the founders were originally from Milan and moved to Portland to open up their gelato shop. Gorgeous Gelato reminded me of the multiple gelato breaks my new friends and I would take during study abroad in Italy and how such behavior was normal. The pistachio and hazelnut flavors also couldn't be more perfect. 

41 Middle St, Portland, ME 04101
I will remember dinner at Ribollita for the rest of my life, and I have Yelp to thank for that. The atmosphere, the servers, and of course the food! Italian food is my absolute favorite, but can often be a hit or miss situation. Ribollita is definitely a hit! I was in heaven with the caramelized onion tart with goat cheese, but my entree of pan seared gnocchi made me have some sort of out of body experience. Dessert was a divine maple cheesecake with walnut crust, that I have already been planning to recreate. Dinner at Ribollita was a great meal from start to finish, that only got better and better with each course, and everyone enjoyed. 

The Cookie Jar
554 Shore Rd, Cape Elizabeth, ME 04106
After leaving strawberry picking at Maxwell Field's, I got a bright idea: I wanted a whoopie pie. I've never had a whoopie pie before, but I knew that it was a big deal in Maine and as it turns out, they are the official state treat! With that, I knew it was a must and another quick Yelp search took us to The Cookie Jar. Despite wanting one of everything, I left with just a massively delicious whoopie pie, that was light and fluffy from the cake to the filling. (I also ate it on the way home...) I secretly sampled everyone else treats (using the OMG! IS THAT A BIRD?! trick) and ate 1/4 of my mom's red velvet muffin. Bless whoever came up with such deliciousness.

43 Middle St, Portland, ME 04101
If there was place I had my mind set on going in Portland, it was Duckfat. I am unsure if I first heard about Duckfat on The Cooking Channel or Food Network, but I just knew I was not leaving without having there famous poutine. While I had hoped to dine in, the weather was just not cooperating (serious downpours), so we took a few orders to go which ended up being the perfect idea. What's better than eating fries covered in gravy and cheese, followed by curling up in bed, listening to the rain, and drifting off to sleep? Nothing. 

Vignola Cinque Terre
10 Dana St, Portland, ME 04101
After our original dinner plans fell through, we ended up at Vignola Cinque Terre on our last night. We were parked right outside and since I saw it on Chuck Eats the Street, I figured it had to be worth a shot. Still semi-full from the poutine earlier in the day, I opted for a light dinner of zuppa di pesce, or fish soup. This was definitely one of the best soup's I've ever had as it was not to heavy and the seafood was so incredibly fresh. My favorite part of the meal was something I've never had/thought of before: grilled garlic bread. Toasty carby goodness and perfect for sopping up those last bits of soup. 

The Gelato Fiasco
74 Maine Street, Brunswick, Maine
425 Fore Street, Portland, Maine
I had to save the best for last as The Gelato Fiasco truly made this trip as sweet as can be. I had spotted Gelato Fiasco the previous night on Fore Street, and after passing the flagship store while walking around Brunswick, my sister and I thought it would make a great lunch idea. It was and it was also the beginning of a delicious love affair. First off, the shops are simply the best, with friendly scoopers,  and great decor/atmosphere reminiscent of a very chic, laid-back coffee shop. They even have board games available! But then there is the gelato and sorbet. Fresh cream, espresso, caramel sea salt, birthday cake, tiramisu, spiked watermelon, strawberry and rhubarb, cookies and milk, I could go on and on. Combine those amazing flavors with a gelato that is creamy, not overly sweet, and again, proud to be Maine made, it's easy to see why I truly love it so much. 

(If you are interested, placed in a cooler, a pint of gelato from Gelato Fiasco will make the six-hour journey back to NY with no problem. Yes, I did.)  

That is more or less everything! I truly wish I had more time-there is still so much left to eat!
When you travel, how do you scope out the local food scene? Yelp? Recommendations from the locals? 


  1. Now, I am ready for lobster. Looks SO good! Thank you for sharing!

  2. My favorite thing about traveling is of course, food! It sounds like you had a rather yummy trip to Maine...I'll have to keep these places in mind!

    1. You must, seriously, you will NOT be disappointed.

  3. great food (without guilt) is the best part of vacation! glad you enjoyed it!
    Chic on the Cheap

    1. It truly is and I truly did! Thank you!