2020 Pocket Guide Now Available

I’m happy to announce the release of the 2020 PFM Printed Pocket Guide. This handy paper reference highlights many of the restaurants, bakeries, breweries, coffee shops, cocktail bars, and cafes that make eating and drinking in Portland so interesting. It also includes highlights of a few places to dine elsewhere in the state worth the drive.

Use the pocket guide for ideas on where to go, and consult the information here on PFM for the latest information on which restaurants are offering takeout, outdoor seating or indoor dining.

Many thanks to the Pocket Guide sponsors for their generous support, which enabled Portland Food Map to produce and print this resource:

While supplies last you can pick-up your very own copy of the guide at these local businesses: Rose Foods, Tandem Coffee in the West End, the Portland Trading Company, Little Woodfords, or Oxbow Brewing on Washington Ave.

The pocket guide wouldn’t be as good as it is, in fact it wouldn’t exist at all, without help from the extended PFM team of Dawn Hagin from Rare Bird Strategic, and from graphic designer Sofija Razgaitis. My thanks to both of them for all their hard work on the project.

Small City Big Appetite Shirts, Mugs and Totes

I’m very happy to announce the launch of a line of Portland Food Map branded merchandise available via our new e-commerce store. Beautifully designed by Sofija Razgaitis, the t-shirts, tote bags, coffee mugs, and stickers celebrate tiny Portland’s culinary achievements with the new PFM tagline “Small City. Big Appetite”.

The totes are great for your weekend trips to the Farmers’ Market or for fall apple-picking forays. The soft cotton t-shirts are the perfect, visible way to show your love for our wonderful, food-obsessed city. The coffee mugs and stickers are your constant reminder to visit all those restaurants, bars, coffee shops, breweries, and specialty food businesses we are so lucky to have.

The initial collection includes:

  • Tote Bag – natural cotton canvas tote (15 x 15) emblazoned with the “Small City. Big Appetite.” tagline and the circular PFM peninsula map logo on the reverse.
  • Short Sleeve T-shirt – silver gray 100% cotton jersey t-shirt with “Small City. Big Appetite.” across the chest and a small Portland Food Map logo on back.
  • Long sleeve T-shirt – navy blue 100% cotton jersey t-shirt with a small Portland Food Map logo on the front and “Small City. Big Appetite.” emblazoned across the back.
  • Coffee Mugs – diner-style coffee mugs (sold in pairs) featuring the “Small City. Big Appetite.” tagline and the circular PFM peninsula map logo on the reverse.
  • PFM Logo Stickers – share your passion for Portland Food Map by displaying one of these diamond-shaped 3″ x 2.25″ PFM logo stickers on your laptop, notebook, etc. If you see someone walking around town with one on their blue iPad come say hello, that’s probably me.

A New Web Site for Portland Food Map

Welcome to the newly redesigned Portland Food Map website — the first overhaul in nearly 11 years in operation.

As you can see the new site has an updated visual design while preserving the familiar structure and core features of the PFM 1.0. Behind the curtain is a flexible new technical platform that will make it much easier to keep the site updated with all the latest news and information. The site delivers content in a much more responsive, mobile friendly format, and integrates feeds from the PFM instagram and twitter accounts, adding new dimensions to the information available through the site. There’s also a new integrated search feature that indexes the entire restaurant directory and nearly 8,000 blog posts from the past decade the site’s been in business.

To celebrate the new site, I’m also releasing a limited-edition offline version: a pocket-sized printed Portland Food Map. You can pick-up your copy while supplies last at the Little Giant market in the West End, Maine & Loire in the East End, Portland Trading Co. in the Old Port, and Rose Foods on Forest Ave.

Portland Food Map has been supported in this evolution by Evergreen Credit Union, the first sponsor for PFM. Evergreen was looking for opportunities to promote resources that are important to the culture and vibe of the Portland community, and I’m honored that Portland Food Map was chosen as one of them. They’ve been terrific and a true partner in this big step forward for PFM.

Also crucial to the relaunch has been Dawn Hagin from the marketing consulting firm Rare Bird Strategic, Sarah Hines and her web development team at Shines & Jecker Laboratories, and graphic designer Sofija Razgaitis.

I hope you enjoy the new site!

8th Anniversary for the Food Map

Today marks the anniversary of the launch of Portland Food Map. It’s been fascinating to watch the evolution in the food scene that’s taken place since 2007. A majority of tourists now come to Maine for the outstanding options for food and drink. I can hardly imagine what 2023 will be like but regardless, I look forward to chronicling what happens in the years to come.

Pair of New Food Blogs

I recently learned of a pair of new Portland food blogs:

  • Perusing Portland – has been publishing since late November. It’s a multi-author site written by “four friends that have known each other since college”. So far they’ve published their impressions of Local 188, the East Ender, Salvage, and Nosh.
  • Eating Portland Alive – just got started earlier this month. The blogger credits a college course for getting them to stop “looking at food merely as sustenance and more of an experience.”

Five-Year Anniversary for Portland Food Map

Today marks the 5-year anniversary of the launch of Portland Food Map.

I think it’s fair to say that had you told me then that I was headed down the path to running a daily news site for the Portland food community that would be read by thousands of people I would have thought you were crazy. But that’s exactly what’s happened and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out, and as long as there continues to be an interest and an audience for PFM, I expect I’ll still be at it when 2017 rolls around.

I owe a a big thanks to all of you for showing such support for the site over the years, and to the restaurant and food community for building such a fascinating industry for me to obsessively focus my attention on.

2011 Year in Review

It’s once again been a very busy year for the food and dining industry in Portland. I’ve scanned through the news and events for the past year and here’s my summary of the 2011 Portland Year in Food:

  • Whoopie Pies – whoopie pies were a hot topic in early 2011. In order to further establish Maine as the true home of the whoopie pie, the state Legislature considered naming it the State Dessert but ran head on into the powerful Blueberry Lobby. Compromise was struck in April with the whoopie pies being named the State Treat and ceding the title of State Dessert to blueberry pie. Whicked Whoopies contributed to the hoopla by building a 1067 pound pie beating out the prior title in Pennsylvania by more than 800 lbs.
  • Food Trucks – The city’s ban on food trucks stopped Bite into Maine from operating their lobster roll truck in the Old Port. Inspired by their story, Creative Portland Corporation took up the challenge and been very active in raising the issue for review by the City Council. The Press Herald has issued an editorial in favor food trucks and a volunteer committee assembled by CPC has proposed a set of guidelines that will hopefully get review and approval by the City Council in the new year.
  • Schulte & Herr – Petite Jacqueline, The Holy Donut and Zapoteca all generated a lot excitement in 2011, but the most unexpected and talked about new businesses to emerge last year was Schulte & Herr. The small German restaurant run by Steffi and Brian Davin has received raves reviews from almost the first day they opened. Who could have imagined that a small German Cafe on Cumberland Ave would have opened at all, much less generated so much enthusiasm in 2011?
  • Dessert – many of the new openings this year are focused on satisfying Portland’s sweet tooth. Gorgeous Gelato, Foley’s, Bakery on the Hill, The Holy Donut, and Bam Bam Bakery to name just a few. The fascination with cupcakes continued into early 2011. East End Cupcake opened a retail store on Fore Street, several other cupcake vendors entered the fray. A group of 5 food bloggers convened for round 2 of a comparative cupcake tasting. My sense is that restaurants have been investing more effort in their dessert menus in 2011 as well.
  • Make Mine a Double, Again – Last year’s trend of restaurateur’s doubling up continued into 2011: Five Fifty-Five opened Petite Jacqueline, Nosh opened Taco Escobarr, Slainte opened Gogi, Walter’s opened Gingko Blue, Aurora Provisions opened the Museum Cafe. The trend doesn’t show any signs of weakening in 2012. Already on the books we have El Rayo’s plans to open the El Rayo Cantina and the Riverhouse, Silly’s plans to open Silly’s with a Twist, and Arabica’s plans to open Crema.
  • South of the Border – Portland restaurateurs continued to try to answer the demand for Latin food. Gogi, Taco Trio, Hella Good Tacos, Taco Escobarr and Zapoteca all opened in 2011, The Wine Bar got into the act with a summertime taco lunch option, and both the El Rayo Cantina and Sabor Latino are slated to open this year. Now if only we could see an equal focus this year on addressing the dearth of great Chinese food in Portland…
  • Expansion Fervor – while a lot of new establishments opened in 2011, the number business under construction went through a steady decline all year. At the start of 2012 there were 20+ eateries in the works and by December the Under Construction list dropped to as low as 6. A few additions late in the year have tempered the decline but it still looks like the growth rate has tapered off.

Notable Events of 2011

25 Most Popular Restaurants of 2011

  1. Petite Jacqueline (-)
  2. Zapoteca (-)
  3. District (>25)
  4. Schulte & Herr (-)
  5. Bresca (1)
  6. Bar Lola (2)
  7. Miyake (19)
  8. Figa (>25)
  9. Caiola’s (9)
  10. Five Fifty-Five (4)
  11. Local 188 (10)
  12. Boda (3)
  13. Grace (15)
  14. East Ender (-)
  15. Hugo’s (>25)
  16. Walter’s (11)
  17. The Salt Exchange (6)
  18. Paciarino (14)
  19. Emilitsa (17)
  20. Gogi (-)
  21. The Thirsty Pig (-)
  22. Taco Escobarr (-)
  23. Pai Men Miyake (23)
  24. Blue Spoon (16)
  25. Fore Street (24)

The numbers in parentheses indicate their rank last year.


  • Michael Barriault – photographer and food blogger who published PortlandTown died of cancer at the age of 64.
  • Stanley T. Bennet II – the President of Oakhurst Dairy passed away at the age of 64 after a battle with cancer.
  • Frederick P. Dyer – founder of Dyer’s Variety on Portland Street passed away at the age of 90.
  • Taylor Griffin – President of The Rogers Collection died in a car crash at the age of 40.
  • Bob Mathews – the longtime owner of Botto’s Bakery on Washington Ave died at the age of 78.
  • John Palanza – owner of Uncle Andy’s Bakery in South Portland died at the age of 89. He ran the bakery for 45 years starting in 1951.

For some other perspectives on the past year see From Away, Edible Obsessions, The Golden Dish and the Portland Phoenix.

For more information on Portland’s food past see the 2010 Year in Review, PFM blog posts from 2009, 2008 and 2007, and the Portland Food Timeline.