Portland, Maine is probably not the first city that comes to mind when you think of the best restaurants in New England. The public knows Boston and Providence have some of the greatest food offerings in the world, but chefs and food critics have long listed Portland among their favorite culinary destinations.
Bon Appetit has finally made this not-so-well-kept-secret official, naming Portland 2018's top restaurant city in America.
Andrew Knowlton, a writer for Bon Appetit, has been singing Portland's praises for years - calling it America's Foodiest Small Town in a 2009 article - so he was the perfect choice to write the feature for this year's top restaurant.
In addition to fabulous fresh seafood restaurants, Knowlton also listed several "mainstream" eateries, including a pizzeria and an authentic Jewish deli.
“For starters, it’s the sheer number of outstanding openings—from a tiny pastry shop that serves knockout Roman pizza to a Jewish-style deli that ranks up there with New York and L.A.’s best,” Knowlton wrote. “And while you can still get an Instagram-worthy lobster roll and a dozen local oysters, you’re missing out if you skip the killer pho spot or the guy selling hand rolls out of a Yeti cooler.”
The pizza can be found at Belleville, where toppings include fig and rosemary or shiitake and Gruyère. According to Knowlton, they also offer "the city’s best and butteriest croissants."
The Jewish deli that’s "worth its weight in legit bagels" is Rose Foods, where Knowlton also recommends the latkes, and matzo ball soup.
Rose Foods, along with another of Knowles' favorites, a wine and tapas bar called Drifters Wife are among the 50 finalists for Bon Appetit’s “Hot 10” list, honoring the 10 best new restaurants in America. The final Hot 10 list will be revealed on Aug. 14.
Click here to learn more about the entire roundup of 30+ Portland eateries lauded in Knowlton's article.