A February weekend in Maine--what to do...
February 2, 2014 1:02 PM   Subscribe

Some friends and I will be in Maine next weekend--we'll be in Ogunquit and Portland. 3 women in our thirties. Looking for recs for restaurants, bars, cafes, thrift/vintage shops, and anything else interesting in either place. Thank you!
posted by namemeansgazelle to Travel & Transportation around Maine, ME (11 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
It's not the best season for this but my favourite ice cream place anywhere is Big Daddy's in Wells.
posted by jeather at 1:16 PM on February 2, 2014

Best coffee in town, and the prettiest cafe in New England is most probably Tandem Coffee Roasters of Portland. A quite nice place.
posted by furnace.heart at 3:29 PM on February 2, 2014

I had an excellent meal at Pai Men Miyake recently.
posted by amelioration at 3:35 PM on February 2, 2014

Ummm. That's a big request. With food, particularly, there are a wealth of options.

Portland Food Map is a very comprehensive guide to pretty much every place there is to eat in greater Portland. You can sort by type of food, price, location, etc. and they link to every single review the can find. Here is their 2013 Year in Review and their monthly stats can be a great guide to what's hot, new, and interesting currently.

For thrifting: Portland Flea for All. Find, Little Ghost Vintage, Circa Home and Vintage. Pinecone and Chickadee.
posted by anastasiav at 3:54 PM on February 2, 2014

Fries at Duckfat. A religious experience.
posted by JanetLand at 4:21 PM on February 2, 2014 [2 favorites]

Seconding Duckfat, but there is so much good food in Portland it's hard to choose. The Portland Museum of Art is definitely worth your time. If anyone in your group likes cooking, check out Rabelais, a bookstore devoted to books on cooking, food, and wine.

Ogunquit will be a little sleepier this time of year, but still a nice town, and if you're someone (like me) that loves a tourist town in the off-season, I bet you'll enjoy it. Many of the seasonal attractions (playhouse, art museum) are closed. But the beach is still awesome, and you can hike the beach and Marginal Way if the weather gives you a break. Check the calendar for Jonathan's - always something going on there on weekends. The Front Porch has an old-school upstairs piano bar which is a hoot - a goofy day-drinking scene with people crowded around the piano singing standards and show tunes. Looks like (sadly) it doesn't reopen 'til the 15th, though. Here's a piece on Ogunquit in winter (though I don't think some of the places they mention remain open after the New Year).
posted by Miko at 4:38 PM on February 2, 2014

If you like tea, go to Dobra.
posted by bile and syntax at 4:59 PM on February 2, 2014

Portland is my hometown, and we always make a point to hit up The Great Lost Bear when in town for some beers and the food is good. Very casual, relaxed environment, but not really convenient to much else a tourist would like so it is a visit unto itself.

If you like breweries, then Sebago Brewing is really excellent.

There is sort of a lot to do in Portland, depending on your interests. So, it'd help if you said a bit more about what you're looking to do.
posted by zizzle at 4:27 AM on February 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

I could write a lot about Portland but I will just recommend Hugo's - consistently great meals, get the tasting menu; J's oyster - great basic seafood in a fun crowded divey atmosphere; and Novare Res, if y'all like beer. And on that note, at every bar in Portland you will find Allagash White on tap, and if you haven't tried it, I would recommend that too.
posted by ftm at 7:06 AM on February 3, 2014

I kicked this out to my Facebook, and here's one answer that doesn't quite hit what's already said above:

"Portland: Morning/early afternoon spent in the East End. Coffee and treats at Coffee By Design, Hilltop Coffee, or Katie Made Bakery. Eastern Promenade walk, Observatory for the view. Book browsing at Carlson Turner Books and Bookbindery, and vintage/awesome shopping at Ferdinand, KnitWit Yarn Shop, Circa Home and Vintage, angela adams, etc. Just a short walk to the center of town to continue the Portland experience."

Also, yeah, Duckfat for certain. However, the place next door -- Ribollita -- is our favorite in Portland.
posted by anastasiav at 11:38 AM on February 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Between Portland and Ogunquit, there's just too much to do in a weekend!

Nonetheless, if you're interested in thrifting/antiquing I'd recommend driving up Route 1 from Ogunquit to Portland - there are a ton of antique stores and second hand stores along the way. Antiques USA and Arundel Antiques (big group stores on Route 1 in Arundel) are fun, as is Dreaming Tree Vintage in Saco.

Once you get to Portland....again, so many options! Maybe start off at the Eastern Prom and walk down Congress Street to Longfellow Square. There are enough shops and restaurants that it will take you all day. Along with the previous recommendations for vintage/thrift I love Ferdinand, Material Objects, Moody Lords, Little Ghost, and Encore. They are all vintage stores along Congress Street (aka "The Congo"). Each has a different vibe and price range, but they all offer some really amazing merchandise.

If you end up at Longfellow Square at the end of the day I'd recommend Boda or Local 188, but really you can't go wrong in Portland.

Have fun! Portland is a great city!
posted by suki at 7:05 PM on February 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

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