The Best Of Portland

Featured The Best Of Portland

Welcome to the Best of Portland 2016! Our city is changing rapidly but keeping its core values, as is reflected in the results of this year’s contest. Our awards started with a paper ballot box; some readers might remember physically stuffing the boxes. Later, readers were able to vote daily for their favorites or make up email names and considered that part of the fun. This year, we aimed for authenticity and required email confirmations for every voter, receiving almost 8,000. If you’re going to give your 2 cents on the Best of Portland, you should at least be from around here right? You will see some new and old names on this list — some upsets and some new categories. Plus we've added the top four in each category with their vote counts, so you can see our sample sizes and distribution. Because let’s be honest, this contest is in no way statistically significant. It does, however, gauge which of the businesses, restaurants, artists, trends and quirky local spots are hot in Portland this year. We’ve compiled your votes, so allow us to announce your winners:   

ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT

Best Art Gallery: SPACE Gallery (564 votes)  It’s a no-brainer that this ever-changing art space has taken home this win. SPACE Gallery has been cultivating and curating a wide array of contemporary arts since 2001. It’s provided Portland a great space where curiosity thrives and art, artists and big ideas have a local stage. Its versatility makes it a winner too; from film screenings, to art exhibitions, to concerts, theatre shows and social justice talks, it’s always a pleasant surprise to see what’s happening at SPACE.

 

| SPACE Gallery | 538 Congress St, Portland | http://www.space538.org/ |

 

Runner Up

 

  • Institute of Contemporary Art at MECA (210 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

 

  • Bomb Diggity (107 Votes)

  • Mayo Street Arts (102 Votes)

 

 

Best Comedy Club: Lincoln’s (224 Votes) It’s tightly packed, dark and quite hard to find. But in the case of this “secret bar” and comedy club, it works in its favor. The “speak-easy” vibe, cheap drink menu (everything is $5, get it?) and weekly “Laugh Shack” comedy showcase contribute to an incredibly fun, and quintessentially local atmosphere. Lincoln’s consistently hosts the funniest comics from Portland and beyond. Check out their incredibly diverse lineup of white guys this month.    

 

| Lincoln’s | 36 Market St, Portland | http://www.yelp.com/biz/lincolns-portland |

 

Runner Up

  • Blue (188 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Headliners at the Gold room (170 Votes)

  • Flask Lounge (143 Votes)

 

 

Best Dance Club: Bubba’s Sulky Lounge (521 Votes)

With over 40 years of residency, two bars and dance-floors, 10 years of taking home the title of “Best Dance Club” and a mission to get people moving to a wide variety of genres, this winner isn’t surprising anyone here. They paid homage to pop icon Prince when he passed by throwing a ton of his jams in their ’80s party mix. Many have drunkenly danced here and many more will.

 

| Bubba’s Sulky Lounge | 92 Portland St, Portland | http://www.bubbassulkylounge.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Styxx (137 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Flask Lounge (119 Votes)

  • Asylum (101 Votes)

 

 

Best Dance Performer: Liz Pettengill (126 Votes) Congratulations, Liz Pettengill! From all the other dancers to spring out of Portland (sorry, Teall and Morgan Sanborn) the community has chosen you. Maybe it’s your versatility as a dancer. Ms. Pettengill is well versed in modern, improv and tap dancing techniques. She’s also been a member of the Collective Motion Arts Center and has been known to fuse yoga and dancing together for a joyful and creative way to get exercise.

 

Runner Up

  • Morgan Sanborn (104 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Teall (94 Votes)

  • Lindsey Bourassa (74 Votes)

 

Best Dance Troupe: Portland Ballet (238 Votes) Have you seen a ballerina’s foot before? Bruised and calloused, it’s pretty much a testament to how hard they work. Under the artistic direction of Nell Shipman, these 12 dancers train and practice their choreography relentlessly to display a beautiful form of storytelling. You may have seen their latest, critically lauded productions: Three Tales by Poe, The Victorian Nutcracker and The Armed Man. If you haven’t, you missed out.

 

| The Portland Ballet Company | 517 Forest Ave, Suite #2, Portland | http://www.portlandballet.org/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Maine State Ballet (210 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Portland Youth Dance (125 Votes)

  • Vivid Motion (95 Votes)

 

 

Best Festival: The Old Port Festival (551 Votes) Ahhh, yes, the good ol’ annual Old Port Festival, where Portland seemingly balloons to twice its size. Thousands will show up this year, making this one of Portland’s biggest events. Even though us locals have to deal with the huge influx of tourists, the event is too much fun to even care. See you downtown this June, where the community will come together to enjoy live music, loads of delicious food-trucks, art vendors, parades, shopping and street games.

 

| The Old Port Fest | Downtown Portland | http://www.portlandmaine.com/old-port-festival/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Pride Portland (255 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Allagash Street Fair (136 Votes)

  • Portfringe (103 Votes)

 

 

Best Folk Venue: One Longfellow Square (452 Votes)

This quaint, world class music venue is the go-to place to get introduced to underated local and national acts. While they’ve got a penchant for booking folk artists, many genre artists have graced its stage from bluegrass and rock-n-roll, to indie-pop and jazz-funk. Look forward to their upcoming acts like: the Portland Jazz Orchestra, the genre defying Erin McKeown, the blues-grinding Suitcase Junket and the Americana band The Appleseed Collective.

 

| One Longfellow Square | 181 State St, Portland | https://onelongfellowsquare.com |

 

Runner Up

  • Portland House of Music (153 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Blue (126 Votes)

  • SPACE Gallery (110 Votes)

 

Best Graffiti Artist: Orson Horchler AKA Pigeon (134 Votes) Orson Horchler grew up in France and has lived a great deal in both Brooklyn and Bangor. However, he’s made enough provocative splashes in the street art scene here in Portland to make him worthy of “Best Graffiti Artist.” He’s best known for his “New Mainer Project,” a collection of black and white, charcoal and wheat-paste portraits, that challenged the conventional definition of “what it means to be a Mainer.” It’s art, with a powerful message. When this community-minded artist and big-thinker isn’t welcoming immigrants to our state, he’s leaving inspiring and often times hilarious messages through his iconic “Pigeon.”

 

Runner Up

  • Bananaman (108 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Turtle Adams (94 Votes)

  • N. Fletcher Curran (83 Votes)

 

Best Hip Hop Venue: Asylum (188 Votes) While I’m surprised this local staple didn’t win “Best Dance Club,” this award makes sense. Every Wednesday, a showcase of lyrical poets and rhyme slingers is held for their regular “Rap Night.” Apart from Flask Lounge, this is the only dedicated place in town that features original hip-hop. And when there isn’t an act slated, DJ’s Johnny Red, Al and Alex are usually spinning something beat heavy to bump to.

 

| Asylum | 121 Center St, Portland | http://www.portlandasylum.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Port City Music Hall (144 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • The State Theatre (137 Votes)

  • Portland House of Music (103 Votes)

 

Best Jazz Venue: Blue (363 Votes) With an intimate seating arrangement and the appropriate amount of dim lighting, Blue is the perfect place to sink into the smooth sounds of live jazz. Upcoming acts you should keep on your radar are The Jazz Workshop (a group of the best jazz musicians in the state playing compositions of Charles Mingus and Thelonious Monk) and vocalist Colleen Clark. Every week there’s something jazzy here to jam to, and with no cover charge, Blue’s certainly winning this award again.  

 

| Blue | 650 Congress St, Portland | http://www.portcityblue.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • MJ's Wine Bar (121 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • One Longfellow Square (114 Votes)

  • Portland House of Music (99 Votes)

 

Best Karaoke Venue: The Old Port Tavern (244 Votes) Say what you want about the food and the kind of crowd that it attracts, this night-crawler hangout spot is reliable in its karaoke offerings. If you suddenly want a chance to test out your vocal chops in front of strangers, the OPT offers you a mic and a stage four nights out of the week. Portland loves this historic spot for its billiards, its beer, its crabcakes and yes, its karaoke nights.  

 

| The Old Port Tavern | 368 Fore St, Portland | http://oldporttavern.com |

 

Runner Up

  • Flask Lounge (155 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Silverhouse Tavern (151 Votes)

  • Asylum (84 Votes)



Best Live Music Venue: The State Theatre (522 Votes) There was some stiff competition for this category and the title almost went to either the Port City Music Hall and the (actually locally owned) Portland House of Music. But it’s hard to ignore the caliber of talented acts that have graced the stage of this intimate, yet huge old timey styled venue.  Besides the expensive drinks and no photo policy, great parties have been made here. I mean come on, Bernie Sanders chose the State! Look forward to Chris Hardwick, Rustic Overtones, B.o.B., Delta Rae and Tommy Emmanuel, later this year.

 

| The State Theatre | 609 Congress St, Portland | http://www.statetheatreportland.com/  |

 

Runner Up

  • Port City Music Hall (237 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Portland House of Music (175 Votes)

  • One Longfellow Square (145 Votes)

 

Best Musician from Portland: Lady Lamb (245 Votes) Fortunately for this surrealist American songwriter and musician, Aly Spaltro (aka Lady Lamb) can’t really call herself a local Portland act anymore. She’s simply too big. Although she once hailed from around here, she’s based in Brooklyn now and tours with her loud, guitar-driven rock all over the country. She may not be “The Beekeeper” anymore and while she continues to get wildly famous, avid fans will always remember her Maine roots.

 

Runner Up

  • Lyle Divinsky (233 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Sara Hallie Richardson (127 Votes)

  • VIVA (123 Votes)

 

Best Local Musician: Lyle Divinsky (233 Votes) Lyle Divinsky, the big-voiced Mainer and purveyor of boisterous soul, may also be too hot right now to still be considered local. But that didn’t stop you all from voting “The Sasquatch of Soul,” in anyway. He travels far (Divinksy will take his talents to the Caribbean next year on the Jam Cruise), has shared the stage with legends and has been featured on national television, but that doesn’t affect his soft spot for his hometown of Portland, Maine.

 

 

Best Local Songwriter: Spencer Albee (203 Votes) This witty songwriter has been an integral and highly influential part of Portland’s music scene for over 20 years now, so this accolade is highly deserved. Spencer Albee was once part of the immensely popular alternative rock band, the Rustic Overtones, and a member of As Fast As and The League of Bandsmen (more of a musical support group). He’s consistently put Portland’s music scene on the national map and even once attracted the attention of David Bowie (later he worked with the legendary producer Tony Visconti to produce a Rustic Overtones record).

 

Runner Up

  • Dave Gutter (186 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Renee Coolbrith (157 Votes)

  • Dustin Saucier (48 Votes)

  • Will Bradford (48 Votes)

 

Best Maine Author: Stephen King (647 Votes) Stephen King got so many votes again this year, that we were forced to create a separate author category for everybody else. He’s perhaps the most famous creative person to ever call Maine home. You know what he looks like. You’ve read his creepy mysterious tales. And you’ve probably even visited his gargoyle laden home up in Bangor. Maine’s master of horror has several big and small screen adaptations of his work coming down the pipeline. We’ve got the “It” reboot and the “Dark Tower” series to tentatively look forward to.

 

Runner Up

  • Lois Lowry (137 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Monica Wood (122 Votes)

  • Colin Woodard (101 Votes)

 

Best Maine Author (not Stephen King): Lois Lowry We’ll never forget the feeling of confusion and heartbreak that awaited us at the end of “The Giver,” the dystopian future novel that won the Newbery Medal and propelled Maine’s Lois Lowry into fame. She’s written many more books since 1994, including “Gathering Blue,” “Messenger” and “Son,” which round out “the Giver Quartet.”

 

 

Best Maine Filmmaker: Bonfire Films (168 Votes) This production company started by Corey Norman in 2009 takes the prize this year for consistently creating anxiety-inducing narrative-based films (and music videos) that have attracted audiences all over the state and put local creative forces on the national map. Often times their films are, well, a bit disturbing and dread-filled in nature. Their feature length film, “The Hanover House,” recently won Best Actor and Best Director at the HorrorQuest Film festival. Their latest project “Suffer the Little Children,” also took home awards last year, for Best Short Film and Best Actress at the HorrorHound Film Festival.

 

| Bonfire Films |http://bonfirefilmsonline.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Kate Kaminski (162 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Erin Enberg (55 Votes)

 

Best Movie Theatre: Nickelodeon Cinemas (706 Votes) This quaint little cinema in the heart of downtown Portland will always earn a soft spot in locals’ hearts. Mostly because they offer local films, indie films and big blockbusters under one roof. Also, you simply can’t beat their $5 ticket prices on Tuesdays. With the cheapest movie ticket in the area, and a prime location, this award is one I agree with 110 percent.

 

| Nickelodeon Cinemas | 1 Temple St, Portland | http://patriotcinemas.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Cinemagic (296 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Smitty's (166 Votes)

  • Portland Museum of Art (69 Votes)

 

 

Best Museum: Portland Museum of Art (574 Votes) The PMA is simply the biggest museum around, and they offer much more than just exquisite paintings and sculptures to gawk at. With new lectures, artist talks, community workshops and film screenings seemingly booked every week, there’s a lot going on at the PMA. They’re also in the midst of a new redesign right now, completely rethinking the way audiences engage with art. It’s basically a whole different experience now. Also they open their doors free of charge on First Fridays, which is a big plus in my book. Stop by and see how a multi-faceted, modern and community oriented art museum operates.

 

| The Portland Museum of Art | 7 Congress Square, Portland | http://www.portlandmuseum.org/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine (190 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • The Portland Science Center (158 Votes)

  • International Cryptozoology Museum (109 Votes)

 

Best Nightclub: Bubba’s Sulky Lounge (268 Votes) Bubba’s wins a second award, proving that it’s one of the best places to get your freak on, pretty much any day of the week. Maybe the crowd loves the antiquated style. Maybe they love the energetic DJ’s. Maybe they just love dancing to nostalgia soaked hits from the ’80s and ’90s. Or maybe it’s just the right amount of quirky to win our hearts over; I mean come on, name me another nightclub where you can get a haircut inside!

 

| Bubba’s Sulky Lounge | 92 Portland St, Portland | http://www.bubbassulkylounge.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Empire (148 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Portland House of Music (145 Votes)

  • Studio 55 (139 Votes)

 

Best Non-Gallery Art Space: Coffee By Design (255 Votes) Whether it’s the psychedelic lizard from Diamond St., or the intricately beautiful recycled oil drum sculptures on India St., every CBD location has something pretty and local to look at on the walls. And if they please your eyes enough, you can purchase them! I recommend you go check out the newly renovated Congress Street location: They’ve redone their counters and floor space, and feature a huge, colorful paintings from Lori Austill. Her cartoonishly crowded coffee-house painting really pops off of CBD’s new walls.  

 

| Coffee By Design | 1 Diamond St, Portland | https://www.coffeebydesign.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • The Asylum Graffiti Wall (186 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Oxbow Blending and Bottling (153 Votes)

  • Portland Pottery Cafe (90 Votes)

 

Best Open Mic: Dogfish Bar and Grille (169 Votes) Dogfish is great in that it opens its stage to anybody brave enough to step onto it, regardless of their skill level. But its strength as a cover-free entertainment spot is that, often times the people that hop behind the open mic, are already extremely talented and unpretentious. So it’s unlikely that you’ll hear something cringe-worthy while you munch on your burger. The hip-hop poet Myles Bullen, love-soaked Happy Folk, and the charismatic songwriter Will Bradford frequently haunt this spot. With the longest running open mic show in town, Dogfish also has reliability going for them.

 

| The Dogfish Bar and Grille | 953 Congress St, Portland | http://thedogfishcompany.com/ |

Runner Up

  • The Couch at Empire (127 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Rap Night at the Asylum (110 Votes)

  • Boozical Theater Night at Flask Lounge (72 Votes)

 

Best Out of Town Festival: Common Ground Fair (438 Votes) Maine’s got a lot of fair offerings. I’m guessing this one won because Portland prefers a fair with a focus on agricultural and rural life. I know I’m not really a fan of cheesy surplus vendors, generic amusement rides, and deadpan attendants desperately trying to get you to play their carny games. The Common Ground Fair is different. Instead they focus on the things that we want when we drive out of the city: farm animals, real rustic food, arts and crafts, gardening workshops and tractor pulls.

 

| The Common Ground Country Fair | Route 202, Unity | http://www.mofga.org/thefair |

 

Runner Up

  • Fryeburg Fair (311 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Yarmouth Clam Festival (218 Votes)

  • York Harvestfest (19 Votes)

 

Best Outdoor Concert Venue: Thompson’s Point (349 Votes) While perhaps the development of Thompson’s Point wasn’t exactly as successful as organizers had hoped, there’s still a lot of entertainment potential there and it’s clear that the space is still in our thoughts. This often overlooked piece of land, jutting out into the Fore River, has been a prime party space and will continue to be when Brandi Carlile, Ray LaMontagne, The Avett Brothers, Bob Dylan, Walk the Moon and The Lumineers perform there this summer.

 

| Thompson’s Point | http://www.thompsonspointmaine.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Maine State Pier (310 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Eastern Prom (247 Votes)

  • LL Bean (128 Votes)

 

Best Pool Hall: Old Port Tavern Billiards (282 Votes) Situated on the second floor of the historic, 1828 Mariner’s Church Building, Old Port Tavern Billiards sports a classy vibe. With six pool tables, five dart boards, and five plasma TV screens, the Old Port Billiards has repeatedly won “Best Pool Hall,” and this year’s no different. They garnered hundreds of votes from the community without even promoting themselves once online!

 

| Old Port Tavern Billiards | 11 Moulton St, Portland | http://oldporttavern.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Amigo's (122 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Union Station Billiards (87 Votes)

  • Ernie's (86 Votes)

 

Best Rock Venue: the State Theatre (368 Votes) Wow, you all really love the State Theatre, huh? Its massive stage and floor space are ideal for big bands, head-banging crowds and moshpits. I guess size matters, sorry, Geno’s. You’ve got these rock-n-rollers to look forward to, at the State Theatre later this year: Rustic Overtones, The Silversun Pickups, Old Crow Medicine (folkish), the Maine Youth Rock Orchestra, Sleep and Windhand.  

 

| The State Theatre | 609 Congress St, Portland | http://www.statetheatreportland.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Port City Music Hall (182 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Geno's Rock Club (165 Votes)

  • Portland House of Music (115 Votes)

 

Best Street Performers: Running with Scissors Improv (168 Votes) While they don’t perform on the street, this comedy improv group, with a combined 35 years of experience, got voted in anyway. In the style of “Whose Line Is It, Anyway,” these jokesters can conjure up laughs from random, audience-generated suggestions. Seeings as these entertainers don’t juggle, swing hoops, spit fire or swallow swords, perhaps we should have made a Best Comedy category. Oh, well! Lesson learned for next year.

 

| Running With Scissors Improv | The Gold Room, 512 Warren Ave, Portland | http://www.rwsimprov.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Maine Marimba Ensemble (158 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Dark Follies (101 Votes)

  • Abbeth Russell (61 Votes)

  • Boogie Tunez Crew (61 Votes)

 

Best Theatre Venue: Portland Stage (319 Votes) Lavish productions. Brilliantly trained actors. Intricate set designs. Interesting narratives with social commentary woven in. All of these qualities make Portland Stage the best theatre experience in the state. The artists at Portland Stage are breathing new life into an ancient art, and giving it the modern edge and community feel it needs to attract young people.

 

| Portland Stage | 25A Forest Ave, Portland | http://www.portlandstage.org/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Good Theater @ St. Lawrence Arts Center (149 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Madhorse Theater (99 Votes)

  • Lyric Theater (98 Votes)

 

Best Trivia Night: Ri Ra’s Irish Pub (169 Votes) This pub doesn’t just offer an authentic Irish food and beverage experience, they also have fun, late-night events. Tuesday trivia nights is one of them, and it’s been so popular that Ri Ra’s has won this award since 2008! With delicious food, great views, a cozy atmosphere and extremely friendly staff, this pub is the best place to raise a Guinness and answer some quiz questions.

 

| Ri Ra’s Portland | 72 Commercial St, Portland | http://www.rira.com/portland |

 

Runner Up

  • Binga's Stadium (158 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Bramhall Pub (120 Votes)

  • Brian Boru (92 Votes)

 

Best Visual Artist: Tessa Greene O’Brien (121 Votes) This Maine College of Art graduate, painter and muralist creates colorful abstract landscapes and whimsical architectural designs with a distinctly New England feel. Look out for her work on the streets this year, because she’ll be sharing from a $50,000 artistic grant from the Kindling Fund, to create “temporary and permanent murals, wall paintings and architectural interventions in Portland.”

 

Runner Up

  • Elizabeth Jabar (77 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Mortimer Glum (76 Votes)

  • Savannah Daras (67 Votes)

 

CITY LIFE

 

Best Bartender: Michelle at the Snug Pub (293 Votes) You will find no one is just "meh" when it comes to Michelle. You'll absolutely love her or hate her. Those that love, love deeply. After scouring some of the reviews online (which are mostly 5-stars by the way), it seems that Michelle is loved for her fantastic sense of humor, good looks, friendly yet sarcastic nature, fast service and her uncanny ability to carry many beer pints with her “banana hands.” She also hugs like a “bear waking up from a long winter.” Go meet this reigning champ and see what all the hubbubs about

 

| The Snug Pub | 223 Congress St, Portland | http://thesnugpub.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Nanl at the Bearded Lady's Jewel Box (291 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Vinnie at Arcadia (230 Votes)

  • Christine Arsenault at Bubba's (206 Votes)

 

Portland’s Best Kept Secret: the Bar of Chocolate (368 Votes) With an unassuming sign, virtually no Internet presence and clientele that find themselves there from word of mouth, The Bar of Chocolate is successful, yet under the radar. But when you want to ignore the crowds and headache-inducing music of Wharf Street, dip into this late-night dessert lounge to try their mellow martinis and mouthwatering sweets. Some customer favorites include: peanut butter martinis, creme brulee, carrot cake and their Maine blueberry pie.

 

| The Bar of Chocolate | 38 Wharf St, Portland | https://www.facebook.com/The-Bar-of-Chocolate-116495095042110/reviews |

 

Runner Up

  • Lincoln's (351 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Maps (308 Votes)

  • Tomaso's Canteen (182 Votes)

 

Best Blog: Portland Food Map (294 Votes) When you’re living in a city that has (most likely) the highest density of eateries per capita in the entire country, you need a reliable source to archive all the spots. Enter the Portland Food Map. It’s not really a blog, per se, but it does the best job at providing a comprehensive guide to every single bit of food news happening in town. It’s literally mapped out every single restaurant, food tour, bar, cafe and food-truck in Portland, and has attached every relevant website and press link. Sounds like a winner to me.

 

| The Portland Food Map | http://www.portlandfoodmap.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Eating Portland Alive (207 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Black Girl in Maine (201 Votes)

  • Active Beer Geek (115 Votes)

 

Best Bouncer: Troy at Foreplay (201 Votes) Troy, I don’t know who you are, but over 200 people think you’re awesome. People have said that you’re hilarious, observant and sport a photographic memory. Keep smiling at the door and throwing the aggressive drunks out of the fine sports bar you work at. Congrats, you’re a winner.

 

| Foreplay Sports Pub | 436 Fore St, Portland | www.foreplayportland.com |

 

Runner Up

  • Scott Bracy at Lincoln’s (164 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Dustin at Bubba's (152 Votes)

  • Todd at Novare (147 Votes)

 

Best Climbing Gym: Evo Rock + Fitness (431 Votes) This gym didn’t have a whole lot of competition for the top spot, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t exceptional in their own right. With a simple mission of empowering people and strengthening communities through climbing, the Evo Rock Gym does a lot of hands-on teaching. They’ve got a whole staff of knowledgeable and down-to-earth coaches, that will help anyone reach their climbing goals, regardless of their skill level.

 

| Evo Rock + Fitness | 65 Warren Ave, Portland | https://www.evorock.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Salt Pump Climbing Co. (125 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Maine Warrior Gym (72 Votes)

 

Best Entrepreneur: Mary Allen Lindemann from Coffee By Design (311 Votes) Mary Allen Lindemann is an obstacle-hurdling coffee visionary. Over 19 years ago she opened a humble coffeehouse that employed one part-time barista and called it Coffee By Design. Now she manages six cafes and employs 45 people with the mission of providing exceptional coffee under the auspices of environmental and economic sustainability. She’s created a mini-empire, to the point where when locals think coffee in Portland, they instantly think of the delicious beans at CBD.

 

| Coffee By Design | 1 Diamond St, Portland | http://www.coffeebydesign.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Heather Sanborn, Rising Tide (277 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Zach Poole from the Maine Brew Bus (241 Votes)

  • David Jopp and Stephen Knight from the Escape Room

 

Best Food Blog: the Portland Food Map (433 Votes) The Portland Food Map wins best Food Blog, because of the simple fact that they’ve compiled every other Portland blog and bit of food news in one easy-to-use website. If there’s anything worthwhile to read about Portland’s food scene, you’ll find it within this exhaustive resource.

 

| The Portland Food Map | http://www.portlandfoodmap.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • 207 Foodie (181 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Eat & Run (MaineToday) (133 Votes)

 

Best Golf Course: Riverside (182 Votes) This city owned, 18-hole golf course has history. It first opened in 1932 and has been attracting people to its beautiful grounds on the Presumpscot River ever since. If you’ve never golfed before and want to try it out, they’ve got a three-hole practice course that’s fairly affordable.

 

| Riverside | 1158 Riverside St, Portland | https://www.riversidegolfcourseme.com |

 

Runner Up

  • Sable Oaks (128 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Dunegrass (114 Votes)

  • Spring Meadows (78 Votes)

 

Best Indoor Space for Kids: The Portland Children’s Museum (370 Votes) This place has all the necessary tools and attractions to capture your child’s attention for longer than a couple minutes. From an outdoor ocean adventure exhibit, to a periscopic camera obscura, to a fire truck and a fort-like “playscape,” your child won’t be bored here. And with education in mind, you can be assured that your child’s playtime won’t be completely meaningless. I myself have fond memories of this place almost two decades ago, so it’s clear to me, that the Portland Children’s Museum has longed established itself as a community staple.

 

| The Children’s Museum | 142 Free St, Portland | http://www.kitetails.org/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Get Air (326 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Greenlight Studio (88 Votes)

  • Circus Maine (63 Votes)

 

Best Instagram Account: @photocait (175 Votes) Cait Bourgault captures exceptional “slices of life” from Maine, New England and beyond. Although based in Portland, this portrait and “adventure” photographer travels a lot, showcasing much of Maine’s natural beauty, from snowy forests and bright green pastures, to shimmering coastlines and majestic mountain tops. She’s also prone to posting a lot of photos of expressive dogs and attractive couples, but they’re so aesthetically pleasing in their colors and composition, that they elevate themselves from the cliche.

 

| Cait Bourgault | @photocait | https://www.instagram.com/photocait/ |

 

Runner Up

  • @sadhannaford (170 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • @coreytempleton (139 Votes)

  • @tomcouture (134 Votes)

 

Best Local Cause: Animal Refuge League (700 Votes) Just last month the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland found homes for 135 cats, 95 dogs and seven small animals. They also reunited 30 pets with their owners. The selfless staff here care deeply for displaced animals; and it shows.

 

| The Animal Refuge League | 449 Stroudwater St, Westbrook | http://www.arlgp.org/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Portland Buy Local (298 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • EqualityMaine (227 Votes)

  • The Root Cellar (95 Votes)

 

Best Mechanic: The staff at 3 G’s (161 Votes) This is the second win in a row for the 3G’s Tire and Auto Service and it’s because of their no-bullshit attitude. The mechanics here won’t tell you if your car parts need to be fixed or replaced unless it actually does. They’re gimmick-free. The people that come to this little repair shop are often repeat customers, showing that friendly, quick service and affordable prices go a long way in the auto repair industry.

 

| 3G’s Tire and Auto Service | 200 Veranda St, Portland | http://www.3gstire.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Woodfords Garage (144 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Don Foshay's (118 Votes)

  • Cumberland Ave. Garage (89 Votes)

 

Best Neighborhood: West End (447 Votes) I get it. With its cozy eateries, picturesque views, old buildings, large amounts of blooming vegetation and that cute New England feel, the West End is just plain pretty. But can we lower the rents there, so other Portlanders can enjoy it?

 

Runner Up

  • Munjoy Hill (298 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Deering Center (250 Votes)

  • East End (187 Votes)

 

Best Outdoor Bar/Patio: The Portland Lobster Company (588 Votes) I can’t say I’m surprised. This seafood restaurant, right on the waterfront, offers the best dining view in Portland. It’s impossible not to enjoy yourself here, when you’ve got fresh lobster, great beer and live music right on the deck. There’s just something magical about looking out on the ocean and smelling its brine while you’re waiting for your food to arrive. It’s the stereotypical vision of what Portland is like, but that’s okay with me.

 

| The Portland Lobster Company | 180 Commercial St, Portland | http://www.portlandlobstercompany.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Novare Res Bier Cafe (375 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Silly's (269 Votes)

  • Flatbread (200 Votes)

 

Best Pick-Up Spot: Amigo’s (231 Votes) Maybe it’s the wooden walls and the dark tavern-like atmosphere, but whatever it is, there’s something charming about the Mexican bar, Amigo’s. Serious drinking goes down here and combined with the smoking patio upstairs that allows for more quiet conversation, it’s fair to assume that many a romance has been sparked here.

 

| Amigo’s | 9 Dana St, Portland |

 

Runner Up

  • Po' Boys and Pickles (153 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Flask Lounge (123 Votes)

  • Oasis (114 Votes)

 

Best Place to get Married: Peak’s Island (330 Votes) You can point a camera in pretty much any direction on Peak’s Island and capture some beautiful backdrop: from native wildflowers and warm foliage, to jagged rocks and breaking waves. And that’s what weddings are all about, right? The pictures afterwards? Many women dream of an island wedding, so if you’re planning one, consider this idyllic location.

 

Runner Up

  • Fort Williams (238 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Eastern Promenade (169 Votes)

  • Black Point Inn (130 Votes)

 

Best Place to Make Out In: East End Beach (286 Votes) It’s clean. It’s scenic. It’s private. It’s less than a mile away from town, and it’s covered in cute, tiny shells. If you’re going to smooch your significant other, do it here and make it memorable.

 

Runner Up

  • Western Prom (213 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Top of the World Park (176 Votes)

  • Alley next to Arcadia (131 Votes)

 

Best Suburb to Live In: South Portland (475 Votes) Gorham is filled with old people and college freshmen. Westbrook is sketchy. Falmouth is too preppy. Scarborough is too far away. You win, South Portland, presumably for being close to the city, and offering clean neighborhoods, decent eateries and plenty of shopping outlets.   

 

Runner Up

  • Cape Elizabeth (259 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Scarborough (204 Votes)

  • Westbrook (151 Votes)

 

Best Portland Tour: The Maine Brew Bus (468 Votes) Of course, Portland chose a tour that gets you a little slizzered by the end of it. I’m kidding; the Maine Brew Bus Tour is less about getting you drunk and more about developing a real palate for quality beer. There’s a lot of breweries in Southern Maine, and this little green bus will take you to them during an informative, laughter-filled tasting tour.

 

| The Maine Brew Bus | 111 Commercial St, Portland | http://www.themainebrewbus.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Maine Foodie Tours (164 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Duck Boats (150 Votes)

  • Paddle to Fort Gorges with Portland Paddle (117 Votes)

 

Portlander for President: Chellie Pingree (322 Votes) Clearly our Democratic Congresswoman is well liked. She supports small businesses, health care reform, labor reform and clean energy initiatives. She fights for women’s rights and equality. She’s a proponent of organic farming and sustainable agriculture. She wants to hold banks and credit card companies accountable, for people’s protection. If Portland could pick a local for President, Chellie Pingree would be ideal.

 

| Chellie Pingree | https://pingree.house.gov/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Pious Ali (224 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Asher Platts (125 Votes)

  • Rob Korobkin (74 Votes)

 

Best Radio Personality: Blake and Eva from Coast 93.1 (429 Votes) OK, these are really two personalities, but you really can’t have one without the other, can you? The witty banter between Eva Matteson and Blake Hayes has brightened up many people’s mornings. We all appreciate Blake’s hilarious one liners and bits of trivia, on top of Eva’s sweetness, come-backs and highly memorable laughter.

 

| Blake and Eva from Coast 93.1 | http://coast931.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Lori Voornas from Q97.9 (304 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Jon Shannon from WPOR 101.9 (247 Votes)

  • Holly Nunan from FRANK 107.5 (226 Votes)

 

Best Ski Mountain: Sugarloaf (421 Votes) Maine didn’t get a whole lot of snow this past winter. But that didn’t stop throngs of skiers and snowboarders from zooming down Sugarloaf's extensive trail system. As our winters get warmer, staff at Sugarloaf just rev up the snow machines for a DIY season. They’ve logged over 1,400 hours of snowmaking this season, showing their commitment to ensuring Mainers still have access to their favorite winter pastime.

 

| Sugarloaf Mountain | http://www.sugarloaf.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Sunday River (251 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Shawnee Peak (179 Votes)

  • Lost Valley (57 Votes)

 

Best Summer Camp for Kids: Camp Ketcha (277 Votes) Camp Ketcha has so many ways for your child to experience and fall in love with the great outdoors. And they don’t just offer traditional summer camp either. They’ve had children camping in April and warming up with campfire boiled, white pine tea. Along with that local children have  enjoyed experiencing barn animals, horses, rope challenge courses, nature scavenger hunts and paint-chip hikes.

 

| Camp Ketcha | 336 Black Point Rd, Scarborough | http://campketcha.org/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Maine Academy of Modern Music - Rock Camp! (133 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Mr. and Mrs. Fish Camp (100 Votes)

  • Portland Stage Theater for Kids (95 Votes)

 

Best TV Personality: Tom Johnston from WCSH-6 (279 Votes) Move over, Joe Cupo, there’s a new cool, breezy weather-guy in town. Now that the legendary Cupo has retired (after 37 years), Portland has decided on its new favorite meteorologist: Tom Johnston. He’s a cool guy, with a clear passion for forecasting the weather. Welcome back to Maine, Tom.

 

| Tom Johnston | http://www.wcsh6.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Lee Goldberg from WCSH-6 (269 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Kim Block from WGME (234 Votes)

  • Todd Gutner from WCSH-6 (232 Votes)

 

Best Yoga: Greener Postures (319 Votes) Warm. Inviting. Challenging. Lovely. Excellent vibe. That’s what people had to say about this yoga studio that offers classes to a wide variety of age groups and skill levels: even kids! Yoga reaps many therapeutic benefits like: increased energy and stamina, improved muscle tone, digestion and concentration and enhanced ability to deal with life’s stresses. Perhaps you should learn a posture or two?

 

| Greener Postures Yoga Studio | 740 Broadway, South Portland | http://www.greenerposturesyoga.com |

 

Runner Up

  • Portland Power Yoga (278 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Hustle & Flow (149 Votes)

  • Bar Sculpt (64 Votes)

 

Best Zumba Class: Studio Fit (191 Votes) “Exercise in disguise,” Zumba is a way to get in shape by having a dance party. Studio Fit gets people to dance their ass off and burn some calories in an extremely welcoming and non-pressurized environment. The sessions can heat up quickly and get rather intense, but with Zumba, that’s a very good thing.

 

| Studio Fit | 5 Delta Drive, Portland | http://www.studiofitmaine.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Lindsey Hersey at YMCA (82 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • The Pineland YMCA (72 Votes)

  • Bay Club (63 Votes)

 

DINING

 

Best Asian Restaurant: Pai Men Miyake (488 Votes) You’ve never had Ramen like this before. This restaurant takes the noodle dish to it’s authentic Japanese roots, with a big steaming bowl that’s packed with fatty, pork belly flavor. It doesn’t matter which kind you order, rest assured the broth will be rich, the spices will smack you in the face and you’ll leave with a new appreciation for Asian fusion dishes.

 

| Pai Men Miyake | 188 State St, Portland | http://www.miyakerestaurants.com/pai-men-miyake/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Boda (465 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Empire (452 Votes)

  • Bao Bao (298 Votes

 

Best Bagel: Scratch (692 Votes) To meet some high demand, the neighborhood bakers at Scratch start their bagel making process at 3 a.m. Each one is “hand cut, hand rolled and boiled with love.” Featuring Aurora Mills flour and Maine sea salt, this squishy bagel is truly a local morning treat.

 

| Scratch Bakery | 416 Preble St, Portland | http://scratchbakingco.com/love/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Mr. Bagel (437 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Union Bagel (360 Votes)

  • 158 Picket St Cafe (187 Votes)

 

Best Bakery: The Holy Donut (637 Votes) Like many in town, I can go on and on about how much I love these hand-crafted, artisanal potato donuts. I almost developed a serious addiction to these delightful rings when I lived next door to their Park Avenue location; I had to try every single one of their imaginative flavors!

 

| The Holy Donut | 194 Park Ave, Portland | http://theholydonut.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Standard Baking (514 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Scratch Bakery (451 Votes)

  • Two Fat Cats (246 Votes)

 

Best Barbeque: Salvage (734 Votes) Have you fallen into a “meat coma” before? It’ll happen to you at Salvage when you order that aptly named tray and stuff your face with copious amounts of pork ribs, brisket, chopped pork, sweet chicken and house-made chilli. And then there’s the cornbread, beans and mac-n-cheese of course, to make sure you’ll really be down for the count. There’s some seriously smoky flavors to be savored here, but you’ll stomach will have a hell of time digesting it all.  

 

| Salvage | 919 Congress St, Portland | http://www.salvagebbq.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Buck's Naked BBQ (315 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Elsmere (257 Votes)

  • Po' Boys and Pickles (212 Votes)

 

Best Beer Selection: Novare Res Bier Cafe (721 Votes) The choices of brews here will make your head spin. This “revolution starting” beer bar, is worldly, in that they’ve curated their selection to include influences from Japan, the U.K., Spain, Italy, Belgium and Germany. The result? A dizzying and tantalizing selection of hoppy, earthy and fruity wonders.

 

| Novare Res Bier Cafe | 4 Canal Plz, Portland | http://novareresbiercafe.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Great Lost Bear (592 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Little Tap House (137 Votes)

  • Nosh (109 Votes)

 

Best Bloody Mary: Hot Suppa (324 Votes) If you’re in Portland, drink the “world’s most complex cocktail” at the raved about, Hot Suppa. Where many Bloody Mary’s are mediocre, Hot Suppa’s rendition excites. They’ve mastered the tangy, tomato-based drink, by adding in the perfect amount of spicy kicks and packing the glass chock full of veggies.

 

| Hot Suppa | 703 Congress St, Portland | http://www.hotsuppa.com/Content/?documents |

 

Runner Up

  • Ruski's (208 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Local 188 (198 Votes)

  • Silly's (197 Votes)

 

Best Beer Bar: Novare Res Bier Cafe (614 Votes) Again, it’s the sheer variety of different beers offered here that’s the key to this bar’s success. With over 30 rotating taps and incredible Belgian offerings, the drink menu here can take you from Portland’s backyard to halfway across the world. The dim, unique ambiance inside also makes this bar a winner in the minds of many.

 

| Novare Res Bier Cafe | 4 Canal Plz, Portland | http://novareresbiercafe.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Great Lost Bear (444 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Thirsty Pig (234 Votes)

  • Gritty's (164 Votes)

 

Best Brewery Bar: Rising Tide (418 Votes) The extensive hours in Rising Tide’s tasting room make this brewery the best viable option to try a new beer in its natural environment. Handcrafted in small batches, the beers here fuse old-world traditions with modern twists. The knowledgeable brewers here are also friendly and adept enough to aid you in your quest to find your next favorite beer; which is no easy task in such a brewery rich state.

 

| Rising Tide | 103 Fox St, Portland | http://www.risingtidebrewing.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Oxbow (381 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Gritty's (287 Votes)

  • Sebago (262 Votes)

 

Best Brunch: Hot Suppa (511 Votes) The cooks here know what you want to eat when it’s too late for breakfast, and too early for lunch: comfort food. Slip inside their homely space for a wholesome falafel sandwich, fried-green tomato BLT, gravy-smothered biscuit or their critically acclaimed corned beef hash. The options here are hearty, Southern-style dishes.

 

| Hot Suppa | 703 Congress St, Portland | http://www.hotsuppa.com/Content/?documents |

 

Runner Up

  • Bayside American Cafe (343 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Front Room (317 Votes)

  • Local 188 (234 Votes)

 

Best Burger: Nosh (526 Votes) Nosh is a repeat winner because its burgers are just plain creative. There’s no other place in town where you can get a burger with fried mac-n-cheese, or SLAB pizza as the buns. Or a burger where the patties are stuffed with crispy pork belly, roasted garlic or chorizo-shrimp. Allegedly, the meat comes from pasture-raised, grass-fed cows that died happily, so that’s nice, too.

 

| Nosh | 551 Congress St, Portland | http://www.noshkitchenbar.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Five Guys (328 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Elevation Burger (246 Votes)

  • Great Lost Bear (228 Votes)

 

Best Butcher: Pat’s Meat Market (473 Votes) Pat’s is focused on the fine, simple things of life. Like meat. Lots of meat. Since 1918 this small business has provided our community with copious amounts of dead animal flesh to consume. They’ll also gladly slice and chop it anyway you want it done.

 

| Pat’s Meat Market | 484 Stevens Ave, Portland | http://www.patsmeatmart.com/index.html |

 

Runner Up

  • Rosemont Market (326 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Fresh Approach (190 Votes)

  • The Farm Stand (135 Votes)

 

Best Chef: Masa Miyake, Pai Men Miyake (370 Votes) Back in 2010, Masa Miyake opened a humble little Asian-fusion restaurant to fulfill your noodle dreams. Six years later, it’s become a culinary staple in Portland and many a belly has been filled with pickled ginger and pork fat. He’s even got his own farm in Freeport that supplies most of the veggies and meat at Pai Men, making this chef not only innovative, but sustainable.  

 

Runner Up

  • Chris Gould, Central Provisions (290 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Jason Loring, Rhum, Slab, Nosh (284 Votes)

  • David Turin, David's (259 Votes)

 

Best Chowdah: Gilbert’s (413 Votes) Watery chowder is a travesty and one that unfortunately gets served often in Southern Maine. Thankfully, we have Gilbert’s, a seaside restaurant to serve us a true hearty bowl. Trust me, you want it to be clumpy, and Gilbert’s seafood chowder is loaded with haddock, lobster, shrimp and potatoes. A touch of bacon brings it all together.  

 

| Gilbert’s | 92 Commercial St, Portland | http://www.gilbertschowderhouse.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Kamasouptra (197 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Susan's Fish-n-Chips (166 Votes)

  • Becky's Diner (161 Votes)

 

Best Cocktail: Sonny’s (360 Votes) Sonny’s has ascended to be one of the hippest places around to grab a craft cocktail. With a background in the classics, and a fearless approach to new styles, the bartenders here can easily whip up a drink that’s complex and delicious. Many enjoy their use of fine herbs and infused liquors like their chili pepper tequila and jalapeno-strawberry vodka. Sonny’s turns ordering cocktails into a unique, taste adventure.

 

| Sonny’s | 83 Exchange St, Portland | http://www.sonnysportland.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Hunt and Alpine (289 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Top of the East (282 Votes)

  • Bearded Lady's Jewel Box (255 Votes)

 

Best Tea House: Dobra Tea Enter this beautifully decorated, cozy space and sit down on a little chair. Admire the art on the walls and open up the hard-cover “tea journal.” Here comes the hard part. Try and pick an herbal concoction, from all parts of the world. You’ll learn that tea isn’t just flowery and sweet; it can be spicy, smoky, bitter and sour tasting. There are hundreds of exotic flavors and styles of tea, you’ve likely never even knew existed. But don’t worry, the tea lovers that work here will help you out, just ring the tiny little bell.    

 

| Dobra Tea | 89 Exchange St, Portland | http://www.dobrateame.com |

 

Best Single Location Coffee House: Bard Coffee Everything you need for a fantastic, relaxing morning can be found at Bard: newspapers, sweet treats, comfy seats, soothing ambient music, and of course, expertly crafted coffee drinks. Do yourself a favor and order the hot Vietnamese coffee. You can even post the frothy cup of java on Instagram. You certainly wouldn’t be the first.

 

| Bard Coffee | 185 Middle St, Portland | http://www.bardcoffee.com/ |

 

Best Cookie/Cupcake: Scratch Bakery (480 Votes) Sweet things need to be made with love, but also high quality ingredients. Scratch’s chocolate chip cookies are decadent in their simplicity, crispy on the edges and perfectly chewy in the middle. This bakery’s got tons of other desserts to offer, but many come for that old fashioned favorite.  

 

| Scratch Bakery | 416 Preble St, Portland | http://scratchbakingco.com/love/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Two Fat Cats (381 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Standard Baking Co. (269 Votes)

  • Love Kupcakes (232 Votes)

 

Best Diner: Becky’s Diner (530 Votes) This place made it onto Eater’s list of 25 classic restaurants every Mainer must try and for good reasons. Classic state staples are served here like: the Maine crab and Swiss melt, the lobster roll, the fried haddock, the red hot dog and blueberry pie. Tourists flock here, but so do blue-collared Mainers and staunch food critics.  

 

| Becky’s Diner | 390 Commercial St, Portland | http://www.beckysdiner.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Silly's (415 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Marcy's (390 Votes)

  • Miss Portland (280 Votes)

 

Best Distillery: Maine Craft Distilling (362 Votes) A little bit of Maine gets distilled in each flask. Whether it’s the Alchemy Gin made from Maine made barley, or the blueberry moonshine made from local berries and maple syrup, each liquor distilled here is imbued with the terroir of our beautiful state.  

 

| Maine Craft Distilling | 101 Fox St, Portland | http://www.mainecraftdistilling.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Cold River (297 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Liquid Riot (235 Votes)

  • New England Distilling (170 Votes)

 

Best Dive Bar: Rosie’s (402 Votes) This place doesn’t even have a website, that’s how divy it is. With an old, turn of the century tavern feel to it, simply OK pub food, dart offerings and an unassuming atmosphere, people come to Rosie’s for the dive bar experience. Although there are some hardcore hipsters out there that proclaim it’s too charming and clean to honestly claim that title. I mean they do serve a mean, mango vegan burger, that's a little bit too tasty. Dive bar dispute or not, Rosie’s is still a very popular pub crawl destination!

 

| Rosie’s | 330 Fore St, Portland | http://www.yelp.com/biz/rosies-portland-2 |

 

Runner Up

  • Ruski's (384 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • J's Oyster (325 Votes)

  • Tomaso's Canteen (160 Votes)

 

Best Drink Deal: $2 Happy Hour at the Front Room (312 Votes) The Front Room’s got the best deal on wine in town. For just $2, you can grab a glass of any white, red or rose wine; and they’ve got a lot to choose from. There are decent deals for liquor and beer lovers, too.

 

| The Front Room | 73 Congress St, Portland | http://www.thefrontroomrestaurant.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Happy Hour at OTTO (275 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • $10 craft beer pitchers at Maps (212 Votes)

  • Half off wine bottles at the North Point (115 Votes)

 

Best Ethnic Market: Micucci's (532 Votes) If Italians from Rome can vouch for the Flavorpill offered at Micucci's, then you can assume it's legit. India Street’s got a little slice of Italy on it, because Micucci's sells premium, imported Italian foods and a robust Sicilian pizza that’s deliciously satisfying (and filling!). When you’ve got people driving up from Boston and New York just for a Micucci’s slice, it’s clear this market has captured the essence of Mediterranean cuisine and sells a tried and true slab of pizza.

 

| Miccuci’s | 45 India St, Portland | http://www.micuccigrocery.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Sun Oriental (199 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Veranda Asia Market (194 Votes)

  • La Bodega (89 Votes)

 

Best Fish Monger: Harbor Fish (643 Votes) The only way you’re going to get fresher fish around here is if you go out into the ocean and catch some yourself. This Mecca for seafood shoppers sells the best things the ocean has to offer, like: North Atlantic ground fish, oysters, mussels, scallops, clams, crabs, salmon, herring, salt cod, shrimp, and of course, lobster.

 

| Harbor Fish | 9 Custom House Wharf, Portland | http://harborfish.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Free Range Fish and Lobster (226 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Browne Trading Market (91 Votes)

  • George Parr at Upstream (64 Votes)

 

Best Food Server: Gillian at Marcy’s (215 Votes) As long as you’re not a screaming child, expect some great service at Marcy’s. I hear that Gillian contributes to the welcoming vibe of the diner, by being attentive, friendly and genuine. You’ll be tempted to return for Marcy’s scrumptious rustic dishes but also because you’ll likely be greeted on the way out with “see you tomorrow.” It's almost like you're a part of the Marcy’s extended family.

 

| Marcy’s Diner | 47 Oak St, Portland | http://www.nicemuffin.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Liz at Pai Men Miyake (198 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Sophia at Boda (193 Votes)

  • Katie at Corner Room (177 Votes)

 

Best Food Truck: El Corazon (466 Votes) Tacos. Taquitos. Tamales. All that and more awaits those who catch the El Corazon on the side of the street. Who knew fish tacos aren’t inherently gross? El Corazon re-imbued my faith in them. This food truck serves them right with chipotle cream, cabbage and sweet salsa.

 

| El Corazon | 207.200.4801 | http://www.elcorazonfoodtruck.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Bite Into Maine (182 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Mami Food Truck (170 Votes)

  • CN SHAWARMA (138 Votes)

 

Best Fries: Duckfat (694 Votes) If you’re like me, Duckfat has effectively ruined all other french fries for you. All it took was some Maine-made potatoes fried in luxuriously flavorful duck fat. Why must everything delicious be so unhealthy?

 

| Duckfat | 43 Middle St, Portland | http://duckfat.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Pier French Fries at Old Orchard Beach (371 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Nosh (364 Votes)

  • Silly's (101 Votes)

 

Best Gluten Free Options: Bam Bam Bakery (393 Votes) Again and again, Bam Bam has proved that eating a gluten-free baked treat doesn’t have to be a dull, dry and crumbly affair. These pies, muffins, breads, cakes and cinnamon buns have the same mouth-pleasing texture as their traditional counterparts. If you have strict dietary restrictions, or simply want to experiment with something called “being healthy,” this is the place to satisfy your sweet tooth.

 

| Bam Bam Bakery | 267 Commercial St, Portland | http://bambambakery.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Silly's (228 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • OTTO (130 Votes)

  • Kamasouptra (121 Votes)

 

Best Ice Cream Parlor: Gelato Fiasco (484 Votes) This downtown hole in the wall serves up the tastiest renditions of the sexy Italian version of ice-cream. The line stretches out the door during the summer months, because people demand their bold flavors like: chocolate chai, lemon orange carrot, Italian banana pudding, dark chocolate noir and ripe mango.

 

| Gelato Fiasco | 425 Fore St, Portland | http://www.gelatofiasco.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Beal's Ice Cream (432 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Red's (355 Votes)

  • Mt. Desert Ice Cream (183 Votes)

 

Best Individual Craft Beer: Allagash White (484 Votes) I think I know why this beer won. It’s incredibly drinkable. While it can be argued that the Substance Ale by the Bissell Brothers is a superior, more complex ale, the Allagash White appeals to palates both temperamental and un-refined. I don’t know anybody that doesn’t enjoy this crispy, fruity and slightly spicy titan in the local beer scene.

 

| Allagash Brewery | 50 Industrial Way, Portland | http://www.allagash.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Substance Ale, Bissell Brothers (330 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Maine Island Trail Ale, Rising Tide Brewing (227 Votes)

  • Epiphany Beer, Foundation Brewing Co. (177 Votes)

 

Best Irish Pub: Ri Ra’s (418 Votes) Ri Ra’s has the vintage ambiance, the hearty pub fare, the live music and the wise-crackin’ staff, to win again this year. Sure, it’s a national chain, but it’s owned by a local Irishman. Plus, they’ve got great Irish car-bombs and Guinness stew.  

 

| Ri Ra’s | 72 Commercial St, Portland | https://www.rira.com/portland/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Brian Boru (337 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Bull Feeney's (272 Votes)

  • The Snug Pub (176 Votes)

 

Best Italian Restaurant: Paciarino (302 Votes) The secret is in the sauce and the secret is its simplicity. For their immensely popular and supremely robust housemade pomodoro red sauce, all that’s needed is fresh tomatoes, basil and garlic. And it makes every dish it's smothered on, from the lasagna to the scratch made ravioli, stand out. It helps (and shows) that the owner and head chef Enrico hails from Milan.

 

| Paciarino | 470 Fore St, Portland | http://www.paciarino.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Espo's Trattoria (276 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • The Corner Room (235 Votes)

  • Vignola (211 Votes)

 

Best Latin American Food: Taco Escobar (279 Votes) In my eyes, you don’t win best Latin American food unless you offer tacos with Lengua. That’s slowly braised cow tongue for the uninitiated. In addition to the bean, rice and chicken flavors you’d expect from this type of food, there’s plenty of exciting and authentic ingredients to fill your lime-zested burrito with. Or you could be like Mr. Trump, and assume that “taco-bowls” are synonymous with Mexican cuisine.

 

| Taco Escobar | 548 Congress St, Portland | http://www.tacoescobarr.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Zapoteca (265 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Tu Casa (182 Votes)

  • Hella Good Tacos (156 Votes)

 

Best LGBT Friendly Bar: Bearded Lady’s Jewel Box (248 Votes) While I’d say that most bars in town are “LGBT friendly,” the vibe at the Beaded Lady does feel the most like an insider club open to outsiders. This hidden gem has a dark and curious atmosphere to it, like a Victorian loft with strange art and furniture strewn about. The inventive drinks and friendly bartenders attract a wide range of colorful, creative regulars. Hipsters across the gender spectrum are likely to enjoy this winning nightlife spot.

 

| Bearded Lady’s Jewel Box | 644 Congress St, Portland | http://www.thebeardedladysjewelbox.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Styxx (210 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Blackstone's (134 Votes)

  • Studio 55 (125 Votes)

 

Best Lobster Roll: Portland Lobster Company (575 Votes) They just keep winning! While many in Maine try to perfect the lobster roll, few actually do. The consistently reliable, Portland Lobster Company, knows the power that buttery buns, creamy mayo and succulent lobster meat can have on people. They don’t skimp on the portions, either! These rolls overflow with the sweet red meat that Maine’s famous for.

 

| The Portland Lobster Company | 80 Commercial St, Portland | http://www.portlandlobstercompany.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • The Lobster Shack (320 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Eventide (314 Votes)

  • Bite Into Maine (144 Votes)

 

Best Maine Beer Company: Allagash (491 Votes) Allagash Brewing Company remains our local King of Beer, because of their commitment to Maine and its regional flavors. Their newest batch of beer (which is due out soon), Sixteen Counties, is a brew meant to honor farming traditions in Maine, by featuring locally grown barley, wheat and oats. Make sure to sip slowly and expose its subtle notes: lemon rind, flowers and candied grapefruit.  

 

| Allagash Brewery | 50 Industrial Way, Portland | http://www.allagash.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Bissell Brothers (321 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Rising Tide (274 Votes)

  • Shipyard (234 Votes)

 

Best Neighborhood Bar: Bramhall (325 Votes) In my opinion, this bar, tucked away from the madness of the Old Port heart, has the coolest vibe in town. With its impressive candlelit centerpiece, stained glass windows and wooden slabs, Bramhall feels like a subterranean journey back in time. It’s like a Game of Thrones set, but with tuna-melts and PBR.

 

| Bramhall Pub | 769 Congress St, Portland | http://www.bramhallme.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Ruski's (322 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • LFK (241 Votes)

  • Brian Boru (229 Votes)

 

Best Neighborhood Store: Rosemont Market and Bakery (363 Votes) This small but powerful grocery store boasts four locations throughout Portland, with an inventory of unique local cheeses, produce, deli meats, baked goods and prepared foods, that rivals its competitors. The ciabatta rolls are perfect and the prosciutto, for example, is carved and smoked in house. Portland’s suburbia likes to skip the lines and “big-store-feel” at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, for this quintessential neighborhood market.

 

| Rosemont Market | 88 Congress St, Portland | http://rosemontmarket.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Miccuci's (222 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Portland Food Co-op (162 Votes)

  • Quality Shop, Deering (Stevens Ave) (159 Votes)

 

Best New Restaurant: Honey Paw (298 Votes) It didn’t take long for this Asian fusion restaurant to become a big player in Portland’s saturated food scene. The cooks stand out here because they’re bold and unencumbered by traditional culinary guidelines. Because the Honey Paw combines local ingredients, with American food and Asian styles and techniques, whimsically creative dishes emerge from its kitchen like: Vietnamese chicken noodle soup, lobster tartine, wok charred eggplant and chilli coconut wings. Like in any industry, a good first impression matters, and it’s clear that the Honey Paw has long made one in the minds of Portland’s hungry and experimental citizens.  

 

| Honey Paw | 78 Middle St, Portland | http://thehoneypaw.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Terlingua (217 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • MK Kitchen (183 Votes)

  • Rhum (154 Votes)

 

Best Outdoor Farmer’s Market: the Portland Farmer’s Market (977 Votes) It seems, the biggest is often times the best. Because of the Portland Farmer’s Market’s sheer size and age (it’s older than the foundation of this country), and the smorgasbord of delicious, high-quality meat, cheese, fruits and vegetables it offers, it’s won the city’s vote by a landslide. It’s also simply the only outdoor market of its size on the peninsula.

 

| Portland Farmer’s Market | Monument Square (Wednesdays) and Deering Oaks Park (Saturdays) | http://www.portlandmainefarmersmarket.org/ |

 

Runner Up

  • South Portland Farmer's Market (64 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Greater Gorham Farmer's Market (52 Votes)

  • Cumberland Farmers Market (46 Votes)

 

Best Pizza: OTTO (764 Votes) Let’s be real; we’ve all eaten thousands of slices of pizza from hundreds of different places. However, few stand out like OTTO slices. I attribute its rather memorable nature to its thin crispy crust, sour red sauce and innovative toppings like pulled pork mango, bacon mashed potato and ricotta cranberry. It’s pizza so good, Boston had to have it, too.

 

| OTTO Pizza | 225 Congress St, Portland | http://www.ottoportland.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Slab (359 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Portland Pie (327 Votes)

  • Flatbread (273 Votes)

 

Best Produce: Portland Farmer’s Market (596 Votes) Walking through the Portland Farmer’s Market, during the height of the season, where the park is green and beautiful and the vendor’s tables are packed with produce, is an aesthetically pleasing affair. The deep oranges of honey jars. The vibrantly green kale and peppers. The striking reds and purples of root vegetables. You’ll see a rainbow of colors organized neatly in front of smiling farmers who are eager to send you off with something healthy, cheap and delicious.

 

| Portland Farmer’s Market | Deering Oaks Park | http://www.portlandfarmersmarket.org/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Rosemont Market (239 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Portland Co-op (149 Votes)

  • The Farm Stand (92 Votes)

 

Best Restaurant to take Out-of-Towners: the Portland Lobster Company (580 Votes) The awards pile up for this restaurant because, in many ways, it represents a textbook image of Portland. When most outsiders think of Portland, they picture journeying through cute cobblestones roads that lead eventually to an oceanside picnic table, where juicy lobster and craft beer will soon arrive for your enjoyment. Take your friend “from away” to the Portland Lobster Company if you want to share a beautiful, albeit cliche Portland dining experience.

 

| The Portland Lobster Company | 80 Commercial St, Portland | http://www.portlandlobstercompany.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Eventide Oyster Co. (363 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • DiMillo's (330 Votes)

  • Central Provisions (275 Votes)

 

Best Restaurateur: Jason Loring (302 Votes) Jason Loring is a culinary visionary that’s transforming Portland’s food landscape by establishing exciting and creative restaurants. He’s the co-owner of the widely popular Nosh, Slab and fairly new, subterranean tiki lounge Rhum. But he’s also got other irons in the fire. Word has it that he’s planning on opening a French cafe, two casual eateries on Thompson’s Point, and a fried-chicken and waffle joint above the International Cryptozoology Museum.

 

Runner Up

  • Sam Hayward, Fore Street & Scales (291 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Chef David Turin (218 Votes)

  • Arlin Smith, Mikey Wiley & Andrew Taylor - Big Tree Hospitality

 

Best Romantic Restaurant: Grace (451 Votes) Stained glass windows help generate romantic sparks. If you’re looking to take your significant other out to eat, consider the importance of atmosphere. Grace offers its stellar menu items (like seared duck, Maine scallops and risotto) and variety of wine and cocktails, inside a historic church. The interior space is widely regarded as one of the most artistically beautiful in town!

 

| Grace | 15 Chestnut St, Portland | http://www.restaurantgrace.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Fore Street (345 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Back Bay Grill (188 Votes)

  • 555 (135 Votes)

 

Best Sandwich: Po’ boys and Pickles (416 Votes) It’s impossible to tell which specific sandwich you all voted for, because this Southern-comfort food eatery offers almost 20. From cajun pulled pork, to golden shrimp po’boys and creole sausage, they all sound delicious, though. The portions look huge, too, so you’ll get a lot of bang for your buck here. When you experience the perfection of their signature pickle side, you might make this spot your next lunch obsession.

 

| Po Boy’s and Pickels | 1124 Forest Ave, Portland | http://www.poboysandpickles.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Silly's (251 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • OhNo Cafe (247 Votes)

  • Mainely Wraps (228 Votes)

 

Best Seafood: Street and Co (328 Votes) The vibe in this restaurant will make you feel like a weary, sea-faring traveler from the turn of the century. The food, however, will make you feel fancy and privileged. The Street and Co serves up traditional flavors like lobster, shrimp and mussels, but with a modern twist. Take the scallops for instance. Instead of butter and garlic, you'll get them pan seared with cream and an anise-flavored French liqueur. They’ve got ocean creatures for the more adventurous of palates too: like the spicy swordfish and the marinated white anchovy.

 

| Street and Co | 33 Wharf St, Portland | http://www.streetandcompany.net/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Eventide (323 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • J's Oyster (240 Votes)

  • Susan's Fish N Chips (236 Votes)

 

Best Soup: Kamasouptra (575 Votes) Many a cold winter’s afternoon have I spent holed up in the market house with a steaming, hearty bowl of Kamasouptra’s soup. I take it, you have, too. This place is Maine’s soup champ, not just because of their diverse, rotating lineup of flavors, but also because their service is fast, and that warm roll they serve as a side, is oh-so-satisfying.  

 

| Kamasouptra | 28 Monument Way, Portland | http://kamasouptra.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Pai Men Miyake (267 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Saigon Pho (96 Votes)

  • MK Kitchen (75 Votes)

 

Best Splurge: Fore Street (396 Votes) There’s a reason the Fore Street restaurant has been nominated for “Outstanding Restaurant” three times from the James Beard Foundation: Their plates are literally works of art. You know how they say you eat with your eyes first? Order their handcrafted charcuterie plate, or their wood-grilled hanger steak with greens, snap some photos, post to Instagram, and watch your “favorite count” rise from the accounts of drooling and jealous foodies.

 

| Fore Street | 288 Fore St, Portland | http://www.forestreet.biz/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Central Provisions (286 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Miyake (255 Votes)

  • Street & Company (216 Votes)

 

Best Sports Bar: Binga’s Stadium (407 Votes) There are televisions everywhere. Binga’s provides many ways for you guests to watch the big-game in a laid back, sports centric atmosphere: the clubhouse bar, the superbooth, the upper deck, the game room and the buffalo ballroom. If you want your own room for a private group party, that can be arranged!

 

| Binga’s Stadium | 77 Free St, Portland | http://www.bingasstadium.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Rivalries (346 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Pat's Pizza Old Port (142 Votes)

  • Portland Pie (126 Votes)

 

Best Steak: The Grill Room (452 Votes) Some beautiful entrees pop out of this eatery’s wood fire grill. The menu speaks for itself: spice rubbed skirt steak, horseradish rib-eye, spicy broccoli sirloin and the lobster brandy filet mignon. And that’s just the beef. This warm, rustic-meets-urban steakhouse is a must-visit for carnivores.

 

| The Grill Room | 84 Exchange St, Portland | http://www.thegrillroomandbar.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Timber Steakhouse (215 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Texas Road House (131 Votes)

  • Petite Jacqueline (112 Votes)

 

Best Sushi: Yosaku (449 Votes) The interior of this space is decorated simply. The focus here is on their gourmet fish, sliced extremely thin (or in cute little chunks) and paired with expertly compacted rice. Their seemingly exhaustive ingredients and menu items, contribute to the best sushi experience in Portland. It might take some experimenting, but you’ll find a standout roll here. Yes, even you vegans.

 

| Yosaku | 1 Danforth St, Portland | http://www.yelp.com/biz/yosaku-portland |

 

Runner Up

  • Ben Kay (274 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Pai Men Miyake (263 Votes)

  • Saporro (147 Votes)

 

Best Vegetarian: The Green Elephant (538 Votes) You don’t need meat to create a menu that’s enticing and opulent. I’m a die-hard flesh-muncher, but often find myself at the Green Elephant because their dishes are so damn good. Try the coconut soup with tofu, the tempura asparagus salad, or the peanut curry, and fall in love with this Asian-inspired vegetarian restaurant.

 

| The Green Elephant | 608 Congress St, Portland | http://greenelephantmaine.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Silly's (222 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Local Sprouts (217 Votes)

  • Pai Men Miyake (124 Votes)

 

Best Wine List: MJ’s Wine Bar (353 Votes) MJ’s has a stunning, unrivaled variety of delicious wine to try and most of them are just $5 a glass. Their sparkling, red and white wine lists offer concoctions that span the globe, from Spain and South Africa to Portugal and Argentina. With a “chillin’ in your living room with a bottle” kind of vibe, this place oozes a comforting atmosphere.    

 

| MJ’s Wine Bar | 1 City Center, Portland | http://www.onecitywines.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Back Bay Grill (125 Votes)

  • The North Point (125 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Vignola (121 Votes)

 

Best Wine Tasting: MJ’s Wine Bar (308 Votes) Every Thursday night, owner and sommelier Mark Ohlson teaches guests about a specific variety, region and wine characteristic. Spending $20, gets you 4 glasses and an educational offering of the wine’s history. It’s not a stuffy, insider affair either. These tastings are ideal for both amateur wine drinkers and knowledgeable connoisseurs.

 

| MJ’s Wine Bar | 1 City Center, Portland | http://www.onecitywines.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Rosemont's (155 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Aurora Provisions (111 Votes)

  • Sur Lie (109 Votes)

 

Best Wings: Binga’s (439 Votes) Incredible wings require incredible sauces. Over 30 homemade signature sauces from Binga’s is what makes their crispy wings far from ordinary. They’ve got a rising “heat scale,” but the adventurous out there, often order the hot mango, diesel garlic, spicy redneck, or the ‘08 fire sauce on their wings. However, be careful! The fire sauce makes women scream and grown men cry.

 

| Binga’s Stadium | 77 Free St, Portland | http://www.bingasstadium.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Great Lost Bear (250 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Samuel's (227 Votes)

  • Buck's Naked BBQ (126 Votes)

 

Best Hard Cider and Mead Tasting: Maine Mead Works (390 Votes) Ancient tradition meets modern science, when the brewers here combine wildflower honey, water and yeast for a mellow and refreshing beverage that’s fit for the gods. If you’ve never had mead before, you’re seriously missing out. But, thankfully, the Meadery’s tasting room is open every day of the week, so there’s plenty of time for you to lose your mead virginity.

 

| Maine Mead Works | 51 Washington Ave, Portland | http://www.mainemeadworks.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Urban Farm Fermentory (328 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Maine & Loire (40 Votes)

 

SERVICES

 

Best Barber: Curran Candage (663 Votes) When Mr. Candage wins by that big of a margin, it’s clear he’s doing something very right in the mop chopping department. Or maybe folks just love his intricate tats. Whatever the reason, you can be assured the passionate Mr. Candage can handle even the most complex of hairstyles. Men and women alike, come out of Momentum looking fresh-to-death and super stylish.

 

| Momentum | 367 Fore St, Portland | http://www.momentumportland.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Frank at the Goodfellas Barbershop (140 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Mensroom Salon & Lounge (131 Votes)

 

Best Chiropractor: Portland Chiropractic Neurology (170 Votes) Their approach follows a new model of health-care. This facility combines chiropractic care, physical therapy, functional neurology and nutrition to address a variety of neurological and musculoskeletal conditions. The highly approachable and friendly team here, know the importance of listening to patients, when determining a diagnosis.

 

| Portland Chiropractic Neurology | 959 Congress St, Portland | https://www.portchiro.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Wendy Pollock, DC, CCH (131 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Jacobs Chiropractic Acupuncture (90 Votes)

  • Scarborough Family Chiropractic Associates (83 Votes)

 

Best Computer Repair: The People's Geek (98 Votes) Whether it’s hardware repair, virus removal, data recovery, or even just a simple tune-up, the geeks here will spare you whatever computer-related headache you might be dealing with. They also arm you with the advice you need to prevent future trips.

 

| The People's Geek | 27 Hanson St, Portland | http://www.thepeoplesgeek.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • PC Remedies (85 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Ugo Mac Technology (82 Votes)

  • TechPort (80 Votes)

 

Best Credit Union: Town & Country Federal Credit Union (232 Votes) Make the transition from a big bank full of fees and ridiculous policies, to this simple, small town credit union. Many things about Town and Country make it the best banking option: free checking, no ATM fees, no minimum balance and an incredibly intuitive mobile app to use. You pretty much get free money every month, too, with their 3.01 percent interest policy. Who else guarantees that?

 

| Town & Country Federal Credit Union | 426 Forest Ave, Portland | https://www.tcfcu.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • University Credit Union (120 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • cPort Credit Union (107 Votes)

  • TruChoice Federal Credit Union (91 Votes)

 

Best Family Law: Bernstein Shur Sawyer & Nelson (116 Votes) In order to be a good lawyer, you have to be a good human first. Ok, those aren’t my words. They’re the ones from the law firm's website, but I’ll admit, I don’t know how to jazz up an attorney. So instead, ponder this quote from Bernstein’s site: “Obfuscation and pretension are the enemies of excellence and expertise.” If you’re struggling with a life-related obstacle, the people here can help with world class legal service and the occasional inspirational quote.

 

| Bernstein Shur Sawyer & Nelson | 100 Middle St, Portland | http://www.bernsteinshur.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Port City Legal (73 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Rachel Violette (44 Votes)

  • MittelAsen, LLC (28 Votes)

  • Morse & Pride LLC (28 Votes)

 

Best Family Medical Practice: InterMed (326 Votes) People around town claim that the service here is “shockingly good.” Apart from offering competent services like any hospital does, InterMed excels in their quick care times. You won’t wait in the waiting room for very long, and booking appointments is a relatively painless process.

 

| InterMed | 84 Marginal Way, Portland | http://www.intermed.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Martin's Point (222 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Maine Medical Family Practice (152 Votes)

  • Wildwood Medicine (88 Votes)

 

Best Fitness Club: Dynamics Fitness (206 Votes) The fitness group classes offered here, will chew you up and spit you out. Their fast paced “boot camp” classes are designed to push any and all bodies to the limit. It’s no surprise that some boot camp graduates have went on to become successful sports players and body-builders. And at only $6, it’s an amazing deal to improve your strength and conditioning.

 

| Dynamics Fitness | 633 Forest Ave, Portland | http://www.dynamicsfitness.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Reve Cycling Studio (122 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Bay Club (98 Votes)

  • EVO Rock + Fitness (75 Votes)

 

Best Green Business: Garbage to Garden (397 Votes) The spirit of sustainability is woven right into Garbage to Garden’s ethos and business practices. This curbside composting company makes being environmentally conscious, thoughtless and effortless. All you do is chuck your organic waste in the special bucket, and once a week, that iconic green truck will swing by and pick it up. The upside? Free compost and a garbage load that’s a fraction of the size that you’re used to. See? Living green can be easy.

 

| Garbage to Garden | 57 Industrial Way, Portland | https://garbagetogarden.org/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Portland Food Co-op (173 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • We Compost It! (62 Votes)

  • Ecomaine (58 Votes)

 

Best Gym: Planet Fitness (229 Votes) I wonder how many of you voters out there are paying for a membership you’re not even using. Ha! I’m only joking. But Planet Fitness is so cheap, it would be an easy bill to forget about. That low monthly price, and their “judgment free zone,” makes this big gym the top contender.

 

|  Planet Fitness | 145 Marginal Way, Portland | http://www.planetfitness.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • YMCA (150 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • World's Gym (146 Votes)

  • Anytime Fitness (102 Votes)

 

Best Holistic Practitioner: Wildwood Medicine (194 Votes) Unlike traditional Western medicine, Wildwood treats underlying issues, not just the symptoms. The naturopathic doctors here will kickstart your own body’s healing mechanisms, with plant medicine, physical therapy and acupuncture. Don’t just heal your body, but also your mind and spirit.   

 

| Wildwood Medicine | 83 India St, Portland | http://wildwoodmedicine.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Integrative Health Center of Maine (75 Votes)

  • Sarah Kotzur, ND (75 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Bernadette Hawkes at The Body Architect (70 Votes)

 

Best Home Improvement Services: Superior Roofing (67 Votes) Nobody ever even thinks about their roof, unless its shingles are falling off, or there’s a hole in it. So when something bad happens to yours and you don’t know what to do, call these honest and hardworking guys.

 

| Superior Roofing | 577 Riverside St, Portland | http://www.superiorroofingofmaine.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Casco Bay Roofing & Renovations (59 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Everything Home LLC (37 Votes)

  • Onsight Tree Service (32 Votes)

 

Best Massage: Nine Stones Spa (161 Votes) By the end of a 90-minute session here, you’ll feel like jelly. A warm, relaxed and mesmerized human shape tub of jelly. OK, that analogy fell apart. But anyway, the highly trained, intuitive practitioners here can work wonders with their hands and leave you ready to carpe diem.

 

|  Nine Stones Spa | 250 Commercial St, Portland | http://ninestonesspa.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Soakology (127 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Soma (119 Votes)

  • Sage Wellness (86 Votes)

 

Best Pet Care: Brackett Street Vet (192 Votes) While I can’t say that the dogs, cats and pocket pets that come through here appreciate getting poked and prodded, their owners sure value the care. It’s because the courteous and professional staff here cater their service to match your pet’s needs and age, so that it may get healthier.

 

| Brackett Street Vet | 192 Brackett St, Portland | http://www.brackettstveterinaryclinic.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Happy Tails (145 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Camp Bow Wow (122 Votes)

  • Roscoe's Bed & Bark (104 Votes)

 

Best Place to Be Certified for Cannabis: Integr8 Health, LLC (153 Votes) Integr8’s mission is simply for its clients to live life to the fullest. Naturally that involves smoking or vaping some marijuana. That is, if you genuinely have one of the 15 medical conditions that the herb ameliorates. As long as you’re not trying to exploit its most objective qualifying condition: chronic pain, the people here will take good care of you.

 

| Integr8 Health, LLC | 170 Route 1, Falmouth | http://integr8health.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Canna Care Docs of Maine (Biddeford) (148 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Budding Potentials LLC (West Newfield) (32 Votes)

 

Best Medical Marijuana Dispensary: Wellness Connection While it’s irrefutable at this point in time that marijuana yields health benefits, pain relief and symptom control, it’s still not healthy to smoke it. Simply because, it’s not good to put combusted plant matter of any kind in your lungs. But that’s okay! You can just eat your marijuana, with the delicious and mind-altering cookies and brownies at this clean and professional dispensary.

 

| Wellness Connection | 685 Congress St, Portland | http://www.mainewellness.org/ |

 

Best Place to Get Emergency Health Care: Maine Medical Center (283 Votes) With a bold goal of eventually making Maine the healthiest state in the nation, the Maine Medical Center is the biggest collection of health-related services and resources in that entire state. They’ve got hundreds of beds and a huge staff of highly trained professionals, so your wait won’t be long in the dreaded white-walled waiting room of boredom and despair.

 

| Maine Medical Center | 22 Brahmhall St, Portland | http://www.mmc.org/mmchomepage |

 

Runner Up

  • Mercy Express Care (227 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Brighton First Care (167 Votes)

  • Mid Coast Hospital (Brunswick) (21 Votes)

 

Best Place to Get Pampered: Soakology (305 Votes) You’ve thought about it, don’t lie. You’ve walked past this place on Congress St. and wondered what it’s like to get your feet soaked in those vats of herbs and oil. I bet your toes have never been that warm and clean. This unexpected oasis relaxes all five of your senses and removes the anxiety of the day.

 

| Soakology | 511 Congress St, Portland | http://www.soakology.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Nine Stones Spa (192 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Akari (101 Votes)

  • House of J. Henry (86 Votes)

 

Best Property Manager: Avesta Housing (131 Votes) Avesta Housing improves lives and strengthens communities by promoting and providing quality affordable homes for people in need. This non-profit does what it can in a city where that’s increasingly hard to find.

 

| Avesta Housing | 307 Cumberland Ave, Portland | http://www.avestahousing.org/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Port Property (97 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Portland Maine Rentals (58 Votes)

  • Aquarius Property Management LLC (46 Votes)

 

Best Salon: O2 Salon (196 Votes) It’s okay if you haven't quite found a hairstyle to make your own yet. The stylists here know exactly what do-up would look best on you. This hair salon is a judgment free zone, where you can walk in unsure about your appearance and leave feeling beautiful and confident.

 

| O2 Salon | 605 Congress St, Portland | http://www.o2salonmaine.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Head Games Salon for Hair & Body (170 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • House of J. Henry (168 Votes)

  • Bang Cut & Color (157 Votes)

 

Best Tattoo Parlor: Tsunami (173 Votes) As far as tattoo parlors go, this one’s actually quite elegant. It’s clean, spacious and has little statues of porcelain kitties and Buddhas on the walls. And the body art created here, by Phuc, is obviously worth raving about. It takes about six months of research and consultation before you get an appointment for a custom design, but many say it’s more than worth the wait.

 

| Tsunami | 21 Pleasant St, Portland | http://www.tsunamitattoo.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Sanctuary (172 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Til Death Tattoo (125 Votes)

  • Almost Famous (116 Votes)

 

Best Taxi Company: ASAP Taxi (251 Votes) This company has earned its name because its drivers don’t leave you waiting long. It usually takes about 10-15 minutes for a taxi to arrive, which is great if you need to get to the Jetport or bus station in a pinch. They take that drive often and will drop you off ASAP.

 

| ASAP Taxi | 7 Thompson’s Point Rd., Portland | http://www.asaptaxi.net/ |

 

Runner Up

  • 207 Taxi (203 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • ABC Taxi (85 Votes)

  • Abbey Road Taxi of Portland (54 Votes)

 

Best Uber Driver: Anna Schwartz (74 Votes) Anna must have been taking notes from some ASAP taxi rides, because like them, she’s likely provided many comfortable, prompt and pleasant car trips for lazy commuters and drunks.

 

Runner Up

  • Jason Bisbing (58 Votes)

 

Honorable Mention

  • Cam Foley (51 Votes)

  • Cindy Casteline (44 Votes)

 

Best Working/Art Space: Think Tank (146 Votes) This may be the coolest office around because of its colorful, yet unpretentious decorations, comfy lounge space and its nurturing co-working atmosphere. Several forward-thinking individuals and teams from different companies work here under one roof. And there’s a benefit to that communal buzz of creative energy. When someone next to you is gazing pensively out the window between spurts of intense note-taking, while another stranger has just encountered the threads of a new good idea, it might inspire you to close your social media tabs and actually get to work.  

 

| Think Tank | 533 Congress St, Portland | http://www.thinktankcoworking.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Running with Scissors (139 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Mayo Street Arts (103 Votes)

  • Open Bench Project (96 Votes)

 

SHOPPING

 

Best Antique Store: Portland Flea-for-All (526 Votes) The slogan, “Flea for your lives,” says it all. But not in the sense of running away. Stick around awhile. Start with the friendly vendors on the first floor, then wander upstairs to check out the larger furniture items and home decor. Whatever you pick up, rest assured that life is better when you find that rare vinyl album or that perfect jean jacket or, finally, a table that will fit in that corner by the couch. It’s all there at the Portland Flea-for-All.

 

| Portland Flea-for-All | 125 Kennebec St, Portland | http://portlandfleaforall.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Portland Architectural Salvage (275 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Find (141 Votes)

  • The Merchant Company (77 Votes)

 

Best Arts & Crafts: Artist & Craftsman (416 Votes) Start with a vast selection of art supplies that would make any painter or craftsperson drool. Add a staff of knowledgeable experts who know the item you’re talking about, even when you barely do, and if they can’t bring you to it, they’ll get it for you. Artist & Craftsman is a Portland fixture. Even if you’re not a creative type, it’s worth a visit to soak in the sheer potential in all those as-yet-unused, intriguing supplies.

 

| Artist & Craftsman | 540 Deering Ave, Portland | http://www.artistcraftsman.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Caravan Beads (150 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Art Mart (139 Votes)

  • Z Fabrics (87 Votes)

Best Bank: Bangor Savings Bank (312 Votes) When Bangor Savings Bank says, “You Matter More,” well, I guess they mean it. They were given top honors by J.D. Powers and Associates this year for the second year in a row, ranked highest in New England for Retail Banking Customer Satisfaction. The reason? Most likely the friendliness, professionalism and courtesy of their tellers and officers. And services: Just for one example, BSB offers Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay. Top notch.

 

| Bangor Savings Bank | 280 Fore St, Ste 200, Portland | http://www.bangor.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • TD Bank (223 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Gorham Savings Bank (119 Votes)

  • Norway Savings Bank (104 Votes)

 

Best Bookstore: Longfellow Books (679 Votes) Everybody in Portland has walked by the display window of Longfellow Books on Monument Way and stopped to take a look. Do yourself a favor and go inside, if you haven’t already become a regular customer. You will find a treasure trove of reading materials, a staff of book-procuring wizards in case what you need isn’t in stock, author events several times a month, and wait, is that a feline mascot I see?

 

| Longfellow Books | 1 Monument Way, Portland | http://www.longfellowbooks.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Nonesuch Books & Cards (204 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Sherman's Books & Stationery (156 Votes)

  • The Green Hand (99 Votes)

 

Best Car Dealership: Patriot Subaru (213 Votes) Portlanders who have ever lived out of state for any length of time and then returned, if they’re like me, will notice the number of Subarus on the streets and say, “Oh yeah, Maine!” And Patriot is the place to buy them that has the best selection of models, the least pushy salespeople, and oh yeah, they’re a socially conscious business as well: This past Earth Day, they donated a certain dollar amount per Subaru sold for two days, allowing the Saco and Portland Parks and Rec departments to continue maintaining city trees and planting new ones.

 

| Patriot Subaru | 769 Portland Rd, Saco | http://www.patriotsubaru.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Berlin City (182 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Bill Dodge Auto Group (84 Votes)

  • Rowe Ford (63 Votes)

 

Best CD/Record Store: Bull Moose (866 Votes) Some of the other CD, record and video stores in Portland complained that they didn’t want to bother participating in this year’s Best Of Portland competition, reason being that “Bull Moose always wins.” If you have spent even a few minutes delving into the depths of the shelves at Bull Moose, you have some idea of why that is. You’ll leave with more than you intended to pick up! And oftentimes, they can order items at prices that actually beat Amazon. Be a cool kid. Shop at the Bull.

 

| Bull Moose | 151 Middle St, Portland | http://www.bullmoose.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Strange Maine (79 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Enterprise Records (52 Votes)

  • Moody Lords Vinyl/Vintage (36 Votes)

 

Best Erotic Gifts: Nomia (392 Votes) This women-owned-and-operated sexuality store has been quietly building up a loyal following among the locals since 2004. Offering lingerie, toys, accessories and more, even workshops, Nomia and its staff have the ability to think, talk and laugh about sex, instead of that prurient chuckle you may find elsewhere. As one Yelp reviewer puts it, Nomia is “a safe, comfortable, non-judgmental place to explore your sexuality [and] ask those confusing, hard, or embarrassing questions you might think are confusing, hard, or embarrassing but maybe really aren't; and to embrace sex as normal.”

 

| Nomia | 24 Exchange St, Ste 215, Portland | http://www.nomiaboutique.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • CS Boutique (147 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Etain boutique (107 Votes)

  • Aristelle (42 Votes)

 

Best Furniture Store: Portland Flea-for-All (259 Votes)

The slogan, “Flea for your lives,” says it all. But not in the sense of running away. Stick around awhile. Start with the friendly vendors on the first floor, then wander upstairs to check out the larger furniture items and home decor. Whatever you pick up, rest assured that life is better when you find that rare vinyl album or that perfect jean jacket or, finally, a table that will fit in that corner by the couch. It’s all there at the Portland Flea-for-All.

 

| Portland Flea-for-All | 125 Kennebec St, Portland | http://portlandfleaforall.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Hub Furniture (148 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Crockett Furniture (84 Votes)

  • Circa Home & Vintage (46 Votes)

 

Best Hairstylist: Rachel Helm (Head Games Salon) (166 Votes)  When your boss is such an entrepreneur that she appears on “Shark Tank” to pitch a line of her own hair care products for naturally curly hair, you had better be able to live up to that level of commitment and professionalism. Rachel Helm certainly does. No matter how frustrated you are with your hair (and who hasn’t been ready to pull it out at times), Rachel will send you home feeling confident and beautiful. She earns every bit of respect that Portlanders give her.

 

| Head Games Salon | 116 Free St | http://www.headgameshair.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Meghan Harrington (Kutz) (134 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Katie Snow (House of J. Henry) (125 Votes)

  • Jill Lopez (Diva Hair Studio) (79 Votes)

 

Best Hardware Store: Maine Hardware (Ace) (594 Votes)  Remember when you went to the hardware store with your dad as a kid, and you wandered around in amazement at all the cool stuff? At Maine Hardware, you’ll recapture that feeling, even though this time around you’re there for the materials to get a job done. Show up in desperation, doubting they could ever carry the particular thing you need, and the staff at Ace will merely smile and lead you directly to it. From wingnuts to wheelbarrows, they’ve got you covered.

 

| Maine Hardware | 274 St. John St, Portland | http://mainehardware.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Aubuchon Hardware (164 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Drillen True Value Hardware (63 Votes)

  • Shoppers True Value Hardware (61 Votes)

Best Head Shop: The Blazin' Ace (142 Votes) Let’s face it: Some of us still smoke, or vape, or ‘partake,’ using pipes that are ‘strictly for tobacco.’ The place to buy the materials to do all that is The Blazin’ Ace. You are guaranteed not to feel that slightly uneasy ‘head shop sketchiness,’ and if you purchase glass, it is highly likely that you are supporting a Maine glass artist. Blazin’ Ace is the kind of store where you go in for a pack of smokes and walk out having made a new friend or two.

 

| The Blazin' Ace | 432 Fore St, Portland | http://www.blazinace.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Northern Lights (131 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • The Higher Concept Glass Gallery (66 Votes)

  • Freak Street Imports (26 Votes)

 

Best Jewelry Store: D. Cole Jewelers (251 Votes) One time, I came across a Celtic cross design that struck me with how great it would look on a ring on a certain someone’s finger. I wandered into D. Cole and was met with a friendly, gentle staff member who immediately dove into the custom project I was proposing. By the time I got back home, I had an email containing three prospective designs for the ring. I had to cancel my order just after choosing my favorite (breakup, par for the course), but I’m not the only one who has had a genuine positive experience at D. Cole. Check the online reviews, and you’ll see why they’re number one.

 

| D. Cole Jewelers | 10 Exchange St, Portland | https://www.dcolejewelers.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Abacus (176 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Springer's Jewelers (134 Votes)

  • Day's Jewelers (102 Votes)

 

Best Kids’ Store: Treehouse Toys Ltd (388 Votes)

Nothing is more important than the people, places and things you allow your children to be exposed to. At Treehouse Toys, you can rest assured that your youngsters are only going to get the best of all three. Whether you need Legos, kites, Maine-written storybooks, or a gift so perfect that it flies off the shelf and into your hands, this is the place to find it. One reviewer compared Treehouse to Duncan’s Toy Chest, the toy store from ‘Home Alone 2.’ You may not even want to bring the kids, because they’ll have you restructuring your budget for the month with all the amazing toys that you won’t be able to refuse them.

 

| Treehouse Toys Ltd | 47 Exchange St, Portland | http://www.treehousetoys.us/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Island Treasure Toys (113 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Little (78 Votes)

Best Lingerie Store: Etain (217 Votes)

Whether you’re a guy who loves to see your better half in something lacy that accentuates her beauty, or a woman who feels excited when you put on something slinky yet tasteful, you can’t go wrong shopping at Etain Boutique. The special thing about this store is that they’re not just trying to fill the register with your money. They emphasize proper fitting technique and body positivity for every customer. No buyer’s remorse here, ever.

 

| Etain | 646 Congress St, Portland | http://etainboutique.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Aristelle (117 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Lady Grace (100 Votes)

  • Midnight Boutique Lingerie II (53 Votes)

 

Best ‘Maine Made’ Store: Sea Bags (429 Votes)

The term "sea bag" originally referred to a white cylindrical canvas sack, about four feet tall and a foot and a half in diameter, that closed with a nylon rope drawstring that ran through brass grommets at the top. They were carried by Navy sailors, going back decades. However, for Portlanders, Sea Bags is a store to get durable, fashionable totes, with such a wide range of designs that there’s one to match every personality.

 

| Sea Bags | 25 Custom House Wharf, Portland | https://seabags.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Portland Trading Co. (178 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Lisa-Marie's Made in Maine (128 Votes)

  • Dean's Sweets (113 Votes)

 

Best Men’s Clothing Store: LL Bean (316 Votes)

When you’re traveling or living out of state and you tell people you’re from Maine, they mention one of three things: lobster, Stephen King, and the inimitable LL Bean. Every Mainer has an article of clothing or a pair of shoes they bought there that they’ve been wearing for years, continually impressed with the durability and resistance to wear that they demonstrate. Throw in Bean’s generous, old-fashioned, "hey-it’s-on-us" return policy, and you’ve got a perennial winner.

 

| LL Bean | 95 Main St, Freeport | http://www.llbean.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Renys (117 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Joseph's (98 Votes)

  • Portland Dry Goods (88 Votes)

 

Best Motor Sports Shop: Phoenix Cycle Shop, LLC (68 Votes) There are two kinds of people in the world: those who ride motorcycles, and those who often wish they did. Whatever category you fall under, a visit to Phoenix Cycle Shop (and what a great name, huh?) will get you your two-wheeled fix. And speaking of fixes, Phoenix has gained a reputation for reliable, do-it-right-the-first-time repairs to get that engine roaring again. Let these ladies and gentlemen get you back to cruising the open road.

 

| Phoenix Cycle Shop, LLC | 185 Warren Ave, Westbrook |

http://www.phoenixcycleshop.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • West-Port Motorsports (66 Votes)

  • White Rock Outboard (66 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Plaistow (16 Votes)

 

Best Musical Instruments: Buckdancer's Choice (321 Votes) There’s just something about a guitar that makes you want to pick it up and play. Some do that and shred like Satriani, and others realize, “Hey, I really don’t know what I’m doing. I wonder where I can get an instrument that’s appropriate for me, and maybe some lessons.” The answer is, Buckdancer’s Choice. These guys have been doing it for so long, they’re practically ageless. If you give them your trust, they will never betray it.

 

| Buckdancer's Choice | 248 St. John St, Portland | http://www.buckdancers.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Portland Percussion (65 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Guitar Grave (62 Votes)

  • Friendly River Music (30 Votes)

 

Best Party Dresses: Andrea's Bridal (138 Votes)

You have no idea how many times I’ve walked by Andrea’s Bridal in the heart of downtown, had my attention caught by their display dresses, and thought, “Wow, that would look so good on her.” Go inside, whether you’re about to get married or not, and you’ll feel like a confident walk down the runway might be in your future. It is a certainty that they will have the perfect dress for you or your loved one. As one reviewer put it, the staff at Andrea’s “kept the mood light, and made me feel so beautiful.”

 

| Andrea's Bridal | 510 Congress St, Portland | http://www.andreasbridal.net/ |

 

Runner Up

  • What the Frock?! (126 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • TAVECCHIA Boutique (80 Votes)

  • Style Me Portland (57 Votes)

 

Best Pet Supply: Planet Dog (334 Votes)

If a big Hollywood studio was filming a movie in Portland (remember Whitney?) and they shot a scene in Planet Dog, they wouldn’t have to dress the store up for the camera at all. When you’re inside, you can’t look in any direction without your eye falling on something that makes you say, “They have that, too!?” Yet the run-of-the-mill things you need every week for your pet is also readily available. Interactions with the staff will have you thinking ahead to your next visit. Planet Portland loves Planet Dog.

 

| Planet Dog | 211 Marginal Way, Portland | http://www.planetdog.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • The Fish & Bone (216 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Pet Life (187 Votes)

  • The Whole Dog Market SoPo (92 Votes)

 

Best Shoe Store: LL Bean (240 Votes)

When you’re traveling or living out of state and you tell people you’re from Maine, they mention one of three things: lobster, Stephen King, and the inimitable LL Bean.

 

| LL Bean | 95 Main St, Freeport | http://www.llbean.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • The Walking Company (111 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Material Objects (101 Votes)

  • Selby Shoes Etc (100 Votes)

 

Best Thrift/Consignment Shop: Lots For Tots (132 Votes) If you’re on a strict budget, and who isn’t these days, especially with growing children under your roof, you need a place like Lots for Tots. They’re working with a small space, but they manage to fill it strategically with the mother lode of items for kids, all at great prices. And if your closet at home is filled with things your kids have outgrown, Lots for Tots may take them off your hands and leave you a little richer. Fine people, great store.

 

| Lots For Tots | 240 US-1, Falmouth | http://www.lotsfortotsne.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • What the Frock?! (124 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Little Ghost (101 Votes)

  • Encore (83 Votes)

 

Best Used Kids’ Clothing: Lots For Tots (179 Votes)

If you’re on a strict budget, and who isn’t these days, especially with growing children under your roof, you need a place like Lots for Tots. They’re working with a small space, but they manage to fill it strategically with the mother lode of items for kids, all at great prices. And if your closet at home is filled with things your kids have outgrown, Lots for Tots may take them off your hands and leave you a little richer. Fine people, great store.

 

| Lots For Tots | 240 US-1, Falmouth | http://www.lotsfortotsne.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Plato's Closet (73 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Portland Flea-for-All (54 Votes)

  • Tots To Teens Resale Store (52 Votes)

 

Best Video Store: Bull Moose (479 Votes)

Some of the other CD, record and video stores in Portland complained that they didn’t want to bother participating in this year’s Best Of Portland competition, reason being that “Bull Moose always wins.” If you have spent even a few minutes delving into the depths of the shelves at Bull Moose, you have some idea of why that is. You’ll leave with more than you intended to pick up! And oftentimes, they can order items at prices that actually beat Amazon. Be a cool kid. Shop at the Bull.

 

| Bull Moose | 151 Middle St, Portland | http://www.bullmoose.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • JET Video (163 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Strange Maine (72 Votes)

 

Best Wine/Beer/Liquor Store: RSVP (567 Votes)

It’s a Portland college student tradition: once every month or so, buckle down, fill the trunk of your car with those empties that have been piling up in your kitchen closet, turn them in at RSVP, and use your ‘winnings’ to start the cycle all over again. Whether you’re after top-shelf liquor to impress a date with, or a sixer of the cheap stuff, it’s worth the trip down Forest to visit these pros.

 

| RSVP | 887 Forest Ave, Ste 889, Portland | http://www.rsvpdiscountbeverage.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Bier Cellar (204 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Old Port Spirits & Cigars (144 Votes)

  • Maine Beer & Beverage (126 Votes)

 

Best Women’s Clothing Store: Material Objects (227 Votes)  If your wardrobe is important to you, and you want to stock it with unique, high quality articles that still keep you trendy, walk up from Monument Square and pay a visit to Material Objects. You will not be the only shopper in the store, because the secret is out: this is the source. They stock everything from leather jackets to silk scarves to evening dresses suitable for the most formal occasions, all at consignment prices. Another shop may one day beat Material Objects in the "casual and classy" department, but it hasn’t happened yet.

 

| Material Objects | 500 Congress St, Ste 1, Portland | https://www.facebook.com/Material-Objects-126017037466382/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Bliss Boutique (182 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • Find (108 Votes)

  • Haberdashery (99 Votes)

 

Best Bike and Ski Shop: Gorham Bike & Ski (321 Votes)  In a community like ours that’s full of active people, it’s important to have a store like Gorham Bike & Ski that we can count on to keep us keeping on. If you need top-of-the-line equipment that puts you on the cutting edge of bike and ski tech, you’re in the right place. If all you need is a seven-dollar patch kit for a hole in your tube, you’re in the right place. If you need advice, or want to join a sponsored ride, ditto. Long story short, don’t go anywhere else.

 

| Gorham Bike & Ski | 693 Congress St, Portland | http://gorhambike.com/ |

 

Runner Up

  • Cyclemania (205 Votes)

Honorable Mention

  • AllSpeed (158 Votes)

  • Back Bay Bicycle (124 Votes)

Last modified onWednesday, 11 May 2016 17:52