The New Comfort Food of Portland, Maine

Portland Hot Spots

The New Comfort Food Essentials Of Portland

March 11, 2020

There’s nothing like the feeling of comfort food. Quite literally, it’s the kind of food or a meal that feels like you’ve wrapped yourself in a cozy blanket, kicked back with fluffy slippers, and are able to just relax.

Now, there are plenty of places you can find comfort food in Portland, but these are some of my favorites, right now. Keep reading for the new comfort food essentials of Portland!

Royale Lunch Bar: Chicken Sandwich

Yup, a fried chicken sandwich is most certainly a new comfort food essential in my book

Royale Lunch Bar isn’t super new but what is new is their new focus on fried chicken. I mean, why not take the thing that sells out most consistently and shape your new menu around it?

In my opinion, it’s kind of genius! If you’re a fried chicken fan, the fried chicken sandwiches served at Royale will be the comfort food you’ve been waiting for.

I don’t know how they get that chicken so crisp and yet so tender but the end result is a sandwich you just can’t put down.

baristas + bites: Breakfast Burrito

baristas + bites breakfast burrito has to be a new comfort food essential!

There’s something to be said about a breakfast burrito that is plain and simple, good. We aren’t talking about Chipotle (although under certain circumstances, yes), but just a damned good burrito.

 This is the breakfast burrito that you’ll find when you visit baristas + bites.

Let’s face it, burritos are always better when they have eggs, cheese, and some kind of breakfast meat in them. In my case, it’s going to be bacon, but it doesn’t have to be!

It could be breakfast sausage or it could even be tempeh bacon for those that are vegetarian and vegan. Why not customize your perfect comforting breakfast burrito?

Oh, and I almost left out one of the best parts: this burrito also has potato hash inside it! That’s basically like having a hash brown inside of your burrito, hello yummy deliciousness, get in my stomach ASAP please!

 Why yes, this burrito and baristas + bites sounds pretty good right now!

Wilson County Barbecue: Fried Chicken Plate

Wilson County is a new comfort food essential and a yes for me!

Real talk here: I’ve tried quite a few things on the Wilson County Barbecue menu since they’ve opened. And yes, I’m aware that they’ve only been open for about a month.

Here’s what I’ve figured out pretty quickly though: The fried chicken plate is legit. I prefer it with all dark meat but each to their own.

Why is this comforting? There’s something about this fried chicken that’s just like damn. It’s a tiny bit sweet while still being ridiculously soft and tender, which is what good fried chicken should be.

Let’s just say if you want to find me, chances are extremely high I might already be at Wilson County Barbecue eating the fried chicken plate.

Five Fifty-Five: Truffled Lobster Mac n Cheese

Look lobster in mac n cheese is a new comfort food essential by itself

Only in Portland can you take classic comfort food like mac n cheese and make it even better by adding lobster to it. At Five Fifty-Five, they take it to the next level because you get a whole CLAW of lobster in your mac n cheese.

Yes, you read that right: a whole claw! Look, it’s not cheap, but it is comforting. This mac n cheese features an artisanal cheese blend, white truffle oil, and black truffles, in addition to all that butter-poached lobster.

Look, as long as there’s lobster smothered in butter, I’m going to call it comforting. What you may not have heard is the shocking news that Five Fifty-Five will be closing in April.

There are no words to describe what a loss to Portland’s food scene this is, but the good news is that the lobster mac n cheese will be added to the menu at Petite Jacqueline, which the owners of Five Fifty-Five also own. The comfort of the lobster mac n cheese lives on. 

Dutch’s: Chicken Parm Sandwich

One of the best sandwiches in town is obviously a new comfort food essential in Portland

If you’ve tried the chicken parm sandwich at Dutch’s, you already know it’s incredible. If you haven’t, it’s mind blowingly delicious.

It features a chicken thigh (yes, you read that right, a chicken thigh), 

garlic kale, house marinara, and parmesan on a dinner roll. Because it’s made with a chicken thigh instead of another cut of meat, it’s so tender and luscious.

This might be the only instance when I can call anything with chicken luscious, but it truly fits in this case. The first time I tried this sandwich, it made me stop in my tracks.

The same thing happened the second, third, and fourth time I ate it as well. It’s just that good and that’s why it’s a comfort food. Rain or shine, any season, this sandwich from Dutch’s will always be a yes from me.

Central Provisions: Bread and Butter

Last on this list is the quintessential but simple bread and butter dish served at Central Provisions. The one I’m thinking of in particular is served on their brunch menu, and has a beautiful fresh farm egg perched on top.

Why is this a comfort food essential of Portland? The bread and butter, as the name suggests, consists of bread and butter.

Now, because it’s Central Provisions, it’s more than just “bread and butter” and that’s what makes it so delicious. Where else will you find fresh bread and mandarin butter? I rest my case.

There are many places that serve up comfort food, so let me know what your favorite comfort food essentials of Portland are in the comments or on social media!