Best Burger: Nosh Kitchen Bar
The Nosh experience is all about stimulating the senses. Not just the physical ones — though the sights, smells, and tastes of their menu certainly do the trick there. They engage you on deeper levels, too. By all accounts, nobody should consider bacon-dusted French fries a suitable meal, but yet there they are, so innocent next to that adorable chipotle aioli, and before you realize it you’ve forgotten you were planning to cook dinner at home tonight. Or the many variations of their burger, all of which come served to you as a towering vessel, teeming with toppings held together by the thinnest wooden spear, all ready to burst at first bite before toppling wantonly all over your plate. Is that food? Yes, certainly. But we believe it’s something more too, and we want it again and again and again.
551 Congress St, Portland | 207.553.2227 | noshkitchenbar.com
Best Butcher: Pat’s Meat Market
You know you’re at a great butcher when you walk into Pat’s: The meat on display is noticeably fresher than what you might find at a more institutional meat counter, with brighter reds and whiter whites. Beyond the hand-cut steaks and solid selection of lesser-sampled fare (beef tongue and chicken liver), this is the kind of place you not only want to see how the sausage is made, but you can’t wait to eat the finished product when you get it home.
484 Stevens Ave, Portland | 207.772.3691 | patsmeatmart.com
Best Chef: Masa Miyake
No other chef has been so responsible for a city’s culinary upbringing than Masa Miyake has with Japanese food in Portland. The sushi superstar opened his third restaurant in town last February, the totally charming and late-night-ready Miyake Diner on Spring Street, adding to his award-winning noodle bar Pai Men Miyake and the flagship sushi restaurant in the Old Port. This man is a maestro, and as the Portland food scene continues to garner national press, he’s a major reason why.
Best Chowder: Gilbert’s Chowder House
There are five chowders to choose from at Gilbert’s: clam, fish, corn with chicken, seafood, and “seafood chili.” There is bacon and clam in every chowder (as it should be), along with copious amounts of cream and butter (which is, again, as it should be). And each of the five chowders can all be ordered in a bread bowl!
92 Commercial St, Portland | 207.871.5636 | 61 Tandberg Trail, Windham | 207.893.0700 | gilbertschowderhouse.com
Best Cocktails: Sonny’s Restaurant & Lounge
Our first-ever winner in this, a new category, Sonny’s boasts an inventive cocktail list, which gets its flair from an extensive array of house-infused liquors like chile-pepper tequila, espresso-vanilla-caramel vodka, and cucumber gin. Bar manager Christina Klein likes experimenting with flavors and ingredients to develop fresh twists on classic drinks (the “MLT G&T” features Meyer lemon-tarragon-infused gin); we, the drinkers, reap the rewards.
83 Exchange St., Portland | 207.772.7774 | sonnysportland.com
Mmmmmm...crunchy baguettes from Best Bakery
winner Standard Baking Co.
Best Coffee Shop/Teahouse: Coffee By Design
They’re invested in the community, committed to sustainable business practices, and serve a damn good cuppa joe. CBD co-owners Mary Allen Lindemann and Alan Spear extensively research, sample, and taste before selecting which beans to roast, and the result is an organic, fair-trade, and flavorful selection of coffees to go and beans for home. Earlier this year, they celebrated perhaps their biggest achievement to date: the grand opening of an enormous cafe, company headquarters, and expanded roastery on Diamond Street in East Bayside. Congratulations, guys!
620 Congress St, Portland | 207.772.5533 | 1 Diamond St, Portland | 207.874.5400 | 67 India St, Portland | 207.780.6767 | 43 Washington Ave, Portland | 207.874.2234 | coffeebydesign.com