Best New Restaurant: Salvage BBQ
Come on in, slide into a long, shared table in this cafeteria-like space, and order up some meat. You want “Cow & Pig” (half a pound each of brisket and pork)? Or how about a “Meat Coma” (a quarter-rack of pork ribs, one-third of a pound of brisket, chopped pork, and a cup of chili)? Don’t forget to get a beer, maybe something from Oxbow or Bunker. If you’re lucky, there’s live music playing, like King Memphis or Pete Witham and the Cozmik Zombies. Salvage is like that new friend you feel like you’ve known forever; it’s difficult to imagine the Portland food scene before it existed and we hope it never leaves.
919 Congress St, Portland | 207.553.2100 | salvagebbq.com
Best Pizza + Best Chain in Maine + Best Delivery Food + Best Late-Night Restaurant: OTTO Pizza
We’re at the point now where it’s helpful to start referring to eras in Portland city life as pre-Otto and post-Otto. (Yeah, that’s how messianic their pizza seems to us at 12:55 in the morning.) They’ve expanded their flagship Arts District location into a three-part Portland network, each prong with its own style, and they keep growing still, opening parlors in South Portland, Boston, and Cambridge. Though we’ll never understand their vendetta against garlic (it’s constitutionally barred from their recipes), their pizza is some of the tastiest, richest, and most satisfying there is.
576 Congress St, Portland | 225 Congress St, Portland | 207.773.7099
Otto Pizza raked in four (4!) awards in this year's Best Of poll: Best Pizza, Best Late-Night Restaurant,
Best Delivery Food, and Best Chain-in-Maine.
Best Romantic Restauarant + Best Restaurant Ambience: Grace
Just walking into Grace is an experience not to be missed. The decor and lighting, the art on the walls, and the sheer sense of space are unmatched in Maine. But when you sit down, somehow the expanse fades into the background and your table becomes an island of intimate dining. If conversation ever slows, there’s plenty around to remark upon to keep things lively. You’re more likely, however, to feel like you could spend all evening here and still be having fun. And keep in mind that this used to be a church. It’s the place to go if you want your next big date to be in a real one.
15 Chestnut St, Portland | 207.828.4422 | restaurantgrace.com
Best Sandwich/Wrap: Po’ Boys & Pickles
Whoever decided meals should be anything other than messy, carnal affairs was a fool. The sandwiches at Po’ Boys are meant to be torn into and plundered, their contents slathered all over our face and hands, their proteins woven into our most potent cells. Each of their New Orleans-style wraps are loaded with savory meats, fresh vegetables, and spicy dressings that just ooze from their confines, just the right mix of grease and goodness. Next time fate steers you through the traffic hell that is outer Forest Avenue, just remember that taking a Dirty Bird or a Creole Sausage Po’ Boy along for the ride would make life much more interesting.
1124 Forest Ave, Portland | 207.518.9735 | poboysandpickles.com